To be honest, I’m not even old enough to validate the ‘always’ in the title. Is there something I haven’t been able to do yet, that maybe I’ll do in the future? Probably. Can’t say. Yet. What I can vouch for, however, is my tendency to underestimate myself. All the times I dismissed something with a “na ho payega”, trying to use a funny line from a movie to mask my fear of the task itself, creating problems where there were none, and sometimes even indirectly sabotaging my own self— that glass ceiling of doubt has been solid, unmoving.
“Shoot for the stars, for if you miss you’ll land on the moon”. And therein lies the problem. I don’t care about landing on the moon or the stars. I just don’t want to miss. Journey? Pfffft, who gives a shit! But if I miss, I will end up feeling like a failure and I don’t want that.
It stopped being about the joy of learning long back. It isn’t about the experience. It is just about the result. That final product will determine my destiny.
Or could it be the lethargy? Am I just a plain old sloth? Whatever I try, there is usually someone who’s already been there, done that. Now I could argue that I can do it better. And then comes the whole,“but is it worth the effort?”. And my campaign is dead before it even began. Maybe being couch potato is easier.
Or is it my reluctance to step out of my zone of strength? I could be the frog in the comfort well. I mean if someone told me to go star in a ballet, I’d tell them where to shove it. But here too, there are men who’ve excelled. So this time it is definitely not lethargy, but more along the lines of not wanting to step out of testicle-certified activities? Maybe. Or could be because I fear I’ll rip my scrotum apart from all the mid-air splits. Or something. I don’t know. I just know I’d tell the person to shove it.
Could it be that I can’t get good selfies out of it? I’m serious. Could it just be that I don’t think I should dance because I’m not a size zero figure and all of my jiggling belly will be too embarrassing for the Great Jury of Social Acceptability— Facebook/Instagram/Twitter? Should I not play basketball because I’m not 7 feet tall or can’t hold the ball in one hand?
The easiest one though, is my doubt about my purpose in the field. “Maybe I’m just not meant for this?”, or “Maybe I just can’t?”. Here’s the thing though — every time you don’t, it is an auto-reject. You don’t know what you can do unless you try it, and try it well. Every time you didn’t try, every time you procrastinated, every time you didn’t talk to that pretty girl you wanted to ask out, every time you got disheartened because you couldn’t hit a 3 pointer and Kobe Bryant could, you were just like a guy staring at food without touching it and wondering why he was still hungry.
Maybe you try something, and you don’t do so well. I’m still pretty sure you exceed your own expectations more often than not. And you will have learnt something that’ll come in handy one time or the other. At least that’s what the elders told me. What do I know? I’m not even old enough…
Sketch By: Savni Pai Panandiker