It was until nearly a decade ago, I believed in the miracle of life, the power of dreams and the beauty of being alive. It’s not like I disbelieve them now, but there has been a change and a huge one. Life does play its tricks on you as you grow older, making you challenge your oldest belief and faith. It creates situations and times which make you surrender to the false reality called ‘life’. Your beliefs are negated, you faith is declined and you summarize all this as- ‘Life’.

This is what happens when you are 24. You are neither a child nor an adult, you have neither lost nor won, you have started but not yet reached. You are in the middle of the journey, the struggle and the confusion. You live with your faith which has been overthrown by reality. You dwell in a zone called transition. You are neither a caterpillar nor a butterfly. You are in that painful transition, with oozing liquids out of your body, trying to make your way out of the cocoon, trying to build your wings on the way so that you too can fly with outstretched wings and admire the beauty of the valleys.

You have been an outstanding student, the apple of the teacher’s eye throughout your student life. No one could ever touch you; reach up to where you were. You lead and people followed. And suddenly it’s not the same anymore. People who were part of the crowd suddenly make it bigger than you in life; reach heights you are only struggling to scale. Somehow whatever you do is less important than what others are doing. Somehow it’s lesser competitive, someone out there has a bigger pay check and a bigger car. You dwell in the dissatisfaction but then again- that’s Life. You start to believe that what you have believed all this while has been a sham, nothing to do with reality. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

You loved that person with all your heart and he left. Or maybe, you did. You remember all the lovely things you did together, all the moments you created. You think of all the things that could have been done, about those unsaid things, unexpressed emotions. You try to figure out where you went wrong, you certainly cannot find out. You think that if something so genuine and pure didn’t work out, nothing else will. And you disbelieve this thing called Love. You know you can never fall in love again, maybe it’s not meant for you. Maybe, you romanticized life too much. You console yourself with all those practical things- a career, more money, a job at Google. But deep down you know you need to belong and be loved. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

You know your friends too well. And sadly that means knowing they aren’t friends at all. They are people you know well enough. They aren’t strangers or are they. You think of what happened to that crowd of friends you had in college. You didn’t get a spare moment from all their fancy gossiping. But where have they been when you actually needed them? And you believe that’s how life is, you meet new people and no one stays. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

Your family loves you too much. You never actually realized that. Now you do, you want to hold on to them and tell them how you feel but you never get the chance. You realize all the times your mum stayed up waiting for you at dinner and how insensitive you have been. You repent but you can’t tell her that. You realize how your siblings have supported you even when you didn’t deserve it. You repent again. You are sorry and it adds to your misery. You now know, at least partially what’s important. You want to do things for them but you can’t find the time to. After all you have a career to look after. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

Life

You realize what you are doing is not the love of your life. You try to figure out what is then. When you realize, you dismiss the thought immediately. After all you can’t be a travel or food journalist. It’s unrealistic. So you satiate yourself with those once in a while trips to south of France or Naples. After all you are living your passion in bits and pieces. As far as the journalism goes, you write an article or two when you are alone in your packed room. This way too, you answer your conscience. You have to maintain a balance, you see. You are not born to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you are not a millionaire. You need a job that pays you and that may not have anything to do with your passion. You have to pay a price for your dreams, or other’s dreams for that matter. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

You look at people who jump off the highest cliff, who dive in the middle of the Pacific, who swim across channels, who leave their jobs to travel, who follow their destinies and you conclude they are different. You are not anything like them, so all this is simply not meant for you. It’s not normal to be like that. In your court of conscience, you present all evidences to prove you can’t be one of them. And you win, but with a glitch in your conscience. You know what the little voice is saying but you pretend you are too busy to listen. You are too afraid, actually. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

And so life goes on. Day after day, week after week. Until one day you actually, truly start believing that everything you dreamt of as a child was part of being a child, part of being naïve and unaware. You tend to think of limitless possibilities when you are young, doesn’t make that the reality of life. Hurts, but you accept it again as-Life.

Right now I am trying to challenge this thing called- Life. Are you?

Shansita Sahu

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