Rat race

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
-Lily Tomlin

I read the above quote way back in my college days and I thought I was not a ‘rat’ because social and academic pressures had no meaning for me back then. Its been more than five years since I graduated as an engineer and today when I look back at my life, both professional and social, I realized that I am a ‘rat’.

I asked myself what changed and how did this happen? The answer is nothing changed and that is how it happened. To be precise, in college I thought wrongly that I was not one of the rats in the great rat race. I thought that just because I did not study as hard as my colleagues or was not as much ‘into’ extra curricular activities that I was not one of them. The fact of the matter is that despite studying less I did make an effort to maintain my grades and I succeeded. Not only succeeded, I must say that I do pretty well for myself and a testament to this fact is that even at the peak of the recession not only did I keep my IT job, I actually even got a raise.

If I am doing OK, why am I unhappy? The truth is that despite my professional career doing ok, I find my personal life to be empty and devoid of meaning. I am constantly at cross roads between what I want to do and what others expect me to do. More often than not I end up doing what is expected and not what I want. And every time I meet these ‘expectations’ I feel no joy no happiness. I am like a rat in a maze who knows a way out of the maze but does not leave the maze because a rat cannot be expected to walk out of a maze!

This has to change and soon.

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