How does our vision for life change as we grow older?

I was a total sucker for writing when I was younger.
(Still am, but now I speak more about wanting to write than actually spending that time writing. Life really sucks the life out of you.)

Growing up, I wanted to be a writer, an author, or a poet – anything that involved me using my extensive vocabulary (which was yet to be built up – I used to browse dictionaries for fun) to entertain massive amounts of intellect around the world. I sent to children’s newspapers and monthly subscription magazines any piece of literary junk expelled from my mind into my notebooks, hoping to be immortalized into the soon-to-be-dying paper industry pages. Being the less popular medium of children’s entertainment in the 2000’s & early 2010’s, they published most of them.

I recently came across a couple of poems I’d sent over to the newspaper ‘RobinAge’, one of my absolute favorites (any newspaper inviting articles from children & hosting competitions whose prizes I won were enough factors for me to love it). They’ve compiled all their previous issues into digital versions on their websites. Here they are:

However embarrassing they are for me now, browsing through the writing of my young, fragile mind and others’, there’s one pattern I see consistently – we felt everything in much greater intensity, looked at everything with much greater hope, and with a much greater affinity for it. I was at a confused stage in the 8th grade. Questions like what my plans were after I was done with school, what after the Science/Commerce/Arts conundrum, where did I want my life heading to, what I would do for it and what I wanted in return. Seemed like I should have started on these answers way back, but I hadn’t. And in the uncomfortable space of my early teenage life, I embarked upon attempting to find the answers via the method that seemed most practical and lucid to me – simply by putting my pen to paper. As I began to write, I saw through things in a much clearer light. My horizons expanded, I realised my dreams, the Ends, were quite straightforward (albeit extremely ambiguous). I just had to figure out the Means to Get There.

Strapping my vague goals on my back, I defined a path for myself, and tried to stick to it whilst combating the cliched curve-balls that life was throwing at me. I carried on with life. I think I’m going okay now – life could’ve been much better, but also much worse (the glass is half-what?). But now that I think about it, where are those dreams? Where is the intensity, the ardor with which I felt everything I translated into that piece of sheet (no pun intended, it just came out that way)?  When I was younger, I knew my Ends and tried to figure out the Means. Now that I’ve been working on my Means, have I lost sight of the Ends? Or am I not on the right path at all? After all, aren’t dreams supposed to give you all the positivity you need when you’re working through the difficult pathway? Why is it difficult for us to keep track of both, we often lose sight of one or the other. Maybe life is nothing but a continuous journey of multiple forked & interconnected pathways, until you maybe hit a jackpot. The only thing I can think of doing is to keep going, as consoled by the great Rumi, who says –

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
But don’t move the way fear makes you move.

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