When I was talking to my best friend yesterday, she said I’d changed. Changed after coming to law school. Normally, that’s a statement that would’ve made me quite happy because it’s what I’d always thought law school would do to me. I knew it’d change me. Change me, it did. But in ways that I don’t exactly appreciate. I knew what she was talking about, and she knew what she was hinting at and the implications of her statement made both of us sad.
“You’ve lost that fighting spirit.”
Till a year back, that statement would’ve made me fight back harder than ever, but yesterday, I just agreed with her. It just wasn’t me! Not fighting back is just not me, not answering back, not arguing, not trying to get my point across, all of these are not me. He’d once called me feisty. I didn’t understand then why he’d called me that, because with him, I was just simply trying to get my point across. I didn’t think I was being feisty. Yesterday when she used the words fighting spirit, I realized that feisty was indeed the one word that described me best and these past one and a half years in law school had murdered that side of me. I was lost. I was utterly, completely lost.
Horrible one and a half years it’s been thus far. They weren’t even CLOSE to what I’d/ anybody close to me had imagined my life here would be like. When preparing for the entrance, I’d been focussed, determined, brimming of enthusiasm, ready to take the world by its horns, burning to carve a niche for myself in law school. It had been one of the most awaited events of my life for me. My grandpa had been a lawyer. A great lawyer. I had a clear vision. I was going to follow on his footsteps. Mom, Dad, BigB, all had great expectations and I knew I had to not only live up to them, but surpass them. I knew I had to and was going to. My teachers too believed I had a seat booked in the best law school in the country.
Then came the Big Bang- CLAT 2011- and it shattered my hopes into tiny atoms and smaller particles that went flying in various directions. I landed in Odisha. In the aftermath of the Big Bang, I believed my dream of being one of the hot-shot lawyers of the country lay on the ground covered by a shroud. I was bereaved. Something within me died.
Then came the time for law school. They said I still had to make the best of what I had. Perhaps this was what life had in store for me. I had to make do. I couldn’t back out. No, I wasn’t going to. I was going to make the best of whatever had been served on my platter.
But I didn’t. I didn’t make the best of it. I scored well, but I wasn’t the best. The guilt of not working hard enough to turn all my potential into kinetic form ate me up. And yet, I did nothing to change that. I wrote no papers, participated in no moot, didn’t study as hard as I would’ve liked to. Instead I got into what I had vowed to stay away from for atleast the next 6-7 years of my life.
A fling and a failed relationship followed and then I found myself crying over the remains of the latter. 1.5 years into law school and this is what I had to show for it. A sad, lost me sobbing over such insignificant issues and caught up in the dirty, messed up tangle of social interactions that is characteristic of college life. Spoilt friendships, a messed up relationship, a hateful, vengeful ex who was ready to pounce on every opportunity to humiliate me, a back that hurt from the many stabs inflicted upon it- the ultimate death of the feisty me and the resulting birth of a me who wanted to withdraw into her shell and stay there. Two extremely disappointing and unfortunate events.
So. The conclusion is that I made mistakes. Too many of them consecutively. But worse than the act of committing mistakes is letting your past failures pull you down! Yes, I made mistakes, but (surprise surprise) I’m only human! I’m bound to make mistakes. And someone very dear to me once said that if you’re going to tread on uncharted lands you are bound to make mistakes. You shouldn’t let those mistakes pull you (and then keep you) down. And you should never let them harm your self-esteem/confidence. Getting overly critical of yourself just because you made a few mistakes in your past is the worst mistake you can ever make. Ever. Forgive yourself. There’s a reason why they call life a blank sheet of paper and there’s a reason why we have whiteners and erasers and the delete option in our lives. Everyone makes mistakes and so do you. You must be sorry for them, yes, but only to yourself. Because you’re the one paying for your mistakes. They’re not.
Someone also told me yesterday that it’s never too late to start. Yes, it is never too late to start, to take off. And it’s also never to late to go back. What matters is the fact that you did. That’s what is essential.
The most important lesson, however, that law school has taught me till date is that not just out here, but anywhere you go, you can only make a few real friends. People will come and go, a few will stay back and a few will knock on the doors of your heart. It’s important to appreciate the ones who stayed back and open the doors for the ones waiting for you to open up. However, most important is to remember that while in college, you’ll make plenty of friends to hang out with, plenty to sit in class with, plenty to eat out with and a few who would leave their 20-mark-projects for you to go pick your laptop from Bhubaneswar, or to plan trips for you when you want to meet your sweetheart back at home..however, one should never forget the ones back at home because at the end of five years, they are the ones into whose arms you’re going to run.. ❤ Never forget them. No matter what heights you scale, or how far you travel.. because in the end, you have to return to them.