Lost In Transit - Naman
One guy's story of evolving through life's challenges. But is he truly evolving or just being run of the mill?
It had been three months since he left his previous job. Settling into a new workplace, new role wasn't easy but he rose to the challenge at hand. Naman had started to work longer hours, limited his breaks and also signed in on the weekends. It had to be done, he had to make this work. He had switched 4 companies in a period of less than 2 years, this was much over the ordinary for his rank and industry. Employers wanted to see commitment, stability, none of which were reflected in his career so far. He wouldn't have left the last one hadn't it been for the big debacle. It wasn't my fault he kept telling himself. A large Multi National Company one of the most popular youth channels, a handsome salary, expenses reimbursement, abundant opportunities and to top it all the ever enticing illusion of a glamorous lifestyle. If it was up to him he would have never left. But one small mistake cost him his biggest opportunity so far. He could clearly remember that day. It felt unreal. The news was unexpected and sounded impossible. He couldn't believe what was happening, everything went down so fast. His boss had called him in his cabin first thing in the morning, he assumed it was the usual weekly discussion.
Vishal Mehta, Regional Head of Sales for the channel, was the kind of person who would always have a furious look on his face. Everyone on his staff blamed it on his wife and his marital troubles and his wife blamed it on his stressful, long working hours and his workaholic attitude. But today the expression on his face was not just the usual constipated furious look he carried around, it was one mixed with anger and anxiety, lots of anxiety. One of his key clients had been over charged for a campaign his team was handling, for equipment never booked and expenses never incurred. The promised amount of expenditure had exceeded the budget, but that wasn't the only problem here, there was additional non required equipment added to the client's bill. This was a fatal error one that had no room under his watch. Not only did it reflect badly on the channel's management capabilities but also could have been conceived as a case of serious foul play. Naman entered the office unsuspecting and made a failed attempt at starting the day on a positive note by trying to greet his boss with a joke. The gesture of course went unacknowledged. Still unable to sense Vishal's temper Naman hesitantly produced his weekly report in front of Vishal. Vishal glanced down at the reports and in a moment shifted his gaze back to Naman, this time with an expression of annoyance and disgust. What was to follow was a discussion Naman wouldn't be able to fade away from his memory for many years to come. After knowing what had occurred Naman's reaction was that of total disbelief and shock. He was unable to understand how something like this could have escaped his notice. He tried to think when and how could this have happened and how it went unnoticed so long, but nothing. He tried to explain how this wasn't a matter directly looked into by him and someone in inventories was responsible for this blunder. But all in vain, Vishal had already made his decision, Naman was required to leave by next month.
Naman thought of ways to defend his stance but he realized it was too late, Vishal wasn't the kind to go back on his decisions. As he walked out of Vishal's office, all of a sudden it felt like the world came crashing down on him, again. The same feelings of anxiety and hopelessness rushed to him that had engulfed him each time he was looked upon as a failure by someone. He wanted to stay, he wanted this, this was the path to the realization of his dreams, his ambition. And now in a moment all was lost. Sitting silently on his desk still trying to make sense of what had just happened he couldn't understand what to do next, where to go, whom to call. The feelings just kept on resurfacing, never allowing him a moment of clarity. Remorse, disappointment and above all loss. A temporary paralysis set-in, making him unable to move, unable to think. This feeling wasn't alien to him, it had happened before, he had felt it all before, innumerable times. He had felt it when he flunked 9th grade, when he had to discontinue playing cricket for the state team because of a bad shoulder injury, when he found the love of his life with another man and all the times when he was made fun of by his elder cousins who looked down upon him because he was weaker than them, all the times when his classmates taunted him for being from a small town.
It was all coming back to him. All his failures, all the misfortunes. "It wasn't supposed to happen this way. So much depended on this job", he thought to himself. He simply couldn't overcome the idea that he had lost so much. How could he? he asked himself. How could he let go of so much? Searching for the answer he found himself trapped again, lost in the unending maze with no way out. Another blow of fate he thought to himself. Yet another time life had pushed him down. He wanted to get up, he had to. "Things would ease down, it's just a phase", he told himself. He did what he had been taught to since his childhood. "You are a man", they would say, "Get up and walk". So he did.
Reflecting upon his past Naman knew what he had to do to go on, to survive. He found himself a new job with a competitor, one that didn't attend to his true calling but paid the bills. But he had no choice. Once again he had sorted out things, faced challenges, defeated complexities. But someplace he felt hollow, he felt cheated. Each time he faced a crisis he geared up to fight, to win but each time he came out more coarse as a person. Someone who had to sacrifice a part of his true self in order to appear strong to the outside world. He felt cheated and betrayed. As though being judged at each step of his life, being measured and mocked for his in-capabilities. It's then that he realized what all had he indeed lost...Moving from one phase of his life to another, he had to let go of so much... His ability to be indifferent of other people's opinions about him, his simplistic attitude towards life, his ability to take each thing as it comes and simply smile at the misfortunes, his trust in love and relationships, and most importantly his Faith in Self!
Naman had never truly realised the transformation he had underwent. And today when he thought about it, he found himself wondering, "Was It Really Worth It?" Was he really just going through the motions, becoming stronger with each stone life threw at him? Or was he just becoming numb to all that was around him? Was this experience going to lead to some new found strength or lead to indifference?
Evolution although necessary isn't easy, with each step we take forward we also need to leave something behind.
What's your story of change? Do you really feel what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?
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Do you really feel what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?
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