I wake up every morning, and wonder what to do next. Then I brush my teeth, have my breakfast, and then a bath.
And I wonder again, what next?
I kept thinking it's a phase, but now I think it's a problem. I seem to want to know the answers to everything. And I have a fear of things going wrong. At times, I just want to cuddle up in someone's arms and cry myself crazy and wake up to a time, where everything is just how I want it.
And ironically, I have everything with the potential of making me immensely happy in life. I have two cool parents, who strike a perfect balance between discipline and openness. I have friends who have accepted me for what I am and love me a whole lot for it. I have a job that pays well, and a hobby that makes me happy!
So, what is my problem?
I don't know.
Well, that's not entirely true.
My problem is fear.
I fear that I might lose this all.
I fear I won't be happy or successful. I fear heartbreak. I fear betrayal. I fear one day my friends will realize just how messy I am and wonder what they saw in me in the first place. I fear distance will estrange and that love will never blossom. I fear I won't have it in me to pursue my dreams and beam in real life. I fear failure. I fear loneliness. I fear I'll be unprepared for things ahead and one step too late. I fear losing a loved one.
Yep, so it's not just ghosts that scare me. I'm a pretty big scaredy cat alright!
I watched Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, and broke down in 10 minutes flat. (Partly because I knew how it would end ). I stopped watching P.S. I love you after 30 minutes. And I absolutely hated the last episode of Dexter on Season 4.
A friend of mine lost his life in a car accident sometime last year. The car overturned and he was thrown out.
Another friend committed suicide few months earlier.
So young. So dead.
I remember the body wrapped for the burial. I remember ashen faces. I remember the newspaper article.
And I remember how I first felt when I heard the news. Why?
I had nightmares where I imagined the feeling of jumping off a balcony. The feeling of helplessness and the inability to reverse your action once you took the leap. The searing pain as your body hit the ground.
Those were frightening thoughts.
I had met him two days before and I couldn't sense any distress. How oblivious was I?
I started imagining suicidal tendencies in everyone then. A minor upset and I would worry about that person's mental makeup.
I wondered if I had it in myself. Was I strong enough for life? How does one know anyway?
The volatility of life suddenly hit me.
And threshold for everything that wasn't evidently "happy" became 0. And fear set in.
Life became a drudgery and I wanted to know that mine wasn't one. It was as though I was refusing to move forward unless someone guaranteed I'd never have to face a hurdle. I seemed to want a report card on life, which read straight A's.
Obstacles overwhelmed me, and I saw everything with a negative eye. I didn't want to hurt. Not even a little.
What if I crumbled?
I felt people didn't need me as much as I needed them. I felt I was a burden when low and love became a trite emotion.
It felt as though the world was doomed, everyone was inherently unhappy and maybe 2012 wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.
Life became all about fleeting happiness and mounting pain.
The silver lightening in this dark cloud that my mind had become was the tiny knowledge that this person with these thoughts wasn't me.
I wasn't a negative person. I wasn't droopy faced and furrowed brow.
I was cheerful. Happy. Twinkle in the eyes and spring in the step. Hell, I danced more than walked and spoke more than thought.
So, where had I lost myself?
I remembered writing down my rules of happiness in my diary sometime back, actually a long time back, and now seemed like a good time to fetch them.
After rummaging through the mess that my bookshelf had become, I finally found the list. And this is how it went.
- NO EXPECTATIONS
- Don't expect to be the class prefect. If it happens, great. If it doesn't, focus on badminton. Remember to congratulate whoever it is that wins. Jealousy is lousy.
- He could say I like you, but don't expect him to sit with you at lunch time. He is a boy. Boys are weird. Plus, he'll eat your lunch.
- 100/100 in Maths is possible, but thinking about it while solving sums leads to silly mistakes. ( Don't use diameter as radius in the circle formula. Ever. )
- Your friends say you look pretty. Plus, it might get you those dimples that you have always wanted.
- DON'T PISS MOM OFF
- Just don't.
- DON'T TELL EVERYONE YOUR SECRETS
- Remember this.
- ALWAYS PLAN THE SURPRISE PARTIES
- Because everyone else just does a lousy job. Try, however, not to plan your own.
- REMEMBER WHO YOU LENT YOUR CLOTHES TO AND GET THEM BACK BEFORE MOM NOTICES
- She buys your clothes.
- ALWAYS BE HONEST
- TELL PEOPLE YOU LOVE THEM
- Don't hate. Try not to. Forgive yourself if some people annoy you. They can't help it.
- COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
- Especially when you feel cranky. Remember you are not a fun person when cranky. REMEMBER!
- YOU WILL FIND MR.RIGHT
- Till then, do something about your hair!
- DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
- Your feelings, duh!
Clearly, I was a much cooler person at 15 than at almost 25.
That's why I like writing. It effectively captures you at significant moments of time, and you can always reflect on these moments later and either laugh or derive strength.
In the past few months, I've come to believe a lot less and question a lot more. Maybe it's the different experiences, incidents, close friends moving away, or just a different phase of life. I've realized that I really want to do a lot of things in life, I love many different things, and I want to be with certain people forever.
Few things have come to mean a lot to me over time, and I never want to lose them. Ambitions, dreams, and love course through me, sometimes with such force, that I wonder if I'm even allowed to feel this way.
I read through old messages and feel a sense of warmth and familiarity which gets me through the toughest of days. Yet, I taint pure emotions by analyzing them, rather than basking in them for that present moment. I make a mess out of situations by thinking from the heart than from the head and I ruin ephemeral situations by practicality. I can be your punching bag, but won't let you be my shoulder. I'm a contradiction of sorts but maybe the most adorable of them all? :)
But at the end of the day, when I'm done with my whims, I see the "good" stuff. I believe in good over evil, I believe in truth over diplomacy, and I believe in will over circumstance.
I realize the strength lies in those people around me. They didn't go because I didn't leave.
The strength is in willing to go on. It's in daring to dream. For your own sake.
The uncertainty drifts away.
And I smile.