Recently I gave a ton of interviews, both for remote roles and for India. And finally, I got a job offer from the Developer Relations team at Google India that anyone would eagerly get enthusiastic about. But far from making me joyous, it instilled a different kind of hollowness in my heart, brought about a bigger identity crisis, confusion and chaos. I can delay the “Move to India” decision till I undertake travel, reach my home and make up my mind to resign or not from my current Solutions Engineering role at Facebook Singapore. At this point, I am awaiting my covid vaccine doses in Singapore. And post that, once I reach my home in India, the thoughts of “should I” come back are so convoluting that I am unable to make up my mind. The holy question masquerades like a marquee, will I come back to Singapore!
A couple of months back, I felt I am looping in my thoughts about mortality and how death is always a sudden, calm and sad event. I was almost convinced that even my death is likely to cause a mere short term disruption in everyone’s life, a little bigger pain to parents, siblings and a few people who love me. While there would always be some people whom I haven’t met but have helped, there are those who would expect me to grow in my career and not just be
laying down. Till I live, people will have expectations, greed or emotional attachment with me. Even if I live with my self-centred motivations, likely, I may badly fail and my life goals never materialize. I would look out of my bedroom window into the clouds in search of unknown answers: How could I fail? What if I fail? What if I just die? In my dreams, I started to visualize a free-fall down an endless gravity, with only headwinds on my face to resist. Maybe it’s just flashbacks of some majestical illness or any extreme sports like that of bungee or roller coasters. With freefall thoughts, I started to develop a romanticism with death like a jump-off my apartment window or from a bridge. But the fear of people grieving even for a short period was unacceptable.
My mom says
Ram ka naam leke apne desh aa jao. I do not understand how people cling to the concept of God when there’s nothing else reasonable. I no longer believe in the magic of God - mine or the one true or any other ones. And whenever I would close my eyes, I would see mortals striving to do something or the other. I no longer find myself fit into the scheme of things. And, I am scared to go into oblivion.
I would struggle to define my identity, answer basic questions about who I am, what purpose do I have, what am I doing, why am I doing anything. And then I tried to skip my thoughts to other questions, where do I belong, how am I helping my goals, how much do I think I will achieve anything. There would be no end to my thoughts, no answer to my questions, only loops inside recursions and stress about the stress of doing nothing. All the mental models of 5W1H, circle of competencies which I was taught for analytical reasonings failed to push my motivation levels upwards. Many people see value systems such as earning money and/or serving others as the only simple goals of their life. I no longer hold forthright any value system, even the ones I was raised with. The way people live around me is dogmatic, superstitious and lacks respect for personal space. Everywhere I see, I can see obvious inefficiencies and scope for improvement. I am fearful of the degradation of social order with chaos and conflict.
I am also fearful of losing the people I love. I do know that no one is guaranteed to live with me forever other than myself. But somehow I do get drawn into loving and making restrictions for myself. My only responsibilities at present are my parents who have no wish but to see me happy. I do not get the basis of this relationship. How can my parents not ever want anything in return! They cannot be unassertive of expectations because I have asked them to do favours for me like buying things or investing in my education. Will I be able to dictate my way or be dictated by others? I fear both because it may become a toxic interdependence.
I also know lack of money is one of the biggest drivers of sadness. I will have a decent sum of money when I land in India which looks sufficient to run my expenses for ~6+ months. But it doesn’t factor in any eventualities. I am fearful of going into debt or missing out on opportunities due to a lack of money. Every time I have stayed poor or went into debt, I struggled to come out and was indeed extra cautious of money.
Apart from coliving with parents, there will be love in India and a great potential relationship awaiting me. This is the only thing that is unbacked by any reasoning and still seems exciting. Risks are mine, benefits will be mine too. Super simple and most promising. The only fear is a failure, which I guess is not an option now.
My life so far has been very materialistic and driven by simple metrics like realizing growth in terms of career and money and activating potential avenues of growth. I am utterly confused about what my future should be. All I know is I got to decide whether I should leave the known for the unknown world with unknown problems. The D-day is getting closer and I fear again that with each passing day, I am gaining no more clarity, reducing no clutter and not at all seeking any fruitful help. Sometimes, I just wish someone just whispers the solutions in my dreams. What my success looks like? What are my life true metrics? What am I always dissatisfied with everything? Who am I … who I am …
life motivation career