Sunday, May 27, 2012
I am coming to an end of one distinct phase in my life and starting another.
I have spent two years, exact to the day, learning about Higher Education. This is what I wanted to do: I enrolled myself in a course studying Higher Education and got myself a job in a Higher Ed college, and spent every waking moment reading and talking about it. After two years of doing this, I feel as if I have forever been here.
Eye-opening is a cliche but it does indeed happen. I can easily claim that the two years of pursuing a Higher Ed career deconstructed the industry for me. The voodoo of instruction design now looks more like Highway Code than mind-reading; the very impressive monastic rituals that mark university graduation ceremonies look more like retrospective identity building than following an unbroken tradition.
I am starting to talk the talk, in a way. Grey hair in place, I try to be slightly eccentric-sounding; I am also discovering the value of scruffy dressing and being arrogantly humble. However, this is the time when I also start feeling comfortable. In summary, it is getting boring now.
It is, therefore, time for the next thing.
Fortunately, the elements of my next life are already there. We have been raising funds and restructuring the business we are involved in, and soon, my role will change and take me back to the familiar territory of international partnership building. I have been there before, and I consider that I do this quite well, but this time it is different: I shall have far greater say on the form and content of these partnerships than I had ever before. This is an important difference, as it makes the job more like creative crafting of possibilities rather than salesmanship.
But this would change the way I live. There was a time when I desired for a regular life, marked, among other things, by a fixed train which I catch every morning to work. This has now happened: The 833 from East Croydon to London Bridge has become the high point of my achievement. But, being there already, it is boring now. In retrospective, the strenuous days of traveling, the endless hours in the Dubai airport lounge, are suddenly glorious, full of possibilities one more time. I am older and wiser, and that indeed is one major change. But a sense of calling is important too: I shall be doing something meaningful.
I remain an optimist and a dreamer. I believe in being able to make new beginnings, and every time, live more meaningfully than I did before. This has indeed worked for me earlier, and I am sure it would do again. Building a global higher education network isn't a feeble aspiration; indeed, it is suitably grand for me. But also the underlying possibility of seeing new countries and meeting new people excite me. Last time that happened, I was too obsessed with other trivialities around myself. I captured some of that experience on Camera and on this blog, but not much. This time, as a phase of my life ends and another starts, I am bringing out the camera and thinking about my writing: Those will be the NEXT thing. I always wanted to live for something: Chronicling my travels may be one way to find the purpose of my life.
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How To Live
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Theodore Roosevelt
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
- T S Eliot
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