Monday, September 16, 2013

Settling in

So now its regulated, the posts are not as frequent, hopefully a little less irrelevant and a little more substantial.

Beginning a new activity/job/vocation is like falling in love, when you are newly in love, you want to revel in it all the time. According to something I read in the papers yesterday, falling in love releases oxytocin and serotonin, the combination of the two hormones make you more social and happy, it makes your skin glow and your eyes twinkle (the last two are my own observations). Maybe that's why new brides glow. Maybe that's also why people change both jobs and partners so often. But what happens after the love settles, when you are no longer on a high, when its a part of your being?

Most of my adult life I have been looking for something -- what I do not know yet. Imagine being in  a huge departmental store full of alluring stuff and not knowing what you want - I have been in this situation for almost half my life. Though I am yet to know what I have been looking for, my quest for the unknown has led me into many interesting discoveries and a little bit of self discovery too.
In our training sessions, we use the analogy of Alice and the Cheshire cat to bring out the importance of having a goal in our careers and lives in general. The story goes like this: One day Alice reaches a forked road and finds the cat perched on a tree she asks her for directions. This is the conversation that takes place between them --

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"– so long as I get
somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

I have preached the concept for a very long time but I myself have never been able to practice it. How can I decide what I want to do ten years from now when I don't know about what I would want a year hence? In the last few weeks however, the quest seems to have paused -- at least for now. Whether it is due to writing or getting older, or just being tired of looking for the unknown, or just giving up, I don't know.

There is no longer an urgency to write either, to blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind. As I make a slow but steady progress towards savouring every moment of discovering myself through reading, writing and just being, the optimist in me says "this is what settling in is all about" and the sceptic in me replies "but for how long?"

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