The first thing I saw when I looked at my phone today was a notification from my astrology app that said ‘No more poetry in your notes app’ and the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘Believe me! That’s not where I want them to be, either,’ because it’s true. I’ve been putting off getting my poetry published for a while now because we’re all stuck at home and I really can’t just publish a poetry collection during such a time. But it helps to be reminded of where I’m going, I guess.
So, here’s what this made me realize: you never know when a setback is going to hit you like a freight train or a tidal wave, or whatever you want to imagine would hit you the hardest. But the most important thing is to decide whether or not we let it have that much control over our dreams. A couple of years ago, if I had been hit with a setback, I would probably have given up, but somehow, I don’t see myself giving up on my dreams anytime soon, or ever— at least that’s how it seems, from where I am standing right now.
I can’t tell you what exactly changed, but one of the more subtle changes that came along with it is the fact that I don’t let things like setbacks or people’s (mostly unsolicited) opinions hold any kind of power over me. And come to think of it, it’s pretty amazing because two things that would have held the old me back have already been left behind. I feel miraculously lighter and more secure about where I am headed, even though I’m going about it at a slow pace. What’s the hurry anyway?
Of course, I feel like I’m letting too much get away sometimes when I see my peers progress quickly. I am human, after all. But then, that’s just the tiny part of me that still believes that I’ll be ‘left behind’ if I don’t make a move right away. The part of me that has been made to believe that I’ll be left behind. Truth is that there is no such thing as being left behind, and even less so for people who truly know what they want from their lives. I don’t know who started this whole ‘Life is a race’ crap, but that’s all it is.
Times have changed and everyone is a lot more accepting about things like career switch and sabbaticals. But unlearning the fact that has been drilled into your head since you were about 10 or something, everyone setting a common timeline for someone who is still trying to figure life out seems like a lot. It’s not that we don’t have an idea. It’s not that we don’t have ambitions. It just gets very overwhelming when too many people keep telling you that you should have achieved certain things within a set span of time. Who makes these rules? I just want to talk!
Maybe things were different back in the day, or whatever, but if we want to keep up with today, we have to learn to unlearn certain things that were hammered into our brains because they only cause more harm than good. I think that a huge part of the reason why people are so reluctant to unlearn is that they are still in denial regarding so many things. I have stopped explaining myself because it gets tiring and way too repetitive after a while.
Besides, I think it’s better if I actually prove myself by getting myself to wherever I am headed right now, even if I have to do it after a couple of setbacks. Because that would be worth it. Why do others get a say, again?
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