Dear Diary,

I have begun to hate Facebook. But I don’t find myself deactivating or deleting my account. On one hand I detest scrolling through my home feed, browsing though pictures of my friends’ holidaying in the UK,  or attending Coldplay concerts, or eating exotic food, or experiencing the ultimate student life in Ivy League universities, and so on and so forth. On the other, a part of me fervently wishes my life were half as interesting as theirs.

As you may have already guessed from my tone, I am clearly not in the best of spirits. Unemployment has never been a part of my vocabulary before this. Until now I didn’t know it meant applying in tons of companies or startups only to receive poorly worded mails in response to a polite cover letter and a good CV. I didn’t know grades would be the least of all my concerns, in spite of having toiled for two years to learn the ropes of computational biology. I didn’t know being disciplined in the absence of a definite routine would be this hard. I didn’t know I would begin to dread staying at home alone with my laptop for company. I didn’t know it meant downing endless cups of coffee to keep myself rejuvenated. I didn’t know it meant writing endless to-do lists daily to convince myself that I have work to do, only to end up not achieving half the tasks listed in my pocket diary. Why has my life come to a standstill? Why has it come to feeling so mediocre in spite of having pushed myself to give my best all these years? Competition is the worst thing to deal with, doubled with anxiety.

Yesterday I forced myself to come up with a game plan for my future. A part of me truly wishes to pursue research in academia, which translates into years of commitment and independent work. It also means living for extended periods away from family and my boyfriend. It means stress yet it spells satisfaction.  Am I ready for that? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I have always been an over-cautious kid. I hate taking risks. I have never lived away from home. It’s the scariest thought ever.

I want to be independent. I want to move out, yet be able to visit home regularly. As much as going abroad sounds exciting, I love the comfort of my country. Somehow, it has always been a challenge to voice my opinions to most of my peers, who are currently in pursuit of a life abroad. That being said, there are a thousand things wrong about our country with “mediocre” and “poor” being appropriate adjectives to describe its state of affairs. But what if I want to stay here in spite of all that? What if my relationship matters equally? Attachment to family seems to be too feeble a reason to defend my argument. I can’t have the best of both worlds. I know my words are conflicting. It’s a mere reflection of my thoughts.

The past few months of ambiguity have been tolerable only because of Karthik. We have been together for two years now. We have managed to survive the distance that separates whenever he’s off sailing. Sometimes, it seems unreal. I find myself wondering how someone could sincerely love me in spite of my temper, impatience and selfishness, to say the least. It’s true that I do occasionally suffer from bouts of low self-esteem, but his affection astonishes me. “Of course you take me for granted!” he jokes, which is true for the most part. But I feel lucky. We may be jerks to each other at times, but I cherish every second I get to spend with him.

I hope this phase passes soon. Trying to remain positive requires effort. Negativity is easy to fathom. I will write again soon, but that’s all for now.

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