'Woes' Of Wisdom

'Woes' Of Wisdom

4 mins 21.4K 4 mins 21.4K

In my teens, I received a small, black leather cover diary with a metallic ring binding that you could open and close to add more papers if need be. As I saw it, all my failed attempts to keep a personal diary came back to me, starting with the time when I was in first standard and had only just discovered the concept of a personal diary after reading a few excerpts from ‘The diary of Anne Frank’ and highly motivated to keep one to the last time in the eighth standard when I couldn’t even keep up the assignment of maintaining a daily diary for two weeks. I have failed at this task more times than I care to remember and I very well knew I would fail again. I didn’t want to waste such a beautiful diary by abandoning it someday but I just couldn’t let go of it either. So I came up with an ingenious idea.

I concluded to not write every day being confident in my ability of discontinuing the habit. Neither did I plan to write on a weekly nor on a monthly basis. I decided to write only about moments that moved me, but what exactly? So like any other normal teen would, I elected to chalk down all the sad experiences that I go through. I figured if I wrote down all my agonizing moments and locked them away it would alleviate my sufferings! Well, it didn’t work the way I expected it to. I still felt bad about the things that I wrote of but now I had something to do while I was sad rather than just sulk about it.

One day I reached my tuition class a bit early and had nothing to do so I decided to complete my last entry in the diary. My professor saw what I was doing, intrigued he enquired and I told him about the brilliant idea of logging in woeful experiences. To which we got into a heated discussion, he maintained that it was wiser to write positive events because one day when you are old and read the diary it will make you happy but if it was filled with gloom it would in turn only make you gloomy. When we are teenagers it feels like we can never do a wrong, so naturally I disagreed with him. I said if I wanted happy feelings I would just look at my Facebook timeline. Whenever I think about that polemic I wonder why neither of us thought that happy and sad can both be written together. Anger perhaps, but that is a story for another day.

Eventually, I stopped logging in the diary perhaps because I never again got a chance to, for which I couldn’t be more grateful, but mostly because I am lazy. I forgot I had it until one day, a few years later, when I was forced by my mother to tidy up my cabinet because God forbid a guest ever got a peek inside, and once again I came across the little black diary. The moment I saw it I had to read it, no matter the slew of books, papers and stationary strewn across the floor I just had to read it. There was a certain sense of curiosity like the diary didn’t belong to me but a sibling with all their secrets inside. I sat right in the middle of the mess and began reading with utmost interest. And genuinely, it was embarrassing. The grammar and the spelling mistakes, cringe worthy! But it was also quite entertaining. I saw a mark in one of the entries where the paper had swollen and remembered that I was crying while writing that entry but now reading it it brought a smile. I realised how naïve I was and how seriously I took things.

That day I learnt an important lesson. I had many times heard the saying ‘Time always heals’ but never could comprehend what it meant, that day I did. It gave me a different outlook on problems that I face and life in general. How a particular decision feels so momentous at the time but a week later it did not matter what I wore to the date. Not all decisions are small but every decision is not life altering. Not all failures mean the end of the world. Fretting over certain things is as dangerous as not thinking at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not proclaim that this has made me impervious to pain or gloom. Dropping an ice cream still hurts as much as when I was a kid and so does a heartbreak. The only difference now is that I know there will come a time when it won’t matter and the best thing one could do is to work towards that goal. But don’t believe me, I urge you to try it for yourself or else reading this will do you as much good as reading the proverb ‘Time always heals’.

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