duylam-85It has been ages since I have last written here. My mind’s eye is squinting at some obscure number…1.5 years? Good gracious really? Has it been that long? There has been much prodding and poking from the lovely Cara Martin and the wonderful people at CSO to see if there’s still some life in me. I’m sorry for the very rude silence on my end.  But to be frank, I just decided to sign on and write again.

Again my apologies. My decision was not as casual or offhand as I make it appear. This should be attributed more to my year and a half away. In that time, there has been a swelling of an emotion and thought, and this, I believe, is the bursting point. Don’t worry, this won’t be a list of things I have done or people I’ve met or sights I’ve seen or any of that jazz.

No, this perhaps might be the most honest conversation I’ve had with myself and, well incidentally, you, the reader. It is a conversation about a simple question – “Why?” At least, it started off simple enough.

The beginning of this year and one half hiatus started with my transfer to the University of Virginia and the creation of a student organization, the Technology, Entrepreneurship, & Design Group. Or the T.E.D. Group for short. My question at that time was “Why do design? Why create?” In a few weeks, I had an answer – this is the best way to make a positive impact. The answer might have been built with sticks and mud, but still it was an answer.

Then second year really happened. It was awful. It was without a doubt my worst academic year. There’s no excuse for my behavior, but, in my eyes, the distraction was not trivial and needed my attention. Family matters. You can imagine how those things go. So here comes the second question – “Why don’t the results reflect my work?”

Really, I was just fooling myself the whole year. My mind was elsewhere, far far from school or academics. That’s why. I wanted to ignore every bad grade or tough problem. My pride was so strong that I couldn’t bear to admit to myself that I needed help.  I thought I was the man with my progressive thinking T.E.D. Group, but really I was looking for any success or little achievement to make myself feel better. Hindsight always reveals your foolishness. So there is my second answer – “Your heart just isn’t in it, Duylam.” It was a very bitter realization, and the admittance of my inadequacy stained my tongue black.

But I knew all along I was inadequate, and really, I think I have only now started to really push for improvement. Somewhere in the mid-year, I needed silence from everything – Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. No one ever tells how you large the Age of Information really is.

The realization of my self-delusion sent me into solitude. Not seclusion or isolation (although Webster does offer those words as synonyms), but solitude. There was no dislike or hatred or fear that sent me inward. It was my need for improvement. Where I was, was not where I knew I could be. The accumulation of experience in whatever field I wish to pursue would not deliver upon me the improvement I sought out. So I started to talk to myself more (and really I’m talking to myself right now). And I’m sorry, but this is a conversation we will have to pick up at a later date (I refuse to put this off); it’s 12:49 a.m. and I have a programming date at 8 a.m. Allow me to end with this ‘mmm’ moment:

I have found that our society is full of people, who excel at their pursuits – swimming, investment banking, engineering, whatever. They can execute and finish with an ice cold efficiency. But being an amazing 38 point scoring point guard, or small forward, does not mean you’re cut out to be the captain. Trust me this is not tangential.

All the best,