There happened two good things in 2006 when I was 22. One, I found a proper job, a structured framework, an organization, sense of competition revoked, against my colleagues. This job returned a bit of my self-esteem. This also made me socialize though only a little bit and also made me feel competitive and needy to perform. I was the best performer as a trainee for two months as well as an employee once I hit the floor actually, for another two months. In these four months, with unrestricted internet access, I re-discovered my love for reading.
The first book I read then was- Gone with the wind in a total of 8 hours, skipping my breaks, requesting extra shift from my manager and what not. Then I read Jane Eyre and other books by the Bronte sisters. And by the time I was four month old in an organization, working on a salary of 10 K bucks and the youngest employee and also one of the best performers across the organization, I realized, this wasn’t where I belonged to.
I submitted my resignation which wasn't accepted. I waited two days, let my salary be credited, swiped my account clear and left the job, gone! Vanished, declared absconding (thankfully this doesn't cause ground for legal action in India). I came back home, got enrolled in an off-campus graduate program in humanities and against all odds and ends and voices of sanity chose philosophy, English literature and political science(for the lack of a better available third optional)
In the first year of my graduation I scored 75 percent marks in philosophy (something that had become for me a rare commodity). There were extra papers in environmental science, computers, compulsory English. I fared well in all of them. I managed a decent 60 something in English, 50 or something in political studies.
The second year was better, I went to Delhi again to work in a reputed MNC this time to earn enormous amounts as salary but four months later the job started taking heavy toll on me. What with 12 hours of days shift and 14 hours of night. No time to study, no leaves in the peripheral vision for examination. I quit, came back, studied for second year exams, and got 79 percent in Phil. and some average 50 percent something in English and Pol. Studies.
In the third and the final year, I joined a private Engineering college in my own town as a faculty for spoken English. The salary was a mere four thousand, but I was once again in my comfort zone. I was teaching again, content, happy, very much at peace with myself, at home within the campus and with the rest of the staff. I was the only female out there amidst all boys (students) and men (teachers). But six months later, we shifted our home to a place farther off. The change was welcome; I now had a room for myself. My personal space was better than earlier. I didn’t have to share a room with my younger brothers. But, I had to quit my job because my travel time increased to double and so did the fare.
It was also around this time, that I finally ended up in a long distance relationship with a Dominant Man in USA. And by the time the term ended, I was with an average of 83 in philosophy, and decent 60 something crossed in the other two subjects. I was happy, successful in terms of my degree and was a student of a very reputed institute, preparing for an MBA entrance exam, when I fell into my annual depression phase.
Once into it, I sat completely home locked, not wanting to go out anywhere, not wanting to do anything, not wanting to meet anyone. And then one fine day, I got a call from the institute and I was offered a trainer’s post there for communicative and spoken English. Once again, I was in my comfort zone. And then I was given the responsibility to teach the language section for the same exam that I was writing.
I was eventually given classes with the same batch as that of my fellow students and surprisingly they co-operated too well with me and it went fine. I was enrolled in an M.A. program and an executive MBA simultaneously. Eventually I discovered that I am not a corporate person and that it is only teaching that I have truly loved, after I gave up on trying being a doctor. So, I gave up on the MBA as well as the job and kept only to the MA degree. But two months before the exams I got cold feet and gave up on that too. So, one full year dropped again. I then finally stayed at home for another 8 months, working for small amounts, tit-bits, occasional classes, not studying, just thinking, making futile plans and doing nothing before I found some very supportive friends emotionally and morally and finally my current job.
It was also in these last four and a half years that I discovered lifestyle, could place my thoughts, orientations in place, get a perspective that whatever need for control I had in my routine life was not something weird but had a name for itself. It was in the last year that I also found a real group of people in India who follow different sorts of unconventional lifestyles and do not judge people. It was the past one year when I explored the possibilities of embracing my true nature as a person. It was however, around a month ago that I also found my mentor after a long series of faltering, failings, psycho-somatic illnesses, fractures and what not.
I know I have a whole life ahead of me. I also know I will fall, make mistakes, get hurt, but I also know I will survive, especially now that I have a strong support system.