Time Capsule | Ft. Few Questions I’ve Been Asking Myself Lately
Time Capsule is a series about ideas, moments, conversations and random things I would want to revisit in the future.
I’m releasing a new Time Capsule. A bit of context, I’m done with law school and soon, I’ll be working. The last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about this new ‘phase’ and as a result, this podcast !
As always, I would personally recommend listening to this episode. I’ve shared the transcript as a blog post as well.
Hope you like it.
I’ll be entering a new ‘phase’ of life and I’ve been thinking about that phase quite a bit these days.
I’m sure like me, you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about questions without reaching a satisfying answer, any type of answer really. These questions just float in my mind and will pop up at random moments. They’ll get me thinking and I’ll get lost in a train of thought which has no destination.
This Time Capsule is a list of questions which have been appearing in my mind lately. I don’t really have any conclusive answers. I’m still figuring them out - will probably take years.
1. Am I competent enough to handle adulting?
So, this is a broad based question I keep thinking about. I don’t think there’s an answer to this without actually living my life.
I often wonder whether I’ve done enough in my 5 years of law school to actually be considered a lawyer. I think about how I’ll handle responsibilities that have consequences to real people. Not just work, but also things like saving up, making use of my money properly, considering my family’s financial situation, paying bills, thinking about others etc. So many things to keep in mind.
2. Will I meet my friends again together in one place and create memories with them?
Tim Urban in his article the Tail End considers and provides a broad perspective of the amount of time we truly have in all of our relationships. I realise that the magic of staying in university, or going to high-school was that it was easy to hang out with friends regularly. Time wasn’t planned nor was it wasn’t scheduled. It was spontaneous and organic. Our bonds grew as a result of our closeness and how we were similarly placed.
Entering this new life, I know this won’t be possible. I don’t even know if we’ll ever be in the same place together. I wonder about how many times and whether I’ll be able to create memories with my group of friends. The reality seems to be that some friendships will naturally come to an end. How, who and when will that happen?
3. How will my friends lead their lives?
Flowing from the previous one, I also really want to know the kind of things my friends will undertake. I want them to lead satisfying and fulfilling lives, and support them and I wonder about the kind of paths they’ll be taking. What will they do? Where will they go? What’s their story going to be like?
4. How will my values change and which of those changes will be because of me?
This is an odd question. I think about the kind of values I want to have at the moment. I want to be kind. I want to do things earnestly. I want to care. I don’t want to stop learning. I want to enjoy moments.
But I also realise that circumstances change and therefore the way people approach things might change as well. What will those changes be? How will I respond? Will I lead the change or will there be other factors that get me to change? Will have to wait and find out.
5. Can I and would I draw clear and well defined boundaries?
What does it mean to draw boundaries around people, relationships, work etc. I don’t know. Will I be able to? I have a hard time saying No to things sometimes. I end up doing things for the sake of it too. So, if this is the case, will I be able to draw boundaries and if so what will be the lines I don’t want to cross?
6. Will I make time to explore other things?
This question posed seems easy enough to answer - I want the answer to be Yes. And yet, I am hesitant. I don’t want to expect that out of myself right now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I don’t know if I’ll actually get time to explore things beyond my body of work. Even if I did get the chance, will I take the leap of faith or will I resort to lying down on the bed, exhausted after a long day of work, unwilling to address the reality that I am living in. Would I be making time to explore things beyond my narrow vision?
7. What kind of paths will open up for me later in the future?
This is an abstract question that’s been in my head since I was 14 years old. I’ve always been confused. I still am confused about what kind of path I should take. Earlier, I would constantly beat myself up, thinking that I’m failing if I don’t figure it out right now.
I’ve come to rein in that self doubt and instead be open minded about the possibilities. I don’t know what paths are going to open up. Will they change because of the people I meet? Will something pop up because of a chance occurrence? Will I be reflecting on this even in the future? I tend to think a lot about paths. I know however, that I’m walking in the dark. Step by step.
8. Who are the people I’ll be spending time with?
I mean, obviously this question has some answers. I’m going to spend my time with friends, family and then outside of that people I work with, for example.
However, the reason why this question comes up is from the lens of a long term view. Who are those people that I’ll actually be looking forward to spending my time with?
The reason I think this question also keeps coming these days particularly, is I came across a nice quote regarding longevity which is - to surround yourself with people whose faces light up when you walk in. I mean it seems like an extremely corny thing but also oddly nice?
9. What the hell am I doing?
At least once a day. I think about this. What am I doing right now? There’s so much happening out there and I don’t even know what is happening with me. Often I feel really stupid and dumb when I ask myself this question, because I don’t really have a serious answer. A lot of the time, it’s just me sleeping. Or reading. Or watching a video. Or doing something else. I might be eating a packet of chips while watching The Office.
And then randomly my mind asks me - What the hell am I doing?
10. Which manga should I read next?
I’ve been reading Manga for a decade now. But, I think I’ve barely scratched the surface. Japanese artists and authors have weaved impeccably deep worlds and storylines across different genres. The decision to read and pick the next Manga seems like a really important decision. I’m participating in a unique culture that’s been built across decades, and it feels like the Manga gods are watching my every move. If I mess up, I’m going to regret it.
I honestly don’t know what Manga to read next. There are so many to pick from. I know I need to filter, prioritise and decide but that doesn’t happen so easily.
11. Will I sleep well?
I know this is small. Hugely though it seems like I’ve not had that amazing refreshing sleep. The one where you wake up filled with energy. I’m sure there’s a lot of contributing factors to this, and I think about whether I’ll be able to have a good sleep.
12. Should I have a bucket list?
I had a small bucket list earlier. For my final year of university. Obviously, that went down the drain. It makes me wonder about the value of bucket lists. Should people keep them? I guess the reason I wonder about this is I think about when I’ll get to travel next, what will be the new kinds of adventures I’ll be undertaking, should I be making a list of things that I want to do and then act on them, in order to prevent the kind of regret I had when the pandemic hit.
13. What kind of financial decisions will I make?
I say financial decisions, but broadly I put this under the sphere of life decisions. I mean, I’ll finally not be asking money from parents. That seems to me such a big change, whose consequences I don’t think I’ll be able to predict even now. I’ve been in this privileged bubble where I have had to ignore the monetary decisions I’ve been taking. That is not to say I’ve not been aware or careful, but honestly, I didn’t have to worry.
But I have this responsibility now, and it makes me wonder about the choices I’ll make and the lessons I’ll be learning.
14. What new interests will I develop?
My biggest fear is not finding new things that delight me. I want to explore a lot more. I want to nerd out about newer aspects of the future. So, I wonder what those will be. What kind of stuff will I become interested in? Will I pick up a new hobby? Will I find a new topic of interest? What about the future will keep me in awe?
I don’t want to be in a position where due to vagaries of life, my world becomes monochromatic and I won’t develop newer interests.
15. What should I have for dinner tonight?
If there’s one question on this list that’s actually of prime importance and the hardest to answer, it’s this one. I also know the difficulty of answering the question will increase the moment I start living by myself. Right now, I’m living in a family. There’s always a discussion around what to cook. It’s like a 25-30 minute discussion everyday and it seems so difficult to decide. All of us have different tastes and the mood due to the pandemic is a bit off, food doesn’t seem as enjoyable these days and it feels like such an annoyance to decide this every single day. It occupies so much of my headspace.
I don’t have any answers to these questions. Nor are these the only ones. As I’ve been drifting through the last few weeks, these questions emerge and I wonder about all the possibilities my future holds and how I’ll be living within those possibilities.
Thank you so much for listening (and hopefully, you were reading too !
Do let me know what you thought and share the kind of questions you’ve been asking yourself these days. I would love to hear more about those questions.