When I was a kid in school, I remember, there were times when I used to reach school only to find out that the teacher who had two lectures back to back, was absent. Suddenly I had free time on my hands. I was off the grid! Neither my school nor I had planned for this. First few minutes used to be mind-boggling, all sorts of ideas found their way into my mind. Should I take a nap! Or let’s play a game! But which one!!! The mood in the classroom was ecstatic! This was the time when back benchers, like myself, took over. We became the peter pans and captain jack sparrows of the class, our natural personalities sparking out! This space in time felt like home! It gave me a feeling of kinship! This was “MY SPACE” No books, no teachers, no marks, no judgments, no good, better best or 10 out of 10’s. The only rule was to follow no rules and it was pure, unadulterated magic! This is one on my fondest school memories.
Sometimes I feel as if life is a long sea voyage where everything is predictable and planned. Unanticipatedly, I halt at this beautiful island where I can do absolutely anything. I feel like I am living in the moment, without an iota of worry or doubt. It’s my moment. It’s “my space”.
School life has been left far behind, but life still continues to be more or less the same. I am still cruising my way through that long sea journey and yes! I still cross paths with “my space”. This morning I was at the airport to catch a flight, but the fight was delayed. I saw fellow passengers getting wild, giving the airline officials a hard time. I am sure many of them had genuine reasons for getting agitated. Or perhaps, they found it way too overwhelming and were unable to accept that their planning had gone for a toss and they too are off the grid.
They are not trained for such moments, well most of us are not. Because everything people know these days is taught to them. Their instincts are completely subdued, due to years and years of “training”. Everything in their lives is timed to perfection and the slightest variation throws them off their center. It takes them to a free zone and quiet ironically the freedom suffocates them. That’s not their zone and they struggle to survive there. On the other hand, there are people who thrive in these free zones. They love the ambiguity and ad hoc nature of events, they give into this space and just let themselves be. I am one of them. I love this free zone and I always hope to hit upon them whenever possible.
I do get plenty of opportunities where I stumble into “my space”. My wife and I go for these aimless long drives on weekends and there are times when we take the roads less travelled. Neither god nor google maps know where these roads lead, but we just drive away into the horizon. A journey in which you don’t know what to expect, that’s “my space”. Not that we haven’t gone wrong with these routes, but it’s worth the effort. The other night at 1 am, my daughter said that she wants to go down for a walk. Together we hit upon 30 minutes of father – daughter time “my space” again! It was blissful. My daughter gives me many such moments. In fact, all the time with her falls in this category as she is an unpredictable soul herself.
I have tried to create an ecosystem for myself that ensures that I get many such moments in my life. My career is also built on these lines by default. I work with companies but I don’t belong to anyone of them. I am with them but detached. Everything is mine, yet nothing is mine. Amidst all this, somewhere in transit lies “My space”
I guess we all need to head for the diversion, once in a while and enjoy the “free zone”. Live without a plan. Live impromptu. Live guilt free. I call it “my space”. Will be happy to know about your “My space”. Please share.