In the middle of a typical teenage conversation about careers, one of my friends asked me, “If you could have your dream job, but were only paid in chocolate bars or you could earn loads of money, but had a job you hated. What would you choose?”

“I would take up my dream job and then sell the chocolates for to get money,” I said laughing. (This is an invalid answer, it is similar to asking the Jinn for more wishes as your wish.)

The question is an exaggerated version of the choice we are faced with every day (though it might be pani-puri instead of chocolates for you like it was for me). Our choices shape our future, the choice we make in regards to this question determines the level of contentment and happiness we have. The question gives us a choice between what we want and what society or our insecurities desire of us. We are taught to abide by what society expects of us, which to a small degree is important, but after a point it chains us, suffocating other things that hold value to us, leaving us with only society and its expectations to value.

Ask people around you, if they would still continue their current job if they won a lottery. In my experience more than half of them say ‘no.’ Some say that they would reduce their working hours and spend more time with their families or go on a vacation. My question is, why not now? Life is too precious to let someone else write your story. I am not saying that we should all leave our jobs, or that money holds no importance, it would be naïve of me to say either of them. But it does not mean that you can’t start the book you always wanted to write, or take the vacation you have been craving for long. What I mean to say is don’t be a slave to your work or what the society expects of you (work-related or not). You are allowed to things which everyone else might find weird, you are allowed to work a little less to pursue your passion or spend more time with yourself or your loved ones.

There would be no butterflies if they would refuse to come out of the protection of their cocoons and unfurl their wings. Step out of your cocoon, and unfurl your wings because if you don’t you are robbing the world of a beautiful butterfly. Go on flaunt your wings, but be careful of the nets of insecurities which try to capture you and put you back in boxes. Coming back to the initial question, what would you choose?

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Samarth Khanna

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