There was a resolve to write for the New Year. And perhaps, write more during the year. After close to a week of putting it away for whatever reasons, here I am. In that sense, this is a resolution broken, and yet a resolution kept too. Did not someone say it is better late than never?
In this post, a good friend speaks about wanting to relinquish control. He wanted to ‘go with the flow’ so to speak. He has subsequently written about the experience too. Knowing what little I may know of him, this caused in me a lot of surprise. There was also mild amusement, followed by, I must confess, skepticism. My skeptical self wouldn’t believe that *he* would actually do it.
The narrative though, triggered me to reminisce about myself and look back at life. In a few days, I am likely to have lived roughly half the lifespan one may expect to under normal circumstances. Given my own lifestyle, I expect it to be a much larger proportion that half. Those things, only time will decide. That though isn’t the point I was reflecting upon, but the aspect of ‘control’.
When I look back at myself, I find myself to be wanting to be in control a lot of times, when it comes to every day affairs. For instance, I am averse to going with the flow when it comes to say, what I may eat for dinner tonight or which movie I may watch. When it comes to the seeming trivialities, I am usually unable to just let things be and accept what comes my way. So much so that when I have friends & companions who want to do things other than those that interest me, I would rather forego their company, than say, engage in something I am not interested in, for the sake of keeping company. People usually find this trait unacceptable, as there seems to be a greater emphasis on companionship, doing things together, than on exactly what is being done & the quality of one’s engagement with it. All this has meant that over the years, I have ended up spending more time alone than in the company of anyone. I do not complain; I am learning to accept it as a consequence of my own actions.
Yet, when I look beyond these seemingly mundane details, things seem different too. So much so, that I wonder if I do in fact obsess about control, as it may seem to the reader who has come thus far. Indeed, some of the more significant events, milestones, so to speak, seem otherwise to me.
- I graduated in a subject that I quickly lost interest in. I did not even ‘choose’ the subject. I just had to go to college. When I discovered my dislike for the particular pursuit, I did not drop out, nor did I do the slightest justice to the course of study. Whiling away most of the time that I had back then, I now look back and shudder at some of the most ridiculous, even dangerous things that I did.
- People around have called me a workaholic, and I do not deny it as I expend a lot of time & effort at work. Yet, the thought of ‘building a career’ is one thing I have never seriously considered. I find myself having just taken what came my way and tried my best to do it well.
- I fell in love, married the person I supposedly was in love with, and a few years later, got divorced too. I had not imagined that I would ever marry. Having married, I hadn’t the faintest idea that I would break my marriage. Yet that’s just what happened.
If you consider education, work and family as the significant parts of one’s life, I seem to have just ‘gone with the flow’ in at least some senses. As I look back and think about things now, it seems paradoxical to me that when it comes to the ‘lesser’ of things, I have been obsessed with being in control and when it came to the ‘more important’ of things, it has been just the other way round. Some would say that this goes to show my priorities, though I am not even sure if I have been conscious of such things.
So as we begin another year, it came to making resolutions, starting afresh and so on. To renew our hopes so that we may carry on with enthusiasm. And when it came to ‘taking control’, I wondered where I stood. I discovered that I do not have an answer, and that perhaps, in this respect (as in many others), I may be a person full of contradictions and extremes. I start this year with the one thing that has been a constant – the seeking. And I wish you all the best of seeking, in 2016 and beyond.