I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.
As I recall my past from my childhood until now, I find how I have won and lost at various points in my life. Here I want to give two life lessons- one based on the well-known Aesop fable moral, “The slow and steady wins the race” and another based on another Aesop fable moral, “Grapes are sour”.
The Slow and Steady Wins the Race
During my childhood when I started schooling in grade 1, I struggled with my studies and constantly needed my parents' help. I was unable to co-operate with the teachers or take their help in any form because I wasn’t fluent in English yet.
My Dad gave up on me, saying that I didn't understand anything and that I would fail in the class. He failed to understand where I was having difficulty in my lessons and wasn't comprehending me at all. Finally, Mom took over the responsibility although she had a hundred other little things to take care of. And slowly and gradually, I proceeded in the class.
In my class, I saw many boys and girls raise their hands and answer the teachers' questions in our lessons. When I reported to Mom about it, she made sure I was able to raise my hand also and answer the teachers’ questions.
Anything I saw I lagged behind I would report to Ma, and she would teach and coach me.
Finally, the exams were very near. My Dad’s menacing words, “She will fail” dreaded me. I asked Mom if I was going to fail. She laughed and said that it wasn’t true, and he was only joking.
Finally, it was exam time. My heart skipped two beats. I knew I was dead scared. It was the first exam of my life, and I knew how much Mom invested her time in teaching me. So at least for her sake, I wanted to try my best and give it a shot.
One by one every exam passed away, and I was able to handle them in a way that would work for the teacher and me. Soon the exams were over. And I was on vacation.
During the vacation was my result day, and I was all blue and nervous to pick up my result. My Mom asked to count with my fingers how many people after I was being given the progress report card because that would determine my position in the class. I told my Mom I couldn’t do that. I was too tensed to try anything.
The school bus came and took me to school. In the school premises, grade 1 was queued with me at the front-most according to the instructions from the principal. The others followed in the queue behind my back. I didn't get anything yet, but I listened to the teachers as they talked and gave brief speeches.
Soon results would be given. And the first name they called was my name! I was still wondering what was happening. I went close to the teacher as she gestured so. She smiled and handed me the progress report. I opened to see I got a 100 in every subject, and my position was first.
I was so very happy and smiled broadly. The teacher hugged me, and then I was on my way back to the bus. That was how by being slow and steady with my lessons in the class, I beat every student, going to the top of the class. It was the first exam of my life, and I performed excellently. I was over the moon and in elated spirits. Yes, I made it slow and steady. It was an important life lesson.
Grapes Are Sour
When I was on a job in my home country, I seriously and spiritedly yearned for going abroad and getting a higher degree, which would help me with further promotions and career benefits at home.
It was a long-enduring chain of processes, and I got stuck at every step of the way, but I also found a way out of every loophole and continued to move on.
The day I had a visa in hand, I felt a wave of relief and calm over me. I was smugly happy. It didn’t represent all my achievements yet, but it was a good stepping stone on my journey abroad.
When I reached abroad after a marathon of flights, my sisters helped me with food, fun conversations and the entrance to my apartment that I would be living from now on.
I had my supervisor fixed by email from my home country and corresponded closely with him now because I felt his research fields interested me.
Three months down the road abroad, I was falling out with my supervising professor because the research he gave me didn’t excite nor satisfy me. I thought a change of supervisors was a good idea.
So one semester I took only theory courses and looked outrageously for a professor who would fulfill my needs for interesting research. After a round of discussions with several professors, I thought I found the one that best suited me.
But again three months down the road, my young new supervisor declined to work with me any longer. There was no warning, but it came all of a sudden and without the slightest hint for me.
I knew instantly I made a mistake leaving the first senior professor. I should have worked things out with him only. Who knew- maybe it was his influence and power in the background that was being imposed on me!
I had enough, I thought. I didn’t want to stay abroad any longer. Enough of research and enough of supervising professors. I said to myself, “Grapes are sour”. It wasn’t working for me, and so I chose to leave abroad and continue my career at home.
Indeed the entire experience abroad for a Ph.D. had turned out so sour that I badly needed a reboot in me and that could only happen by abandoning abroad and coming back to home sweet home. It sure was a life lesson that I learned the hard way.
But years later, the opposite would ring true again. And I would dream to go abroad to fulfill my newly formed burning desires and endeavors. Life is tricky at various points, but I am a girl with lots of experiences. I know whatever comes in my way again, I would be able to deal with it more candidly and smartly.
© 2019 Rosina S Khan