I have always been an introvert throughout my life. Having a strict childhood routine as my father being in the Navy, I used to get up every day at 4 am and do the morning ritual of taking bath in the cold, exercise and then study until the time comes for me to get ready for school which coincidentally happen to start from 10 am (and end by 4 pm). When I come home, I used to finish my homework as soon as I can and then went out to play cricket or football with my neighbourhood friends. This was my routine from Mondays to Saturdays. Only on Sunday, I was given the leisure time of doing whatever I want. I chose reading novels, comic books, watching my favourite cartoons and collecting coins from various countries during coin exhibitions.
My adolescent years were spent studying Science so that I can pursue Engineering and I did pursue Computer Science and to be honest, I excelled in it (I think). I landed a job in a multi-national company and working as a Software Engineer and there I thought, all those years of the hell routine has finally paid off. It was exciting times, and I was pleased with myself, for the first three years, and then life started to suck. Even though I loved coding, learning new technologies and taking up new tasks, it was after office when it used to hit me hard.
“What the hell am I doing with my life?”, I often asked myself. The fact that I had the other 14 hours at my disposal doing nothing. I am a huge fan of Elon Musk and part of me always wanted to be like him. I really don’t know why? But no matter how many times I read the book, “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance and get pumped up, and start something, after a while, I would simply lose the motivation.
There were many factors that led up to such a demotivated mindset. Some of the other ventures I tried, had failed. Some ideas of mine were stolen from the people whom I trusted. Also, I had a breakup which was extremely hard for me. I was devastated, and lonely. I was in a dark place. I would smile and laugh with people at my workplace but when I come back home, I used to go back to my shell, which felt like hell. I couldn’t talk with anyone because I didn’t know what to talk. Also, I didn’t want to trouble anyone.
One fine day, I happen to watch Rocky Balboa movie which had this quote,
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”– Rocky Balboa
I don’t know why it touched my chords perfectly and I was auto-tuned to Rocky’s mindset. I still had to figure out why I was feeling low. It was then, I started writing journals every day. I would write about my feelings almost every day, no matter good or bad. It became my habit to write every important aspect of my thinking, expectations, dreams, goals and experiences. Journaling worked as a therapy for me.
Eventually, I started writing blogs about technology and slowly moved on to topics like life, self and almost about anything that would interest me. The idea was simple, I just wanted to express myself. I started feeling like an invisible heavy burden had been lifted from my chest which also helped me to focus on my coding related work. Writing blogs has also opened new doors for me. I started getting freelance work on both coding as well as writing technical content for companies. It also introduced me to the community of writers who are nothing but a giant anonymous family lifting each other whenever necessary.
Although I can’t say that I am ‘woke’ like Jim Carrey but what I can reflect on the past few years is that life is like a roller coaster ride having numerous ups and downs. It’s all up to us whether we want to close our eyes and hold on to our dear lives or we can just open our eyes and embrace the ride which can be both exciting as well as daunting. Personally, I never thought that I would be bogged down in my late 20s, struggling to do anything, unable to ask for help from anyone because of my insecurities. If something bothers you, I would highly recommend you to let someone help you. You must always strive for happiness, your happiness.
It doesn’t matter how much you plan for a perfectly happy life, it is bound to have setbacks. Setbacks that would tear you and break you. But when you come back stronger when no one believed in you, not even you at some point, the amount of satisfaction you get is simply beyond words.