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A Grand Rebirth

Have you ever had that hollow sensation? That acute sense of apathy? That calm realisation that nothing bothers you anymore? An asteroid could collide into the planet in the next five minutes and the most emotion you would show would be a strong “meh”. Literally anything could happen, but you just don’t care.

For you lucky people who have never felt so disinterested by life in general. I say- lucky you. Be glad that you have never fallen inside this abyss. How did I fall in? You’re about to find out.

I left this school after tenth, without a care in the world. I was happy with life and thought the good times would never end. That it would be like a Disney movie, filled with sunshine and fun.

Apparently that’s not what happens. In a few short months I decided to join integrated tuitions and prepare for IIT. Well to be honest, I didn’t care what I did. My parents felt like that’s what I should do, and being the aimless, elated idiot that I was, I went with it. Things were fine.

For a few blissful months tuitions worked well for me. My marks and my ranking were generally high. IIT seemed like only a stone’s throw away. I was happy. I had friends. Despite the social life, I still had good grades. Nothing could’ve been better.

But what’s a good story without emotional turmoil?

Soon the tests became harder. Despite working double time, my grades kept slipping. Things got frustrating. I started losing social contacts. Became more and more reclusive to the point where I didn’t have any friends of any type once I stepped outside the classes. Yet I kept on believing that I could make it work. I BELIEVED that with more hard work I could achieve my goals.

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How close I was to having a mental breakdown…

I guess at one point if you keep pushing and get no results, you stop caring about it.

And that’s what happened. I quit. Sorry, that came off as a bit anticlimactic. But maybe that’s how things are. Maybe you won’t experience one single dramatic moment that will change your outlook on things. Unless you call getting 36 in a test of 360 marks, dramatic. But usually it’s a culmination of events that ultimately leads you towards the big step.

Science says that emotions such as anger and frustration only occur due to increase in hormones in the body. However, the brain can only produce them at a limited rate. Eventually it will give and turn apathetic. [Don’t look so amazed. I found this fun fact on a YouTube video on how the Hulk can be beaten]. I suppose this is a perfect metaphor for what I’m doing. After all this work, having seen no results that encourage me, I lack the willpower now; the willpower to care.

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Sometimes I have my doubts. Like when I answer a question in class that no one else got. Or when I remember that motivation my chemistry teacher gave, about a girl who only seriously started studying five months before the exams and got a very high rank. I feel like I too could do it. Perhaps I SHOULD do it. But then that sane part of me reminds me that if I could’ve, I would’ve and now I don’t want to do it. I want to be a writer. I want to do something that I love and something that I am not terrible at as well. Fortunately, literature fits right under those criteria.

People always talk about how you should never quit and keep fighting. They talk about how you will have to fail a million times before you succeed. But all these sayings are only half truths. What you should be doing is following your dreams. If you’re doing something you love, then don’t quit. If you do, you will regret it later on. I’m not trying to be preachy here. It’s something I’ve learnt the hard way.

When I was originally asked to write an article for the new magazine; I was thinking of writing something along the lines of scaring people about how much my situation sucks and how people should have a plan of what to do with their lives. But as I thought about it, I started to contemplate about my life. The more I planned about the article, more I realised the terrible condition that I am in. So in a way, this post kinda inspired me to quit.

Taking the decision gave me a glimpse into what adulthood must feel like. Taking life altering decisions may be easy. But the slow realisation that it’s you who will be held responsible for the said actions? That makes the scenario much more pressing. It is only now that I realise that I’m not a complete functioning adult yet. Not by a long shot. I later realised that it was this fear of such responsibility that held me back this long. I knew what I wanted to do, but having other mature people like my parents take a decision for me was so much easier. Like I said, I still have doubts. But this time I’m ready to accept the consequences for them.

Now I plan to join Arts after twelfth, get a degree in literature. What next? Truth be told, I’m still working on that. Making my own choices is tough. But not as tough as living with someone else’s. There are so many things I could with a literature degree. Perhaps one day I will become an author. Or perhaps I’ll live my mom’s dream, standing behind a podium in the UN meet and charming a posse of world delegates with my wit and wisdom and changing the world… (IFS sounds good )

I could live with that. But as of now, I’m taking everything slow.

Everyone was surprised when I took this decision. My friends were in disbelief. Couple of them are still in doubt. In fact, one of them made a bet that I won’t join Arts. The loser takes the winner to Barbecue Nation, paid. So guess I know where I’ll be celebrating after twelfth. To people who still doubt me, guess what? I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

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