There are 64 days to October 4. I kept my life on hold two years back for a national-level exam I will be writing on October 4th (in case you are wondering, it is the Civil Services Exam). My partner, who is also preparing, is juggling his job and exam preparation to keep our life moving. This COVID situation has only made our situation worse. The uncertainty and endless preparation have started to make me question my life choices.

The last time I studied something was on 16th of July. I cannot believe it is already August. Obsessive thoughts and anxiety due to the lockdown are getting worse each day. I hope reading and writing helps me to push through this situation. Every day I try to be more hopeful and better than before, but I do not feel any change in me or my life. Maybe there is change and it is incremental. I hope to realize it somewhere down the line. For now though, it feels like everything has come to a standstill; emptiness and silence sweeping inside me like a soft wave. Time keeps slipping away like sand under my feet.

I realize it is just a phase in life. I know even this shall pass! So keeping everything aside, I played carrom with my partner today. I did lose the series (1 match to 2) but I have improved significantly. It was fun watching him trying to say I did well with his smug victory-face, LOL! I also watched a movie and read quite a few articles.

Now I am thinking about an old poem by Douglas Malloch which I read as a child –

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley β€” but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail
Be the best of whatever you are!

7 thoughts on “Two steps backward one step forward

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