Grown Up, But Not Quite

I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. Problem is, I already seem to have grown up.

I am more of a “live from day to day” kind of person. I do not think about the distant future. Let’s just say I set my eyes on short term goals and try to employ spontaneity as my thing. I never seem to fully grasp the profundity and consequence of a moment till it has passed me by.

Yes, I am not that clever and expeditious. I live my life constantly doubting and questioning my abilities. Even though I try to put on a brave front and confident bearing, I am easily intimidated. It takes me a lot more time to confront my fears and yes, I probably don’t readily act on eradicating them. And *drum roll* I am actually alright being average.

I’ve heard all the discussions about facing your fears head on and not letting your apprehension stand in the path of greatness, or your potential. I have heard my parents repeat it innumerable times, that the only one standing in between success and me is myself, and that my undecidedness can lead to my ruin. I would never say that any of it is false or wrong per say.

But what I do not get at all is how I am supposed to turn into such an enlightened being in such a short period of time (the general belief is that it should auspiciously coincide with the conclusion of my graduation/post-graduation degree)? I agree that choosing to defer such an important life decision does not reflect very positively on me as a person.

I may have lazed around in my first year a bit and not been overly enthusiastic about any extra-curricular in particular. And yeah my dreams/ future plans/ career paths keep changing as I go on.

I am not the same person that I was in school, or in my undergrad years. I had taken up English literature as my Major, purely out of my love for it. I had not even considered applying to any other course as a back-up option. Even though others try to tell me that in hindsight jumping into something like that without a vocational thought was probably a little stupid, I do not regret my decision.

And how many people in the world actually become writers just because they have taken up English lit?! I’m not even sure what being a writer properly entails!

When people ask me about what’s next for me, I tend to break into a cold sweat, trying to imagine myself explaining my predicament, even though it is as simple as “I don’t really know”. Because let’s face it, that would lead them to think you are a simpleton or a failure.

But let me clear up a contention. I am anything but complacent. Even though I have never had a burst of inspiration inducing me to show the world what I have got, I have the intention and rigor to be independent and useful to the universe. I am not entirely without plans. Just not anything enthusiastically conclusive.

I don’t plan to live my life having settled for something that my parents or someone else thinks is great for me. Neither do I mean to shirk responsibilities. Counselors, confidants, and inspirers are many. But I’ve yet to catch on.

But god forbid people like us are given a moment’s break without having someone constantly pricking our conscience, and judging us for being incompetent! (I was actually told to take the easy way out and get married!)

Yes, I may be taking my time, and I cannot promise I’ll shine through at the end. And forgive me if I don’t seem to be hooked on to the idea of making lots of money, or holding an MBA degree at the end!

But, can you please give me space to breathe and not punish me just because I don’t have it all figured out yet? I am just one grown up…not quite. Just take a moment to think about what the chant and formulae of ambition and success throttled down the throat of innumerable others has done to our society.

Author (in Cover Photo); Rima Mukherjee
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