K was in the first year of his graduate studies when he was reinstated into his birth family. For the next year and a half, until around the middle of his second year, he supported himself through his own efforts. However, the toll this took on him was beginning to show, both physically and mentally. His troubles with his adoptive family, and the question of whether or not they would keep him, were also to blame. His sentiments were gradually getting the best of him. He sometimes talked as though all of humanity's sorrows were his to shoulder alone, and he would react most severely if challenged. He was irritated too by thoughts that his grand future, with so much potential, was slipping out of sight. When beginning academic endeavors, we all set out afresh with great ambitions. A year passes, then another, and graduation draws near. At this point, reality suddenly sets in, and most of us are disappointed in our own limitations. The same was true for K, but he took it so much harder than others. I finally decided I had to intervene.
I advised K to stop pushing himself so. I told him he'd find greater success in the long run by taking rest and engaging in leisure. Given K's obstinacy, I'd tempered my expectations from the start, but even at that I was unprepared for what I went through to finally persuade him. K asserted that his aim was more than just learning. He sought to fashion a mind of the strongest will. Austerity, he'd decided, was an essential means to this end. He was eccentric in this regard. His austere lifestyle, though, seemed not to be serving his will in the least. It was leading him, rather, toward a nervous breakdown. Finding no other recourse, I embraced his ideas with full-on empathy. I declared to him a like intention for my own life. (From my side, these were more than hollow words. K had a power of persuasion, and in expounding his views he'd begun to win me over.) I finally proposed that we room together to support each other in traversing the noble path. To break his stubborn will, I threw myself at his feet. Only in so doing was I able to draw him in.