Reassessing life

I have been thinking of this for quite some time now.

Taking a full year off. Or at the worst, 6 months! To do things I want to do. Terms and conditions being my own.. at least majorly.

I am unsure as to how feasible and practical it may be… but, the thought has become so predominant that I can no longer sweep it under the carpet.

I have been feeling a strong surge to focus away (vaguely called ennui?) from things that I usually do for just the payday and to do more of things I would love to do.. things like traveling (backpacking, trekking, cycling),  database and ETL design, photography, bird watching, writing a book, developing a new skill, meeting new people,  doing more in life!!

Or maybe freelancing in my own field (of databases, data warehousing, business intelligence, etc).

Now, why in the world would I want to do this?

  • I have been stereotypical until now. I want to figure out what other things I do well in life.
  • I want to experiment and figure out more about myself
  • At times I feel congested trying to accommodate a 10-8 (my usual work hours). (I agree, on a few days, I feel happy I am employed at a pretty good place that pays me decently and has been good to me in last few years)
  • Even if I want to stay in my field of work, I want to move to the next level. Not just by a mere designation.
  • Want to figure out ways of making money, even when I am not working. (as of now, investments are the only ones that do that for me)
  • want to figure out what other marketable / financially viable skills I possess
  • want to see if I can make more money in less time
  • want to pursue a few interests

Don’t get me wrong. I love my field of work. But I feel stagnant. The things I use to love doing have become a tad too repetitive. The enthusiasm has tapered off because its the same old thing I have been doing for a long now. Plus we have directions to follow. Rules to obey. Guidelines to stick to. Best practices to adhere to. Mistakes to avoid. Excuse me… I am lost! All this has only increased the need to experiment!

I need a shot of morphine! I need exciting stuff to work on.

I need to be in a situation where I can learn new things every day, new skills, etc. Where I can make mistakes and yet see my face on the mirror without guilt.

Of course, I am scared. Its only natural. The Indian market is not open to such ideas. A gap in your resume is considered more like a handicap. And freelancing (consulting.. not merely contracting) is not yet popular in India. And the fear of not having a pay is scary. The fear of not getting a ‘good’ job again is scary too.

But I am turning 30 next month.  I don’t want to regret at 60 for NOT having done things I wanted to do.

2011 is what my heart says is a good time to do it.

The dilemma is still there.  If you don’t see another post on the topic, just consider that I conveniently brushed it under the carpet and continued with life…

PS: Of late, have noticed several people with similar thinking. Good or bad… I don’t know.

6 thoughts on “Reassessing life

  1. Once we assuage our conscience by calling something a “necessary evil”, it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil. -Sydney J. Harris, journalist (1917-1986)

  2. Are you experiencing somekind of an early mid life crises? 😉

    Actually there is nothing wrong in feeling this way – I’m 37 and feel the same way. Have been doing (at least at work) the samething I have been for the past 14 years.

    However, (just my take on this) instead of taking a big chunk of time off, concentrate on utilizing the time you have got in doing things you love – I can see that you are already down that path with biking, photography etc – and oh, start working on that book!!.

    If you really feel the need to take time off, then take time off in small chunks – it will give you more satisfaction than taking a large time away from work.

    1. @ Prasanth Nope.. nothing like that I guess.

      But I feel I am underutilized… my utility appears uni-dimensional. I thought I had more to offer. And I want to have a conducive learning environment… of late I find it amiss.

      Also, want to align interests with activity.

      More importantly… need more autonomy! In deciding whats good, whats bad… what to work on and how!

      From a travel perspective (which is a small portion of my interests), I would love to do this…
      1. take 6 months to travel (mostly backpack) all over India
      2. 6 months off to travel across Europe, S.America, N.Zealand, etc

      Small chunks somehow dont work for me. The smallest chunk in my view is at least one month.

      Oh yeah, its not gonna be a sudden thing. I will take my time and decide. And make arrangements for handling the pressure of the change financially and otherwise.

      Let me see how it goes.

  3. Hi,
    I used to work for Satyam and when the crash happened, I went through a time when I believed that I should try alternate methods of earning money etc. I did not succeed hugely for various different reasons, but did learn a lot. Another thing, none of us – me and my friends faced any problems in finding a really good job with a 30-70% hike. Most of us had 2-3 yrs experience. With your experience, I believe that you will be able to execute all that you are planning to.
    Good Luck and keep enriching us with your experiences.

  4. Did I write this? Sounds familiar 🙂 You are right there are quite a few who are on the same boat which includes moi… Guess it has something to do with the creative gene in one which gets curbed and then tries to jump out. Good luck in your new 2011 initiatives.

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