April 26, 2015

A reality check of "ambitions"

Ten years ago... around this time of the year, I was happy and relaxed. Because I was on vacation in the Middle East with my family having just completed my final year of college and was eagerly awaiting (or not!) for my results to see if I had become a graduate successfully. 

I also had 2 coveted job offers in hand (as part of the on-campus recruitments) but that didn’t change my outlook in any way. Stressed as I could be, I just hoped I had cleared the exams with decent marks if not with any flying colors. But everything ended well then as I cleared the exams with the highest marks and started work thereafter in a reputed organization. If you had asked me back then what my ambitions in life were - I would have given you a textbook answer. Because I knew what I wanted. A lifetime of good pay scales, financial independence, comforts of life and what have you.

Fast forward... by 5 years to a point in life, and I was married, still working and enjoying some of the above said life comforts. LP and I had just purchased our home together and life was looking good professionally and personally. A year later we landed in the US with even bigger aspirations and dreams.

I still wanted to continue work, watch my wage increase to a bigger pay, travel a lot and explore new places. Excellent feedback at work meant good news to me and I wished to things to remain and continue just like they were. But that’s when life started falling apart. 

As long as both LP and I worked in India, it meant being at the same office or at least same city and returning home at the end of the day to spend time with each other. After the first year in the US, both hubby and I were posted at different cities and suddenly we ended up like 2 different individuals who had 2 apartments to rent, 2 sets of groceries to buy, 2 sets of bills to pay and incurred an additional airline cost in order to meet each other every few weeks.

This went on for close to 10 months. If someone had asked about my ambitions back then, only one answer would have come to my mind - emotional happiness. Because I wasn’t happy. I would constantly find myself depressed over the fact that nothing in life felt good. Even the fat pay check I was getting seemed inadequate. Coordinating our vacations again meant a lot of stress. 

Cut to 2013... and we decided to snap out of the still-persistent grind. When I sat down to rethink my options at work, the only one that would spring to mind was to quit my still-going-strong first job. That way I wouldn't have to stay away from LP in a different city or pay a second set of unnecessary bills. Add to the situation that we were expecting Baby Girl too and that kind of demanded taking things into our hand.

So yes, my ambitions changed yet again  but not because I made them change but because my life priorities changed. If I had still continued work as per the conditions and restrictions that it imposed on our lives back then, both of us wouldn't have been happy. Or healthy.

Today I am back at work in a totally different profession, earning less (for the moment) than what I used to make earlier. But I am happy. Satisfied. Content that I can juggle multiple things. I can physically be there for my toddler, manage my home and still work without going crazy at the end of the day. With the earlier job this wouldn't have been possible.

Having said all this, would I return to a job, in future, with prospects just like the earlier one ? Why not. If everything fits the bill then it definitely will be on the cards again.

But until then, life is good. :)

What would you do if suddenly, one day, you realize your ambitions have changed? 

**This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.**

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  1. It's all about the timing isn't it? At different times in life we want and need different things. You guys have done so well to stay together, as a lot of other couples would have broke up. Kudos to both of you! xx

  2. I love the honesty and the compassion in your post. Compassion towards yourself is very important, EM. I am glad you made a call that worked out well for everyone involved. Stay happy. Always. Glad to know you :)

  3. Life has a way of stepping in and changing everything. The biggest thing life has taught me thus far is to just roll with it because even the best laid plans almost never come to fruition like we envision. There are always curve balls, disasters, and life altering happenings that step in to change everything. Money can't buy happiness.

  4. Thanks for linking up lovely. I love how you have adapted and know what is most important to happiness. As a couple we have sacrificed earning the big pay checks for more quality family time. It isn't always easy not affording the holidays or fancy things we want, but it has been worth it to be around our children.

  5. It happens to most of us. Life suddenly takes a different route than what we had planned. Being happy and satisfied is the key, rest of it can be worked around. Glad that it finally worked beautifully for you! :)

  6. I never pictured myself staying away from work. I was always a career woman. But it changed when I decided to get married and join my husband in the US.It's been more than 7years now, I miss being a working woman, but I don't regret staying at home. As you said, priorities changed, a lot! :)