You always hear clichés that you should trust your gut feeling, following your heart and blah blah . I’m turning 21 the next week and I realized that whatever I did during these years was normal stuff. Stuff that doesn’t make you feel alive. Always following a schedule. Study, eat, sleep, friends. The brain, a strong control freak wanting to have everything planned out. Everything seemed repetitive and monotonous until that day.
I get a call one morning from a friend. He says: “I’m climbing the Himalayas next month! Are you in or out?” Subconsciously I blurted out a Yes. Next thing I know is my brain freaking out. There can be no place for such randomness. How was I to manage my college, tests, gym sessions and other stuff. It is not easy to just disappear off the grid for a fortnight just because your heart wants you to travel. You can’t just leave everything because that inner voice tells you to travel, right? There will come a time when everything will fall into place and you can travel without worrying about you boss or spouse or teacher or family or friends, right?
NO. Unfortunately you know it too. The time will never be perfect. You’ll either be too old or too young or too tired or too broke. I had a chance to try out a thing I always wanted. I trusted that the voice in me was strong enough to guide me through all the randomness. So today, I managed to schedule everything properly and I’m on my way to the Himalayas. Yes, a fifteen day break right in the middle of the working year. You never know what opportunities may open up once you trust your gut.
I’m currently on my way. Nothing is going as planned so far. There is so much randomness. I haven’t figured out where I’ll be staying tomorrow. I have the slightest idea where I’ll be eating my dinner tonight. I’m low on battery, without proper Internet access and can’t even pinpoint myself on a map. It’s 2 degrees and my fingers are freezing as I type every word. But there’s this adrenaline rush. For the first time in months I have nothing planned. This frenzy is amazing. I’m in love. In love with this chaos. After all life is a big bucket list and getting things done is the way, I believe, to truly make the most out of it.
For those of you hoping to land upon a secretive name of a place that would learn you everything you’ve always wanted to, there’s no such place! Perhaps conveying sarcasm over text is not my forte. Before you start labeling me as the ‘rebel’ and start bashing me allow me a brief explanation.
OK, entering the last year I did at least learn a few things. I learnt how to stretch a two day project for a month, I learnt how to function high on coffee to complete a whole semester’s worth of work in a night. I learned how to live with kids my own age and quite frankly I do best living alone. For the most part, when I reflect on the years I spent, I realize it was a colossal waste of time. I remember nothing of what I crammed up during exams and tests. What I remember though are experiences and not study stuff.
Now, of course it is important to get that piece of paper that says that you graduated. Telling the world that you were among the elite, the ones to pass the system(Congratulations). I’ve come to realize that no one cares where you went unless its the Ivy league. I see people studying computers and then getting a bank job. I mean seriously? People who are too busy to socialize just because they have academic pressure!
I never did learn to advocate truth. Never did I learn to back myself up when the world was against me.I did not learn to stand up against a friend for his well being. I did not get to know how to make others happy. I did not get to know how to make me happy. It is because we often want answers to be handed to us. We look for these answers but in reality they can only be known by experiencing and not by studying about them. Things like reason and logic can be learnt. There is no place that will teach you Empathy, Maturity, Kindness, Loyalty etc. We often try to understand the bigger picture and in process leave out important things such as these.
My attitude may seem lackadaisical but I am genuinely concerned about learning the real essence of life. Looking back, I realize I am not my grades. I am the unique composition of what I learnt through the “school of life”. I’ll always consider it a better educator than college.