I’ve been haunted by these thoughts for a while now. What is my super power? Or my special talent? Something that makes me happy? I mean, we all need that something in us that drives us right. Where we feel we can be free. And we’re not influenced by anything in this world. A safe place. Something to hold on to that makes our existence a little more meaningful. Truth is, there is nothing like that for me. Or if I am to speak more positively, I haven’t found anything like that.
So I’ve done a bit of painting, and I feel really happy when I see them completed and when they end up looking nice. But those are all just following instructions of a YouTube tutorial. I can never be an artist until I create the art, as opposed to copying it. Anyone with the patience to sit and follow the instructions can paint like I have.
Don’t even get me started on what I’m studying. There is no way in heaven or hell that I treat people and actually enjoy doing that. I am definitely not someone who can be a doctor. There is this huge difference between having the intellect to do something and the interest or satisfaction in doing it. While I may or may not have the intellect, I definitely do not feel any satisfaction.
The next thing I can do is, paper craft. Yet again, what is the big skill in being able to follow a tutorial. It’s not like I used the skill provided by the tutorial and made something out of my own mind. So much for paper crafts.
I think, the fundamental problem is that, while blessed with the ability to recreate things, I am in severe lack of the ability to create something. I’m not creative. God! That’s so depressing.
Even when I knew it in my mind, that all this creativity that I exhibit, is just that, an exhibition. I knew that these are not my talents. The one thing I always counted on, the one thing I always thought is my field of interest or creativity is literature. And it can be true I guess, I do enjoy reading, I love writing, and I’ve never felt like I can express myself better than by writing. But then, I look at people who actually are literature enthusiast. I look at all those amazing books they’ve read, that I didn’t even know existed. I look at those great and deep words they’ve written, and how I relate with them, but couldn’t come up with it. Seeing all that, I think, that is real literature love. How can I profess a love towards something that I am not completely aware of. Am I just claiming to love something that I’m only infatuated towards?
It’s just that I feel like there is nothing in this world that I can do, that I truly relate with.
I feel really lost, like I can’t find a place where I belong. I guess it is only natural to feel worthless when you think yourself into it. How can I survive in this world, with nothing in myself that makes me truly happy.
I just wish I had one thing.. just one thing to hold on to. It would make everything so much easier. Is that so much to ask? A tiny place where I can exist in without being afraid. A place where I can express without fearing judgement. A place where nobody can influence me, not even me. I need that stillness. I really do. I just don’t know where to find it. I know it has to come from within, but I’ve grown tired of digging through these thoughts and fears.
These days I’ve been feeling the swell of an unexplained struggle in me. It’s not that anything of consequence has gone wrong. I am desperate for a place I can call home. And it doesn’t have to be a place in real life, it can be a mindset or a person, or a habit, anything that makes me feel like there is a purpose to this existence. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Nothing I do feels like it serves a purpose. Be it studying or generating political awareness or preparing for an exam or job hunting or engaging with people or something as simple as just living. Why? Why are we doing this? Let’s say we have the perfect life, with every materialistic thing we ever need. What good are we doing… what purpose does that life serve… and I don’t even mean to question what good we do for the society, merely what it does for us. Why are we struggling through this life. Why are we living each second. Why live to see the next second.
Having these thoughts, I asked to myself.. am I suicidal? But I really don’t think so. I have no solid reason to end this life. But I have no solid reason to live it either.
This life is tough you know. All our lives we’ve been molded to think and act in certain ways. We are all just a combination of many peoples unoriginal believes. I wish I could unburden myself from all this influence. I wish I can make my mind as pure as it was at birth. Our confidences and insecurities are both a result of our upbringing. I wish I had none of those. I just want an existence free of this. I just wanna be nothing at all. My mind is heavy with thoughts and scattered over a million places. So lost I can’t even begin to collect it.
This moment, the only real thing we have, is the hardest thing we can claim. Because we’re never there in time to feel it. We’re either lamenting or rejoicing the moment that’s gone, or we’re spending it with anxiety over the moment to come. I just want one moment. One moment where I feel whole, where that moment is really mine, where everything in this world makes perfect sense.
I don’t really know if it is a blessing or a curse to have all basic comforts in life. Because according to Maslow’s theory of self actualization, it is only when all our primary needs are satisfied, will we come to the struggle of self actualization. And I really feel that I’d rather go through the struggle of primary needs where there is perfect clarity in what to do and how to attain them, rather than to go through this struggle of self actualization where you crave for something you can’t even name and undergo pain that can’t be explained, making you feel left out and strange.
If there has ever been a book that influenced me so much, it is this.
Written in 1943, the most special thing about it is its immortality. The very fact that it holds true in this year and the years to come, makes it so impossibly real. For those of you who haven’t read the book, what I wanna say is, don’t read what I’ve written now, go read the book and come back to this. It is difficult to get it started, but trust me, if you read atleast 50 pages you’ll be hooked.
Now a little something I felt about the characters;
Howard Roark, he is the personification of the quote that goes something like, ‘ One can only be truly free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness. ‘ Living in this world and so completely untouched by it, I envy him. The thing is, he is not just unaffected by it, he doesn’t even realize that there is something to be affected by. He is the perfect depiction of what the book intends to project as the perfect human. The one free of worldly attachments, the one who exists to serve oneself alone, the one driven by the truest of passions.
If Howard Roark is the destination, Dominique is the journey and the struggle to get there. The struggle that Dominique went through, has literally left me so shaken. When Gail Wynand told Dominique, that no happy person can be quite so impervious to pain, I felt like he spoke to something within me. Some words and some sentences, you just get so caught up in them.
Gail Wynand, now he is the guy you feel most sorry for. The guy who knows everything, who understands everything, but somehow can’t live up to his knowledge. Now, what’s more tragic than that. To be so right and so wrong at the very same time.
When I think about it, it was a mixture of Dominique and Gail that I could see within myself. I have no idea how to be a Howard Roark, but I know that if I’m worthy enough, the way will present itself before me.
There are other characters of significance too,
Toohey, the one I would like to call the villain. Keating, the victim of a world so fake.
There is this scene between Keating and Dominique, where he feels like he has no effect on Dominique and for a flash he understands the unoriginality of this world. That moment when he feels it, you can see his whole world falling apart and you can feel his struggle to keep himself together.
This book isn’t like any other books I’ve ever read. This book is about the strength of character and the terrible fakeness this world presents. The characters, their thoughts, their struggles, their reaction to the situations presented before them.. these are more important than the story. And that’s why the book is still relevant, even though it was written ages ago.
I had recently brushed through the things I had written down a long time ago, and here’s what I came up with.
That piece of paper, it burnt a hole in my hand. I almost wish I could tear it apart and walk out of this reality.
People swarmed around me, completely unaware of a breaking heart amongst them.
Heart break, it is like a glass breaking, slowly and then all at once. First you hear the break, then you see the cracks and the next thing you know, it is all tiny pieces scattered all over the floor.
When I managed to tear my gaze from that letter, I looked up and I could see his figure retreating away from me, across the corridor.
My knees felt weak, and all I wanted to do is fall to the ground and make the entire world freeze, while I comprehend what just happened. Some part of me knows that there is something beyond this abyss, and there are others out there to whom I matter, and who matter to me. But none of those faces flashed across my mind, except for the one I lost.
I know I have to walk. I know I have to get back home, to my room. My mind lost connection with my body. I am trying hard to feel my legs.. to get them moving.
Home, I thought.. and everything went black.
Now this will be an example of what too much teen drama does to you. Trust me, when I had written this, the piece of paper I really meant was the transfer certificate I received from my former school and the person retreating is actually my old life. Reading it now, it feels hilarious the way I turned that into something that has got nothing to with any of it.
I think it is high time each one of understand, in a very empathetic manner, the difference between loving a person the way you wish to be loved or the way you believe is the right way to love and loving a person the way the other person wants to be loved. I’m sure this idea can be applied to all kinds of relationships out there, but I would like to give more emphasis on a parent child relationship. Because I believe, that as adults, the positives and negatives in us are a result of our childhood experiences, the way our mind was shaped, the way we were made to perceive things and so on.
To nurture decision making skills in children, when faced with choices, instead of making the right choice for them, give them a thorough idea of all the choices they have, and the pros and cons of each one of them. And let them make their choices. This may not work out in all cases because of the immaturity of the child to take appropriate decision. But atleast start out this way, and communicate openly about why you wish to take a particular choice. The most important thing is, make your child part of the decision making process. Even if it is to punish them for something they did, make it a point to make them understand why they are being punished. I am sure negative reinforcement will train them to behave the way you want. But why don’t we try this and that way, they will be made aware of what was wrong with the things they did.
Often times, when we lack time to think about the tiny details in the things we do, the minds that are most affected are that of kids.
Next time your child does something that you believe is wrong. Don’t just punish them. Make them understand why they are being punished. And why and how the action that they did is wrong. This way, the child will not just think about how to escape punishment, but will be able to expand their minds further and think about how their actions will affect them or the people around them in a negative manner. The thing is, if you don’t do this, they will grow up to become adults who hide the wrong things they do and not the kind of adults who are smart enough to not do the wrong things. But keep in mind that right and wrong are perspectives.
Please people… let us nurture emotionally healthy adults.
We need to start right from childhood for this to work. Love kids the way your kids need to loved. Or they will grow up to be adults who lack something they can’t even name. Let’s not do that kind of emotional damage to our kids.
From what I’ve seen, what we give our kids is what we needed desperately as a child. Those of us with the capability to think empathetically can come to this thought themselves. But sometimes, when we become adults, we forget the stresses we went through, the things we needed, the way we felt about things.
A word to self
Now isn’t the time to stop
You made your choice
And picked your track,
and I know the path is rough.
Sweeter, more welcome things
Will taunt you along this journey
Pay no heed for those poison fruits.
For your way, is the one with hurt
Choose the more pleasant path
And I guarantee
you will have to come back
And the voyage ahead
will be tougher than before
Like tightening the rope
around your own neck,
Causes nothing but agony
With the same confidence
As with which I assured greater sorrows,
That the culmination of this
Will be more gratifying
Than any of those interim glee.
Today I’ll be saying goodbye to 2020, and will be welcoming you into my life. I know you’re getting requests from all over the world, to make their world a better place. I hope that my sincere voice doesn’t get silenced by a crowd that’s screaming for hope.
I want you to know that 2020 wasn’t a particularly easy year. It took me through ups and downs, gave me hope and took away a few. But it gave me peace, it gave me a break, it gave me the opportunity to sit and reflect within. It helped me discover so many angles of me that I didn’t know I had. It made me strong, by not giving me space to be weak. But most importantly it gave me a lot of light, and a vision. It showed me a direction and threw me a rope to climb up the peak I fell from. And for that, I will always be grateful to 2020.
You my dear 2021, you’re my climb, and so much more, ’cause I see a peak above where I fell from, and I so desperately want to get there. You’re the year that I’m gonna put so much on. You’re the year that demands so much of me. I will put every ounce I have into you. I’ll dedicate myself to you. Because I believe, most sincerely, that you will blow the winds in my favor, to make my climb easier. I want you to be memorable 2021, I don’t want you to leave me without making a mark in my life. I want to remember you as the best year in my life, or at least the year that started to make all the difference.
So, here’s the deal 2021, stand by me, show me where I can tread without falling, clear the air so that I don’t loose sight of my vision. And I promise you, whatever you give me, I’ll magnify it. And 2021 will be an year that unlike others in my life, can never be forgotten
2020 gave me hope, and it is looking upon us with a smirk, in the belief that we can’t do better than what it has. Let’s work together, let us wipe the smirk off its face. Let’s be the beginning of positive change and the year that can’t be wiped off.