— Pearlyn Anugraha J

The process of growing up teaches you far more than a classroom. As the cliché goes, experiences are the best teachers. Over the past year, there are a myriad of things that I’ve learnt and realised which I’d like to share for the greater benefit of the reading community.

The first and most important thing that I learnt is to accept failure. And that was hard, very hard. Doesn’t mean that I’ve never ever faced failure in my life, but this time, it did affect me in ways like never before. I couldn’t accept it for one, and I couldn’t accept myself after that. The only thing that helped me out of it was alone time. I would talk to myself, cry to myself, and then kneel down and cry to God. I wanted to learn from the failure and not die from it. After hours and hours of remorse, suddenly, in a moment, I chose to get up and be strong. It baffles me how it happened, but it did. But I was also very careful to tell myself that accepting failure doesn’t mean I should get used to it. I should accept it, but not go numb. I realised I could actually use failure to drive myself to be better. But easily failure could drive you to think that’s how it is and things can’t be changed. Don’t be deceived.

I also learned that faith is not just for the good times, but for the bad times too. It is so very easy to have faith when things are going well, when you have done well and the sail is smooth. But that’s just not what faith is about. Even when we do not see hope ahead, we need to have faith. Even when everything fails, we need to have faith. I have seen some use the phrase “blind faith”, but faith itself means blindly believing, hoping, trusting and most of all, resting in confidence.

I learnt to smile, AT ALL TIMES. Not just smile to hide the pain, but smile from the bottom of my heart. That takes a lot of courage. I made a commitment a year ago to stay calm and just smile when things aren’t going well and to dress up and show up even when I don’t want to. There used to be days when I kept a long face when something wasn’t right with me and people who see me will be able to guess that I’m having a bad day. But the past year, I’ve learnt to forget everything and keep calm. That actually helped me sought things out faster and better.

I believe all of us have those two or three places, those groups of people, around whom we always feel small, inferior and that we don’t measure up. I used to blame those people for making me feel that way, but a lot of thought made me realize that if I feel small around someone, then it’s my fault , not theirs. How easily we blame others! It’s really very important to have confidence in self. I never used to believe in myself when I was younger. When I grew up I started believing in God and in turn His purposes. I am one of His purposes. That realisation made me change by leaps and bounds. You may not measure up in certain things, not “good enough” according to worldly standards, but to God, you are perfect, a being who was “fearfully and wonderfully made” and He has a great great plan for you!

Sometimes I look at achievers, I look at success stories and go,” Why does it come so easily to them and not me? Everything they touch, turns into gold, but I’m not able to excel in atleast one thing. Why such injustice?” Yeah, that’s how it seems on the outside, but we never really know what the person had to go through, we never really know. Maybe it actually did come easily to them, but why does it have to discourage me? This is again about faith in self and faith in God’s doing. Surely God has given us gifts. To stand around and wait for opportunities to find us makes no sense. I need to go out there, start trying things, and only when I multiply my talents, will God bless me with more. So the time spent in standing amazed at others, can actually be spent in fine tuning our talents! Let others’ achievements inspire you but not discourage you!

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