Life 101

While waiting at the gate 64 in New York, a feel a sense of listlessness pervade. As I fly back, towards home, I realise that it is a huge sense of loss.

Loss of a goal.

Loss of a purpose.

Loss of my “Self”.

The past few years my life had one direction. My mind was working towards one goal. And now that was behind me.

(Post marathon blues I thought, as regular marathoners would recognise these symptoms!)

But this was bigger.

I am returning to all things familiar. To my world. But it is a whole new world now.

This sense of loss was because this trip signified the end of a journey. And now it was truly complete.

I look ahead as new person, who is looking to find meaning for what lies ahead. I cannot see anything now and that scares me. The Uncertainty. I have learnt that with time, clarity or at least direction will come.

This trip with my children marks the end of their childhood. They have cut their strings and are ready to fly. I have to let them go. I am happy to see them relatively independent.

This trip signifies the acceptance of my past and today’s reality. I have created a whole new world for myself and today, I can say that I am truly comfortable in it.

And this amplifies my sense of loss. To realise that my life took a turn 13 years ago which made me re-think my beliefs and question myself, which made me examine what life really meant and what I wanted out of it.

That change which made me have to look for light in the depths for darkness without any hope.

That life changing reality which made me have to hide my tears and pretend to laugh with my children, to have to veil my weakness and exhibit strength for the sake of the family.

And slowly, with time, this pretence, has unconsciously turned into a way of life.

The more I gave, the more I got. Slowly but steadily the darkness has receded.

Running and training have been my strength. Training for Boston made me strive. It gave my life direction. It was my candle in the wind. It remained the centre and focus of my life with work and other everything else remaining in the background. It challenged me in ways I did not know I was capable of responding to.

When I set that goal to run the race in 2017 I had no idea what “Running the Boston Marathon” would really mean. The only reason I set it was because it seemed like a challenge and I had family that I loved in Boston. It would be a holiday for me and the kids! Little did I know where this journey would take me.

Plunging into the unknown can take you to places you would never imagine you could reach.

During this journey I have found strength to live, the ability to love, the enthusiasm to smile and the resilience to endure.

For the first time I asked myself what do I want to do.

For the first time I thought of myself as an individual.

A person with my own identity. not one created by a relation or a label.

As I fly back I realise that Boston wasn’t just a goal. It was not only a race that I had to qualify for and run. It actually was a life lesson. Life 101. A process where I would test myself to find out whether I had the ability to handle the pain, to live with discomfort, to willingly suffer.

“The only antidote to mental pain is physical pain.”

                                                                        -Karl Marx

I am an example.




12 thoughts on “Life 101

  • I love the way you can switch gears from the laughing mischief of this morning to this wonderful, thoughtful and intensely moving piece Parul Sheth. I’m privileged to call you a friend. ?

  • In logical progression, your next step should be becoming an astronaut and going to Jupiter.

    Was fantastic to follow your journey. Looking forward to racing together again soon!

  • Just wanted say thanks Parul , you express what a lot of us go through , want to or aspire to. I think a lot of us who read it draw aspiration and even more important …hope , from your posts. Keep writing , keep running , keep being you….

  • Hey Parul. What a lovely reflection of your journey. LIFE 101. I have been a silent observer, many times not knowing what to say, maybe bec I didnt have a goal. But, i can thankfullly say that i too have a direction now and working towards it relentlessly.
    Yes, you may feel a vaccuum bec u have finally accomplished what u set out to achieve a couple of years ago. Now sit back and enjoy the nothingness and the easy paced life. Coz in this nothingness will rise your next new goal, if only you allow and not resist LIFE 102 🙂

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