Beginning of quarter life crisis?


Choosing between jobs and comparing the offers to my dream job, I am starting to wonder if I need to do what everyone else is doing, to be able to do what I really want to do? Choosing jobs has been relatively easier so far, as I knew they wouldn’t last once I finish grad school, but now choosing the ‘one’ has got me contemplating what I can do and what I want to do.

Ofcourse, you pick the most exciting and rewarding option, but would this bring you closer to finding that dream opportunity of a lifetime? Would it lead you into finding new things you enjoy working on? Would it completely drift you away from what was once the dream? Or do you wait until you find just what you wanted?

Even though, I ‘ve got lots of wondering and thinking to do, but the point really is to make the best of everything that comes your way, exhaust your potential completely and wonderfully in whatever way ‘possible’ and hopefully discover, meet people, learn ideas, which will show you what you stand for in five or ten years. And maybe there is a reason that people do what they do, making norms. I wouldn’t want to be complete handicapped by the norms and I have always had the freedom to think within and beyond them, but I am starting to understand why people do what they do.

So many questions to answer and mysteries to solve. Is this the beginning of my quarter life crisis?

Nearing the end of a beginning..


We all knew moving back was not going to be the easiest thing for me to get around – but I think I have come to accept it in stages, one after the other and as it is only a few weeks away now I can clearly see how this is going to pan out and I am starting to realise what makes this stage such a scary one.

There’s two fears kicking in here. First, is the fear that almost everyone at this stage has – which is to be growing up to damn fast with time just flying by. For most people: they finish university, get a job, get promoted …. And it just goes on – there’s not one day when you stop and tell yourself, so today xyz phase of your life has come to an end. For me this is not going to be the case. For me the day I sit in that plane with my single ticket, I know this journey would have come an end, I know this huge chunk and lot of achievements would have come to their completion. Which is an amazing yet a scary thought. It is amazing to know I have completed my Masters and Bachelors, that too with distinctions, which has opened to many doors for me. I have met so many amazing people, gone to so many amazing places and experienced so much. But it is scary to think that the phase of studying abroad is now coming to an end and it’s time to get a job, settle down and move on.

Second is obviously, change is never easy to accept and it kills to think what the future holds, in every phase of uncertainty.

I can only hope that what’s ahead is as amazing as what’s gone by and I need to make the most of every second while I am here. May be we should live like tourists all our lives, so we’d enjoy our lives a whole lot more, take more chances and risks, speak our hearts and love a little more.

Most difficult of difficulties..


We’ve all seen hardships, challenges, difficulties and problems which life throws at us – They make life what it is – An exciting yet precarious journey.

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Today I got thinking about the great and not so great things that happen in life and I realised that the things that infuriate you the most are the ones which you can do nothing about.

It is straight forward going through a problem with a solution known to you and in your control. You might have to work really really hard, you might have to give up hours or people or things you have but it helps to know how to reach a solution. In my life I have always seen challenges, milestones and every single day as a process. You find problems, you find their solutions, you celebrate, you enjoy and you find another one to solve. But all this sounds great!

It gets really stirring when there are things in life that you can do nothing about. You can’t decide or predict when and who you will meet, or if you would fall sick or recover, or if you will fall in love with a place or person, or change how someone thinks or feels and you can’t change timing of things… It is most difficult to wait for things to pan out not knowing how they would; waiting for destiny play out!

Why take a break from academics?


Almost through my Masters’ degree, it is obvious to think of my options ahead. The process is tedious, especially as I went for my Postgrad right after the completion of my Undergrad, which means I got no full time work experience, even though I made it a point to be no less of work experience when I graduate so I capitalised on every opportunity that came along. Like many others I feel I belong to the academics and research, for my interest, aptitude and the practical aspects of it. So, whenever I was spoken to about my future plans, I said academics was what I wanted to pursue, but things are changing. Now when I am asked about my future plans, even though I know that I at some point wish to do my PhD, my answer is not the academics. Now I am thinking about what I want to do to make myself ‘ready’ for that and after coming across a very interested TED talk, my curiosity and questions were answered.

 

The researcher said, in order to create, you need to stop learning. Einstein discovered the laws of physics when he was suspended from education. So, may be you need to give your mind the space to think of gaps in the knowledge or to create something worth researching. But this is only the beginning of the list, there are so many other reasons why you need to go into the real world and get some ‘real’ experience, before contributing to creation of knowledge. And by ‘real’ I do not mean internships and work experiences. Having spent years in the industry you would know that life really doesn’t work by the book, and any theory/ research is only fair if relevant and applicable. I wonder what an entirely theoretical research would do for anyone’s utility? Also, I think the brains need a break from being ‘told’ and there is a sense of purpose in just knowing that every single day you contribute to something and make things happens in the bigger horizon. And if you work for long enough, you would have all the more reasons to come back to academics (they say you miss the student life!).

Perfect Preacher


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Only a few days ago, I was surprised when I spoke to my father after making a really difficult decision and he confessed to me that he had been inaccessible on purpose for the days when I needed to get his opinion, until I did finally make my decision. I was puzzled thinking why he had behaved like this, given the kind of protective background I come from where I seek approval on everything major or minor from my parents, oh well generally. And then he told me…. he wanted me to make my decision on my own, no matter how difficult the situation would have been and to take responsibility for what I had decided in favour of and he was there to only watch over what I did and direct me in the right direction ONLY if I had not done so already (which thankfully was not the case). And I realised that this wasn’t about that one decision that I was supposed to make, but an ideology of how one must learn.

Life is all about learning. We spend a good 17 years of our lives on average formally getting educated at a school, college or university; many of us even beyond that. But thinking in real terms, we really never stop learning and parenthood is the purest and most essential form of teaching, which impacts everything in life that we do.

I realised that what my father had done was not merely aimed at making me own up to that decision, infact this was an ideology of how he had taught us everything else too. This takes me back to when he taught us to swim as kids. He taught us to float and once we had learnt to do that; he threw us on the deeper end and watched us struggle and swim back up. Ofcourse, he caught us whenever we couldn’t. This did two things for us; first was to take away the fear of drowning (even though the first few times we were thrown into the deeper end, we were petrified!) and the second is that all of us siblings turned out to be great swimmers!

So, it doesn’t mean we never make mistakes or be terrified or caught up in problems; but it does mean that we learn to take ourselves out of those troubles and own our decisions and he is always there to make sure we never ‘drown’ in life. So, the best way to learn is really to try, may be fail or get scared & confused; but keep at it until you are not anymore!

What’s unexpressed in the age of Over-Exposure?


In a casual conversation with a friend I found myself jolting my career plans. I have always rejoiced how wide and far reaching the field of business is. We can do it all. The options are limitless and in a city like London, there is market for anything you want to be. Economist? Investment banker? Lawyer? Teacher? Retailer? Trader? Administrator? And the list just goes on. One great thing about studying a degree like business (And most other degrees, today) is that it prepares you for the jobs that have not even yet been created, making it relevant for all times, situations and markets. But hold on! Options – Options – Options, not necessarily helping the situation!

Objectively speaking, it probably is- You have more flexibility than ever. But how do you make up your mind? Was life better when we knew what we could or could not do? This might be a heart-felt story for individuals, but it is seen among masses by the ever increasing rates of professionals switching jobs with careers that can be defined as ‘boundryless’.

On the same term of over-exposure, the case is even more horrifying when it comes to experiencing marketing in our lives- One thing that most people would not usually think about- And even more so when the messages go sublime. When you are bombarded with that much information every single day, how do you pick what’s important and what’s not? And worse, how do you deal with the immunization you develop as a result of it and by doing so are you at the verge of missing out on something invaluable?

The same terms apply with so many other walks, that it truly feels like an age of information and exposure, where nothing seems to be difficult to find out about, hence there is so much less of curiosity in our lives. And ask yourself, being bombarded with so much of information – Both wanted and unwanted – do we have the capacity to process it all without immunizing ourselves to it?

In a Post-Modern setup this has not stayed limited to education, information or choices alone, it has infact become a lifestyle. Everything is so much more competitive, explicit and just ‘out there’, may be it helps to have that in careers, but make sure you are not missing out on those little unexpressed perks of life, that make it so much more interesting.

Photo Credits: Sundish Ejaz