Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Life is a roller coaster..

...just gotta ride it."

My iPod played this as I waited an extra 10 mins for my train (delayed, as usual) to Rüsselsheim at Mainz Hbf today...and it got me thinking. Surprised? Don't be...I do think, occasionally.

My life does feel like a roller coaster right now. I feel like I have grown-up so much in the past one year. My biases have been questioned...perceptions have completed changed...and yet I am back to some of the questions that troubled me as a teenager. I feel like I have lived and died and been reborn directly in my 16th year of life. Which by the way was not sweet at all. So yes, I'm not too happy with the fact that I feel like this.

When I was last in Europe I was eligible for a Youth/Student discount in most places because I was under 25. This time around I have been pegged in the "Adult - 26 to 59" category. It hurts. Since when did 26 to 59 become an acceptable category. Shouldn't there be more smaller sub-categories within that?

I digress. So yes, I feel 16 in my head. Confused with all the questions that made me feel lost back then. I made conscious decisions (it's debatable whether they were right or wrong, but they definitely were conscious ones) as I worked my way through 17, 18, 19....all the way to 26. And now with just a little more than a month left to turn 27, I hate it that all the work over the past decade feels useless. Shouldn't I have more answers than questions? I don't mind the questions, believe me. But I just thought that they would be different questions. Not the same ones when I was freaking 16. Ugh.

I am happy with school and my plans for my career once I graduate. I feel relatively surer and safer this time around than I did during my undergrad. So I'm not worried per say about that aspect of my life. It looks promising if I continue with the vague plans I have and act on them diligently. So no, it's not the: what do I do in life question. At least not with respect to my career.

It's those stupid, silly, annoying questions about the bigger picture of life. Family. Friends. Life in general, so to say. Lets start one by one, shall we? And no I am not waiting for you to answer that. Just play along for once, will you?

Family: I'm stumped here. Yes, I have a family. Mom and dad are getting to 60, which is scary in itself. But I can always go "home" to Pondichéry 'cause it will always be home. No where else. Although the small town always made me feel trapped and confined. It still continues to stifle me from time to time. But it still is home. Mostly because of mom, dad and the house I grew up in. Nothing else. If they were, lets say, in Timbucktoo...then I would call that home. So yes, it's more of the people than the place. My sister, she will always be a call away no matter what. A little closer maybe in the coming year. Life is taking its course. And then me. Alone. In Europe. But on paper in the US. Studying. Working. Struggling. But I know of 80 odd other people who are going through the same motions as me. And of course that's just my classmates. There are thousands of other students like me out there which I cannot even begin to count. So yeah, me. Lost. Confused. And dying with questions I can't even begin to formulate in a meaningful sentence in my head. Forget about asking it out loud to the Universe. I can't even ask it in my head.

Friends: The only friends I remember are those from Bangalore. I've kind of blocked and erased all my school and undergrad friends. I think it's something to do with the frustrating small town mentality that I'm trying to run away from. Bangalore feels like a real home sometimes. Where I grew up and 75% of the confused person that I am today is the sum total of my life in Bangalore. I miss my PG and my narrow bed and the small cupboard and the bad food and the traffic and the security of my friends there. Safe that someone will call to check on me on bad days. That someone will open the door for me at 6 AM with a smile when I get back from a weekend trip to home. Making soup and toast with Maggi on rainy weekends. I miss them all. Like a part of me is somewhere else and I don't feel complete. I guess I finally did find friends whom I never want to lose. Which is kind of a first for me. I think I am happy on the "Friends" part of my life. Although, I wish India were closer or flight tickets were cheaper.

Life in general: I just finished reading "Something Borrowed". The book was like reading the script of a Hollywood chick-flick. Which in turn is true cause the movie just released. It felt like a safe read on my flight back from Madrid. I was greatly mistaken though. Although badly criticized and written-off mostly by critics, the book made me feel a little kindred towards Rachel's character. Small town girl, followed the rules of life, made practical choices education and career wise, always had to work hard for everything, nothing came easy to her and shadowed by someone all her life. And of course, confused and lost. I am as confused by her character although I am in the same boat. And then the mistakes she makes. I made a lot of mistakes. Still do. Hoping that someday I will get lucky, maybe?

I feel like I am at a cross-road in life where I can't help but re-visit old memories and question myself over and over and over again on the choices that I made at each turn. Why this? Why that? How could you have been so stupid? How did you ever think this would work out? Or not? I am haunted by those memories and the questions. No wonder I feel like I am 16 again.

I have seen people all the time who have gotten so lucky with their bad decisions. It's like they have a gift or are blessed. Or they just float through life while others decide for them and they still turn out happy and content. I can't for the life of me understand it. I always believed that I should take control of my life. In that way, if I do mess up I will only have me to blame. But I would still have the security that I took the initiative, the risk, the leap of faith whatever. It would feel like I have exercised my right to live. Isn't that better than holding someone else/something else responsible for your good/bad things in life? And then there are the people who make mistakes and get back in the game unscathed leading normal happy lives. How is that fair? I always get punished for my mistakes. I remember a friend telling me this, everything in life comes with a price tag. I always check the price tag. I need to know what I am losing to gain something.

I look back at the conscious decisions that were/are inherently wrong. The only thing that comes to mind is, when will it be my turn to be lucky?


Manasa said...

This is so much the same what keeps running in my mind. I'm off the student discounts since my graduation a 3 months ago and it feels we are grown-ups all of a sudden. I do question my decisions taken over the last decade rather often these days; but finally I'm happy to see where I'm going and I'm also sure I'll still be questioning about my decisions made at 26 a decade from now again...coz that's what happens when we have to live life with choices...and I'm just happy we are lucky enough to have the option to choose at the least :)

Anonymous said...

You always lived as per your choices dear. Right or wrong,do not regret your decisions. Facts or situations that seem 'wrong' today may appear as 'right' after some time & vice versa. Its always better to learn from your own mistakes than to suffocate under decision taken by others for you. Nothing remains constant dear.Only thing that does not change is CHANGE.

Anshu said...

Manasa, I agree. I guess we should be thankful that we have the luxury of choice in our lives instead of floating through it like in a limbo :)

Anonymous said...

Things tat sound grt at one time will be a nightmare after some time and vice versa. So dont regret any decision u took dear.Things keep changing always. As they say 'only thing that remanin constant is CHANGE'.Its better to stick to ur decisions(right ot wrong) than to suffocate under others decisions

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