Every time I find myself aspiring for better opportunities, for success, I almost always find all the doors closing in my face. It’s like every attempt at growth is immediately followed by being stuck, or even worse, pushed backwards.
So how do you move forward when everything keeps pushing you back, throwing you off track? How do you try again in the face of constant discouragement?
You trust the process.
Even though it seems impossible, because clearly the process doesn’t seem to be working. In fact, it seems to be working against you. But it isn’t.
Just because the process isn’t working how you want it to work, does not mean it’s not benefitting you in ways you can’t even imagine.
When you think things are falling apart, they may be coming together. If you resist it because it doesn’t look like your ideal reality, you are obstructing your own growth. You are forcing things to move in a way that you think is successful but you may be making things worse for yourself.
Sounds complicated? Let’s make it simple.
For 4 years, I aspired to get into my dream institute. I did everything I could, hoped, wished, prayed and worked very, very hard to get there. But I didn’t. We get two attempts, and both of them slipped through my fingertips. Worse, it had nothing to do with my grades. I was a top student. The reasons had more to do with a corrupt admission process and the inherently flawed education system. But that’s a topic for another post.
I was utterly discouraged. I had believed with all my heart that I was meant to be there. That was my path to success and I would have done absolutely anything to make it but I couldn’t because those factors were out of my control.
Eventually, after a lot of brooding, I had to accept the fact that I was not going to make it and I had to start adjusting to the new reality, whether or not I liked it. But as time passed, I realised not getting into my dream institution in spite of working my ass off, it made me question — it made me question big.
Just how much of our life can we control? Can we really contort reality to fit our expectations? And more importantly, who decides what happens? God? Environmental factors? A random combination of variables? Or is it as simple as cause and reaction?
I had to know and it wasn't as simple as Googling the answers. I had to look deep within myself and towards others who were more in touch with their inner wisdom to guide me, to help me understand. And boy, is that journey worthwhile!
As more time passed, my mind couldn't hold these big philosophical ideas, they had to go somewhere and I turned to paper (and then keyboard). I started writing about it, got my creative juices flowing.
During this process, I discovered I had a very unique writing voice. When I saw how the internet was flooded with posts like ‘The Ultimate SEO Guide’ and ‘How I Tripled My Earnings in 30 Days’, I wondered what had become of true writing. Is this how it would be from now on? Would repeatedly rehashing the same five tips on the internet make you a successful writer? It deeply disturbed me. But it disturbed me more that only posts like this were successful.
I wonder if Hemmingway would still be Hemmingway if he spent his writing career drafting ‘Ultimate Guides and How-tos’. If Sylvia Plath gave you ‘5 tips to completely transform your life’. Which would be the same tips Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell and William Faulkner had written. And then with an eye-catchy, manipulative headline with ‘power’ words, J.K Rowling had written ‘30 Days to earning a six-figure income’.
It sounds hilarious but it is very sad indeed. I spend hours scrolling through Medium to find something that even remotely resembles what used to be called writing decades ago. But those posts don’t get views and the algorithms bury them under the rubble of SEO guides.
All of this helped me realised I can’t write these type of posts. Every time I try, it chips away at my soul. It physically pains me. I can feel my chest tightening and head hurting because I know this isn’t who I am. When I try to fit into these moulds that are now called successful blog posts, it erodes away who I am, at the core of my being. And I’d rather be my authentic self and be called a failure instead of having 20k followers and feel lost and hollow inside.
Most of my posts have less than 200 claps, some don’t even have one, but every one of them is written with a fresh perspective, based on real experience with opinions that almost always go against the society and whatever it has taught us to believe.
So although the world taints me as a loser, I go to bed satisfied with a content smile on my face because I’m wholly at peace with myself. Because when I wake up in the morning, I can do what I know in my heart is right. I can be my authentic self without having to sell pieces of my soul for a few thousand views. And none of this would have happened if I went to my dream institution, spent 10 hours a day studying something that the world had me believed was necessary for getting a good job aka slavering away, selling a bit more of my soul for a few pieces of paper which are apparently more important than the joy of being alive.
I would have become a part of this gigantic rat race, stepping on everyone’s head to reach the top but eventually falling apart because the ladder is hung in the middle of nowhere and no matter how many years you spend trying to climb it, at the end of it all, you’ll realise you’re standing in the abyss of what your life could have been if you gave yourself a chance to do what you truly wanted to do.
Even now, somedays I wake up and try to step into this mess. I try to send ‘pitches’, I try to be what I see the people around me being. And then my inbox is flooded with rejections and I know. Deep in my heart, I know, it is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Because these little failures remind me I am on the wrong path, that I am chasing something that I never truly wanted. They take me off the rat race and put me back in touch with my true self whose potential lies in authenticity.
So every single time I try to fit in and I fail, I smile with gratitude because I trust the process to guide me towards becoming the best version of myself. Even if it does not fit the standard definition of success, it fills me with love, light and happiness.
So I will always, always trust the process in the face of any and every form of rejection.
Luna is a full-time content writer and freelance journalist who believes 'to write is to bleed in a way that heals'. When she is not crafting compelling content for her clients, she is busy unravelling the mysteries of the universe, one thread at a time. Come, pull with me.