I know the kind of dilemma you’d been in since last few years with making up your mind up about what you wanted to do in future. We discussed, debated, weighed the pros and cons of every new thought that you voiced in this regard. At the age you are, it is expected that you’re not sure of what exactly you want for yourself and stick by it. Especially, if it has to do with something that would be a permanent part of your future, like your vocation.
You’ve swung between dreams of becoming a physicist, to becoming a game designer, to finally discovering that what you wanted to do is something that is unconventional. I imagined every fantasy of yours while you spoke about it with equal passion. All I want is that you be your own best version, no matter what you do. It is okay to dream, to venture into uncharted waters and dip your toes into it to decide for yourself whether you are cut for it or not. However, it is easy to get lost in a maze of daydreams unless there is a plan in place for fulfilling those dreams. You know better now how important it is after having handled the rush of applications, writing essays and tests that you’ve been appearing for the prospective universities recently. Right now all you have on your mind is one goal, that is getting into the best university of your choice and taking it forward from there.
Having sight of your goals not only streamlines your intentions but also helps in working towards it step by step. Currently you are working on a short-term goal of getting into the university of your choice but soon you will need to set your goals for long-term plans also. These goals could be both personal and professional in nature. In job interviews it is common for prospective employers to ask the candidate where they see themselves after five years. This question actually is aimed to find out how clear the candidate is with what he wants to achieve. A plan for five years is ideal to start with, since most of us have a fair idea on how life would be for the next five years, but well, charting out a plan for beyond those five years will definitely help you in leading a focused life. It is natural that plans do change midway, after all life is unpredictable, however, that should not deter us from planning ahead of time.
I have told you how my career path took so many twists and turns. My dream to become a fashion designer seemed so difficult when my parents did not want to send me away from home to do a specialised course in fashion design in a new city since the colleges in our city did not offer a specialised course in fashion design. I however gave into their wishes and enrolled for what my city had to offer me. Although, I graduated from the one of the best colleges for Fine Arts, I never pursued art beyond some time. Somewhere at the back of my mind I still wanted to be a fashion designer.
Within a few years I did a part-time diploma course in fashion design after I got married. For some years after that I custom designed apparel for select clients as a freelancer. And, when you arrived I gave up on that venture to look after you. However, in the meantime I took up a course in e-multimedia to brush up my skills and within a year I was on my first job with a fashion institute teaching computer aided design to students of fashion and interior design. A year and a half later I had also started teaching Fashion Illustration and Design Concepts to the same students. But destiny had different plans for me. Within a few years I was hired by a well-known luxury retail brand as an Area Visual Merchandiser to manage their team of visual merchandisers for their stores in Mumbai. Since most visual merchandisers come from a fashion background, I ended up heading a team of fashion professionals who had passed out of the same college that I had initially wished to join but could not join coz of my parents’ reservations. And there was no looking back after that for ten years now when I became a Head Visual Merchandiser. It feels fulfilling to know that life has come to a full circle, from the time I aspired to join the fashion college to the time I head a team of graduates from the same college. While I had never jotted down my goals I feel I had somewhere subconsciously decided on achieving those goals, no matter how. I now wish at times that had I jotted down my goals and a clear plan of actions to back them up at the start itself it would probably have saved me a lot of detours in my career.
So, learning from your mother’s experience here, do sit down and make a list of your goals. Include your bucket list as a part of it. Whether it is doing a workshop in cinematography, or it is going on a road trip with your friends, jot them all down. Once you’re done, tick the ones that you are likely to achieve in the next one year. Put a tentative date to the ones you feel might take more time to achieve. Highlight two major goals that need your complete focus even if it is a long-term goal. Tape this list on the mirror in your room or any place which catches your eye often. If you remember, in my letter to you on depression, I had mentioned about creating a list of affirmations. Put these two goals in your list of affirmations and believe them to be already true. Before you know you would already have started working towards those goals. It makes sense to review your goals every few months and make changes if required in accordance to your current circumstances. Every five years try to update your goals as per your life’s phases, and work towards them slowly yet steadily.
By the way, let me remind you of that one goal I have in mind since the time you were a baby. That goal of setting off on a world tour the day you get married just so that I escape the whole hype of the ‘mother-inlaw-daughter-inlaw dynamics!’ Jokes apart, traveling the world is still very much a part of my goals. I don’t know when, but someday I’m sure to tick it off my list. And when I’m back from my trip I hope that everything on the list on your mirror gets ticked off too, giving way for a fresh new list! Amen, to that.