With every passing day, you learn something new. With every new thing you learn, life changes ever so subtly. Like a profile turning that with every degree exposes more of the face you are so keenly looking out for. And when it finally stands before you, you realise you are looking at a stranger…
Everyone tells you that your parents are your role models, your guides, the people who know better. No one tells you that one day you’ll realise your parents are human beings just like you. That they don’t know everything and that they too are scared of making mistakes. But when the shock passes, you’ll understand that you can love them all the more for their flaws, and that they do know some things about you that no one ever will.
Everyone tells you to have dreams, that they’re important. But no one mentions that they’re fleeting in nature. That every night brings a new one, as real as it is different from the one you had the night before. But as the years pass, you learn to loosen the grip on old dreams, so you can make space for new ones.
Everyone tells you to have expectations – it’s what keeps you going. But no one tells you life won’t turn out the way you expected. That every decision you make has the potential to throw you off one track and onto another totally foreign one. That your expectations must be as fluid as your circumstances.
Everyone tells you to prepare yourself for success and happiness. But no one tells you that both have many different faces. That what looks like failure may actually be success disguised. That happiness often comes veiled deep within the folds of sorrow, and that you have to coax it out gently.
Everyone tells you to set goals and head determinedly for them. But no one tells you there are no maps in life. That the route you take to those goals will change on you with every turn, that with every new experience, every new acquaintance and every new accomplishment, the landscape will shimmer and become a new terrain. And that as you change the angle of your approach, the goal itself will begin to look different and unfamiliar.
Everyone tells you that you should be willing to go against the entire world for your personal opinions. But no one tells you that usually going against the world actually means going against those you love. The rest don’t care.
Everyone tells you that there’s only one person out there for you. That you should only marry the one you love. But no one tells you that sometimes you’ll love many people along the way. That it’s the most natural thing in the world to love one person and marry another.
Everyone tells you life is a journey, and that you should enjoy the stroll. But no one tells you that a lot of the track is an uphill climb, or what you need to pack for it.
Everyone tells you life happens and things are beyond your control. But no one reminds you that while the path may change, it doesn’t carry you forward – you walk the path. One step at a time, by your volition.
Everyone thinks they can help by giving you directions on how to get to the End. But no one tells you that all you need in an unfailing internal compass, because more often than not you will find yourself walking alone.
That’s because Life looks familiar to everyone, but no one lived yours before you did, and no one will after you.