The first time I heard the word, I visualized a twenty somebody sitting in a space craft and orbiting the earth wondering where his next stop will be. Okay, I know I am weird. Truth be told I can see myself sitting in that space craft! And I don’t know what my next stop will be.
By definition an Odyssey person is one who switched careers (I did from software engineer to journalist), has no plans of ‘settling down’ (the thought scares me) and has no clear sense of direction. That’s because I want to do a lot of things in the given time frame.
In my ideal world I would be writing, reading, doing photography, traveling, meeting people, learning a new language, learning about different cultures, making documentaries and studying. I manage to do a bit of all but not to my hearts contents. I refuse to be put in a box and be labeled. I hate getting stifled. And I would absolutely detest if I had to do the same thing everyday.
A lot of people would put this as ‘not been focused about career’. My only reply to them is what are their dreams? Did they remain dreams? If their answer is yes then they have wasted their life doing what was expected of them not what they wanted to do. You live this life once. How can you let go of it? How can you go through it with nonchalance or defeat? I think that is the scarier place to be in than not knowing your exact career path.
As the sunscreen song says:
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.
I am not 22, just a bit older than that but that doesn't matter. Why should I be eighty and look back and say I wish I could have done this differently?
Somehow I have never liked straight lines. I could never colour inside the lines. I often asked – why is brinjal purple? Why not green? Who decided this colour should be called purple? Why is A the first letter of the alphabet? Why not C? Who made these rules? Why should I follow them? That should have been an indication of how I would turn out! Back to the point. I hate walking down a regular path. I like the road less travelled.
But to contradict my self, I have never taken giant leaps of faith, that’s just not me. I take small leaps, and I almost always land on my feet. The few times I fell down, I scraped my knees, got up and walked on. I think I will slowly get where I want to be. I have eyes firmly focused on it. I am slowly working on my career and my dreams side-by-side.
And the wise old people who didn’t know which bracket to put me in, now have one called ‘Odyssey Years’. It’s not something they would be happy about. Good Indian girls don’t do ‘these things’. But at least I am living my life as opposed to going through the motions of it.
I am definitely on an odyssey, a journey - called life. And of course I have no idea why I wrote this post!
On a completely different note, I came across this interesting forward at Vrij's blog. Do read it.