For the past 7..almost 8 years, I’ve been doing as instructed by my parents. Not because I’m an obedient little girl, but because I never managed to convince them that I was sure I’d make my way to success following my plan. Because I was always scared they knew better. But if my growing discontent was any indication, it was time I took the exit on the parent-highway and go where I knew I must.
“We may place blame, give reasons, and even have excuses; but in the end, it is an act of cowardice to not follow your dreams.”
~ Steve Maraboli
Finally, I’m here- I’m no more an engineer, and I’m getting onto a career-path that’s sort of a tube-slide-
I know I’ll like the ride, but at this point I’m not sure where I’ll end up. As a kid tube-slides in waterparks scared me shitless cos when inside, there’s no saying when my face would hit the water and I couldn’t swim or be prepared enough to hold my breath before going under. But right now- in this analogy, it excites me..cos I’m sure I can swim wherever the slide spits me out. Call that naivete or over-confidence if you want, but I think it’s what motivational speakers call “belief in yourself” and it’s giving me enough courage to get in.
“Leaving what feels secure behind and following the beckoning of our hearts doesn’t always end as we expect or hope. We may even fail. But here’s the payoff: it can also be amazing and wonderful and immensely satisfying.”
~ Steve Goodier
I’ve got people asking me to reconsider my decision because I’m not headed down a conventional road- people at work, strangers on the bus,friends and of course, family. It’s not that I’ve made a stupid choice, I’ve just not made a conventional safe choice. 2 years down this road I’ll be 26 going on 27, have less money in the bank and no wedding-ring on my finger (very important in the Indian context).
There are a couple of times when I’ve wished I liked being an engineer, that I liked the climb up the corporate ladder, that the husband-finding via matrimonial sites appealed to me- just because it’d mean giving my parents an easier time. All their friends seem to have easy daughters, and they got me. I’d wish my dreams were aligned with what my parents wanted- but that’s like wishing hamburgers and ice-cream were health-foods. So then I’d sulk and be an itsy-bit jealous of those easy-daughters cos they found happiness and simultaneously made their parents happy.
But then I’d realise I’d rather be me, than the ‘easier daughter’ me.
“I shall cease to be useful as soon as I cease to be myself.”
‘Easier-me’ would be coding in a corporate company, and coyly Skyping with a parent-picked fiance. It makes me miserable to just picture ‘easier-me’. That me would always wonder about the life that could’ve been. Aspiring to someone else’s definition of happiness for myself will never make me happy.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ”
~ Steve Jobs
I realise now that I’ll never meet everyone’s expectations, and someone’s always bound to be disappointed. While that’s a pity, that’s OK. It’s a bigger pity if I never meet my expectations of myself.
I realise that there might not always be encouragement, I might get a whiff of fear even in the boldest of moments, my ducks might not all be in a row, there might be failure, but I should still push on, cos this journey is mine and I chart the course I will take.
(Wow. Make me President already.)
SO, even if people are afraid I’ll fall on my face, I’m sticking my neck out and trusting this good feeling I have, trusting all these people who’ve been so quote-worthy, and trusting God.
I don’t want to just save face, I want to FLY out the other end of this tube-slide.