All summer I have been trying to figure something out. Something that defines me. Something that I want to do.
And I haven’t been able to sit still until I know what it is. I feel like time is ticking. That before I know it, my chance will fade into the ‘what could be’, and I into the robotic oblivion that characterizes the mass that is called ‘everyone’. Time is ticking. “Do something”, it whispers. Do something meaningful. Do something awesome. Do something that is you. Do something that makes you feel alive. Do something that won’t make you everyone.
Time is running out.
Do you ever feel like that?
What is even more pressurizing is that now it is not just a feeling. I’m in third year of college, and this is the time to start deciding so that I can start preparing for whatever lies ahead. Oh man, sometimes life is hard. Well, that is if you want to make the most of it.
There is a poem I came across once during the summer. I was in the Country Club, waiting to be picked up after a nice swim. With nothing much to do, I went to the library. Yes, I am that girl who sits amid white-haired peeps, in a room filled with a silence only broken by throaty coughs and wheezes, content among books. But it was nice. There was a wonderful comfort that came from the soft couches, the water dripping from my hair, the cool touch of my breezy summer dress, the satisfied ache from my tired but refreshed muscles, and the weight of the book in my hand. I had randomly picked up a compilation of the work of a Russian poet, Mikhail Lermontov. And I actually read the poems. NERD ALERT. I know. I remember thinking that if my High School version had seen me, she would definitely have judged me. She would have put as much distance between me and herself and gone to find people my age to socialize with. I suppose people change. A lot. That is a whole separate story altogether.
But, in my defense, I had forgotten what legit literature was like, since the last time I had read a poem was I think in twelfth grade. It made me a little sad actually, since I was so ‘cultured’ in school. But ever since engineering came up, boom, everything went out the window. I barely picked up a book by a half-decent author since then, much less read some good quality old classics with universal themes and alliteration and motifs and all those other wonderful literary devices.
But anyways–sorry I go down a lot of rabbit trails—I came across a poem that gave me comfort in the knowing that I was not alone in my restless eagerness to avoid the status quo and figure something out for myself. Here it is:
“Sail” by Mikhail Lermontov
A lonely sail is flashing white
Amdist the blue mist of the sea!…
What does it seek in foreign lands?
What did it leave behind at home?..
Waves heave, wind whistles,
The mast, it bends and creaks…
Alas, it seeks not happiness
Nor happiness does it escape!
Below, a current azure bright,
Above, a golden ray of sun…
Rebellious, it seeks out a storm
As if in storms it could find peace!
I read this and even in the paradox at first glance, it made perfect sense. It’s not necessarily happiness that we crave. If that were it, I would be content with watching funny movies, eating out, dancing, partying, and shopping. None of that is sad, right?
But, it’s the storms we desire. It is the confusion and turmoil and risks that we have to take before figuring things out. It’s going through the heartache of wrong decisions taken and the sorrow of defeat. It’s the satisfaction of watching the sunrise after an intense, difficult hike. It’s always the weathering the storm that provides the peace. But only the rebellious spirit ready to weather storms and loneliness will be able to do it.
And perhaps we may feel alone. But in actuality, we all have that feeling.