Life is What You Make It

By Lahari Kandamuru

What is life? Is it waking up every day and believing you have a purpose? Or is it going on about your day to day tasks and responsibilities? With each of us having many perspectives on what constitutes life, I guess it’s safe to say it’s an experience.

However old you are, sixteen or sixty, experience gives you wisdom and insight. At sixteen, heartbreak pushes many, to focus on grades. Whereas at sixty… I am not sixty yet. But I am sure they too encounter situations they have never before. But each experience has something to teach us if we can look for it. It provides us with tools to not just survive, to live.

Can you take a moment to think when you last consciously had this outlook about a situation? How often you actually followed through with it. As I am writing this article, I realized I am grateful. In spite of going through a rough phase, I am blessed with fortunate things most are not entitled to. Having a positive outlook about things, in general, can help one immensely. Or so I’ve heard. It is easier said than done though. Don’t you think?

Of late, I got this feeling that I have no more stories to tell. I don’t have what it takes to be a good writer. This inner dialogue is taking up most of my day. It isn’t my mind asking me to step down and be comfortable. My reasons are valid for believing this to be true. Giving up feels like the only practical solution. It is okay, I guess. Now, once again, I am at crossroads in my life. Should I give up my attempt to be a writer? Or not?

For almost a week now, I constantly came across situations which made me believe I am no good. That I should give up. I would be lying if I said, I didn’t consider it. What I get in return, is letting go of the feeling I will end up a failure. I will, if not anything, have peace of mind. Then I realized, I gave up everything when I decided to be a writer. To give it my all before I let my fears decide the course of action.

Most of the time, any of us who are going through a tough time, deep down, know what to do. I know I am not alone in this. It lies in how hard I work and how accountable I hold myself when I make a decision. Maybe it is one aspect to what is life about. A decision.

Now I ask you again. What is life? Is it deciding to have a pleasant memorable experience? Or is it staying stuck in the same old patterns that doesn’t get you nowhere? Is it always wallowing in grief? Or doing something about it? The answer is simple. Life is what you want it to be. The sad truth, I realized, is it took me some unfathomable wasted moments, I will never get back, to realize this.

About the Author: Lahari is a writer currently based in Bengaluru, India. A philomath by nature, she is particularly interested in the domain of mental health. She can be reached at [email protected]

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