It is not a recent incident. It happened more than a month ago. A dear friend from college days asked me,” So, what do you want to do in your life? Where do you want to be in next five years? What car do you plan to buy? What are your plans moving ahead?” I had no answer. I was staring into nothing.
I am a sort of person who thinks about future and who is forward-looking. I like to plan. I like to balance. I like to lead; both people and life. Therefore, my thoughts and subsequent actions are mostly dictated by my zest to lead my life in the direction I want, instead of letting it lead me in the direction it wants. However, it is not easy to separate the causes in life from their effects in life. They so vastly overlap or intermingle with each other that it is difficult to tell whether any of your actions was solely the cause of any event in your life. It is not easy to tell that when and where events/effects morph into causes and causes morph into events/effects, and all without your bidding. Therefore, I am not able to tell how much successful I have been in this endeavour, even though this has been the sole endeavour of my life.
Now, when this friend asked these set of questions, and I had no answer, I wondered whether I have stopped being a planner of future. I was surprised that I had no answer. I was mum for a few seconds, staring into a shunya (nothingness), and then just fumbled,” No idea!”. He had his plan laid out. For until next 5 years, and broad blueprint of next 10 years or so. I was, of course, happy to hear his plans, however, deep inside, I was stunned to find the shunya into which I was staring.
I did wonder. I was sad and disappointed. Where had the zest gone? What had happened to all that spirit which led me to some of the most remarkable experiences of life? Have I slowed down? Have I learnt to live the way life want me to? Have I mellowed? I deliberated over it for long. I still have not been able to define my life for next 5 years. I have not planned at all. I am not feeling the urge to do so at all. I find myself incapable of doing so too. The immediate concerns on my mind these days are- what exercises to do in gym today, what to have for dinner, where to go for reading this book, what book to take up in next 2-3 months, how to work on a particular assignment from work, how to make the office work seamless and hassle-free, how to maintain a work-life balance, how to comply with various deadlines that are integral part of my profession and where to go for a long walk on this weekend, and many such things. I hardly think about my long-term future trajectory, either personal or professional.
I do not know where I want to end up, whether I intend to hop from country to another, from one city to another or I want to settle down in a city that I can call as both-my professional and family home. I really do not know whether I wish to put an end to this peripatetic life in coming years, and settle down in a nice city filled with nice people. I have never faced such circumstances before. The circumstances where I do not know where I am leading my life to. I am sure that life is still not leading me, it’s me who is leading the life. Even though, I have my own doubts on this assertion, I like to think that I am leading my life, even if to some unknown and unexplored destination. I am staring into nothing. It is either too bright or too dark for me to see what lies ahead.
For time being, I have kept plannings of future personal and professional trajectories aside. I am now focussing on nothing. Perhaps, it is good to plan for a day, where you have more control, than to plan for five years or decade or more, where you are unknowingly a second fiddle to circumstances and events around you.