I spotted a familiar Starbucks sign moments before being enticed by the refreshing aroma of my favourite coffee. This was the only constant that I have had in the last couple of years.
The phrase, change is the only constant, is how my life had been since a year, and this moment was a reminder of how all those changes, big and small, impacted my life.
Most things around us are a function of the changes that have now become a way of life. They either have been a result of finding a solution to a problem, or making existing processes a lot easier. What ties it all together was that there was some transformation necessary to bring about the growth.
While I knew this in theory, applying it to my real life was a different matter altogether. Despite all the years spent in moving from one milestone to another, I felt stuck.
I felt like life was beginning to feel like running on a treadmill. There was a movement happening, but it wasn’t really taking me anywhere.
My life so far had been made up of choices that were dynamic enough to keep me moving, and yet safe enough to keep me comfortable. I was under the illusion of change, but I was making exact same choices over and over again.
The activities of the day were almost clockwork. Wake up to an alarm, rush through the morning routine, head to the office, work or pretend to work, take the innumerable coffee and smoke breaks, and then, pack up to head home. The only changes in this routine came when I’d accidentally snooze the alarm and get late for work. Weekends were fairly monotonous as well.
It was either running the usual errands, or binge-watching the recommendations on Netflix. Evenings were ‘socializing’ times where friends got together over excessive drinking, venting out frustrations, or discussing ideas we had no plans to put into actions.
Sometimes when a close friend would share travel stories, I would fantasize about working towards someday having the luxury of picking up my bags, and taking off to exotic destinations on a whim. Closest I ever got to that was to Goa after months of planning, and being frugal about my leaves from work. The only thing that changed there though, was just the location. Rest of it was fairly similar to my weekends back home.
I felt stifled in my seemingly comfortable life, and yet I did absolutely nothing to get off the hamster’s wheel.
I sought external motivation like an addict seeks remedy, and while it gave me a momentary high, it didn’t last too long. The Internet is full of a range of materials right from quotes to multiple pages of blogs that I latched onto for my regular kick. Some beautiful gems I came across were:
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ― Mahatma Gandhi
If you can dream it, you can do it. — Walt Disney
Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. — George Herbert
Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. — Sam Levenson
Affirmations to practicing the secret method to vision board — I had done it all.
I was also sucked into the capitalistic dream of having an endless supply of cash, mindless shopping, and envious experiences. While I was creating new fantasies, my reality was a different story altogether.
I wasn’t rolling in money, I was barely stretching my buck to my necessities, and my health was far from perfect. The reality check was right around the corner. I saw one of my mentors of the organization be unceremoniously laid off after years of working in the organization because of lack of ‘productivity’. I saw several senior and junior colleagues passed over for significant promotions.
My life was reduced to KRAs and performance reviews while the world moved on.
Enough, was enough.
I had to overcome my apprehension of ruffling some feathers if I intended to make any of those dreams come true. I was done with passive fantasizing, and started making actionable growth milestones. My life could be as magnanimous as I chose it to be, and there would be no backing down now.
I made a list of things I wanted from life, that I came to call my epic list of A for awesomeness. Every ridiculous and seemingly impossible item made its way there. I proactively began seeking feedback from those around me on how I could do things better. I began applying all those instructions that the books talked about to try methods that worked for me.
I now chose to live each moment instead of rushing through it. I had my opinions heard and respected in the boardroom.
I no longer felt the need to merge into the background. I was ready to stand out, and take my stand in the world.
Initially, I didn’t really take any drastic steps, or seemingly impulsive steps of quitting my job and packing up my bags to live a nomadic life. I do love luxury, and definitely, indulge in the perks I am entitled to. However, I could see the subtle changes that were pushing me towards my growth.
I was chosen for a travel-centric profile, my boss now knew how serious I was about my passion to travel. I was high on life, so, I drastically reduced my alcohol indulgences. I had this new bout of renewed energy, so, I could accomplish a lot more of my personal and professional goals.
My epic list kept growing, and yet I kept striking off all the goals on it, including the ones I never thought I could achieve.
It has been two years to the day I made a choice to let go of my fears, and keep growing. I still like to indulge my morning Cuppa, and momentarily, anchor myself for the day ahead of me as I take a deep breath, and walk out into the exciting world of my dreams.
It’s a big world. I’ll fit, I have finally come this far.
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