Have you ever felt like you are floating in space? Ever felt totally weightless and can only see your life and that of others zooming past you as it moves ahead? As if everything that defined you has gone missing and you are standing still while others race past you. I have felt that; it was what I felt for about two years. I had always been taught to believe that life is a race. It has ended up becoming a joke but I always believed that that is how it was. I needed to always be better than the rest so I could feel that I am ahead. It is what most of the children are taught when they are growing up, they are taught to be better, to be competitive and to always push ourselves to beat the pack. We were given the promises of a utopia that we would achieve if we were close to the top; unlimited riches, respected social status and what not. It was as if life would only be considered successful if we managed to clear a competitive exam, cleared an interview, got into the best college and got placed in the most renowned company. Everything else was an abject failure. This is what is prevalent in most countries especially in the eastern hemisphere.
That is what I believed, what I had been indoctrinated with and what the goal of my life was. One day while running the metaphorical race I decided to stop and look around. I wondered where I was going, what was the final destination? What was going to be at the end of it? Who is running beside me and finally, is the utopia we are running towards even real? I decided to take a break. I stopped. It seemed to make sense at that time. We should all take a break when we are running a marathon; that is how I justified it. Little did I know that the break would end up lasting for 2 whole years and changing the way I looked at everything.
I want to talk about what it is like to just stand still for so long, to see your juniors over taking you, your seniors graduating, all of this while you stand still and waste your time. I felt lonely, like I had been left behind. I felt guilty, because I blamed myself for everything that was happening. It was a time I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I would be surrounded by quotes about how standing still or stopping or giving up was something that was portrayed as the ultimate sin and all of this just reinforced the guilt and self hate I had. I would cut myself to relieve the pain. I would shout out at strangers to feel better but I knew none of this was going to help. I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I had become.
Today, when I am in a better mental state, I am still wary of any kind of break. I don’t like Sundays, I don’t like taking a day off. It just reminds me of the last break I took which took me on a path that was darker than the deepest pits of earth. I try to work every day, to be a more helpful person everyday and I am not ready to take a break from all of this any time soon. I have a blog and I want it to reach heights, I am back in the race, this may not be the same race I was in before but now I am back to running and trust me I am sprinting. I have a lot of catching up to do and once I do that, I am not going to stop, not until I win this race, not until I end up on the top.
I will not fall,
I will not stop,
I will not surrender.