The weight of the bags kept on increasing. The shoulders of little Neha couldn’t bear the pressure of studying like crazy. She was barely 14 years old. And the world had decided that she needs to study the usual mugging education, attend ballet and somehow sing well.
Maybe that wasn’t enough – she is expected to excel in painting, speech and many other things. Also if she didn’t become the head girl of the class then she is more or less a failure.
Each day Neha was getting more angry towards her parents. Because although she was kept like princess, the sheer pressure was uncontrollable. The adults had decided to treat her like an all-rounder who has to thrive in the competitive world and become the next legend.
There was only one problem. No one asked Neha what she had wanted. Maybe it was the little things like playing in the garden or hugging their parents tight or knowing that failing is okay.
But she was shut down. Not by physical force rather by emotional pressure. It seemed she was the hope for everyone else’s ambition.
But whom she should confide in. There was no one who could understand her trouble. Because other kids were either pressured relatively less or more. And few lucky who had good parents – couldn’t comprehend her version of the childhood.
She didn’t intend to study hard, become the role model or paint like the next Picasso. Although the accomplishments were huge, she hated the idea of doing it as of now.
Getting up at 6 in the morning, going to class 2 times, learning multiple skills and losing the count of sound sleep. She hated every aspect of it.
Imagine yourself in her position
- Doing stuff like you are In a military school
- Accomplishing things because maybe your parents couldn’t do it themselves
- Or becoming a stiff robot. Losing all the flare of a kid.
It is tough to endure such harshness. And it is no surprise that Neha developed a strong hatred.
Can you become a rebel at such a young age?
Even if you decide to fight back – what are your options…
But amongst all of these Neha had one hope, source of joy and a place to being her best self.
Amidst all the pain she was, Neha had found her solace in the littlest of thing. And dancing ballet was the best thing that happened to her.
When she first entered the class, she was shy and afraid. One more task was added to her kitty. And there would be weekly ritual to measure her progress. And she had to somehow manage it among all the 365 different task. Alas, Neha was sad.
And she wanted to just do it. Like all the other routine she had followed and made peace with.
But something changed…
Neha started liking the posture, the movements and the flexibility. She embraced that she could convey a message with her body movements and the difficult poses she could maintain gave her inner strength.
Somehow it told her that she is powerful and not someone who will be destroyed by the ambitions of others.
If anything she will fly with the strength, grace and talent she had. Neha found her love in dancing ballet.
She couldn’t show that she enjoyed going to ballet dancing. Because she feared she might be stopped from doing ballet. In her mind, everyone around wanted her to suffer. This had become her blocking perspective.
Neha hadn’t experienced so much pain ever in her life. Her broken ankle made her skip all the classes. And she was literally tied to bed for the most time. In some way, she was happy. Because she got a break from the hardcore routine. But no one knew this expect her.
Her parents were sad. No matter the unseen harshness they had subjected their daughter, she was their loved child. Seeing her in pain made them wake up in middle of nights.
They would continuously check upon her to see if everything was okay, did she need anything or did she need some consoling. Among everything that happened after Neha slipped in ballet class resulting in breaking her ankle, she missed the schedule too.
Because although she had the liberty to not attend the rigid, mundane and boring class, it also meant she can’t do ballet. Even after she is recovered. It was a huge blow to her. The best thing that happened to her was now been paused.
Oh the irony. The daily routine she was running from has become something she want to start again.
All these events resulted in the sweet, happy and welcoming treat by her parents. Neha started seeing the side of her parents which see didn’t thought existed. And with each passing day, she was recovering from the pain – she also started getting real close to her parents. The biggest thing was perhaps the trust which was stronger than ever.
The time had come. Neha witnessed her parents really caring for her. And the daily task of jumping multiple class and excelling wasn’t doing her any good. Hence, she decided to tell her parents the feeling. And sure she spilled everything.
And when she finished – she was crying like hell. And it wasn’t the physical pain. But the harsh, cruel and heart-breaking emotional pain. Her parents were broken to see their kid in agony.
It was tough to see the mirror and the damage they had done. But Neha’s parents understood – they probably had gone too far with the excellence. And it was time to cut all the extra classes which she didn’t like. They thought about it and decided that she should continue only the education class – the normal one.
Neha was happy, smiling and gave a tight hug to both the parents. And she added, “I love that you considered my pain and freed me from all the classes. But I want to continue with the ballet class. Because of all the things, I love ballet a lot.”
Wow – that was a good news. Neha’s parents realized a golden truth that day. It is good to expose your kids to multiple skill. But you shouldn’t force them to continue. Let them juggle a few and find their love. And once they do, let them continue with their passion. And it is okay to switch passions, find new ones and not excel.
Because the important thing is to enjoy what you do. They were happy and allowed her to continue with the ballet dance. But she still was scared despite the complete recovery. She thought she might fail to do the spins and stretches because of her injury. Nonetheless, she gave it a try.
And within few days, she was back to her normal self.
Sometimes all that is blocking you is in your mind. And when you shift your barrier – you end up overcoming it. So believe in yourself, And don’t let mind play games with you.
Neha was lucky because their parents had a change of heart. What about you? Are you racing your kid for excellence at the expense of their childhood. Let them explore, make mistakes and find their path. If anything become their guide.