The Universe and Everything

That Weird Feeling in the pit of your Stomach

This post is going to be very personal. It’s entirely about the things I’m going through right now so feel free to skip onto other things… No wait. You know what? This is the problem with me (and I suspect a horde of other people). This shallow mask of bravado, unbecoming as it is, is something I’ve perfected over the years. It makes me a pathological liar; I’m unable to open up to anybody, even my best friends, for fear of revealing “too much” about myself. It’s probably to do with the fact that I am an only child of my parents, the years do get lonely when you don’t have someone to talk to all the time and you live in a city like New Delhi where it takes more than an hour to reach a friend’s place and you can’t use the public transport system because your parents have disallowed it for fear of something happening to you. Delhi “the Rape Capital of India” has become more unsafe as the years roll by but that’ll be the topic of my musings on another day.

Moving on, this habit of mine to only partially tell the truth even when it isn’t required has won me few friends. Sure, I know hundreds of people and have the ability to strike up a conversation with practically anybody but maintaining relationships with people… That is another matter entirely. It is shocking to see the number of people I have been best friends with in my entire school career (it’d be wise to mention at this point that I’m 18 years old and have just finished with school) and how easily my relations with them have broken. I have tarried in many a place, known many people and left them just as easily I would an unused library book. My relations with my present set of friends look promising but everybody is leaving for college, going to different states where they’ll meet new people, and I’m scared that this great thing we have going on right now, will fall apart as it always does.

This is the time in life that everybody has deemed is “the most important phase”. Choosing your college, whether your grades are good enough to get you in the college of your dreams, what your parents want, what you want, what career you wish to pursue and whether the subject you choose to major in will be of any help. These questions have been pursuing me relentlessly like a pack of ravenous hounds for the past two months and every night I can’t go to sleep before 3 A.M. because these questions are racing around in my mind. What if I choose the wrong stream and don’t do well in life? What if I don’t get a job? What if I secretly am a failure? What if… And it goes on and on. For months I thought I’d do law and become a great lawyer, kicking everybody’s ass in law school because of my superior English speaking skills. Then I started to get disillusioned when I saw the competition I’d be facing. Furthermore, I began to question if law really was where my interests lay. You see I’ve always been a bookworm, no point in arguing against that fact. I love reading about anything and everything under the sun. History, fiction, classics, you name it. And I’ve always really wanted to pursue a career in writing and perhaps diplomacy because I’m good with that and never take strong, factional views on anything. I’m a peaceful person and I abhor taking sides, but when I do, it’s always the weaker person’s side so as to restore equilibrium. For becoming a diplomat in India you have to give the Indian Civil Services exam which is probably the toughest to pass in the country. So I need to have backup options. I wish to pursue history which is a very good subject if you wish to join the Indian Foreign Services but what if I don’t get through? Do I really want to become a professor and teach in some obscure university? Choices, choices everywhere, not a mind to think. Regardless, this is a terrifying phase in my life where every choice will determine how the rest of my life pans out. I’m hoping against hope that I won’t do something silly and be committed to it for the rest of my life. Thanks for being there while I uncontrollably spew forth a host of emotions, I feel much better now.

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4 thoughts on “That Weird Feeling in the pit of your Stomach

  1. Regarding your worry about your competition: I’ll bet every single person you’d be up against was (or is) thinking the same thing, looking around at their own competition — which includes you — and wondering how they’ll ever succeed.

    Don’t paralyze yourself by asking “what if” right now. Pursue law, if you want to. Or take the Civil Services exam, if that’s the direction you want to go in. Pursue history, if you’re interested in it.

    Otherwise, you might end up years from now in something that makes you unhappy, thinking, “If only I had taken those risks when I was 18.”

    Trying, even if it doesn’t work out, is far better than not trying at all and then always wondering if you could have done it.

    🙂

    • Thank you for the great advice! I’ve been dallying for too long now and have finally applied for an honours course in history and political science. I can only take the Civil Services exam after I finish college but I’d like to do my post graduation and then probably a PhD and THEN take the exam. So for now… History it is. 😀

  2. Brilliant post. I felt like the story of my life has been laid out in front of me. Like you, I have always been uncertain whether it was about choosing a stream, a college or even now when I am caught up between placement and higher education. But what I have realized is that uncertainty always played out in my favor because whatever I chose I had the zeal to commit to it and make it work for me.
    So whatever you choose, keep faith in it. And no matter how confident everyone around you might seem, deep down everyone has their own set of apprehensions.

    Your comment on the community pool brought me here and the only thing I can say is that you write beautifully. Keep going 🙂

  3. Haha thank you so much. I got into law school, so well, let’s see where that gets me. The only thing I’ve really been committed to in life is writing. It was my 8th grade English teacher who encouraged me to pursue it and I can’t thank her enough in my mind for giving me the confidence to do just that. I’d love to build a career as a novelist but it’s India, you need to do a ‘professional’ course as well.
    I hope things play out well for you, I’ll be facing the same dilemma five years from now. Best of luck! 😀

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