My biggest failure in life was not standing up for myself, neither when my haters spoke their minds in front of me nor when my friends blamed me for nothing. I have been wronged many times and even after realizing this, I never really did anything. But don’t be saddened by this revelation. It isn’t a failure I have lived with. It is something I have changed, which made me live a happier life.
Sheer ‘popularity’ in school
When I was young, matters like being looked down upon got to me easily. I would go home, lock myself in my room, and cry. I was not the “weird kid” of the class, neither was I stupid as a child. Yet, people found ways to taunt me in school, making fun of the way I looked, spoke, or even the fact that I was a favorite of all my teachers. For years, I tried to change my behavior, my appearance, and habits. Nothing helped. I tried to find friends but seek help but nothing changed. The people at school kept taunting and bullying me.
Did anything change?
Years passed by. I grew up and started high school. I expected things to change as soon as I joined grade 11. But guess what happened? Everything was just the same. This began to have a huge effect on me. I used to see myself as a failure. I used to shy away at the sight of the people. This made me quieter and used to stay locked up in my room. My mental health was at its worst and I was not happy and satisfied doing the simplest of things. There have been times when I have been sleeping in my room locked up for hours.
This so-called ‘failure’ took over the better of me. I always looked for chances to skip school and avoided people as much as possible. But finally, I decided that all of this had to stop. There was a teacher who taught us in school. He was extremely friendly among the students for his behavior. I thought about telling him everything and helping me out. After mustering a lot of courage, I could finally speak up and confide in him. But he, instead of making those guys apologize to me for their behavior, he handed me a DVD of The Pursuit of Happiness and asked me to watch it. I was actually taken aback and thought it to be my mistake that I thought of opening up to him. After a lot of remorse and repenting, I finally watched the movie on the DVD.
Did it transform my life?
No, it didn’t change my life. I changed my life. The movie taught me that one thing which was and always will be relevant- You need to take a stand for yourself, instead of accepting things and hoping life would change on its own. Until and unless you realize you are not worth anyone else’s snide remarks, the lion inside you will roar the lion you never knew rested in you. The next time those guys came to “have fun”; I made sure I gave them a piece of my mind (which, of course, I had rehearsed in my mind a thousand times before).
I realized a lot from this lesson. Life is way bigger than all of these. Incidents as such will seem petty once you have lived for a good forty years of your life and look back. If someone tells you that you cannot do something, don’t listen to that person. No one tells you what you cannot do. If you don’t fail at something, you will never realize your true potential. Because I had become used to the remarks, I didn’t take any step. But, once I decided that something was to be stopped, I changed everything. The power to change lies in you. Understanding when and what to react to makes a huge difference in your outlook and the way people perceive you. This is how maturity sets in as you grow up.