030921 – Morning Pages

This might very well be the last post on Morning Pages till the mid of October. And no, no grand revelations.

7:30. Shelter. Last day here. Phew.

Did not sleep a wink on my last night in Mumbai. No, I was not anxious. I think it’s all the tea I am having at Starbucks. Plus I have been thinking about life, work, success, achievement, contribution, health. And how despite all the wisdom I may have, why and how I remain a failure. And about friendship, relationships, romantic partners. And why I am unable to maintain these. And the thoughts of moving away and looking forward to the road. And how I like to drift and refuse to call one place, one person, one thing home.

So, I leave late in the night. And then I dont know when I would be back to Bom.

This is for the first time in years that I would not have an address in Mumbai. I can use VGs or SJ2s place as an address if I have to, but they are not mine really. Their homes, houses are theirs. And that means I am borrowing from them. And enough of borrowing. I am going to have to borrow to fund the short film I was recently a part of. I will have to borrow again to fund my team’s salary. No, I dont want to cut the losses. To me, people are important, even if I am unimportant to them. I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t really trust others. For all the talk that I may indulge in about being reliable and trustworthy and being there and all that, it’s impossible to have that going with others. Except maybe with your parents. Every other relationship is a transaction. #famousLastWords 😀

Ok. I am ranting. Deep breath.

Moving on and coming back to borrowing things, I think what I need to learn and internalize is that most of our lives are essentially the time that we’ve borrowed from destiny. The debt collector can come calling anytime, unannounced and you have to give in. And while we wait for the Yamdoot to come in, it’s what we do in this borrowed time that defines who we are. And no, nothing I’ve done seems to have defined me. As Naval says, once you die, you would be forgotten by the third generation. Which is a very very useful concept to internalize. I know about it subconsciously. I try to live each day with the assumption that we are all ephemeral. And I try to keep my emotions at bay. But then, I am human. I falter. And I make lapses in judgment. So that.

Oh, I have a very very sore throat. I dont know why or how. I did not really drink anything cold. I was more or less indoors. I dont know what’s caused it but I need to be careful. Just 15 days to go and I can’t afford to fall sick. I mean, for starters, I haven’t been training. Then, I dont know how to wear shoes. And then there’s a load on my shoulders as I would walk in the mountains. Not to forget my nasal polyp. And the damn hernia. And the persistent back pain. Lol. I sound like a rickety old man that does one thing and one thing only – complain about old age!

In fact, funnily last night only I sort of made a bet with AS about getting abs. She mentioned that she’s gunning for 2-3 by December. Not that she’s not fabulous already but she still wants to go beyond and aim for a better state. So, I am so inspired by her resolution that at a whim I promised her that I would also try and get them abs. At least 2. Right now, I am 38. And to be able to get to abs, I need to be 32 or something, I think. Probably as tough as climbing Everest but I will try. September has been good. While I am not walking per se, I have been able to manage OMAD for three days now. Let’s see if I can manage other things. So that.

I guess this is about it for the day. Funny how history repeats itself. The last time I left Mumbai, I was on a train. Just like this time. Though, last time, I was going away from sgMS. I dont remember if she had come to drop me but I do know, with the advantage of hindsight that I should’ve stayed back with her.

But then, this time, there’s no one to say goodbye to. Or the regret of walking away from someone. There have been relationships that I value but I think those are past their expiry date, their borrowed time. Apart from maybe, M. But then my love for her is probably as lopsided as they get. She wouldn’t even realize that I am no longer around. If the world forgets you after 3 generations, I think children forget you in 3 minutes and move on.

And as I move on from Mumbai, let’s see where I land and when I am back. If I am back. Let’s see what destiny has in store for me and where I end up. I need to sort of relook at how I’ve lived my life and the failures that I have piled up. Without learning from my mistakes. And I’ve continued to, repeat those 🙁

Let’s see what I come back with once I am back. With this, over and out. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 176
  • #noCoffee – 20
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1201
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2 +1 (ease of shifting)
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 266
  • NOFAP – 2. Starting this counter today. Let’s see how long can I go.

PS: This may very well be my last morning pages post till the mid of October. You would know if you dont see a post by 11 AM tomorrow. If this is the last post, this would be the 267th day on the trot when I wrote an average of 1000 words each day. Incredible job, Mr. Garg!

Also, streaks are an important part of my life now. I will keep em going here.

300121 – Morning Pages

I talk about some large decision I am hoping to make with life and all in the next few days. Long rant. Read at peril.

7:02

I’ve been up for a bit. Have a lot on my mind. Have a lot to do as well. Lemme start writing and see where we go.

So, yesterday was big. I took another debt. To make ends meet. To pay a handful of young people that work with me. To keep the lights on at those projects that I hope someday would become large beacons of great work. And on the other side, one of those projects is putting three startups in front of an investor, for a shot at investments. Ironical? Nah. By design? Nah. Poetic? Yes, I guess.

I mean here I am. Taking a loan to run those pieces and using those as vehicles to make others rich, famous, and better known. All in hopes that someday they would be big enough that they would start paying me back. You know, delayed gratification. The Marshmallow Experiment. Hoping to let go of the fun and comfort and joy of today. To hopefully enjoy it tomorrow. What if there’s no tomorrow? Damn!

Anyhow. So the large decision is that if I am forced to take another loan at the end of Feb, I would give up on this staying independent thingy and warp up everything that I am personally working on and take the first Naukri that comes my way, even if it pays me shit. As a vocal advocate of self-employment and not letting someone else command your time, I will bite the dist and stop advocating independence. I will stop virtue signaling. I will relook at the way I live life and the pseudo-krantikaari thoughts that I have. I poker parlance, I’d fold.

Talking of kranti, I am a tad more well-read about the farmer’s protest now. I spend a large part of yesterday reading about it. Of course, I read opinion pieces and perspectives of people from both sides – farmers and government. And I am now leaning towards the farmers. No, I am not saying that the new farm laws need to be repelled (I am still reading about those laws) but I have come to a conclusion that the way the government is handling the issue? That is not right.

I saw this video where Yogendra Yadav is literally in tears as he talks about how the movement was derailed. And I sympathize with him. He and other farmer leaders have called for a one-day fast and I support them. In solidarity, I will keep a fast as well.

Of course, this is a symbolic gesture and amounts to nothing. Armchair activism. Tokenism. But that’s the least I can do. And since I had this huge-ass Vegetarian Thali at 11:30 last night, I will fast both today and tomorrow. Penance. For my unawareness of the issue. Let’s see if I hold up.

I also saw this video yesterday, thanks to Parijat. The comedian, Punit Punia talks about how the middle-class is anything but that. There’s a part of about 30 seconds that leaves you dumb-founded and sucks the air out of your gut. Do see it. It’s just sickening the way we are.

Here it is. Do NOT miss it. Please. Lemme know how you feel after you’ve seen it.

I also had this longish chat with SG2 yesterday about life and all that. She asked me if I’ve seen my confidence go down in the last 2 or so years. I had to think hard and I don’t know the answer. I feel as if my confidence levels have remained the same but my self-image has probably taken a dent. Lemme explain (this is exactly how I explained to her :D).

So even though I am staring down a barrel, I am fairly confident that I will get acche din at some point in time in life. You know, this too shall pass. This means I will have all that I seek – impact, wealth, access, etc. At some point. SG2 dismissed this as optimism. I think this is confidence in my abilities to get things done and open doors and create opportunities etc. She doesn’t agree.

However, I know that I am no longer confident about myself. You know, self-image. That I think has taken a hit. A large one. Like this…

BOOM!

What do I mean by this? Simple.

I feel know that I have spent 40 years here and I have yet to do anything that will make people take a note. Fuck people. I’d not take a note of what I’ve done. If I walked upto myself and talked about all that I’ve done, I’d shoo myself away. Like you ignore those unwanted creatures that sort of hold you from doing things that you want to be doing.

I need validation. From myself. From sgMS (am surprised that I thought of her, more on this later). From the world. In terms that they understand (thanks SG2 for helping me articulate). Here are the terms for the three cohorts that I spoke about…

  • The world believes that you are great if you have a fancy house, luxury car, 2 kids, and a 7-figure salary. If you have some awards and accolades, the world gives you more credit, more validation, more respect.
  • sgMS evaluated the worth of a person from some internal metric that I have not been able to figure to date.
  • For me, I’d be happy if I see the impact of my work (it’s zilch right now) and the doors that my work, my brand, my reputation opens for me. Right now, them doors shut on my face!

I have none of these three right now. The most important is validation from self (the kinds that helps you with your self-image). And I lack that. In its absence, I could rely on signals that I could project at others about me having arrived. Even that is missing. I know so many people that are crappy, average Joes (and Janes) that are able to get by purely because they have fat salaries, lofty designations, and all those things that the world uses to validate your existence.

Lemme get back to sgMS. So she and I were sort of together long long ago. We’ve since then drifted and are great friends. She is still the keeper of my moral compass. If I need to make a decision that would border on ethics and all that, I would go to either Vanita, Hemant, or her. She continues to be that important.

I think my self-images issues go back to sgMS. Really. I have never admitted this ever in my life. But she was one of those hyper-critical people with super-strong perspectives and opinions and misguided views on people, things, heroes, and all that. At the time, I was blind in love and did not realize but now that I can think a tad better, I know that being with her sort of dented the way I thought about things. Of course, all the ambition I have was probably fuelled by spending time with her. If not for her, I would be more content. I got the push to do more because she saw that I was capable and she was like Terence Fletcher (of Whiplash fame) and she would not settle for anything ordinary.

I can trackback even more and go to a time when I was growing up in a lower-middle-class part of Delhi. Because the ‘nurture’ I was getting was sort of ‘limiting’, I think I was programmed to believe that the good things are not for me. See the Punit Pania clip above. When I had to go to a 5-star hotel for the first time by myself (I think in 2007 and I was 25) for an interview, I had to prepare myself mentally and I had to check if people like me were even allowed in there! May be this dented my self-image issues.

Ok, I digressed a lot. Good thing is that no one is reading. The point anyhow was that I think my self-image has taken a hit. And I need to find a way out.

The last thing I was to put on paper, in continuation with this topic is the thing about being eccentric and a fool. For some reason, in my head, I attribute this to SRK, though I can’t find the source.

So, he says if you have perspectives, ideas, thoughts, and actions that are counter-intuitive to people, are opposite to commonly held beliefs, people would take note.

And if you are poor, you are insignificant, you haven’t “achieved” anything, they would call you a fool for your ideas. Even, a mad man. An outcast. An anomaly. However, if you are “successful”, rich et al, they would call you eccentric!

The road from a fool to an eccentric needs you to have a fancy Rolls Tesla to drive on top of. Till you get one, stay shut. #note2self, Mr. Garg. If you want to tweet like Elon and impact the BTC price just by changing your bio, you need to be Elon in the first place. Or you can keep changing bio for the rest of your life and probably get banned from twitter.

Chalo. Over and out.

Oh, no time for freewriting today. Missed it the second time in recent days. Must not do it tomorrow. Or may be I will only write #book2 on the morning pages? Let’s see.