I felt like in a blink, my whole world shifted to a different place

Hyderabad: 17 December 2022: I felt like in a blink, my whole world shifted to a different place. When I was a kid, I imagined my life to be over by 25. I imagined myself to be everything that I would ever want to be and thinking about that made me desperate and greedy to grow up. Now that I am 25, I am realizing that I am so far away from my dream that on most days, I lose all my hope for it. Every time I leave, I feel like I lose a part of me. Every time I return, I feel like the place I called home once is now strange to me. If life came with an instruction manual, I think it would have been easier. All the heartaches and the tiny hairline fractures that almost never leak but make you limp— all of this could have been avoided. Maybe, I would have been more whole or more sheltered. My Mother tells me all the time that the reason why we are in so much pain is to learn from it and become better because of it. But I think it was her warm hands on my cheeks when I was 8 that made me feel the safest. I think I have never learned anything from embarrassing myself in front of the one I love. If I love again, I am sure that I wouldn't be able to avoid it because that's the kind of person I am. And when I stood in front of the casket of my friend who will always be 17, I realized that pain came in so many forms and on most days, I will never grow out of it. Maybe the universe isn't trying to teach you anything. All your heartaches are the products of your own mistakes, your decisions and the decisions of the ones you love and it's not necessary that you will learn anything from it. Sometimes they just happen and you have to accept them and move on. Last Sunday, I found myself on the Han River bridge thinking if it's time to give up on everything and live a simpler life like my parents wanted me to live. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just that it won't be a life that I want anymore. I have become the person I didn't intend to be in just a matter of a few years. It's so sudden that I almost panic in the middle of watching a movie or laughing with my friends. It makes me feel like I don't deserve any kind of happiness.
Yesterday, I sat with my old friends and told them how I felt and they told me that it's never been any different for them. We sat talking so much for so long and at one point, we felt like we would cry. And then, someone said "But we all want to be okay again, that's all that we really want," and everyone smiled and agreed. I think it was then when I realized that despite all the unhappiness and all the ugliness that we feel, we want to be in a better place, in a different place than this and that itself shows that no matter how broken we feel, we still haven't lost all hope. Maybe we won't be everything that we ever wanted to be when we are 25, but it's possible that we are nearer to it now than we were when we were 17. If we can become even a little bit of what we intended to be, I am sure that someday we can be someone whom we are proud of. And that itself, I think, is enough of a reason to keep moving forward.

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