This is the question that I’ve been looking to answer for some time now.
I’m a twenty four years old male human who has completed a master’s degree in science. As a result of which, I’ve made my parents proud, and the rest of the family and friends couldn’t have been happier.
But here’s the thing, even after finishing my studies, giving it whatever I did, I still feel I could have done more. Perhaps, I could have been better while studying for my bachelor’s degree and as a result, I could’ve gotten into a better college for a master degree. Or perhaps I could’ve performed better during master’s program. But then, the coin has already been tossed and there’s nothing I can do about what’s happened.
So, as I was pondering over my path in the life and the direction I’m heading, it struck me that it’s the weight of the past, that’s been holding me down. I may not think of my past everyday, but there are certain views through which I’ve been seeing myself because of it.
I used to hold myself up to certain standards in life. I always tried to be a better person and alleviate others around me. I had friends and people around me who used to trust me and look up to me. I would read and read and aspire to reach greater heights. I used to take inspiration from greater people, like Kalpana Chawla and strive to fly higher still.
But then, as the time passed, I began losing people around me. Those who trusted me turned away. Those who used to greet me with a smile every morning, began sniggering behind my back because I didn’t want to be a “cool” person in the school.
Eventually, I began losing myself because I had come to define myself based on how I was perceived and on how much I would do for those around me.
Not much later, I joined a college for my bachelor’s degree. By this time, I had lost my wings to fly high and any will to do so. I didn’t open up to people around me. Behaved in ways that were disparate from who I was and how I was. I became a better liar as the time passed and lesser reliable still. Instead of pushing people away completely, I began taking them for granted. Not caring about how they were, how they felt, what they needed of me. For about six years, my life had become this contortion and my the direction my future was heading was barely ambulatory. I got so lost within, that I was forgetting who I was. It began scaring me because I was becoming unrecognizable to myself. Not knowing where I was each morning when I opened my eyes and not sure if I wanted to close them each night.
Now, I was fortunate. Because not long ago, when I had just reached the tipping point, the rock bottom, did I find the love of my life. Meeting her, I began assembling my life back together. Talking with her, smiling with her, feeling her love is what brought me back from the edge, literally. I began feeling how it feels to breathe the warm air under the sun, how to be happy again. She gathered all my pieces, held them together and gave all her warmth so I could be fused back together.
Now as I go forward in life with her, I’ve begun to find myself again.
I’d been lost and walked the world without a direction for too long. Now I realize it’s on me to shed my old hide and sew myself a new cape. To strive to break the ceiling. To aspire to reach greatness and inspire those around me. To try and spread the smiles and radiate light in the darkest corners.
This world is a dark place already, strife with chaos and pain. The least a man can do is retain his honour and do right by those around him.
As Kaladin from the book series of Stormlight Archives says,
Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.
I will protect those who cannot protect themselves.
I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right.