Since when I can remember, I have rebelled against being moulded by my surrounding. And for this reason, I never learnt to speak colloquial Tamil although I grew up in Chennai, I never stayed for long in the hostel when in college and I didn't become a software engineer after graduation. People at home always had a problem with what I chose to do or be, not because they understood my thought process, but because I didn't confirm with their notions of 'being normal'.
Of course, now I understand that everything evens out when your life is all about making and saving money. Your hobbies, interests, pastimes and everything that YOU ever did is spoken of in past tense. And it is this past tense that is links you back to what you are. Because from the confines of like minded friends and smoke filled bachelor rooms, you are thrown into a world of managers, deadlines, responsbilities and everything that they can make you do while holding your job for ransom. That is the first do-or-die situation you encounter. And it is the first agent of change.
But this phase of confusion for most slowly dies down. Because some day you are gonna have people under you. Some day you'll have people snarl at you, talk behind your back and curse you for making their life miserable. Some day you gonna hang your gloves, get married, have kids and all that. And by this time, the memories that link back to what you are no longer make sense. Because you are not what you were anymore. Suddenly, the 'you' has changed. Or in other words, life has changed you.
Life has inevitably changed a lot since the days of college, and for that matter the first few months of work. For a long time, my ideas, fantasies, castles et al where intertwined with my age. But it is not so today. Many of the things I do now, because of where I have reached in the process of change, don't make sense. And when your actions seem redundant, and don't make sense anymore, you gotta move on. Moving on is something I have been very good at.
But suddenly moving on doesn't sound easy. And this is because the castles I have built have their pillars on the ground. So it is not easy to move to new ground. Hell, it is not even easy to find new ground anymore.
Then there is the variable called 'growth'. As long as you are a student, growth happens pretty much by itself. Whether it is academics or otherwise, you are constantly learning and hence growing. But after graduation, growth suddenly stops being something that comes naturally to you. Growth becomes a matter of survival. You are forced to show growth. You are forced to prove it. Else there is someone else ready to replace you. But growth is good right? Yes, it is. As long as you are growing at your own pace, and in the direction you choose. How many can claim to have this built into their jobs? This is the second do-or-die situation that you encounter. The second agent of change.
Right now what's happening to me is the exact opposite. Can't say that I lack oppurtunities to grow. But the means to the end everywhere else but here suddenly seems shallow. And the more I hold on to what I think makes more sense than being a number in some manager's excel sheet, the more I realise that this is not what I want. This is not what I want because I have always been averse to mediocrity. And mediocrity is what I am surrounded with. Yes, as long as you had the choice of chosing friends and as long as you had the luxury of getting away with being selective, you didn't mind the world. What happens when you no longer have this choice? This becomes the third agent of change. But I don't know what will this bring.