Let’s Deal With Disappointment, Shall We?

The tension in the room is palpable.

Everyone in the class is eagerly waiting for the bell to ring.

5…4…3…2…1

*ringggg*

Once the teacher leaves, we all rush to the nearest bulletin board on our floor. All of us want to know whether we cleared the test, or failed.

No, we weren’t looking at the results of our final exams.

We were looking at the I-Section entrance test results.

Every year, our school conducts an entrance exam for secondary school students to test their smartness. Then, they segregate the “smart” kids into a different, Integrated-Section.

Yes, I’m in this section. No, sometimes (such as now) I don’t like it.

So our results are on the bulletin board, but I already know my marks- 45 out of 50.

I don’t want to say this, but – oh god – I was disappointed with my marks.

Sometimes I wonder whether I could be the definition of a typical Indian teenage nerd- smart, constantly worried, over-analytic about marks, overpressured and overburdened. Ok, the last part is a bit of an exaggeration. Seriously mom. I’m fine. Don’t send me to the counsellor or to math tuition.

The funny thing is, though, that even though I got through by a big margin, I still felt kinda uneasy. Like I hadn’t done enough to prove my nerdiness to other people. Even though I had accomplished my goal, my mind was too fixated on the smaller picture. Marks.

My whole day went past me like a blur, while all I thought about was how bad I was at acing tests and how much I sucked at them.

That afternoon, during my bus ride back home, my history teacher, who’s a very sweet person (I’m not being paid to say this), asked me if I was sick or something. ‘Cause apparently I looked like I had a fever.

I told her about my rather disgraceful test performance, and she just broke into soft laughter.

“Don’t worry so much, ma. If the teachers are happy with your results, then it’s fine! Don’t take it so seriously.”

Those words gave me just the perspective my naive mind needed. My mood went from sullen, brooding, contemplative and disappointed to accepting, and ready to make a change. I was ready to change my day into one full of opportunities at my disposal.

Here are 5 things I did that evening to lift my mood. You should try them too.

Talk to a friend.

If you’re feeling low, pick up your phone and chat up with an old friend. The feeling of having someone who listens and talks to you can be therapeutic at times.

Tell yourself that it’ll pass.

Because it will. You know that. Stop for a moment, tell your little irrational brain to shut up, and remind yourself that whatever you’re feeling is perfectly normal, and your despair with come to an end.

Throw your responsibilities away for a day.

One primary reason for disappointment is high expectations. From anyone. So since you can’t control what others expect from you, the best you can do is control what you expect from yourself. Don’t push your limits for a few hours. Just. Relax.

Play a sport.

Sports are awesome! They are also scientifically proven to reduce stress and depression. So if you have a basketball court or just a park in your neighbourhood, call a couple of your friends down and play for a while!

Write about it (as I am now).

Writing helps because nothing provides perspective through self-realisation quite like writing. The minute you put a sad feeling on paper, it loses its dramatic, overestimated impact on your mental wellbeing. There’s no need to amplify a situation through writing. As long as you write down the bare facts about what happened and how you feel, this works.

That day, I learnt that no matter how bad a day goes, I can always change how I feel about it with a simple shift in mindset.

I learnt that if I just change your mindset from one of disappointment to one of acceptance and growth, everything will be okay.

Hopefully, you learnt that too.

ā€œIā€™m sad, hurt, angry, mad, disappointed. But you know what? I will put on a happy face and move on. It will hurt but I will survive.ā€

Road

The sparkle in her eyes

Makes you feel that fairytales are true

She doesn’t even have to try

She can make you swoon from morning to noon


Then she puts on her disguise

Fact or fiction, oh we have no clue

Cause she’s afraid of what she can do


So she set herself on fire

So we could see her burn

But we’ve only heard her whisper

No matter what she’s done


She can’t take it any longer

She’s going to explode

Unless she takes a long drive

Down her favourite road


She was the perfect poster child

Could light up the world with her sense of humour

But now she barely smiles

Oh, what happened there, god knows what hit her


She tries not to cry

But she fears her happy days are over

She doesn’t really think that she’s a failure

She’s just waiting for someone to save her


She set herself on fire

Cause she wanted to be sure

She was gonna be remembered

She thought she wasn’t anymore


Unreal expectations will put her

into overload

Unless she takes a long drive

Down her favourite road

Stop acting.

I’m almost in high school, which means all my friends(including myself) do indulge in humble bragging. But sometimes, people take it too far. To the point of bragging about your haters(and lovers) and making a big deal about what people think of them and their life. And as teenagers, we feed on gossip and pretentious behaviour. This bugs me. It made me ask:

Why do people act like their lives are great and full of unprecedented events and perfect and everything they asked for, when it obviously isn’t? What joy do they get in pretending like their life is better than others?

Why couldn’t they just actually create the lives they dreamed of?

It takes a split second and a fickle mind to be all talk about your life and your dreams. It takes courage and acceptance to actually make progress towards your goal. Pretentious people aren’t perfect. Their sensation of perfection acts as validation for their actions.

One thing I’ve learnt in my (short) life is that if there’s one sure way to live your dreams, it’s to be them.

Don’t waste your time wishing to be something. Your time is short. So do what you want. And be nice to people on the way.

Don’t be afraid of losing people. Be afraid of losing yourself by trying to please everyone around you.