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  • Writer's pictureEphemeral


Sipping coffee while looking over code and listening to a random jazz playlist on YouTube wasn't what I had imagined my workday to look like, as a child. In my head fifteen years ago, I imagined that I'd be a teacher, maybe an astronaut, a scientist, a paleontologist, and an archaeologist, all at once, when I grew up; being propelled into outer space seemed like a rather scary venture and hence the 'maybe'. I thought I could also win the Nobel Prize, or an Oscar, or the Booker Prize; even though I did not really know the technicalities behind being conferred as a winner any of those. Thinking about it now, I realise that I wanted to be a lot. I wanted to be omnipresent, and I wanted my presence to be huge. I wanted to do things and do things and do things till the extents of my existence, and more. The child me didn't realise how much more work goes into really doing things, than in just thinking about doing them. The adult me still struggles with it, and frankly seems a little disgruntled about it too.

My dreams aren't half as colourful as they used to be, and sometimes I am upset about it. Where did the dreamer go? Where has the imagination disappeared? Not that I am unable to imagine; I can still imagine all sort of good and bad things, but the latter is always easier than the former, and it is always better to not indulge in any imagination, than to spiral amid bad thoughts. Occasionally, in a spell of creativity, I see glimpses of what was, vibrant and limitless. But, as upset as it makes me, I know that my dreams and imagination have been checked by reality. Since before I was born, I have been placed on a trajectory, over which I probably have minimal control. I do not know the degree to which I can control it, nor the the means by which I can. The trajectory could be linear or not, and nobody knows what all it could lead to. I do not know then, how much sense it makes to focus on random ambitions, or to refine them, or to have any huge ambitions at all. Having some ambition does help get one's life moving, not necessarily in a particular direction, but in an entropic sense. Could lead to an anticipated outcome, or could lead to something new and perhaps better (empirically, I have usually witnessed optimistic outcomes to making changes in life. It isn't always initially obvious, but often lands like a revelation over the medium run). I definitely, hence, see merit in coming up with goals to meet even if it doesn't make 100% sense. The mental tussle of, 'Is this really what I want to do?' however, is always there, because a part of me still holds on to childhood dreams, and awaits the ultimate reconciliation of my trajectory and my fantasies.

I don't know if a day will come where I catch at least an apparition of the person in my head. Nevertheless, I think I am, for the first time in my life, getting a taste of what contentedness can feel like. The merits of wishful thinking and ambitions and hustling and this and that aside, I don't feel the need to do it to keep occupied or to get somewhere, but, just because.

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