A year off

Growing up in neighborhood where every parent wants their kids to be like you isn’t really a life of a person who is allowed free will and all the reckless mistakes in the world. Every thought, word and action is accounted for by every one and as soon as a mistake is made, the glamorous parade of insults and finger pointing starts. Thus, every thing I do had to be dealt with utmost precaution and every risk was calculated.

In my thirteen years of schooling, I have never taken time off school. Never had a day off and rarely had a sick day. I wasn’t a big fan of schooling, classes and tests but I loved my friends and time with them so somehow, I managed to do quite well in school (not to forget the added pressure from family, friends and teachers to do well in school…get good grades). And then after high school happened university.

It would be a lie on my part if I tell you that I do not consider myself to be lucky because I do. I do feel lucky that I got the chance to study medicine, something that I have wanted to study ever since I was capable of individual thinking. When I went joined the Faculty of Medicine, I  was very pumped. I felt alive and invincible.

Nothing could have brought me down.

It is four years later. Four years since I first entered the medical faculty and I am taking a break; time off studies and college and medicine…joining the junior batch, missing mine.

Imagine the kind of shock and surprise my parents would have had when I told them I wanted to take a break before my final year. The night I told them the news, I could hear their expectations and hopes crumbling down like a slow avalanche. I knew it would raise havoc soon but no amount of chaos in their world and eyes could be of a competition to the one I was bearing in my head and heart. I was firm with the decision I had made and I like to think, I did it to live. To be alive.

I don’t know how this might affect me in the long run but as of now, I still stand by my claim that I needed this break. There were no events or evidences to support my claim, I wasn’t psychotic and pulling my hair out. I wasn’t bed ridden and so sick that every day was a struggle to cling onto dear life. No, it was none of that but in my heart I knew I needed this break. That if I pushed myself any further then I won’t just be bend, I would be broken and that would have left my family more shattered than they are now.

I felt suffocated, I felt like I could not breathe. My long-standing battle with depression an PTSD had taken its toll  on me,  the battle wounds were starting to gap wider and not heal, I couldn’t lift my sword and wear my armor. I needed a break, I needed to rest amidst the raging fights even though the whole world told me I could do it, that I should go on.

It wasn’t an easy decision for me to take a break from studies and for several reasons at that too:

  • I already lost two years of my life when the university closed down because of some political misgivings in the country
  • I could have never even entertained the thought of joining the junior batch ( ego and pride of mine kicks in here)
  • It is extra expenses for my studies on part of my parents and the government.
  • I am the eldest in the family and therefore have many younger siblings to look after and support (financially)
  • The idea of someone walking up to my parents and asking about my break in a tone filled with condescension and grave contempt gave me goosebumps
  • I CANNOT take a break, I just cannot

Despite all the rational reasoning and convincing, I could not accept the fact that I could go on. A strong sense of intuition that I needed to take a break kept tugging on my gut and I had to listen to it. I took a break despite all the doubts and all the advises and suggestions.

I must say, it is one of the best decisions I have ever taken in my life.

It has been about two and a half months since I have taken break from school and in these two and half months, I have grown more than I have in years.

Everyday feels like a new learning opportunity for me, every day is a chance to meet someone new and build connections. I have learned to let go of the past, the pain and future and anxiety, learned to live in the moment and believe it or not, prosper in it. I have finally found my solace and made peace with who I am and what I am. I am at terms with all the mistakes I have made, all the wrongs I have done.

I have finally accepted the writer, poet and the hippie in me. There are no inhibitions, no hesitating…all there is is wild passion feeding my hearth and keeping the fire going. I
have finally learned to love me for who I am though not completely yet, I am getting there.

I can see the sun rays falling on the wooden floor through the cracks in the curtain as I write this. I hope, in doubt, if ever, that you find clarity and listen to the callings of your soul rather than the honking of your brain and the world around you.

Can you hear the silence?

That is my calling.

I am here


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