Early 20’s involve a lot of decision-making. Fresh graduates newly enter the “real” world and begin to assume adult responsibilities. Discussions about lectures, viva’s, exams, Events, and good places to hang out at are replaced by those about interviews, openings in companies, job satisfaction, financial planning, and matrimonial aspirations. No longer can any choice be made in vain, for there’s a lot at stake. There’s a blank canvas, there are plenty of colours, and one wants to paint one’s life into a beautiful picture. How do you accomplish it though?
There are a lucky few who have amazing clarity. They know exactly what they want to do in life. They have their plans ready from a very young age. They can answer “Where do you see yourself in five years?” in paragraphs. Failures and obstacles are mere road bumps to them; driven over carefully and left behind completely forgotten. Such people undoubtedly achieve all their goals and become an inspiration to others.
The rest of us wander through life, going with the flow, trying to do the “right thing” and hoping that everything works out well. We take the well-trodden path because it’s a safer option, a highly recommended one. We think a hundred times before visualizing our idle dreams turning into reality. We think even more about whether or not to dare to chase our passions. Motivational speeches and articles and quotes stir up a dormant urge to break away from the shackles of a mediocre lifestyle. And then the next lot of bills comes in, and we are back to square one.
Some of us manage to bring about a balance between work and play. We slog through the week, keeping in sight those plans to pursue our hobbies over the weekend. It’s a win-win solution which manages to keep us sane during office frustrations. Some even manage to convert their pastimes into side-ventures. These people may not be the ones whose names get searched on Google, but their lives are more or less contented.
Others are caught in a dilemma – they want to choose the path less travelled, but are skeptical about their ability to take the stress and go through the struggle. They feel suffocated in their present circumstances but are unable to take that first step in the direction of liberation from their unhappiness. Uncertainty about the future scares them, and annoyance about the present drains out their remaining optimism. These people become bitterer with each passing day, regrets building up in their minds steadily, eating away their joy.
All of us stand at the crossroads of life, looking in all directions, weighing the pros and cons. Sometimes we are sure of ourselves, sometimes we’re deluded. We seek help, we research all our options. Sometimes we reach a final decision and never look back. Sometimes we’re caught in an endless loop, the scales tipping in either direction from time to time. Ultimately we have to make a choice; staying stuck is not a good option after all.
Thus the journey continues…