I am a time wasting machine.
For real. I can waste any amount of time and any kind of time, you know, precious and maybe-precious-but-don’t-yet-know-if-it-is-precious. It’s almost as if I own my personal gazette of time wasting pursuits that I inadvertently follow on a daily basis. That’s not it, though. What isn’t cool is the fact that I regret wasting time after wasting time, wasting even more time in the process. And then — I write about wasting time.
I am not the only one. All of us do. It’s fucking normal to ‘waste’ time.
But how do we define wasting time?
Wasting time for me is not finding myself doing something to secure my future. Putting it in simple words, not living the life of my dreams, yet. It does make me anxious, time and again. Doing odd jobs, spending a lot of time binge-watching shows, participating in more recreational activities and doing the daily, mundane chores.
I am like a wanderer. I don’t really know what I’m doing and where I’m headed. So, my mom and dad call me sometimes and say, “Stop wasting your time. Do something.” My friends tell me, “tu apna time waste kyun kar rahi hai? Work harder.”
But really, am I wasting my time?
One has to realise that all of us have to build our own paths and it is never-ever going to look like someone else’s.
When I was 17, I was really really poor so I took a job in a restaurant in New York as a dishwasher, like a really nasty, touristy, seafood place. That might be one of the worst jobs ever like you have to scrub out chowder pots which is disgusting. I remember telling myself that I’m like the greatest dishwasher that ever lived and that to me was like this big opportunity.
Opportunity. He saw an opportunity in dishwashing and embraced it. He goes on to say that he owned it. These are very powerful words. If we try and look at things from his perspective, does it really seem like he felt that he was wasting his time working as a dishwasher? NO! He wasn’t.
He took his work at hand like an opportunity and did a fantastic job of it day after day. Interestingly, this was also the time he started learning a lot about cameras and rest is history.
Your insistence on not wasting time isn’t your fault either.
Since the time we were born, we were taught to have a zero-chill kind-of-a-thought process. Numbers and grades dictated how we lived our lives to a ridiculous extent. (Some of us started attending IIT coaching from class 7. Like whaaaat?)
We were made to forget to live our lives while trying to get somewhere. Indulging in anything that didn’t take us closer to ‘our’ goals was a sin and that left us with hardly any room for self-discovery or individualistic growth. Our parents and society chose our goals for us and we, 16 or 17-year-olds, got trapped in a vicious cycle of expectations and atrocities that followed.
What are we running after, I ask? Why is everyone in such a hurry? To get where exactly?
This life isn’t about destinations. It’s about the journey.
Everything we are doing is leading us somewhere. Every decision that we make is turning us into a person that we want to become. But, one has to stop with the 30 under 30 obsession.
The need of the hour is to realise that everything happens on its own time and pace. It may sound preachy but patience is so important. No amount of efforts are going to make you meet your next business partner, get you an amazing freelance gig, or land you your dream job -before it’s time.
What you must do instead, is chill.
Make time to grow and polish your skills while you work towards your goal. Read a book, watch your show, play your game, go for a walk, meet your friends, and be the best at what you’re doing. Travel! That is all it takes, really. And if hear someone or you telling yourself that, “You are wasting your time!”, please ask them to **** off.
Don’t get me wrong though. I am in no way endorsing slacking, my point is plain and simple.
Challenge yourself at all points but don’t forget to take a breath and observe what’s around you because more often than not, we forget that we are only humans and humans deserve to ‘waste’ a little time here and there.