I’m getting there; almost

I'm getting there; almost

 

Everything happens for a reason.

I’ve spent the last three years telling myself that. Since I’m writing this in the last few hours of 2019, I can’t help but indulge in some retrospection. Life’s not been my friend every single day of the last decade, especially the last year. It was a full spectrum consisting of my highest highs and my lowest lows.

This decade gave me my first kiss, and also my first, devastating heartbreak. It gave me my first job, and then a second one. I made my life’s most expensive Android and Apple purchases (so far) and paid for it in full. Having spoken about these retail indulgences, I am also proud to say that I learned about and started practicing slow living.

I looked at things more closely and for longer, and saw things that we can only see when we slow down.

I learned about stillness. Being still is magical—it can take you to places within you and show you what sits at the root of your emotions. 

2019 was also a year of finding out what my real support-system looked like. When everything else failed, they cushioned me against the blows.

2019 was the year when I saw parts of me that only my current, beaten up version could see.

Travel did not happen to me this year, but a journey inwards did happen. I met with my best and my worst parts, and I accepted myself with every bit of myself.

I realised that having my two-year-old neighbour around was my therapy during times when I struggled to keep my spirits up. Now, I can clearly identify my emotional triggers and know exactly what I need to do to not make my demons feel unwelcomed. 2019 was a year of realising that I am the kind of person who lives in the extremes—one of those with-all-my-heart kinds.

I care, love, and also stop loving with all my heart.

2019 was a year of less reading and even lesser writing. But it was also a year of journaling. I got myself a five-year memory journal and I journaled daily. Even on days when life seemed as dull as an overcast sky, I’d pour myself dry on the pages of my journal.

2019 was also replete with emotionally, intellectually and politically stimulating conversations. It’s funny how steadily and profoundly I got sucked into understanding the nuances of fascism, communism, feminism, social privilege, and the lack of it. I even signed up for a Master’s program in Political Sciences.

2019 was a year of brunches and house parties. I’ve made peace with the fact that even though I’m 25, I feel too old to be “chilling” in overcrowded and painfully noisy clubs. If I can’t hear what the person across my table is speaking, I’m already regretting my decision of being at that terrible place.

2019 was the year of finally washing the taste of his name off my lips.

It was also the year of watching him get married and watch my friends go through heartbreaks. It was about hearing them out patiently and letting them grieve. It was about helping them without really helping them—by simply being by their side, by being completely present whenever they needed me. While some heartbreaks happened, 2019 also gave some of my friends their companions for life! 

2019 was the year when my parents barely bothered me with the big M word—marriage (thank God for that!). It was also the year when I decided that I really don’t care about it, and what I do care about is pursuing the one dream that keeps me hopeful and sane. It was also the year I noticed my parents grow old. The occasional blood tests, waking up in the middle of the night because the pain in their joints was unbearable, buying medicines for them—the tables have turned now.

2019 was also a year of muting certain noises. It was about setting and prioritizing boundaries. It was a year of realising that some social media influencers are less of influencers and more of influenza viruses, causing damage by attacking the minds of the masses. I learned that having a louder voice doesn’t really mean anything if you’re not saying things that need to be said.

I also learned that we need to think and question everything before we learn it—choose our heroes wisely and consciously select every piece of content we consume.

2019 was a year of taking action. I took four major decisions this year that forced me out of my comfort zone. It was a year of unlearning things and unf*cking myself—of going back to who I was before certain experiences happened to me. 

As the new decade begins, the answer to “what do I want to do with my life?” seems to be closer to me than ever before. I’ve decided that 2020 is going to be a year of being selfish—of putting my mental peace, my opinions, my dreams, and my plans before anybody else’s idea of what I should be doing at 26.

I discovered that my greatest strength is endurance, and my greatest fear is to be forgotten by those who are important to me.

You know what else I realised? I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for the cumulative impact of everything that happened to me, the good and the bad, in all this time. I know that everything happens for a reason, and I have the strength to face it no matter how hard it gets.

Teatime with My Demons

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I sit here taking the last few sips that are left of my tea, wondering whether stagnancy in life should be embraced or treated as a red sign that needs to be acted upon. The bottom of my mug leaves a brown ring on the tablecloth as I place it down. 

Why do stains like staying back until they’re forced to leave, I wonder.

Pleasant memories from not very long ago flood the moment, making it unable to pass swiftly. They stay there, the memories, all of them happy and warm yet making me feel utterly cold on the inside. I can’t blame them for my misery though; they are here because I summoned them.

They flow from the spaces between the doors that I’d left half-open on purpose. Masochism feels like a warm blanket on a cold night when it comes to recalling the time I spent with you.

We had a great time together, didn’t we? It was all good while it lasted. But then you left. Like a nomad making his home in a village this second and then abandoning it for another in the next. Zero regrets, zero loose ends. I wish I’d signed up for the course where they gave lessons on detaching seamlessly.

The bitter taste of your absence hasn’t left my mouth ever since.

I roll it on my tongue and even savour it shamelessly every once in a while. What I learned then was that absence is the heaviest thing to carry.

Do you know what happened to me after you were gone? Did you care to find out? Oh, never mind. I’m still the same—in the same place, fixed in the same spot just like the hands of a dysfunctional clock. Broken things don’t move, no? 

I’d go about my day as if nothing had happened.

“Hey, what’s up?”, they’d ask.

“Same old, same old”, I’d say. 

What else do you tell people who can’t think of a better question to ask you when they see you? I never wanted them to know actually. I don’t want others to have the pleasure of thinking, “Thank God, it’s not happening to me!”.

Oh wow, these memories are stubborn and how! Come on, leave now! I’ve replayed all of you in my head; you’ve outlived your time. 

But they stay. They stare at me with a smirk on their faces. I hold them by their collar and pull them closer so that I suffer a little more. 

I don’t cry, no, won’t shed another tear for the one that willingly chose to leave. I stop every sigh of despair that tries to escape my mouth. I want these memories to know that they cannot do shit to me, even though I’m going down like a pack of dominos on the inside. So I stay quiet.

Quiet things are harder to break. 

I simply stare at those memories in the eye. I wear a smile while I do that because I want to let them know that I’m tough. They hear what I have to say.

After getting tired of provoking my demons, they give up and finally leave me alone. 

Me = 1; memories = 0!

I now understand that not getting what you want can at times be a blessing in disguise. I smile, this time without any pretense. 

I take the last sip of my tea which is utterly cold by now but is also the sweetest. At least this particular ending was sweet!