It’s Sunday today and the picture outside my window is greyer than the paintings in my room. It’s Sunday today and my coffee tastes as bland as the stories in my head.
I’m twenty something and people say that I’ve a bright future ahead and I’m supposed to be out at the moment, laughing with my friends to some random joke and preparing a performance report for something; but here I am – sad and scared, with a paper and a pen and a rebellious thought of tearing the paper apart any minute. The only thing that keeps me from doing it is the mug of coffee sitting next to the window, the vapours breathing against the glass.
In between coughing out a few words to taking a few sips of the coffee, I walk to the mirror a couple of times and look at the person staring back at me. I know this person. But then, I wonder, if the fifteen year old me can recognise this person that I’ve become. My hair is paler than before. I can see what looks like the beginning of dark circles under my eyes and the makeup kit on my shelf winks back. But I’m not worried about my appearance. I’m scared about something else.
I have dreams.
And it’s a Sunday and I’m supposed to be running, chasing – doing something to achieve those dreams. Then, I realise, it’s already past an hour and I’ve really not budged from my place let alone do something to achieve my dreams. I’m scared about that part. I think I’m not doing enough with my life – that, my dreams are big and twenty years have zoomed by and I’ve done absolutely nothing except waking up to regular mornings, breathing, believing that my dreams are going to come true, and then falling asleep.
I want to write a book.
And people tell me that they are one hundred percent sure that I’m going to write a book. But I’m not sure about it. Now that I think about it, I only have a handful of incomplete stories that refuse to be strewn together and I don’t see that book coming out a few years from now. Perhaps, never.
I want to have my own art exhibition.
And people tell me that they believe I can become a great artist. But I’m not sure about it. I look around the room, there are a few canvases, splashed with odd colours that don’t really go together, the strokes are a little too bent, and the pictures don’t make any sense. I keep putting them away and I keep telling myself that tomorrow, I’m going to work on that. A lot many tomorrows have gone by and the paintings are huddled in a corner now, catching dust.
I’m scared that I’m not making any progress. I’m scared that twenty years from now when I look at myself in the mirror, all I’m going to see is a person built from remains of broken dreams, beaten and scarred and living an ordinary life, with mornings doused with the monotone of the toaster and nights swaying to glasses of Scotch. I want to anything but that.
I’m scared that twenty years from now when people ask me if I’ve achieved my dreams and how I’ve lived my life so far, I’d have no answer. That I’m going to be as incomplete as my stories and as distorted as my paintings. That the dream I was supposed to be chasing would be nowhere in sight. It’s ridiculous but somehow, it scares me to no end.
I want to write books. I want to paint galleries. I want to travel. I want to meet people. I want to sing. I want to be loved. I want to be kissed under mistletoes. I want to do so many things and it’s haunting that there’s so little time.
It’s Sunday today and my coffee is almost cold. I’ve to start somewhere. I can’t keep sitting by the window and watch the world go by and then tell myself that I’ve not really done anything. I need to stand up and move and take a small step. Perhaps taking a small step means a stack of rejection letters pinned to my CV or a terrible medley of colours on a canvas that has no meaning. But I’ve to take that small step.
So that twenty years from now, on a Sunday morning like this, when I wake up and walk to the mirror, I don’t have to see a person with dead dreams. Instead, I will see a person who has grown and has her dreams alive and her hope.
Twenty years from now, I want to wake up on a Sunday morning and walk straight into the life I’ve dreamt of.
Written by Akanksha Biswal
30DaysChallenge. Day 3.
“What do you see when you look into the mirror?”