For a few months now, I’ve been contemplating going on a sabbatical. The thought first crept in when I was busy on my previous project and didn’t have the time to breathe. I was cranky, tired and snapped at every given opportunity. Working 12 hours at a stretch for weeks does that to some people. I’m among one of those weak, insipid ones who fall prey to long working hours . It didn’t help that I also have kids and a family to tend to.
Somewhere along the way, it didn’t seem worth the effort. I was putting in all the hours I could. I know I’m good at what I do, yet, I wasn’t happy. Satisfied maybe. Glad to be doing something with my brain. If I were a housewife, I would most likely be found in the corner of my room, cobwebs hanging over my body, hair in dreadlocks, drool over my chin as I chewed my pencil over Sudoku, level Hard. The kids would be forgotten, cooking would be a distant memory and the BF would almost be on his way to becoming one.
But I digress.
I like what I do. Which doesn’t really translate to “I LOVE what I do”. I don’t love it. Period. I don’t like taking work back home (though, there are times when I cannot avoid it). Each evening, as I lock up for the day, I’m glad about leaving. I hold my head high and rush out as fast as I can. I never look back. Its not about the work, I’ll admit. I’m sufficiently engrossed when I’m at it to forget to call the BF for his morning call. I’ve even missed out on calling the Pediatrician regarding some ailment of the twins only because I was busy debugging a script (bad parenting example here). I’m glued to the PC because I’m interested in what I’m doing.
The current project I’m working on is much better than the previous one. I like the easy familiarity with the tools and the platform I’m working on. I like the good vibes I share with the people at the client side. Though I’m busy, I’m not neck-deep in it. I do have time to breathe these days .
Yet, I think I need the break.
I’ve been contemplating a lot on what I really want to do in the long run. Should I continue in IT or should I venture out to doing stuff that I love?? A really long time back, I’d written a post on how I want to start my own boutique. There was a time when every single dress that I wore bore results of my painful contribution to its look. A little thread-work here, a few sequins there, a little mirror-work on one and sometimes, a little painting on the fabrics. There were other times I thought of taking up writing full time (thats a joke really. And like I said, I was just ‘thinking’ about it ) because some people who read me liked what I had written. It was a powerful boost of self-esteem and confidence. It felt good to be appreciated for doing stuff that I loved to do.
When I decided to take a break, I also decided to hunt for other avenues of income, things which didn’t take up as much time as the current one does. I was in a dilemma, because I’m one of those people, the jack-of-all-master-of-none types. There’s a lot I can do, but not good enough to guarantee a regular income! So I thought that maybe I could start writing short stories or articles (only problem being, I suck at social commentaries and my kids HATE my stories )
So imagine my surprise and consternation when I read this article by my favourte movie reviewer, Baradwaj Rangan ( Since 2007, when I first discovered his blog, I swear I haven’t watched a film unless I read his review first. He is GOOD!!) . A snippet from his blog states this :-
“That’s one thing you’re not really prepared for when you begin to “follow you passion,” that one day it will become a job, and the pieces you used to write at your leisure, for fun, for a break from the daily grind, now come with deadlines. No one tells you that, one day, the passion becomes the daily grind.”
This is exactly what I was afraid of all along, just that he presents it in a much better manner.
I have my work on one side and my hobbies on the other. I like writing. But I also like writing at my leisure, when I feel like it or IF I feel like it. I did a short stint for Parentous. Contributed for a month(thats a total of 4 posts) and then suddenly, it seemed too much. Though I had to contribute just once a week, the pressure of coming up with a meaningful post every week seemed too much. I realized I couldn’t do it. That I was uncomfortable sharing my blog-time on someone else’s blog
When I read BR’s blog, it made sense. My insecurities were not my whims. There was someone else who was facing the same issues. Today, when I get bored of my work, I know that I can turn back to sewing a few sequins or weilding that paint brush. I can sit back and read a good book or turn to my blog to spout my feelings. But what happens if I do all these for a living? I’ll probably enjoy doing all this…..but one day, when I’m tired and bored of it all, what do I do? If my comfort hobbies become my work, then what would be my comfort when I feel like getting away from it all? Some would suggest that I would need to build up diversity in my hobbies, learn new skills (you are never to old to learn) but after an age, its not everyone’s cup of tea to chart new paths(you cant teach an old dog new tricks!!) .
I’d applied for leave, hoping that I’ll find my calling in something else and follow it. Probably submit my resignation and follow the dicatats of my heart.
But now, I think I’ll just use the leaves for what they were meant to be…..a break. I’m still not ready to change my track. Sure, my work doesn’t bring me big-time happiness. But it brings in the moolah, which kind of compensates for everything else. Plus, if I ever get bored or need a break, there’s so much more I could turn to, to bring me comfort.
For now, I’ll not give in to the temptation to make my passion my work. I’ll let it be what it is……so that when I want to get away from the grind, it is right there, welcoming me as always!
Please do take a few minutes to read BR’s article (link given above). It is brilliant! Puts a lot of things in perspective.
Do let me know if anyone of you has given up their job to follow their heart….I want to hear your side of the story too