Is It Time to Stop Bellyaching about the Lack of Being Ambitious?
I am almost 30-years-old, single (for the most part), not very open to mingle, and I love being a total bum on most days. I am a fan of long walks (mostly on busy streets, at odd hours of the day, if not night), I have recently discovered the joys of disconnecting from people and thoughts, and on fuzzy days I romance the idea of not being on a leash. Except that I have responsibilities, so having a source of sustenance is imperative. Also my hyperactive cerebral neurons bore easy, and slump in the worst way possible when not being put to some innovative use. Had it not been for empathy, I would have made for a formidable sociopath. But for now, I keep my high strung demons sated by making interesting professional, and personal life choices.
But honestly, if anyone ever asks me what is it that I 'aim' to do in the long run, I usually give them a perplexed, blank stare, followed by some rhetorical gumbo about career, writing, theatre, yada yada yada before diverting their attention to some stupid shtick: like imitating my mother when she is pissed, to quote an example (God, I adore her!).
Well, as embarrassed as I am to admit it on a public platform (sorry, mom) I completely lack ambition in life, both professionally and personally. The universe has been more than generous every time I have needed help, or every time I have found myself wallowing in a crisis: altering life's course in unfathomable ways. I revel in impulsive choices, I prefer saying yes when I should be saying no, and as much these choices turn around and fart in my face, some actually work out for the best. Also, I am low maintenance, so that helps.
But while I enjoy being a romper, I feel like I have to guard my lack of long term plans like a renegade guarding his/her identity. Mostly because I am either judged as being lazy, or deemed as being a reprobate who lacks filters.
What if lack of ambition has nothing to do with servility, or being unprincipled, or lazy, or whatever it is that makes it taboo to be unambitious? For men and women, alike. What if the whole concept of 'purpose,' which is drilled into our brains under the garb of a 'career,' or 'procreation,' or 'relationships,' or 'education' has nothing to do with growth? Not that I am discounting their importance, but who ordains what is important or unimportant?
Even before we learn to walk, we are told to sprint. We are made to stand in lines, packed up to a school for regimentation. We are made to glorify discipline, but at the same time encouraged to think out of the box. Except that the size of the box, and how far beyond one can digress from it is controlled by the management. They sell us death, gift wrapped to make us believe it is good for us. And if you are lucky to get out of that rut with your freewheeling instincts still intact, after salvaging your ability to see through the futility of constantly trying to outdo everyone in a metaphorical race, you are made to feel guilty for wanting to live life for what it's worth: which does not stop at a salary, numbers, bills, bulges, grudges, age, regimens, bickering, and biometrics.
While I know that social construct is out for my blood and will reign me in, sooner than later, I feel like it is my prerogative to try seeing every day as a clean slate. To hop about on pavements rapt in an aimless sense of happiness for the lack of being controlled, or being in control in that moment. To lose myself to my headphones while they play chaalu Hindi songs in my ears, while passersby stare at me in exasperation as I twirl to a beat while walking to my destination, six kilometers away. To, perhaps, stop at a dhaba run by an erstwhile truck driver in the middle of an uppity market, and have a delicious meal with a blue-haired flake in the afternoon, chit-chatting with the owner on and off while the bill comes to a measly INR 150. To make eye-contact, and smile, at that pretty girl strumming her guitar on a busy street, busking her way to survival, while she expects me to donate some dosh. To rely solely on the humanity of a couple who see me shivering with fear on my way down a daunting hill, and hold out their hand, offering to take me to the safety of the base lest I fall to my death. I will look forward to the overwhelming affection of a Maltese named Selfie, who could not keep his paws off me like he knew me from some other life, even though it was the first time I met him.
I will look forward to looking up at the sky, and the roofs of abandoned houses in uneventful spaces, while running the risk of tripping over a boulder and fracturing my foot. To pay another visit to a man named Punjabi, who lives in and out of a blanket next to a public toilet at the curb of a road that leads to a Gurudwara, and even though he does not know who he is or how he got there, his sketches leave me speechless.
I promise to make the most of whatever time I have left with my idiosyncratic, bashful aimlessness.