Sometimes you are the pigeon, sometimes you are the statue.
I just opened up my laptop, and went over to LinkedIn to see what’s new.. As I scrolled down, I saw a plethora of posts that have been “Liked” multiple times – with people also commenting “how nice” or “Liked & sharing it!!”.
Here’s a sample:
“FAIL” means “First Attempt In Learning”
“NO” means “Next Opportunity”
“END” means “Effort Never Dies”
“No one has the perfect life……..”
I am lucky that I have not had dinner yet; I am so ready to hurl.
Just one of those days when the whole world seems to conspire to get at you. You know that feeling, don’t know – nothing works out, and every new moment, every person you meet only piles up stuff on your already weary shoulders.
And on top of that, I am trying to control my sodium intake – so I cannot turn to any comfort food, either. Going out for a walk is ruled out – it’s freezing outside. And I already spy someone walking towards me with a piece of paper in hand, and a frown on the face.
Too many people to punch, too little time.
I walk across the courtyard, enter the Starbucks cafe, and stand in line. Most of the Baristas here know me by face, two of them even know my name. I usually order the same thing each time I’m here – Tall, extra-hot, 4-pump, stirred Chai. And here’s what invariably happens when it’s my turn to order.
Barista: “what can I get started for you today?”
Me: <<description of the chai>>
Barista: Awesome! Anything else for you today?
Me: No, thanks; that will be it
As my drink is announced, I walk up to the bar, and say “Thanks”.
* * *
At the grocery store, the cashier asks – will that be all?
Me: Yes please
And so it goes on. At the restaurant, the gelato shop, the fast-food joint – you name it. Anywhere and everywhere I go, I am reassured that my choices are “Awesome”. In fact, if today I go to the pharmacy and ask “do you have anything for someone afflicted with the awesomes”, I’m sure what the girl will say.
Why can’t I write? Why won’t I write? I don’t remember how many times I have given thought to this – indeed, so many times on this blog itself.
It’s not that I cannot – I definitely can. A few posts on this blog itself have surprised me. And in the past, I have submitted my work to other places – they were accepted and published as well.
So what is it that stops me?
Fear, I think.
Fear: that my writing will not turn out to be good. Fear: that I will not be able to complete it – that I will leave it hanging. Fear: that I am not good enough to achieve this.
Fear: that it will not be accepted/ appreciated by those from whom I need that the most.
That said – will I ever write what I wanted to? It’s a question that I have asked myself too many times. And each time, as today, the answer is the same: I am not quite sure.
Open your eyes, and look inside.
Recognize who you are, and accept your strengths. Seize your dreams.
And don’t worry about what the world feels – they are your dreams. Not for anyone else’s consumption – solely yours.
“The sword of Damocles” is an anecdote/parable that entered Greek culture around 2.5 millenia ago, sometime in the early BCE period. It’s an easy one to summarize:
Damocles was a courtier during the reign of Dionysus II. Once, he attempted to flatter the king by referring to the power & authority that Dionysus commanded. Dionysus immediately offered to trade places with Damocles for a while, and Damocles agreed.
However, Dionysus also arranged for a sword to be hung (by a single hair of a horse’s tail) above Damocles’s head – to represent the peril and anxiety that he was constantly under.
Damocles begged Dionysus to be relieved of his kingly duties, for he no longer wished to be so fortunate.
So tell me, dear Reader – what would you do in Damocles’s place? Give up immediately and retreat back to a position of safety, or enjoy the comforts/power for a while and then step back?
Or would you ride your luck to see just how far would it take you?