Go Follow Your Dreams. Don’t You Mess With Them!

Posted: January 27, 2016

Feeling like a misfit in your current job, career, relationship, situation? Find out what you’d rather do. And then go follow your dreams!

Have you watched ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’? In the movie, when the Israeli young man named Zohan (Adam Sandler) gets frustrated about being the invincible muscle man who can thwart any and everybody with his unmatched strength, he escapes to New York to realize his dream of becoming a hair dresser and make the world ‘silky smooth’! As luck would have it he gets ousted from every uptown salon due to lack of experience. Resignedly, Zohan walks into an electronic shop run by a fellow Israeli, Oori, who is a big fan of Zohan’s invincibility and asks for a job as an assistant.

Oori gives Zohan a moving yet impractical nugget of wisdom, albeit impressive. He refuses to give Zohan a job saying that the ‘electronic shop is a dream killer’. He shows him all the men who had escaped to ‘the land of possibilities’ with their dreamy eyes and all got sucked deep into the confines and reliable comforts of the electronic store. Oori refuses to let the ‘mighty Zohan’ fall into the trap of this confinement, refers him to a down-trodden salon and urges him to take his first real step down his dream valley.

Of course, as one can expect, the movie ends on a happy note where Zohan becomes the most sought after hair dresser in town, unites with his love, receives his parents’ approval and lives a perfect life. The End, Thank you very much!

Of course our lives can’t shape out like that, so perfectly! However, not until recently did I actually decode the reason why what Oori’s says stuck in my head. I am a 27 year old woman in 2016 India, from a middle class family, with averagely ambitious and motivating parents. I had entered the world of corporate slavery five years ago, with a comfortably cozy job, an averagely satisfying pay-check and an averagely satisfied set of parents.

Yes, I was resting in the snugness of a permanently paying and fundamentally misfitting life choice. I had been a comparative literature student, arts enthusiast, wanderer, a worshiper of Platonic and Aristotelian principles, poetry, nature and symphony loving idealist. Yet, for five years I worked at my job, dedicated to my career, trying to build it. Five years my heart (often along with the vocal me) cribbed and nagged.

Every year I would faintly resolve to quit, resume academia, and pursue my ideals of an ideal life. Sprinkled with crazy ideas, sudden escapist plans, drunken resolutions and hung over Monday blues, I created folders and folders of bland, tasteless and meaningless data, delivered coerced training sessions to unwilling employees, managed projects that add credit to the managerial exhibition of usefulness, and dollars to the multimillionaire giants that run IT hubs globally. Never did my supervisors cease to share the feedback that I ‘lack rapport building, interpersonal and PR skills’ a.k.a being a contributing berry of the back scratching, apple-polishing corporate grapevine, from which branch out coveted twigs of favoritism and ‘potential growth’.

Thus we co-existed, me, my moderately cozy pocket, and heavy heart, for five years. Five years of regularly irregular working hours, extended and compounding pressures and deadlines, deletion of personal life and hell of a lot of stress syndromes!

Last week, I received my annual review. A hotchpotch stew of untapped potential to ‘grow’, minimal to none ‘recommendations and good words from stakeholders’ and advice on the old grapevine again; surely it’s not going to grow itself! I walked out, crest fallen and miserable. It took me a day and half to digest my current stand. I regretted, panicked and went numb, cribbed, got enthusiastic and fizzled out again. It took me a vast plethora of emotions, tumbling realizations and troll-like blunt thuds from the authoritarian structure to wake up. And I woke up! I have finally typed out my resignation! Submitted and declared!

I have finally woken up from my damp, meagerly satisfying stupor. I am not looking up a ‘better opportunity’. At the cusp of my twenty-seventh year, I have decided to follow my heart again. I am currently working on admission procedures and planning my further studies in a field (which is what want to call the world) that gives me a willing, free, permanent and mutually conscientious residence. I am about to drown myself in my waters of creativity, free-willed living, productive and soul-satisfying knowledge accumulation. I refuse to face a writer’s block every weekend. I refuse to read e-mails on a holiday. I refuse to deliver corporate etiquette guidelines that feel like pin pricks on an anesthetized hip. I, have decided, to live!

I like to believe that we all have our callings. And now I have come to believe that we sometimes need an Oori to tell us better. To not get sucked into the ‘electronic store’. Our dreams are different, our ‘electronic stores’ are different. But I have come to believe that just like ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’, you don’t mess with your soul’s true calling. Your dreams!

Image source: bird tattoos come to life by Shutterstock.

Non-conformist. Reader. Writer. Lover of music, poetry, colors and all things not-man-made.

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