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On My Resignation
Some thoughts I jotted down right after
A few minutes back I typed my resignation and sent it to the concerned persons. This is a life changing event. I do not intend to be hyperbolic but anyone who has been in my position would agree that for an individual such decisions indeed are life altering. What position might that be? It is a position of incomparable emotional chafing and indescribable wrenching of heart in a place where you don’t belong. And this decision alters that. It means I am free. Relatively.
I have been working for past one year and two months in a city which I don’t love and that doesn’t love me back, in a place which is an intellectual black hole, a place that saps me so completely off my spirit that I cringe and lose the color of my skin the moment I enter its gates. But I have been here. I have a habit that I put timelines for situations to improve. And this is strange. The time space abstraction obviously doesn’t care for my approval ratings. But I do it anyway. In this case I had set the timeline to one year. And I participated in a couple of quite novel, may be even farfetched endeavors, and I thought one of them could become a vehicle for my emancipation from a world of drudgery and soul crushing middle class work culture (the last part of the statement might mean a different thing altogether if you are not a denizen of this land of milk and honey called India). None of them has. Because all these escape routes that I devised were clearly manifestations of my pitiful desire to get out of a place and get somewhere: where? I didn't know. My efforts were partial, escapist and desperate . Not that anything is wrong with partial, escapist and desperate efforts. Kafka has written something on this condition:
As if there is a purpose or a remedy somewhere in this agitation.
But agitated I have been. I have thought about this decision day after day. Everyday. I have thought about it so obsessively for such a long time that its weight has become unwieldy. Quite often in past year, I have relied on attempts to distract myself from it with gratuitous help from popular culture citadels — television, movies, songs, videos. Nothing has worked. At least not when I put away my computer and lie back in my bed, my AC cranked to sixteen degrees as I try to go back to sleep. I have such a pronounced consciousness. It hovers. It never leaves me alone: Pontificating, carping, poking, inducing horrible dreams when I am asleep, talking to me even as I stand before a mirror, looking inside my own sunken eyes, as my fuzzy brain sketches a diaspora of scenes from HBO TV series I watched the previous night.
It’s not fine. I know.
And I am done with all that.
Mature people often lend the advice.
Hang in there. Do your things on the sidelines.
I don’t hang out with mature people much. I think there is something wrong with them. Because they always seem to secure the future with the mortgage of present. I am not agreeable with that. I think that hideous, pointless and shitty labor should be saved for the end, if you get to reach there, and if you absolutely must. The present offers possibilities which should lead somewhere anywhere. I have been scared to death with the conscious pulse of an insecure future. So I tried doing things on the sidelines. The truth is when you are exposed to the mediocrity and the stasis of everyday work life, getting through the fucking day becomes a herculean purpose. I don’t know how some people say that they have done it. I couldn't. On many occasion I have been too depressed to even get out of the bed, let alone do something in the free time.
Today, I think I conquered all that.
My true calling is writing. I don’t know if I am any good. But to determine that I have to take this final plunge into an abyss of immeasurable impenetrable depth called future. Now I am not snorting on hope cocaine. That’s not something that I want to indulge in. But I cannot live my life in lease terms either.
My restlessness has been sublimated into a fierce force of inspiration and creativity. Now, that I am free and I have free time in hand, I shall write a novel. One thing that I have dreamed of for quite a long time. It needs to be done. Its just there right in my gut wriggling to come out. So. I am taking a time out of 1 year to do absolutely nothing but write. To be a pirate, to recall the words of the great Steve Jobs.
And I shall not forget in the days to come that here was a night, unlike many other nights before that I didn't regret being awake through.
I hope I remember this. I really do.
PS: Two writers helped me in the process: 1. the ever so irreverent to the conventional life of the modern era the seer and maven— Henry David Thoreau. I have been reading his masterpiece ‘Walden’ lately and I have never been more tantalized by the possibility that life could be different; that it doesn't have to be so miserable.
The other writer is Thomas Ligotti, the modern era horror fiction writer who wrote the book ‘The Conspiracy Against the Human Race’ which assumes the extreme hue of ‘Pessimism’ on the spectrum of ‘Nihilism’. He goes on elucidating in this treatise what a fucking joke life is and how we are just puppets dancing along our invisible strings slave to unfathomable forces of the beyond.
I loved both of them. Given that the two writers and the two books preach two philosophies which couldn't be any more divergent, reading both of them at the same time can give you an aneurysm. But I have tried to reconcile them. I don’t know. I had hell of a time.