Saturday 15 February 2014

Pictures in my mind

There are times when I open my blog feeling inspired, but then end up staring blankly at this box because inspiration seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye, or isn't there to begin with because it probably must have been something I imagined.

Frankly, I'm not inspired to write today. I am writing because I feel like I should, and I am hoping I will get some inspiration along the way.

The year has begun on a tedious note, with academics and more academics, and one messed up entrance examination for a Masters degree in IIT (something which I had been looking forward to since the past six months). I know I'm beating myself over it;  I feel regretful and disappointed. I should have worked harder. I should have done this. I should have done that.
And these thoughts run a vicious cycle.

Sometimes, I wonder what is it that attracts to me to this institute. Is it the prestige? Its grand campus? Or the course structure? The crowd? I can picture myself studying there, but does the picture truly hold any meaning? Is it another chunk of my whims and fancies? I would like to say I don't know because it's convenient, but I do know. Let that be a secret.

Three months ago, I indulged in a counselling session with Mum. Yes, she was the counselor, and a good one that too. For those two hours, it wasn't my mother who addressed me. It was a counselor who had a third person perspective regarding my career and interests. We spoke about what worried me the most. I remember talking about dropping Biotechnology as a career option, and instead opt for a media-related field, something along the lines of photojournalism. And then began the tumult of questions.

"Why are you confused?"

"What appeals to you more?"

"What made you think about this?"

"Have you jotted down the pros and cons of both options?"

"How do you picture yourself in each field?

"Do you see yourself enjoying the field you've chosen?"

The first three questions seemed pretty straightforward, but the latter got me thinking. Imagining. Picturing. Maybe, the picture I had in my head wasn't going to be the real thing. I mean, it felt great (it still does) to see myself as a photographer, waltzing with a camera in hand and clicking pictures on-the-go . The flip side being monotony, extensive travelling, low stipends, and lack of creativity on a daily basis, was hard to picture. Not to mention, unpleasant to analyse. And yet the real thing is a mix of both. I just liked the former.

I had a stereotyped image of a career in biotechnology. I think I still do. I'm not too fond of wet labs, and research is something that doesn't appeal to me. On the other hand,  I haven't explored the field, and sticking to the stereotype seems to be a more convenient option.

I find myself asking the same question each day. What is it that I really want? Am I scared of flip sides and cons? Do I expect too much out of everything and everyone? Or do I just prefer seeing those pictures that I want to see?

One reads stories, hears rumors, swallows what the Internet has to say,  absorbs opinions flying around, or probably gets influenced by others, that invariably creates a slideshow of scenes in one's head. What are these scenes? Do they reflect the actual circumstance? Probably not.

Then again imagination always runs wild. It maybe positive. It could be negative. Rationality is something else altogether. And where imagination is, illusion exists. Illusions are unidirectional. Almost dreams.

"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” 
- Edgar Allan Poe 

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