As far as she could tell her life was always divided into two parts. Part A: The one where her father was in her life and Part B: The one where he was not. It had become so normal for her to view her life this way that it felt like there was an actual tangible partition in her brain that divided these two times.
She missed him desperately sometimes and sometimes it was like he never existed at all. But all times, those feelings gave her a weird mixture of pain and pleasure. Pain because, on the one hand, she missed him but she would never see him again and pleasure because, on the other, she had experienced him. He was a tangible part of her existence. He had played a part in moulding her. She is because he was.
She always fantasized about what it would be like if he was still around. Would they have been close? Would they have had a lot to talk about? Would they have shared a strange love of books? Would he be proud? Disappointed? Would their lives be radically different? She tried to convince herself that it was better this way. Wasn’t it? She always felt a bit distant from her mother. A fact she denied even with the glaring evidence of its truth. She didn’t doubt her mother’s love. They were just on different wavelengths most of the time.
She was never the type to raise her voice in dissent. Her silence was her weapon. The tool she used to send her message. She had the most unique form of rebellion.
Sometimes it is hard for her to see past the pain and anger. Yet sometimes she seems to rise above it. As if something inside of her reminds her that she is way more than that. Because even though her experiences define her, she really wants to define herself. She has come to discover that it requires a special kind of strength. A special kind of stubbornness if you will. From a lifetime of hearing what people have to say about her, through not-so-many words, it took her to long to find out that she doesn’t have to take it all in. And since then she has started to see the beauty in things she paid no attention to. She has started to see the beauty inside of her. Sometimes she smiles by herself, enjoying her own company, her own dance and her own music. She has decided to make her own rules, her own goals, her own ambitions. She is rooting for herself. And she will win.
My life so far hasn’t turned out the way I expected it to. There’s a lot I wish was different or better or non-existent. I find myself sometimes wondering when did this happen to me? How exactly did I get here? Sometimes I can’t help but compare myself to others my age or my peers. And as expected I start to wallow in self-pity. Thinking things like,’Why can’t I have what she has?’ ‘If only I grew up where she did!’ on and on and on. Yet as I whine and complain, time still stubbornly keeps going and I am scared I will turn 50 and I’ll still be complaining about how much my life sucks.
I guess it’s true that we shape our own destiny or whatever but sometimes I can’t help but feel angry at how much circumstances play a huge role in what direction our lives take. All the same, it should not be an excuse for us not to hope and to want and expect more of ourselves. I am teaching myself to hope even when I am utterly confused about what direction I should take.We live in a world obsessed with theories about what we should have accomplished within a certain time frame but we must remember to be patient with ourselves. To brace for the unannounced storms that turn our lives and progress upside down. Because as cliche as it sounds, we truly grow from our failures and even much so when we learn to accept them and move on. So even in my angry frustration, I slowly trudge towards a seemingly undefined future. With hope as big as Everest because I owe it to myself to believe that things can get better and they will. I just have to keep on keeping on.
I may not be following society’s recommended schedule in the story that is my life, but it is my story in the end. Maybe someday I’ll look back at this time and I’ll say, ‘I’m so glad I went through that.’
When life gets challenging we often tend to start questioning the meaning of it all. We ask the whys and the what ifs. Needless to say, when things are going good we tend to take quite a lot of things for granted. And maybe that’s why our low points are so important. They remind us to be more grateful and thoughtful. To recognize the fact that things are not always smooth sailing so that when the good times come around we can have a genuine sense of enjoyment.
I have learnt the greatest lessons in my life from the most difficult moments. After my father died, I learnt to appreciate my loved ones. To realize that they’re not going to be around forever and so I treasure the memories I make with them. Losing a job and being flat broke taught me to be kind to those who do not have as much as I do. To share what little I have because even that little makes such a huge difference. From a nasty bullying experience at work I learnt to be compassionate and to speak up for those who are considered less or small because unfortunately, there’s people who prey on the weak and voiceless. Getting rejected taught me to be graceful even in the most humiliating of circumstances because the world is actually quite small and you never know when or how you’ll meet someone again.
Failing taught me the value of hard work and discipline, to give everything my all no matter the outcome. To quiet the voices that mock your effort. Because in the end, these hard times shape you and you come out better and stronger because of them. So even in life’s painful moments, there’s the hope that we are being prepared for something bigger than ourselves. So don’t pray for an easy life, pray for one that can change others.
At the end of the day, she wants someone who is not afraid to admit what they’re feeling. Someone brave enough to go for what they want. Someone who knows where he is going and how to get there. If he is filled with doubts then who’s to guess the day they’ll clear? Is she expected to be sure for him? Is she expected to be the one that reassures him whenever he wants to run? She is tired of having to bear the burden of thinking for him. Feeling for him. What more can she do then? She was taught that he has to be the one that fights for her. The one that chases her and captures her heart. But how many have chased her when she’d rather not run? And how many has she foolishly waited for and never gave her a
fighting chance? a running chance?
To be or not to be. He loves me; he loves me not. How long does she have to wait before her magical story happens? What if it will never happen, will it be her fault? Will she be sad and alone many years down the line thinking about the shoulda coulda wouldas? Maybe she’s put unrealistic expectations on him. Maybe deep down, she doesn’t know what she wants either. Maybe that’s why she wants him to be sure. So he will clear her doubts for her. To be the one that reassures her when she wants to run. To bear the burden of thinking for her. To feel for her. Or maybe she will not care what happens one way or the other. It will be his loss. Right?
She was always the one in the background. Observing and obedient. Never raised her voice to object or dissent. Quiet as a mouse with an aura of meekness. Sometimes people would be amazed at how peaceful she seemed, always calm even when everything around her was in a shambles but even then they could never really see what went on beneath her cool exterior. The way her mind was constantly turning, this way and that. Trying to figure out life and living it the best way she knew how.
There were days she felt so hopeful and awake she thought she would burst yet there were others that left her drained, angry and tired that all she wanted was to simply melt and disappear. Things never got easier for her and this was made even harder by the fact that most people assumed that she was weak and undeserving and yet she woke up every single day and lived. Inspite of the negativity, the noise, the defeat, the failure, the unshakable feeling of hopelessness. She got up and tried even when she got ridiculed and rejected. She felt that she owed it to herself to at least try. To try and make things work. To try and be somebody in this world and not merely exist. To try and show others that she had a right to be here too. Just as they were.
She still tries. She still falls. But she has learned to find the beauty in these ‘failures’. To take them as experiences that will build her and help her to become better if not the best. Row your boat gently down the stream dear, life is but a dream.
The thing about being an adult who doesn’t have it all together is that you’re an adult who doesn’t have it all together and almost everyone you meet will remind of you this and it is the hardest and sometimes most humiliating place to be. You find yourself constantly feeling like you have to prove yourself or explain away why you’re where you are and trying to convince everyone, if not yourself, that everything will turn out great! You’ll see! Urgh! Most of the time you wish disappearing was an option. Like literally disappearing into the thin invisible air because that’s all you want to be, invisible, non-existent, unknown.
Being vulnerable is hard and terrifying just as it is hard and sometimes terrifying to be around vulnerable people because both parties have an awkward air about them. Trying to do and say the right things in an effort to make the situation less uncomfortable and albeit more pleasant and optimistic. I may be going through what some may term as a quarter life crisis. And not in a graceful way if I might add. It is hard to wake up every morning and literally just hate the fact that you exist! I never thought that being born could feel like the most unfair thing that can happen. That sounds terrible but its true. I was born into a family of high achievers, surrounded by people who knew exactly what they wanted and how they were going to go about getting it. Yet none of that rubbed off on me! Sometimes its exhausting to give yourself pep talks every damn morning. Trying to get the universe to respond to the fact that I really do want things to be better and so start making things work out already!
Anyway, in light of world events, I guess I shouldn’t complain. I should count my blessings and appreciate the fact that I’m still here. And if I am still here then I am meant to be here so, Dear Me, get it together!
There’s so much I can feel angry at. So much I wish was different. In my life. In the world. Everywhere really. So much pent up frustrations over everything that has or will go wrong. Over the injustices I see happening. There’s days I want to just sit down and sulk. Just because everything is so exhausting. Everyone is so exhausting. There can’t possibly be a silver lining. Or so it seems. But unless being angry pushes me to positive action then what good is it? Thinking about this makes me angry too.
There’s too much darkness. Too much despair.
You constantly think about him nowadays.When you wake up, when you’re washing the dishes, when you listen to music, when you read, when you go to sleep. It’s addictive and exciting and exhausting and frustrating. What is he doing? What is he thinking? What is he feeling? Does he think about you as much? Does everything remind him of you? You’re always hoping that when a message comes in, that it’s from him. Maybe he’ll ask how you’re doing or what you’re up to or if you’d like to do something together. You ask yourself when you became this person, this day-dreamy, fantasy-making, moon-addled person. It’s not like he’s that good looking.
These feelings don’t make sense. I mean, is he even your type? Do you even have a type? Does he have any idea how much he has intruded into your world? The once calm and peaceful space that was your own? Does he have any idea? You have a relationship with the guy in your head. The one you have built, except with his face. Sometimes you want to throw him out yet most of the time you’re glad he’s there.
You hope there’s someone with your face in his head too. Haunting his days like a pleasant and strange ghost. Until you meet him again, you entertain his ghost. You do not tell a single soul because you don’t understand it and maybe you never will. But if he’s not telling then you’re not telling too.
Earth to whoever you are today. Why are you trying to hide behind those fake excuses? Come out of your cave and see what’s outside. Stop trying to be something you’re not. Molding yourself until it hurts.
Why are you trying to make yourself something you’re not? Shutting out the voices that want to come out so badly. The ones that slip out when you’re alone and happy. Do you even know what happiness feels like anymore? You can’t keep changing yourself so they can be comfortable. Give them a chance to change to make you comfortable.
For goodness sake just be you! Can you do that? Can you bring yourself back?