For Part I, check here. But hey, it’s a sad story.
I never thought I would say it, really, but I’m probably going through among the most fulfilling phases of my life. It’s almost funny how a lot can happen over a span of two weeks, and cause major change to all that is aligned to happen thereafter.
Last two weeks have been great, and probably the best time in college so far. However, I’m pretty sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and every experience, hardship, roadblock and breakdown that I encountered over the past few years has been instrumental in the way things have turned out recently.
Also, a few days ago, I turned Twenty One. That’s a number that, when you cross, makes you introspect as well as look back at all the things you have done, and nudges you to take a look at the larger picture of ups, downs, expectations, disappointments and lessons from life thus far. Just like everybody else, that’s what I did. Off to
Well, I’m not going to set standards or benchmarks, but I’m certain that these are some of the biggest things that I’ve pulled off in years. I’m sure there are better people who have done greater things, but that’s out of context here.
Just like the last time I had blogged about life-changing two weeks, this one has a lot do with competitive exams. Three years after the last disaster, I was slated to give the GRE examination as a pre-requisite for Graduate Technical Courses outside my nation.
As a person who is not satisfied with the extent of education that I’ve had so far, I realized that studying in an outstanding institution during the course of the next degree was the best option.
From the day I had booked my slot, I had that familiar pang of anxiety permanently stuck in my head, bringing up all the instances of my past failures and other testimony to my also-ran nature. This test seemed to look like another opportunity given to redeem myself after all that had gone wrong. But then, I still could not garner confidence about my performance in the test.
So I worked. I worked different than I had for other examinations before. Of course, the particulars of GRE in terms of what it tested were hardly similar to the tests I had given before, but what I wished to achieve called for a change in more than just the method of working towards an ambitious goal such as this one.
For the first time ever, I managed to turn all my anxiety and depression into productive work, and it helped. Fear upon coming across success stories, fear upon coming across disasters – they all turned into hours of reading and analyzing. Bitter mornings after nightmares turned into practice sessions. I managed get a pretty high score – something that was better than what I expected.
Though it seemed to suggest a bright chance of getting accepted by the Universities that I shall applied for, I also wanted to play safe. I consciously avoided the mistake I had made three years ago: Ignoring Plan B. If there was anything more important I have learnt than to turn fear away, it was to always have a Plan B. In this case, it was to have a job.
So I signed up for campus placements, and sat for two recruitment processes. And got both the jobs.
So on the night of my twenty first birthday, I sat back with a major part of time ahead charted out and comfortably far from uncertainties. Indeed, it was the most fulfilling birthday – start of a new phase of life, with a good idea on what I am going to do.
So I sat there, counting the last few minutes of my birthday this year, trying to gather any and every insightful thought that struck me.
As many quips as I may have about the mediocrity of my surroundings, I also think somewhere I had to go through all this just to poke that little being in me that was required to drive me for the violent, yet exciting life ahead. Four years of college, through its brutality and surprising backwardness for its time, has shown me that people have a right to be weird, and that I need to respect that. For all I know, I’m a “weirdo” myself, which shouldn’t, technically, make me any lesser.
As a man turning twenty one, I find it a lot easier to accept people for what they are, and agree to disagree over things. I find it a lot easier to reconcile to events well out my hands and fight depression by simply directing it at productive work. Incidentally, I have gotten more work done in the past few months than the entire of last year, and that only makes me what to go ahead and accomplish further.
What more? I feel a lot more confident now. I’m less likely to abandon a short story half way, or simply hit ‘export’ on an unfinished sample and leave it there to rot for months to come. I finally feel confident to finish things, something that I had never dared to do.
With a year with its fair share of failures, madness, schisms and successes behind me, I think it’s time to look at what is up.