In the past five years, if I had to point at one grievance that has been nagging my mind, heart and soul (among the plethora of others) it would be death of my career.
Despite the many emotional battles I was caught up in, I could never, even for a moment let go of the hurt to watch the career I had built with so much toil plummet from the sky to the sea bed. I have to confess, that hardly a couple of months ago, it would have hurt me to even type the words that I no longer had a career or any achievements to talk about.
What hurt me more was coming across at least 5 people who were exactly as old as I am (not counting the super-successful classmates) and have made their way to be pinnacles in their fields, having had a similar journey as me. The only exception being, my journey has ended. Quite sometime ago.
It has been the weight of the corpse of my now-dead-career that had been pulling me down in every ascent in life. I was constantly being weighed down by the low self-esteem this had been gifting me. In my heart, I knew I needed to move on, find a new road and embark on a new journey. But, somehow making it come true was not happening.
Every single time I’d receive payment of any freelance assignment, I couldn’t help wonder how I could have earned this amount in matter of an hour’s time had my day job persisted. It might come across as shallow thinking today, but it was an issue with roots far deeper than just monetary concerns.
One morning while gazing the rising sun, post a workout, a different thought paid me a visit. It was a realization that had never dawned on me before. In matter of ten minutes I felt an enormous load move off my chest. It was a feeling you get when you finally put the weight down that had been making your muscles scream in pain.
In my mind, I traveled to the time when I had a prolific career overseas. My salary was enviable, schedule busy and bank account sang the song,
“Ask me for anything
I can give you everything”
but, I was not happy. That life had no contentment. That life wasn’t something that I enjoyed despite vacations to exotic locations. I can clearly remember feeling a huge void in my heart back then (because I have forever been in a habit of analyzing my life, I can always go back in time to compare my thoughts. It’s something I have always done).
Today, I was on the other side of the fence. I had everything I lacked back then just not the career or the bank balance. While the amount reflected in my bank account has never succeeded in making me feel happy or sad (maybe I’m wired wrong) so it boiled down to a career no longer being there.
On digging deeper, I asked myself the tough questions.
Was I really enjoying what I did?
What is it that I don’t like about what I do today?
If I had the opportunity to go back to the life I had earlier what would I choose?
Answering these was tough. It hurt me to admit to myself that in the years gone by, I had adjusted to the idea of not having a day job and fallen in love with the flexibility I now enjoy. The freedom to be with my child to the maximum (something that I had missed as a child when my mom worked full-time) and the ease to fit in daily errands while chasing deadlines pretty easily.
In the cracks of my heart, lay the real reason of my pain. One that I knew all along but couldn’t muster enough courage to utter, even to myself. It hurt me when my child’s only parent is seen to be ‘good for nothing’ the term used for people who work from home. I dislike the way my family despises my earnings and try to belittle me by comparing it with the packages of my siblings & cousins ( comparing peanuts with 7 digit packages).
But, today, I feel inspired enough to accept my current life as it is. I am not saying I am content with what I am because I aspire to rise from here, put in as much work and time it calls for to realize my new dreams. Nevertheless, the immense peace I feel in my heart today is incentive enough to turn a deaf ear to what my old-self utters or what the world has to say.
I had been searching for answers for a long time and finally, they reached me riding the crisp, cold, morning air. I am glad I was ready to accept this realization with an open heart because today, I have come to love what I do, as I do and have a free mind to plan my life ahead without looking back.
The song on my mind: Ruk Jana Nahin Tu Kahin Haar Ke ~ Imtihaan