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Have You Found Your Calling Yet ? June 9, 2006

Posted by espritnoir in Random Thoughts....

Lunch hour today found me standing all alone in lunch queue at the canteen. My regular lunch buddies were occupied elsewhere, and it was after a really a long time, that I faced the prospect of having lunch alone. Not that I had a problem eating lunch by myself, in fact, I was hoping that I wouldn’t bump into some colleagues who’d ask me to join them. As those of who know me, or have read my blog long enough will know, I rather prefer to be myself, than be social at times I’d rather not. Anyways, I had some things running in the back of my head for the past few weeks, and I needed some time to sort them out. Lunch was as good a time as any other. So, I stood in the short line to pick up my daily dose of “Diet Lunch”.

As I was just loading up my tray with veggies and soup, I noticed the CMD’s Personal Assistant, an extremely efficient and eternally busy lady (and mostly justifiably so), right in line after me. Talking with her is always a pleasure, and we exchanged a few pleasantries and I moved along looking for a quiet corner in the canteen. Picked up my table, and I sat on my chair, thinking back to the days when I had just joined the company. At one point of time, as a newbie, still wet behind the ears, I was mortally petrified of the woman. And looking back, as strange and funny as it sounds, I realized that what had scared me the most was nothing more than the pace of her voice, a super fast rapid express that seemed to rattle off things that needed to be done, and had to be followed up. Back then, I was so scared that on one of the few occasions that we did interact, I wouldn’t be able to keep pace with what she was saying, and would have to ask her to repeat her point, and that would most definitely get me kicked out off the company, for glaring inefficiency. I dare say, back then, I wasn’t so ever in awe of the company’s CMD, an excellent and amazingly humble human being, as much as I was in awe of her.

However, as I got to know the CMD better, and my respect for him grew, I realized that being PA to one of the most sharpest and finest human beings I have ever met, or will ever meet, is not an easy job at all. It took me months, to realize that the pace of her voice was probably just a reflection of how many things were in her mind, at any given point of time. And to get them all done, they had to be done fast, and hence they had to be spoken fast. And the few times that I did ask her to repeat something I had missed out on, she would just smile, and say it over again. So my job was safe:) And the few times that I’v interacted with her over the years, whenever she needed some document printed in a particular way or was stuck with some website, and asked me for help, I found her ready with a smile, and a helpful comment or tip, and a prompt thank you. And so, over a period of time, she has became one of the few people in office I genuinely like interacting with.

So, even though I had a bit of thinking to do, I was quite glad when she came over and sat down at my table for lunch. The last time I had bumped into her was incidentally, when we had met at lunch in the canteen over a month or so ago. Back then we had been discussing, among other things, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, the movie, and some interesting blogs that she had been reading. Taking a cue from our last conversation, I was telling her about some movies I had seen recently, and she told me about some new interesting blog she had been hooked on to. Casual conversation, when one thing led to another, and suddenly the conversation took a turn, and she asked me “Do you know what you really want to do with your life? What you want in life?”

Truth be told, at this moment in life, I’m not really sure of what I want in life : professionally, personally and even emotionally. But, whenever somebody asks me that question, I have several escapist answers all ready as a comeback. “Money! The rest all follows!” or “Sushmita Sen as a permanent girlfriend”. The quips are endless, to avoid telling the embarassing truth. But for once, I found myself telling her the truth. “I really don’t know, as yet. I know its probably a shameful thing to say that at the age of 27, but I’m still uncertain of what I want, and that’s just the way it is”.

She looked at me, gave me a conspiratorial look, ducked her head slightly toward me, and said, “I must be quite a few years elder to you, but to tell you the truth, I still havn’t able to decide what I want out of life.” And she smiled.

“Well, that just makes the two of us, then. But you know what, I think the fact that we both don’t know what we want, makes us better than the sorry folks who even know they could be looking for something. At least, the knowledge that we don’t know what we want keeps us searching. Better off knowing that you need to find something important to keep you going in life and not being able to find it, rather than going through life not even knowing you could have had something important.”

“That’s a really good way to look at it. I think I’ll keep that in mind”.

And I knew then that I was in good company. If one of the most formidable women I know – to use a clichéd, but apt, term to describe her, “A Woman of Substance” – could admit that, I wasn’t at all off the mark. Reminded me of a line from the Baz Luhrman song “Everybody is Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” –

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Well, here’s hoping that everybody who’s unsure of what they want, but is at least looking for it, find their true calling in life. And, to those unfortunate souls, who have gone ahead and achieved all the success and glory they desire, but are still not sure why they’re not satisfied, all I can say is “Stop being an ostrich! Get your face out of the ground!”

Adios, amigos…



1. silverine - June 15, 2006

Marvellous post..I still dn’t know what I want to do in life. I do envy who have everything chalked out ahead of them..but there is a certain comfort in not having any plans too 🙂

2. EspritNoir - June 16, 2006

@silverine : thanks a lot. you know, i am beginning to think, most of us dont know what we want in life, and are aware of it. It’s just that in the fear of looking stupid or unambitious or small, in front of others, we refuse to publicly admit it. But, whether or not we admit it, the main thing is that this awareness keeps us on the lookout for what’s missing. thats whats important

3. Anonymous - June 24, 2006

Happened to bump into your blog. Really nice one 🙂

4. Ajeya - June 26, 2006

great post! from another lost soul still searching.

but to stray from the post, I wanted to tell you that the best thing about your blog is that it’s honest, unpretentious and umm.. i’m looking for a word… yes, genuine. enjoy coming here. keep going.

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