There comes a time in your life when you realize you can’t blame others for all your ills in life. Like JK Rowling said, there’s an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.
Not just your family, but also your circumstances. As a chronic procrastinator, I know this rather well. It’s never the ‘right time’ to do anything if you think hard enough. The root of procrastination is waiting for a mythical ‘right time’ in the future where all conditions will be perfect enough for you to carry out all your grand plans.
The truth is, there’s no such utopia. If you keep waiting and watching, you’ll just watch life pass you by, and reminisce about chances you should have taken, things you should have done… like someone said, the saddest line in life is ‘If only…’.
After a point, it doesn’t seem fair to even blame others for ruining your day. It doesn’t seem right to renege on your commitments to others because ‘life happened’. I don’t think everyone realizes it by themselves. For thick people like me, it takes someone else ruining my plans because they ‘had cousins over’ or ‘were going through a hard time’ due to which they can’t give me the results I need to base my work on.
And all of a sudden, you find you can’t maintain that air of professionalism when life is happening around you. Because ‘life’ goes from inconsequential events to things that have real-world implications. And you can’t always run to daddy and mommy who will make the big monsters go away and evvvv’rything will be alright again.
It’s hard, when you realize that you’re not exactly doing things right, but don’t have the right tools to do things the right way. It’s tempting to want to blame the whole world, blame your circumstances, blame your inexperience, blame your upbringing, blame everything there is other than you, when things go wrong and seem beyond your control. But as a close friend’s boss used to say, Excuses Aren’t Explanations. You realize you’re at a crossroad where you have the power to decide what you want to do. You can choose to stay where you are and whine, and you can afford to do that, you’re not necessarily answerable to anyone, people will understand, people will say ‘Oh, she’s just going through a rough patch’ or ‘Tch, circumstances… whattodo’. Or you can take the other path, where you put your responsibilities over your feelings, shoulder some extra burdens, put yourself through the grind. No one’s necessarily going to give you extra credit in the second option. You aren’t necessarily going to feel better by ignoring your feelings. If you take that path, it’s just because YOU feel it’s the right thing to do. You don’t do it for glory, you don’t do it for others. You do it just for your own satisfaction of a job well done.
And heck, no one’s going to even sympathize with you. They’ll at max call you a fool for biting off more than you can chew, when you had such an easy option in hand. There’s very little motivation for going down the second path.
But you realize after a certain point, that’s the thing to do. It disciplines you. It gives you and others a sense of predictability. But, more than anything, it enables you to take charge of your life when ‘life’ hits. You learn to compartmentalize. You learn to deal with trouble while maintaining the even tenor of your life. Because, too much of a derailment and you can just get stuck and find it hard as hell to get unstuck.
It’s the same sort of thing where you don’t pocket that five-hundred rupee note in the park because no one’s looking. Except that you don’t even have a concrete set of values to fall back on and feel good about your deed. I’m sorry, but professionalism doesn’t seem all that highly rated as honesty. Plus, what sort of a retard goes back to work the day his dog has a cold? So uncaring and cold!
And uh, it doesn’t end there. While you’ll be doing your duty and appearing professional, it doesn’t really entitle you to expect the same of others. You also are not supposed to sit around whining when others are unprofessional. Because if you sit around whining, you are being unprofessional.
Heck, it doesn’t make sense for you to base your happiness solely on how others treat you, or what they say or do to you. That’s just being immature, that’s just being a burden on others who have enough on their plates without having to treat you with kid-gloves too. In the thousand-and-one self-pity sessions while at NITK, I realized the truth of “Cheat me once, shame on you. Cheat me twice, shame on me”. You can’t run away from life because it’s unfair. This whole leftist utopian vision of life is not a recipe for happiness; quite the contrary. You have to learn how to make your peace with the rest of the world, because it’s just going to continue spinning even if you’re going to be standing still. There will always be people who aren’t as honest as you, aren’t as well-informed as you, people who will judge you, people who will make your life hell. You can’t give up on life just because of them. Because there are also those who will accept you, who will make you better-informed, who are much more honest than you can imagine, who will bring happiness into your life… and it’s a package deal.
Think I simplified it to be black-and-white here. It’s never going to be perfect, like in theory above. Practically speaking, you’re never going to be able to be 100% professional in all your dealings. You try your level best to reach that level, and you’re also nice to others who don’t quite reach as high as you do, because, hell, life happens, and it’s quite possible one fine day life’ll happen to you so bad that you’ll be as unprofessional as the other, and would like nothing more than a little bit of understanding.
I realize I’m not making too much sense here, but well, atleast I’ve stopped blaming that on the time of the night I’m writing this post in 🙂 I’m all grown up now!
Oh, and kindly, kindly do not read too much into every word I say here. If I’m blogging about something, it means it’s nothing to worry about.