Who says you can’t turn your life around in your late 20s?
While looking through my Twitter archive, I found an old Tweet from August 2019 that made me super emotional.
If you can feel the pain behind these words, you’d probably understand how stuck and frustrated I’d felt in my old job.
I was working a full-time job and doing a part-time Ph.D. on the side.
I used to work 10-hour days, work out, socialize, and in the remaining time, write something if I wasn’t exhausted enough. I yearned for some freedom and the right headspace to write what I want — something that wasn’t possible in my old job.
Little did I know, in six months, my life was about to change.
I know the 2019-version of Anangsha would be proud of where I am today and how I managed to overcome the insanely high odds stacked against me.
This post is a reflection on the life I’ve led since quitting my job seven months ago, and how following my passion has changed my life. If you’re feeling a little lost in your current job, read on. You might find some inspiration in my words.
The Lie Everyone Tells You
I had to make some super tough choices to become a full-time writer. I gave up a high-paying central government job, much to the doubts and second thoughts of my parents and well-wishers.
Pursuing your passion and following your heart are underrated. So few people do it, that all you’ll face is negativity.
People will tell you all the ways your dream can fail, about how you’ll end up broke and filled with regret.
But no one tells you how amazing your life will be if your dream succeeds. No one mentions how you can literally live the life you always dreamed of — if only you have a little courage.
Do you know why no one tells you the positive side of giving up stability to follow your heart?
Because no one has done it. The people who spread negativity are the ones who project their fears on you.
When they say you can’t do it, they mean they couldn’t do it if they were in your place.
So, stick on, keep fighting, and one day, all your hustle, every second of hard work will start making sense. You have to believe in yourself before that, and plan your finances well so you’re not broke.
It’s not a one-day transition, but one that can take years. And if you’re patient and always willing to learn, no one can stop you.💪
Sometimes, Second Thoughts Are Normal
I still get several notifications from Research Gate and Google Scholar in a month — notifications that someone cited my research in their work, or that someone loved my publication so much, that they recommended it.
You see, had the pandemic-induced lockdown not happened, I’d still be pursuing my Ph.D. at IIT Guwahati, and instead of publishing articles on Medium, I’d probably be publishing loads of research papers in SCI journals.
I gave up academia and that path of career after a lot of thought.
A small part of me still wonders what life might be like had I not given it up. I’d probably be attending conferences, rubbing shoulders with geniuses of civil engineering from all over the world, and solving some real-world problems from the people living in hilly regions in earthquake-prone areas (that’s what my thesis was about).
I would have still been impacting lives — just a lot different from the way I do now.
You wouldn’t get to read my story on LinkedIn. And if you knew me from Quora days and came across my name somewhere in the news, you’d probably think that the girl who used to write now chose to pursue different dreams.
No dream is good or bad. Dreams are just that — dreams.
It’s up to us what we make a reality. In this life, I chose writing. And I’m blazing my trail, living a new adventure each day, working towards impacting thousands of lives a few years down the line.
In another life, I might have chosen research. I might have remained an Assistant Professor at NIT Silchar and I’m damn sure students would have loved me. (Well, hated me too, but loved me mostly).
Which life would have been better?
I don’t know. But I know one thing for sure: no matter what I pick, I would 100% give my best to make the most of that life.
What happens isn’t in my hands, for sure. But how I react to it is. And I’d always respond to whatever challenge I picked with curiosity, not fear. I think that will make all the difference.😊
As Ratan Tata said,
“I don’t believe in taking the right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right,”
Can you relate? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.