Sometimes life gives you everything except one thing that you want the most. It feels like as if it is testing your determination to make sure that you really want it.
For some, it could be having a kid, for some having a peaceful marriage and for some a successful career. For me, it was to be financially independent.
Before you feel like skipping this story I can tell you why you shouldn’t. If you are struggling to get that one thing that you want the most in your life but you feel tired and are planning to give up – then the story might give you hope.
If you feel destiny has been unfair to you and you have this constant feeling of why you don’t have things easy while others do, then you can relate to my struggle.
Because I have experienced all these feelings on my way towards financial independence.
I belong to a middle-class family. My father had a stable bank job. But, still during all these years while I was growing up, I always thought that my father did not make much money. I grew up under the impression that every extra expense that came up meant extra effort and stress for my father.
Growing up, I never told my father about any school trips or any extra cultural classes that I wanted to enroll because that meant additional expense that my father had to bear.
Since I was 6, I always dreamt of one thing – relieving my father from the financial burden I was putting on him. Becoming self-independent, giving my family wings to fly was the only dream that I have from past 20 years. So, getting a job after my college was my utmost priority. But, I didn’t know that life would not make it easy for me.
The placement day had arrived. The entire college was on its toes, as we had multiple companies on campus. I was hopping from one interview to another and by the time I had my fifth and final interview, it was 11 pm. We were sitting in the auditorium as the selection lists were being announced for all companies one by one.
It was 2 am, the final list just arrived, and they were calling out the names of the people who made it.
I still remember the happiness I felt when I heard my name. It was one of those nights I can ever forget. My dream to be financially independent was soon going to be a reality.
I came home and was waiting for my joining date. Days turned into months and I started getting restless. Though I was confident, I was scared as some questions kept popping into my head – What if they revoke my job-offer? What if I am again a financial burden on my father?
My father always says that being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.
So, I had to find a way to through it. I updated my profile and started applying for jobs. Soon, I got a call from a startup and I went for the selection process. It was happening in a college which was filled with 1000s of students like me and that scene scared me. Though the thoughts of doubt kept fleeting in and out, the only feeling that kept me going was my intense desire to be financially independent.
I kept thinking about my father and how much I needed this.
The process went well and towards the end of the day, I was offered the job. Among the thousands of students, I was one of the 8 students, who finally got selected. I couldn’t believe it. I thought finally I will live a dream of a financially independent woman.
One week later, I joined the firm. I made sure I learnt everything quickly and started working on my assignment in the best possible way. After 6 months, I took my first holiday to go home for Holi. The day after Holi, I was sitting with my father and telling him how happy I was to be working and contributing to my family financially. Life failed me once but then I succeeded.
Hardly, I knew that feeling will be so short-lived.
Just then my phone rang. It was the director of my company. He told me that they were letting me go. I didn’t understand what he meant? He said that I am no longer wanted in the company so when I come back from vacation I can submit the laptop and collect one month’s extra salary as a compensation.
You know what is more painful than a failure – a consistent failure. I had failed again.
I felt I haven’t just failed myself but I have failed my parents too. When you want something desperately and you don’t get it – it hurts. But, when you get something that you wanted desperately and you lose it not once but twice – it aches.
The next week was tough.
I kept asking myself the questions – Why me? Why others have it so easy? Why my hard-work never pays off?
There were friends of mine who hardly studied during the course but managed to get into stable jobs. Why? And, then between crying and cursing my destiny, I saw my dad talking on the phone. Something was special in that moment.
In that moment, I wasn’t looking at his face, I was looking at his wrinkles and gray hair, which somehow gave me my lost strength.
I wanted a better job. And, I didn’t mind pushing myself day and night to achieve the dream that destiny was trying too hard to take away from me. After a month of continuous applications, interviews, and rejections, I got an offer from a product based MNC. It was a much better job than what I had earlier.
You might say my story has a happy ending. I would beg to differ. Because life is never easy.
We climb one hill and before we can even start celebrating our victory, we see another hill much steeper and much higher. But one thing that I have realized during my journey, life assesses how desperately we want our dreams. The sooner we quit, the sooner we lose.
So, I don’t pray for an easy life. I pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. And, I hope you pray for the same!
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