Strolling on a lone path, lost in her thoughts, she took a deep breath. She could hear the crunching of the leaves beneath her bare feet and chirping birds hidden amidst the branches of the trees.
Her journey had been difficult and she had started to feel the warmth of happiness cocooning her after years. A serene smile adorned her face. She had gradually learnt to embrace her soul, she had come to a peaceful acceptance of her very existence, her role in this beautiful universe.
A myriad of memories rushed through her mind. Since her childhood, her keen and sharp mind wove beautiful, intricate dreams full of ambitions. She was the embodiment of the enchanting childlike glee, like a pixie, dancing on the beats of her own drums.
Hopes ran high in her veins. Everyone marveled at her potential. I believe, that very fact became a thorn in her side. Carrying the baggage of not only her own dreams, but ginormous expectations which her family, friends, teachers laid on her, her delicate wings began to weigh down.
But she was brave, a tad bit overconfident in her abilities perhaps, or maybe afraid of letting anybody down, perhaps scared of letting her own self down the most, she carried everything with grace.
When the time came for her to step out of the safety of her house, suddenly her confidence faltered. She got even more scared. Someone out there was always better, more accomplished. She was made aware of that fact abundantly by people around her.
Comparison was harsh. Criticism harsher. Even a slightest deviation from what was expected of her invited scolding. Yet somehow her small heart preserved.
Deep down, she started getting even more afraid, afraid of disappointing people, afraid of the pedestal they had placed her on.
She started exercising caution. So unsure of every step. Gradually losing faith in herself. Her life was becoming a walk on eggshells, constantly tiptoeing , avoiding mistakes as much as possible.
This left her terribly alone. The pedestal kept friends away. The criticism kept family away. She started hiding her true self, feeling unworthy. As if the people around her, if they saw through her, if they saw that she wasn’t that strong, or that perfect, wouldn’t want her.
Who would want a weakling. Her walls went up high. She was feeling terrible inside. And nobody could see that. Nobody could hear her silent tears.
People would see her smile, but failed to notice the anguish in her eyes. And yet she kept giving to people, doing everything in her capacity to make her friends see her worth. Her family realize that she wasn’t that bad.
And the day came which she dreaded the most. She failed. She failed to deliver. For the first time in life she couldn’t succeed. Her dreams, her hopes shattered in that moment. For the first time in her life, she felt numb.
She wanted to cry, to grieve. Provably howl because of the unfairness of it all because she had worked hard. Really hard and yet she failed. Friends, however small in number, started drifting away. Her family held disappointment in their eyes. As if this failure was the cause of shame for them.
As if she had no right to fail. Her spirit broke down. The girl that used to laugh so hard that people would turn to look, lost her capacity to feel happiness. Life started dimming out from her eyes. She felt unseen, unheard, like a nobody. The people she had stood by started to turn their backs on her.
Her people failed to see how badly she was hurting. How her world had been collapsing. Over the time, the noise in her head, the chaos within her being, cut her so deeply that she started to find an escape out of her reality by any means possible. She did find it. At the bottom of a bottle of cheap liquor. She got her respite, albeit temporarily.
She lost everything. Her self respect, self esteem, her confidence, she lost herself. Standing in the front of the mirror, she couldn’t bear to look at herself because she couldn’t recognize the person staring back at her. She ultimately hit her rock bottom.
They say, the rock bottoms have created more heroes than the battlegrounds. So she took a leap of faith and plunged into her own abyss. She embarked on a journey to find herself. Her soul awakened, from years of hibernation. In that moment, she realized, we are not our mistakes. Even if we did commit them, they don’t define who we truly are.
She came to terms with the fact that she was not constrained by the in-numerous labels they put on her. That she didn’t deserve to feel the way that she did always. That she deserved the world. She deserved everything beautiful, everything magical out there.
She became her own hero, her own savior, her own best friend, her own confidante. And above and beyond, she deserved to be loved, cherished, valued and wholly accepted as she was, her brilliance and shortcomings alike. That she was destined for greatness.
The greatness that came with humility and humanness. That she was a warrior and an empress of her own kingdom, that she was a goddess in her own being, for god is the very embodiment of love.
And this is her story, her unfinished story that she continues to write on her own terms, as she pleases, with all the love, kindness and compassion that she could hold in her heart.
“To love yourself right now,
just as you are,
is to give yourself heaven.
Don’t wait until you die,
If you wait, you die now,
If you love, you live now"
- Alan Cohen