Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Look Back

It's 3:19 in the morning right now. Every night for long I have thought about getting back at the seat of writing down whatever I am thinking, but I realized I was nothing but lazy. So what made me sit down and finally do it..? It's something which hits us once in a while, pretty often through life... Rock Bottom!

But I am jumping ahead of myself. Let's start with something more subtle... Change. Ok, maybe it's not that subtle always, still it is something we all have to accept. Wise ones accept and adapt to it, some just accept it as fate and the stubborn ones keep fighting it through either denial or defiance or maybe both. All of us play either of the above roles at every "change" we face... change of roles at different points. But do we change?

My grand-dad always used to tell me that as a child I should pick up good habits and character, because at that time I was like soft clay ("kachhi mitti"). He said, that sooner than I think, I would be set into a mould; that even if I wanted, I wouldn't be able to change (without breaking something inside me). I used to think I he was being over-critical and that I will always be able to mould myself, as I wanted to. Hell, there were quite a few things I wanted him to change about himself, and even though knowing they weren't wise habits, he carried them on. So I thought, maybe this is how as we grow older, we make this excuse of becoming less adjusting, to stick to our cherished drawbacks.

And suddenly, I think of him tonight and realize how important that little statement was. Change is something I have never fell short of. People, places, emotions, ideologies... ample of them all. And at every crossroad in life, I have dug deep into the same pool of ideals, virtues, desires and beliefs, every time. It is as if whatever was put into the empty glass of a growing mind, stuck and most of the new stuff that pours in, either just overflows off the brim and some of it sticks, which can mix with the already present "stuff" in the glass. So if the basis of our choices is still always the same, do we ever change or just keep hardening into what we are currently?

I am sure most of you (and me likewise) will be thinking,"Of course I change(d). Imagine what I would have done in the same situation few years back, which I faced in so-n-so manner recently". Of course your point is completely valid. And so is my question. We will have to "imagine" what we would have done or not done in the same situation. As dynamic as our experiences and thoughts are, core values don't change so often, because they stand alone with no alternatives. You choose to have them or you don't. It's not a matter of good or evil. It's a matter of choice. And once that choice is made, there's no looking back; because "I Am, what I do" (I will save "I Do, what I am" for a later work). It's hard to make hard choices, harder to live with them.

So if one's character is the clay, values are the mould, and crossroads and choices are the roasting inferno, don't we actually get set into our mould? Since we made those hard choices, and we have to stand by them, the basis of those choices stick to our mould, to keep us sane and sorted out and thus more experiences we go through in life, the lesser susceptible we become to changing ourselves. And if one really does take upon himself/herself, to change their mould, it cannot happen without shaking up your roots, and for some time leaving you totally clueless. In many of the extreme cases, this would lead what we usually call a Nervous Breakdown.

Hard choices... they are not that hard, personally speaking, but many a times their aftermath is. And sometimes, the right choice is hardest one to make, not to mention it's as if all hell breaks lose right after it. And then you find yourself between our infamous Rock Bottom and a hard place.
We wonder, "Did I make the right choice?". But is there a point now, thinking about it? Choice has been made for better or for worse. If it's your worse, you are the one who has to deal with it. So maybe life is interspersed with these stars called choices. Some shine, some burn. If you hit rock bottom, and there's no end to it, then wait, because nobody said rock bottom is momentary. It can stretch for a n unpleasant amount of time.But life is still simple, "You make a choice, and you don't look back"!

Rock bottom... it is as much the lowest point in your life as well as the most profitable. Why profitable? Well if you've got nothing to lose in regards to the situation a.k.a. rock bottom, you can only go up now, that means profit with no risk of further liabilities. But the funniest and cruelest thing of hitting rock bottom is, you don't know exactly that you've hit rock bottom. It just feels like it's rock bottom, no assurance it is. You will be extremely surprised as to "What could be worse than this?" until shit happens. Before the ball bounces back you are again and again surprised as to what not to take for granted. And unfortunately we do start taking so many important things for granted until we lose them, or in some fortunate cases they are threatened to be taken away from us.
Getting up is the only option. You can not cry, brood, procrastinate, indulge in self-pity forever. Life calls, and you have to take it. And starting the journey back to achieving their goals, one realizes what has changed within. For some, the moulds are broken, they are left to face the inferno of choices again. Some face the crossroads with a dent here and there in there moulds and others with moulds made of more stubborn (or tougher) stuff not changing at all. Still you have to get up.

A wise person once told me that before I judge myself for the choices I made in the past, I should clearly understand that person I was then, and the person I am now; for better or for worse. That is the only way I can make peace with my past and live my present, hoping for a desirable future.
So I can look back at the choices made, but not standing where I was before. Because if I do, I put myself in the agony of a choice that has already been made, inflicting the shroud of doubt and dilemna upon myself unnecessarily.

And let's face it, once you've hit Rock bottom, one can always give himself/herself a break :)