As a kid in +2, I dreamed of studying at the University of California, Berkeley. I have always been fascinated by the idea of studying in the United States and being part of the prestigious UC system. I had even planned to apply to other UCs after completing my undergraduate studies at Berkeley. But, as they say, life has its plans for us.

Unfortunately, my plan did not work out due to several rookie mistakes I made. At the time, I felt like I had lost my only shot at leaving the country. I was devastated and couldn't help but feel like I had failed.

But, as I reflect on that experience, I realize it was all part of the process. Life doesn't always go as planned, and sometimes we must accept that things won't work out how we want them to. And, as it turns out, that disappointment led to unexpected opportunities.

Last year (Yes, it's 2023 from today :P), I had the opportunity to speak at several international tech conferences, notably: apidays India 2022, APISecure (by apidays), and DjangoCon US 2022. I was particularly excited about the opportunity to speak at DjangoCon US 2022, the first hybrid event I had ever attended. And, as luck would have it, my proposal was selected for the conference, and I got to travel to San Diego, US.

Kuldeep Pisda at DjangoCon US 2022

As I stayed near UC San Diego, I couldn't help but think back to my childhood dream of studying there. It was mesmerizing to think that I had wanted to be there some time ago, and now I was living that dream differently.

Of course, my parents could not believe it when I said I would be traveling to the US. My grandparents used to work at local mines as daily wage laborers. When my father first came to the city for the job, he did not even have a roof over his head for quite some time. So he and his friends used to sleep on the footpath. They had always supported my goals and dreams, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel to the US. Seeing how far I had come was a source of great pride for them.

I am sharing this story because I know that many of us have goals and dreams that we want to achieve, but sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to. It can be easy to get discouraged and feel like we have failed, but it's important to remember that it's all part of the process. We will get some things we want and won't get some of them.

It took me six years to complete that in one of the best ways possible. But it's not just about the destination, and it's about the journey. The struggles and the disappointments are what make us who we are and make us appreciate the things that we do achieve.

So, I encourage you to dream more extensively than you can imagine. It is fun. This is your story, and you are the hero of your own story. Make the best blockbuster out of it. Oh, sorry, no one told you that before? :P

Cheers to all those dreams/goals that we are yet to fulfill. And cheers to those things that we have already.

In conclusion, chasing our dreams can be a challenging and unpredictable journey. Still, it is essential to remember that even when things don't go as planned, unexpected opportunities may await us. We should never give up on our dreams, no matter how difficult the journey may be. We should always strive to make the best out of our story and make it a blockbuster. Even if it takes a while to achieve our goals, it's all part of the process. And as we move forward into the new year, let's continue to chase our dreams and make the most of the journey.

Happy New Year, folks!

Off to a new thriller!