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What next?

1 Oct

And so it begins. After that dramatic, and rather cathartic goodbye, I officially step into new boots. Big fat unemployed boots. A new week, new month, new time in life.

Can I please just think of it as a fitting prelude of things to come, that despite a night of significant Old Monk laced karaoke debauchery that ended closer to 2.30 am, I woke up at 7.30 this morning to make this?


A meek, understated comeback to the world of bread, after a foccacia debacle a few weeks ago. It could be a defining moment in my journey, this. The lifting off of the veil of having to fit into a set routine, pattern and scheme of things. Of letting go of the rules, and instead getting my hands dirty, and watching as the results turn out differently. Of embarking on new things, even when I’m not sure how they will turn out. Will my bread rise like I want it to? Will it have an airy crumb? A glossy finish? And most importantly, will it hold together and slice beautifully?

This past weekend, I got a lot of the So, what next? and the truth is, I have no plans. I have a nebulous end-point in sight, but no idea how I’m going to get there. I have no schedules and timelines to track my list of things to do. I have no deadlines. I have no pressing demands to attend to, except my own. And all I really have is the immense need to fill my days with experiments. To immerse myself in doing all the things I have waited so many weeks to begin. To read late into the night. To wake up before the sun comes out, because an idea struck and it couldn’t wait till morning before I wrote about it. To read about food, write about food, to learn all about food. To get on the other side, wait tables, wash dishes, sweat it out and learn from observation. To guzzle the newness, no strings attached, To do it all only because I really want to.

To eat healthy again, to be conscious of what I put into my body, and how much. To burn energy the right way and moderate all excesses. To find calm again. To make time for everything, in healthy amounts and stop running around like a headless chicken. To learn to be still again, to enjoy the quiet and to be alone. To discover passion again, and own it.

To wear my freedom like a snug teeshirt, to hold it close and make it mine. To be okay with just being. Without a plan to fill the void. To enjoy my own company. To not get too frazzled with the occasional moments of self-doubt, panic about whether this was irresponsible, and of course the immense sloth that is bound to attack at some point.

To step into the sunset of the last two years. To shed it with grace, like looking back on the gorgeous orange dusky sky, while in the distance, the fairy lights come on. The music begins to peter in. And an evening party gathers some life.

Because it is the end of day, and yet, it is the beginning of another round of fun. That party in the distance? That’s the one I’m headed to.

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28 Responses to “What next?”

  1. R October 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Lovely writing, just like the lovely girl you are. I understand the sentiments, I wonder when it will be my turn to be saying the same things. All the best, R. You are going to go places, I just know.

    • hAAthi October 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

      You’ll feel the same sense of liberation in just a few weeks, not to worry. And then we can compare notes and exchange recipes and pictures and bake the world out :)

  2. a October 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    This kind of resonates with my currently unemployed self. Been out of work for more than a few months now and still cant say where all the time has gone. Travel has occupied a great deal of the “free” time and has been a happy chunk of all. However, i cant deny that there have been days that having nothing to do really put me down. I need to find that passion, you know. Hope your break is a happy one. :)

    • hAAthi October 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      Having nothing to do is something that I dont think will happen to me for a while. My wish list of things to do is long enough to keep me occupied for a while.. I wonder more about keeping the self-motivation going. Thats something that can be an issue when u dont have a desk job to report to and a usual routine to keep you in check. I personally find it very easy to slip into a spiral of laziness :P

      Good luck with finding your passion.. thats what sabbaticals are meant for so make the most of it!

  3. Sanjana October 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Sounds lovely! I’m sure it’ll be an interesting journey! :)

    • hAAthi October 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      Interesting, yes :)

  4. Puneet October 3, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Enjoy your freedom :)

  5. Sig October 3, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Sigh. The taste and sound of freedom sounds so good. Enjoy it!!

    • hAAthi October 3, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Sig, I will! I wake up in time for work every day, out of habit, and the feeling of realising you can go right back to sleep is sweeeet :P

      • Sig October 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

        That is so awesome. :D

  6. Parita Dholakia October 3, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Breaking free from the routine, having no to-do’s, and actually having the time to sit back, smell the ground and look at the beautiful sky..oh gurl, you make me jealous! :-) But here’s to your freedom, make it count, and am sure there are brilliant things in store for you!

    • hAAthi October 4, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      I hope so parita :) thanks for dropping by!

  7. jaishvats October 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Have fun….Spending time just for your own self the way you like it is bliss! Enjoy!

  8. ZinalBhadra October 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    All the best ;) For the new beginnings, for the new challenges ;) Hope you are able to do that you plan to do and you dont have quite many low-moments

    • hAAthi October 4, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      I hope so too zinal

  9. sidewaystosound October 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Finally! Not knowing what to do with yourself can get a littler frustrating but from the earlier conversations I know you have enough going to not actually consider a what next. Let the new chapter begin!

    • hAAthi October 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Yeah I think I have a long way to go before I reach the not knowing what to do with myself stage :P
      The new chapter has already begun, and will be in full swing on Monday. When are you visiting me?!

  10. Pratik October 7, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    I am half the way into that same pair of boots. Hopefully one day even I’ll be in that complete “self-control” situation. Would love that life. But time! Time will play its game. btw ATB to you for the new venture. Nice writing.

  11. Happi October 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    You have made us all envy you :) I wish you all the best with your freedom. A very heartfelt article there!

  12. manjulikapramod October 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Great post and very encouraging one as well… happy for u that u have all the time to live ur life the way u want… not running around anymore like a headless chicken… the way i am still doing…

    • hAAthi October 9, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      Well if you see my latest post you’ll know i am far from free and am running around like a headless chicken. But im also loving it :)

  13. The Girl Next Door October 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Sigh! This sounds so good!

    I am looking for that sense of liberation too, which just doesn’t seem to be coming. Or, maybe, I am not taking the plunge yet that is necessary for it to come.

    • hAAthi October 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

      Yes, its all about the plunge :) I was teetering in the in-between zone for over 2 years (in fact even before I chose to be employed again with the last job..So all-encompassing was my fear of..I dont know what, really now) but when the time is right and the plunge seems like the only thing possible, it is usually all smooth sailing from then on. I hope you get there soon!

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