Fri 17 May 2013
I owe much of resoluteness to my mother. I consciously started seeing this qualities that I became proud of and the ones I wanted to emulate when I was in final years of my undergraduate study. It was this time I also became enamored with the armed forces. Crippled by years sorely wasted in textbook-grades focused schooling, I felt the entry barrier to the armed forces was the biggest hurdle. I gave the selection test for this (called SSB) 4 times out of 8 that I was called for and failed to make the cut in all. Though, I met women who I wanted to become not only because they made the cut but because of
why they made the cut.
Much of my family's time was spent in reassuring me that a test does't define my identity or what I am destined to become in life. The test in itself was something I couldn't come to terms with. Prepared or unprepared, like every other formally educated child I have feared exams, tests, report cards with failing grades. But as years have progressed, my parents stopped bothering about the grades, and I started to accept them as my own. Since then, I have enjoyed studying, making notes, and once I get started there's no stopping. That's mainly the reason why I happen to be a great Just-In-Time exam taker, studying only the night before. Not that, that is a practise I advice other people to take up but certainly one must be extremely organised (groundwork, pre-requisities and the likes as we call them) before approaching any work.
One theory a friend put is that 'we loathe this test taking textbook cramming system is because it's irrelevant to our current more advanced knowledge, this paper degree doesn't make our lives. Its like an ingredient that's essential but does absolutely nothing'. I cannot speak from an elite school and course load intensive point of view (he went to that kind of school) because I attended a regional college (though, in retrospect it would've been fairly easy to go to a better university if I had the organizing skills and experiences that I now, own).
Still, I survived, and thrived. Moving out of home, living alone, pursuing college in a new city, fending for myself, getting a job, dropping out of job to continue college. At 24, I've done most of it. My job wasn't just any job. I worked at India's premier agency for internal security (albeit at the lowest rungs). My eyes were everyday open to, and my mind subjected to frivolous office politics, while I kept refuting them and hiding in my shell of righteousness of being true to work
A lot has changed since then, and I am glad many of my fantasies lay broken. I still don't know what I want out of life. I was (and to some extent still am) most upset by the age barrier in competitive exams to powerful places. Somewhere there lays the discord between my reasoning ability and fantasy of a uniform.
Today, I am a FLOSS enthusiast and contributor, taking a dive in everything from documentation to bug triaging to development, and loving it. I don't know what lies ahead. You see, I can't dream a future. I cannot see myself 10 years from now. I do, however, see myself chasing a constant satisfaction from my work. The skills garnered in the process mere side effects.
So, take it from me - learning never ends. I've seen a few ups, a few more downs, and a lot of changes. I see a lot of people hoping to do something they love, but not knowing what or how-to. Instead of waiting to find out, I did everything I had the opportunity to do. Now, I found something I love.