Growing up on quarter life (crisis) I’ve realized we have choices, we do. Choices about where to start from, where to head to, how to keep going, when to change paths (if required) and where to land. Study, work, switches, growth, family and then reaching back to where the circle starts. Starts again, for the nth time.
With these comes introspection, on every step, individually and then cumulatively, both way.
And sometimes when we take a moment to introspect, there’s comes a call that asks us something that isn’t any part of this regular plan, infact its something else in total, I can best say its a calling, high spirited, which is done best in young years, bonus if one gets to do this for his entire life. Something one has to, has to respond to. It asks us to take a detour from the original plan for a while. After all what is youth without a certain restless.
I took that detour, went out to some places with the resources I had and I’m glad I took it. It has given me experiences, sights that are etched in my heart, life lessons of patience & letting go, pushed my limits to only surprise me that I’m strong, not just emotionally but physically also, some stories that has faces I remember, names I dont and then a never ending restlessness to go see more. (All these things mentioned have one and more stories each of how they got me learn what I did. I keep them for some other day, other time.)
Good things end, only to make way for real ones.
So, while trying coming back on the original path of the life circle, it made me stand right in front of heaps of puzzles to be fixed and codes to be cracked. I’m still here somewhere. It has taken 5 times longer than I thought it would. None the less, I’ve put in efforts till the time the motivation kept flowing forth and I’m putting in effort even when it has gone dried up. I believe I’m heading somewhere. I believe it’ll be clear soon. The puzzles and codes.
And while on this when I keep figuring out reasons as to why am I not able to reach at my pitstop, I don’t find any answers. But I keep going. It’s like crossing milestones, one after another that bears no digits, no hint of how far have I come. I keep moving thinking the next milestone will bear a 0.
And on my way, almost everyday I come across people I’ve known as friends, family, acquaintances, juniors, seniors, ex-colleagues, friends of friends, everybody. Often, very often I’m told that my life is sheer fun, I go here, there, I’m always roaming (yep exactly how I’m told), have I settled in mountains, how do I manage my trips and expenses, do I even have work to deal with, do I even know what it is to be in the real circle (life circle of work, time, other stuffs), living my perks of being a girl because less responsibility and not worrying about anything because my life looks fun, dreamy sometimes etc etc etc.
So I listen to them, thank them for appreciating if they do and at that very moment, inside my mind, goes the real picture. Puzzles, codes, question marks, all in color red, bold, almost three times my size, tall, starring at me, and I, screaming at them. THIS is 80% of the story (which is not the other story but THE story). 'Tough times' or 'hardships' as we call it. Day in, day out. To an extent that it has become difficult to keep walking any further. Makes me wonder how that goes unnoticed by friends, family, acquaintances, juniors, seniors, ex-colleagues, friends of friends, everybody. Completely unnoticed. Makes me wonder what good are conversations when everybody just wants to virtually touch point certain things and keep revolving around it everytime they get back. Not even wanting to know the ‘other' story which is the story. Wait, did I say conversations here?! Small talks I meant. Small, pointy, sarcastic talks. Except a handful of my shining stars, my closest, my mains when I need them, most. To whom I go back and show the messy face of things, unfiltered.

Certainly nobody is prepared for a 5 time stretched innings. But having said that and realising I’ve come far pretty well (fact that I don’t lose my sh*t when I’m pointed, questioned, doubted and belittled indirectly time and again. And again. Until now when I sometimes do lose out) makes me secretly believe that I’m very near to that milestone which will read a 0 (zero) to me. A little more that is. I’m having tough times right now, but that doesn’t stop me from doing what I love the most. What I call my fuel. Don’t we all need it? Venturing out once in 5 months (well that’s all its been from last 21 months and not other way round which it looks).
Neither should it stop you. There’s always a choice.
Post script: living in mountains for a good time is a life dream. Working towards it. For now I’ll have to settle for a few 3-6 days twice an year with a camera, a poor network (almost no network), tones of fresh air and some life altering experiences.

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