This journey of growing up has been an extremely interesting one for me. Every single day I come to a new realization, as life continues to haphazardly throw curve balls in my direction.
Over the past few weeks there have been a number of outcomes that I have been waiting on, and while some have gone well (i.e securing new client-projects), sadly others have been slightly disappointing (rejected applications for funding, issues with renewing my visa). But as we live in a world of duality and contrast, these ups and downs are obviously expected.
Day by day as I am either excited by my achievements or saddened by my shortcomings, I am repeatedly reminded that no matter how hard I try to convey this message across, honestly no-one (besides perhaps a select few) will truly understand what it all means to me. And as much as my friends, family or colleagues enquire about my trials and tribulations, successes and failures, goals and aspirations, ultimately at the end of the day, no-one will care – and as I’ve learnt the hard way – no one should really care as much as I do.
Being an over-achieving child, a large part of the reason I did well at school was to be able to go home to a standing ovation, “congrats Benny”, “Well done my son/brother/cousin/friend” (or ‘Big Man’ as my father used to call me), “we are very proud of you” and this quickly became a constant driving force throughout my academic career: the praise, support, encouragement and belief from those around me.
Of course, this was during a time where the roads were few and the paths were finite, I mean let’s be honest, in school, you were either a:
- Top achiever
- Slightly above average performer
- Average student
- Below average kid OR
- “That guy”/ i.e the struggling/problem child that teachers detested.
And naturally, every parent desired for their child to be a top achiever, a trophy child to brag about to their friends and relatives.
But now, many years later, the paths are no longer as limited, the options are not as simple, the journey is not as determinant. And unfortunately, unlike in conventional schooling, there is no longer an end of the year prize giving, we are not ranked at the end of each term according to our academic ability, there is no longer a standardized report card quantifying your performance/progress to your friends and family.
And frankly, because we are no longer little overly protected, highly supported, heavily guided kids anymore, nobody has as much vested interest in our personal plans, ambitions, visions, or progress, and you can’t really expect them to. So as harsh as it sounds and as difficult as it is to accept, the truth is that, there will be times in your life where nobody (again, besides perhaps a select few) truly understands you, and I strongly believe that after a certain point, nobody should really care about you and your future , as much as you do. And if you constantly wait for signs of acceptance, approval or support, your aspirations will slowly deteriorate as they fall into the great abyss of regrets, missed opportunities and once-avoidable disappointments.
Nobody cares (…as much as you do)
Nobody needs to believe in you
Nobody needs to understand you
Nobody needs to care for you
Nobody but you
No one knows all your struggles
No one knows all your aspirations
No one knows what you know
Nobody, but you
They don’t see the world like you
They don’t have the same visions
They don’t know what you know
They don’t, but you do.
They may not accept you
They may not support you
They may not empower you
And you don’t need them to
While this journey is long
You know your destination
Hold onto your vision
As you lay your foundation
And you make your own path
On the road, that’s less taken
Be persistent, yet patient
Know thyself and be strong
And while some might support you
The onus is on you
To believe in yourself
As you push yourself through
Cause nobody knows you…
No one should care for you…
None should believe in you…
…as much as you do.