All our life, every day, we are conditioned to get up, go around our day, have a routine, keep ourselves occupied. We always have an answer when someone asks ‘so what are you doing now’. We are either studying, working, or both, or travelling, etc.
Twice in my life so far, I have had brief periods of ‘doing nothing’. The first one was imposed upon me whereas second time it was by choice. First was when I was in Infosys, but on bench – for good 6 months. In lay man term, being on bench means you are an employee of the company, but haven’t been allotted a project – or work. It was frustrating because days were just passing by. This was around Aug 2020 to Feb 2021.
The second was during March to May 2022. I resigned from Infosys in November 2021 on account of completing my Masters in Psychology, very much aware that I did not have ANY backup plan work-wise. There was a bigger question looming ‘what if I don’t get another job/internship/placement’. I had no answer to ‘so what are you doing now’. And that is why I call it the ‘doing nothing’ phase.
The striking difference between these two phases is that during the bench period I was extremely unstable – physically and mentally. Owing to the pandemic there was enough confusion, chaos on the outside. But what troubled me more was the instability on the inside. I had no work to do and sometimes every minute felt like a huge burden. This sounds like an ideal situation – getting paid for being at home, doing nothing. But for a 22-year-old who has some ambitions, it was a very difficult time. I had a plethora of questions and wanted a definite answer for each of them, at the same time I was very aware it was not feasible what I was seeking. It was almost a daily conflict with myself.
Fast forward to present day, I am much more comfortable with the uncertainties. The chaos is still very much there as it was back then. But this time there is acceptance within myself and awareness that there will always be some things that are out of one’s control. And nobody has not experienced these kinds of days wherein they feel they are losing it all. But when acceptance comes in, that is when you can make peace out of every situation, and only then you can live your life to the fullest. To compare your successes and failures with others’, to fear making mistakes, will give you only a limited sight of life. Hence one must learn through all experiences of one’s life, live the goods and bad to the fullest, because that is the only way to grow from within.