the story of icarus

“Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light.”

―    Oscar Wilde

I knew this was coming at some point, but I was completely unprepared for it. I completely burned out this weekend. I went out with my friends for a birthday celebration at the club, and ended up losing my phone, getting completely sick and losing all momentum I had so preciously gained over the past few months.

Humility is a powerful hammer, smashing down fast and hard, such that the very notion of glory was but a memory. It’s an interesting past few months, maybe past few years. I’ve said this many times, I’m on a good trajectory and have always been happy with the way things were going.

But I’m an egotistical animal. Hubris slumbers in me and when it is fed it starts to growl louder to come out. I had thought I had learnt to tame it, letting myself humblebrag, or give presentations – all with the intent of using the ego to at least benefit something external without putting myself up for failure.

As someone driven to solve problems and make power-moves, ego is a natural composite of my character. Hubris was tamed, and I was learning to grow without letting my ego overwhelm me. In the past few weeks though, that went out  of control. I went too hard, too fast. I accelerated through many hurdles, knocked down milestones successfully and was making incredible gains in various aspects of my life. I felt nearly supernatural. Nearly.

It took one night of crossing the line, to remind myself I live within physical constraints. It reminded me that I have to keep myself in check, and to listen to my friends when they tell me to.

I read a quote about humility once.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

I liked that a lot. I was once and always a problem-solver. I wanted to solve problems and create beautiful things. I didn’t stray too far , but I definitely wasn’t going in the right direction for a while. I became so involved in indulging in this new setting, that I forgot to think more about the societies I cared about  so much.

I’m glad humility took me down a notch. Humility doesn’t make you subservient – it merely reminds you of your relation to the rest of the world. I had taken too many steps ahead of my pace.

I recovered quickly, tapping into reserves and recoveries the smarter younger me had prepared, and got back to the grind. I’m back with momentum, and fighting strong.

Icarus flew way too close to the sun, and lost his life.

There’s still way too much I want to do before I die.

Don’t even bother.

Life is a long lesson in humility.
– James Barrie




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