Sometimes it is all about setting the right expectations. I understand and even sometimes cherish emotions like disappointment and dejection but I believe that in many cases there is a tinge of anticipation attached to it. Sometimes, people like me even confuse the expectations that they have from themselves. I know it is really sad. But no, I am not going to harp on about how hollow my life feels sometimes but let me talk today about those “different” things that have been going on for past few months.
There is one thing I have believed in for many years. And that is to keep growing, improving, making some addition to your life. This past 8-9 months I have stayed still. Of course, I am not growing right now, but I am moving towards a place where I’ll do that. How I used to fantasize about being a professor one day! That dream could very well come true. After much agitation, torments and arguments with my alter ego, I finally decided that I would go for my PhD. I did brief stint of research during my Masters. It is quite difficult to explain that experience but I have never felt anything like it before. It is indeed true, that the more you read, more you grow, more you realize and appreciate that you don’t know anything. For me it was just about the thrill of pursuing something unknown. I felt like an explorer who is trying to work his way towards the gold. Yes, there were many failed attempts but I believe that I learnt something from each of them. I now realize that I lacked some base ammunition (like some tools and techniques from mathematics) coz I had a tonne of ideas, may be they were not feasible anyways, but I realized that I lacked the tools to work out feasibility of some of my ideas. In any case, it was exciting, it was fun, it was also frustrating at times, but most of the times a sense of satisfaction prevailed. You usually get to talk about “your” idea and “your” work in it. There is so much more ownership ( Oh god, I have started using corporate jargon…. eerie!). That was what pushed me towards this idea of going for my PhD.
There were times when I felt like a stupid child, wanting something I can never have. I remember that for many years I have wanted to do “important” things and be a person who mattered. When I have the perfect opportunity why would I want to look away? Apparently, there were many reasons. Inertia, emotional longing and even money! Yes, these factors are sometimes extremely compelling. It did take some real effort to shrug these off. Right now, I am happy I went past that phase. Its not like I wouldn’t have done well in industry. I know I have enough brains to survive and even grow in an industry, but I realized very soon that my heart is not in my work, which is what probably pushed me towards taking this decision of pursuing my PhD. I know it is going to be tedious journey. I am just hoping it will be enjoyable too.
Anyhow, so I was talking about this absolute new thing in my life. My upcoming PhD. In Germany. I would have never imagined this a couple of years back. I will now be doing things about which till now I have just fantasized but may be never had the courage to follow through. I am doing that now. I do feel a tinge of pride but a barrage of apprehensions. I really want things to work out well there. I mean, not just academics even the social aspects. I have almost always screwed that up.I think I am a really simple guy who is interested in simple things. I just need a few good people around me and that makes me happy. I wonder why I find it so tough. I am guessing that most people don’t think like me. May be they want a bigger and socially more involved groups in which I case I become the “weird” one. Anyhow, I hope I will find someone!