15 Jun Confessions of an old soul
Ever since I was in school I suspected that something was fundamentally strange about me. My questions, my answers and my ideas, I recall, were not usual like others in my class. I would draw expressions of discomfort and disapproval from others. Not because there was anything wrong with me but because I was not like them. They found me different and unfamiliar. Even when I would be in my performer best, I would be seen more with awe than appreciation, like one would witness the spectacle of a shooting star. Whatever was the response of adolescent and adults alike, I was most often than not left feeling not understood and not valued.
I grew up with this feeling and as if to heighten it I saw myself getting naturally inclined towards unconventional approaches and pursuits. At a very young age, perhaps in my early teens, I started dabbling with the occult. Meditation and long spells of deep introspection became a part of my daily routine. I was musically inclined right from my early childhood. However, instead of choosing more contemporary genres, I chose to not only listen but learn, practice and play classical music on an unconventional instrument that was custom designed to my specifications.
Though I was a good student, formal education never attracted me much. Instead, I would read up books on human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and medicine and by the time I was leaving school I saw myself, much to his chagrin, discussing ailments and their cure with my dad, who happened to belong to the pharmaceutical industry. I wanted to be a doctor but my sisters (who are much elder to me) and my mother insisted that, because I was a good student, instead of life sciences I must study mathematics and become an engineer. I disliked mathematics (which became intense as I moved into my under-grad studies) and I definitely did not want to be an engineer – a profession, which according to me, then, was dry and devoid of life.
By the time I left school and joined college, I had decided to ignore most people in the world around me. After all, if they did not understand and value me for who I was (which was the prevalent feeling that I carried) what was the point of paying heed to their guidance and advice. This applied not only to elders but my peers too. It seemed they saw me as an alien and instead of making efforts to make myself understood, I chose to stay aloof. This left me with very few friends. Even the ones who were there were not very close. They were boys with whom I could hang out for some time and just sometime, for very soon I would get bored with what I thought then were inane topics of discussion. Though I haven’t explicitly been told, I strongly suspect they would consider and may be call me as socially challenged. My usual coping mechanism, which I had by then mastered, was to avoid. The few chosen one who I befriended were ones who either had a shared interest in the genre of music I liked or were the ones who appreciated the music I played. Must confess, it is them who showed more interest in initiating and sustaining the friendship than me.
I have always hated competition and proving that I am better than the other. The underlying thought was that being unique how can I compete? How can there be a benchmark to measure uniqueness? As such sports, particularly team, never fascinated me much. I would rather spend that time to play chess (with myself), practice music and unravel the mysteries of numerology and palmistry.
At work I preferred roles where I was my own master and those that needed me to evangelize futuristic offerings for adoption. This came across to me as familiar and I found doing this challenging and fulfilling. I made sure I was not required to compete with anyone and expected my employers to value my contribution and remunerate me equitably, without me having to ask. It was and still is important to find a value match and a deeper purposeful alignment with my workplace but couldn’t really emphasize on this with my employers as they, it seemed, could not really fathom where I was coming from. Looking back, all through my 16 years of being a corporate citizen, I was looking for a space to find my purpose.
Money making never happened with me, despite having earned pretty well all through my career. To me, money has been a necessary evil for me to buy me my citizenship in this world and secure my basic survival. Coming with a strong abundance mentality and an equally strong sense of contentment, I never equated my quality of life and living with money that I had in disposal. I have never believed in investing and possessing. What’s the point of acquiring wealth and building assets that I cannot take back home – my primordial home. It ended up with me not really valuing money for what it was worth and a lot of mindless squandering, as if that was the only thing one could do with something which had little meaning in life.
My relationship with people continued to be distant and aloof. Not that there wasn’t any romance. The nature of it, however, was rather conversational and cerebral. The tried, tested and proven norms of dating wouldn’t apply to me. I would engage in deep and prolonged dialogs to try and spot kindred-ness and only if I could sense it, I would I take things forward. There were times I would be very fast to get into intense and fulfilling relationships to become disillusioned very soon and get out of them as fast. I could not handle mundanity in relationship, which would soon set in due to social pressures. To me, my relationships were and still are meant to transcend all limiting boundaries even at the cost of being estranged by people around.
I have always preferred staying away from crowd, clutter and commotion. I am beginning to feel the need to protect my energy as, with passing time, I am becoming more unified with energy fields around me, allowing conscious and unconscious contamination. This is making me more choosy about people and spaces I will want to visit and begun acutely relying on my sensing rather than logic. After all, people doesn’t matter much. Purpose does.
Today, I realize that there’s nothing that I am doing by design. It’s all happening. With each passing day, I am beginning to realize that the more I uphold my uniqueness (never mind even if it makes me a misfit), the more situations shape around me to make things conducive. Several incarnations of experiencing and knowing forms the body of wisdom that I draw upon. There’s a certain knowing that I do not now care to explain much. Nor desire and crib for things not happening in a certain way.
This world is a familiar place but not my home. I have been here and would continue to be as a traveler for a long time. I miss my home. Sometimes in my yearning I get in touch with a strange feeling of sadness which is not of this world. Hope is what I live by and faith is what keeps me going.
(I read this article - 10 Common Problems Old Souls Experience At Least Once In Their Life - recently. The read answered many of my questions and inspired me write this post.)