Growing up is strange, isn’t it? We tend to become entitled and expect things to go exactly our way, just like when we were little kids. I am not preaching, for I was no different from my fellow millennials. For a major chunk of my teens and twenties, I secretly and very strongly wished that someone would discover the writer in me and mentor me to reach the top – exactly as they show in classic rags to riches movies like Rocky Balboa. When I turned 25, I realize how toxic that line of thinking is because being chosen from the crowd is the exception, not the rule.
Let me say it once again: getting discovered pretty much happens only in the movies. So while it’s heartening to watch “undisputed heavyweight world champion” Apollo Creed give Rocky a chance even though he is an unknown fighter, such opportunities rarely ever come by in real life.
But before you get all mopey about it (as I did), know that this is a good thing. Instead of twiddling your hands and waiting for life to happen to you, you can work on creating your own life. The time and energy spent in yearning for somebody to groom you can be utilized in taking some action to make your dreams come true. Taking matters in your own hands is a scary but powerful feeling. When you have no one to blame but yourself, that’s when the drive to work hard and responsibly *really* kicks in.
Case in point: only when I realized that I was not going to be plucked from the unfathomably deep ocean of writers around the world did I start actively pursuing my dream of becoming a mental health and sociocultural blogger. I am not where I want to be yet, but it’s a relief to know that instead of being at the mercy of lady luck, the universe, or some supreme being, I am the one who is largely in charge of my own destiny. Sure, I can’t look into the future or avoid setbacks, but the mere fact that I am trying my best with the resources I have is enough to pacify my inner critic. Plus, I can always do some sort of damage control when things aren’t going my way.
Now that I have shared my story, let’s talk about you. You could relate to this topic, couldn’t you? You have nothing to embarrassed about and you are certainly not alone. I believe that at some point, all of us have longed for someone influential to randomly discover the potential in us and help us shine.
Nevertheless, on occasion, it’s alright to want to burn so bright that the world can’t help but look at you. I know I let myself fantasize about this every now and then. But if this kind of wishful thinking becomes frequent, it tends to lead to entitlement, complacency and finally, resentment on not being ‘the chosen one’. So basically, letting go of this toxic ‘discover me’ belief is what one’s got to do if they truly want to make their dreams come true. So whether it’s me or whether it’s you, let’s do ourselves a favor and make our own opportunities while the rest of the world sits and waits.
About the Author
Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. Head to Mahevash’s website to download her free book ’30 Powerful Affirmations To Boost Your Mental Health’.
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