This article has been submitted by Parijat Mishra for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
Dear Future Me,
I’m sorry. Looks like I screwed it up.
The results of both my 12th Boards and CLAT were announced today. Yeah, I did not do “bad” in any conventional sense (some would say it’s pretty decent). But a 1000-something rank is no different than a 10000-something rank – in both cases you’re not getting in anywhere. At least with 10000 I would have known I had no chance from the beginning. A “bad” performance is much less painful than an “eh” performance, and mine was just that.
I got a chance of a lifetime. Two years in a really good school. Two years of CLAT prep. And all I could manage was an “eh”. I really hate overused clichés, but I guess you really don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.
What happens now? Should I just quit law and just go for something else? Take a year off to try again? Or maybe… um… a “private” college? I don’t even want to think about it now. It sickens me. The only way I can take off my mind is doing something creative. I wanted to write a song, but my guitar’s broken, and I write horrible songs anyway. I guess this’ll have to do.
I’m saving this letter in my email. Also, I’m setting a reminder in my calendar. 3 years later, at this exact date, I want you (me?) to go through this. I seriously want to know how you can get through this. Everything is ruined. I’m sorry.
Three years later
“Holy crap! I wrote this?”
*awkward wait for MS Word to open*
Dear Past Me,
That’s the hello I get? No “how’s the future”? No “do we have flying cars yet?” By the way, you saved this through email? Seriously?! I guess you haven’t heard of the cloud yet. Anyway, I do need to tell you something.
Yes, you “screwed up”. Not as bad as you think. If I had a time machine (no, we haven’t invented those yet), I would have gone back and told you to hold on to your freakin’ horses! You are an inexperienced teenager. Of course you wanted to put in the least effort into everything, that’s what we’ve been doing since childhood. Of course you procrastinated. But you need to know something. Something I got to know recently.
There’s this woman. She had to leave her husband because of domestic abuse. She couldn’t find a job, despite having a college degree. She had a baby daughter to take care of, so things were getting worse every single day. She decided to write a book based on an idea she had. After years of struggling and living on government grants, she finally managed to finish the book. I guess we can say the book got some success, as it eventually turned into a 7-part series, with 8 record-breaking movies based on it. You know whom I’m talking about. Our favourite author, JK Rowling. This is what she said once –
“Rock bottom became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
Joanne Rowling managed to make the journey from a single mother living in poverty to being richer than the Queen of England, and inspiration to millions of children and adults around the world. She managed to “defeat” her eventual fate, through sheer hard work and a simple idea on her head.
Life does not end with failure. Especially when the “failure” was getting 87% and being in the top 2000 of a national exam (seriously, dude?)! You made a mistake, you fell down. Everyone falls down sometime or the other. What determines the course of your life is whether you can stand up, brush yourself up and move on from that or not. The people who managed to do that are the ones who end up winning.
No, I didn’t end up “ruining my life” (frankly, I was never going to). I improved. I learnt from your mistakes, slowly, but steadily. I just finished my third year at a ‘private’ law school (don’t worry, it’s no NLU, but it’s not even close to being a bad thing). I actually became a decent musician, good enough for people to notice my stuff. I’m halfway through writing a novel that might turn out to be the next bestseller. Do I have my life figured out yet? Maybe not. But I’m having a bloody good time figuring it out, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.
In a year, I’ll be appearing for another major exam, the Common Admission Test. Yeah, MBA. I have my sights set on the very top, and you know what? I’m going to ace that exam. I’m going to fire a hole through that paper, because I’m giving this my everything. All thanks to your “failure”. You are the rock bottom, and compared to the usual rock bottoms, yours is pretty damn cosy. Nowhere left to go now, but up.
There you go.
P.S – I guess I need to write one more…
Dear Future Me,
Let me know how it goes.
3rd Year, BBA.LLB
Kiit School Of Law