Whenever I have a conversation, one that involves the concept of society, there seems to be an expectation to function in a certain way. The expectation to get educated, followed by marriage, followed by children and so on and so forth.
I used to be a part of this thought process, the one which propelled me into pursuing a PhD. , Japanese, Academic certifications and much more which did not add much to my need for food and a roof above my head. It seems, a lot of the respect that I had received from society was my goal driven attitude which seemed to be something which attracted individuals, friends, partners and relatives. A sense of future security, perhaps which was sought from me in some sense. Or maybe people perceived that I was good at the art of knowing how to navigate through ‘life’ using material add-ons, like a pizza with a gazillion toppings and extra cheese, which certainly looks good and appetizing but when you bite into it, you are full before you know it.
I have been over a month, talking to many acquaintances, coexisting, learning from them, and hopefully they are learning something from me too. Even though the conversation is spaced across days with a different person every day, there is something new to learn about people and their perceptions of life, one that hovers between leaving the material world for good and immersing fully into it by ‘living in the moment’.
I feel lonely, absolutely lonely, inadequate and unsatisfied. The fact that, for years ‘my’ life has been driven by ‘my goals’, ‘my friends’, ‘my girlfriend’, ‘my family’, makes each and every one of us extremely lonely when one or two of them leave or are disappointed by my actions. What we have given weightage to our whole lives, are material pursuits, with a reciprocation expected innately. And this expectation of reciprocation, this craving of reciprocation, makes us do the worst of things. Fight, hurt, demonize and become violent when the ‘me’ is not satisfied anymore. It seems the more we immerse ourselves into material pursuits, the more it is about ourselves.
There have been days when a new sort of T-shirt which looks good to me, entices me to search for a XXXL to see if I can wear it, and before I purchase it, the thought that goes through my head is ‘what is the purpose?’. I know you might be thinking, “what is wrong with this guy?”, but hear me out – The search for a new identity everyday is a tiring affair, over all these years, I have leaned on all my material pursuits to define me. Any degree, any work designation has been one to make me feel good about myself, as if it is the identity I was pursuing. But the more number of identities I seem to invest myself in, the more I seek for reciprocation, security, the want for it to define who I am.
Right now, if someone was to ask me, who I am, I would have to respond by saying – “I am ‘someone’, who is sitting in his parents drawing room, typing words on my company laptop, as I feel empty from the inside, trying to pen down what I feel, so that I can feel something definitive and not have to settle for not knowing what I am feeling”. One millisecond later who I am will die, and there will be a new answer to the question of who I am in that millisecond.
Seems overly pretentious doesn’t it? I would have thought so, had I really had any faith in that thought process that I talk of in the first paragraph. Let us talk of love, another one of man’s pursuits to make them feel adequate. The fact remains, love does not seek reciprocation and therefore does not make a man feel adequate. A man has to be adequate themselves before they can love. When someone you love cannot or will not love you back, it hurts, but that ‘you’ who hurts is looking for ‘companionship’ and not love. If you were really looking for love, you would have loved the person and not asked for anything in return. The fact that they cannot tell you that they love you should not even bother you because you are not in love because you want something in return. And that is where I am at. Amongst humans, there is only one person I can love (in the romantic sense) and I do not plan to deviate from this. It is a pure pursuit which to me makes absolute sense. That feeling of being able to have no expectations is to truly feel free. Because when we do not have expectations, we are within ourselves, adequate. I have not reached there yet. As I said, I am terribly lonely, and that is at my behest, not because someone left me. I have been hollow from the inside to even consider someone else can even fill that hole. There has to be no sense of inadequacy before we love someone, because if we are inadequate we will seek for security.
Where do I see myself?
I look at a new identity for myself. I wish to work so that I can provide for myself and my family, but there is to be one true, definitive me. ‘The explorer of myself’ identity is the best bet I have now. Without this new found identity, I would have checked myself into the forest as a sage, since everything else felt really superficial. But then as an author I wish to explore myself and in some form help others, even if it is one other person, into tapping into who they are.
“I am not the monk who sold his Ferrari”. I am the author who is exploring himself.