I was 16, in class 11, when I heard the quote ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. And in my mind was ‘what gets going? And what is it that gets tough?’.
I remember asking about this quote to my English teacher at boarding school at the time. And he mentioned that it’s a metaphor.
What metaphor?, so he went on board to have a conversation about how we say so many phrases, but the words used are not taken as face value, and that it means something else. Especially that my first language is not English, I remember how he spoke of some phrases in Kannada, my native language.
(Anyhow, I’m not very sure why I remember this conversation from boarding school so well. But I do)
Also I was 16 when I first moved out of home to boarding school and I have been on and off with home and out of home since then. I was 3 months short of 23 when I moved to a different country, and could not go back home for various reasons till 4 years 8 months. Those years of not going home, what I felt, how I went through, is not something everyone will understand, even if I were to pen it down. And what not happened in those almost 5 years.! Some great, some good, some terrible and some doesn’t qualify to write it and let it out. The great’s and good’s were well as they were, but it’s during the terrible and other terrible experiences is when it destroys you, tears you apart, especially if you have no family around. That’s when you realize may be finding a path of your own, on your own, may not be the best idea after all.
But then, when the going gets tough, the tough should get going.
I finally went home and lived in India, with my parents for almost 8 months. I must say I slept well, on my own bed, in my bedroom, in my home, with my parents. Until I came back to search for a job, and get on with life. From then on, I have been visiting family and friends from time to time, which is a great rejuvenation. A therapy of its own. The very smell of my home, my city, the fact that I can sleep well at night and DREAM of everything I can under the sun, and not be judged. That’s indeed a ‘therapy of its own’.
On and off with my own life, there has been incidents that again not worthy of writing it, let it remain in my senses so the learnings from it can help me get through life and hopefully one day, transfer the ‘ pearls of wisdom’ (if it can be called wisdom, that is), to my own child. Because the biggest lesson learnt should be ‘ WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GETS GOING’.
(Some tidbits from Wikipedia: The origin of the phrase has been attributed both to Joseph P. Kennedy (1888–1969),[unreliable source?] father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and sometimes to Norwegian-born American football player and coach Knute Rockne (1888–1931). Currently it is used as a management motivational talk and is popular in many self-help books.) (PS: This is literally a copy-paste from Wikipedia and not my thoughts or research)