When I stepped foot on the foreign land, leaving my loved ones thousands of miles away, I hoped for a fresh start. A life of success and novelty. The newfound freedom hit me as a breath of fresh air, with the entire world laid out in front of me, ready to be conquered. If only I knew how to start, and where to start from. Slowly and steadily, taking meek steps, riddled with emotion and dwindling decisions, I ended up facing a fork in the road. I could choose the path that was highly traveled, which meant trying to keep up with the decisions I had made, trying not to get trampled under the competition, sacrificing my peace and contentment to barely succeed; or I could choose the path less taken, to explore a new realm, and get the chance to make the decisions I had wrongly made before, correctly. The only difficulty was, I was well aware of what I would experience if I chose the first path, and the second path seemed uncertain, since I would be choosing my heart over habit. It was something only for the brave, and ironically I wasn’t one of the brave ones.
Soon I began to fall into a void of melancholy and unfulfillment, and I was giving up on being brave and following a new way. I felt imperfect since life hadn’t gone the way I thought it would. I had seen myself graduating with a Biomedical Sciences degree, on my way to pursue a life in medicine, and it was something I had dreamed of doing since I was a child. But there I was, hating everything I had planned for myself, trying to run from the only thing I had aspired to become. Life’s harsh reality hits one at the most vulnerable moments. It is the moment when you find that you can never plan everything to be perfect, it’s the moment when you realize that you dislike the only thing you had dreamed of doing your entire life. But with the much needed guidance from my family, on the small screen of my phone, which had now become one of the fondest memories of my life here, I decided to take that leap of faith. And within a few hours, I was changing my major, my life path and my career prospects. It was one of the scariest moments I could remember, I gave up on a life I had planned for years within a matter of a few hours.
I remember a mentor asking me if I was giving up. That’s when I realized that people have made the idea of ‘giving up’ (which was essentially choosing your happiness over a set of rules you should follow) as a bad thing. Since when was choosing yourself a bad thing to do? Isn’t that all we work for? To be happy at the end? So I turned a blind eye to the criticism and went ahead to choose my own happiness. Because I knew that it doesn’t make me any less skilled or able. And that was the reason behind writing this piece. To everyone who wants to pursue something that makes them happy, but choose not to just because they feel it is weak to ‘give up’, putting yourself first isn’t giving up; rather it is the beginning towards a content future. After all, you are the only person who would be most impacted by the highs and lows bought by your choices, so why not take that risk? So go ahead and take that step, and do what makes you happy, because I know that giving up isn’t a bad thing anymore.