Lives change every day. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Someone wins the lottery and someone fails to pay a loan. Someone gets into their dream school and someone is fired from a dream job. Someone welcomes new life into their family and someone unexpectedly loses one they always thought they’d have more time with. Lives change everyday.
In a world of flux, as we walk down the street we see many faces but that’s all we see. We can’t see the good or the bad someone is going through. But we all have hard times, don’t we? Times when we still wake up, brush our teeth and go about our day but also have to deal with rough hands we’ve been dealt. Because time goes on. The world doesn’t stop just because you stumbled and scraped your knee. It moves on and so must you. And in this, we are often alone. But not this time.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how things are with COVID-19. In some way or the other, I’m sure you’ve been affected too. If you’re lucky, you get to stay home and carry on with life indoors. But there are those that are tasked with being on the front lines and are dealing with this crisis head on. And there are also those who are sick and don’t know what fate has in store for them. Lives change everyday. This time, we’ve all been chosen to go through the same trial.
In such daunting and uncertain times, I think back to a line I heard on TV sometime ago – “No matter how hard things get, the true test is how we choose to respond to the pain we suffer”
I’m going through a rough patch myself right now (not COVID related). I am also going through COVID isolation with the rest of the world. Sadly, new burdens don’t make the old ones disappear. They just add on to the weight we are tasked to carry. But try keep those words in mind. You get to choose how you respond to these times. Some will choose to close their eyes and tuck their heads in and wait for things to get better. And some will rise to the occasion and give us the strength to keep going.
I’m not asking you to not be a coward. I’m also not asking you to be a hero. I’m asking you to simply keep going. And if the road gets dark and you start to feel scared, do what I do. Sing.
Have you ever loved to do something? I mean beyond a sense of “its good for me” or “it’s a popular practise”. No matter how common or rare it is. Just you. Your passion for it. And stolen moments between work and school when you dedicate time to it. I wonder what it is for you? For me, it is to speak and write.
As broad as that is, I have always loved taking inspiration from the world and writing it down and talking about it. Sadly, like most of you I lead a full life and sometimes I stray away from my passions into days of books and other baggage. But then there are periods like the current situation outside creates when I get time to go back to these interests. And that is when I truly come out of my shell. I find that we’re all not good at many things. Things we fail at miserably perhaps. You could just be terrible at a course but then do incredible workouts at the gym. You could be bad at working out at the gym but then go home and make an incredible covers for songs. I fail at both singing and working out and then I come home and write down what I learn in hopes of learning something from my days.
I learnt from reading some books over and over again that words when moulded and brought together in the right ways can touch hearts, change minds, and move worlds. And that’s what I want to do when I write or speak. I think we all try to add to the world with our passions. And it shows. When a musician puts their heart and soul into the music. When the teacher breaks down a concept to its foundations. When a doctor works a 48 hour shift. How do you do things that most people can’t unless you truly find peace and joy in the act? You don’t.
And now to why I wrote this post. I want to ask something of you. When you find this, fly with it. Don’t stay grounded with your interests. Experiment. Take risks. Look stupid. Give it time. For every post I publish, I add another five to my drafts. Simply because I like writing doesn’t make me good at it. But it does make me want to be better at it. So I try again and again. Because the day I give up on this, I lose a great part of what makes me, me.
So I ask of you. No matter what, stick with it. And fly with it.
Why is it that sometimes, despite having the time and resources to make something work, we fail horribly at it? Why do we watch opportunities slip us by in promise of reaching for them the next time they come around? And why does it all have to boil down to the last night of effort?
These were just a few of the thoughts on my head after a midterm I wrote earlier today. With about a week to study for a course that many consider difficult, I told myself I had enough time. I did have enough time. But, thanks to me, things went sideways nonetheless. I messed up nonetheless. And here I sit with a couple messy months behind me, and a thoroughly unpredictable one in front of me.
Thinking back, I think we all start out good. Fresh start and all. New year. New semester. New lecture. Doesn’t matter. We like the feeling of knowing that this moment right now can be when I start to work towards a better tomorrow. I like to think of those moments as something I’ll remember a few years from now as – “That night at 8:23pm I began working towards my goal and I haven’t stopped till now. That night at 8:23pm I changed my life.” Countless times I’ve pictured myself in the future reminiscing about the moment when I changed my life for the better. And here I sit. In the present, waiting for myself to make that change.
It’s an interesting thought – the idea of changing your life overnight, isn’t it? Don’t pretend like you’ve never considered it. The thought that one sleepless night can change your future. You suddenly get hit by motivation, start working and change everything. Sadly, that doesn’t happen. And speaking from personal experience, I’ll tell you exactly why.
If you’re at that point where you “need” to change your life overnight, you’ve definitely not been doing the right things for a while now. So at this point, you’re not being average at life. You’re being poor at it. And one night of work isn’t going to change that. It won’t push you over to the “excelling at life” side of the aisle. That takes more than a night. Could take a year or two. So perhaps, a better goal would be to “start” changing your life. And then change it a little bit more every night. Consistently. Eventually, I’m sure you’ll find yourself where you want to be. And even if you don’t, you know what they say about the journey being the destination. You’ll be fine.
Lastly, if you ever get thinking about the whole overnight life changing shtick, just go to bed. You’ll find its a better use of your time.