Quite frankly, much of it sucked!
(Well not entirely, but you'll know what I mean after you've read this post.
For the uninitiated, I quit my corporate job of 7 years last June)
|Somewhere in the Steppes of Mongolia|
With great power comes great responsibility and that's what has happened to me. I finally earned my freedom last year but as always with many good things, it was easier to achieve freedom than holding on to it! During the last few months I learned it requires a lot of self discipline to make freelancing work for you. And as it turns out, the queen of procrastination(me) wasn't ready to change her languorous ways despite the lure of an adventurous future. I won't elaborate on the practicalities of freelance life here, that's for another day but safe to say, it's twice as tough and half as glamorous.
When I was working in a full time corporate job, I used to wake up at 5 in the morning and file stories or pitch ideas before heading to work. I used to hole myself up in my home office over weekends working over ideas, stories and images. I thought if I could do so well with a full time job at hand, I imagined the moment I quit I would pick up new publications to write for and type thousands of words and process Gigabytes of images.
In reality, all I did was watch many of the epic TV series I missed out over the past years where I traveled or slogged to get my foot into travel writing industry. I had resisted the temptation for so long, to watch Game of Thrones or Sherlock even as my Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with spoilers and praises day after day. But in the first few days after I quit where I found myself waking up to days with so set agenda and full of "free" time, all my resolution shattered into pieces. I missed out on pop culture for way too long that I binge-watched series to my heart's content. I watched Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Homeland, House of Cards, Castle and several hundred reruns of F.R.I.E.N.D.S in the last 6 months. I took delightful afternoon naps on cold winter days of Bangalore. I woke up in no hurry, enjoyed several cups of instant coffee(I make horrible coffee btw) and thanked my stars a million times that I have escaped the wretched Bangalore Traffic!
While I don't entirely regret lazing around(after 7 years of corporate life, I think I deserve 6 months of doing nothing), it hurts that I wasn't at least half as productive as I wanted to be. Work and travel wise, it was good. I traveled a lot in the 6 months since I quit (Bhutan, Mongolia, Macao, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Sahyadris, Punjab, Western Ghats). I broke into dream publications and have been writing feature stories for leading magazines but I know I haven't even scratched the surface - of neither my ability nor the stories locked up in my mind. I haven't even started working on Mongolia stories yet or pictures and it's been 4 months since I got back!
I got so comfortable returning to my home in Bangalore that I passed up on many opportunities. Renting a place even after I quit didn't make sense considering I wanted to be a nomad in first place, but this was a new low. I preferred to stay here instead of chasing new adventures. That was the trigger that jolted me out of my slothful stupor, something was definitely going wrong. I found myself waiting for opportunities rather than creating them. And that's when I decided enough is enough. I now need to shake things up a bit and get out of this comfortable shell I've created for myself in Bangalore. I needed to move away from the distractions of lightning quick & unlimited internet. When the internet is so limited in hinterlands where I plan to be, I'm sure I'll be focussed on finishing the work at hand and shutting down the laptop because *slow internet*. It's time to move far out of my comfort zone because we all know where magic happens!
To that end, I am finally moving out of Bangalore - a backpack, a laptop and my camera in tow, I will now be calling the road home! Come February, I will be embarking on this new adventure and I don't know where I'm heading yet. I know this will make me very very uncomfortable but I've collected/sold most stories from the trips that scared the shit out of me. If this decision is making me nervous, it's a good thing. The fear and uncertainty will keep me on my toes and push me to do much more than I am currently doing. And worst case scenario, if I continue to be just as lazy, I might as well be lazy in a place with a view! ;)
My New Year resolution is to be more adventurous, climb more mountains, spend more time outdoors and return to the kind of crazy trips that drew you all to my blog to begin with. 2015 will be year where I'll happily embrace discomfort in return for an epic story.
What's your resolution for 2015?