I suspect that I took Buddha’s Middle Path too literally back when I read the bare bones of it in the Buddhism chapter of my school’s history textbook. I have always been resigned to mediocrity, I have been perfectly ambivalent about stewing in it in all 24 years of my life. Keeping this in mind, a mediocre (but secure) job which more or less covered all my necessities was nothing short of a dream come true. Nothing great expected of me but nothing too minute that the time does not pass. My plan was to keep doing this job for as long as they would have kept me.
My plan lasted six months.
Family has different plans. Or more accurately, my perception of their expectations and needs did. It’s one of the strangest things in the world to me how people I’ve spend literally my whole life with are a mystery to me (a mystery which goes both ways, but that’s not relevant for now).
I took up a job in my hometown because I assumed that having me close would worry them less. However, this resulted in my mother having to prepare meals for me, and my father worrying about the transportation on a regular basis. Back then, I wondered if my initial judgment of their wants was grossly inaccurate. Now, I worry about the burden they have to bear and whether settling in a different part of the country or even the world, like so many people my age do, would have been the better plan.
I tell myself that my mediocre job would have been fine with me had I not been dragging my parents into it. But, I can’t pretend to be that altruistic. It has come to my attention that while a mediocre job is perfectly respectable, a mediocre life is where I find myself drawing the line.
Unfortunately, this has been the case for me in the last few months.
Don’t get me wrong, I learnt a lot and accrued valuable experiences (which I would probably trade for something better if given the opportunity), but it wasn’t enough. The monotony is stifling. Moreover, I realised that there is a limit to my patience for unnecessary workplace drama.
There’s a lovely little voice in my head that tells me that I am ungrateful, that people struggle for even something like this, that I should check my privilege, and that maybe I shouldn’t be a selfish asshole. Don’t we all just love that voice?
And honestly, I’ve been listening to that voice for the last month now. I guess I’m scared of the unknown and the effort that chasing after something new requires. What if I end up broke and unemployed? Would changing this part really make me happier? (And that leads to a whole spiral of ‘is there anything that makes me happy’ ‘when’s the last time I was happy’ and – okay, let’s not go there).
The 20s are here again and so is the Lost Generation.
I’m self-aware enough to know that my experience is shared by multitudes of other people. So now, I’ve joined their ranks and decided to simply leave without any solid plan to fall back upon. I don’t know if this was a smart decision. But this is a regret I can live with. Life wouldn’t be life without variety. Only making sensible decisions is tremendously boring.
And I think I am done with boring.
Analina Sanyal recently completed her Master’s in English Literature from Presidency University, Kolkata and is currently trying to figure out the direction her life’s compass is pointing her to.
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