Reflections

Monday, July 14, 2014 Dr. Vishaal Bhat 0 Comments

When I was young, I would always imagine one day where there will be a trigger where I would transform from a boy to a man. Unfortunately, there is no such magic switch. Just as Rome was not built in one day, one does not gain maturity through some magical transformation. Even though  there’s no shortcut to growing up, every few years reflecting back on my life’s journey, I realize that my experiences do change me and shape who I am today. One of the biggest changes I experienced this past year is being totally comfortable with myself. 



Back in my early years, I tried hard to find where I belong and where to fit in. I don’t know what it was, maybe I was a quirky kid, maybe I was an introvert, fitting in as a kid was hard. It certainly didn’t help my case that due to my dad’s job meant I had to change schools and cities frequently, due to my ever changing residence, it was hard building strong and lasting relationship with other people my age. It was like the movie “Lost in Translation", except it was a little kid’s version of it.  

As the years went past, probably around high school or early college, I gave up trying to fit in and couldn’t care less what other people thought. I didn’t feel the need to explain myself. I would do things my way. It’s as if I was in my own little world, I didn’t justify myself to anyone. It was probably then that I develop this arrogant aura to my personality. I would carve my own path and I was damn proud of it. 

There would be times where I just felt like I am better than most people, and that I don’t need to fit in to the stupid social circles people are forming in schools. I was a misanthrope. Looking back at those times now, my arrogance was probably a cover for my lack of self-confidence. Truth be told, I wasn’t comfortable with myself, and by telling myself that I was somehow different and better than others numbed the feeling, that maybe there’s something wrong with me that I can’t fit in. 

Then my college years came. College was fun. The freedom, the liberation to be able to do whatever you wish. You set your own priorities. The best of it all was that it was a place where people value diversity. People attend colleges to hear stories and to know people with different experiences in life. 

Then something happened, I met someone. I could trust someone other than my family for the first time. Ah, the joy of that friendship, but like most friendships, things went terribly wrong after a year. I won’t get into the details, but I was hurt and I was broken, I made life changing decisions to run away from it, it was a dream that I wanted to forget. 

 After that things just weren’t the same anymore, I never really open up to anyone completely again. I was different things to different people. Even though I have friends who I was close with, nobody really knew the whole picture. If I felt broken or something missing, it was hidden from sight.

Sometimes in life, a dagger is what it takes to wake you up. When I met my future wife, I was going through the worst phase of my life. I decided to rebuild myself. I realized that no relationship can help me gain self-acceptance or feel complete except for myself. I was determined to grow and improve myself. At first, there was this natural tendency to improve myself out of this love/hate feeling.

I started climbing out of the walls that I built over the years, my outlook on life improved. It was a positive feedback loop, the better I felt the more that I was able to let go of it. I start gaining perspective on things, and stop feeling the need that I need to prove anything to anybody.

Looking back at it, it shaped me, it helped me grow, it is part of who I am. I am sorry if I hurt anybody along the way, I really am, but I don’t regret anything that happened in my life. I am who I am, and I am comfortable with my past. Whether it be my relationships. Or moving around as a kid. Or all the stupid things I did to myself or others. We are who we are because of the paths we travel. 

There are no good and bad experiences, only experiences in which we learn and don’t learn from. 

These days, I try not to compete with others; I compare myself with yesterday’s self. I rejoice if I improved, but try harder the next day if no progress was made. I learned to accept my own weaknesses, weaknesses don’t make you weak, but not acknowledging them does. 

 Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and I am now comfortable with mine. It’s a great feeling to be at peace with myself. 

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