She was just back to meet me for a coffee after an interview. She looked like she really wanted the job. There was this overly excited face expression mixed with a touch of nervousness when she spoke. I knew her for a very long time. I knew that she really wanted the job for some reason. So, I asked her “Looks like the interview you went for was really something you wanted. You seem to be in a very excited mood.” She immediately did a very strange thing. She downplayed it by saying “No, nothing like that.” Yet, I could really see the desire for the job just 10 seconds ago. “Very strange for an Engineer” I thought. Aren’t engineers supposed to be analytical and logical in their thinking?
Well… I guess that’s not true! I judged her and let it go thinking she is beneath me.
2 weeks later
I just had an interview and as usual met her in the evening for coffee. This time she looked at me and said ” You really want this job don’t you?” My expressions and my words did not seem to be aligned even for a second. I knew she knew I was lying. That’s how bad it was before I even started the sentence. I said “Nothing like that. The interview went well and I was just thinking it would be an added bonus if I got this job as well!” Then I changed the subject.
After coffee, while I was walking back home, I thought only a good friend would understand how badly I wanted that job. I have a few good ones, I guess. She was right. I really needed this job. My bank balance was so low that I was afraid if I would be able to pay the next month’s rent. So, why did I just act as if it was no big deal?
I did not know why I did that. More importantly, why am I still thinking about it now? I guess that explains why people call me overthinking. The truth is I was trying to defend her question for some reason.
I guess that’s what she tried to do when she came across the same situation 2 weeks ago. Did I want to lie to my friend who is literally so close that I make excuses to other colleagues to make sure I meet her for my evening coffee run? It doesn’t make any sense…does it? That’s exactly what I was thinking. But, there must be a reason why I did it…right?
The need to rationalize my downplay
Now, I thought about the reason I had for agreeing with it. The obvious reason is that I needed the money. This bothers me more than I wish it did. But I can’t live in this level of comfort without earning the cash. The lack of financial security can really tell you that it is true the theory that once you go higher up the the standard of living chart, it is almost impossible to come down. Your pride goes up first and decides to stay there and never comes down. I was being irrational to go against what I wanted. Strange!
The second thing is I am not ready to say I really want this job because I want to not want to give myself hope. Hope is a bad thing if it doesn’t get results. So, we burn down hope when you see it half a mile away.
Isn’t hope, an opportunity you are witnessing? Isn’t it a vision you are having? Why would you want to burn away all the paths you are making? That seems absurd. If anything at all, if I am true to myself, I should do the reverse of what I am doing? Or atleast calmly accept what my friend was asking. Why did I take it in the wrong context?
Pride’s the culprit!
Is it because I do not want to let go of my pride? Your mind plays tricks with you when you try to let go of pride. It makes you feel a lack of self worth. So, Is it because I will feel unworthy of myself that I am defending my pride? Because if I feel unworthy then a part of my self which is filled with pride will get destroyed and there will be nothing left to show that I am valuable to myself.
I thought I wanted to live life on the edge. Life is not interesting unless you remove any road map to where you are going. This is something I lived by — or at least that’s what I told people close to me! I wanted it to be that way for the thrill. But now, the pride and the thrill don’t seem to be giving me the sense of freedom I thought I would get out of this experience.
So what is freedom to me?
If someone asked me “So, what is freedom according to you?” I would say it is the most important thing human beings need to feel less stressed. It is having the ability to use free will in a way where life flows through you instead of someone sucking blood from your veins. So, this explains why I quit my full time job.
First of all, I hate that I am valued in an hourly term. This makes no sense as I do not put in the same amount of effort at 9 am as I put at 12. At 9am, I take 20 mins off for a coffee break with a colleague to talk about football. At 12am most of my colleagues go for lunch and I get a lot of my work done for the day. So, I think it isn’t fair to consider a per hour valuation. I think they should pay me more for 12 to 1 and less for 9 to 10. Then again it balances out if they pay me an average of the two which I think I was getting at the time. Okay, maybe there was nothing wrong there!
When it comes to quitting, I am no newbie. I have quit Guitar classes, swimming classes, my first job, my second job. In search for happiness and freedom and peace and financial security and many other abstract ideals.
What if I throw all the ideals into a big garbage bag and never take it out. I should just put it under the bed with the rest of the clothes and soccer shoes that I bought years ago and never used. That would be a good place to forget it.
Problem is they come in a subtler less tangible form than other physical goods. I am better at keeping soccer shoes out of my life than ideals. I think it’s the same for most people. Those that think they are intellectuals just because they got something done in their heads which they think others cannot do or they feel others are incapable of doing because you see them fascinated by the tangible world.
Ever thought, they might be thinking it was absurd to be stuck in the head and it might be better to obsessed with all the trends of products and waste time watching reviews instead of being stuck in your head. Isn’t that also freedom by my own definition? True and true.
Solutions… any one?
So, what do I do about it is the final question to reach my answer. The answer is pretty simple. Do what you need to do to keep doing the things you want to do or do more. But, this is again just another thought. One thought can overpower another. How do I make it work? I have systems in place to make me work. Systems like denying myself of freedom of choice so that I stick to doing what I love. If I really love it, why don’t I stick to it? And wasn’t all this about freedom anyways?
I am kind of getting the sense that this is not about freedom at all. There is more to it. Because it is with this freedom that I am letting my thoughts to run too freely and I am encouraging them when it comes inside my head. I should be more disciplined I think. But, that is something that I have tried doing for a long time with good results. I do get worn out. I am not the happiest but yet I know I would achieve better results.
Then, “I want freedom” I say again to the world and to myself. To my head which is my world and myself. or at least that’s what I think of it after messing my head up with stuff that should have never entered in. Can I really or should I really not allow thoughts to enter my head at all or should be more of what I say I want to be?
Instead of thinking about the thought patterns and rationalizing action in your head. Why don’t we simply do the right thing when we are aware of something we were not honest about if we can. Why don’t we try to not be that way the next time.
If it’s because you are superstitious that being honest about something you desperately want people who care will lead to the ideal circumstances not happening? If that’s the case, then there is no point in this discussion. Other’s who grasped it, will do the right thing.