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Ayesha A Kazi: “The Power of Direction”

This I Believe

The Power of Direction

by Ayesha A Kazi


For the last six years, I’ve been a less-than-average student. I hardly got through high school. Actually, if it wasn’t for the pandemic, I probably would have failed senior year. Even after that, I failed in all of my classes, my first semester here. Right here, right now, looking at myself in the mirror, I can’t recognize the woman who stares back at me. She looks confident, driven while all I feel is a struggle and a constant need to hold on to the edge and not fall off as my life drives by me.

The world tilted, as I was reading the mail, the floor was spinning. Spring of 2021; at the end of the semester, I found out I was on the Dean’s list. Four months of hard work had paid off. Never had a problem doing hard work, but I also couldn’t do anything I have to do consistently. Even now, if I decided to exercise every day, two days later will be the end of it for me. I’ve been trying to write a book for two years now and I can’t get past a certain point. I always manage to convince myself I’ll do it tomorrow. Hours upon hours of time spent doing absolutely nothing.

High School; a disaster. Always set such lofty goals and never actually completed them. I tried to get an IB diploma, worked hard for three quarters and then just gave up. Now, I think, if only I had done three more quarters, I could have done it. I keep making the same mistakes; if I start something and am not good at it, then I can’t do it all. When I didn’t do my summer assignment for my Biology class, that was the end of it. I had a week to complete it but I didn’t because I thought that was it. I fail before I even start.

Driving to my Calculus class now, I feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Dizziness overtakes me as I walk to class, my heart beating three times faster. How will it go? Will I understand what he’s talking about? Or was the last class just a fluke? Will my life always be like I’m falling down Tartarus with no end in sight? This constant struggle and confusion, always tries to trick me into thinking that I can’t do it. But somehow, I find the strength to not listen, to keep going no matter what.

Why is this important? I now know the importance of direction. I know where I’m going. I know what I want. After years spent wandering around (almost never in a straight line), suddenly figuring out what you’re going to do, priorities shift and it is a wonderful feeling, not just to know what you’re doing but to realize that you can actually accomplish something. I’ve always wanted to help people somehow. And I will. It isn’t just about having a major or getting a degree, it’s about finding what was always there inside. And even though it will always be hard, now I know what I want and one day very soon, I will accomplish it all.


(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; featured image by Pexels user Bakr Magrabi)


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