Editor’s Note: FII’s #MoodOfTheMonth for August, 2021 is Digital Realities. We invite submissions on the many layers of experiences from the virtual world throughout the month. If you’d like to contribute, kindly email your articles to email@example.com
My journey with the internet since the pandemic began has been surreal. I have evolved, both as an individual and a writer. The internet has given me several occasions to expand my learning curve, push my limits, and most importantly, it has assisted me in searching for my once lost spirit.
For the longest time, I have been guilty of pressurising and convincing myself to pursue excellence and happiness in fields that initially looked as if I wanted to be a part of them. For example, the career that I chose for myself at the start of my under graduation did not provide me with a sense of satisfaction and left me feeling dissonant and miserable amidst a pool of people who had very different interests from me.
Loneliness crept in. A false sense of success and importance about what I was doing gripped me. I forced myself to go after things that I thought were monetarily and “socially” more rewarding. I had stopped listening to my inner voice, and after a while, it seemed as if it didn’t exist.
At times, being an extrovert added to my woes. A college trip? Woohoo! Hang out with friends? Oh yes! Retail therapy? Count me in.
I was constantly looking for ways that would help distract me from listening to my conscience, burying it deep inside the recesses of my then suffocating mind. Time flew by. At the end of two years of my college life, I became a stranger to myself.
But then came the lockdown, and everything changed.
It began with the confluence of opportunities and ideas thrown my way in the early days of the 2020 lockdown. New avenues opened up, and I started to build for myself a digital reality, one that would help me sail through the terrible months we were all destined to endure.
I had always wanted to expand my reach as a writer, and this is the first thing I pursued post lockdown. The lockdown gave me ample time to indulge myself in implementing what I truly loved, and slowly but surely, I saw myself grabbing onto every opportunity that came my way in a bid to satiate the desires pent up for years.
I remember the thrill of getting selected as the Editor of my college department magazine, the elation that knew no bounds when I secured a position as a blogger for an NGO, the high I felt on being struck with a series of ideas for my blog on Instagram.
In hindsight, I that if it was not for this deliberate slowing down of things, I might never have been able to achieve any of this. More often than not, most of us spend our entire lives chasing pseudo passions and successes, the ones that don’t even begin to touch the depths of our heart’s chambers.
Stuck in the rut of a mechanical or peer-pressure induced lifecycle, we tend to focus on things that may seem admirable from afar but tend to leave a hollow feeling of nothingness upon achievement. We might get wound up and out of tune with our inner being that we fail to realise what we truly desire to be or become.
Thus, only with time off was I able to shut out the noise and the constant drawls of everyone around me and reconnect internally. The more time I spent with myself tuning in and working on things I truly cherished, the more I felt like I was returning to myself and what I stood for as an individual.
It is a privilege to be able to have found something of value amidst this pandemic that has affected people severely. The internet helped me navigate the uncertainty and find things that made me happy.
It was the slowdown post pandemic coupled with the doors that the internet and the people out there opened for me that came to my rescue. Online platforms have facilitated my words to find homes in places I could never have imagined before. If not for a thriving community of fellow writers and readers who I have had the sheer privilege of finding and collaborating with online, I wouldn’t be here writing this.
I have now found a whole new set of like-minded individuals who share similar passions and interests as me. That, right there, brings with it a sense of belonging and wholesome joy to me like never before.
The internet and its allies have played a crucial role in my quest to re-discovering myself and have provided me with the much-needed confidence and clarity of thought to re-chart my career in a way that would enable me to sustain a sense of personal contentment.
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