It was perhaps last year when I first started writing, and on a serious note, at that. I coughed up pesky ideas, some done-to-death and some with new slants to work out a couple of features (without ever knowing that they were called features). I penned down some prose , some lines and together, it made a few rhymes (and I love that I can still do them).
Around July or August of ’13, I decided to take the ultimate leap and cross-over to becoming a writer/author. I decided to dunk my degree worth three years of time,toil and tensions, down the drain. A year I’d spent in between trying to make it through the Harvard-like institutions of India (read IIM’s and XIM’s), well, that resulted in ultimately earning me a seat in a Government college. Sadly, that had to be scrapped off my time-line too because barely 3 months into graduating, I decided that the Masters degree in Fashion Management that I’d ultimately pursued; it meant nothing much to me, .
Am I out of mind?Or am I just making up some fancy story to keep you hooked? I don’t know the answer to the first part and will reply ‘nay’ to the latter. Yes, I’ve often wondered If I’m stupid. All those years of learning gibberish (no offence, other’s who enjoyed what they learnt are making more than their tuition’s worth) just turned zilch. But no, the story is real and it is mine.
But finding your dream, putting it under a microscope and accessing it, analyzing it and scrutinizing it to fit the benchmarks of ‘being practical’ and staying ‘fool-proof’ was not easy. Similarly, neither was initiating it or following it.
Today, I have the most perfect job which many with my lack of qualification would find improbable to have landed. I’ll call it a mix of luck and stubborn resolution and also throw in an answered prayer to that list. Yet, here I am still complaining. Because as much as I like coming to work to write, it bothers me that I only learnt the basics of writing (and still continue to do so) while my colleagues younger than me are already far ahead. I hate the fact that another team-mate who is my age, draws nearly 10k more than what I do. I feel small that I have two lousy degrees that will never come to good use and is nothing but wasted time and money. I eagerly await the future but what still comes back to kick me in the derriere is that I will always be two paces behind my mates. I can never race their time-line and earn a full-time degree without losing a year, neither can I race them on the experience bar. To me it will always be precious time lost.
Off-late I’ve been meaning to branch out to new avenues in writing and I’ve been reading up as much as I can. I’ve also been religiously following an Indian freelance journalist who has written for impressive International publications who started writing at the age of 21. I compare myself to her time-line. I’m 24, with my needle rounding-up to the next number. That’s a professional lag of nearly 4 years in comparison. Anger at my lack of clarity and direction during my early years resurface, yes, sometimes I’m a bitter soul. This means at least 3 years of aggressively selling myself in the job-market if I need to match up. And as ambitious as I am, I have other girl-like desires, like, tying the knot, perhaps, two years down the line, or saving enough to travel to at least one European country. So,to sum it up, I’ll never speed up the way my counterparts did when they made the right choices early on in life.
It was around this time that I read an article that spoke of ‘not comparing your beginnings to someone else’s middle‘. I may be way behind writer-friends my age, but I certainly am ahead of those who still haven’t found their calling and who, perhaps never will (thanks to our run-down system of education). My weakness and inadequate experience is like an adrenaline rush that reminds me of where I am and how much ground I have to cover, compelling me to constantly up my game. And today I see myself more driven than others who have cemented their paths in the publishing industry. I now think that maybe this was more of a blessing in disguise. I will not repeat the cliched lines of having no regrets, because that’s a lie (let’s face it). There will always be mistakes. I still wish I’d realized earlier on and graduated from a journalism school instead. But what happened has happened. The way I see it, I cannot change that but my task lies in how I can perform albeit my blocks.
Now when I reminisce, I realize I’ve beaten the odds to plunge into a job that would only have been a dream. I’ve grasped everything I could– ideas, techniques, methods and teachings until my cup has over-flowed. I am hell-bent to be good and to be better and I know I will never give up. I will be making my own time-line of failures. trials and achievements and maybe, some day along the line, someone will read this and be inspired to follow their dream. And to them, I will then advice to make your own time-line.