There was a knock on the door. He did not hear it the first time, so the knock was repeated.
When John answered, his dad stood there, seething.
“What is it?” he asked nonchalantly.
“You don’t need me to say this. You are a qualified, educated engineer. You should be smart enough to realize that you need to take your shot when you can. Don’t let it slip by. You’re a fool if you’re purposely wasting the opportunity that God gives you,” his dad replied, trying to keep his voice even.
It was the umpteenth time John was hearing those very same words. He nodded. When his dad was gone, he fell back on the bed, staring at the ceiling as he mulled over those thoughts again.
John had settled into his new job, and even though the salary he got was meager in comparison to some of his old classmates, he never bitched about it to anyone. He knew he was good at what he did, and he effortlessly moved forward at his own pace. He was happy because he enjoyed what he did. He had matured over the last few years, yet kept that inner child alive. When he spoke, his voice had that soothing energy which echoed a sense of optimism and hope to all around. It conveyed his passion and reflected the smile in his eyes.
Everyone, except his own family, understood him. It was acceptable for them to want nothing but the best for him, but they would push so much he felt he was facing a bottomless pit, waiting to fall any moment. Every time they compared him to someone who was, in their opinion, at a better place than he was, he felt he was walking on thorns with each step that he took. Yet they wouldn’t hear him out.
“It’s okay. You know you are happy. One day, they will accept it too. You can prove to them that you had been right in your choices”, he told himself again as a wan smile brightened his face.
Yet John knew that this phase of his life was cyclic.
Every time he understood himself and moved on, he elegantly wasted any self doubt he had. Every time they failed to understand him, they elegantly wasted his happiness, bringing his progress back to square one again.
(’12. Feb 27.)