Whenever overwhelmed by my flaws, I turn to Mr. Boo who doesn’t care about my degrees. He loves me just as I am and that’s all that matters. To him, I will always be big. Says writer C. Lalrinfela
Even as a child, I had always dreamt about post-graduation, admiring and perceiving the degree with unfailing admiration. I would fantasize about people who had completed post-graduation. To me, that guaranteed a stable career and a promising future. Eventually I too turned a post-graduate, but then epiphany dawned. Unanswered questions of the fear of the future suddenly engulfed me. I was afraid of not knowing how I would make a place for myself in the world.
Being a university graduate brings forth the desire to become financially independent. The miles keep on expanding, opening doors to opportunities for gaining a fair amount of experience. Living in a new place, meeting new people and finding new passions are ethereal joys that provide glorious value to life. In fact, the easiest route is to dream big, though the struggles and turmoil of realitymaybe tough. There were times, when thoughts mumbling in my head failed to grab hold of the merciless reality.
My English teachers who taught me during college days in Shillong remain my inspiration even today. Their dedication and consistency enabled me to reflect upon teaching as a career. Taking a walk through memory lane, I remember winning competitions at undergrad level; I remember their encouraging words and it has reminded me that their contributions paved the way for me to ‘feel big’.
Yet, there were times when I was embarrassed to the core, and was forced to get off my high horse. When I met my professors,who are encyclopaedias in their specialization, I realized that the peak of the mountain I was standing atop was just a heap of sand. They were the ones people with notable degrees and qualified enough to teach at a central university and yet they remained humble. They neither said nor did anything to make me feel small but it was confronting my own errors that made me realize how small I was – acting like I knew it all.
Because of its nature, competition remains unattractive to me. But if I have to succeed in my chosen profession, it is incumbent upon me to crack the UGC-Net. That degree is the highest criteria for one to be qualified as an assistant professor, while pursuing a doctorate. Dreaming of cracking the exam made me feel bigbut preparation for the exam was enough to dissolve my motivation when I encountered subjects that included calculation and data interpretation. Feeling small, I often closedmy books and sought distractions instead of finding solutions.
Applying for the post of an assistant researcher from the department where I had recently completed my post-grad, I was blessed to be shortlisted for an interview. Polishing my skills the best I could, I pictured that the interview would progress smoothly and it did, though it was nerve-racking as a barrage of difficult questions were asked without a pause.
Smiling on the outside and bleeding inside, I searched for a way to cover my nervousness. I sort of stuttered through the proceedings. If their knowledge summed up to the size of an elephant, mine was just the size of a mouse. Indeed, my weakness made me feel like an amateur. Yes, it was a reminder that I should always be true to myself, even if it hurts.
Still whenever I am overwhelmed by my flaws, I turn to my dog Mr. Boo, who does not care about my degrees or qualifications. He loves me the way I am and that is all that matters. To him, I am always big. Even at my lowest, having him around prevents me from crumbling.
My fragility tends to worsen my weakness but I become bigger by inhaling it deeper and exhaling it to feel better. Each new day brings a better and brighter opportunity and I learn to grow bigger one step at a time when Mr Boo and I take our morning strolls. Indeed, life is filled with unconventional lessons.
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Fela is from The Land of Rolling Hills, Aizawl. He completed his post graduation in tourism. His world revolves around his love for literature and his dog Mr. Boo. He is an enthusiastic traveler, a passionate writer and loves watching anime.