Friday, November 20, 2015

The Clean Up

A chilly autumn afternoon: The last barbecue of the year 2015. Clicked with an iPhone 6 in the midst of barbecue fever

I was not bluffing. I am back for real! Sometimes one gets carried away, off into the oblivion and it takes a jarring punch in the gut to get one back to reality. So I am back, wincing in pain, but with my feet on the ground, more in touch with reality and hopefully a better person.

It has been 2 years of absence. There have been those half written posts in my drafts but nothing really made it out. There have been numerous messages, extremely flattering, asking me to get back to writing, especially as my last post before I took the sabbatical, was, ironically, about writing.

I like to think (like everyone else) that my life is not the usual humdrum of lives I see around me. To each individual, his life is special. But really, I do believe that my life is kinda extra-ordinary. To the extent that I sometimes yearn for the ordinary. I have been told by many, jokingly and sometimes not so jokingly, that I have a narcissistic streak in me. And maybe that drives me to think that I have an extra-ordinary life. But to be honest, I do not take credit for it. It somehow always veers off from the ordinary. My life can be extremely happy, with massive successes and conquests, or extremely painful, with heart-shattering set backs, but one thing I can tell you it certainly isn't, it is never ever monotonous.

So what I am trying to say that a lot has happened since January of 2014. A complete new chapter. Like turning the whole life upside down. In the end it is all about two things. Whether you had fun during the roller coaster ride. And whether you came out of it for better, or for worse. I certainly had the most titillating ride, but obviously. And I think I came out a better person.

A result of all these changes were the people in my life. I have always talked about how your life is the sum of the experiences you have and the people who join you in those experiences. A lot of them left. For reasons sometimes inexplicable. When someone cannot find joy in the reasons that bring you joy, then perhaps it is best for those people to leave. I was hurt initially, but eventually came around to the realization that these were the people who prioritized their own feelings of jealousy and negativity above my feelings of happiness and achievement. They were the ones who were upset when I was having some of the happiest moments of my life. And so, I realized, it was best that they left.

Some people just disappeared because I was obsessively busy with things I am passionate about. Perhaps I am at fault, and they made a wise decision. But you gotta do what you gotta do. There is this "knock knock" joke about how it cannot be opportunity knocking, because opportunity knocks only once. I opened the door without waiting for the second knock. And got sucked into what I think were the two most exciting years of my professional life. In the process I lost a lot of friends. I will be lying if I say I do not miss them. I would be lying if I say that I never wish they were still around. I never thought it would be an "either-or" option. I wish it was an "and" option. But if I had to go back in time I know I will make the same choice again. I believe in that proverb that in life, you always regret what you did not do, and rarely regret what you have done. I am not happy that I lost those friends. But I am happy that I have had the 3 most passionate and amazing years in my professional life.

Life has a way of cleaning itself up eventually. Cleaning up the intricacies, the complexities, the worries plaguing the mind, and sometimes the people you are better off without. And I am happy that clean up happened in my life. I am left with lesser friends, but they are the ones who passed the test of being there with me when I was at my worst behavior. And they were the ones who understood that the nasty ill-tempered guy who never had the time to catch up with his friends and family, is not who I really am, they are the ones who waited, and knew that it was a phase, it would pass. They are the ones who valued me enough to stick it out.

So I am back in more ways than one. Back to being more humble. Back to appreciating friends. Back to trying to pause and appreciate the things I have. And yes, back to blogging.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Merlin! This is one hell of a write-up. Kind of summarizes juggling between a fascinating, yet demanding career, and a humble peaceful life. Been there, done that!! And I chose a humble peaceful life. The corporate learnings are always good and makes you proud of your achievement, but one in a while it is important to slow down and muse upon what life is worth for!! All the best!! Keep writing. You write good stuff.