Monday, March 29, 2010

What next?

I think I'm having my quarter-life crisis. I first heard this term when, a few months after having moved to the US for Grad School, I had complained to my brother about a sense of a lack of direction, a want of purpose, etc. Being older than I, he had probably already been there, so he wisely remarked 'Oh thats normal. You're just having your quarter-life crisis'. I thought it was an expression he had coined until I googled for it recently, and sure enough, there does seem to exist such a phenomenon. 

So why this crisis at so young an age? I mean, I don't really have anything thats particularly lacking in my life. As far as accomplishments go, I did get the education, the job, the financial security I wanted. It is kind of where I wanted to be, right? Kinda. Sorta. But somehow that doesn't feel quite enough. There's some restlessness I can't seem to explain. And after some self-assessment, I think I can sum up this feeling in just two words - what next?

All through my childhood and teens, I've always known what I wanted next. Good grades in high school board exams, so I can pick Math and Science as my electives, which in turn would help me pass the plethora of college entrance exams that we Indians can't seem to get enough of, followed by good grades in college so that I can get into a good masters' program at a top university, which of course would result in a great job. I wish I had a more comprehensive plan that for my life, but then, who does? (Or so I like to think) And now that I seem to have executed this "plan" that only extended into my mid-twenties, I am stuck with the question, what next? 

And that makes me a little anxious, since until recently, I seemed to always know the answer to that question. Of course, I know I'm not alone. If everyone knew what they wanted to do with their life, the world would be a simpler place. But for now, I'm still figuring out how to figure it out. And while I'm on it, can everyone who's been a subject of  my recent grouchiness, please just deal? :D

P.S: My brother suggested I go to Cafe Grumpy. Another thing I mistook for an expression until I saw this - Maybe I will!
Also, T, M and Butterfly have already seen something similar in SQ, besides putting up with lot of whining of late...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This is lasting longer than I thought...

Sometime last year, my husband pointed out something to me which at that time had infuriated me a little (I don't take advice - good or bad - very well), but as much as my pride would not allow me to admit it then, he was actually right. He had told me that I don't seem to be truly passionate about anything, except my work perhaps, and that I should find something to do that will help me feel more fulfilled beyond the workplace.  It was true; I had spent the better part of my childhood and teens immersed in books, taking my education perhaps a bit too seriously. I was busy being ambitious and while that is somewhat second nature to me and I don't really resent that, I neglected developing a hobby or an interest, a passion for something that I held really close to my heart.

So I decided, that perhaps the husband was right after all, and as I get more and more sucked into the madness and mundaneness of work, I felt that I should do something to develop myself on a personal front. Now I knew better than to start singing or dancing or painting, because I've honestly never exhibited any creative energy or skills of that sort. And thats when I started to blog. I have always loved to write but it took all these years to realize that Duh! I could blog! And more recently, I've gotten into this whole being-healthy thing. Only the other day I stood in the middle of what can only be described as sheer madness (a whole foods store on a Monday evening in New York city is mayhem!), waiting in an endless line just to buy some brown rice and quinoa. The reason why I describe it as such as ordeal is because I've reached a stage where if I see a long line at the register or a fitting room, nothing can tempt me to buy that pretty dress; I just tell myself I'll come back for it and leave knowing that I just saved myself 30 minutes in the day. 

I have had my share of interests and hobbies that have gone as quickly as they came, but, clearly this new interest of mine has stuck around a good deal longer than I (honestly) ever thought. And, I asked myself, why is it different this time? Is it because I'm older, more mature and my attention span is a bit longer now? Hell no! :) I think it's because this time I know that it's purely, absolutely about me. I have realized eating healthy or exercising or blogging (and how can I forget skin-care!) are some of the very few things that I get to do in a day that are not about a paycheck, or responsibility or obligations or expectations, but about me. And after three years of working, I'm beginning to appreciate the importance of something like that.

This post may be a bit premature, but for now I'm happy that I've found somethings to do that make me feel good about myself. So, if you're beginning to feel that work is taking over your life, then either rekindle your passion for a hobby or find something that you do just for yourself and see how much better that makes you feel!