The time after my laptop got stolen from my house, which had the only copy of my novel, and yes I am that stupid not to have a backup elsewhere, I was walking or wandering, low on confidence. At that particular time, I was struggling to crawl out of the clutches of the infamous three ‘S’s’ self-pity, self-loathing, and self-condemnatory. They had their claws so deep into my skin that when I bleed, I also started to lose the joy which I got from putting together a story on a blank page. Even in my desperate state, I stared at the blank page for hours, hoping that I would be able to put together few sentences, but that didn’t happen. Finally, I had to give up and return to the world where fictional characters were replaced by real people. Instead of me that were creating problems for these fictional characters to overcome, I was dealing with real people who had a lot of real problems. As I got use to this routine, I began to realise, that it has been two months, and I haven’t written anything.
It was about that time that I realised, I was fine. Don’t get me wrong, I was about to hit rock-bottom with my confidence, but I was fine. Every conversation that I had went like-
“Hey how are you, I heard about the theft,” I would be asked.
“Ya, it’s okay, I am fine. So what is up with you,” I would reply.
Soon after, I got what I wanted. I was alone. It was like a blanket of apathy which slowly covered me, and eventually I crawled inside making myself comfortable with being fine. I wasn’t angry, sad, disgusted, I was just fine. I started to shun out everyone and also avoid messages from those who cared, and nearing the New Year, I was knee deep with being fine. There came a point that I watched myself in a routine of a recluse to the point where I didn’t even know the ringtone to my phone.
I think I just showed the state of being fine in really bad light. There are a lot of upsides too. You stop caring about your appearance as I gained 3 Kg, and you try to make those around you happy by saying what they want you to hear. You do what is told, and stop questioning things like you did when you were a child. What I am trying to say is that, slowly you accept the world around you and you are at peace.
However, my peace was short-lived. The anger inside me which was already boiling and hidden away under a smiling face started erupting at small instances. The pseudo appearance of happiness began to shatter when my tired brain began incessantly asking for knowledge and freshness. I saw this FINE as a chain wrapped around me and I found myself slowly drowning in water of monotony. My hands were free, but I just didn’t have the willpower of a drowning man. Then it hit me one day.
If you are fine, then you will never be great.
That is what I realised. Fine is like cancer, slowly creeping and multiplying inside you. You slowly start to lose your ability to achieve something, and it begins with waking up in the morning. The first thing that I lost was my ability to garner enough strength to get myself out of my warm bed and motivate myself to do something. Before my period of being fine, I was eager and inspired to wake up, and quickly check what has been said about my work, replying to comments on my work, and understanding the criticism and its foundation. I wanted to improve myself each day, and for that I struggled.
In the end, I just want to say that, I learned through experience. Nothing great is done by people who were fine with their lives. The greats have always been the people who wanted more, who wanted to be great, and who were willing to leave their comfortable fine, and move into the harsh surroundings. Because, it is as simple as this, when you go out of your comfort zone, it is only then when you start to experience the vastness that life has to offer.
A big thanks for those who were with me at the time when I was really tough to be around.