The Secret to Life

We didn't get to say goodbye. For the entire duration of my quarantine till date, that is what I contemplated upon most. We didn't get to say goodbye. It was midway through my fourth semester in college that we were informed we had to immediately evacuate and go back home. There was no time for us to bid farewell or cry our goodbyes. We just held the inner hope that everyone would stay safe and that one day, we'll all be reunited. The 14-hour bus ride back home, just a journey on road, felt more like a series of flashbacks of everything that I've witnessed and experienced with college. Everything around me was taking place too quickly, none of us had the time to process nor figure out what we were going to do. All we knew is as a consequence of COVID'19 and this global pandemic, we had to avoid going outside and maintain ultimate cleanliness. It is after this bus ride that my quarantine began. For a while, the lockdown seemed like a very much awaited vacation, an escape from all the exams planned and the busy hectic life we were all accustomed to within college. Soon, as expected, the craving to go outside grew with each day. It was a circumstance where I would do anything to feel the warmth of the sunlight splayed across my face. College is the wonderful years of your life that you'll never get back, and being blessed to go to college, I was determined to make the most of it and being stuck in a pandemic wasn't in my plan. Saying a tiny prayer every night, in hopes that lockdown may end any time soon, I used to go to bed peacefully, drowned in privilege, not realising I'm far more blessed than I accounted for. It was after that where this pandemic turned out to be more of a life lesson for me. I learned the true importance of three factors with which one can comment, is the secret to life. First, Gratitude. I learned to be grateful for the little things in life. This pandemic has made me realize that these little things are deserving of the most appreciation. From my mother's hot tea every sunday morning to my father's warm smile every night, these tiny memories that are stuck in my head, an image imprinted on my brain, these are the moments I'm going to remember. Maybe it's because being enclosed by these four walls have taught me that I didn't appreciate the time I got to spend outside. Maybe it's cause seeing the world in black and white makes you wish you appreciated the colors a little more. I am blessed with a family who loves me, with friends who take care of me, blessed with the stories I've lived till today that I relive every time I close my eyes. It's these stories that keep one alive, the stories that you think of half past midnight, the stories that you're eternally grateful for. Second, Family. One can reach places with family. Through ups and downs, and all the curves life throws at us, Family endures the journey with laughter and tears, and always more love to go around. If you are blessed with the comfort of family, then you are one of the lucky ones. Some of us are fighting to experience such a love. I have fought with my parents, much more than I would like to admit, and if I had the opportunity to go back in time, and take back a few words that I have screamed across my living room, I would, without a second thought. What you don't realize initially when you are a bit too self-consumed, is that they are there for you, for anything, even when you don't ask for it, and they do all this selflessly, even if sometimes, they can't expect it in return. When your mindset starts to apprehend life in such a perspective, you tend to realize that no matter what sacrifices you take, no matter all the gifts, there is nothing that can even compare to the love of a family, and for that, I'm eternally grateful. Third, Time. Life goes on. It gives you enough time to catch your breath or sit and relax, but life goes on and you get to go along with it, whether you wanted it or not. You go through the ups and downs, the good times and the bad times equally. Time brings forward the concept of change. Circumstances change with time. Life goes on. That's what time teaches you. What you make of life is what you do with what life teaches you. We didn't say goodbye, but we learned how much it meant. We didn't say goodbye, but now we don't have to. Just remember, if you're lost along the way, being happy is a great place to start.

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