Remember that scene in FRIENDS, where the girls are having a massive meltdown about not having a plan? I remember having several of those meltdowns at various points in my life: when I had to skip two years after school because of visa issues in Dubai; or when I thought I never go to college at all; or when I thought choosing writing as a career over software development was a huge mistake; and a million other times.
Adding to this general sense of “going nowhere in my life” was all the productivity and go-getter style content I consumed on the Internet. So-so achieved this-and-this by planning everything out to the last period point and crossed T. And not only was this malaise affecting my professional life, but also personal. My love life was in its death throes, as this all happened before I met my ex.
I don’t know what exactly changed in the last few years. I think I finally started hearing what my mother used to say: do your best, because the outcome isn’t in your control. True that. I thought life was set when I came back to Mumbai: stability, family, love, and a future. I thought the trials and tribulations were finally slowing down. I thanked every aspect of God that I could think of, profusely and with all my heart.
Then it all started falling apart. But this time around, I had the minimum number of meltdowns. I did question what our next steps would be, seeing as our options were limited. Having a plan hadn’t worked out as planned.
It wasn’t that my plans weren’t good, or achievable, or sustainable. They just didn’t anticipate the suddenness with with life can do an abrupt volte face. So what did I learn? To listen to my mother. [Ha. She would love this!] And not to make plans.
It is harder that it seems. It isn’t that I sit around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for things to befall me. The upshot is more that I try and do my best in every situation as far as possible, and stop banking hard on the results. This doesn’t mean that life has gotten any easier; it hasn’t. But it has become slightly less arduous.