#30 Burnt Out
This is about not letting your fire die out.
Ever made vows with your nonage buddy?
We did manage to stay tightly-knit, my alter ego and I - up until graduation, right before the ‘real world’ took over. She began residency as a doctor while… well, I was a muddlehead who worked odd jobs to figure out my burning desire in life. I was appalled by her though. She was a textbook planner, mapping every inch of her life for the next 5 years waiting for someone to ask her, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Boy, did she have an answer. Meanwhile, I had an amazing relationship with the infamous student syndrome.
Our startling, noticeable difference may have contributed to the uniqueness of our friendship. Opposites attract and whatnot (that’s so true, by the way).
Her vision fixated on launching her own clinic, expanding it to new locations while diving deep, and in turn revolutionizing the homeopathic field. Her one and only truly love. My interest, on the other hand, peaked in digital marketing and I took my prized possessions and head happily in that direction. This story is no different, a majority of us all lose touch and so did we.
Unlike a horse, I never intended to remove my blinders. My own startup was the light that slowly manifested itself as I inched closer towards it from the ends of the tunnel I crawled.
One day, my planner of a friend contacted me. I had returned from my voyage of studying and working abroad and her getting in touch was the boost I needed! She told me she was expecting her second child! I didn’t waste a second and we decided to get together over coffee.
At the risk of being blunt, I couldn’t recognize the person I met. Everyone looks different during pregnancy so I made an effort to cut her some slack and tap into my emotional side. God, what was wrong with me? ‘Ankisha, you’re the one who has changed, relax. Not everyone has to undergo similar transformations. Anyway, she had this ginormous head start when you two began. Don’t gloat now.’ I humbled myself.
But something else had changed too. The topics of discussion were limited to her first child, how she very entrepreneurially redid her kitchen and garden, the curtains bringing out the charm of her house, our classmates’ marriages and how wonderful it is to be a parent. “I can’t wait for us to do all of this together,” she said as I waited for her to ask me how I was doing.
In the midst of her monologue, I casually slipped in my ideas, my work, and that I was starting my own business, achingly hoping that she would be happy for me. She overlooked it and without batting an eye asked me, “So, are you dating someone to get married?”
What? No. Was this the same person who I idolized? Was she the person who made me want to get better in life? With all the planning and the ambition?
The fire, the fervor, the ambition she had was all gone. We had taken a vow to do bigger things in life, or at least try to! That day, I made another vow. To never let the fire inside me die out.
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