A little past in the Present

“The Alchemist,” a transformative book that held my undivided attention from its opening pages until the very end, served as the catalyst for my lifelong love of reading. I hold a deep admiration for individuals who use their artistic abilities in crafting, painting, or writing to spread joy in the world. In the case of Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece, one particular phrase etched itself into my consciousness, particularly the profound phrase,

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

It kind of became a phrase stuck in the back of my mind I would get reminded of it every time I wanted to do something. A “want” to strive for more has always driven me forward. For instance, upon witnessing the enchanting riffs and melodies of a skilled guitarist, I persuaded my mother to enrol me in a music school, ultimately returning home with a guitar in hand, ready to roll on a musical journey. Similarly, a desire to delve into the world of coding led me to immerse myself in over a hundred instructional videos on YouTube and take on online courses, eager to acquire new knowledge and skills.

The year 2019 marked the emergence of a global pandemic, disrupting lives and leaving a profound impact on humanity. Many faced the loss of loved ones, locked behind doors in isolation, or the discovery of new perspectives while adapting to change. I had nothing to do and was not okay staying home.

I embraced the noble endeavour of voluntary service as a soldier (Desuung), initiated by the esteemed leadership of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. I took the chance to get trained. Routine, drills, guns, and parade. A beautiful memory to remember. With it, the COVID duty, patrolling the borders, dealing with people, animals, motivation, leeches and food supplies.

As my duty extended, I experienced a decline in clients on the other end. It was during those two months that phrases such as “This too shall pass” and “Everything happens for good” became my guiding light, providing solace and propelling me forward. In my free hours, I would often see myself reading or photographing butterflies to let the time pass. Otherwise, “Everything happens for good, everything happens for good…” Today, as I reflect upon these experiences, I stand firm with no regrets.

With the passing of time, I saw myself growing up to take occurrences in life as a lesson and not as bad days. Following the completion of my duty,  I found myself at my father’s side within the walls of a hospital, it was a three-month-long stay until he was fine. It was during this time where the realities of the world gave me a different prospect, seeing two to three dead bodies taken out from the hospital every day, and getting adapted to the situation was something big that got built in me. While difficult occurrences in life make you stronger, your adaptive nature keeps you kind and calm.

Returning to my professional endeavours after a prolonged hiatus, I saw a lot more than if I were a regular 9-5 worker. I embarked on a journey filled with diverse roles, meetings, motivations, and exciting prospects. Within this realm, “Life is a one-time opportunity” became my guiding principle. A lot of this and that, learnings and failings, and here I am staring at the future existing in the present with enormous possibilities while welcoming all that life has to offer with open arms.

A little past in the present. Just because you want to get rid of all the dark memories of the past doesn’t mean you want to get rid of all the experiences, knowledge and wisdom you gained from those occurrences. You are your past, and who you are today will define your future too. #Gratitude

This is Karan, an educator and a learner based in the Himalayas.