Some people go through life without once doubting where they are headed. Glitches don’t deter them; it’s just what they gotta do.
There is a reason Bill Gates dropped out of school. He knew, felt something much deeper guide his gut instinct, something so powerful and strong that although he might not have been aware of it, he was just doing what he had to do.
I had a friend in high school who would always compile CDs for us and force us to listen to them; he would vehemently reproach us for listening to certain bands and would always be the one to deal with playlists at parties. Surprise surprise, he is today a DJ/music critic/writer and I don’t think he ever stopped once to think “what shall I do?”, he just… did, everything just ‘clicked’.
To have that innate ‘click’ is what I have envied of many for the past few years. To have that invisible guiding hand which silently dictates to you what to do. That gut instinct that makes you fierce in all your endeavours and steady in your next step because you know what you want and even when your road might be barred by small failures, disappointments and rejections, you know you simply have to pursue this until you succeed because this is what you’ve gotta do. Others who can’t see as far down the road put their whole world into question, doubt their capacities and re-evaluate themselves at every turn.
I was sitting in Taksim square two years ago and had my most memorable conversation with my two travel friends. We had been walking all day in Istanbul under the golden sun, seen some beautiful sights and been down some dark alleyways before finding the perfect spot to sit and have mint tea. I remember life was all around us; people were yapping happily and throwing themselves backwards laughing and slapping their knees.
At the time, we had just finished our studies: one of us in the arts, another in philosophy, and myself in literature. We hardly had an idea of what we wanted to do with our lives, sitting there in the afternoon shade. The French have a phrase for what we were doing: “refaire le monde” which literally translates as “redoing the world”. None of us knew exactly what we wanted to do although we all knew we had a drive. We felt excited about the life in front of us though unsure of what it would be. We all knew we lived in a world of possibilities yet there was a paradox of choice. We talked about our worries and shared our ideas; we opened up all the possibilities and discussed their limitations; we marched out of our own bodies and looked at our lives in all their meaningfulness.
Here is the conclusion we reached: “On est riche quand même, hélas!” which means “We are rich anyways, alas!” and we ended our thoughts on the note that whatever we do, whatever we become, the three of us are rich inside with emotions, thoughts, intellect and everything that made this conversation be. We have had more luck in our lives than billions of others just from our place of birth and access to meaningful thinking. We are grateful. We are rich. We wrote it down and signed on it.
Today I still look back on that conversation with great emotion because it was such a moment of sharing and understanding. It was a click and it was elating. It was realizing how much we were living life as much as we were projecting it, how much we had going for us amidst all the existential doubt. Always believe in what you have to give.
I have recently experienced another click. Having decided on a radical change in career, I sent out dozens of cover letters and résumés to different companies earlier this week and received a beautifully written email from an editor for a major travel company.
In my cover letter, I speak of my “joie de vivre” and this man began his reply with this line: “Your joie de vivre has piqued my interest!”. His reply, the personality that poured through it and the ensuing conversation altogether profoundly marked me for many reasons.
One was that I admired the formulation of his sentences greatly; they were beautifully worded and made me hungry for his professional company. People see work of famous artists or businessmen and take them up as their idols. Funnily enough, for me it is this unknown editor who has struck a chord in me. The personality pushing through the text simply appealed to me and made me crave him as a mentor. “Teach me, make me you!” was the thought that crossed my mind!
Furthermore, I was simply shown that taking this kind of initiative pays off. The common knowledge that if you sell yourself at the opportune moment you may just be lucky has been proven to me.
This encounter has simply opened my eyes and made me more focused on my direction. For the stated reasons and some other trigger I can’t explain, I just felt happy and want to meet him and talk to him: I want to be an editor.
For some therefore, life is a well sign-posted road. For others, it is the random alleyways that appear abruptly along the way that take you forward. But it is all about the ‘clicks’ that help you make sense of your life and how you are linked with the world. For some they may be self-triggered but for others they appear in the form of people but for all, the elation that ensues – as one feels when seeing the elephant in the room – is priceless.