“Only in the darkest hour of night, our eyes shine with a life changing dream.”
For all 4 years of college, every morning an irritating alarm clock used to wake me up. I used to grudgingly snooze it to fetch 5-7 more minutes of sleep, turning towards the less lightened area of my bed. In those 5-7 minutes, I would try to sleep but never actually could. I would just lay down motionless on my bed. And during those moments, several daunting unanswered questions would always find their way into my frazzled, half asleep-half awakened mind.
“Another new morning, another alarm snoozed, and another long day ahead. So??? What am I going to do today? Follow another day of same old routine? Do I really have to do this? Is this what I really want? Whey I don’t feel motivation? What the hell am I doing to myself? What the hell am I doing to my life? What’s my purpose? ”
I always thought, or better say I believed that once I make it to college, one day I will wake up to the answers of all these questions. I had believed that post school, in the process of 4 years of formal college education, I would evolve into a more successful, mature and confident person. A person, who’d be capable enough to get a good job and a suitable good Indian girl to settle. Then, I will carve my own path of elusive happiness, for which I had craved since like –forever. I believed in it, or that’s what my parents had made me believe. I kept waiting for such a morning epiphany, but it never came.
Fast forwarding 4 years in time. I always had these questions staring right in my face every morning. For whole 4 years, all that happened was, I was caught up in a vicious cycle of cramming books for exams and then waiting restlessly all night long for results. Irrespective of the flavor of the results I had absolutely no sense of fulfillment in life. College was concluding, parents were disappointed and I had a deep sense of failure and confusion in my life.
The whole college experience was one of the most stressful periods of my life. Throughout college, I wanted to learn, I wanted to achieve, I wanted to deliver, I wanted to create something. Yet I had nothing, but an ample amount of confusion and depression. My self confidence was shattered and I was lost, more than ever.
Then the truth slowly and painfully begins to seep into me. I slowly began to realize that no one else was responsible for my life except me. I realized that I had been ignorant to myself. I had falsely assumed that everything was fine and soon everything would become better. I had been lying to myself all these years. I had denied acceptance of my problems.
“Only when you first accept that you have a problem, then you can solve it. Acceptance is the first step to the solution.”
I realized that It was my nature to always ambiguously assume my future. I had assumed that I would get a loan to survive college, and then get a job to pay that loan, while getting more and more loan to buy a house, a car, support my family and raise kids etc. It never occurred to me that another vicious cycle was waiting for me post-college life too. And there was no space for any dream and passion in life.
But I wanted something else, something that would fulfill my wish to create something. I wanted more. Not specifically in terms of money, but I wanted more in sense of life, in terms of passion, in terms of what I love.
I wanted not to wake up every morning in a self critical mode, surrounded by unanswered questions, to snooze an alarm being scared of another hollow day ahead. I wanted to get up all by myself in the morning, excited about what a new day has to offer. To rise, and to shine with sun, like I used to be in childhood.
Everybody has a dream. For some it is distinctively defined, for some it’s just a vague imagination, but most of us are so stuck in the vicious cycles of insecurities, anxieties and doubts created by others in our mind, that we are way too quick to dismiss it and call it foolish, unrealistic, or too hard to pursue.
Our parents, teachers, traditions and society plans a so perfectly comfortable life for us that we feel stupid, scared and unsafe by a mere thought of risking it for a small hope of achieving something more fulfilling.
“The one who takes no risks, always remain afraid.”
We are afraid of risks because of failure, and it’s the truth no one can deny. Failures happen, and we fall all the time while learning to walk. It might taste bitter and repeat itself many a times, but you have to learn alongside with failure. If you are afraid of failure then it’s impossible to taste success. The fear of failure can surely break us but it can also make us. Your fear is your biggest hurdle in success, but it can be the tallest ladder to success if we accept and face it, rather than running away from it. Failure tells us what not to repeat and only when you learn what not to do, only then success is imminent.
The fear of failure can surely stop us, make us stagnant and sad but we can never grow if we never fail. Failure makes us stronger and more resilient to the aspects of life we have no control over.
So even though, my future was uncertain and I couldn’t live up to people’s burdening expectations from me, I decided to take control of my own life. Having lived with a constant fear of failure and anxieties of not being good enough lingering over my head, I finally begin to understand and befriend my fear.
It took me some time, many sleepless nights and lots of unwilling but necessary introspection. But in the depths of the darkness of my secluded room, I discovered creativity; I absorbed knowledge and I acknowledged a bright source of light within me.
I always loved making and telling stories, but the task of writing a book seemed very daunting for a stuck-in-teenage guy. So I accepted it, knowing that by only accepting what I dread most about myself, I would find myself.
I began small, playing with words that sounded too silly to rhyme, but which always made me smile. Slowly, I met metaphors and found myself smiling at similes. I made my morning humming’s into my own melodies and incorporated them into my writing. My passion grew and my dream of writing a book started instilling in reality.
I feel happy now, more than I ever was in life. And this happiness has come to me because I’m no longer afraid of life itself. I’m not afraid that something might go wrong now, I think even if something goes wrong, it will teach me something. My whole approach towards my life and everything in it has changed. I am enjoying my appetite for new life and I feel more alive.
My story doesn’t entail that you must leave your job or whatever you are doing, I doesn’t mean that you have to follow my footsteps, but it does mean that you must seek and find what makes you truly happy. It means learning how to be open to things you dread the most. So If you feel lost, don’t worry too much about the future, worry about your present instead. Your future would automatically take its shape. Be with your thoughts every once in a while. Breath slowly, think fast, and you will definitely find out soon, who you truly are, and what you want to do.
Finding yourself doesn’t take much time but freeing yourself from all the perfectly designed rules of society does take time. Once you are free, you won’t need to try too hard. Just give your attention to your present task and it will take you where your heart wants to go.
If you want to know what you truly want to do in life, just concentrate on what you have been doing since childhood. Chances are that on some level you subconsciously already do what you are meant for. Something not everyone approves of, but you do it anyway. You just need to focus on it. Its right in front of you.
I still fall, I still sometimes face doubts, but I don’t run away from them anymore, I also resolve them.
I know what failure is. I know what sadness is. I have been embarrassed, declared amateur and crappy at English by many, which include close ones, others and myself too. But I keep learning from them and try to stay at peace with both happiness and sadness. I don’t claim that I have achieved the wisdom of life, but I believe everyone has to undergo such a phase at least once in a lifetime.
My mornings are not about mourning anymore. I don’t wake up every morning to mourn at the past or to dread by the day ahead of me and most importantly, I don’t wake up just to snooze the alarm anymore. I wake up every morning without my irritating alarm clock. I now wake up to rise and to shine.
At night, I just fall asleep listening to my music and remembering people who are close to my heart and it gives me more happiness that I could ever imagined.
I’m not a life-coach, preacher, or a self-proclaimed guru. I’m just a 24-year-old ordinary guy, trying to learn what it means to be me, what it means to be free. And I hope that maybe some part of what I’ve written can inspire and encourage you.
The life we have is full of amazement. I believe that we are here to spread our happiness in other’s life and to understand others grief to reduce our own.
So don’t be afraid of being buried in the darkness of the soil as a seed, let your dream nurture it and the plantlet rising and shining out of such darkness will definitely surprise you.
Sending you love and light,