Terrible Weeks Call For Terrible Writing

I have had a terrible week.

It was a shitstorm of injuries, adult responsibilities and realising how much distance is just not something I will ever be ready for.

I woke up this morning, my eyes swollen from lack of sleep and excessive crying and looked at myself in the mirror. There is a slight vanity I attach to sadness and don’t ask me why I do that. Every time I am crying, I look in the mirror to see myself. It is still unclear if I am looking for the mirror to tell me I am okay or if I am just literally looking to see what I look like when I cry, quite like toddlers do.

As I looked at myself in the mirror, I remembered the last year and how every time I woke up crying and anxious, I just needed to be told I could go on. I just needed to be told that there is a world out there that I can be a part of, a world that may not fully understand me but will probably still want to accept me.

I looked at myself and said, “You have tried way too hard for you to go back to that now.” I thought of every day in the past week and how it disappointed me in every way possible. I couldn’t go back to being the person who gave up on her life before it even began.

I have been told in the past week that I am not good enough, that I am not someone that a certain person would like to be seen with, that people I love don’t have time for me. But, I still want to love myself.

We’re in a world where it is a crime to be happy and love yourself despite the odds. The odds need not look like intense distress. But, I would really like to love myself right now especially considering I have no one to pass on the torch to.

S and her Two Lady Friends

Time: Sometime around 2004
Age: 11

As I climbed up the stairs to watch my cousins play video games for the 219837329th time, I waved hello to my aunt. Small talk was engaged in, and as I kept looking impatiently towards my cousin’s testosterone cave, she surprised me with a new top. Not as exciting as the prospect of beating my brothers up, I took it from her and hesitantly tried it on. When I stepped out to show it to her, she eyed me from top to bottom, pleased with herself and proclaimed, “Wow! Your chest has grown, hasn’t it?”w5KH4Nyb6gxwY

As if right on cue, my cousin emerged from his cave and stared at us, with his eyebrows raised. I folded my arms around my chest and let my own mortification kill me. What did she mean by my chest having grown? Boobs were for my mom. Or moms in general. Or Baywatch. RIGHT? RIGHT?!

Little did I know there was more to come. More growth, more mortification and let’s not forget the sleazy stares.

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I looked into the mirror and held myself. What are these additions to my (already heavy) body? And why do they refuse to fit into shirts like well-behaved ladies?

Bra shopping was another ordeal altogether. No one knows your size and everyone has an opinion about what is more comfortable. We all know better, don’t we? A comfortable bra is a lie. The tight bodice is a device to hold back two unruly children that, according to the Mothers’ Association, will cause more trouble than they really should. Cushiony, non-wired bras had a mind of their own. Wired ones poked you in the sides like bullies. Padded bras put everything on display that I was so desperately trying to hide.

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By 18, I dodged lingerie sections, stores and eager shopping assistants successfully and found a few allies in my friends who were just as afraid of this torture device. College changed some of that. I was now around people who were slowly shedding the pretenses of teenage and slowly fitting in their awkward bodies well enough. A comparison of their old Facebook albums and current ones would tell the story better than I could explain right now. My friends in college and the old friends from my childhood slowly realised why breasts were called assets.

A few compliments from friends, appreciative looks from the right parties and a change in perspective gave me lady friends. These ladies are crazy and do have a mind of their own. But, they need love and acceptance like the rest of us do. The least I could do was support them (or so advertising leads me to think I am doing for them). I soon found bras attractive and seeing myself in them and prancing around the room like an inadequate, awkward duck was good enough incentive to start loving my body. Bollywood could be thanked for (even if, ironically) making buxom bodies more attractive.

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I don’t think I hurt myself when I pop the top button on a shirt or even cringe in disgust when I see myself in the mirror now. It took time. But, I am glad I found friends in these twins. If nothing, they do enough to make sure I feel loved.

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Thousand Apologies

Things have been a little slow around this side of the world. I am to blame for that, of course. Handling one existential crisis at a time, I forget to write things down as much as I would wish to. Sometimes, pen touches paper and retreats back into its shell for fear of saying things that could hurt. Sometimes, it grazes across the surface just so that it can remember what it feels like to write properly. My fingers haven’t touched keys to write more than what is required of me at work and I am truly sorry for that. Not just to you, but also to myself. It’s not a block. It’s just a barrage of things and I haven’t collected it all together just yet. Till I do, I think I should tell you of the things around me right now. The office is cold on a rainy afternoon and this is exactly the sort of weather I’d rather enjoy at home. But, here we are, keys and fingers — having a cordial discussion about the weather and hiding from their natural impulse to scream, shout and let it all out. While this is not a party playing music from 2012, it’s worth noting that even my anxious, severely bored mind refuses to let go of pop culture. Maybe this would be future bestseller/autobiographical TV series material, but right now, it’s not really fun.

I am hoping that I’ll be able to come out smarter and braver when this is done.

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But, till then, I’ll just pretend things have been pretty okay. Dress up and show up, right? RIGHT?!
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If Mindy hasn’t taken over your life and the voice in your head, you’re not watching enough TV.

1993 aka How Taylor Swift is finally writing music for me again

I was introduced to Taylor Swift when I was 15. The first time I heard Fearless, I was in love with the idea of love. She sang of crushes and being crushed by boys who are just as immature as the boys I was dealing with. Is staring at pictures and having pointless conversations part of the same experience? Maybe. I wanted to fall in love with my best friend. I was a child. That’s about it.

Over the next four years, I found myself more disillusioned and disconnected with her songs, lyrically. Sure, I had them on my playlist. But, it was more like the French fries after the gourmet burgers I was consuming. They were comforting, but who makes a meal out of French fries? We try, but we cannot. Speak Now was drab except during that one December of immense heartbreak. Red was still better with a few great vocal collaborations with Gary Lightbody and Ed Sheeran. But, I didn’t think I could feel as much.

At the same time, I was in love. Fell in and out of it with different versions of the same person, over and over. That’s the beauty of love. It evolves. I didn’t have anyone talking about that to me. I felt stupid on most days speaking of pointless pursuits, but I wanted someone to understand.

Over those four years, I got jaded. My ideals are the same. But, I am not as surprised when my heart breaks. In fact, sometimes, I probably invite the sort of heart break I have been subject to in the past two years, at least. I am tired of people wondering why I haven’t dated and met people yet. Please, I don’t think I need to lower my standards to experience anything. When I did, I chose to. That was a brilliant mistake, a little like her Wildest Dreams. But, I am not doing it again. I will probably go back to the same track I walked on, stray back to it and fall for the same person I did when I was a child and it will be different like every time. We will probably hate ourselves for it, but that’s not changing how I feel just yet. I will put those feelings aside for Style and my diary.

I have a Blank Space in my fantasies right now. That pen click every time I see someone remotely beautiful in sight is going to be a trend till that is filled. But, I am older now. I don’t know if I want to bother making myself go through the same rut I did for four years. I would love to shake this off, pick up the next book on my shelf and take a good read and move on. I want to see new places, love new faces and drown in the twenties. The glorious, highly overrated mess of a decade that I awkwardly side-hug and tell myself this is just temporary.

I have always been a strange romantic. I don’t believe in soul mates. I don’t believe in fairy tales and would be sorely disappointed with life if it handed me one. I’d rather suffer a little to enjoy the real deal at the end. That’s the thing with this album. It’s embracing the sort of heartbreak we need so that we can live to have stories to tell. This sort of heartbreak will roll its eyes at you and ask you to pick yourself up and dance. If you see me tearing up after a Meg Ryan movie, I won’t hide my face. But, don’t think I will fall that soon. I have just learnt to enjoy a dip in the shallow end instead of drowning and struggling to breathe every time I see you.

I am not friends with the person who introduced me to Taylor. But, I won’t be writing about that. Thank God.

Us old people talk a lot.

This is that time of the year when I sit down to analyse myself and assume I have finally done it all. Yeah well. Self actualisation can have a good laugh. Congratulations, you have eluded me again.

I am just sitting here in a very cold city in a strange bed typing this out on my phone dreading my return to a city I have grown to dislike. I am pretty determined to never return. This year has taught me (if nothing) that our fate does not resign to our determination at the first shot.

I am learning the hard way that people grow up for a good reason and whether we like it or not, we are growing pretty old pretty soon too. When you look back at all the things you have said and done, you will be glad you know this. I am talking after a  wedding, three heartbreaks and a complete change in game plan later. So, while you can be assured that I am not at my wisest yet – We only grow and someday, it catches up with us no matter how far or fast we run.

The only place you will find peace when you get to this point is art. Even if you don’t practise it yourself, you know that taking in and experiencing any form of art will save you. Don’t ever give up on that. Even if it means belting out Kelly Clarkson when you are upset.

That brings me to the point where I remind you for the hundredth time that you must never lie to yourself about the way you feel about things. Don’t hide it if you really want to hold someone tight and tell them you love them. You might not get a second chance.

And even if you know you will never see them again, let fate take its course. Why must surrender always be about weakness? When you surrender, you just prove that your faith in the universe is getting stronger.

Let.
It.
Go.

IMMA LET YOU FINISH THAT LAST DRINK BUT –

Don’t sweat the calories. You know you’d rather die eating good food than of a freak accident.
Don’t bother with drama. You’re better off not knowing things about other people. It will also sound the same.
Don’t underestimate your imagination. There are people who go days without daydreaming. Wonder what that is like.
Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling. Street lights, people. K.

Happy New Year. It does get better right? But I am not expecting more than… 😉