Intricacy of Feelings

Dedicated to my best friend, after a call much needed. 

Sometimes, it’s really hard to be able to define your emotions to anybody else, or for yourself even. Sometimes – scratch that, several times on the daily – it’s really hard to be able to express yourself or explain why you feel a certain way to someone else. And most of the times, we’re just lost in our universes, each of us subject to our own individualistic ways of dealing with this disconnect. Each of us deal with this differently, and each of us project differently.

I’m an extremely sensitive over-thinker, but I project to be someone unmoved by or impervious to complications in any form. I often thought of myself as an open book, but my best friend always told me I wasn’t. I always thought otherwise, but she’s right. While I’m rather free with sharing my stories, my emotions are almost always never expressed fully and are somewhat caged within. I’m really not as insensitive as I seem, I break down and over-stress always. I don’t think I like seeming vulnerable because I don’t want to seem easily penetrable or weak. I don’t think I like seeming fragile because I feel like there’s certain situations that could be taken emotionally advantage of. And mostly, I don’t like seeming sensitive because I don’t want people to know things to affect me that much – I’m scared of being judged, and I’m scared of people failing to understand and leaving.

My best friend and I, we’re people pleasers. This doesn’t just affect the reason we do things, but why we choose to express the way we do. It takes so much of an emotional toll on you, being one of these because it’s a constant trade-off between you versus them, and the latter wins. There’s also this constant subtle fear of rejection, which is complex in its own way.

The fear works something like this – if I’m not going to give in all I can or be a certain person to make this other person happy, they’re going to let go. So you start to put up a display, you start to act like you care, or you’re okay, or you’re fine with certain decisions. And when these are the people that mean the most to you, you’re going to be yourself, of course. But you’re also going to put up a partial facade and they’re never going to know. They’re going to think that’s who you really are, but you know that’s really not. Your relationship escalates, and the expectations placed in your facade escalate too. You don’t know if you want to, but you think you need to because it’s too late. If you don’t, maybe they’re going to get mad and confused and upset. Maybe they’re going to leave. No, no, you don’t want that. You’re going to fight through this yourself. You’re going to analyze the situation – rather, over analyze if you’re like me – and you’re going to choose to either talk it through, ignore, or eventually give in. Giving in in certain situations is the worst. I don’t want to ever come to that, but I feel like there’s such a strong possibility.

Because as much as I know that’s something I’m not okay with, it’s so hard figuring out a clear distinction between your facade and yourself. Because people change and times change. What if you’re really not giving in, but you’ve changed? But then, what if that’s not the case? The fear reboots. Apologies and this was far more abstract that I wished to have had made it, but if you’re someone fighting through the same, I trust you’ll know.

Apart from which, acting like things don’t affect me is another problem of its own. Because while some people might call me emotional, and while I can’t really define someone else’s perception of me, I’d just like to say that there’s far so much emotion trapped and unexpressed. This is the reason why. I’m scared and terrified of being judged. So I start to pretend. And it’s a spiral that just won’t stop. If you’re someone who has the audacity to try, or who can connect to the girl hiding inside, you’ll break my walls and you’ll know. With some, this may take a moment, a few months or a long time. But when you do, I promise I’ll never let you go from my end ever. Most of you know who you are, and some of you don’t, but thank you for dealing with me and being with me despite all the flaws and no facades. The people who likely don’t know are some of the only people I seek to spend time with in pure intention and cherish our moments together, and the people who do know – you all are my constants.

One day, I just want to be able to rip this shell and let myself dance about. I just want to be as carefree as I seem, and do things for me. Although ironic since I mentioned it was hard to communicate, but this is all so much easier to articulate than it is to really do. But this summer has been absolutely dedicated to discovering myself, my former passions, feeling for myself and learning to love. It’s gotten better, but there’s so much more that can be done. But always hope that it’ll happen; it’s a journey that has just begun.

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Catharsis

Looking back at my recent writing on this blog, all the word documents saved in random places on my laptop or the spontaneous blurbs stored on my phone, I feel a similar and shared translated mood. They all relate to my own life, and most of them are depressing.

But my life isn’t depressing. No, not at all.

And I might be a hard realist, often a pessimist when it concerns me and my life, but I’m not someone who is sad, depressed and hopeless.

But when I re-read the things I’ve written, I feel like that’s what my writing seems to give off. Rather often lately, I’ve ended up stuck with a confused expression on my face because I wasn’t able to catch the parallel between the way my writing depicts my life and my life itself. That’s when I started to think. Why did I ever start writing?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved lacing alphabets into strings of words. The satisfaction I got from looking at a finished piece of organized thoughts was inexplicable and always made me crave for more. I started off writing poems with silly rhyme schemes, to mildly deep articles for elementary school standards, to keeping a diary, to writing stories on Wattpad to eventually resorting to just blogging and journalling. But I think over the years, the time I had at the ready began to quickly diminish. The purpose of my writing began to transition from one of a favorite pastime to something I would do when I remembered. When would I remember what I loved doing the most?

When I needed it the most.

By definition, catharsis is the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. My writing was my mode of catharsis.

That’s why my writing seems to blanket a not-so-veiled theme of sad thoughts. I write to make myself feel good, because the pen has never failed me and has always been my best friend. I also write when I’m inspired, because I’m absolutely over the clouds and speaking the emotion just isn’t enough – I want it to stay written for times when I need to be motivated.

Now, I don’t know if this is necessarily wrong. I always had, always do and always will continue to write for myself. So if my writing is making me feel better in times when I need it to make me feel better, that’s fine – right? But, when I look back a few days, weeks, months or years from now, I don’t want to feel what I’m going through now. I see several sad posts that fallaciously depict my past life differently, but then I smile at the posts that reflect motivation and chances to reach the stars. Seeing the waves from these rather sad posts to inspired ones and looking at the time stamps on them makes me feel happy, because it tells me time can change things.

See, that’s how I want my writing to ideally be. I want to get back to my passion, and what I love to do the most. I want to go back to writing when I’m happy, excited, dreaming and still want to be writing when I’m sad, mad, conflicted or even, heart-broken. I want my writing to reflect my life as I know it. I want to be able to translate my reality into a parallel reality. I want to be able to connect my life to this paper universe, and in my effort, be able to connect to these words at some other point in my life, or to another person.

This might just be another promise I wish to hold, and I may end up breaking it because the demons of lesser self-motivation, procrastination and lack of time may strike. But even though I’ve given up on writing several times every now and then, writing has never given up on me.

I miss the way words have changed my life. I really miss writing. And I can’t wait to make this realization leave me lost in my universe of alphabets, imagination and boundlessness now, tomorrow or some point in the future.

Because I know I will always come back to writing.

 

 

Unsaid Words

You know that feeling when you want to say something but you know its too late – whether it was the perfect retort, hurt feelings or words that you didn’t have the courage to say at the moment?

What do you do with those unsaid words, except trap them all in the space of an imaginary cabinet? Honestly, in the past, most people I know and myself used to say it’s important to appropriately voice your thoughts out loud and not keep them to yourself, or else you’re going to be full of regrets. But, I don’t think it’s that simple. It’s not just a pure binary classification of saying something or not saying something; it’s so much more complicated. There’s so many other things to consider – the circumstance, the time and the possible effect of your words.

There’s so many things I want to say to so many people, but I really can’t.

It’s too late to say some things to some; it’s too damaging to say some things to some others. It’s too hard to express certain feelings to some; it’s too unknown of an effect certain words may have to some others. At this moment, that imaginary cabinet is bursting with words and thoughts,

I don’t think the line, some things are better left unsaid, really sticks with me. We’re in a world of unknown; the effect of the unsaid words is unknown – and it could be for the better. But I think we’re all careful and fearful and that is important for us. If we are constantly going to live by whim, we’d be lost in a reckless universe. So, I think the line is really that some things often have no choice but to be left unsaid, because they have the potential to change things as you know it. And most times, we’re just not ready, and we won’t ever be.

Questions that begin with what if aren’t necessarily regretful.

Unsaid words that could change your tomorrow aren’t necessarily chances you missed, but are chances you chose to skip to avoid the danger of the unknown.

 

Up to the Heavens, Thathagaru.

12:20 AM, July 11: He opened his eyes for the first time after weeks to look at everyone in the room – his kids and his grandchildren. A tear rolled down his cheek, as they began to kiss him on the cheek one by one. They thought he was healing and the new medicine was beginning to work, but he was the only one who knew what was happening at that moment – he struggled to take one more breath, but he couldn’t make it through – it was almost his last. That’s when they began to know too. His sister just came in from a different city and was frantically pacing up the stairs, when she heard the cries from the room and ran to find her brother with wide open eyes and a chest that didn’t seem to show any movement. She pleaded him to wake up, and all he let out was one last tear.

My grandfather – my dad’s dad – passed away at that moment.

He lived for only 73 years, but a period marked with several ups and downs. The last 6 being one of the worst ways to spend your last years. He was diagnosed with dementia, and with every passing day, began to lose touch with his memories, his people, his senses and himself. And it mentally killed all of us to see him that way. Every day a struggle, every day a battle – from forgetting his own children’s names, to being able to only remember how to curse, to not being able to walk, and eventually eat, to merely yelling out loud to eventually not saying a word, to becoming bedridden and not even being able to breathe without the help of a device, it was incredibly hard to see him that way. What was the point of life, was what I thought for the longest time. And even on the day of his death, the way he was struggling to literally just breathe for survival was too hard to digest – every breath taken in slowly with a loud sound, with his lungs making sounds of their own and his throat choking every now and then because he was using it primarily to breathe. He wasn’t able to eat, drink or do anything. ‘What was the point of life, wouldn’t he be happier if he was at eternal rest instead of fighting a battle that we’re not going to be able to fight?’ was what I thought even at that moment.

God answered my question, and took him away from all of us.

I thought it’d be easier to see him that way, instead of struggling. I didn’t even cry when it happened in front of me – maybe I wasn’t processing things fast enough. But when they lay him on the floor a few hours later, I couldn’t take it. The tears would not stop.

He was barely made of anything but bones. He looked so weak, as though all the energy a person could ever have was sucked away. And that’s exactly what happened over the past few years. His whole struggle flashed in front of me like a tape that would not stop rolling, and I could not stop the tears. But the only thing that gave us all the strength to pseudo accept the hit of reality, was the peace he had. For the first time in years, he was at peace and he looked like he was in peace. He was beautiful, with his hands on his stomach, his arms at rest without any sort of needles pricking him and injecting all sorts of medicines, his forehead without any creases, and his eyes closed with a slight smile, as if he was in the middle of a good dream.

It was still hard though, and we all sat by him for hours mourning. Everyone had their reasons. Mine were essentially three – his struggle flashing in front of me and me thinking about how unjust it was, the fact that I couldn’t get to know him when he was healthy and mostly, thinking about the emotional battle my dad was fighting.

Just the way my hero is my dad, his hero was his. And unfortunately, I didn’t get to know my hero’s hero when I could’ve because I hadn’t moved to India yet when he was okay, and when I did, it was partially my fault for not getting to know him well for the few years he was. But every now and then, my dad would tell me stories about his dad – all those implicit lessons he taught him about life, all the struggles he had been through and everything he had done for other people. And lately, I’ve heard so many more stories that I wish I had earlier. My thathagaru was a great, great man. He helped so many families out of trouble, did all he could to support his family while he was at a stage in life where they were essentially on the streets, and went out of his way to stop things like domestic abuse. He raised his kids right, and this clearly shows in the pure man my dad is, with absolutely no bias. The respect my grandpa had, and the number of people who came to visit the day of his death shows just the same. I wish I knew him better, but some wishes really can’t be met.

The rest of the day was full of more cries. We fell in line with the rest of the proceedings according to the traditional Hindu style, Antima Sanskar or the last sacrifice. Watching my dad watch his dad be taken downstairs, giving him a bath, placing him on the wood to be taken to the graveyard to be burnt into ashes eventually, was heartbreaking.

Because my dad’s dad to my dad is the way my dad is to me, and I could not ever imagine the pain he was going through.

It’s day 3 according to the Telugu calendar, and we’re doing better now. We’re beginning to accept what had happened, although I really don’t understand why he received the punishment he got. Yes, he had his own share of mistakes that caused certain people harm, but he was so much more than that. He didn’t deserve it, no one does. But sometimes, that’s life for you, and things are unfair. Sometimes, I feel like I can fix things and life can be all piece perfect if you want it to be. But this first death that I’ve ever experienced in my family taught me otherwise. And that’s another something to think about, all in itself.

But this little thought cloud or blurb is a tribute to the man he was and the memory we all have of him.

Thathagaru, I hope I can bring about the change you brought to the people around you one day. Thank you for giving my dad to me, and everything you’ve ever given him. I wish I got to know you better, but I promise to learn new things about you every time I can from the memories and lessons you’ve taught my dad. The battle you fought wasn’t an ordinary one; you were a real warrior. Rest in peace thathagaru, I hope you find your way and place with God, we love you.

Fire.

A fire will die out if you don’t fuel it with what it needs to continue to light up.

A burning passion today will cease to exist if you don’t keep it going with motivation and action to make it last.

Fire; it’s powerful, it is illuminating and it has the capacity to be oh so dangerous, when it swings out of control.

So are you. Your passion tied together with free will driven by motivation is equally powerful, has the potential to light up the places it wishes to go to and has the capacity to be shocking, when you power it past expectations.

I’m at a homam pooja or ‘fire ritual’ at present, and have been watching the fire burn the logs for the past few minutes. The fight it’s going through to make sure it lasts, drawing energy from every little piece of wood or camphor, is in essence, absolutely inspirational.

I look at fire and I want to reach out and grab its power. The hard logs – relate to any memories that you want out of your memory but seem to be etched and haunt you every now and then. But the relentless spirit of the fire is burning the very same wood to turn it into crumbling ashes, into things that mean relatively less. Fire has it all – the inert drive to last and spread influence, it’s infectious energy, and the power to lighten up any place it chooses to exist – whether it be a place that merely needs hope or sees constant darkness.

But as much as we love fire and use it pretty much on a daily basis, we’re cautious. Just as we must be with our wildest dreams – whether it may be dangers of negative forces of spite, selfishness or uncontrolled ambition, it is important to evaluate and be aware. And also correlating the concept of fire to me as a person, I want to be a personification of the same pattern – someone who is loved, yet feared.

Someday,

I want my dreams to be fire and,

I want to be fire.