I feel old. No, there isn’t just a truckload of negativity around it. There’s wisdom too, a lot of it that all these years have brought along. Wisdom that I feel proud to have earned by making mistakes, falling down and doing utterly wrong things at the utterly right time. Wisdom that tears and smiles brought along with them. I’m certainly unnerved about what lies ahead, unnerved about breaking out of the cocoon and learning how to live all on my own. I don’t know if I’m ready to be on my own, I don’t know if I’m ready to trash all the innocence and gullibility out of my system and turn myself into a sterner and shrewder self, who is ready to face the big bad world(I know, too dramatic). I don’t know if I’m ready to pass fake smiles to my innumerable colleagues and make bonds that would sometimes be as superficial as ‘you-might-gain-from-me-and-I-might-gain-from-you’ and give it a pretty name called networking. I am painting a very cynical picture of the world that is going to lie ahead, let us just say I’m not in one of my best moods. Without digging any deeper into tomorrow, I feel like reflecting on the lessons all these years brought along, lessons that have shaped me into who I am…the good, the bad and the ugly.
I have learnt about people and about love. No matter how much I learn about love or try to understand it, it will never be enough. Love is an abyss…infinite, indefinite and inexplicable. There are bits that my twenty two year old self could fathom, though. I would share those bits with you. I have learnt that sometimes the magical stumbling upon and falling in love doesn’t happen. Yes, it does happen to some people who just come across the right person on a rainy afternoon, waiting for them with an umbrella. However, those people are lucky, not everybody is. Most of us have to make efforts to come across the right person. We must talk, explore, get to know people; then maybe we’d hit it off with one of them.
As far as friends are concerned however, I understood that we don’t choose the people who are going to enter our lives, that it is often random stumbling upon that brings them to us but we definitely choose who we will allow to stay there forever. This is a choice we must make with utmost discretion because the wrong choices hurt, hurt real bad.
We will always value some people more than they value us. We try to convince ourselves that it is not true, that they probably are just not as expressive as we are but deep within we know that we lie somewhere on the lower half of their priority list while we put them out there on the top. Now, there are two things we can do about it – pluck them out of the top of our priority list and push them back in the same position as they’ve put us or make peace with the fact that we will never be as important to them as they are to us. Making peace means no cribbing, no cribbing after that at all. Sometimes it gives us enough happiness to give in whole heartedly into a relationship without expectations of equal reciprocation and it is great if we can do that but we should be honest with ourselves about what gives us happiness. We must understand, however, the difference between not being on top of their priority list and being an option. We must understand the difference between somebody hurting our ego and hurting our self-esteem. The latter is something we must never make peace with, ever.
I have always belonged to the people and hence my deepest source of pleasure and pain have most often been people. I learnt along the years that I cannot continue doing this. People are important and sometimes if you’re lucky, the way I have been for most part of my life, we come across some amazing people and we fall in love with them, we always want to be there for them and sometimes we make the mistake of making them the center of our life. Some of them change, some betray and then it hurts. I have learnt to keep my goals above people unless my goal is some person, in which case there’s nothing much I can do about it. I understood that investing all my energy in goals is always wiser than investing it in people. If I fail to achieve my goals, it’s almost always because my efforts weren’t good enough but with people it’s never the same. Goals are loyal, people aren’t. People change, priorities change. Sometimes you can blame them for it, sometimes you cannot. Change is inevitable; things that held importance for one when they were 17 need not and in most cases will not hold the same amount of importance for them when they are 22. The sooner we make peace with this fact, the sooner we will be able to understand people better and expect lesser.
However, there would always be this one person whom we can keep above our goals, above everything, who will be worth all the suffering and hurt. If we’re lucky we’ll come across that one person and if we’re luckier they’ll never leverage the importance they have in our lives. Everybody else should be at a safe distance where the expectations are kept too low to be a cause of hurt.
Hurt and betrayal bring along with them the chance to forgive. I have learnt to forgive, to forgive someone is the best thing we can do to ourselves. Yes, to ourselves not to them. There is an unmatchable sense of freedom and relief that we get when we truly forgive. Life is too short to live it being mad at someone.
I have learnt that there will always be people smarter, more accomplished and wiser than me. There is so much that I can learn from them rather than being boggled down by their wisdom. These people keep the curious little child in us alive, the child who wants to question, learn and grow. We must take care of this child within us, nurture it and make sure that it never dies because the day this child dies we turn into a human vegetable. We are no good anymore, we’re just surviving.
I am learning how to shoulder responsibilities. Being so used to being pampered and loved, I seldom understood what it is to be on the giving end. Even though responsibilities might sound like a really heavy burden cast on our shoulders, we have to learn to shoulder them. All this while somebody has been there for us, probably the time for role reversal has come and we have to learn to be there for people and make ourselves worthy of being look up to.
Ever since I have been trusted with the responsibility of taking a decision, I have been a major disappointment to myself. Worrying too much about whether I am making the right choice, I have never been able to take a firm decision. I learnt along the way, though, that sometimes there is no right or wrong choice. There is something to lose either way. The best we can do is to go with our instinct and let the dots connect backwards when we look back in retrospect. That time, it makes sense, it always does.
Mistakes and rash decisions make our life a really interesting story, if nothing else. We’re all stories in the end after all and we are the protagonists of our stories. One day the story is going to be complete. The lesser mistakes, the more the perfection, the more boring the story will be.
I think that it a lot of musing for the day. I feel wise, already J.