Happy Diwali !
This long post is more like a diary entry or a rant than a life lesson. So read at your own risk! Oh, and I do apologize to my dear readers for having been inactive on blogger for a while. You'll find the reasons in this post.
There comes a lecture in every student's life when he's just hearing and not really listening to his teacher. And the chances of that increase when you're in 12th class.
That was a thought that I never thought I'd have. I had this idea, before 12th, that by sheer hard work and foresight, I would avoid every one of the pitfalls of 12th I'd heard about - bunking classes, spacing out in lectures, studying 6 hours a day etc. etc. I have been fairly successful, but yeah, there have been problems. You probably guessed that, right? They were the reason I did not reappear on blogger for the last few weeks.
I'm on a week-long Diwali break right now. And every day I've been studying - Political Science, Maths and Economics. I've also been working for some competitions - essay writing, debates and poetry. Our school teachers are so confident of my skills now that they confirmed my name for competitions without even telling me! And when I tried telling them that I did have to study, their rather surprised reply was, "Beta, you won't be studying all day na? It's your last year. Just take out a little time, we know you can do it!". That's when I wanted to shake them. They've probably don't take my 12th class as seriously as I do. But for some reason, I was unable to think of more polite ways to refuse at the time and have taken on another source of stress in the holidays.
True, I won't be studying all the time. But my teachers are undervaluing my own feelings about my studies. If they asked, I would tell them how I haven't been able to get more than a superficial understanding of my latest chapters in Maths and Economics (it worries and annoys me). I would tell them how I felt horribly guilty for goofing off in front of the TV sometimes. I would tell them how I felt so darned incompetent because of my marks. I could even tell them that while I loved winning competitions, their lack of support made me angry. Taking on another competition somehow made me feel guilty - like I wasn't taking my own studies seriously enough (Maybe they weren't doing anything intentionally, I just felt bad at the time. Then again, maybe I wouldn't tell them unless I thought they would understand)
Life's been really busy in the last two weeks. I've been working on something new for my blog (I'm really excited about it!), I've been trying to read new story books, I've been trying to (reluctantly) practice maths and prepare for tuition tests, I've been helping teachers with their tasks in school, I've been trying to develop a sensible schedule (I initially thought time management was my only problem), I've been studying for my exams. In a nutshell, I've been trying to be perfect. I've been trying to keep up appearances of sanity until the holidays started, when I decided it was time for revamp. Too much stress in my life is NOT healthy. I would end up feeling sad, dissatisfied and kind of alone. Also, I couldn't psyche myself out of every headache I got because of my depleted physical and mental energy. I felt so, so out of control of my own life.
As a little kid, I would always think "life is fun!". Life had so many little surprises. How far away that seems now! Has life become smaller or my mind?
I took a break this week (read:tried to take it. Can't really escape time-bound obligations). I timed my work throughout the day to give myself more free time. But still, there is a lack of motivation to do all the things I must do. I've learned the difference between motivation and inspiration. One can't substitute another. If I could have one wish right now, I'd love to go on vacation, all my responsibilities taken care of. The constant scruples about the way I use my time are getting really annoying. There was a time when I could come home, do exactly what I felt like and not feel too bad about it. Now it's like my own mind is rebelling against the constant association with school and trying to pull me in ever more interesting directions. Yesterday, I spent two hours looking up pictures and videos of the best screen villains instead of working for my competition. Today, I'm writing this blog post instead of working on my essay!
And all this time, each and every day, I wonder if I'm doing the right things. Lately, every time I'd get a compliment I'd think, "Awww, that's nice of you. But you might not like me if you know the whole story. I feel like a fake. I don't feel honest." And when I feel I'm not doing such a good job, I tend to automatically feel that everyone else is doing a better job than me. Talk about the curse of having too much time and choosing to think too hard. I let my life become a complicated quest for happiness, literally asking myself, "Should I be happy about this?".
It was time to give myself some care and respect. I'm not a machine, I'm a human being. It's machines you can have high expectations from and curse when they go wrong. Not people. And I'm not living to be like other people, I'm living to be the best of me!
Well, I do feel a little bit better now.
Many of you must have already crossed 12th as just another stage of life. What your best advice?
Take care of yourself dear readers and don't let stress into your life
Pssst...I have a special surprise planned up for my wonderful blog readers in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned!