Are you Drifting or are you Driven??

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!! ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜–

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 that๐Ÿ˜›)? Does he have a valid point?๐Ÿค” 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. โค๏ธโค๏ธ

Is Ignorance truly Bliss??๐Ÿค”

Would you rather live in ignorance,

Or would you instead a take a chance,

To face your biggest fears,

That could totally break you and shatter your near and dears?

Would you wait and wait longer,

Or would you face reality and come out stronger?

Would you just ignore your imminent troubles?

Or rather come out of your pretend-to-be-happy bubble,

And face the reality that awaits,

Just ready to barge in and desecrate

Everything that you hold dear,

And make all the little joys disappear.

The truth is seldom pleasant,

But the fear is omnipresent.

So i wonder out loud, is it better to continue to live in denial,

Or to muster the courage and face whatever ‘reality monster’ awaits and fight for your survival?



Have you ever felt like this? Like you’re so scared of the outcome that you prefer to live in denial rather than face the music?…it could be a breakup or a visit to the doctor or a thesis submission or any other situation that needs to be addressed and dealt with, but there’s always the possibility that things won’t go your way and will have significant consequences that might adversely affect the course of your future. So, instead of just getting done with it, we just sit on it, too afraid of what the outcome might be. On the surface, everything is normal, everything is mundane, but underneath the veneer of normalcy, there lurks a hidden fear, that just eats you up little by little. Have you ever been in such a predicament? I know I have. And it’s not a happy state to be in. Would love to know your thoughts and how you handled it..Much love to all of you fighting such secret battles ๐Ÿ’Ÿ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

Are you afraid to jump?

Whether it’s jumping off a cliff or jumping out of a helicopter or jumping into an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented, life changing, mind boggling life event..they are all essentially the same things and involve the same flurry of emotions. Like what are the emotions one would associate with jumping? Anxiety, angst, panic, fear? I think it’s predominantly fearโ€ฆfear of that precise moment of taking the plunge, fear of the fall, fear of the outcome and fear of the side effects if things go wrong. But unless we jump we don’t really know what’s waiting for us. Or how we will feel about it after it’s done. For me, the most daunting thought would be…’what if’….what if I liked it..what if it showed me new side of life? What if it gave new meaning to my life? what if it was an exhilarating experience that couldn’t be experienced in any other way? What if it changed my perspective of life or gave it a new direction? Or simply what if it gives me a sneak peek into my true potential or calling?…the what ifs are what makes the jumping worth every other emotions we may feel.

Let me recount an experience that can probably help me convey my point.

So last year before Corona took over our lives and made us homebodies, I was in Thailand on a much needed getaway. I was sitting on the beach drinking a beer, soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the blue waters, pristine white sand with the backdrop of the setting sun and the chilly wind. Picturesque. Suddenly I noticed some people were parasailing. Now I am NOT the adventurous junkie alway ready to try every bizarre adventure one can chance upon. I am someone always scared, always timid, riddled with health issues and quite an overweight person. The kind who roll their eyes while watching others pull off daring but totally unnecessary stunts all in the name of adventure and adrenaline rush (is that even a real thing I wonder).

But that day watching the parachute sailing against the sunset made me wonder. Should I try it? Almost immediately I was flooded with a whole barrage of what ifs…what if I lose my grip..what if the I fall right down into the middle of the ocean? What if the life jacket doesn’t work and I drown..like the Titanic (because I can’t swim to save my life.. literally)…on and on came all these thoughts that just made me oppose the idea as soon as I got it. But as if almost instinctively, there were another set of what ifs circling in my head. What if this is actually fun. What if the view from top is mind blowing? What if this is actually something memorable that I can look back at years from now and say..man I did it and it was truly awesome. What if by doing this I can actually prove to myself that I am not that averse to the idea of adventure and that adrenaline rush is a real thing.

My mind was at war it seems. To jump into it or not. I was torn. After all both sets of what ifs had equal merit and were worthy of being thought through. So unable to take a quick decision (like in most life situations I am faced with) , I just sat there staring into the sky..with my gaze fixed at the parachute flying high against the setting sun.

I guess the deciding ‘what if’ was…’what if I never get this opportunity ever again..I mean this has been in my bucket list for the longest time and here I was sitting. Closest chance of actually fulfilling this crazy wish… wouldn’t I look back at this very moment And wonder what It would have felt like’…so this thought or maybe the beer I gutted down…made me decide. I was gonna do it. I was gonna go for the jump.

My husband was zapped and literally speechless at this sudden burst of bravery and adventure that I was engulfed with. But I had decided, good or bad I was going in for it.

Got my harness in place, got my set of instructions of things to do and not to do. And within 15 minutes I was ready. Since I didn’t know swimming, they sent one of their guys up with me who would take care of the manoeuvring. All I had to do was run till a point until we start flying and then hold on to the rope to maintain position.

Simple enough. Right? Well not so much. Coming to that in a bit. I did run as asked and even before I realized I was high up in the sky…with the blue ocean down beneath me and the sun almost at eye level. The initial fright was something I cannot describe in words. It was gut wrenching, heart pounding excruciating fear. For a moment I couldn’t believe I actually went through with this crazy idea and put myself in this situation. I was almost paralyzed with fear. I thought I will never set foot on the beach again or see my husband or parents again. With My eyes closed shut, I was praying for some sort of a miracle (like maybe waking up to realize I was only dreaming) to undo this horrible thing I had done to myself. Stupid stupid girl.

But after some time, the parachute reached a certain height and became stable. That’s when I opened my eyes. Slowly. One at a time. And trust me, I will never forget what I saw. The panoramic view of the city, the lush greenery, the blue ocean down below, the many hues of the setting sun…all in a single frame. Oh so so beautiful. So mesmerising. The beauty of what I saw that day will remain etched in my heart forever. In that moment, I felt fearless, I felt invincible. I felt alive. Not for long though.

While I was gliding through the air soaking it all in, Down below , the motor boat to which the parachute is attached took a U-turn to head back towards the beach. It took me by surprise and due to the jolt, I lost my grip of the rope to which I was tied. Fear, paranoia all these things that just a few seconds ago I thought I had overcome, came right back as I lost my balance. But thankfully the trainer guy grabbed me by the waist. Gradually I regained balance and gripped the rope for dear life. And a few moments later I splashed into the water.

The joy of feeling the sand beneath me. It meant that I was back on land. The ride was over. And I was back to safety. I remember sitting in the water for a long time. Thinking about the experience I just had. The beauty I had seen. The many emotions I felt while pulling off the most heroic and adventurous thing I had ever attempted to do.

Yes I felt fear. Mind numbing, heart beat stopping fear. And yet there i was. Having done it. Actually going through with it. Taking the plunge. Ticking off at least one item from my bucket list. Giving myself one experience of a lifetime. For that I thanked myself. Gave myself a pat on the back. But most importantly, this whole experience left me with one profound realization: unless you overcome the fear holding you back and take that leap of faith, there’s no way of knowing the outcome. No way of knowing what you are going to experience. and how much more enriched you are going to be when come out of it.

So next time, whether its a bungee jump (another one in the bucket list) or another crucial life altering juncture of life, I will not be afraid to take that leap of faith.

Ps. For motivation I always look at this picture of myself up in the air.

That’s ME ๐Ÿ˜€