So apparently, I am in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction. It’s true. For ever since I can remember, I have wanted to change a significant part of my life. Back in school, all I wanted to do was to get out of Patna, even if that meant going through the engineering entrance rigmarole and actually being successful (ugh). Then, I wanted to quit engineering to be a journalist but also had too much adolescent ego to follow through. I had strong emotions that I did not want to admit to. And then I wanted to change everything else that followed – and I made myself pretty miserable over it.
I have wanted to change jobs with an intensity stronger than most people I know, change cities on whim because of.. Wait for it.. Auto drivers. I haven’t had the patience for a lot of people I have known, so I changed “friends”. Literally dropping them since 2007. Because often, dealing with bullshit takes more energy than feeding my perpetual dissatisfaction. Or even time. Which heaven knows, I don’t like to spend.
It has me wondering. You know you’re in a bit of self doubt over something when you go to quora and search for “is it ok to _____ ?”, which in this case was “be perpetually dissatisfied”. No answers. Probably not important enough to go on Quora or way more important. There are others who wrote about it. This, for example.
Look, I am not saying I am Steve Jobs, coming up with sexy new devices because I am so innately dissatisfied with how the ones in the stores look, feel, and work. But let’s go back and rewind a bit. I tried to imagine how things would have shaped up if I was not a perpetually dissatisfied person growing up and then later.. I would have probably been a victim of circumstances. Things would have happened to me, I wouldn’t have done much to take control. A degree that would have been useless because I didn’t have it in me to be a Barkha Dutt (and I wonder now why I idolized her in the first place), perhaps a job I’d have found boring to death… A relationship that would never have “materialized”, and so much more. I’d have probably continued to live in places I didn’t like at that point, and wouldn’t have done much to find some perspective or some freedom from the past.
I realize now that between the beginning of time to somewhere around 2008, the only thing that actually changed was how miserable my perpetual dissatisfaction makes. I find that I am incapable of being miserable over things anymore. I have been able to disassociate happiness from satisfaction. Taking a deep breath and letting it go may have become my second nature but does that mean I am ok with things just happening to me. I probably have a bit more perspective than I did half a decade or more ago that makes it easy to do that. I perhaps have the resources to do things that make me happy, even for a few days, and bounce back and deal with bullshit. I know I have lot more faith than I did before. Maybe I have a good, perceptive, mature, irreverent support system of “comrades” that either pays too little attention to some of my paranoia and manages to see/show humour in it or pays just enough attention to make me see why that deep breath might be important just about now. Often, they take part in my perpetual dissatisfaction and together, we find a way to change things that don’t feel right.
All this in between some time on the road, some music, some conversation, some bitching sessions, and some “I don’t think I can talk about this ANY more”.. With all of this and more, I’d be a fool to want perpetual satisfaction, no?