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Finding My Balance — Healing with Friends

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It was a childhood dream. I always aimed at being a “Systems Designer” for Astronautical systems. In layman terms, a rocket scientist. I liked designing things and I overheard my teachers whisper within themselves that I was doing one heck of a job. A few years back, I stopped wanting this. When I delved deeper, I realized two very important things in life: One, it’s not just the big picture that counts, you have to look at the smaller ones as well and two, you have to learn to let go of your emotions.

My childhood dream started with my first science fair exhibit. Overnight I became the “Scientist” of the school. I kind of liked it. But inside it never really used to feel at home. For ten years, from my high school to my Bachelor’s degree, I was under the delusion that I knew what I wanted to do, I knew my aim. I was wrong.

But little did I realize that this dream was a projection of what people saw me as, not what I saw myself as. The appreciation and love that I used to receive after showing my exhibit was a very strong motivation to continue to keep doing it. The real reason actually ran a little deeper.

Today, we are in comfortable times. It wasn’t so a few years back. I remember paying my college fees by borrowing money from neighbors. My family had a very very rough time, and at a very crucial stage of life, our family split. It was much easier for everyone to go their separate ways and remain alone for that time. But the rift widened and kept on widening, just because each member in our family was just too egoistic to submit to the other.

The constant conflict had a very deep impact on my personality. Family atmosphere was unhealthy, that slowly crept into my habits. The fights used to drive me into my room, but in fact, they drove me much deeper inside myself. I swallowed all the guilt and pain and shut the bottle up tight. Here was my biggest mistake—I did not let go of my emotions.

I started losing friends. I started losing my social life. The only thing that I had left was—my projects. I again shut the lid on myself so tight with my projects, and that started making the series of beautiful mistakes that life had in store for me.

To my disbelief today, I did really go a real long way with my research. I shared a national award for a project in nanotechnology, though it was my guide whose work it was, and I even went on to designing my own rockets, which would fly a mile high. I went on to that extent where our national space agency gave us an open invitation to work on an atmospheric payload for a sounding rocket.

But a few months back, it started to feel empty. I began to realize that I was fooling myself and I would never really truly be happy unless I was in harmony with my family. I felt at a loss for myself because the important stage of life where a certain growth takes place, never occurred. I missed part of my growth. And I still pay for it. And I still can’t let go of it.

And just as suddenly a revelation came—I don’t know what I want to do with my life.

This was earth-shattering. This itself became my aim to begin to live. I started making friends. That has been a very good healer. I found out that I was always dearly liked by people, but they couldn’t approach me because of my own reluctance to meet them. Here I found that the answer you want IS near you, provided you WANT to let it come to you. Times spent with them started to make me feel better, and I slowly loosened the lid on the bottle that was tightened up. The initial healing steps have started, and what more important answers that have to come, will make a man of me.

Time is a good healer, but still, the memories of childhood tremor my soul. But with my new friends, that part of life rightfully begins to belong to where it really is—in the past.

Somewhere, I know deep down that I have written this for my parents to read. You never stop needing your parents. But sometimes they forget to see what their child is becoming. I hope this serves parents who are quarrelling for apparently some small reason that can be solved with a little understanding and forgiving, and most importantly with love.

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