Travel. Be a food-blogger. Make a film. Write a book. Live in a faraway land. Be a popstar. Change the world. We have many dreams, big dreams, wonderful dreams. But for every second you spend thinking about your dream, there is someone out there actually living theirs. And it may not actually turn out to be all that dreamy, at least not in the beginning. But a dream lived through is better than one that is confined to a distant, never-occurring future.
Today, I read about Shruti Sharma, a woman who quit her 'cushy television job' to take up an undefined job at a neophyte cafe that grew to be Delhi's famous Kunzum Cafe, a one-of-a-kind establishment that combines the relaxing act of having coffee with rejuvenating discussions, jam sessions and exhibitions of art and photography. Shruti Sharma took the road less travelled and she is happier for it. What are you and me doing on these well-trodden paths with inevitable destinations? When will we muster the courage to go live the lives we write about and admire from afar? Everyone's a dreamer. But only the brave ones are livers.
Reaching for what you really want, regardless of what you might lose in the process is both frightening and exhilarating. And remember, there really is no guarantee that you will even get there. The only guarantee is that you will have an unforgettable journey, trying. So is it worth abandoning a secure job, a comforting routine and the solace of familiar faces, to find something new and beautiful? I know it is, else I wouldn't have my fictitious characters do just that.
Before you embark on this magical journey, the one we are all supposed to take, be certain that there is no other path you'd rather take. If I'm brutally honest with myself, what I really want is to conquer my fears. And I was on the right path not too long ago. I feared human interaction, going to new places on my own, confronting known faces for information, and so I chose a Bachelors in Mass Media instead of a Bachelor of Arts, where I knew I would have excelled at English Literature. I have never been happier for a radical, last-minute decision. In those three years, I grew confident, less shy and more capable. I also took up various jobs and honed my nascent socialising skills. However, somewhere along the way, I stopped challenging myself. I now find myself in the sort of cushy job that Shruti Sharma held and I find myself seeking solace in meaningless indulgences like alcohol and television shows.
For a long time, I thought my dream was to be a novelist. But now that I am, I realise that the dream was actually to write the ultimate novel, the one that would reflect that I had finally reached the place where life was supposed to take me. That's definitely not what I wrote. Also, travelling mentally is a poor substitute for physical travel, complete with dust, noise and people. Now, travelling at a level deeper than the mind, that's a different realm altogether.
I don't have much money. And unlike Shruti Sharma, I certainly can borrow none from my parents. But I do want to travel. I want to travel, get out of my shell like I did once before and transform those experiences into words worth reading and cherishing. I want to push my body to its limits by dancing, running, climbing, doing everything that it is humanly capable of, including sex. I want to delve deep into everything that remotely interests me and absorb it into my consciousness - be it music, language or art. I want to spend every waking moment doing something that I enjoy intensely, something that makes me feel alive with every fiber of my being. I want to stop wasting these precious moments away in useless emotions like guilt, jealousy, boredom and regret. I want instead to love, to wonder, to feel the deepest joy and the most lasting peace. I want, to reach the pinnacle of joy so I can finally surrender.