Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Endless Loop

"You think you're hurting now? Now how does this feel?" and I stuck the knife in deep, twisting it further into the heart — slicing, ripping, tearing. 

"You think this pain is killing you. In fact, you are dying. You are dying a million deaths and have died a million deaths and will continue to die a million deaths. But you will also continue to live, even when feeling this pain again and again. And you will learn to appreciate it, you will learn to think of it as your own, you will learn to live, even while dying."

Countless times I have found myself giving relationship advice in the last several months, and yet it is only now I pause to realize this has happened. Why is it that one becomes a beacon of hope, light and wisdom when you've been to places they don't even know exist; when people turn to you and ask, "How do you do it?" But really all my advice is pretty much the same. Don't be me.

I was asked: what is the one thing I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time? My answer was that I wouldn't even tell my younger self anything. I would backhand my younger self the hardest slap ever, making sure it drew blood.

And then I — like everyone else — would walk away.

OK but that's just it. Don't you see? I literally DID go back and walk away from myself. I kept doing that again, and again. I did it by telling myself that everyone else was walking away. But the fact was I really needed that bitch slap, hard. Now when I think about the person I used to be, two, three+ years ago I feel grossed out. I mean, that sappy girl just needed to get a grip on herself, she pisses me off that much. She still hangs around, don't get me wrong. Sometimes her woe-is-me drama rears its head when she puts on a Hindi soundtrack and if it's this song, she gets choked up with tears thinking to herself that she believed in true love and it did not get reciprocated, or if its that song, then she'll get angry and bitter and filled with black poison about life and think about evil-sounding invectives targeted at all and sundry but mostly herself.

But I don't know, I'm kind of not really her anymore either and that's a huge relief. I stay away from watching Bollywood movies too. The few movies I allowed myself to watch recently were because xyz saying I had to watch this movie because the character's character was my character. Yeah.

So I watched Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. And I'm like, so which one is me? They're like what are you talking about, obviously that girl? I'm like no bitch, all five of them is me. They're like man you have more issues than I thought. I agreed.

Then I watched Dear Zindagi because again someone told me the protagonist is me. So I made the big huge mistake of watching it and it was a mistake because I ended up stuffing a pillow in my mouth because I was sobbing so hard it was just so much fun to pretend to be a chipmunk at 4 in the morning.

I don't know. I found that falling in lustlove so many times this year was a huge fun fest and yet, the fun was in knowing I wasn't letting myself get caged in. The best of all was falling in love with myself. And finding out that falling out of a nest doesn't necessarily mean you can't fly.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Perspectives of Letting Go

There is often a sense of fleetingness, of running out of time, as life goes on. The strange part is that in the last phase of my life, I've almost felt as if I had reached terminal velocity. It was smooth sailing and enjoying a free fall that almost did not even feel like movement, though so much was happening, fast, busy, hectic. 

There's been a sense of learning to let go. Maybe of perspective also. 

I had one of those conversations with a bunch of friends, about old expectations versus new. I shared the fabled story of how, at the ripe old age of six, I was certain I would marry at 24 and had already picked out my outfit. Of course, the punchline was that 24 was gone with the wind and I now I am not even worried about it.

I remember when I was 13 or 14 years, how my favorite uncle, himself aged the decrepit old age of 28, had finally decided to get married. The family had all collectively sighed in relief, with some general insinuation that 28 was far too old to have remained unmarried, unsettled. I, not even knowing how old he was, just that he was old, thought too, it was damn time, nodding my little head wisely.

Now in the prime of life,  Vibrant, vivid, ambitious, successful. I'm kind of satisfied with how things are. For once I am not too worried about change, about losing people, about the future. I'm satisfied yet remain steadfastly hopeful, there are people I know I will be bidding adieu to as expectations conflict and trust erodes, and memories to say farewell to — however I am looking forward to the future, looking forward to growing old. 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Breathing to Achieve

When I'm at the gym one of the things I notice is that people aren't breathing. It sounds really strange, I know. But the thing is that I see someone peddling away furiously on a stationary bike and they're holding their breath; someone executing 30 leg lifts, holding their breath. And then post workout they're complaining about cramps, or wondering why they were only able to push ten minutes of cardio.

The same goes for life. 

I continue to observe people trying to take on life while holding their breaths. It is almost as if life for them is being submerged beneath waters, trying to survive means you can't afford to inhale. But that's where it goes wrong. In order to survive you need to give yourself permission to take a moment and breathe in.

Don't try to cram in the tasks without stopping, worrying away at the amount of work piled up and making you feel as if you've got a barbell on your chest. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Fill up those lungs as much as you can and then let it go.

I was very recently in a large roomful of people all oozing anxiety. We were all there ready to give proposal presentations and the terror, nerves and stage fright was coming off in waves from everyone around me. I had been good to go throughout until I found myself in the midst of this thick blanket of anxiety surrounding me. Then I found myself closing my eyes, taking in a deep breathe,  listening to the atmosphere, and in breathing found that specific frequency where I could take all that anxiety around me and channel it into a powerful force of purpose.

It is OK to feel overwhelmed at times. Allow yourself to recognize it but also give yourself the permission to step away from it and tell it you need some space. Give yourself permission to slow down, to take time reflect on not just what you are doing but why. Breathe.