Still not my promised post on the road trip across Texas, this is more my journey into self-realisation and ambition. Big words but very very deep meaning.
My entire youth, I was focussed on my self, my career. I had it all mapped out. Very clear-cut. I knew what I wanted to do with myself. Where I wanted to reach..and How I was going to get there.
I spent about a year and all of my vacations trying and crossing out various professions until I zeroed in on Human Resources. I loved meeting new people, listening to them, getting to know them better and so on.
I learnt I derive my energy from people. No matter how tired I am or how down, talking to someone, recharges me better than the Eveready battery bunny. I knew I wanted to go into HR Management, not though what was practised in India (more like exploit the working class) in the name of HRM.
When you genuinely want something, the universe has a strange way of delivering it to you. I got this sudden opening in an IT firm and so began my journey. I had mapped out the courses I wanted to do, an MBA from a good but not world-famous institute. An institute that would teach me the real tools of the profession, not just feed me with the jargons and assembly-batch me out to
waiting sharks hiring companies.
I wanted to reach the peak. In my mis-guided youth, I used to think having a career and reaching the very pinnacle was what Buddha realised under the tree. 🙂
Until life hit me big-time. Or was it destiny or God or karma…No clue. It just changed my life so drastically, and with that I had to change simply to survive. I can not recognise my own self. Recently when a friend was talking about relaunching my career, gaining self-respect or dignity by chiseling my long-forgotten career, I just had to smile indulgently
like a mom does to a child performing somersaults and move the topic to something more real.
Past 15 years have changed my thinking so much that I can not recognise myself. I no longer crave the pinnacle, do not even want to get into the rat-race ( I call it the hamster wheel), and treat money like a clump of dirt.
Those who are closest to me in mind know why. Others can only guess. And I am not about to break the
crazy like a bat mysterious aura around me. 🙂
After spending all my 20s running behind an illusion, I suddenly found the real thing. The act of doing something for no personal gain. Except satisfaction. I have written earlier about how much the USA and some of its people have inspired me to turn outwards in my ambition rather than inwards. I have, like everything else in my life, taken up volunteering with a passion. Given my whole 100% of it. The reward has been priceless.
I get no money. Indeed I have to spend from my own pocket. But the satisfaction and the happiness is immense. And all the rewards that I always ran after, recognition, designation, achievement and all that jazz…are all falling into my lap without my even trying.
My school PTA board selected and offered me the position of Vice President – Press Release. They are also honoring me this month as the Volunteer of the Month. Honor, title, achievement. Outside the school, none of this is of any value. Indeed many Indians sneer when they realise I don’t get paid. Yet I feel blessed. Finally I have begun to think I am on the right lane.
This is so much more meaningful than anything I would have ever done in the corporate world. I am still in that world but in a way where I get to pick only the positives. No politics, no bickering, no race. Nirvana!
I am honored and humbled. And am beginning to glimpse what the Buddha might have seen with his eyes wide closed.
Disclaimer – This post is by no means looking down on all those who work hard at their careers. Indeed I would encourage everyone to be good at their job (can’t erase the Management trainging, can I?) and reap ample rewards. This is my journey, my life. To each his own!