When I was in Class V, a little boy my age taught me a life lesson. The results for the term exams had just been announced, and I had come first. I was proud and happy, excited about the gifts my family members would get for me. The latest Malory Towers book was certain to be on the list. One of my classmates appeared almost as excited, jumping about, digging into his tiffin box between classes.
“You look happy. How did you do on the exams?” I couldn’t stop myself from asking.
“I came first.”
What a liar! “That can’t be. I came first!”
“Maybe you did, from the top,” he responded nonchalantly. “I am first from the bottom.”
What he said that day was probably just bravado—indifference mixed with anxiety about being scolded by his parents. But I have always remembered what he said.
The zenith and the zero are never too far apart. You could be top today, but the tables might turn the very next second, and voila, suddenly you are at the bottom.
This April was a perplexing month for me. I took up the A-to-Z blogging challenge for the first time, hoping to discipline myself into committing to the blog after months of neglect. Today, I post for the final letter, and my desk calendar reveals that a new month begins tomorrow. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. This month, I was fortunate to come across some terrific blogs and meet some fabulous people virtually. I am thrilled I didn’t let ennui get in the way of blogging every day. I could replicate some of the enthusiasm with which I first started this place. In many ways, today feels like the zenith.
Even so, I know this: zero lurks close. It is hiding in a corner, waiting to pounce on me with disparaging, disorienting thoughts. Like, the conceit of believing that anyone but me cares whether or not this blog breathes. The unwillingness to keep up the tempo because there is no light on the horizon. The baggage of projects I have failed at before, the fear of letting people down.
But guess what? I opened the window a while ago, and a surprising gust of cool air came in. The sunshine appeared more golden, less harsh, hinting at refreshing rain. I think I saw zero silently leave the house; it hates all things fresh and hopeful. Zenith sits beside me right now, grinning and constantly telling me to keep going. I think we could become friends.
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I am taking up the April #AtoZChallenge 2019 and will post every day of the month, except Sundays. I look forward to your company!
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