It has been a while since I last wrote you a letter. You might have worried about me, or atleast I hope so – but I’m fine. Actually, I wonder if you remember me at all. But I promise I always thought about you. I used to look at the happy faces in midst of the crowd, just thinking about you. I always pictured you as a happy soul. In fact, at times, I wish you were by side sharing your precious gaiety with me.
Unluckily, you were not here for last few months – and I had to endure a path completely new to me. Sorry that I distanced myself so much that I never found enough time to share my experiences with you. You have always listened to me no matter what- and I can’t thank you enough for just hearing me out without showing any sort of acumen.
It’s sometimes cliche- but life has been up and down for me in the recent times. However, it wasn’t always like this. All my childhood, I only knew happiness. I grew up never realizing the true meaning of dissatisfaction and disgruntlement. I was the youngest among three other siblings; three a decade older than me and I often was the center of attention.
Of course, there were times when my brother enraged me. I still remember the time when he set up a mock examination to challenge me ahead of my finals. He used to set up tricky questions just to unsettle me into studying more. I often fell into the trap but I never conceded a defeat. I would show my dissatisfaction with the marks and sometimes, even cry but he never cared for it. He would say: “You can’t always win.”
I hated it. It never made sense to me. Maybe, it was because my favorite wrestler then (Undertaker, btw) had a 100% Wrestlemania Record. I knew it was possible.
Slowly as I was growing up, the discontentment towards my brother switched with my friends. I never showed it, but I hated losing with them in FIFA. Sometimes, I would even go to the length of playing multiple practice matches before I faced them. I couldn’t always beat them though – and when I did lose; they would always amusingly look at my face and say: “You can’t always win, man.”
The statement just kept on knocking the temple in my head. It infuriated me. From a simple mock test, FIFA to each and every step of my life growing up, it kept coming up. I started to make sense of it. I thought: “My brother was right. I can’t always win.”
Meanwhile, I thought I cracked life. I told myself: “Try winning all the battles you can. If you can’t, just remember you can’t always win.” Though, I knew I couldn’t be Floyd Mayweather Jr. of real life – I thought I was atleast Manny Pacquiao. But, in the winter of 2016, everything changed.
I faced my first failures everywhere. Academically, I had never been worse while emotionally I was going through a torrid time. Soon, “you can’t always win” turned to “you can’t win”. I was devastated and I knew no answers. The final nail in the coffin was when I thought I had lost the love of my life. I couldn’t bear it- and I reached a red light which just didn’t turn green. So, I just stood still waiting for the green light in the hope someone would do it for me. Watching Friends made me feel okay sometimes, but I’d often retort back to the numbness as soon as I was done with it.
As a child, I always thought I have people around me who will guide me to the destination I vowed to reach. It was really simple in my mind. All I needed was a simple blueprint from my family and I thought I was set to go. Maybe, that could be the reason why I depended on people so much. No one could help me but it didn’t stopped me from craving for someone. Someone who could be the messiah of all my problems. I was alone in the zone of war against my enemy and all I did was wait for someone’s command instead of mapping out a plan to face it myself.
The feeling of helplessness and perhaps, a little pity on me made me feel weak but what was worse was how I made myself a victim out of it. “Why always me?” – I often thought of myself. It was almost as if I forgot the beautiful journey I had been through to reach this state. Perhaps, my beautiful childhood and dependency growing up just made me unprepared for an eventual battle. Or maybe, I just lost my way in between. One thing was certain- I was battling against something out of my forte. I lost once, I lost again- and each time, it just made me weaker. More importantly, it wasn’t just about me. Every day I would look at my mother and see the worry on her face. She was helpless but she knew something was eating her little boy inside.
As far as I was concerned, it wasn’t about some love I had lost or some poor exams I had. They were just a trigger, but it was a sign that I often put materialistic pleasures over the true form of happiness. I never really knew happiness. The feeling of satisfaction to be in one’s own company never even touched me.
I came across a battle with my own mind and I had zero knowledge on how to face it. The hollowness would haunt me despite all the efforts I made. I would feel happy one moment and the very next moment, a facade of loneliness would crumble me. But I would always hang on, trying to make a sense out of it. I’d steadily try to push myself out of my comfort zone. I thought: “So what if the red light never turns green? I will just get out of the car and walk. I just need to try different things.”
With time, maybe I’ll find the final destination. I can’t guarantee- no one can. Yet, the most important lesson I learned was that my brother only illuminated one side of the story to me. You can’t always win but friend, I know it with confidence – you can’t always lose as well.