On Starting Over
I’m going to study engineering at a top college and then join Google.
I’m going to get married by the time I’m 30.
I will own a house in London by the time I’m 40.
I will be on the national Olympics team and get a gold medal.
This is how we imagine our lives when we are younger, a linear timeline filled with successful milestones and tight deadlines. As you embark on your life journey of your adult life, if not sooner, you realize this is not how life works.
I joined Google, but actually corporate life is not for me.
I got divorced at 33.
I went bankrupt at 40.
I got in an accident and won’t be able to move for more than a year.
Life is not a straight line, it is a tangled line that you will only be able to see its final design when you zoom out (aka RIP), but hey who’s in a hurry for that. What’s weird is no matter how scary that messy doodle looks, sometimes is scarier to stick to a linear timeline you no longer believe in, just because it took a lot of effort to draw it.
Sometimes you choose to change, maybe you realized what you thought you wanted, you do not want after all, maybe you wish to pursuit something different, maybe something simply ran its course. Sometimes life just happens and the changes can be radically transformative. You may change gender, religion, you may need to reinvent yourself after a loss. Sometimes you can’t change something, so you have to change your point of view, your attitude. Almost everything you set deadlines for, will happen at a different time, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Or not at all.
This puzzle of voluntary and involuntary transitions we call life, may seem scary, but is is also exciting and more importantly infinite. As long as you breathe there will always be another piece to fit in. Which can be scary, but also liberating. David Bowie in his song Changes says “Every time I thought I’d got it made It seemed the taste was not so sweet.” Maybe life is not about reaching goals, but setting them.
In life there is no right and wrong choice. Even if you make the wrong choice life has its magic way to gently or forcefully recalibrate your course and nudge you towards the right direction. They key to life is to make a choice, to make a move, to live. And the good news are you are not alone in this! We’ve all felt lost and daring, confused and determined, at some point in our life. This publication aims to become a platform to share all these stories that don’t fit in a social media post, to see a challenging time through other people lenses, to discuss coping mechanisms, become a travel guide when the destination is yet unknown. Lets embark on this journey and create change together.
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon — don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon — you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
from the poem Ithaka by Cavafy