Why settle when you can unsettle
“You are turning 30. This is the time to settle down and you have quit your well-paying job to do an acting course,” my dad told me trying hard to suppress his frustration. I had just told my parents that I had been doing a method acting course for the last 3 months.
Earlier that year, I had somehow convinced them about my decision to quit my 9 to 5 to pursue an independent path.
But, this additional twist of information came as a shock to them.
I had not technically lied to them. I had told them I was quitting my job to try self-employment. They had asked me why I wanted to stay in Mumbai when I could work from anywhere. I told them that I wanted to do an extra course that required me to stay in the city. They never asked me which course. So, I never told them. Pretty innocent, right? 😀
It was not until after I had finished the course and got the certificate that I told them.
My dad, having read about Bollywood scandals and recent controversies in the newspaper, said, “But why? That line is so dirty and bad we all know that.”
I was a bit disappointed to hear that. I told him that this is more of an experiment. I am not quitting everything to become a struggler actor. I have a better sense than that.
I am fully aware of my responsibilities and my background. I don’t come from a rich family that gives me open freedom to do such experiments. With both my parents retired and no siblings, I need to support them while sustaining my expenses of living in one of the most expensive cities in India.
So, yes I understand that I do not have the luxury of immersing myself in learning the craft of acting while forgetting the reality.
I am taking my independent path of self-employment also seriously. In fact, that occupies 100% of my day-to-day work these days. The truth is even after that course, I have not really done anything in the new field and I am only focusing on my work so I can do the next phase of that course. And I am still open to the idea of letting go of the acting dream if I feel really fulfilled in writing and working for myself.
But, I do not want to let go of it and settle down for the sake of it.
And I mean settling down both in the sense of marriage as well as settling down in terms of what you do or want to do in your career. Sure, if you find a compatible partner or a job where you feel fulfilled, it makes sense to keep working on it.
Settling down for the sake of it is when you do certain things just because society says you must do by a certain age.
This particular idea of settling down sounds like a gimmicky scheme to lull people into a false sense of security and rob them of the richness, that life can offer only if we were more curious and courageous to flow with it with an open heart, instead of trying to control it with external milestones.
Life is passing every second. We are inching toward death every day, every year. Why on earth would you want to settle down?
The river does not settle down when moving toward the ocean. It just flows through the land caressing the stones and flora on its way. It sculpts through valleys and rocks and carves its own pathways of possibility as it moves toward the ultimate destination. If it settles down in one place, the water would stagnate. So, it just unsettles everything that comes its way on its journey toward merging with the ocean.
It is not easy, of course, to unsettle when you have been told to settle throughout your life.
Unsettling also means you would unsettle other people in your life. You will encounter resistance, internally as well as externally. You’d question your sanity. You’d question if it really makes sense. It is part unsettling.
What is important is to follow the voice of your heart and do things that make you come alive with excitement and make you want to flow like a river into the ocean of oneness.
In a world that often pressures us to settle, to conform, and to surrender our dreams at the altar of societal expectations, choose to unsettle. Refuse to let the fear of uncertainty dictate your path and pursue fulfillment and authenticity instead.
Keep an open heart and unwavering determination to flow, explore, and create your own pathways of possibility.
Settling down may offer temporary comfort, but it is unsettling when you can find true liberation and the richness that life abundantly offers.
Until next time,
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