Stoa Digest #57: 🤔 I want to be...?
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want..
I was 17 when my 12th-grade Physics Professor asked me what I wanted to do with my life.
This was the first time someone had asked me this question - the question that we all so eagerly look forward to when we are young, dumb and broke.
And for whatever reason, he believed I was this smart, sincere kid who would do “great things” in life.
So when he asked me what I wanted to do with my it, I said - “Umm, maybe pursue Biotechnology and then continue my research in Genetics”
He seemed very pleased with that answer. I think I even earned a bit of his respect.
A month later, after my boards, my neighbour asked me the same question.
This time I said Economics with a minor in Political Science. Her eyes lit up, and she nodded in agreement.
This turned into a game for me, and I enjoyed it immensely.
Keeping their personality type in mind, I tried to anticipate the type of response a person would expect from me. And I would tell them what they wanted to hear. And almost every time, I would see a glint in their eyes or a validating “Hmmm”
A couple of times, I said that I wanted to be a nude model. Those were my favourite reactions.
Maybe they didn’t actually care about what I said. Maybe we were just making conversation or were projecting this idea they had of me. Or perhaps, they were projecting an idea they had of themselves.
Or maybe they actually cared and wanted the best for me. That best being a 2-degree holder, suit-clad, sleep-deprived, coffee (mostly alcohol) guzzling 20 something, who would get paid buckets of money, own a house in Bandra (or at least Goregaon) and have an adequately cute looking kid by 30.
So finally, when my parents asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I said, “I don’t know, and I don’t think I will for a long time”.
At which point my Dad said, “Beta phir toh MBA kar lo. Because I’m not rich enough”.
And Mom hmmm’ed in agreement. Because one thing she taught me well was to always be financially independent.
Sometimes I wonder If I wanted to be all of those things I told strangers.
After 26 years, 4 jobs, 2 career breaks and a Stoa degree later, I still don’t have the answer.
Maybe that’s why I became a Recruiter.
But I know this for a fact. That this confusion is absolute. And honestly, I like that about myself. Perhaps one of the only things I like about myself.
Because sometimes that’s all there is to it. No certainty, no definite answers. To quote the first love of my life, Lorde:
But I can take it from here I'll find my own bravado
I was frightened of every little thing
That I thought was out to get me down
To trip me up and laugh at me
But I learnt not to want
The quiet of the room with no one around to find me out
I want the applause, the approval, the things that make me go
Epiphanies aren’t something I can do. It’s more about slow-burn realisations for me.
To unearth and accept over time that I may or may not be good at something or vice versa.
I’m a slow learner, and I like to take my time with everything. Funnily enough, accepting this about myself took me a while as well.
Reflection, realisation and identification.
- Apoorva, Cohort 05
📣 Announcements 📣
This week we’re hosting Sambhav & Kush, founders of FamPay, for a Fireside Chat with the community to talk about their founder’s journey, building Fintech in India and building products for teens!
🐝 Community Buzz 🐝
Last week’s Kaksha was hosted by Kunal, Ankit & Bhishm. All three represented different facets of working in the data science industry. The session was packed with Q/A and broken-down concepts around Data Sci for us newbies to the domain.
Rishi Krishna’s venture, Symbionic, recently launched its Youtube Channel to give the outside world an insight into the work being done by their team. Symbionic is an Assistive tech company that is building high-tech and affordable bionics for people with missing limbs.
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The Meetup police are asking why people are meeting and not sharing photos 😡
🥳 🎂Birthday Parttaaayy! 🥳 🎂
UPCOMING BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
21st July: Shubham Soni, Dev Jaising, Samarth Gupta
22nd July: Dhananjay Sahoo, Nikil Ravi
23rd July: Saumya Saxena, Omkar Sawant
🥲 Meme Wars 🥲
Its happened. Pranay’s laid the gauntlet down for C6 & C7
Sayonara Dosto 👋
Here’s some Mr.Bean as I’m on a Bean Binge