12th of May this year was a strangely sad day for me. Four years ago on that very day, I had met a really wonderful boy, who I had the good fortune of being in love with for the three years that followed. Our story was romantic enough to melt hearts and make people sigh with envy. The way it ended was nightmarish enough to make me scream in my sleep for two years. But that’s not the point of what I’m about to tell you.
I spent the 12th of May this year being upset about almost everything in my life. I spent it resigning to the big shadow of silent gloom encroaching upon me each day ready to eat me up. I spent it getting frustrated about the restlessness about my mundane and limited life growing bigger each day inside me. I spent it blaming my circumstances, cribbing about my job, whining about my stationary life and eventually fretting about Gen. D and wondering if he would also go away the way my ex did. Gen. D keeps telling me that I hardly live my life and he says a lot of beautiful things, two very important ones of those are – lead by example and live in stories, stories that you can have to tell your children and grandchildren. I spent the 12th of May this year lamenting about that too.
All of this until my sister, Appu knocked sense into me hard, like she might as well have hammered it into my head by hitting me repeatedly with a frying pan.
She reminded me that maybe a slightly milder version of this same conversation was what I had with her two years ago. And if I didn’t watch out and do something about it starting now, I’d be having a much more intense version of this very conversation with her five years down the lane. And with the same conversation growing more intense with each passing year there would be lesser and lesser I’d be able to do about it.
This is the second time in so many years that I’m thinking back to this really chirpy girl we knew and hated in college for dating the cutest guy in our class; thinking back to her and her wise words. ‘I have my own identity’ was what she had once said to someone. It provided us with scope for imitation and laughter a million times after that but my God, how wise those words were!
My life, my dreams, my ambitions, my likes and dislikes, all the songs I listened to, everything revolved around my ex at one point. Apart from being his girlfriend, I don’t remember being much else in those two years that we were together. Even after we broke up, for the longest time I was nothing more than the girl in love with him pining for him. I mean, love is the greatest but it really doesn’t sustain if you don’t have yourself – this coming from bitter experiences. No happiness, nothing sustains if you’re not constantly learning how to be and enjoy more of yourself.
Looking back, there are so many years of my life that I wasted thinking about what isn’t working out and I just won’t get them back no matter what. Now comes the good part –
I still have today.
I still have me.
And to anyone who ever reads this, those two things are the two most powerful things you can ever have. There aren’t two other things in the world with which you can enjoy more. As long as you have today and yourself, the possibilities are truly endless.
I’m not saying something novel. But I AM saying something that’s very easily forgotten or neglected.
By the end of her shock revival talks, my sister told me flat-out that she refused to believe that the change it had brought about in me was permanent and that I would really end up doing something about my life this time around. And she made sense. Just like sobriety is something that addicts have to fight for everyday, staying and feeling alive is something all of us have to fight for everyday. Most of the time, we don’t realize how easily we slip into mere existence and take life for granted. I know one thing – I stop here. It’s going to be something I’m going to have to remind myself every now and then and keep fighting for but if you’re not worth it, what is?
Today is my dad’s birthday and it’s also the birthday of my ex today. And there’s something in particular that I want to thank him for.
On that 12th May night, my ex asked me a legendary question – “Why procrastinate?” Of course, the context in which he asked me that was very different. But that’s one of the most beautiful questions anyone can ask themselves in any context of their life. I mean if I had to ask myself this question four days ago, #354 would have been out right then. It’s something that I’m going to ask myself very often for a lot of things here onward – why procrastinate?
With that, I’m going to stop delaying getting ready and going to work. I’m going to take your leave, World.
PS – I also still have you. The possibilities are so endless! 😉