What on sweet earth has happened to us?

We use to be free. We used to dream of what we’d do. Big dreams, small dreams, weird ones, impossible ones, ridiculous ones. But we dreamt. We used to look at others’ hopeless situations and make little plans in our heads about how we’d never be them. We used to hope we’d be so much more.

Our minds used to imagine a cornucopia of possibilities and we’d simultaneously try to make all of it happen. We lacked the know-how, but we had the passion. Our ambitions were unbelievably exciting, starkly different, innocently optimistic and often imprudently outlandish. But they were real. We felt them. We knew that we knew that we knew that we were made for something.

We laughed. Uncontrollably. Giggled at randomness. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Let bygones be bygones. We kept shorter accounts. Our pranks were juvenile, our thoughts were careless, our banter was immature and we were unashamedly inappropriate.

We had friends. Not “Facebook” friends. Real solid friends. People we could rely on to have our backs. Friends who’d were friends behind our backs, too. We’d make foolish plans together. Let’s start our own company. No, let’s all go backpacking and travel across the world. Let’s make a documentary and enter it in a contest. Let’s call ourselves something to be remembered by. Let’s start an unusual trend. Let’s do this. Let’s do that. We wore our hearts on our sleeves. Heck! We wore sleeves too. One minute we were sipping chai, the next minute we were off somewhere else. A group of us would walk in a straight horizontal line blocking the entire footpath.

Of course, we were naïve. Raw and unaware of the schemes of this world.

No one told us that routine would annihilate our dreams. Kill them one at a time. Slowly but surely. We didn’t know that the corporate systems would make us conform. Erase our individuality. Get rid of our uniqueness. Who knew that money would be such a big deal? That we’d be working for it and that we’d cheat on our ambitions for it? We were totally kept in the dark about how the monotony of our schedules would have a toll on all our relationships and all that will remain are the carcasses of old friendships reminding us that they were alive at one time.

Oh, them college days! Them carefree college days. What I’d not give to go back and be! Just be.

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