Posts Tagged ‘go big or go home’

I’m from a very small suburban town in New Jersey. Okay, it is ten minutes from the George Washington Bridge and New York City, but it’s also a mile square and filled with people I’ve known since I learned how to write in full sentences and had braces on my teeth. Why is this relevant? The most common response my mom has gotten to the announcement that I’m going to India/in India is, “But why?”

Leonia has its fair share of people with Big Fish Little Pond syndrome. It’s much easier to rack up accomplishments and feel a sense of importance in a small community that’s basically the epitome of a comfort zone. Some people think a four hour drive to Syracuse University is crazy far, despite all the students who have to fly from places like California and China. However, I do understand that bubble mentalities are hard to escape from and even be aware of.

Why am I in Mumbai? Well, I needed more credits towards my degree (which I’ll hopefully finish this December, because I took a year off school after I studied in London). I wanted something killer for my resume (I’ll be interviewing with Disney India, fingers crossed). Most importantly I really, really like traveling and the personal growth that stems from it. I get it that traveling can be a time-consuming and expensive luxury. I don’t get it when people can’t see beyond the parameters of their own confines and refuse to accept that there are other mindsets and other ways of living.

Today TG took the class to Trace VFX, a visual effects company founded by two Class of 2006 SU alumni. Jon (Doc Mason’s son) and Matt (a former HillTV GM) are still in their twenties. They have offices in New York and Mumbai. They have clients there and in London and Singapore. They have work featured in a Super Bowl spot. Do I need to continue?

I’m fairly easy-going but difficult to satisfy. A disclaimer, I think it’s wonderful if people are fulfilled easily; I’m envious of that trait. I personally just don’t envision the Tudor home, the two kids, the dog, and the mini-van for myself. Maybe I’ll end up wanting it someday, but for now I can’t escape the images of a daunting mortgage, petty PTA squabbles, animals that live better than humans, and a waste of money and gas.

As TG referred to him, “Music Maestro D Wood” of Whistling Woods International, told the class today that a consumption-driven society is crap. Measuring wealth in social status and material goods is embarrassing when it’s compared to the happiness that some of the poorest people in the world still feel despite living in what Western society considers unlivable conditions. He told us to do what makes us happy and forget about pleasing obscure relatives and proving ourselves to pseudo-authority figures.

India represents the unknown in a lot of ways. The unknown is hard and scary and challenging and can completely mess you up for life, in good ways and bad ones. It’s easy to eat at the Chili’s in Hiranandani. It’s easy to go to school close to mom. It’s easy to send your resume to small organizations. It’s easy to forget that there isn’t always one correct way of doing things.

I sincerely apologize if this post comes off as peevish and patronizing, but I feel that I had to get it off my chest. When middle-aged people can’t understand why I want more, I get very frustrated. People give me flack for doing what I want and feel, but I don’t want to live any other way if I can help it. It’s common to hear that one should see India before one dies. Maybe I can best explain it to the town ladies this way: I just got here earlier, but we can compare notes on the flip side.


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