The quest for determination

Determination is essential for one’s existence. As vital as oxygen I would think. Sometimes it’s only because of sheer determination that you survive even when you don’t want to or are unsure. It’s a double-edged sword because sometimes you’re so determined you don’t see the consequences of what you might do. They say you reap what you sow. They are right. I am always in two states, either too determined or not at all. I have never been one to dwindle on the middle ground. I either feel too much or nothing at all and it’s too late for me to change.

Whenever I pray (out of compulsion, not a necessity) I pray for three things- good sleep, determination, and strength. It’s pretty straightforward and seems quite harmless. But I realised something very early on, determination is never given or taken, you either have it or you don’t. Nobody could make you determined not even God, only you can. But determination means believing in yourself even when others don’t. It’s very hard to be determined. I noticed as I was growing up, people including myself being determined for all the wrong things.

It’s funny, at school I was determined to be amazing at Maths maybe because my family was, I don’t know. But if I had spent all that time determined to be a better writer/ poet/ reader I would not have so many regrets. It’s usually other humans that push you to be determined, for that extra mark in an exam, for that extra mile to run or to grow up and become somebody who is not you. When do humans really tell you to be determined to be yourself? Once it’s too late. Parents usually tell the kids what to do all the time, sometimes till they’re married, but once they become an adult they leave them to battle the real world without exposing them to it at all.

The reason I was never really determined for what I actually wanted was that I had no faith in myself or my capabilities. I run when I see competition or a challenge. When I do face them I do it reluctantly. Even when I have overcome it, I can’t believe it. The only time I ever felt determined was when I had to finish the Harry Potter series for the twenty-first time, when I began writing fanfiction, and during badminton matches where I didn’t care whether I lost, I just liked playing. But life is about being determined to live the next day, to want to go somewhere.

I am scared to. I am the type of person who reads the ending before they read the beginning of the book. I don’t like surprises. So I am unsure of where to put my foot, unsure of what to do and it scares me that I can’t do much about it. Sometimes determination carries you through things you didn’t even notice, we have tough times all the time, and you get through most of it because you’re determined to that’s all. We all have tough decisions to make and tough lives. Misery spares no one but it’s only when you lose sight of it or somewhere you can’t find it in yourself to be determined that you succumb to it and accept it as it is. That’s what happened to me.

I have fallen into a routine, a very comfortable on, with the right amounts of productivity and complacency. Sometimes I read back through my diary, looking at my own experiences through a new lens. I like to think I am the protagonist of my very own book. It makes life a little more interesting. But lately I have been scared to write in my diary, it doesn’t feel natural. Even if I open it I don’t know what to write. I still haven’t been able to write about my depression in my diary. That’s where the determination ends. It’s like my life ended with my diary because not a page has been filled since I got back. I haven’t confronted my depression like I should have. It’s easier not to I feel.

Determination sits on its high horse, stares at me and all I do is stare back. I felt like I was doing a great job until I realised my strategy was to do nothing at all. You’re never really answerable to anyone but yourself. Determination is not a superpower if I am determined to finish reading a book cover to cover, I sure as hell can look my depression in the eye. Maybe I should consider my life a novel that I am reading but I control where it ends, as I tick days off my calendar I turn a page over, I just need to be determined to reach the end. Till date I have never left a novel unfinished no matter how excruciating, how can I betray my own story? I never really put my determination to good use, now I know. Determination is just a decision, you can choose to be or not be, it’s up to you.

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One thought on “The quest for determination

  1. Poonacha PG says:

    Great way to use the gap year to reflect on life and methods to make it meaningful.Thanks for very interesting reflections on self determination. Life is interesting when one can make their decisions and choices in a free environment. Wish I could do such reflections at the right age like you!

    “Misery spares no one but it’s only when you lose sight of it or somewhere you can’t find it in yourself to be determined that you succumb to it and accept it as it is. That’s what happened to me.”
    “Nobody could make you determined not even God, only you can. But determination means believing in yourself even when others don’t.”

    Like

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