Past, Present and Future: Learning & Mistakes

Our perceptions of ourselves and reality change as we trudge through life. This is inevitable, as learning is a basic human trait regarded as an absolute necessity, leading to discontinuations of certain characteristics or emphasis on others. Life itself can provide difference challenges for various people –but the human itself is still the same, yet in different forms or vague, blocked “fragments” of time; the past, the present and the future. 

THE PAST

As a child, I was exceptionally friendly and extremely confident in my values and morals. Whenever another human entered through our main door, I’d grab their hand, leading them to my toy-filled bedroom and proudly presenting my possessions with a huge smile. Self-conscious wasn’t in my vocabulary. Furthermore, my values and morals were firm and unfaltering, as demonstrated by my indignation when my uncle claimed incorrect sounds to alphabet letters. Upon pointing to a “P” with a smirk, he’d claim it as an, “M,” and my two-year-old self would defiantly correct him until he admitted defeat. My love for people initiated at an early age, due predominantly to my solitary status as an only child with dutiful parents whom had a low capacity for nurturing affection. In the infrequent moments of socialising with peers, happiness was within my grasp.

I excelled in activities and academics with minimal effort, scoring well in exams, while also pursuing hobbies such as music, art and literature. Most of my primary school revolved around writing. School never worried me, because good marks occurred naturally. By reflecting upon the past, however, I now realise the dangers of effortless success; failure is inevitable, but only those with experience can properly cope. Others who’re unfamiliar with the concept, such as myself, fell in an abyss of self-doubt, a strike to the ego and a constant fear of failure and self-loathing –one that’s associated with the simplified “fixed mindset.”

THE PRESENT

I’m not entirely sure when the transition between my blissful childhood and challenging present occurred, but in retrospect, the difference  is substantial. Perhaps around 12-to-13 yeas of age, I lost myself and any previous connotations of both my personality and place in the world. A rather strange fact I’ve never shared before: I’ve always intuitively believed that I’d die young, beginning from an young age. Upon turning 8, I expressed my grave worries to my parents –“I’m 8? I’m so old”– who exchanged incredulous looks with one another. I live entirely in a no-strings-attached present, one that’d inevitably hurt my future, yet the abundance of piercing anxieties derive from an unpredictable future. It’s an inconsistency; an unhealthy one.

What is studying? What is work? What is life? 

Due to good grades and ceaseless success, I’ve never developed the skills of perseverance, constant studying, recovering from failure that my peers have experienced. It’s strange to realise that continuous, effortless success can actually lead to incompetency after experiencing failure –something that’s bound to occur in an individual’s life, at one point or another– and leading one to feel… lost.

THE FUTURE

Year 12, this year, marks the last year of my high school life. With academic pressure, societal expectations and an acknowledgement of infinite things to learn… to be frank, the thought of the unknown frightens me beyond words, like plunging in the darkness. At the time time, it also excites me. Most of these life skills, I won’t learn in this year alone –one would hope– but rather, spread itself throughout life. My aspirations in my future is to welcome challenges, change and accepting different perceptions of reality, even –or rather, especially— when it contradicts my previous notions.

With this differently structured post (unlike my previous ones, this leaps between various ideas, concepts and experiences), I aspire for the following in my future:

  1. Accept more challenges, especially those that contradict my ego’s perception of both myself and my surroundings.
  2. Defeat my fear of failure by perceiving it as an opportunity to learn
  3. To not be intimidated by failure. A wonderful way to do this, recently, is to avoid thinking in terms of “success” and “failure,” but rather, “yet” or “not yet.” “Not yet” refers to a hidden potential that doesn’t focus on the present, but the future wholly
  4. To focus on the future in a more positive light. If something is regarded as “not yet” presently, all it means is that, sometime during the future, it will turn into a “yet.”
  5. Perhaps write more structured blog-posts that don’t switch from one theme to another. Oh, and to grow daffodils in my backyard. (See what I did there?)

Like steam, water and ice, we humans undergo a multitude of changes, but in essence, are still ourselves. My past me did unwise things; I acknowledge them, reflect upon them, and accept them as a part of me. The one thing I refuse to do is regret them. All regret constitutes is powerless longing to change the unchangeable, triggering shame and disgust, that removes positive energy from the present.

It’s been a while since I’ve written. Forming English words alone is proving to be a tremendously difficult task for a native Bengali speaker. Maybe this will clear up next week, when school begins once more. 🙂 [PS: School has begun now. This post was drafted –and completed– before school, but my forgetful self didn’t press “Publish”]

***

 OTHER ELEGANT TRANSITIONS:

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11 thoughts on “Past, Present and Future: Learning & Mistakes

  1. Hi there. You left your site on my site in the comments section. There were no words, but wordpress is asking me if I accept the pingback. Not sure what that means. Do you know? Thanks,
    Mary

  2. This is beautifully written, I was surprised when you said your native tongue was Bengali. Excellent goal setting too. I hope you reach them all. Sending good vibes your way.

  3. Awesome post! Here’s to you reaching everyone of your inspiring and beautiful goals. I particularly loved this one
    TO FOCUS ON THE FUTURE IN A MORE POSITIVE LIGHT. IF SOMETHING IS REGARDED AS “NOT YET” PRESENTLY, ALL IT MEANS IS THAT, SOMETIME DURING THE FUTURE, IT WILL TURN INTO A “YET.”
    What a wonderful thought.

    All my good wishes to you and your stylish blog.

  4. Ramisa, this is beautiful! Thank you so much for linking me to this post. I think our stories very closely mirror each other, and I want to let you know that I want to be here for you. I finished my senior year last year and am now in college so if you have any questions or need advice, don’t be afraid to ask ❤

  5. it is surprising to read that you are a native bengali, but then i shrug my shoulders in wishful anticipation. Bengalis after all, are the smartest of the lot, your article haing proved your mettle as a writer. it is beautiful.

    • Aww, thank you for your comment. 🙂
      Although I’m not sure I can verify that Bengalis are the smartest, I appreciate the sentiment –thank you.
      Your poetry is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Keep writing!

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