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A Journey That Changed My Life
Them: So what have you done?
Me: Bachelor’s in Electronic Engineering.
Them: And what do you do?
Me: *a bit hesitantly* I write.
You must be wondering why I hesitate. Well, because I know the next statement. (I don’t predict that, I KNOW that!)
Them: But why? Why do you write when you have such a prestigious degree?
Me: Because I enjoy writing. That’s how I express myself. It gives me freedom. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel real. That’s how I connect with the world. That’s how I satisfy the person within me. I don’t write to just make money. I write to feel assured, to quench that thirst of learning, to vent whatever there’s inside me.
I wish I could say it all to them. But I don’t. Because they’ll never understand. They’ll continue arguing with that smirk on their faces. Don’t think I’ve never tried explaining. I did, honestly. But what comes next just depresses me more. So I quit. I quit explaining. So how do I actually answer their question?
Me: Well, probably because I couldn’t find any engineering job.
Them: Oh, sad. Let me see if I can find you a good job.
Me: *So there’s another addition to the list of the people pitying me*
And that’s the story of my life.
Yes, educationally, I am an engineer, but professionally, I am a writer.
What made me make this transition? Probably nothing. Or may be everything.
I’ve been an avid reader since I remember. It started from those childhood storybooks borrowed from a local library. Then came comics, weekly magazines, novels, autobiographies and what not. When you read a lot, you feel a certain urge to write something, anything.
In an attempt to fulfill this urge, I became the editor of my college magazine. No one told me back then that people feel sorry for you when you work as a professional writer. I would have believed them if they did. That was the time before J. K. Rowling. I am not saying I’m as good as her (no comparison intended), but a single mom made it big with the idea of a book that occurred to her while traveling on a train. She created an entirely new world and proved that good writing can do wonders, not just for the writer him/herself, but for their readers as well.
Anyways, at that time, I thought you need a good (read: proper) degree to do well in this competitive world. I, like many people around me, was of the opinion that you need to be “PROFESSIONAL” to be successful. And professional means a doctor, engineer, teacher, lawyer, or may be a journalist.
And so I graduated from one of the best engineering colleges of the country. I got good grades, good GPA. I got my first job as an engineer. And then it struck me – Am I really an engineer? My friends were, but I wasn’t. I knew the concepts; I could simplify circuits using Kirchhoff’s Laws, Norton’s Theorem or Superposition Theorem, I could design PCBs, I had coding skills, I could apply digital circuit design concepts. But it didn’t intrigue me. It didn’t give me that inner satisfaction that you should have to feel worthwhile.
And then I turned towards the passion that I had left somewhere behind me – writing. I heard it all, “Oh poor her, she couldn’t get any engineering job,” “ she would switch back to engineering as soon as she finds a highly paid job,” “her current organization is paying her well, that’s why she is working as a writer,” “why are you wasting your engineering skills?”, “when will you find an actual job?” (The last one gets the prize!)
But it wasn’t about salary. It wasn’t about not getting any engineering job. It was about me, my passion, my interest, my satisfaction. Engineering made me a better professional, but writing made me a better person. So here I am – still writing after five years of my graduation. And hope to continue doing that for the years to come.
You are what you are. I am a writer and no one can take that away from me.