I cried myself to sleep the other night. It’s happened before. Once in about 3 weeks or so, I burst, hardly ever seeming to know why or how. Of course, I never stop myself in these moments. Sadness, rage and envy are beasts that mustn’t be caged when hungry – better to let them out, so they may sleep on a full stomach, than to feel them all night, tearing at you from inside.
I suppose I do have an idea where all this is coming from.
I feel lost. Out of place. Wandering through the dark, dark woods with nothing but the sound of my breath echoing through the mist, the light nowhere to be seen. Counting down the seconds to an uncertain future.
“It’s okay to be confused at this age,” They say.
“You must choose a path for your life in the two years you have until college.” They also say.
Okay, maybe wandering isn’t really the best word to use. I DO have a goal. A very vague and idealistic goal that doesn’t seem to give any hint to the path to be taken. One thing that I am certain about, however, is that this goal is a heartfelt one.
I want to make lives matter. I want to make them worth living. I want to help people realize that each of the 7.1 billion souls that flit about the surface of the earth has a purpose – some kind of a ‘destiny’ to fulfill, a part to play.
I may not remember the first inspirational speech I ever heard, but I remember it changing me. I remember watching the speaker in awe, spellbound by the optimism and energy he generated. I could’ve watched the entire thing without audio and still felt his words come alive, begging me to heed their wisdom. And I thought to myself, “I want to be like that guy. I want to be able to make people feel important, because they are. I want to help people realise that they’re not alone. But most of all, I want to be able to talk to people without saying a word.”
“Oh my god, that’s so noble” my best friend says when I tell her about it.
More like a pain in the butt. A clichéd goal like that? Good luck finding a path to it.
I realise I’m going a bit off track.
The thing is, I look around, and all I see are achievers. Three of my friends have started NGOs of their own, other two have started a game distribution company, while others are either busy winning national level awards or directing their own musicals. None of them are older than 16. While you might say that I’m just plain jealous, it’s not entirely true. Part of me is thankful that I’m surrounded by over achievers – the lone frog in the well sees himself as the king of the world. The other part of me, however, is sad. Not because I see my friends better off than I am, but because I know I can do the things they did. I can sing, I can draw, I can write and direct stage plays, and I’m good at academics. That, however, is where a problem arises.
There is a fine line between a talented person and an
achiever, and that is a line of action. A talented person is one who CAN achieve a million things, while an achiever is one who GOES OUT THERE and tries his/her best to achieve a million things.
In the past, when I was way younger with way too much enthusiasm in me, jealousy was a step towards becoming better. “Look that guy’s good in art! Maybe if I try hard enough, I’ll become better! Look! That girl’s so good at singing! Maybe if I try, I could sing better than her!” And so on it went. Over the years, the jealousy remained, but the action did not. “I swear I’ll do it later” has become my kryptonite. Much like everyone else.
Now that I think about it, that last phrase has started to define me.Much like everyone else. Less like the boy with noble dreams, much like the one with none at all. Less like the boy who could do anything, much like the one who did nothing. Less like the boy who turned jealousy, much like the one who let jealousy turn him. Less like the boy who couldn’t care less, much like the one who cried himself to sleep.
Less like myself, much like everyone else.