The bitter wind nipped at my flushed cheeks. I could feel my skin paling from the exposure to the winter air whilst my body trembled at the sight of the varying hues of gray that hung above me. My hair whipped across my face— locks of mahogany silk temporarily blinded me as if the air itself wished to perceive my struggle at the flick of its own hand. I squeezed my eyes shut before letting out an irritated grumble.
As I stared unto the gray world, a translucent drop clung to my lashes. I blinked a few times. It fell, colliding along my cheek and dribbling down with some friends towards the speckled cement. I cast my pupils upward and felt the harsh greeting of cold water showering me in its downpour. The rough breeze seemed to guide the onslaught of precipitation right at me; even the bare, swaying boughs of the oaks, planted along the fertile terrain, seemed to titter at my miserable state.
The year had only just begun, and truthfully, I hadn’t the slightest clue how to start it. It’s a miserable fact about me: I can’t just know my goals, I have to feel like I’m ready to accomplish them. And I hadn’t been feeling so prepared. Already I was feeling washed away in the January storms, without ideas, concepts or even the mere clue of how to hit that “refresh” button.
I finally arrived at the building atop the hill and wrenched open the metal doors. I emerged into the sterile hallway, glancing up at the flight of stairs beckoning me for a quick workout. I trudged up the steps, my heels soaked through while the tresses of my darkened mane clung to my cheeks. My pruned fingers lightly ascended the rails along with me, until I came upon the extraordinary glass wall overlooking the entirety of the tempestuous weather. How long would I have to wait for the sun to burst through the clouds?
With every new year comes a time of reflection, a time in which we perceive a gleam of realization. But after the successes and the rise of my self last year, I faced a great hardship in what I was to do. I’m changing and becoming someone I must adapt to, while still struggling with leaping over the hurdles of who I am and who I’m meant to be. My passion for what I love to do has remained fervently strong, but it is emerging out into the world and the anxiety of the stagnant parts of life that cause a trepidatious feeling within me. It’s trying to be happy, but getting caught up by the darkness that devours you more surely than any amount of joy can ascertain.
I stared as the rain smacked against the translucent substance that stretched and shielded the building from nature’s wrath. The storm seemed to have grown even more aggressive than when I was first outside; or maybe, it was trying to reach through the glass and take me into its cold, scattered arms once more. It was beckoning me to come out unguarded. I knew not of what more it had in store for me. I just knew that it was waiting for my return. But such is the world.
Twenty-one days of allowing the gray to overshadow and overwhelm my senses. Nearly a month of waiting for some sort of epiphany to strike my reasoning. Waiting. Waiting for a message of where I’m going to next. Waiting for a letter that would decide my fate and my home for many years to come. Waiting for someone to take my beloved works and bind them for the world. Waiting for someone to step up and tell me how they feel. Waiting for the sun to shine, and me along with it.
God, I’m always waiting.
For something to happen in my life.
The tips of my fingers were chilling as they swiped under my eye. I gazed at the splotch of liquid dribbling along my pink, slender finger. It collapsed against the linoleum floor. Everything was so still. All I could sense was the beating of my heart and the pitter-patter of drops before they trickled down the glass.
The straps of my bag slid down my arm until the entire thing was resting along the floor. I descended the steps and shoved open the door to the outside world. I breathed in and tilted my chin up to the sky. The rain bathed me in its downpour, but the drops didn’t sting as they met my flesh; they seemed to greet me kindly, then slide off onto the ground. Even the chilled air didn’t feel as bitter. And not even the gray clouds could strip the world of its color.
You see, finding your first success is easy. It’s fighting for everything after, all the greater triumphs and accomplishments, that takes true will and passion to thrive. But you can’t just wait for your dreams to get big. You can’t just hope that things will turn out the way you want them to. You can’t keep waiting for people to step up. If you’ve imagined something great enough, then growing with your dreams will become part of your journey. Take the leap. Take it several times. And as tired as you get from not making it over, remind yourself of who you are and of all the people who’ve quit on their dreams. Remind yourself, that you’re not one of them. Keep going, and one day, you’ll finally be there, on the other side appreciating the scars and the triumph of making it to where your body never thought you’d be.
I’m still learning and I’m still leaping too.
Sometimes, we think things are worse than they are; but often, we discover that even in the midst of a storm, we are still able to smile. Because the truth of the matter is, when we cry in the rain, no one can see our tears. It is when our hearts our aglow with the luminosity of hope, of kindness, of accomplishment– that we will come to finally understand a very important lesson for our self-esteems.
We don’t need the sun to shine.
Here is to a year full of even greater successes, accompanied with memorable bouts of love, care, and happiness. Happy New Year. And thank you.
-Kiran Bains Sahota