As a youngster fresh out of college, armed with a degree and diplomas, I was raring to conquer the corporate world. Managing big projects, jetting across the world for developing new business, being highly regarded by colleagues, these were the dreams I held in my mind. There were also the images- of immaculately western dress clad me, with a short hair bob, and a no-nonsense look to complete the ensemble.
How innocent we are in our youth! I did work for several years with various companies. I also achieved a moderate level of success in my work. I even had a chauffeur-driven car at my disposal to drop me home on the late work nights. But somewhere along the way were also sown the seeds of disappointment and disillusionment with this kind of life.
For one thing I was always working with technology. That meant being stuck to a chair in front of a desktop screen, breaking my fingers on the keyboard. My eyes began to feel the strain from squinting at tiny numbers imprisoned in spreadsheets. The only kind of contact with people was through chat-box or at the most by a telephone call. Lunch was something one had hurriedly. Working sixteen hours a day meant missing out on family and social life in a big way. Whenever a friend invited me to a function I had to apologize for not being able to make it due to work. I have missed out on my friends’ weddings this way. Relationships, whether with old friends, family or relatives, need the fertilizer of personal contact and together-time. Without a significant investment in such activities I found friends beginning to melt away. There was no question of making new friends. Where was the time?
I have always had a deep interest and fascination for nature and wildlife - be it watching the sparrows around the house, the waterfalls cascading off mountains on the Pune-Mumbai train journey, or venturing into jungles like Kanha to watch wild animals. With the kind of work life I had, there was rarely any time to do any of these things. Modern workplace architecture rarely allows the sun inside its walls. Catching a little sunshine became a Sunday ritual.
Moving on is a homecoming
Then my Granny, who was quite old, moved in with us. She had become rather frail, could not venture out without a lot of help, and used to be quite lonely most of the time, what with all the fit family members busy with their own things.
Something snapped in me then. I decided to do something about my life. I did not want to live merely to work and make money. I deeply desired to have the time to forge and strengthen relationships, to watch grass grow, to read good books, to travel and explore places, jungles, to think, to create poetry. I wanted to rekindle my old and lately dormant passion for fine art and music.
Be the change you want to see
One day to the surprise of one and all, (and much resistance from the company where I worked!) I quit my full-time job.
A big part of ‘Moving On’ is about ‘Letting Go’
Since then it has been a journey with many ups and downs, learning about myself, my true passions and strengths, to arrive at different kinds of work I could do that had a market AND made me happy. Money is certainly important but it is not the only thing in life. You have to learn self-discipline and the art of managing your cash-flow.
Today I freelance as a teacher, trainer, writer, and fine art practitioner. I have happy students. Inquiries are slowly flowing in to buy my paintings. I can adjust my work timings to indulge in my hobbies of birding, music, and travel. Recently I conducted a nature walk that was received well.
What more can one desire? Yes, the only one thing I would love to have is a small smart apartment of my own, where I can set up an art studio. That would really complete the picture. I have very high hopes from https://housing.com/ to help me find the home of my dreams. Who knows, you too might find a home of your own from there!
Note: All photos in this blog post are clicked by me.