Today I made an amazing discovery.
A startling revelation.
I thought I knew myself, I knew what I want. But now I am not so absolutely sure.
There are so many voices in our head that we believe are entirely ours, but in reality, these voices are a mix of so many people’s voices, our experiences and upbringing.
It is hard to differentiate the real YOU from those voices.
I was having this conversation wherein somebody’s name cropped up. This person has a settled Government job, a one-year old kid, a loving family.
He is a pretty responsible person. He does not hanker after better prospects and he is very content with everything he is. Happy life.
I praised this quality of being content and happy.
Now, there are many points of views from which a certain condition can be considered. For instance, in India, government jobs are viewed as lazy, stagnant, sluggish places.
It is a one shot game. You crack through one exam, and your life is ‘settled’. No pink slips. No downsizing. No global financial crisis.
There are people who’d kill for such jobs. There are also people who prefer the dynamism associated with private companies, multi-nationals.
The second type of people look down upon the first type as lazy bums, who are happy with a 9-5 routine. They think they are doing a much better job than feeding off the coffers of public money.
I believe I’m of the second type. I’m dynamic. I hate stagnation. I like to move forward fast. I had envisioned a high-flying corporate career for myself.
Fast promotions. Many job changes. I believe I have it in me. People have said, “You’ll go far.” on numerous occasions.
But, somewhere deep within me there is this person who wants a quiet, content, settled life. No chasing butterflies.
If that was not the case, I’d have derided this person. I’d have called him lazy.
“Happy and content” would’ve been replaced by “lazy and non-aspirational”.
But, I categorically praised him.
I haven’t had it easy as a child. Too many ambitions were hammered into my head.
When you are conditioned that way, in your later years it begins to get hard to differentiate between the real and the imagined.
I’m pretty sure that despite having this knowledge that I love a quiet, content life, I’ll choose the busy, competitive life. I have to. If I don’t, a part of me will keep whispering, “You wasted your talents.”
I don’t even know if this part that’ll whisper is genuinely me or if it is the people who’ve always reprimanded me for being too laid back.
I guess some questions have no easy answers. Life is complicated!