Walls

I have a post it on my mirror reminding me- “You’re Doing Just Fine”

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There is this person I know. For the longest time that I can remember, I’ve looked up to her for being the ideal one. I’ve spent countless hours trying to be like her and innumerable breaths on aligning myself with her.

I’ve admired her ability to remain poised at the most awkward situations. I’ve tried to carry broad shoulders and stand tall like her. I’ve consciously put in the effort to smile just as delicately. I’ve tried to be like the rays of warming sun on a winter morning, she glows like a glow bug at nights too; lighting up wherever she goes.

She seems to have the strength to empathize with most people and remain approachable to everyone around her. Her laugh is like a jingle and she sways like a feather descending the evening breeze. She screams contentment like no one knows.

She knows exactly what to wear and has a body like there is nothing to care. She is effortless, whether in pearls or dark eyeliner. She has meaningful friendships and the bonds with her family ooze understanding and comfort.

She volunteers for causes that are close to her, travels often, works out everyday and is honest about eating clean. She doesn’t use plastic and has a small but a well-kept and vibrant garden. She is a versatile cook and pays all her bills in time.

This woman, I’ve met quite often. She lives in my head. She has had her name written all over my biggest plans and sometimes on the smaller ones as well.

For some time now, I’ve not been as welcoming of her as I was. It’s about age, maybe, or a matter of decision to place myself before the rest. One day which was like any other, after years of being disappointed in comparison to the ideal, I decided. I made the decision to not let her get any bigger than she already is. I made a pact to give myself a try. I decided to accept myself as a package deal and try and make the most of it. I’m taking baby steps.

Now, I’m beginning to feel comfortable with the idea of not always having perfect hair. I’ve realized that heels make me wobble and maple loaded pancakes are my true therapy of choice. I tend to become overly expressive and loud sometimes, and other times put distance because I need to.

I splash a lot of water while I swim and feel contentment with a rather small and intimate circle. I often get into disagreements with my parents and arguments with my siblings. I love my PJs and Netflix weekends and roll while clutching onto my stomach never-so-seldom. Some days I choose to stay up late and enjoy the party even though I’m aware that I’m going to miss the morning run. I’m making peace with the fact that inconsistent workout is better than no work at all.

For the love of nature I have two indoor plants that I’m grateful for and my room is always naturally well lit, because closing the blinds is a task. I go crazy when I see the rains, watch a sunrise or just chance upon a rainbow, so much so that people think I’m having spasms while I’m just doing my happy dance. I take the floor whenever I see a puppy and don’t care of the sand on my pants.

I’m still working on it as sometimes the other woman clouds my thoughts. I waver in my resolve and wonder if I would be better being a little more like her. Reading the newspaper is still not a routine but I try to make the most of all the knowledge available around me. And for days when I can’t seem to get my head around myself, I have a post it on my mirror reminding me- “You’re Doing Just Fine”.

I take more time for myself now. I spend time in my own company every once in a while and compare notes on my feelings. I’ve come to understand that there is more me in how I feel than anyone else. I’m taking baby steps. Some say I’ve changed, but I’m learning to take that as a compliment on my progress.

I’m working on breaking the walls that my wise self helped me construct ever since I heard something intriguing-

the walls aren’t always saving me,

they are sometimes just limiting me

Some More Music

TAIL SPIN

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After piling up weeks upon weeks of driving round trips for work, one evening I took the leap, ditching the car hopped onto the metro.

Don’t get me wrong since this wasn’t the first time that I used public transport, but to get me right you need to realise that this ride wasn’t just me reaching my destination. This ride was just me appreciating and realising small things. This hit me like a moment of serendipity or just plain eureka of the obvious.

I watched the red lights twinkle like stars, while I was afloat, above a blanket of city lights. I was floating with earphones on, music playing on shuffle and me playing a game of no-matter-what-don’t-select-a-song. I felt rather annoyed but feeling helpless isn’t pleasant, what could I do, it was crowded in there. Making me uneasy yet challenged by the situation.

And so I took to looking. Looking at the movement and exchanges happening around me. After all, how could I not be tempted to watch people go on with life instead trying to tailor my own?

Passengers were rushed in and boarded off without having to try. All you had to do was turn towards the door and take a step towards it when its your stop. It felt like the shoulder rides that dad would give me as a kid. I was on top of the world and didn’t have to worry about steering myself through the crowds of a fair.

The obvious had me feeling soothed. The snaking of the metro’s spine like a graceful charmer. The budding of potential relationships through the age-old palmistry tricks. The selfless smiles of acknowledgement between people who might just remain co-passengers and nothing more. A son almost jumping on his father when they found each other on the metro, at the end of the day; they didn’t care if they were suddenly taking more room than available and readily apologised but continued to be excited about exchanging snippets from the day that’s about to end. All this, once again, felt like a walk through majority of student life. You know some and pretend to know most on campus. I remember that feeling of meeting my friends each morning like a night apart was actually a lifetime apart.

The ride took a halt and the curtains opened to a scene that I partially witnessed and completely interpreted, like any excellently written play. A man trying to help a granny rush so they could both get in and neither of them having to wait for the next- they didn’t seem to know each other as she said thanks and never looked back. Could he have been reminded of his own childhood where he saw her snowcapped hair that resembled his granny’s?

A beginner at graying offered their seat to the lady in her prime because she had a bag full of supplies on her shoulder, while another kid offered to cradle the fast asleep bundle so that an older looking sibling could text somebody. Suddenly, respect didn’t look uni-directional but just a tool for co-existence.

Before I knew it, my ride came to an end. Only when I’d started to dig in was I handed the original spin off- an old, loud, bright and rather opposite one. This was Saturday evening, hence the time to tidy up and get the hustle game off.

My City, My Home- by choice

Maybe that’s why being lost is important.

Exactly three years ago I moved to this conspicuous city with a pre-decided 2 year round trip. A city that was nothing like mine. A city that had ways of its own and wasn’t scared of being judged. This city that’s commonly known as the IT hub/ silicon valley of India or just Namma Bengaluru.

I didn’t know the language nor did I know it’s layout systems. I wasn’t familiar with its diversity and wasn’t prepared for its free spirits. I was like the lamb of the silence.

Now when I return, it feels more like home than any other place. Unlike the city I grew up in, where everything was just handed to me- right from my belongingness to my identity; this city was the wild hunt. It’s mine today because I made it.

Today, the energy raises my spirits. The chance to walk from one destination to the next puts a smile across my face. The chance to wander makes me excited. And the possibility of being here is all I need sometimes, to keep going.

Maybe that’s why being lost is important. Because that’s when you make connects that are yours to lay claims on? Is that why a self earned is always more valuable than a gift or hand-me-down?

Today, I have a family that runs just as deeply as blood in me. I have stories that are bases to life lessons. I have had experiences that have defined me. I have a personality that has much to do with being here.

Have you felt at home the way I do today, sitting in a hotel room?

Maybe that’s what counts- belonging to someplace in a way that you don’t ever doubt yourself nor your possibilities.