Yes, just like my daughter, I am growing up too!
All my life, atleast ever since I was old enough to make my own decisions and drive my own life, I never looked back with regret at anything I did. I owned responsibility for every decision and every action I took, believed in it, and loved it. Whether it was my education, my career, my marriage, my friends, my professional life or my first car, I rarely had anyone really supporting my decisions fully - but it never mattered really. I wanted to be the owner of my destiny, and I believed in myself strongly enough to have the conviction to go for my dreams.
But sometimes these days, I have second thoughts. Is my conviction weakening, is my resolve not strong enough, is it just a phase, or is this what they refer to when they say "life teaches you so much"?
Let's take my professional life - I have spent 8.5 years at Persistent - enjoyed being here, learnt a lot, got a lot of responsibilities and respect, and a lot of freedom. Yes, a lot of money too. But am I doing right by hanging around so long? People seem surprised when I tell them that this is my first job - earlier, I used to proudly tell them how it's just a reflection of how good Persistent is. Today, I wonder - do they smirk at me and think I am a fool for not going out there and doing better? I have job offers from some of the best software companies in the world - offering me a 2X hike, a job for my wife, and school admission for my kid! And yet, I am not taking it up - something in me wants to continue working for "my company". For "my team". But does my company and my team care for me to be here? Would anyone miss me at all if I leave?
And friends. All I wanted out of life was to have those 5 people who will cry for me when I die. From 20 to 30, I thought I had met some of those - I put in everything into those friendships. Sometimes at a cost far too much for me (or my family) to accept - but I did. Because I knew I was right. After all, wasn't life about doing something for someone, helping them, making them feel better, being there. But now when I look back, I have begun to ask myself - did they care enough? Did they need you? Did they want you to be there? And the cost - was it worth it after all?
When I look back at the last few years, I realise my biggest failure has been my inability to conform to society's rules of engagement. People hate frankness and forthrightness - they like hypocrites. People hate when you have friends - they love when you have enemies. They hate love, they love hatred. You will so so often see people who bitch behind each other's backs being "best friends" for life - and yet, that one friend who meant so so much to you, who discussed each and every deepest secret with you, one day will turn against you and walk out, sometimes without even offering a reason! Teammates you groomed for months to take over from you one day, will walk out on you telling you how they learnt so much from you, but would rather not work with you any more, because they think it stifles their growth!
I am changing - sometimes, when I look back at life, I wonder what has happened to "me" of the late nineties and early 2000. Something has changed for sure! I ask questions now. To myself. I doubt people's intentions. When I go for a movie with a friend, I tend to want to split 50-50. When I send mail, I wonder who else is going to snoop on it. When I talk to my boss, I tend to carry proof with me.
And as I write this blog, I am beginning to wonder.. who will read this, what will they think, and should I be changing something in here so that I can manipulate my family and friends and colleagues better through this blog?
Damn! I have grown up!