May I Ask You a Question
by Riddhi Vyas
When you are growing up, you are constantly taught to keep the ‘right’ company and do the ‘right’ things. As clearly, only that will shape you into the ‘right’ person that you should become when you grow up. Relentlessly, we are asked to do many things and warned against doing several other.
Naturally, we are sent to school, taught important things that will help us succeed in life; important things such as numbers, figures, laws, and chemical reactions. Because that’s what holds paramount importance in life. That is exactly what will get you into a good university and push you out with a white-collar job.
When I sit to think about this process, that each one of us has to go through or has gone through in their life, I reaalise it does make sense. At least, from the point of view of our parents and teachers. As a matter of fact, I don’t think they are entirely incorrect. This process is important. Getting a job is important. Earning money is very important. However, being independent is the most important thing of them all.But when I look at it standing in the shoes of a 21-year-old, I don’t see myself making peace with this concept. I definitely am not a fan of what they taught us till we became 21, which in my opinion are the most important years of anyone’s life.
It goes without saying that these years shape you. They make you who you are. When I was a little girl and I looked at adults I always told myself that I would be sitting in an office in front of a computer, typing things, reading files, sipping coffee and earning lots of money. I picturised myself as a sorted adult.
Well, I am an adult today. Sitting in an office, sipping coffee, and writing this article about the things I don’t know. Truth be told, not sorted, at all. In fact, very recently I have come to realise that I have no answers to the most important questions in my life.
Lately, I have been feeling really stuck. Like the world around me has come to stand still and no, that’s not because I failed in college. I am doing decently okay there. There are no attendance issues or backlogs. (Parents can be happy). The reason why I said that my world seems stationery is because I am trying to find answers to certain questions and I don’t know who knows them either.
I am constantly feeling that we have always been taught certain things and concepts either half way or not at all. Like I was told and taught to make friends. Told the importance of friendship. So I made friends. Lots of friends.
But I was never told that the best of friends can become your arch enemies. I was told beautiful stories about love and I was presented with romantic novels that gave me unrealistic dreams. I was always told how beautiful the world of love was. And no doubt, it surely is. But not entirely. So I being a half-learned cupid-struck dreamer, decided to fall in love. I built various relationships with various people. But, no one taught me about loss. Or rather, no one taught me how to deal with loss. I never knew that you could be madly in love one moment and the other moment you could be the world’s most irritating person in the eyes of the love of your life.
I am guessing someone forgot to tell me what to do in such a situation. I was taught to be an extrovert. To be an open person. To meet many people, interact. I was taught attachment is a good thing. So I made a few attachments. But no one taught me how or when to let go of those attachments. At a point in my life, rather at every point in my life, I really wanted someone who would tell me when to put a full-stop and where to put one, but no one gave me a helping hand then.
When we are little and we don’t do our homework or don’t eat the green vegetables, our elders scare us. So then we do what is right. As I grew up, the nature of my fear changed. It wasn’t darkness or height or monsters that I was afraid of. It was the fear of being abandoned and the fear of failure that gave me sleepless nights. Sure everyone taught me to be scared but no one taught me how to stand up to my fears and overcome them. I was always taught to be a generous and a welcoming person. So I became one.
But I was never taught that there will come a point where I will have to bid goodbye. In fact, right now, this very time in my life, I am struggling to learn how to say goodbye. I don’t even know how to prepare myself for such a situation where someone you love, someone you care about is going to go far away from you. I don’t know it. No one ever told me about this. I knew that humans being hurt and get hurt too. But then I saw myself being attached to my best-friend. Then I saw her getting hurt and to my surprise, it hurt me. And when I could not give a solution to her problem, I felt like a failure. No one taught me how to deal with that. No one taught me how to accept or let go.
I feel like a 4-year-old every day. I have so many questions that I want to ask.
What to do when you are afraid? How to be brave? How to be happy when you are feeling sad? What happens when someone you love leaves you? What do you do after? How to defeat your fears? What to do when you fail? How many times should we give a second chance before giving up? How to set limits? Which way to go when you don’t know the difference between what’s right or wrong for you? Or rather, how do you if a particular person or thing is right or wrong for you? Who decides this? Where to go when you feel lost or alone? When to know that it is time to “STOP”?
How to not get attached? How to stop over-thinking? How to dispel stereotypes? How to stand out and yet stand tall? How to not be judged for thinking differently? How to deal with loss? How to not let the past haunt my present? How and when to distance me from the right situation and people? Most importantly, How to accept change?
I am clueless. And lost. And I feel like an outcast. No one ever told me the answers to these questions. I want to move ahead, but I really can’t push myself there.
I am about to complete the 4th year of my college, which means I will be on my feet for another year. Meaning, I have been through 15 years of school and 4 years of college. So much education and yet I find myself here trying to figure out answers to the most basic questions in my life. And I know for a fact that I am stuck because there is no way ahead without getting these answers.
It would be wrong of me to ask these questions to anyone of you reading this. But I hope there are at least some people as lost as me out there who are trying to grow up and finding it as difficult as it is for me.
Just want to end this article by saying, Hi. You aren’t alone. I’m going through this dumb life exactly how you are and I hope that tomorrow we find at least a few answers to keep us going