She laid there by my side, silently staring at me. Thoughts kept creeping in and that took a toll on my sleep. Like every other night. I closed my eyes trying to shut everything. All of a sudden, I felt her soft hand running over my forehead swiping my hair to one side. Her fingers squeezed through my hair as she clutched them with one hand and gently ran the other hand over my waist while she placed her head over my chest. I felt comfortable until I heard her voice. ‘Is everything okay?’, she politely inquired.

“I don’t know”, I said, “It’s been a week since I turned 23 and life has been a roller-coaster ride. I fail to understand what am I doing with it. I’ve just achieved a tittle over a little but I’m worried about what next. I feel I’ve not kept up my integrity for a while. I feel I’ve taken too much on my plate and failed in the process. I feel I’ve screwed up things by being over-confident.” She planted a gentle kiss on my cheek to comfort me. Her hand slowly crawled upwards as her fingers laced my neck and it felt just as beautiful as a touch of a feather on my bare skin. There were sensations all over and my heart skipped a beat.

She slowly whispered into my ears, “Don’t worry about the 23 years of life that have gone by, but cherish the fact that you’ve countless years ahead of you to explore”, she went back to silence after she said that.

“You’re stuck in the wrong job, you can’t take your favourite course despite getting selected, your exes have found true love while you’ve been stuck in failed relationships, since the dawn of ages. Your friends are pursuing masters, some PhDs, a few have aced the interviews for their dream jobs, a few have started up and the rest are settling down after marriage. You see successful people across the globe changing the world for a better future. I know it’s stupid to compare my life with their success without diving into their failures, their experience, their luck, their timing for success, their background and most importantly their obsession for change. Yet, my future looks bleak and sometimes, I feel like I’m drinking life through a broken glass”, I ranted.

Perhaps, I felt more vulnerable with my naked mind next to someone than I ever felt with my naked body.

She held me tight and cozied up on me. The enchanting smell of her body was probably a strong enough sedation to put me through sleep. But she murmured as she came closer, “Your world hasn’t broken apart. You’ll probably go through worse. Life and death, maybe beyond. Even if you face death, embrace it because you wouldn’t want to miss that once in a life time opportunity and it would probably be adventurous, thereafter”, she burst out laughing and that overshadowed her last words.

The sound of her laugh hit my ears like waves of pearls hitting the shore from deep under the ocean. I shrugged and she continued, “Only mud settles, humans are not meant to settle down so quick. You need to learn to be resilient. Everybody has good things happen to them but the difference lies in what you do when bad things strike.”

She spoke the truth and it sounded so simple.

Oh! I’ve heard that shit so many times before. But no matter how many times I hear it, I fail to recognize the truth and the same thoughts keep cropping up everytime I hit low points in my life.

Words came out in flow as I hit back, “I tried my hands on everything I desired. More often than not, I motivate myself and get inspiration from people around. I picked up a few skills on my own, from sports to drums, writing to traveling, programming to science, public speaking to leadership but then I kept giving up when things faded.” She started playing with my ear as she heard me patiently. She blew some air under my earlobe and slowly rubbed the back of my ear with her finger. It was a moment of bliss.

“Motivation is useless as fuck. You get inspired for a few moments, for a few hours and maybe for a few days. That’s it. Back to square one. What you need in life is discipline! What if you had clinged to one thing till date since you started it? Imagine where you would stand now. But it’s okay. It’s fucking okay”, she said that with a smile.

“This might sound stupid. You shouldn’t let others validate your life. Your grades in college, number of facebook likes, number of upvotes on your Quora post, number of awards you failed to receive, number of people who are not by your side won’t ever matter, after a point of time. You just need to be more humble, smile more often, express gratitude and rejoice your legacy so far- the leader in you and the number of people you’ve inspired, your travel diaries, your acts of kindness and your service. Lead a life not to achieve something but to experience the sheer joy of facing everything that comes by.”

Her words struck a chord with my thoughts. She turned to the other side and laid flat staring at the roof, as I realized there was no more bodily contact between us. Her words had brought a smile across my face and my lips couldn’t resist any longer to taste the source that echoed her thoughts. I bit my lips beneath my smile. I wanted to cuddle her to sleep and I slowly turned towards her. I opened my eyes when she started vanishing like a speck of dust through my fingers. I don’t quite remember what she looked like but I do remember every word of what she said and every sensation of her touch. Will I ever meet her again? I know not. Was she for real? Maybe. Or maybe not.

~Rantings of a beautiful mind~

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