Good and evil. North and South. Man and woman. Night and day. Zeros and ones. Black and white. True and false.
Right and wrong.
She liked to classify things. Divide them up, sort them out. For every selfless thing she did, there would be another act of complete self benefit. So on the new year’s eve of 2015, she told herself that this year, she would look for the good in everything she did, and in everything that happened to her. Her new year resolution was to evaluate, and balance it out. As is always said, ‘Naap tol kiya kya?’
Winter : Her first step towards becoming a better human being had begun. Becoming a vegetarian , contrary to belief is not a very easy thing. It’s not just meat and no meat, it’s almost like a break up. Everyone who has ever tried to quit chicken will have experienced this feeling and as most of us do during break ups, she had eaten more meat in January 2015 than she had in the whole of 2014.
This winter was about making new friends. She was always known to be cordial. But this time around, every new person was examined ruthlessly. There could be no lapse of judgement. She had decided to surround herself with only those who inspired her, but also would not be bad for her ego. By the end of February, she was a meat-eating maniac who sat alone during lunch breaks.
Summer : A global foundation was recruiting. Word was everywhere, and she decided to apply, just to see what it would be like. She always got away with these personality-based interviews, and it helped that everybody always talked about how charming she was. But what followed, was strenuous , interviews and vivas that made her doubt herself , and the month of March ended leaving her in a shell, never wanting to charm anyone ever again.
April was a no-brainer. An ex showed up with a shiny new thing in 4′ heels and an interview showed up, for an intern-ship that came with a shiny six figure salary. She swept both under the rug, quite casually. Surprised at her ability to maintain her calm, she moved on to May.
May came with good news. She had been accepted into the global foundation and soon discovered that she would be travelling all over the world. The intern-ship had come through as well, and she was quite happy with herself.
Monsoon : June, July – the monsoon months. This season always brought bad news and everyone was always so depressed around this time. And teenagers don’t have to be taught how to kill time in bad weather. When August hit her, she looked back over the last two months, only to see lots of parties, alcohol, friends and an unbelievable amount of time that had gone to waste. Little did she know August would come with consequences.
Autumn : She didn’t realise the domino effect in the beginning, none of us do. She woke up one day to read a ‘warning’ e-mail from the global foundation, saying she wasn’t putting the required effort. A few days later, her manager was calling to say they didn’t need an intern any more. Her mother was falling ill far too often, and her exams were around the corner.
The next three months were recovery mode.
By the time December hit her, she had lost count of everything she planned to do in January. When there was a week left for new year’s 2016, she felt like she had wasted yet another year of her life. She sat down with a notepad and a pencil, to evaluate herself, and her past year. And she would continue to do this, year after year, and unfortunately, no spring or monsoon would ever be good enough.
That’s the thing with ambition. The hunger never stops. The wants never end. In a way that is amazing, but from personal experience, when you become the girl with the notepad, it is essential to evaluate your work, not your emotions.
Our protagonist, is a global citizen, is going to travel to some truly beautiful countries, has a decent intern-ship, fun-loving friends and a caring family. Most people would kill for this kind of life. But since she does not realise it, does it even matter?
Hence the title in the binary. Hence the whole ‘stop looking at life in zeros and ones‘ theory. Because we all know there is more to life than that. No matter what your ambition is, no matter how much you evaluate and plan, we all have the same place to go in life.
It’s simple.The one thing that would help all of us, is to do these evaluations in June. So, even if you feel let down, you have another six months to cover up for yourself. All in all, the trick is to keep looking ahead, and even if you do look back, the only thing you should be thinking is, ‘Man, I kicked this year’s ass!’
P.S : Dearest Reader,
Happy 2016. Thank you for all the love in 2015 and let’s have a great year.
Hugs, Ashi. 🙂