There’s Us – We have regular jobs, deadlines, stress, friends, late nights, parties, brunches, holidays, different jobs, same friends, tighter deadlines, more stress, later nights, bigger parties, fancier brunches, better holidays and so on.
Then, there are the Others. (I’m not referring to the weird Lost freaks or Nicole Kidman’s scary onscreen offspring.) The Others don’t have regular jobs and the resulting accruements. The Others have organic farms. They go trekking every other day to some unheard hamlet in the interiors of Maharashtra. They play the sitar. They play the drums. They learn pottery and write poetry. They devour books that aren’t bestsellers. They learn to cook Spanish food. They learn to read and write Japanese, French and German. They go for weekend road trips on their Royal Enfields. They stay for a few weeks in Turkey. Just for fun. They do volunteer work in Palestine. They work for National Geographic. They travel. A lot. They wander. Endlessly. They’re content. Relatively.
The other day, I met this 29-year-old woman for a story. She had this glow about her. I put it down to good genes and some MAC concealer. As I started interviewing her I realised that it was natural. She is a vegan, which means she doesn’t consume dairy products because of the harm they cause to animals. She eats, breathes, believes and lives organically. She toiled on her own farm for two years. She went to a tiny village in Japan where she lived and baked bread with a local family. She now runs her own organic café. She had something she truly believed in and she looked well… happy. That was the glow. I know its presumptuous of me to claim she’s happy after knowing her in the span of an hour, but you can just tell that about some people.
One of my close friends quit her promising job with a news channel and went to Helsinki to teach Finnish high school kids about global issues. She met people from all over the world and now has friends in Portugal, Columbia, Cameroon, and Belgium. On a cheap Euro rail pass, she backpacked around Nice, Paris, Stockholm, Monaco, Brenham and Amsterdam. After she came back I asked her, “Now what?” She replied: “I don’t know. I’m just excited about heading to Himachal Pradesh for a few days.” And no, she isn’t depending on her parents to support her whimsical lifestyle. She earns and spends her own money.
These are the ‘Others’ I’m talking about. I’m not cribbing about my own life. I’m rather happy myself. But what gets me down is that I know my life by rote. I can’t seem to distinguish one day from the next. Sure, I have fun doing my work, and hanging with my friends and going out and traveling occasionally. I’m a conventional 24-year-old girl with great friends, a good job and a stable life.
I’m part of the ‘Us’. I want to be the ‘Other’.