Reason's what YOU want!!!
A longer pit stop on a deserted rest area, a little snug with the two comforters I brought from home and a blaring alarm, was all it took for me to dash to the summit, where a beautiful peek of the sun behind the giants was cherished. A repeated thunderbolt stunt with the manual on the 25 mph curvy roads, and a smooth drive through the leafless forest made the day just perfect.
Believe me or not, the above two narrations is what I’ve been planning to do (planning started 2 months ago) in the Great Smokies on the 29th and 30th of November. This definitely (with 100% self acceptance), is the craziest idea one can think of for ones birthday. But the perspectives are always different from one person to the other. For me, this was THAT one day, when I can actually do what I wished for, without any commitments or knots. The plan was perfect. I’d asked well in advance, for my car from my brother, and requested him to take an off for the day, so that I can leave Thursday night and return early Saturday morning. With absolutely zero force, I’ve made him decide to take the bus, since he couldn’t get an off for both the days. He even managed to set beside his personal stuff for this day.
Phase II of the plan was to make sure that I can go for it. I’d saved enough money to actually pay for the gas (even considered the perks in gas price as the month ended, checked the price of gas in Tennessee), planned pit stops, food to take, where to buy the favorite chicken sandwich in Gatlinburg and a lot of other things that would make my trip just perfect. Just to make sure that I’m not misunderstood for a ‘poverty stricken’ lad or a ‘total miser’, I’d say that I’ve just cleared $1800 debt in one month and that too from a zero balance account, still making sure that my brother, nephew, my close friends and of course myself were well in course of a happy life. And this had been going on for about 3 months. With the money saved, phase II was complete by the 24th.
Anyway coming back to the dream day, I’d even worked early enough to finish my reports and take the day off on Friday. But as it always goes with me and my trip plannings, I had to quit on the idea just days before the trip. The reason is my advisor just postponed the monthly meeting to the 30th instead of the 28th. Grrrrrr. I spoke to him and asked him if he would be ready to do the meeting on at least the 29th so that I can still make it as I had planned (everybody is in your favor on ur birthday in general). The shifted group meeting was Strike 3 and I was out of the plan.
‘I want to be alone from all the things’, was never the reason for this solitude plan of mine, but it was because I wanted to prove myself in a much stronger way that, I can be selfish. But a little guilt of using ‘my birthday’ as a way to prove myself finally, threw me off guard and I blurted to my advisor that I’ll attend both the group and monthly meeting on the 30th (Damn it!). An idle mind is always the devil’s playground. A little relaxation during the holiday and Wham! I went retrospection. Spit here and spit there, sight of restlessness and yelling from your no 1 supporter & friend, and an offering of money, that too from my parents and a few close friends made me realize the fact that, ‘I’ve been misunderstood for a pathetic state’ There were moments before when I tell my friends that I’ve got 10 grand debt to those who crib about their debts (which is always much lesser than even half of what I owe to people I haven’t even seen). When I say, ‘I’ve got 10 grand in debt’ with a smile (which people droop not to notice), it means that I’m doing really AWESOME in clearing it and that in your case, it ain’t a big deal. These and certain other incidents has really brought my self esteem down (at least in others perspective). I’m 24 and as any winner would say, ‘I stand strong and independent and I can very well take care of myself’ ‘I’m no beggar, and I always pay back with interest, be it friends or outsiders’ With one really crushed self esteem, a little guilt, and a retrospect limelighting that I haven’t achieved anything good in the last year made me keep my mouth shut.
Wednesday night, I was literally shot with a zillion questions of reasons behind my adamancy of not wanting to have a birthday party from my roomies and close friends. Finally they understood that I wasn’t kidding and left me to sleep in discomfort. This was that one moment I felt pressure after a realllly looooong time.
The idea of going to red river gorge (still had a chance to prove my selfishness) between meetings was all dropped the moment, I got a phone call from a friend asking me for songs the day before my meetings. After all the hiding and misinformation I gave on my birth date, I understood that there had been plans of a surprise party. Fortunately and for the first time in this case, unfortunately I have too many friends and a surprise party from a set of friends alone, would really make a lot of people angry (and it did). In minutes I dropped all my plans and just walked back to my apartment. The laughter I gave my friend on the phone which continued during the walk, made significance of how bad a loser I was then in terms of being selfish.
Half an hour later the surprise happened, cake no 1 disappeared into the mist of happy friends I had over my apt, phone call from ‘the dude’ which made me realize that I forgot to take my birth date of facebook (it did mean a lot, Thanks man), dinner with the closest friends who had ever questioned the integrity of my lifestyle and character, one hell of a lengthy online chat with my roomie, who was sitting in the other room, and making his best to convince me of my feelings, a 3 hour nap before the big meeting, a 2 hr meeting where I finally sold several ideas for potential collaborative side projects and a final go on the long awaited paper, cake no 2 massacred coz I was threatened to be killed coz of my furtive plans with a bunch of juniors, a power nap which nearly made me miss my group meeting (how angry would I’ve been if I had missed it coz this was the reason I cancelled all my plans in the first place), a nearly childish show by my advisor singing happy birthday to me in front of the lab (but it was funny to watch him do it), me teaching my nephew on how to sing birthday song, he dancing and humming for the song, good moments I had in ages with my brother, moving a dresser from his old house, a farewell party with the cricket team (I’m gonna miss you all for the coming season. All the very best guys for all your endeavors) where I got the birthday kicks in the back (guys, its no joke when I shout that my back hurts. The bum, is never a problem), an on the moment meeting with my good colleague friend and his roomie friends, a quick bite with them, a jolt back to the farewell party, sneaking out of the party once I felt, that I’m starting to steal the graduates thunder, my first ride in the University bus (some funny moments with a bunch of ‘I am McLovin’ undergrads), a third cake cut with my ‘mutually happy’ friends, a little anger from most of them, a little sorry from me, a sudden idea of a drive to somewhere, ending up in IHOP where I cursed my resolution of no more syrup (IHOP has 6 different syrups and u can mix them as u need and this is the first time I’ve been to IHOP), a walk to Speedway, buying a donut, a matchstick and a heart smiling birthday moment to myself and a hell lot of angry phone calls the entire day just completed my first day of being 24. The one suprise I had in the entire day was that I found zero friends or family who really believed me, smiled and didn't mind at my idea of a non party mood birthday.
I seriously don’t know how to conclude this long blog. I’m just keeping it as a reminder for years. Any statement I write now on this blog shall be read with different perspectives by different people. So to conclude I shall just put the last line I gave my roomie during our online chat ‘If there is a reason for everything happening, then definitely there’s everything happening for a reason – the reason has always been what 'you' want for the most. In my case the reason is to succeed in life’