I want what I want by mistake/ I don’t want what I get! – Famous lines from Tagore’s poem Morichika or Mirage. In just two lines the great poet captures the dilemma of life that rings true to most of us. No wonder these lines are so often quoted. For life, in some sense, is a mirage. We yearn, we dream, we are lured by things, by people, by our ambitions. But as we approach our dreams, we often find that what awaits us is not what we want. Not everything in life goes as per our plans. Maybe because life doesn’t follow any rules, it likes to spring surprises on us.
But it takes a while for us to understand life’s plan or lack of it. In our early days, blinded by the arrogance of youth, we feel we can go for what we please. ‘My life, my choices,’ is a term so haughtily used by youngsters. Till we realize that some choices we make, some choices are made for us or thrust upon us, whether we like it or not. But then, when we are met with such situations of getting what we don’t really want, it is for us to decide whether we are going embrace those or continue to grumble and complain about not getting what we want for the rest of our lives.
If I look at my life, for instance, many things, that I now do or write about were not my first choices or not my choices at all. Like most young people I aspired to get out of home and find a great job, and the love of life. I did leave home and found jobs that I enjoyed and met my financial needs. I found love more than once and embraced it each time, but it slipped away. My dream of one true love, with whom I could travel the world and gather new experiences, somehow eluded me, and that did make me miserable.
I blamed life, I cried wallowing in self-pity and complained endlessly. As if life’s been unfair only to me. My travel plans were pushed back because I didn’t have a companion. Then one day I decided to embrace whatever comes my way and make the most of it. Life suddenly looked good despite all the odds, and since then I have been happy, most of the time. It’s not that I don’t want more, it’s not that I don’t strive for more. I still walk into a mirage and am befooled by it; I just deal with the disappointments and heartbreaks better.
On most days, I am alone but not lonely. I am surrounded by loved ones and friends, though they may not be physically close to me all the time. I am happy with my plants, my work, my writing and other hobbies. I love having a drink with me and watching OTT on Friday evenings when I am going out. And traveling alone is so much fun that I discovered when I first hesitantly ventured out on my own. Now my solo travel plans are firmed up. If somebody joins me along the way that’s fine or alone I shall wander the world.
Like they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And I do love lemonade!