Make Choices but don’t let them master you.

It’s been a long time, I could pull myself together to write something. As a part of #everydayinspiration, I was sent couple of one word prompts- hope, regret, home, choice, secret and abundance. I went through that email several times and found my mind flooding with endless thoughts and today I have finally made my choice… 🙂 Writing about choices…

Now what about choices? In fact what we are today is the culmination of all the choices which we ever made: personal, professional etc. and in today’s scenario, when there are so many options thrown at us, I feel that rather than simplifying our lives, taking decisions about even tiny things, turns out to be a mind-boggling exercise.

I remember how few days back, while planning to buy some wall-shelves for my living room, I spent hours on surfing through endless number of shopping sites, looking at nearly thousands of items, shortlisted few however still couldn’t make my mind.  I was so saturated and drained out at the end of that futile process that I eventually postponed the idea of buying one. Yes, it would have certainly turned fruitful if I had someone to guide me or help me understand my own requirements and I would have been able to make a choice. Now this is what we generally advise people to do that it’s better to handover the steering wheel to someone else, especially when you find your mind clouded with doubts and dilemmas.

Now this is an extremely pragmatic opinion. But rather than feeling impressed with my mind which has suddenly started working so prudently, I found myself amused while thinking of this.

Today in fact, when I look at myself and take a quick account of my life, I feel that even while making the most significant life-choices whether they were related to my career or life or relationships, I ever thought of working under someone’s guided opinion. Now this is what which leaves me intrigued. Can we really weigh options and take intelligent decisions which guarantee fool proof success and triumph to us? Can we orient our mind in this way? What should be done when our emotions over power us? I have at several occasions, found my mind covered with some invisible walls and I simply refuse to listen to anyone but my own voice.

Many decades back, I made a choice pertaining to my profession. The choice was to pursue Masters in Social Work from Delhi University. I did complete the course, worked for few NGOs for couple of years, found that my decision was though not completely wrong but was more driven by my emotions. During the field work, visits to remote places and meeting people from diverse fields was very exciting but I was completely disillusioned to see that most of the developmental work for which funding agencies shell out millions of rupees and give the developmental agencies in forms of funds and grants remains mostly confined to paper-work. Writing reports with fake facts and figures was not what I was made up for.

I suddenly joined the corporate sector which kept me charmed for few years with its beautiful air conditioned buildings, financially stable job and many opportunities of madness. I did many things from client servicing, managing administration and operations, juggling with numbers and reports but the monotony of it, left me saturated and I decided to put an end to it. There was lot of money and fun but no sense of gratification. I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate what my dreams were and what was lacking in my life which left my mind and soul with such in-satiated appetite.

That was the time to pursue my real calling and decided to follow my heart. I took my final plunge and took up the teaching profession. Today after 7 years of my working as a teacher and of course, during this period, I worked upon acquiring couple of professional degrees to qualify to work in schools, I eventually find myself happy and contented. Today I feel that though I went through lot of trials and tribulations,  I finally took a correct decision of choosing my dreams over the financial stability which my previous jobs promised in abundance.

Today when I interact with my students who do rely upon me for a correct guidance for making good choices in life, I strongly feel that it’s certainly my duty to help them. However if I just give some concrete ideas and concepts to work upon, I will be depriving them of the fun which lies in making certain mistakes and then embracing them. Rather than finding them turning into mere prototypes, I would rather love to see them becoming passionate dreamers and wanderers.

I have found many relatives and friends of mine, telling it to me that I had been pretty impulsive and stupid which resulted in my making many wrong choices in my life. But my mind still refuses to agree to this.

Those were not mistakes what I committed. Today when I look at my past, I find a life led with so many enriching and learning experiences. I don’t feel regretful and still have no plans to shut the doors to my past but yes, I feel I have opened another door to my future. Though there could be some shades of grey, but I feel, my life is like a rainbow with endless colours and hues. In fact so called wrong choices which are easily labelled by many as sheer mistakes, I feel completely different about them. I see them as my most valuable assets. I have so many experiences to share with my kids in the school. And when they make mistakes in the classroom,  I don’t run out of patience and tolerance and i don’t rush to call them “stupid”. In fact I strongly detest the idea of making them feel ashamed or embarrassed.

Today while writing about “CHOICES”, I still don’t find myself thinking in terms of stagnation and inertia, I feel life is all about experiencing it and discovering what eventually works for you. The best choices are those which finally leave you happy and satisfied. 🙂

 

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When I met my Childhood Friend!

Kind of lazy to pen down anything these days, I found myself retreating into a snail shell, quietly receding into the spiral of life and allowing myself to be swept into changes, without thinking too much about it. Instead of reflecting on the happenings, I was sinking deeper into silence and flow through the business of living in this human dimension.

Already too much of pondering and lack of relishing this life. I thought of this but thoughts were always there and I could always feel their gentle and healing presence popping up once in a while and could turn to them for reassurance. At the same time, mind was ridden of an obvious fear of becoming inoperative that too with this constant awareness.

Anyways, I suddenly took to dreams. Dreams also not the steeled ones, in fact the porcelain ones which cannot be rattled around with. The gullible sound of these dreams are always there to make you realise your own strengths and vulnerabilities.

I started thinking of certain presences around me and to strike an out-of-body experience, slide into a dream world of my own, where it’s all different. I looked at all the people around me who began to look like spirits and I too wanted to feel like a ghost among them.

Well, this happened when I was sitting in my terrace and in spite of the green foliage around me, the world looked so dry around me, so colourless, too much austere in nature like reflection of my own realities these days.

All these thoughts came to a sudden halt when I saw someone sitting there on chair in front of me. She looked so shyly at me and touched me so slightly, so impossibly that I could never know who she was and where she emerged from! All I could see were her almond eyes, deep brown, liquid and radiant. And there was a flash of untamed fear as if it would wake me up of this dream. Am I dreaming?

She had dimples kind of those which are permanent on the cheeks and just turn more prominent when such people laugh. Dimples I always dreamt of, I could see my finger moving to smudge my finger on my face to create that dimple on my cheek.

I asked her “Who she is?”, so quietly as if I was scared of being woken by own voice. She extended her arm and I shook it hesitatingly. “I am your friend, that imaginary friend you had as a child”, she said.

These days it is no more fashionable to have imaginary friends but I remember I used to have an imaginary friend, till I attained that level of fertile imagination to question “Do they really exist?” and eventually they stopped carrying meaning for me anymore.

She looked so uncomplicated and calm, so serene and safe. And she was right in front of me. This is perfect. “You remember we had no ambitions during those days, all we used to do is to dream and talk incessantly about them. We were too lazy to take any action and were scared of hard work.”

I suddenly remembered, it was an age when everything seemed to be in state of calm. The lives of people in the world were fully sorted out and there were no dichotomies. We painted on any wall where we liked to. We used to sing, dance, write codes never to be deciphered, even cook, stitch, swim… all because we liked to. No competition of any kind, nobody trying to prove anything, no punishments so no rewards. Everyone in some magical way was blanched off their base nature and was just gentle, polite, courteous and considerate. There was no fear of any kind.

And now we are like piece of meat that hangs in the butcher’s shop. All we do is to do nothing about our own life and sit here judging others life and their work. I was suddenly full of anguish at this sudden realization. I felt I was more happy in my realities, the realities which never surprised me till I haven’t looked in, to see what’s going in the places.

Her words seemed to tear me apart. It was a moment when my heart simply refused to beat, when all the blood seemed to have rushed to my head and stayed there, the whole world spinning down on its axis and time stopped and all there was in the world was her.

I questioned my actions and felt the absence of that long discarded behaviour when I had no desire to be a hero, no longer had I any pirate nature to be extravagant, jubilant and victorious. I felt the guilty rush and experienced a meltdown.

I told her I would love to remain in the state of eternal dream as everything seems to be so nice like a commune with no extraneous elements and no confrontations.

She laughed, “Most of the people who experience similar thoughts and out of this suddenly found lost enthusiasm get up and join communes. It is no different from the real world they are trying to get away from”. The idea is to stay in the real world and be a part of it yet have the ability to have a different set of realities. In this peculiar upside-down logic of real life, still believe in imaginations and dreams.

Deep in the ashes of reality, a dream to find that imaginary friend who is there to make you realise that in spite of all the losses and defeats it is not everything that is lost.

A smile cracked on my face and I gathered her in my arms, suddenly found myself immersed in bliss and wished never to get up ever again. It was as if I have emerged from an ocean and can see what she wanted me to. She would always be there for me, even when she is not there. One day, she would again hold my hand as she did today. I wish all of us are able to recall  that imaginary friend of yours, who was a part of those naive dreams you both took together.