Dear Neil

Dear writer, dreamer or whoever you are,

I know you feel like you’re stuck in a world that is always on the run, sometimes running to, sometimes running away. Everyone is chasing love, glory or money. Some, all of those. And some people actually do reach these goals they set for themselves. More often that not, we run into things we don’t want because everyone is running and we feel compelled to do the same. Blame it on our society’s herd mentality, or blame it on what people feel inside, what fuels them to keep pushing, even if it’s in the wrong direction. At least they aren’t running away from something they want because they’re afraid, incapable or simply too apathetic. I am not writing this to berate passion, whether it is misplaced, or going to take one places.

It’s an endless cycle, running to and running away. But sometimes you do neither. It’s like the feeling you get when you’re in a crowded place and you just want a quiet a corner where you can sit. It’s that feeling when you’re at an all-night party and you just want to go upstairs and sleep. Sometimes distancing yourself from the noise can help you pick up the sounds that really matter. No, I am not talking you into isolation. All I mean to say is that heroism is over glorified. Your life is a novel written in the first person, and you feel pressured to make it a best-seller. But books written in the third person sell just as good, anyway.

Never be afraid to just be a spectator to your own life, just until you’re ready, like a side character in a story that witnesses every great event, and is a part of none, catalyzes none, initiates none. It’s a state of equilibrium birthed by detachment that hasn’t turned into desolation. It’s a fine balance between empathy and apathy. Perhaps if our world made more room for the exhausted to stop and rest for a while, we wouldn’t have so many people feeling breathless, suffocated and desperate for an exit route. You are valid, irrespective of your state of rest or motion.

Take your time. The greatest writers were never made overnight. Their minds were crafted by pieces of all they’ve ever read, which make them who they are. So watch out for the stories that happen around you. Watch people run to, watch people run away, so someday your journey can become a great story too. Every journey has stopped. And after every stop, another journey. The world isn’t categorized into doers and watchers. We’re black and white and every color in between and that’s okay because we don’t have to know everything, we don’t don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to know every word in existence to write a poem. It’s what you’ve learned, not what you’ve lived through that defines you.

In a world where everyone is trying to find their place in the world, be the one that makes the world their place.

Love,
Someone who believes in you
Shobha

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