One day, I saw an opening for a content writer volunteer at a non-government organisation (NGO). I applied for it. When I was selected, I was told that my job was not only to write but also to edit and manage a team of writers.
I had met the head of the team, G, about 4 months ago at an event in which the NGO had participated. We just had a short conversation then. And now, he was telling me that he was offering me to head a team.
Same time, another scene:
“Life is a race, if you don’t run fast somebody will trample you and leave you behind,” Virus, the director, told the first-year students in their induction talk. (Movie: 3 Idiots)
A lot of children have grown up getting compared to their friends and cousins. I was one of them. There was an unsaid pressure from the society about doing well in life. I somehow managed to survive it.
But there came a time when I decided to stop, or rather pause in life. While all my friends we continued to run the race, I decided to take a break.
I did not know what I wanted to do in life. The paths that I saw in front of me, I didn’t want to run on them. I didn’t know which one I yearned for. This was after I completed my graduation.
I was a lot frustrated about the pause. What would people say?
When I went to my college to collect my documents, a classmate asked, “What are your plans?” Now that college was done, everybody was asking the same thing. “Nothing. I am just thinking what I should do. Might take a break,” I replied with an anxious tone expecting a negative reaction.
However, what I met with was completely the opposite. “That’s great. You should take a break. Not everybody gets a chance to do this,” N said.
I was taken aback. I just passed a quick smile, knowing that not everybody was like N.
I took up a course for government job’s exams preparation for two reasons. It was hoped that I would crack at least one of it and land in a secured job. I knew it was not something I wanted to do, but I needed to do something to tell people.
At the same time, I signed up for a part-time French language course. Studying this language was long due. I had fallen in love with it during my school days. Not everybody around me was supportive of me taking up the course because there was no use of a foreign language in the future (in terms of my career) and French would divert my mind from the exam prep.
And now, I was being asked to head a team. Weren’t 24 hours in a day already too less? Would I be able to manage it? Was I the right choice? Was this what I wanted to do? What if it was not?
During my childhood, there had been several opportunities that I had let go. But this time, I choose to grab it. It was more of a work from home task so I just kept the news to myself.
It was a ‘break’ in everybody’s eyes but I had already signed up for three things.
A couple of months later, I began to teach the children at the NGO on Sundays. Yes, you can do a lot in 24 hours if you want to. I was going to two classes on five days of the week, one of which was near my place and for the other, I had to travel for three hours. I was teaching on Sunday and rest of the time, I spent writing and editing, planning and managing.
After another 3 months, I decided to quit from the exam prep. I had completed the course and I spent two months at the follow-up classes just to drive myself to study. I spent eight months at the classes yet I decided to quit. Not because I did not have the talent to crack the exams but because after giving it a try, I was surer that it was not my path.
Many people thought that I was stupid as I was travelling for three hours to attend a class of just two hours. But I was loving the French classes. I needed it at that time to break free. Today, I am glad that I did not give it up because it was not going to help me in my career. Yes, I am not making use of French today after three years and I don’t know if it would be of any use in the future but I knew the language was my calling. It helped me live life and made me understand myself better.
I was enjoying my work at the NGO. The shy me had learned to speak up my thoughts. I had become a more confident person. I found out that I could be a good leader. All because G believed in me when I did not believe in myself.
I realised how small my problems were when I compared them with those of the children I taught. I had made my problems appear too big in my mind.
When I was lost, a ‘break’ from life helped me discover myself. It was the best year of my life. I taught me how important it was to breathe.
Guest Author: Saumya Agrawal
Author Blog: Randomness Inked
About the Author: Saumya is a blogger who finds solace in her poetry and strength in her musings. She loves the smell of books and the sound of a scribbling pen. Taking one step at a time, she is on a mission to celebrate life. Know more about her here