Let’s do a mental experiment, now, shall we?
Let’s time travel. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
You’re sixteen years old. Your only victory of the day is spotting your very first strand of facial hair. And you’re almost happy about the fact that you’ve only swore nineteen times for having been made to sit in front of a fat, scary textbook on the same table for the past sixteen hours now. You remember your dingy desk very carefully.
Everything is dusty for some reason.
Your guitar hasn’t been touched in years.
Your pen hasn’t seen the face of good poetry in years.
Your memories of acting camp a few summers ago is fading under all those facts about Alkalines.
Frankly, your spirit seems somewhat dusty too.
Hey, look up.
On the wall above your desk there’s a lone, bright sticky note amidst all those formulae.
Even though it’s covered in dust, the words are not.
Written on it, in big smudgy and clumsy letters is: HOPE, FOR BETTER DAYS.
And we’re back.
Welcome to Better Days…
…where there’s hope and dreams flooding the crisp air. There’s a skip of spring season in our heartbeat and fire in our blood. And we believe.
Well, we used to believe.
The saddest phrase in the English vocabulary is ‘used to’. For, the word collapses onto itself and fades to oblivion and takes the lives you’re meant to live, with it.
That’s the thing about human minds. We forget. We forget the things we’ve fought to attain. We forget that right here and now are the better days. The hope of these days, yes, the one’s we’re living right now, was what kept our hearts alive on particularly cold nights.
Although we’re not completely oblivious to how grateful we should be. We do remember it. The soaking hues of the sunset does pull us. We run towards it. We’re chasing stars before they collapse. But we stumble, scrape our knees and bleed our dreams away. And we collapse, instead. We burn low. We fall. And our hearts turn to dust.
So we’re here now. Saying and doing things we don’t mean. The word lite weighs so heavy on us that it breaks our bones when we hear it, but we still endorse it. We say we don’t like waiting for good things to happen, but we go two hours late to the event we’re organizing. We say we don’t care about grades but we feel sick in the stomach when we miss a surprise test. We say we care about clubs but all we do is fight each other for illusions of control. Do we care about the art that the club represents?
We’ve become so mechanical. Classes, TV shows, gossips.
“Hey, do you read? Hey, do you write? Hey, do you draw?”
“No, I used to. Before 11th. A lot, actually. Wow, I haven’t done it in years. I’ve lost my touch right now, I guess.”
“Oh that’s okay. New hobbies, then?”
“Hahaha, no. I sleep, mostly.”
I wish I could say that the above conversation was an isolated incident. It was not.
Why are we trying to follow some fictional blueprint to fit in? You don’t have to love mainstream music. You don’t have to hate it. You don’t have to take lite if you don’t want to. You deserve to be passionate and get really uptight about that thing you care about! I’m rooting for you. You don’t have to make fun of someone you genuinely like just because everyone else does. You don’t have to backspace that status that you thought was hilarious, relevant and sweet at the same time, because you’re afraid that no one will like it as it doesn’t involve a goddamn dank meme.
You don’t have to.
You have stars in your veins.
You have stars in your veins.
Actually scratch that.
That’s just my blueprint for things. You shouldn’t follow that. You can have discrete moonstones in your veins for all I care.
Have you watched the sunset at the main gate, just for the sake of it? When are you going to complete that poster wall in your room? You used to spend evenings to make cards for your parents on their anniversary, and now you barely remember to call them.
Humans aren’t just feeling beings. That’s not the only reason we’ve scampered up to the top of the food chain. We’re born to create and innovate. It started with the wheel, and the wheels have been in motion ever since.
We exist to put more of ourselves to the world.
Yes, sometimes, we do feel like we’re in a creative block. But that’s only because we second guess ourselves. We don’t think we’re good enough, so we don’t even try.
More creative people have just gone through more trial and error cycles than you and I have. That’s the secret.
Our minds are labs where we’re meant to experiment with every idea that makes us us.
Every stupid thing that was an original thought of yours, deserves to be created [with the exception of raisin cookies].
You deserve to be the architect of your life. The pieces that make it up, the design, and the flow. You’re in charge. Ideally, you should be. Don’t live a life solely dictated by obligations. Yes, some things are inevitable. But the time you spend feeling low, spend it trying to figure out what you’d rather be doing. And do that. The time you spend complaining about things around you, use it to be the force that drives a change. Be authentically, unapologetically, emphatically you.
All those dreams we put on hold, now’s when we make it happen.
For, these are the better days.
We owe it to that sticky note.
– Meghana Kumar