Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Making grand plans for it

So in the end, was it worth it? Jesus Christ. How irreparably changed my life has become. It's always the last day of summer and I've been left out in the cold with no door to get back in. I'll grant you I've had more than my share of poignant moments. Life passes most people by while they're making grand plans for it. Throughout my lifetime, I've left pieces of my heart here and there. And now, there's almost not enough to stay alive. But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door.

I sometimes think about how much my thoughts, views, and actions have changed since the start of my predicament.  Well, more than those is just the change in feelings I have had.

Over time, I have become incredibly used to things.  Things are no longer out of the ordinary and I’m not self-conscious about people viewing me strangely anymore.  I honestly don’t feel any different from anyone else.

But occasionally, I am given reminders.  Someone will say something to me that really knocks me flat.  When I am reminded of how different I am from everyone else and how adjustments have been made and will have to be made, and how much it not only affects me, but other people as well, it is indeed a setback.  “How irreparably changed my life has become,” and the rest of the above quote goes through my mind.

The truth is:  yes, I am different.  I am not like “normal” people.  I can’t do some things and I have to do other things in a slightly different way.

So, does writing that make me feel strange or exposed for who I really am?

No, no it does not.

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I wrote a post entitled “Compensate ”.  In it, I describe how because I cannot do certain things like others, I must compensate in other areas of my life.  For example, I am living completely alone and going to medical school and working 3x harder than most people I know just to sort of “prove myself” to the naysayers and doubters.

Although I still feel like I have to compensate and work harder just to be treated a certain way, my views have slightly shifted.

Changes happen.

Obstacles come up.

For some people, they are large, and for others, they seem almost petty.

The early 20th century lawyer Clarence Darrow said it best, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.”

Things have happened.  I am different.  There is no avoiding the obvious.

In poker, when we are dealt a certain set of cards, we have the choice to either fold the hand or keep playing.

Keep playing.

Some people expect peace of mind and happiness to be a destination.  “I can’t be happy with this in the way.  I have this thing going on. Other people don’t have to deal with it,” they may say. They really wish and pray that a certain thing will happen—whatever it is—so they can be happy. 

Things in life don’t always happen as we expect. I never would have guessed I would be like this and be where I am now. Like everyone, I also sometimes feel like nothing in life is going my way.

“But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent,” I have to say to myself, repeating the quote from above.

Do not ever wish for so much that you stop being thankful for what you have.  Do not wish for different circumstances.  The ones you have are good enough.  Find peace in this, for finding peace when you have nothing is better than chaos when you have something.

As Clarence Darrow said, it is the one most adaptable to change that survives.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another fantastic, thought-provoking piece. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse inside your mind, Dr. Aslam.