Life is unpredictable, you never know where you will end up for if life were predictable, it would cease to be life and be without flavor. Life hits us several times with tragedy, and we can never lose faith in ourselves since the reality is: some people get success easily, some through a lot of struggles, and some must fight almost all their lives to preserve it.
I was always a vivacious girl, the eldest of four, and had a normal childhood until one day, the world economy had a fall, and my father lost his job. The recession reigned all over. It was like thunder had befallen me. Not only did my father lose his job, but we were also on the streets in merely a week. We took shelter in my uncle’s house. My father was in a heap of debt, but I always believed in the proverb I read in my favorite book: Never lose hope. There is always light behind the clouds.
Meanwhile all these adversities, my father had grown depressed, had become disquieted. I, being the oldest, had to take up the family’s responsibility and started tutoring students in mathematics-the love of my life. When the ground beneath me became a little stable, I was in another dilemma. How could I pay for the fees for my board exams? However, life is a beautiful struggle; working hard will open doors for you. To my stupefaction, my teachers offered to pay my tuition. I was overwhelmed. Not finding any other way out, and as my teachers could not take no for an answer, I concurred.
My results came and, I, to my teachers’ euphoria, passed with distinction. I had achieved the world’s highest score in maths. Then came a day, which made me weep for the second time in life-the first being the day my teachers offered to pay my tuition- I received a letter from my dream university, Harvard, to attend their ubiquitous mathematics festival. However, to my fickle luck, I could not attend it, being still in debt and not having enough money for the trip. I howled, asking myself why the Almighty had chosen ME to give up my dreams, to earn for the family, and I cursed the day when I had lost everything.
During all this, I had become distant from my parents and siblings because whenever I saw them, it made me think about having missed that golden opportunity. Then, I took up a job at my school and soon became the most-liked teacher on campus. I had also grown a disinclination towards my friends, having grown towards them somewhat of a grudge as they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Besides work, I started my undergraduate education at a private university in the country, but my dream was to always go to my dream university-Harvard, in the U.S., nourish my talents there, and explore the world.
A few years later, something happened which made me change my perspective on life forever. I, now a middle-school teacher, was at a restaurant, having lunch with my family after getting my monthly paycheck. Suddenly, a boy in his early twenties came up to me and hugged me. He said, “Ma’am, I presume you don’t remember me. I am Shafique Adyan Kabir, Batch19. Next week is my flight to the U.S. I have been accepted to my dream university-Harvard. All thanks to you for making me fall in love with mathematics when I dreaded it. You are my inspiration. I still remember what you told me when I said that I was probably not smart enough to do math. You said, ‘There is nothing as smart or dumb. We all manipulate our minds, to limit our success but in reality, you can never be bad at anything you put your mind to,’ I hold on to that advice till today.” I had a moment of reflection. I realized that even though I could not achieve my dreams, I, as a teacher, could make a thousand dreams come true, and had gifted this world with many brilliant minds. That day, I realized the true meaning of life- we never know where we will end up.
From that day on, I started appreciating life, became closer with my friends and family, and never in my life thought myself unfortunate because only through all these struggles did, I become the person I am today.
I went to meet my father, who broke into tears and asked for forgiveness for burdening me with so much at such a young age. I held his hands and said, “You have nothing to be sorry for, Baba. That experience is still the sole purpose of every minute success of my life and will always be. I’m so sorry for always internally blaming you for it.”
The struggle had not ended for me since there was still a lot of debt to be paid but I was ready for every storm. Now, if you ask me about the purpose of life, I’ll say: The purpose of life is to be happy despite where it takes you. You aim towards the north, end up in the south, but eventually find your success and happiness there.
P.S.-This story, inspired by true events, I built from an amalgam of experiences from people’s lives. This story is not in the slightest meant to humiliate or degrade anyone, but simply, to put a simple salutary idea into perspective. This one, I’m quite certain, will be a GreatRead for all.