Monday, November 23, 2015

#NaBloPoMo Day 23: Can I confess?

I am scared. Shit scared at times. Life feels like an empty zone where I can't make sense of anything. The future seems dark. What did I do wrong I wonder. But then I think the world changed too. And too rapidly at that. Garbled thoughts whirring through the dull ache in my head. (Yes, these frequent, dull headaches. Stress? lack of sleep? Tumour in my brain? I should find out soon). It's like nothing I know or did all these years matters anymore. I am suddenly thrown into this alien, fast paced world that I can’t seem to make sense of most of the times. I think it's the difficulty in relating to the world around me. The change is so rapid. The rate of new information rapid. I schedule my tweets to stay in the race. I revamped my Feedly thrice to make the content relevant. I have 13 years of professional experience. But kids a decade younger are challenging the beliefs I have held all my life. And they are succeeding, aren't they. They are born in this world. They can move at break neck speeds. I am just thrown into this world because there isn't any other. The feeling deepens as I sit with a 24 yr old revamp my modules for me by making them more appealing. Just information isn't enough, he says, people want to have fun. In training programs which will give them important life skills, I ask? This is how things work now, he says. I feel old sometimes because these youngsters have better ideas and so attuned to today’s world. I decide to jump into the bandwagon hoping it will make sense soon. I am smart and intelligent and educated. How hard can it be? These kids do it! I tweet, write updates, set up a blog. I read for hours for months to make sense of this new world. I think I am making good progress. But then what dents my belief in my capabilities? In my confidence, in my courage and strength to fight on?  I do a great job at projecting that calm, tough exterior while I am making sense of this world. No one can see the struggle that goes into it. It’s all ‘social’. We just project what we want to, not our real selves. I look at the opportunities of the new world. I frantically swim to keep up with the tide. I can see that I can do anything I want in today's times. But then I find that they are doing it better than me. Am I obsolete? Am I old? Does my experience count? Do I stick to what I do? Do I become like them in the new world to be accepted? And there is nothing new left to do in this world. There's no 'unique' anymore. Anything worth doing has been twisted so badly and done to death that my simple ideas look mundane in comparison. The world is so used to tinted glasses of fancy marketing that my sane voice of reason seems out of place. So what is left to do. I look down at what I have been working on and wonder will there be any takers for this? The treats at others' stalls look so much better. And that's what we do when we buy stuff - we decide based on how things look. I am not sure how good my treats are. And I am filled with self doubt. I still put on a brave front and decide to plough through life. Come on! I don't believe in giving up, I tell myself. Let's do what I do best and things will work out. Edison too failed 10,000 times and this is my favourite mood lifter! I get online, start connecting with people. They say they know their work and have done great at their jobs. I go out there and talk to them. But soon I am left standing at the periphery of a crowded room where everyone knows everyone else. I am the only outsider. And I thought it was a 'community' to help people out. Why isn't my voice heard then? Why am I invisible? Why did people promise to help and then forget about it? Is it because I don't know the right people? Connections matter, you see. But then I don’t understand their conversations either. The communities are closed. Successful competitors talk about marketing and money. They seem to be achieving milestones after milestones. Their life is so sorted, I think. And I am still missing something. I can't seem to find a method to the madness. But not someone to be disheartened with this, I tell myself that I will make it - with their help or without them. I spend days, months building my presence brick by brick. I pause, often, to think what I want. I ask, frequently, what do I want to be? In my quiet moments of contemplation I realise that it's an identity I am looking for. Who am I? is what draws a blank. My school friend is an Asst VP with this MNC bank, I tell my spouse. He just grunts knowing where I am going. I could have a full time job and a successful career, I think aloud. You are successful, he says. But in a unique way like no one else is, he reiterates. I am still not convinced. I go back to contemplating about it. Turning words around my tongue. The things that I think I am. Some terms sound familiar to my tongue when I say them aloud. Some sound even more exciting. But I not sure which one of those I really am. None of them fit the conventional roles. I go out and meet people. What do you do, they ask. I am a corporate trainer, I say though not very convincingly anymore. There are other exciting things in the world that have begun calling out to me. And I have realised I can be so many other things. And this only adds to the confusion. I share my dilemma in my conversations with friends. I eagerly wait for someone to say - you are fine as you are. I secretly wish someone will take this burden away from me - the burden of not knowing who I am. Some people wonder why do I need an identity of my own. Your husband earns well, they say. Why do you need to be someone, they ask. You don’t ‘have’ to do it. I tell them, No I don’t but I love doing what I am good at. They shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes and move on. I go out and meet people as a wife. That’s an identity. And I like it. But what do You do, is the emphatic question. Do I need an identity of my own, I wonder. I am a strong support to him, I venture. Come'on, you are more than that is their answer. And I wonder what is it that they are looking for. No, I still don't have answers to my question. You can be whoever you want to be, my spouse says as I melt into his arms with tears of frustration in my eyes at desperate times. He pats me and says, just do what makes you happy. That's the most important thing. That does feel a lot better. But the quest for an identity continues. Some days are bright with ideas and I love what I am doing. Some other days bring along waves of self doubt. But like I bounced back so many times in the past, I know this too shall pass. 

5 comments:

  1. For starters it took me a while to wade through the writing... paragraphs use much?

    But your post is very real and something we all have to nod our heads to. Somehow through certain ideologies I have managed to keep a lot of these thoughts at bay, but every once in a while there is a meltdown, like the one here.

    Doesn't matter what they feel, say or show you. What matters is how much of all they churn out matters to you in the end..

    Richa

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  2. Wondrfully written Suman . Paragraphs could have been better though .

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  3. Thank you everyone for your comments! Appreciate it! However, this is my stream of consciousness and thoughts don't have structured paragraphs. The structure, here, is intentional. :)

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  4. Very well written Suman. I could completely feel the pain.. And I just want to re-iterate again that you are awesome and should not change the way you are... :) Keep up with the writing...

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