“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” -Pema Chodron
Two years ago, one fine night, my proclamation for leaving home popped up on my laptop screen in the form of an email having Infosys Joining Letter. I felt consumed with swirls of intense emotions—anxieties, excitement, fear, doubts, insecurities and of course joy, all mixing together in one little body right at that moment. Soon the excitement overpowered and I was all set to leave home, filled with hopes and dreams, seeking something I could not define or put into words. Before leaving, I had the urge to pack everything within sight. Accessories that I would never use, books that I wouldn’t get time to read, stray tokens of times spent with friends so that I would be able to relive them at will. However this odd impulse wasn’t as bad as the reality that I couldn’t actually pack the things that matter the most, because they were intangible. My brother’s voice or the spark in his giggle, my dad’s full of experience advices, my mother’s worried frown when she thinks I am overworked; long, honest conversations with my best friend; the ultimate comfort of my red and white bedroom, warm and familiar.
These past two years at Infosys have transformed me. I landed here so young, so innocent, so lost, yet somehow I gained a sense of self that I never thought I would.
I started my journey from Infosys, Mysore which is one of the best training centers in the world. As soon as I spent my first few hours in that Dreamland, I was assured that I was going to learn a lot more than just technical stuff. To start with, I met a south Indian girl with vibrant smile; she made me forget the pain I was feeling to part from my parents who had just dropped me on the entry gate of campus. She was from Mysore itself but since it was mandatory to stay in campus while undergoing Infosys Training, she had turned up as my roommate. I had come to South India for the first time and staying with her gave me a golden opportunity to know people and culture in the most unique way possible. Soon her family and friends were mine. I met a lot of other people from different states, cultures and languages. It was fun to know how different yet so same we could be.
I found friends who are my treasure for life. They became my family away from family, in health and in sickness, in good grades and in failure reports, in happiness and in weak moments. Those 3 months flew away giving umpteen memories to cherish and as they say all good things come to an end, training ended with the news of my posting to Mangalore. It came as more of a shock to me as I was one of the 18 people out of a batch of 900 who were posted to this remote location that I did not know even existed on Indian map( Being a North Indian and First timer to South India ). To add to the misery, all those 18 people were unknown to me. As my family and friends got to know about this, almost all of them suggested me to resign and go back.
I decided to struggle with my addictions i.e. fear, self-doubt and lack in self-belief. But this decision was not completely mine. Someone made me realize that when we let go of outcomes about how things are “supposed to” unfold, we better allow ourselves to create a life filled with purpose and meaning. Having learnt that and with the support of my family and friends, I moved to Mangalore.
It was not easy. As I was trying to navigate my way with a lot going around in all aspects of life, all the internal barriers kept me stuck in the surfacing inauthentic patterns confronting me. I mourned the part of me that felt like it was dying, while clinging to the hope of a better life. But soon I realized that letting go of the ‘Old Stuff’ makes room for new possibilities. I decided to surrender to the process and open up to the freedom. Freedom from my doubts, fears, guilt and what-ifs. I met the right people in the form of roommates, teammates and friends. They have really helped in making it all a smooth journey.
I like to think that I’ve grown up in the last two years, but I honestly can’t tell you whether or not that’s true. Some days I still find it challenging to shift my thinking, and other days I find it easy. l haven’t figured everything out yet but one thing I am sure of now is that Journey lends meaning to our lives rather than the destination. Being faithful to my path will definitely lead to consequences, for that is the way of the Universe.