Amongst us, we’ve all learned several things this past year, and it’s safe to say that they are rather valuable and humbling lessons that we will take with us throughout life.
One thing I’ve learned is the importance of understanding my limits. Out of all the years, this year has been the most challenging one for me, in terms of my academics and my social life. Because of the pandemic, I’ve been attending online lessons for over a year now, and as one may expect, it’s mentally and emotionally draining. I never felt so helpless before, and I tend to beat myself up when my performance isn’t at its best. But over time, I realised that this year’s purpose was to show me that maybe I can’t do everything I set my mind to. Maybe I’m supposed to slow down and realise that my academic performance, on one side, is important, but understanding myself and my limits is above all the most vital thing when it comes to staying grounded. I would often look back and remember how much of an amazing student I used to be. And when I contrast that version of myself with who I am today, I sometimes think that I’m powerless, but I also remind myself that I’m already facing and dealing with the situation as well as I am right now. I spoke to some people regarding this, and they all said the same thing: that I’m actually doing very well, and that I’m perhaps underestimating myself. But it’s true. We all underestimate ourselves, whether it be our power, our ability or our impact. We tend to see ourselves as a dim light, when others see us as the brightest light they’ve ever seen. Plus, we all go at different paces. The old you might be acing things faster than the present you, but that doesn’t mean that the you now won’t reach your goal. Slow and steady wins the race. Whatever the journey we are on, we need to focus on the process and let the outcome take care of itself. Don’t overstress and worry whether the outcome will turn out like this, or like that. Take care of yourself and make sure the process is bearable for you and yourself only. Indulge the process rather than trying to control the outcome. The outcome is out of our hands and power. Only God can control it.
Another thing I’ve learned this previous year is the importance of life in general. I experienced quite a lot of loss this past year. As you might know, the famous Maurizio Gucci was shot and killed on the steps outside his office. Watching the reenactment of it in the cinema, and the scenes leading up to it, you’d never expect it to happen. The same with Tick, Tick, Boom! Jonathan Larson worked so hard to come up with songs and a successful production, but the main reason why he worked so hard was because he constantly heard a ticking sound in his head. He always heard a timer, as if his time was running out. And unfortunately, it did. He died of aortic aneurysm 10 days before his 36th birthday, and the night before the premier of his musical Rent. He had no idea what was going to happen. And we have no idea what’s going to happen. Isn’t it crazy to think that we all have a timer? If you could see yours, what changes would you make to your life right now? We have no control over the outcome, but what we do have control over, is the process. So, as a new year unravels itself before us, whatever may lie ahead, think of the ways you could make use of your time and the gift of life you were given. Hug your loved ones. Tell them how much you love them. Talk to that person you were meaning to talk to. Read that book that could change your life. Go and take that opportunity you were given, and never let go. After all, the process is ours, right?