This is precisely the thought on my mind of late. Being stuck at home and waking up every day to do the same thing I did yesterday, I think I have been sucked into the monotony of life. And trust me, I ain’t complaining. I love monotony. It’s predictable, it’s boring and boring is comforting. I know only too well that It doesn’t take much for things to go awry. One phone call, one visit to the doctor, one mishap and life can turn upside down and chaos can set in. And I don’t function well in chaos. I don’t like chaos. God knows I have had more than enough of it in my lifetime.
For the past 2 years, I have led my life in a pretty routine manner. Wake up, office work, household chores, use whatever free time is left to attend to my little garden, binge watch, read, paint, walk or exercise on some days. And the same thing next day.
I take each day as it comes and truly try to live in the present and give my best in the present moment, without much (or any) thought or plans for the future. But is that really enough? I thought so, but seems like people around me disagree. It started with a discussion with the husband when he told me that it’s not enough. That I must try to broaden my horizons. That everyone needs to have a vision of where they see themselves in a few years and then work on a plan to get there. Smarty pants gave me a full blown lecture on the importance to plan for the road ahead. And I do know it comes from a place of concern and good intentions, but this is sort of a sensitive topic for me, so everytime we have such a discussion, I act out, get defensive and the discussion turns into a spat!! 😵😖
The thing is, I have had some bitter experience in the past related to dreaming big wonderful things. Whenever I have dreamt of doing something for myself, planned for something, wanted something so bad, life’s evil tricks have landed all such plans and aspirations flat on their face and shattered all the dreams. Like one time, I got into one of the best MBA colleges. My undergrads college experience was quite dull and boring so, I had gone there with the determination to make this count. I wanted this post-grad experience to be epic. To party hard, study hard and excel. And I did. For a few months. Until a blood clot landed up in my lungs and I ended up in the ICU!! I lost out on a year. I could have gone back. I could have finished. But I just ended up going back to work and never completed my post grads. And this is neither the worst thing to have happened nor the only time. Such things have happened again and again. Everytime I pick myself up, something new and worse knocks me right down.
So, I have made peace with the fact that planning and dreaming is probably not for me. I strive to live wholeheartedly in the present moment and make the most of it. After all, even the worst of obstacles can’t shatter a dream you haven’t dreamt or kill the hopes you haven’t built. Just going with the flow, each day at a time. Just drifting. You could say it’s my defence mechanism, my safety net. My make-believe-cocoon-of-happiness.
However the recent spat with the husband continued to bother me. Not because we fought and said things. We did reconcile the next day. But I kept wondering, is he right (can you imagine how hard it must be for a wife to admit that😛)? Does he have a valid point?🤔 Whenever, I have such existential crisis questions bothering me, I resort to some advice from my bestie. Whenever in crisis or self doubt, she’s my go to person. My free therapist!! She lives in another country, she’s awfully busy but she understands when I NEED to talk to her. And this time our chat was immensely uplifting and an eye opener of sorts for me. And this is what she had to say.
She asked me the same thing that is the title of my blog..‘ Do you want to drift or do you want to be driven?. If you drift along, go with the flow, with no certain plans, no direction, no aspirations, no expectations, then you will probably lead a comfortable but mediocre life. Wishes will remain unfulfilled, desires will remain dormant, achievements few and sense of accomplishment even less. Years later when you look back at your life, you will probably realize it wasn’t the best version of the life you hoped for, with many unfulfilled dreams, many items not checked from your bucket list. And then you might wish you had taken a different approach. That, despite circumstances, you had taken the reins of your life in your own hand. Been the one riding the car of your life rather than being in the passenger seat and see life just whisk past you. But then it will probably be too late and all you will have is just regret. Regret for not doing more, not doing better for yourself. Instead, now if you decide that you don’t want to just drift from one day to the next but instead be driven, by taking control of your life and deciding on a direction, a path and work towards it, then irrespective of how things turn out (and by that I mean Fate being a total b**ch and F-ing up things), you will atleast have the satisfaction that you tried. You tried to make a difference, you tried to make your life more fulfilled, more meaningful. Even if things don’t work out as you planned, You can accept things without regret. And that will also give you some much needed peace and satisfaction.‘
Needless to say, her words really left an indelible impression on me. And yes, it’s given me some courage to atleast think about things. What I want, who I want to be down the line. And after many many years, I am atleast giving it some thought. That itself is a big step in the right direction for me.
And this is the exact reason I am sharing this here. So that , if any of you reading this, find yourself in a similar predicament where you’re afraid to dream, to hope, to aspire, that reading this may give you some food for thought and propel you to think about not just drifting along, not just surviving from day to day, but actually driving your life in the direction that your heart desires. Would love to hear to hear your thoughts on this. Remember, we are all in this together. ❤️❤️