I read an article a couple of hours ago and it got me thinking; thinking about my life and all the experiences I have had so far. The author writes about how illness changed his life and his goals. He says, “Remember Goals, like life, should always be changing.”
Illness does change you, either for good or for the worst. I am not going to say that I have had ‘the’ perfect life. I have struggled, for what was right, for my dreams and lot more. If I look back, at my past, I would have never ever thought, nor dream of going through a rough phase in life. We almost, always, never think of it, do we? We only strive for the best; we make decisions and do what we do only because we know that nothing ‘bad’ will happen. Small failures here and there is a part of life.
I loved my job and everything was going fine. I woke up one day to realize that I lost everything. First, my health went from good to bad to worse. Then I was asked to quit as they could no longer grant me sick leaves. People whom I thought to be friends were no longer there for me – those who called themselves friends on FaceBook or otherwise were nowhere to be seen. Nor were those who are related to me by blood. They were all busy.
Everybody is busy, and it’s all about priorities, isn’t it?
It is during the worst time of your life that you get to see true colors of people who say they care for you.
I realized that I had only two friends by my side when I was going through all that mental and emotional trauma. I lost everything soon after I celebrated my 24th birthday. I recently celebrated my 28th and it got me thinking – was all the struggle worth it? Life is a tough teacher. It puts you through the worse and tests you. And I wouldn’t say that each and everything in life depends on your willpower. Sometimes all you have to do is stop fighting, take a step back and think – whatever it is that you are fighting for, is it worth it? Or sometimes, just give it some time. Time might not heal everything, but it makes you stronger.
A month ago, I decided to quit something that I have been trying for quite some time now. I have always wanted to study further, Bachelor’s degree never did justice to the passion that I have had. Research was something that I have always wanted to do. Losing my job and health made me rethink the decisions that I had made earlier. I had to fund my own studies so I had to work soon after college. And when I had enough money to fund my studies, my health went bad.
Despite all the pain and many sleepless nights, I decided to study for the entrance exams. I gave it my best shot and it did not work in my favor. I tried again and again but in vain. I wanted to study in one of the best colleges in India – in one of the two Tata institutes. I was disappointed that I could not. Recently told my friend that I am giving up on my dream. My friend said, “don’t let failures affect you.” I said,” easy for you to say that, as you are almost done with your Ph.D. He’s worked professors with whom I have always wanted to work with. And here I am, on the other side where the grass is burnt and there is soot everywhere!
After two weeks of brooding over it, I decided to do what I have always loved to do, irrespective of all the setbacks and failures. A degree is just a certificate, I can still work on fulfilling my dream and be what I have always wanted to be. My cupboard is full of books on probability, statistics, and graph theory while my laptop is filled with ebooks on Wireless communication and IoT – I can’t quit now. I have come so far and quitting is not an option anymore! I recently purchased a desktop and installed Linux on it. And now, almost every day, I sit for a couple of hours, read something, code, repeat. I feel great about the work that I am doing. It might not count or matter right now, but someday, it will. 🙂
So why am I saying all this?
I have had big goals in life – studies, dream job and a nice cozy house of my own. I have always led an independent life and have never felt the need to have someone who completes me.’ Now when I think about my goals, I know that I haven’t achieved any. But it doesn’t bother me. I know that I have been strong enough so far. Life might have been harsh on me but that doesn’t bother me anymore. Most of my classmates are well settled, have good jobs and a nice income. I do not. But I am still alive, I have the world’s best pet, I still eat three square meals per day and I still have a roof over my head. That is something that I will ever be grateful for.
I have lived through my struggles and pain, cried like a baby, laughed till my tummy hurts and have two best friends for life. I might not have the best of everything, but it doesn’t matter. One cannot have it all. Dreams change. People change. Life changes. Nothing is permanent. And about my setbacks, all I can say is, this too shall pass. 🙂