Thursday, March 19, 2015

Reset, reboot, reload...relaunch

Reset, reboot, reload, relaunch…every seven years. I began to live this mantra on a day when I was lying in bed, pain wrecking each and every cell of my body and my baby daughter looking up at me, hoping I would play with her. And I was only 27. Was this what was destined to happen to me? Would I ever get to play with her? Would I ever be able to travel with such a weak, chronically aching back? Would I ever be able to dance? Something which I had wanted to do ever since forever? I was in so much pain that I couldn't even cry. I think somewhere between those pains, I made the decision that I had to make a change. 

Today, my mother seems to think that I am a rolling stone who gathers no moss. Another friend calls me up every year on my birthday. And every time he calls to know what new am I doing because every year, I am doing something different. One year, I am a chocolate maker, another year, I am a voice over artiste, yet another year, I am a shop keeper and sometimes I am writing cartoons for television and publishing a book. I am so proud of each and every of these achievements.

Inspite of what my mother thinks, I think it is a good thing. Who wants to be green and mossy when I can be smooth and glossy?

I can clearly remember the day I quit a nine to five job. After working for over ten years, I was tired of the boring job as a website content manager. Nothing I wrote meant much to anyone and no one really understood what I actually did. I was miserable for four years. With each passing month, I would think that my work did not justify the salary I was making. In fact, the last six months, I think I was completely unproductive and it was a wonder when not only did my company not point this out, in fact, a few days before I quit the place, I was promoted to head of the department. In retrospect, I must be doing something right!

My back aches came as a blessing in disguise. I needed complete bed rest and the doctor told me I had to stay at home. This became an excuse for me to quit. Pay rise notwithstanding. That day when I stepped out of the office that one last time, I felt lighter than I ever had in a very long time. 

I'll be lying if I say that everything was peaches and cream. After the first month or so, as soon as I was fit to roam, depression began to take over. I hadn't been very networking savvy and therefore, freelance writing jobs were hard to come by. Taking care of home and hearth 24/7 was not really my scene and therefore before I knew it, I began to lose my nerves. 

At one point I thought this was the end of the road for me. I would be taking care of the kitchen and I wasn't really capable of doing anything else. With such depressing thoughts, the days passed by until one day, again, I realised I needed to do something about it. The real struggle to find myself began after this. As a youngster, I was very lazy and I didn't really bother finding out what I was good at. So I took this time as an opportunity to do just that. 

I've done a lot of things in these past seven years, so writing all of them down will mean writing an entire book.  But what I've learnt, I will like to share with you…based on my experiences, so you don't make the same mistakes that I do. 

Before you #StartANewLife.
1. Make a plan
Any change seems very exciting at first. But u need to know what to do after the excitement has subsided. If it's a new profession, get proper education and guidance for it. If it's a new city, ask around before u shift to it. Live there for a few days as a trial run before U shift bag and baggage. Always make a plan. In fact make two, so you have a backup in case the first one fails. 

2. Don't be afraid of failing. 
Remember, you are at Rock bottom. From there the only place you can go is upwards. Never forget that and your sight will always be high above you. The person who never failed is the person who never tried. 

3. Be willing to change 
No one ever succeeded if they worked within their comfort zone. So if you need to make a few changes, be ready for it. I never believed in working beyond six. But as a freelance writer and business owner, I had to be on my toes all the time. If you aren't good at talking to people, you will have to learn. Marketing skills, sales talk…et al. Be the change you want to be. 

4. Write down what you want. 
If it's on paper, it makes that much more sense. It also helps you make a plan of action as well as a back up plan. 

5. Be optimistic…be patient
Things are not going to change Asap. Everything takes time and you will have to have plenty of patience. Be optimistic, keep monitoring the changes, keep track, of your progress so you can make changes if need be. Celebrate every little milestone, work patiently towards your new life. Sooner or later, it will be exactly as you envisioned. 

Here's wishing you all the very best…from one rolling stone to another. Here's a video you should watch to help you start afresh...

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