This article has been submitted by Sarah P for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
This year has been a blur; A blur of pages, equations, books, nervousness, anticipation, lectures, tiny handwriting and lots of I’m-ready- to-study-now ice cream. But when it’s all over, and you’re finally free, you realize how much you’ve accumulated. Lessons more important than legal principles or political theories, and you simply think. It varies of course, from person to person, opinions about people, music, life, history, food, politics, stories, incidents, time, relationships, places, love, religion and personal introspection. But there’s always a base to any kind of variation, and that base is how we look at life.
So this is the story of how I cleaned up my room in my newly found free time. Just kidding! This is the story of what happened while I was cleaning my room. So while sorting out my bedside drawer today, (with my mom standing over my head the whole time, cause you know ‘my room resembles a pigsty) along with a month old chocolate wrappers, notes on Freud and money from a Monopoly game I haven’t played in years, I found a piece of paper.
This paper was my earliest attempt to understand the world, even though I didn’t know it at the time. This paper was a record of things I learnt in the year 2010 and things that even two years back I knew I didn’t want to ever forget. This paper, was a list of mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learnt.
Let me explain exactly what this paper contained. Starting out with a little introduction, it had dates from 31st May 2010 up to October 9th 2010 with a small note scribbled across each date. I remember writing it of course, vividly in fact, but with how busy my life has been over the past two years, I’m guessing it slipped out of my mind, and reading it even after all this while brought a flush of familiarity over me. A sense of familiarity of who I was two years ago, followed by an immediate retrospection of how much I’ve changed.
“It’s funny how almost every single day of your life, you learn at least one thing. No matter how insignificant it may be, it helps you to differentiate between right and wrong, what you did and what you should’ve done, but most importantly it helps you grow as a person. Someone rightly said, we were born without a sense of right and wrong, it’s only time and experience which makes us who we truly are. But, experience only comes from exposure, when you dare to go beyond. When you realise that life is short and the only things you’ll regret on your deathbed are the things you didn’t do, things that you were afraid to do, things that if done, could’ve changed a moment instantly, changed you, changed your life; Which is why it’s important to learn every single day, experience as much as you can, let go of your inhibitions, be impulsive and feel silly, but later, find yourself happy.”
That’s how it started, what 16 year old me wrote two years ago. There are many things that followed, however I’m going to mention a few of them, the most important ones, the ones I feel will if not anything, just make us think, and in some cases feel better about most of the situations that entrap us from day to day.
Some things don’t happen immediately, they happen over a period of time, but they do happen, which is when hopelessness turns into regret. May taught me that, while I was sitting in the bus on my way to school, remembering how I wanted things to be when I was in sixth grade and remembering my frustration. But at the same time, I realized I had no reason to be frustrated because come ninth grade, I had everything I’d hoped for and even more. Time is a funny thing honestly, the more you chase it, the more it runs away from you.
Calling something easy is always underestimating its worth – July. I don’t precisely remember what inspired this thought, but I do remember thinking that things don’t always work out when you don’t give your hundred percent to them.
August had a whole page of scrawled handwriting underneath it. The first one was inspired by this poem that I read. The poem was about God and a troubled girl, but honestly whether you’re religious or not, it’s easy to understand the point behind it. It went like this:
‘As children bring their broken toys, with tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend. But then instead of leaving him in peace to work alone, I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own. At last I snatched them back and cried, “How could you be so slow?” “My Child”, he said, “What could I do, you never did let go.”
What this poem taught me was, it’s not easy to let go, hell it’s impossible sometimes, but when you learn to release a certain emotion completely, you’ll realize new things, meet new people and it’ll hit you – that if you’ve been able to put it behind you, it probably didn’t mean that much anyway. =) It’s always up to us really, we can choose to fret over a situation forever, or we can just let it go. (Though fretting is a remarkable catharsis sometimes!)
‘Everything that happens is a blessing in disguise.’ Sounds old and hag I know, but we don’t always realize the truth that lies in this statement. I realized it when I was fussing about how terrible it was that I was one of the last few people to register for the school trip and I didn’t make the cut. Three weeks later, I was on a flight to Bombay on an all-expense paid trip to a world conference sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates booked to stay in a 5 Star Hotel. That’s when I realized, blessings are like Spiderman, hidden behind a mask, but working up the awesomeness in their own way!
And then of course there was, ‘Because there’s always someone who’s got it worse than you.’ This is something that till date, I repeatedly feel all the time and honestly helps me get through hard times because well, working with a non-profit organization which aims to help young disadvantaged and deprived children among others, I see constant poverty around me, and it makes me more and more thankful with each passing day.
September and October also encompassed statements of many instances, pieces of music that made me think, watching a man playing with his son, seeing India win Gold in front of my eyes in the stadium, realizing that hurt is a way of life, importance of clarity in communication, the slight creativity required to achieve what you want, constant presence of judging eyes, significance of trust, the way life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant, the insignificance of temporary happiness’, how sometimes when we try to run away from things we end up looking them straight and the eye and how sometimes, just sometimes, things work out better when you don’t have a plan.
And so it’s true. A mind that is stretched by experience can never go back to its old dimensions. =)