Goal. A word so profoundly loved, such an article of joy. A word that finds itself to be the ultimate, often elusive prize in one of the world’s most popular sports. A word that is used in nearly every written or spoken document of inspiration. It is to bring order, purpose and meaning to our lives. Love is all very well, around us, among us. Sometimes there, sometimes not. But a goal, made conspicuous by its absence, is constant and unchanging. It is a seemingly realizable synonym for hope. I hope for world peace, and my goal is to set my heart bleeding for man everyday. Not my personal goal(not in those terms anyway), but an example of the difference.
I set a goal for myself at the beginning of this month. It is a common example of a goal, but one that I have never had in the past. I wanted to lose weight. Not a great deal, but enough to get back to my normal size. For the past year, my eating and activity habits have changed from what they had been previously. There are myriad reasons for this, which I won’t get into here. I did not mind it as such, until August. The 30th of September marks the beginning of festivities here. Part of those festivities is the ritual of wearing new clothes. I have already written about my experience in procuring these new additions to my wardrobe. But, as the time finally draws near, my new clothes will have to remain in my wardrobe.
I set goals for myself of varying degrees everyday. I was not taught to do this. Despite hearing many Gordon Gekko-ish echoes such as “Goals are good”, setting goals has been my default mode of operation. I have always made lists since I have learned to make one. And though I mostly am unable to tick them off, I never stop making them. I have also learned to accept not accomplishing goals, but start over again, if given a chance. For example, I have accepted I am more of a writer in my head than on paper. I set writing goals of a varying nature everyday, but unless I have to be answerable to someone, my writing never gets set to paper, not properly anyway. Which makes me wonder how I have gotten so far in blogging, a wholly independent venture, at all. I have a thousand( scratch that, a million) goals for it. But, what keeps me going is that I am obeying the one goal I set myself when I started – just keep writing.
Having a goal I don’t normally have has given me an experience I never expected. I am not exactly Aishwariya Rai, but I’ve never been too fussed about my looks. I have not evaded remarks about my appearance, which do occur once in a while, but I never do anything about it. Nothing out of the ordinary anyway. I just accept myself as average, and do the best with what I have. Or maybe, curiously, I’ve managed to escape the global fascination of living up to a mass-propagated self-image. I think it is more laziness than any difference of values. If I took fifty selfies in a day, or even one, I may have been singing a different tune.
But, my frustrations with working out and eating right, has given me a glimpse of what so many go through. Except, I really am not thinking of others. There is no compassion here, at this clearly drawn out and clearly realizable goal that I haven’t been able to realize. I am angry, at my own complacency in buying clothes in my normal size. I am angry, when I chance upon a reflective object and see myself differently, and not always followed by approving emotions. This was a feeling I never expected to have, and yes, it has happened. In fact, setting a goal has been counter-productive. I kept counting the days, I kept looking at myself after a workout session, and I kept thinking more and more that I am unlikely to reach the finishing line, though I didn’t dare to accept it. And now that it has happened, and there is no way of changing the conditions of the game(for 30th of September will be upon us soon), there is nothing left for me to do than just accept it, wear my old clothes that do fit me, ignore the sense of failure through the next week, and start over the week after that. Well, that’s the plan anyway. It isn’t grand enough to be called a goal.