Life is C.R.A.Y. Period.
Flashback four years all the way back to 2013. I hardly had any complaints with my career and was rocking a job that people sort of envied. My salary was decent – enough to provide me with all the small and big necessities I had started to spoil myself with. But my life was sinking into a deep monotony and then something in my body snapped. I knew it was time for a change – to quit my comfort and shake myself out of my success that made me so complacent that for a moment I forgot how to dream. That’s the thing about being content – it stops you from aiming for everything else that you didn’t know you were even capable of. It makes you get used to perfect. But I like life flawed.
I often wonder – what if I hadn’t left then? – Would I have climbed that mountain? Would I have walked that frozen river? Would I have turned to the silence of that retreat? Would I have opened my heart to volunteer for those few in need of education? – If I would have not left then – would I have taken all those risks I am proud of today?
Right there, right then – leaving seemed fine. It seemed like the wisest option of them all. I still remember it was my birthday and I was out there about to launch a Chinese wish lantern. But before I could make it fly – I had to make a wish. It was in that moment I realized I was 25 and I HAD NOTHING TO WISH FOR. I HAD EVERYTHING I NEEDED IN LIFE. Till today, I tag it as the scariest moment of my life. I freaked out within seconds and wanted to run away so fast that no one could find me.Yesterday was my commencement day. Back to 2017 – I am finally a Master of Science, JOURNALISM from The Boston University. During the ceremony, a fellow batch mate took the stage to give the graduation speech. Even though every word he said made sense to me – he said one thing that stayed. “SAFE IDEAS CAN KILL YOU.”
For someone who knows me inside out, this wont come as a surprise. The fact – that I travel every time I want to escape. Every time I want peace. I hate safe. Safe – chokes me. It might not be normal to be this way, but it’s who I am – without any shame or fear.
So for someone who is a blatant escapist – how did this happen? – Staying put and getting that Master’s degree?If this makes any sense to you – I have always been an over achiever. I think too much and I want too much from life as well. I am needy of change. Change that looks hard to achieve and challenges my complacency. Travel once fed this side of me, and then my Masters did.
By 2015 I had taken enough of that travel break. I had lived my idea of ‘nomadic’ and once again I wanted more. Moving to the USA didn’t come easy, but it pushed me to dream once more. Settle – yet unsettle once more. And just like that I started looking for universities that raised the bar, were challenging to crack and asked for too much to deliver. It all seemed like a new brain-game to me and I loved the way that adrenaline rushed inside my body. But all along I was sure of one thing – StreetTrotter writes. And I would never give up on that. I would always be someone who writes.
Since then life has been a roller coaster of emotions. Of knowing and not knowing too much – all at the same time. It has been about new courses, new assignments, new skills, new internships and new techniques. About deliverables that drained me and a fees that was far far far more than affordable. Three jobs, endless hours of studying and commuting back and forth – made me come this far. Its wasn’t pretty – but looking back at all those semesters today makes me happy. Staying put didn’t seem like staying put at all. I might have come across as settled – but deep down I know I didn’t settle.
My master’s in Journalism fed like a parasite on my need of curiosity. My craving for different cultures, and for the endless stories of different people. In a way I traveled far and beyond while I was staying put in Boston and working on my degree. Journalism made me travel to new ideas, new events and new changes everyday – around the globe. Maybe my body was in one place, but my spirit was traveling – just like the traveler in me would always.Today, being hooded is like another place traveled. Another experience earned. Another culture learned and lived. It feels like an ending leading to another adventure. Another unsettling moment – asking me to dream once more. It is time for another plan, another risk and another map. This master’s degree is yet another reminder to take that forever – Leap of faith.
P.S. – “The most rewarding struggles are the ones which have the greatest risk. So risk it.” DON’T YOU SETTLE.