“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where …” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
— Alice in Wonderland, LEWIS CARROLL
That about sums up my life. I do not have a purpose, a goal or a direction. All I have is a desire to be my own person, live life on my own terms and to have several stories to tell my grandchildren. So, I spent a long time punishing myself for being 26 and not having ‘found’ myself. I knew there were several things I wanted to do but I had no idea on how to do any of those things. I just had a lot of dreams and no idea where they would take me, if anywhere.
My first instinct is to get back to being a corporate lawyer, working my arse off and earning big bucks. It seems like the easy thing to do. However, I know deep down that that is not what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I also realized that I did not really have a lot of stories to tell my grandchildren. Yeah, if I continued down the corporate lawyer path, they would definitely be able to ‘inherit’ a few Chanel handbags from me but that is not how I want to be remembered. I don’t want to be rich and famous. I just want to be ‘me’ with no chains binding me and free to follow my dreams- swallow the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole is. Above all else, I want to travel the world and understand different cultures; I want to have friends on every continent. I also want to learn- I want to learn French, Spanish and Japanese, and how to abuse in at least 5 other languages. I want to learn belly dancing, how to pair wines with food, how to make delicious crepes and how to mix a mean mojito. I want to learn fire twirling, henna tattooing, how to make flowers out of ceramic and several other arts and skills. I want to learn to be ‘me’.
So, who am I? I have absolutely no idea. Years of conditioning, fear of the unknown, being practical etc. etc. have resulted in a very confused sense of self. My Eureka! moment happened while on the pot (yes, the pot. Hey, Archimedes had his in a bathtub!). I decided to go on a journey of self-discovery- through learning. All this while, I have learnt only that which would enhance my professional skills. Somewhere along the line, I forgot to learn about myself and to learn for the simple pleasure of it. Learning became a chore. Learning had to have an over-arching purpose which would preferably lead to a closet full of Manolo Blahniks (ah, shoes!).
Ergo, I have now decided to spend time learning anything and everything which my heart desires irrespective of how useful the skill may prove to be. Besides, for all I know, I could be broke in Paris one day and earn my passage back home by tattooing henna dragons!
I want to learn from everything and everyone around me. It could be an overheard conversation, an interesting chat with a complete stranger, simply observing another person’s behaviour or more active forms of learning like joining classes, researching, attending lectures, reading etc. I am also determined to find ways and means of being financially independent during this time.
I want to document this experience on this blog because writing will allow me to organise my thoughts and actually record what I have learnt. In addition, a public forum like this allows me to enhance my learning process by inviting discussion and criticism. It also makes me accountable especially since I am still plagued by doubt at least 131 times per day as to whether I should really do this.
And so it begins…