What’s Harder? Chaos or Cohesion

A few days back, I was busy watching this episode of the musical comedy Glee wherein, one of the characters, Kurt and Finn’s (RIP Cory) father, uttered a deep-meaning exclamation in the guise of a dialogue – “Its hard to be married. But, its HARDER to be in your twenties.” Tell me if that doesn’t make you repeat the classic Barney Stinson phrase – “True Story!”

I read this awesome post in Quora where the answer to the oft-asked question, “I’m already 29 years old. What should I do with my life?” consisted of talking about intentional & unintentional success. I had never thought of looking at success that way. But, the way the guy wrote it, explaining all the points in marked detail, made me stop worrying for a moment and take a look at my on-going situation from a different perspective. I had to congratulate the guy, share the answer on Facebook (which nobody ever looks at) and come over it five times in the past one week to boost my self confidence. Yeah! Its been dwindling with almost all my buddies having found some place in life and me still in almost the same position I was in 2 years back!

Of course, it is almost because I have done stuff in these two years. But, its nothing that continued. Personally, the last two years have been one of growing up and finding myself. In any case, post my first job at OTV I abhor the notion of just studying. Given the kinda education system we have, ‘simply studying’ once you are in college doesn’t help much! Trust me, I have managed to secure second position in my graduation with the 8-hour media job for six months which left me totally drained most of the time. All that struggle, pain, constant criticism and snide remarks from your peers along with pressure to perform well in both the fields did bear fruit and continues to bear fruits! But that was unintentional success molded, grafted,  refined with coal and polished to make it intentional one. Wait! It sounds confusing right now, right? Okay. Here’s the answer:

I am in my late 20s and feel I have wasted a lot of time. Is it too late for me to achieve something worthwhile?

One particular line which makes me feel worthwhile in spite of the whirlwind I’m in is this – “If you’re not having fun getting there, you will never have fun, trust me. And if you’re having fun, then it’s a good life.”

Now, no one has fun struggling, dealing with insecurities and feeling worthless every time you hear one of your relative or friend or neighbor achieve something, and that’s not what this wonderful soul here is talking about! What he has put forth here is just another way of saying what Kalpana Chawla said once – “Journey matters as much as goal, at times, more than the goal!” I have mentioned this quote of hers in one of my early posts too solely to comfort myself, to remind myself that this is all part of the great journey to take myself to my goal. And, yet when people ask me what my goal is, I say casually, thinking hard to make it sound sophisticated –“To be a good writer, this & that….blah!blah! blah!” Yes, still confused. And that doesn’t seem healthy considering my financial situation, my ambitions, my life and my age. I’m gonna be 23 in less than a month! All I can identify with is that one poem by ‘John Milton’ – “On Reaching the Age of 23″ something like that where he laments about his failures and his yet-to-be achieved dreams.

Oh wait! But, Milton is a classic figure, an icon in poetry and literature. It took his vision and two failed marriages and countless other misfortunes but he did manage to write 12 books of ‘Paradise Lost’ (although studying those 12 books is no paradise!). The point is, even though statistics and surveys and all that (I have no clue what they are) point to more people failing than succeeding, there is a lot more one needs to do than just work hard or make connections. No. I’m not talking about destiny, we make our own fate. What I’m saying is that taking risks and failing time and time again is a pre-requisite for success. What’s the fun in that? Well, if I take my case, then after failing at my internship I had fun at my office with my awesome colleagues and after screwing up at my workplace I joined University and had fun there too! I didn’t do anything great! But, I saw sides of myself I hadn’t seen before, I grew up on the personal front, tried to do stuff which scared me as a girl and as a part of a sexist, hypocrite society (yeah, I’m not revealing anything) before and found that most fears are a part of societal and parental conditioning. Believe me, that’s important!

This stage that I’m in is going to be memorable. I’m sure I’ll be fondly recalling these memories and thinking maybe, Wow! That was one time! You see, its a stage where I’m ecstatic on finding something again which I never thought I’d get as I’m not a very touchy-feely kinda person who proclaims her love for people at the top of her voice and frequently confesses and expresses emotions. No! Yuck! It sucks to be so vulnerable! But, I did get past that.  Somehow it happened and though I’m still not over the fear yet, first step helped! As much as I worry a heck lot about my career and go crazier at times, I know these days won’t come back – the days when everything seems chaotic and you feel clueless. So, you jump into anything that comes to you and find out what to take and what to pass! And you don’t know if its hormone-driven or achievement-oriented. It seems like ‘in-between’. That’s the beauty of being in your early twenties. Seriously, think about it.

I read this blog of Vinita Dawra Nangia in Times Life where she talks about two ways to achieve something or just go about life. One is to have a systematic approach which most successful people recommend everywhere. The other way is to wade through life like a river and take things as it comes, in groups, in chaos and with all uncertainty. This path is hard and so, preferred by a few. None of the approaches are wrong. But, usually, people who take the second route are misunderstood and many times, rejected. One of my close friends comes under this category. And he is doing absolutely great, with all the confusion, chaos, doubts, grief and emotional pain he inflicted on himself for past few years. It all paid off! I always come to this blog of hers –

Is chaos your mantra to success?

Do go through it. It might give you the much – needed energy to just deal with the chaos you might be in. After all, these times are not gonna come back and they will, in some ways, determine some parts of our future.

How did I post links to two great write-ups? That’s what I have been doing! Reading a lot and trying to get all motivation I can to write! That’s the one thing which doesn’t just keeps me sorted but also keeps me alive. Making the most of time? You bet!

Keep floating through the chaos. One day you might find yourself sorted.


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