The year so far

Once again, my best laid plans to document my life and opinions regularly here on the blog have taken a back seat. Because 2017 is turning out to be a whirlwind of a year. In a very, very good way.

There has been some good news in my family, something that is taking a whole lot of my happy time planning and designing and chatting and getting giddy with excitement!

The house, the one we acquired over two years ago, is coming together and feels more tangible. We have finally figured where the coveted library will go, a bachpan ka sapna that I had almost forgotten till we got down to the nuts and bolts of what it will eventually look like. And suddenly, I am over the lack of an extra balcony and large windows that had been a sore point these last couple of years.

Home and chores, errands and family commitments have finally fallen in place like clockwork. Exactly how I like them.

I have had a lot of free time too, most of January. Almost as soon as 2016 ended at a secluded beach down south in Kerala, the unpleasant madness did too (touchwood). I had originally planned to spend this little patch of unadulterated freedom staying a little away from social media and doing more writing than I had these last few years. But Netflix  and Amazon Video practically took over my life. Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, a little inspiration, a little feel good warmth of a lovely small town, a little warm and fuzzy rose tinted nostalgia for agency life – I was living in parallel universe for at least eight hours a day and I am not complaining at all! This was the holiday my brain really needed!

But a decade of agency life means nothing if you can’t discipline yourself. Which is exactly what I did in the second half of January. When I got on to this figuring-out-life-and-other-stories journey late last year, R had a brilliant suggestion for me. It went, “think of or do ten things but don’t settle before the 11th”. I figured I first needed to get steadfast about just spending a few hours at my desk with zero distractions to even start the process of figuring things out. So that is what I did. And unexpected things happened! I landed an assignment where I get published multiple times a month on one of India’s most read portals. For the discerning judgmental fuck in me, it is not much. But for someone who has spent years ghost writing for other people, this was big. I hope to give it more personality over the next few months but in its current form too, it has takers. Likes, loves, shares and tags. If it is relatable to even one person trying to figure out work life, it means something (to me). And for now, I am getting that validation in bits and pieces. And I am counting my blessings. Truly.

There is another piece of feel good work that is in the works that I can’t talk about but I can say this – that it is more than what I had expected from myself and I am amazed and humbled, all at the same time. It is something I truly care about and I hope to write all about it as soon as I can.

Seven paragraphs down, I am finally down to what I really want to talk about. I have been in a really remote part of Gujarat these last couple of days, on a planning offsite of sorts. It has been a sweet spot of the love of places, love of the road, love of all-heart people willing to put their soul into an idea that I relate with. Also something I can’t talk about yet but I will say this – it is an opportunity of a lifetime and I didn’t think something like this would come by this soon. It is going to be hard work but I got it partly because of my ability to be 100% myself – loud, a little jumpy (those who like me call it energetic, I suppose), a little vague, but very very enthusiastic about stories, places, food, and the long and open road. This has never happened before and I can’t wait to discover all that is ahead of me.

It’s all uncertain, there is no promise of an annual review and an incremental edit on the paycheque. None of the good things about everything I have left behind (for now) but not a speck of the bad things either. I realised in the course of several conversations these last couple of days is that I am no longer looking for bigger purpose or fame/ awards from the work part of my life. I no longer want to be possessed by it at all times but there is no way I am going to take something up if it is not fun. Not satisfying, does not come with any real rewards. And is not just plain old fun. A decade of agency life taught me the need to put a premium on my time even as I find my fun, and for that I am grateful.

In many ways, 2017 is turning out to be the year my career aspirations come a full circle. That includes the kind of people I want around me, the form(s) of work I want to pursue, and all that I am really looking for. That feeling of being an odd sort of rockstar is back. It is all very real and tangible, there are the proverbial signatures on dotted lines. And me? I seem to be headed for things that promise to add dimensions to my life that I didn’t know were possible. And just like that, I feel like the queen of my own destiny (hence the picture :p). And now I know that that was what was really amiss these last few years. Counting my blessings? Hell YES. Touchwood.

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