“You haven’t seen the world! You don’t know what real world looks like” I have heard this many time and every time I heard this, I questioned myself, is it time to step out and prove myself?

I haven’t been a topper in school or for that matter had any achievement in my life earlier. I was too naive, I didn’t think at all, until life made me think and reflect on my thoughts and my true self. As a child, I was extremely pampered and loved, I was mostly kept away from any problem or crisis my family faced. I was the same 2 year old for my father and mother and even my elder sister, who wanted to protect and always wanted to see me smiling but, when life knocks you hard, you eventually grow, and this time I grew, not just physically but mentally as well.  We faced a tragedy, and unfortunately this time my family couldn’t make it any better for me, I lost my dad. I am still uncomfortable writing these words, but I feel now I’m strong enough to write them. It took quite a while to actually realize what had happened, and the moment I realized it I was devastated. I lost all hope and considered myself a loser, I didn’t want to go to school or talk or shower or do anything at all.

That time I had my exams going on, I had no energy or any motivation to appear in. But the moment my mom said, “today is the day honey, crush it or flush it” I started to think, think deeply and it was time to actually pick myself up and step out, it was the day to prove myself as an individual. A long beeping sound buzzed in my ears for half a minute when I was handed the paper in the exam hall. I was blank and lost, I didn’t know what to write. Teachers and students were questioning me about what had happened, but I didn’t want sympathies or to be pitied.

It was the day when I felt self-contented and happy, I did it! It didn’t matter how much I scored and it should not for you! But the inner strength that took me to the examination hall mattered all my life. I was eventually climbing out of my anxiety with a fire and desire inside me to finally change myself and become the best version of myself. I started to reflect upon everything that was ME, and you should too! From a small thing as my favorite color or a huge consideration as what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Learning the littlest thing about yourself, can lead to the realization about what your purpose in life is, and who you really are.

Self-discovery does not have age restriction! You can start discovering yourself right now, if you haven’t already started this beautiful and creative journey. Science and technology always interested me, so I  started to burn candles at both the ends dealing with grief, loss of childhood and my student life altogether. Two years later I got a chance to attend summer school in the US on a scholarship. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, but the journey changed me as I achieved acceptance of situations and learnt how to be assertive in choosing the people to surround myself with. I was placed at Syracuse University, NY. This was my first ever achievement, I chose aerospace engineering as the subject to explore this field and learn more about the fascination I had for space. Those few weeks made me see a whole new world and I had no confusion as I wanted to fly in life and take this as my profession. When they say one golden opportunity leads to another it is true. After this one program I applied to many others and started working towards my ultimate goal. I got accepted to a summer school at Washington University in St Louis and got selected as one of the top 5 students from Pakistan to spend an exchange year in Japan on a fully funded scholarship in 2020.

My life experiences made me a whole new person and so much more inspired. I believe motivation is something that is external and that you can lose, and might need an external source for, but inspiration is unlimited which comes from within and that is what makes my purpose, my desire and not just my wish. I am ready to take what life has in store for me and I believe I will only be a loser if I ever gave up. I believe all the girls out there can do anything! Don’t let anything or anyone stop you not even your own self. This was my journey of self-discovery from being impossible to unstoppable, that made me realize I want to become an inspiration for all the boys and girls and trust me it has just started!

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Such an inspiring story, beautifully expressed.

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  2. You are my hero!

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  3. Your dad must be super proud of you! More power to you, girl 🙌🏻

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  4. This is amazing Maleeka! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU.

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