I have been growing my beard for four months now, and I look like a barbarian (the kind you’d expect to see on a Viking longboat!) People have been asking me why. Well, I studied in a school where you had to have a clean shave and a crew cut, went on to study in a college where the rules said the same. I have never had a chance to grow my beard, or my hair, till now. So why the hell not?!
Right from the day you are born, you do things, not just because you want to do them, but because that’s what’s expected from you. You are subject to all kinds of pressure; parental pressure, peer pressure, and what not. Now, what does this do to you? It limits your options. You do not see the larger picture, where your happiness is only about what you feel about yourself. You look at the smaller picture, the immediate target; the happiness of everyone around you. Why is this tunnel vision? Well if YOU are not happy, the people who love you will never be happy.
It is time you took decisions thinking about just how you feel about them. If you choose a career path, do it because it is what you want to do. I did engineering out of curiosity (as crazy as that might sound). But out of my class in college, nearly 75% took engineering because their parents forced them into it. And that 75% found it very hard to clear engineering (many of them didn’t). After engineering, I started working for a publishing firm. Almost everyone asked me “why”. But I am happy with the job, and that’s all that matters.
I love poetry and Robert Frost has influenced me a lot. I guess this one influenced me the most: The Road Not Taken.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.