Damn, I really want to write something deep, something meaningful… but not quite finding the right things to say or perhaps not the right words. In any case, I have been pulling along, in case you were wondering. Around 6 months back I thought, I am done for. I was thinking of quitting my PhD and just find whichever job I can get. Don’t know how, but I decided to pull through. Surprisingly, I am doing … not great… but okay. Yes, it still bothers me that I am not doing something “fantastic” but I guess this is just one of the lessons I have learnt. Sometimes (I am not sure how long this “sometimes” last :P) when it is not possible to run (or gallop in my case) you just need to trudge along; and hope that things will get better.
But really, I think I am doing much better, than say 6 months back. I was beginning to be a mess. I was dating a girl who turned out to be the absolutely wrong kind of person for me. But at that point I was ready to hold onto just about anything. And so I did hold on… only to end really bitterly. Guess, one can think of this also as a learning experience of life. Anyhow, it’s not like I had a sudden epiphany and brought my life back on track. I am just (barely) controlling the things in my life right now; almost like a tight-rope walk.
And yes, I am (sort of) dating again. Sort of, since we, both of us it seems, don’t want to make it “official” just as yet. She is a really nice person at heart…at least from what I have seen till now. And I do really like her. I have this impression though that I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg. It feels like she is holding a chunk of her personality back. I am guessing she is just playing safe and avoiding risking exposing her soul to a stranger. I guess I’ll just wait!
About work, yes, I am pretty much (still) working by myself. I usually come up with a whole lot of ideas but they end up being technically on the easier side…😦 I have designed an algorithm which is really just a combination of two pretty different algorithms and proving statements about it. Obviously, I am able to use analysis ideas from the original proofs and feel like there isn’t a lot of originality to what I have eventually managed to get done. Trying to make my proofs more complicated now😀
To the stranger who might read this: I know my posts aren’t the most interesting piece of literature out there! In any case, thank you for reading it. Sometimes, I like to put some of the things going on in my head and put it out in the world. Perhaps it might resonate with someone. Perhaps someone is having hard time and reading this might give some ideas… who knows!
Do you like magic? I do. Oh but let me first tell you what does magic mean to me. Well, I think of magic at a slightly abstract level. For me it is something I never thought was possible. No, I am not exactly talking about floating objects here but something more personal. Have you ever felt or seen something completely unbelievable. Or perhaps heard something you thought was not humanly possible?
Ludovico Einaudi’s music evokes that feeling in me. When I listen to him, I know I am witnessing something extraordinary. Perhaps something some people called magic. I have experienced a lot more emotions listening to his music than I have in my life. It is vicarious but still real. When listening to him, I find myself swaying with happiness and sometimes sobbing with overwhelming emotions.
If anyone reading this is feeling down and beaten, I really urge you to listen to this guy. You may find the strength within you, you never thought you had; as I did. (Although, I need to remind myself of it every now and then )
I sometimes ask myself: “Am I a good person? Or am I just pretending to be good? But, wait… What do you mean by good?” Have you ever felt jealous of someone…. and right next moment, were upset that you felt something like this…. coz it is bad? Honestly, I feel jealous a lot. Really! I have never said this to anyone, but I really do. But you know what.. I feel somewhat disappointed in myself when feel it. I pray, often, asking for strength to overcome these “fears”. Really, I do think jealousy is just another form of fear. I am afraid. And I hate that I am. Sometimes my conscience tries to allay my fear by saying “You are just being human”. Sure, that is true, but isn’t it also human to bring about changes in yourself at will. Yes, it won’t be easy…. but shouldn’t we keep trying instead of “giving up” on our human nature? I believe it is these things which make life difficult.
Have you also wondered “Life is difficult!!” I don’t know what other people go through when they think something like this, but for me it’s a particular emotion: I feel sometimes that something I am doing is wrong. It shouldn’t be this way. And, I can’t just look the other way. It is a feeling similar to when as kids one would argue (read fight) with their sibling/s and always wanted to be the one with the last word.
There are things broken within me (like a lot of people around). Difference is, that I know I am broken and it hurts. And I don’t know how to fix myself.
PS: Sharing a beautiful song reflecting my mood while writing this.
Yes, it has been about 6 months since I last updated with a post. But really, its not like a lot was happening in my life. Or may be something was but I just didn’t notice. I sometimes don’t like the person I am. I always wanted to be someone else. I can remember only a few instances where I felt happy about the way I am. I feel like saying my life is difficult but I have seen enough life to know that it could get much worse. I have always tried to control my life… in a very strong way; sometimes too strongly. But honestly, I am way too far from any kind of control right now, and that is driving me nuts. Its just too much for me sometimes. When I argue with myself about the conflicts I have in life, and there are many, I find myself justifying by saying: “This is the way I am. Its fortunately or unfortunately my nature”. But really does this absolve me of my responsibility. We are humans.. we were meant to evolve, change and adapt. I can’t say: “This is the way I am. I can’t help it”. No its just wrong. This is something I am consciously trying to change about myself.
My life is currently full of challenges and opportunities. I am excited. I am also scared sometimes. Its not an easy thing I have chosen for myself. And every now and then, the defeatist in me takes over. This is probably the worst thing about me. I have enough problems already but fighting this demon within is any day the toughest. I don’t know if I am alone who faces these problems. In either case, it makes life difficult; and there is no one, absolutely no one to ask for help.
Focus. Discipline. Perseverance.
Time to switch to intensive mode now. I think I have been in “see the lay of the land” mode. Time to change gears now. I am writing this so that if ever I feel low and uninspired, the me of today can tell something to the me of future.
Remember, what your goal is. Remember, if you try hard enough and persevere, you will find something. I want you to be Dr. Paresh Nakhe one day, and I am ready to do what is necessary. I want to do meaningful research (eventually) and be of use in general. While working on any specific thing, make sure to zoom out every once in a while. More often than not, you will see the bigger picture, the connecting ideas. Don’t be too impatient. Evaluate yourself but don’t use your conclusions as an immediate yardstick to judge yourself. Its not easy but I know you can do it. As I have mentioned before…. follow on the path of “Focus, discipline and perseverance”. You WILL make it.
Make sure to introspect and evaluate yourself often. See where you are heading and where you should put more effort. Right now, I think you should really keep working on the coursera course that you have taken. I just know somehow, that is something you will need down the line. Keep thinking of ideas, even the foolish ones.
Don’t let yourself get distracted from your goal. I am here to do something which I believe will be great. Yes, other things in life are important too, but at this stage of your career you need to know which things to prioritize. Remember to take care of yourself, eat well and do some physical activity. And most importantly, never let go of your dream. Thats the only thing you have….. thats the only thing that matters.
And finally, if you feel sad, think about him:
Have you ever noticed one thing? Most of the time we are living as if in a flow towards something. I did school, then college…. something very routine…. something expected of all of us…. sometime during your bachelors you may feel attracted towards an idea or a course of action. Otherwise, you do just what others are doing… try and get a job and just live with it. Sometimes, you may even feel happy with your job and somewhere down the line, you find your domain and you “settle”. To me it feels as if I went along with the flow (as if of a river) and a few times in my life in just had to give a little push to change over to another current. Sometimes I find this situation desirable. For example, right now there is no current carrying me anywhere…. I will have to “swim” my way out. I don’t even know the direction in which I should swim. Just doing things in good faith. But this situation really makes you look within yourself, makes you think what you are and what you really want to do. And now, I find there is literally a Universe within me. Its all very messy and unclear. The more I try to understand myself, more I am left confused. (This may sound too philosophical but this is indeed my experience). I have always particularly thought about things that are important to me. I have always wanted to be different from the “current”. And now, I am there. I have actually managed to pull myself out of the current, but why am I still not satisfied?
It is said that ignorance is bliss. I have always hated this adage. I have tried to know and understand things around me but I think that is leaving me in despair. I guess, whoever said this adage must have been like me; trying to figure out everything around oneself. Nevertheless, here I am, in the middle of nowhere. I have always believed this is an opportunity to make ones own path. Just trying to do that…. but its not at all easy! I keep reminding myself of the three things that I know will pave the way; Focus. Discipline and Perseverance. Trying very hard to stick to these.
It feels much better to write things you feel. Helps me keep myself sane and my mind uncluttered. Anyhow, onto different things. I was in Greece this past week. Yes, I know it sounds very exotic ( to some extent, I guess it is…) but it was for a conference. I am happy I went for the conference, I was not sure if I wanted to go initially. Lot of interesting things happened…. will be too boring to describe those here though There is this one thing I like about traveling the most: getting to meet new and very different people. Especially in the Hostel in Athens. I like that. While returning, I was thinking about how I should definitely plan to go somewhere often even if it is close by….. I don’t know if that would be possible. But, I will try. For those, who actually, check out / read stuff I write, I’d like to share some of the pics from my recent trip.
Beach in Patras
View from Hotel
View from Conference venue
Port in Patras
I like to believe that there are broadly two kinds of people on this earth. Idealist and realist. I have known for long that I am of the former type and even today this mindset of mine dictates my decisions today. Of course, somewhere within me there does lie a realist and is always finding opportunities to scorn me. He is like: “This is never going to work out. You better take the tried and tested way. All your dreams are childish and come straight out of some cartoon series.” Yes. I find this very disparaging and disappointing some times, but then may be it is true. There have been some cartoon series which have particularly had a major impact on me. I don’t watch them just as source of entertainment and I like to believe that they have taught me a great many things.
When we are young, almost all of us harbor some fantastical idea, may be even something bordering crazy. This one time me and my friends were discussing about constructing a scouter. Now, I don’t expect anyone to know what that is. It is a fictional equipment used in one of my favourite series to detect power level of an opponent. I agree it was crazy but it was fun. But slowly, I drifted towards the more intangible ideas like the “purpose of my life”.
Honestly, just look around. So many of us are tangled in our small and self created complex world. I have always felt that I should do something else. Something, something…. that takes me somewhere. Sorry, I know I am not making any sense now. But, the thing is, 20-30 years down the line, if I look back and ask myself what has been my achievement on this earth, will I find any answer at all. I have no way to know. It is often said that (or was it some movie?) the things you remember the most when you are old are the ones which were most mundane. May be. But I am not ready for mundane yet.
What I find the most exciting but somewhat unsettling thing about life is the notion of uncertainty. Of course, when you start earning and are looking to settle down, it is natural for anyone to want a pretty high degree of certainty. In case of many people, I think they have to settle with that irrespective of whether they desire it or not. In my case, I confess I find it extremely scary sometimes but I think deep down I also enjoy it. Whats the point if you know how your life is going to turn out? I am not a fan of this idea. I want to explore, I want to fight and I want to live.
The Jump Photo Credits: Jaime Richardson