Conversational Anxiety.

Hey guys. I realise that’s it’s been a long while since I posted here. 

I am trying to grow up so I won’t use writer’s block as a scapegoat.  I do have ideas I’d like to write about. Truth, I just don’t have the energy. So I went through my drafts and I found something that rings true today as it did a few months back.

Here goes..

I find that I’m unable to have a proper conversation with anyone of late. Without thinking about it, this needn’t worry me, or anyone else for that matter. I have never been much of a conversationalist. Normally when I’m in a setting that requires conversation, I zone out. The only times I get out of my head long enough to have a conversation, though I wouldn’t call it a conversation; it’s more of giving  somewhat sasatisfactory replies to posed questions, is when I’m in the company of someone I care about enough to make the effort. 

Is this a good thing? I hardly think so. It is however, justifiable. 

I hate, nay, loathe small talk. I firmly believe the only time someone should ask what I’m doing is if they intend to take up my time. Asking for the sake of having something to say annoys me in varying degrees. Sometimes it’s just an incomprehension (if I really like you), but more often than not, it’s gut wrenching anger(why in the fuck do you have my number in the first place? What lapse of judgement in my part could have possibly allowed that?)

I believe that the best conversations are held in silence. There is something about never needing to say anything, knowing that whatever you have to say is already known that sort of gets me going (sexuallly I might add.) People don’t appreciate the intimacy that comes with silence. They feel this need to fill the silence with small talk or emotional assessment (are you sad? Are you angry? )That exasperates me.

I do like conversation. Start a conversation about something that interests me and it’s unlikely that I’ll stop talking. Well, until recently.

Of late however, I’m unable to master the will to even participate in a conveconversation I would enjoy. My head could be full of ideas, but I’ll still keep my mouth shut. I feel as if I’m subjecting my opinions to the judgement of others. And that makes me anxious. It makes me feel as though an unhygienic fat man is sitting on my chest. Previously, airing my opinion has never been a problem. It had to be one of my favourite things (I’m stubbornly opinionated.) 

I can’t really say I know exactly where this new-found anxiety is coming from. I’ll try and venture an explanation if it’s all the same with you.

First, I don’t feel as smart as I think I am. I feel as though my opinions don’t hold much meaning. And if that’s the case, then why even have one in the first place?

Second, I feel as though I have run out of people who care about what I have to say.  People who’d care for my unfiltered opinion. I constantly feel as though I’m expected to stick to a script everytime I try to say something. The problem is, I don’t think this script was availed to me. So I’m mostly trying to construct pieces of the story from what people around me are saying. An endeavour I’m failing at, disappointingly so. So I opt to skip the table reading altogether.

But mostly, I’m in no head space to carry on a conversation. I’m a lot more emotional than I always am. I’m prone to bouts of intense sadness. I feel numb(such a paradox) and empty by day and drained by night. I have all these words swirling in my head, carefully reconstructing themselves into doubt, fatigue and despondence. If I were to have a conversation, I can’t promise this negativity wouldn’t find it’s way out of my head and into my mouth. I don’t want to be the person who kills the mood. So I choose not to speak until I’ve found my way out of this dark, dreary place my head has become. 

Also, I’ve increasingly grown hateful of texting. I’d prefer it if people just called me. Well, only certain people.

So until I’m back to being myself again, I hope you don’t let the silence drive you too crazy.

Also, please don’t leave me:(

​If you are going to love me.

If you are going to love me, please love me in my entirety. Love the parts of me that sob for no apparent reason at two in the morning and the parts of me that bursts out laughing because of a lame pun in the middle of a tragic movie. It is in bad taste I know. It’s just that I feel sad a lot, it’s difficult to stifle a piece of happiness when I stumble upon it. 

If you are going to love me, please love me when I’m insecure and avoiding my reflection. I’m not saying I hate myself, but there are times I see a seamlessly beautiful girl in the bus next to mine when we’re stuck in traffic and I can’t help  but think, “she’s the kind of pretty that incessantly just is and I’m the kind you can only capture in a certain light at a certain angle. So it’s not that I’m vain, it’s that in that moment when I catch a glimpse of my reflection as I’m hurriedly trying to look away, I notice I look sad. The kind of sad a smile can’t conceal and for a moment, I forget that I’m smart and weird in a way that people think is funny or any of the things that actually do matter.

If you are going to love me, please love me for my humming brain. Love me for my detrimental ability to turn ant hills into mountains. Love me when it’s two years later and I’m still heartbroken and blaming myself. Love me when I have dug deep into my head and I can taste blood in my mouth. Love me when my head is throbbing and I can’t sit still. It’s not that I’m not letting it go because I swear to you I’m doing the best I can. It’s that my head is like a video reel of my life and there are days the shuffle function only selects the videos that make me cry. 

If you are going to love me, please love me for my meltdowns and deathless anxiety. Love me when I’m too wound up from life to converse properly. Love me when I’m starving but won’t get out of the house to look for food, because you know, people. It’s not that I’m a negative person. I’m actually quite optimistic about life. Too optimistic even. And maybe that’s why I panic. Because I know things could be better and when they aren’t, that reality sometimes suffocates me. 

If you are going to love me, please love me when I’m being needlessly emotional.  Love me when I need reassurance and won’t let the hug end. It’s not that I don’t believe you or that I think I’m not worthy of love, it’s that I’ve been loved as an afterthought one too many times and I’m still a little bit scarred. My wounds are healing, there are times they just need a little more tending.   

If you are going to love me, please don’t try to fix me. I understand I look broken to you, but believe me I function just fine. I promise you I’m okay. I just feel deeply.  

​Dear daughter; lessons on love and friendship.

I chuckle at the irony of what I’m about to do. Truth be told, I don’t know much about love and friendship. Attempting to talk about it, would be like Hitler giving a lecture on tolerance. I’ve only ever had a handful of friends and up until I was twenty, I did not understand these two concepts. I would like to believe that I have grown; that in just two years, I have acquired knowledge I should have amassed in twenty two years. But really, the jury is still out on that. So let’s see.

Friendship as I know it is the purest form of love. You are going to grow up in a society that will make you believe that a sexual relationship is the height of all relationships. But you are my daughter, and as you will find out, I am not in the business of raising you into a cliché. You will be a rebel, an outcast, an outlier before you ever are ordinary. So take it from me, if you screw up all the relationships you will ever be in, if you’ll break the hearts of everyone you set your sights on, pick one friend that will know every bit and crevice of your soul. When you find this person, it doesn’t matter gender what they’ll be (because people will try to tell you that you can’t be friends with male people. Another myth I’ll debunk), be good to them. Endeavor to unravel every bit of their being. Learn the difference in the quivering of their voice when they are about to cry from happiness or sadness. If you can’t do anything else for them, never let them forget that you love them. Be vulnerable, be honest be raw. Because really, out of all the things you could give to people, the greatest will always be your uncensored self. That and your time. So if they ever call you in the middle of the day saying they are having a bad day asking to talk for a minute, please say yes. Because you can always finish your homework an hour later. What you shouldn’t do is let your friend go through the day thinking they are a bother to you. If you ever have the power to make someone feel better, do it. And as you get older, you will find that these are the things that truly matter.  

In your lifetime, you will come across people that you will be inexplicably drawn to. The sad thing about life is there won’t be a lot of these people. So when you do come across one of those people, drop everything and see what shore that current dumps you on. These people will come in various forms; family, friends, strangers on the street. They will serve different purposes for different periods. I hope you will be selfish enough to enjoy these people, especially the ones that are not permanent (actually nobody really is because we all die.) But just because people aren’t permanent doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it. Some of the best memories will be made by people you shared a bus ride with, people it didn’t even occur to you to ask their names. 

Finally, I hope you know what kind of treatment you deserve. Don’t ever be too busy loving and supporting other people you forget to do that for yourself. No one deserves to be happy more than you do. If you ever are to choose between people, pick the ones that put in an effort over the ones that claim they love you. Because not everyone that loves you will try. But people that try will always love you. Pick the friend that listens to you. Pick the friend that knows all the different ways to put your pieces back together because they’ve seen you fall apart so many times. Pick the friend that cherishes, you’re A-Zs, your skin to your bones. Pick the friends that knows all your scars and the story behind each one. Pick the friends that calls you just because. God, pick people who try. I cannot tell you how important that is. And when you have chosen this person, try for them. Try even if it kills you.

And when all is said and done, not all relationships last. There are people who for whatever reason will hurt your feelings. Please forgive those people. If I should leave you with anything, may it always be an unwavering assurance that people’s actions are not a reflection of your self-worth. This is in no way saying that you are beyond reproach. We all need a little shaping. What we do not need however, is a crumbled sense of worth stemming from someone’s indecency. If you ever have to listen to such misconceptions, if your only choice is to sit and watch your life and everything you stand for be reduced into a vulgar misunderstanding spewing out of even more vulgar mouths, I hope you know not to turn the pits of your stomach into a graveyard; a dark dreary place to bury every judgement passed, every door slammed. But above everything else, may you always find the light inside you. That you will use this light to illuminate your shadows of self-doubt and turn them into reflections of beauty and joy. That you shall always put your happiness above all else.

Dear Son,

If I’m being totally honest, I am terrified of having a son. I don’t think I get men. No wait, I do get men. And when I say I get men, I mean I have put a lot of work into appreciating my sense of self, I really couldn’t care what goes on in a  man’s head in regard to my being. So actually no, I don’t get men. I just know how to use my voice to tell men what I want, to demand respect and to say no to shit. Also, I try to be a really good listener; a skill that I do not think I will ever master, but will never stop trying till my lungs give out. 

It’s boys I don’t get. It’s adolescents whose voices have just broken, and they are getting a little tall and trying to understand how their height and dropped balls factor into their lives. It’s spuds with unformed minds and shaky opinions and wandering eyes and a newly found sense of lust. It’s boys whose groins are just beginning to appreciate the effect of a female ass and hands just itching to touch a pair of breasts. It’s the boy locked in a bathroom with a page torn out of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and he isn’t quite sure how to use his hands. It’s boys using a shaving razor for the first time, wrecked with insecurities, wondering if the package in his hands is big (enough.) It’s college boys who don’t know how to politely approach a woman. It’s college boys who refuse to invest in soap and maybe even cologne. It’s college boys who walk around campus in bathroom sandals and get offended when a girl won’t look in their direction. Generally, I don’t get boys struggling to be men. Boys who are yet to understand the nobility of their strength, or better yet, what strength there is in nobility. Boys just shuffling around, trying to find a solid place to plant their feet and grow. Boys with ambition but no character, boys with brains but not enough manners, boys with vision but no means. 

And it scares me that someday, I may have to raise that. To be an anchor to my son when he goes through this challenging phase, just trying to find himself. How do I do that? What could I possibly tell him? Because I don’t have much experience with men. I don’t have brothers and I have never really lived with my dad. Sure, my best friend is male, but he’s always been more of a man than a boy. But more than that, I am scared that even after I’ve done my best, even after I’ve spent half my life trying to raise him into as great and as good a man as he could possibly be, he’s going to leave home, and go out into the world and society will ruin him for me. I’m scared that society is going to creep up at him at night, and erase everything I’ve taught him. I’m scared of the perverted fellow intern that will send him nude photos of his ex-girlfriend and more terrified that my son will look. I’m scared that he’ll come back home for Christmas break with sagged jeans and a computer full of pornography and a tongue uttering sexist slurs to his sister. I’m terrified of the war that will go on in me; between his mother who loves him unconditionally and a woman who wants to cuss him out and maybe even disown him.  

So from me, to my future son. I know I’m only twenty one and I know nothing about being a man. But someday you are going to be twenty one, trying to find a job, struggling to be a brother, screwing up at being a boyfriend, learning how to be a friend. This is to tell you that whoever you become, you’ll always be my son. That I might screw up a little bit, but whatever you go through, whatever disappointments life throws at you, whatever victories you achieve, I’ll always be in your corner. That we will grow together and the list I’m about to write will only get wiser.

First of all, I’m totally fine with whatever sexual orientation. I will welcome and love whoever you choose to be your (life) partner. That said, I have a thing against PDA (Public displays of affection) so please keep that to a bare minimum when I’m around. In a nutshell, I won’t care who you fuck, just don’t do it in my presence, or my couch, or my kitchen counter. I’m not saying you shouldn’t experiment, by all means, experiment your heart away.(yeah, that’s a weird thing for a mother to say to a son)It’s just that I’m working so hard at ensuring my house has quality(expensive) stuff, please don’t ruin that for me by the memory of you being “experimental.” You’re my son, I love you, but that’s just gross.

Second, home will always be home. If I mess up everything, I hope you grow up knowing that there is very little that will make you unwelcome.( I should probably say nothing, but who are we kidding, you’re not going to enter my doors if you are a serial killer.) With the exception of immoral careers, I will support you. You don’t have to be a doctor or an engineer. You can be a drummer or a swimmer or a photographer. I’m working hard to ensure that whatever you choose to be, I will have the resources to ensure you are the best at that. If you want to be a musician, I will take you to the best music school, I will buy you whatever instruments you want to play. But even if life doesn’t turn out as I want it to, I hope you know that happiness and fulfilment doesn’t come from material things. I hope you understand that happiness is a choice, and an active one at that. I hope I raise you to understand that true fulfilment only comes from doing the things that you are passionate about, the things that make you happy. And I pray that even if you don’t turn out to be the strongest guy around, you will have the bravery to go after the things that make your soul dance; be it the weird boy in your school or a nerdy programming class. I hope you know not to measure your growth by what is popular and applauded but by what is noble and kind.

I hope I raise you to value your humanity above your masculinity. I want you to understand that it is okay to cry and show emotion. I want you to be the nice guy that opens doors for girls and pulls out chairs for them without expecting favours in return. I want you to be the guy that values friendships (with all genders) and goes out of his way to show it. I want you to be the guy who shows up with pizza and beer at your male friend’s house when he has been dumped and gives your sister flowers when she’s cramping. I hope you don’t grow up measuring your masculinity by mundanities like how many girls you’ve slept with or how good you are at playing FIFA. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with you playing video games. I just don’t want you to be the kind of guy that feels emasculated when a girl beats you at it. I hope you are the kind of guy that loves wholeheartedly even when he’s been hurt before. The kind of guy that buys flowers for his girlfriend’s mum and buys your girlfriend tampons when she can’t leave the house. I’m saying that I hope you turn out to be a good human being; a kind, generous, loving human being. A boy that values nobility over strength. A boy that uses his strength to help elderly people carry bags, and carry children across the road and not to bully the timid guy in class. I want you to be the guy who befriends this timid guy. I want you to understand that if you are stronger than your sister, it is not to intimidate her into doing all the house chores, but to help move the heavy furniture. But more than that, I hope you never outgrow your mother. That you never stop trying to be her friend. 

But more than that, I hope I do not do you the injustice of raising you with a fragile ego. An ego so easily punctured that when a girl says no to lunch, it results to insults and threats. An ego that won’t let you be vulnerable or admit to not knowing something for fear of rejection or ridicule. I hope you know to accept defeat and reach out of your comfort zone. I hope you have a curious mind that will ask questions and learn from your mistakes. I hope you never let failure define you or stop you from gaining new experiences. But I also hope that you have a sense of pride. Not the kind that comes before a fall, but an assuredness in who you are as a person and what you deserve. I hope you know to walk away from toxic relationships. I hope you never let a girl use you just because you may get to sleep with her someday. I hope you never have to beg for respect. I pray you learn to stand up for yourself and settle for nothing less than your worth. I hope you know when to begin a relationship and when to end it. That you will know to tell someone when you are falling in love with them and they make your heart beat faster. That you’ll also know to tell them when you’ve met someone else or the passion has died, or you want different things. Basically, I hope you know to speak your mind and that your words will always be graceful and polite, but firm and clear. I also hope you learn to be on the receiving end of these words. To be composed, understanding and rational even when your heart is breaking. To wish them well and mean it even when you never want to see them again.   

I hope you have good taste in music. Because everyone needs a sound track to their life. Especially when you are Twenty one and girls are ignoring you and school is hard and you’re broke and just barely getting by. I hope you will listen to more than just HipHop. That you’ll listen to soulful music; music that will give you goose bumps and make you want to cry. Music that will make you want to bang your head against a wall and scream when you hate your life. Music that will make you want to heal the world on your good days.

I hope you never lose your child-like sense of wonder. I hope you go for walks and explore the woods beyond our house. I hope you build train sets and castles. I hope you have pillow fights and build forts. I hope you never outgrow you spider man sheets and socks. I hope you never stop watching cartoons.

I pray that you love books. That you will read everything, from restaurant menus to graffiti on buildings. Because books contain more than just words. They contain ideas and dreams. Because a well-read boy is a great conversationalist. And a great conversationalist attracts great, smart girls. Girls that will challenge you and give you great conversation and adventure and with enough experimenting, great sex. Girls that will push you to be the best version of yourself. 

I hope you have a morbid (dark, weird and twisted) sense of humour. That you’ll make puns, lame and nerdy alike. 

I hope that you don’t lose yourself trying to fit in. I hope you know that normal is an illusion. I hope that you’ll always take weird as a complement.

Please be smart. 

I hope this list is good enough. 

Ps. I was going to name you Dilan. But there is this show called Modern Family with a character named Dilan that is very dumb and that ruined that name for me. If at all this is possible, pray that I name you something that won’t be used to taunt you. 
 

​On Death and Humanity. 

My roommate thinks I have a casual attitude towards death. I’d like to think that isn’t true. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. On the surface, it might be true. I will admit that I do not avoid thinking about death. A lot of times, the thought of people dying doesn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth. It doesn’t make me sad, it doesn’t affect my current mood. Generally, death doesn’t fill me with dread as it does most people.  Is this something I’m proud of? No. Am I ashamed of it? Honestly, no. it just is.  I think over time, I have managed to convince myself to be indifferent to things that are beyond my control. So maybe that may be interpreted as having a casual attitude towards death. But that doesn’t mean I do not care about death. I just seem to not care. I think I care way more than I will ever be to fully grasp, let alone admit. So maybe that manifests as a casual attitude, or horrifying indifference and misplaced laughter. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just a horrible person. Or maybe it is both.  I don’t know and to be honest, I do not know where I am going with this. So hang on, or don’t, I don’t think I care much. 

I have this belief, that all human beings are potential killers. We all have a breaking point, a button that can be pushed and make us kill. I also believe that how we are raised and how we are conditioned over time is what makes the difference between guys who kill and those who don’t. I will admit, I have no psychological evidence to support this theory and I am open to corrections. As a matter fact, I hope to all that is moral and sacred, that I am grossly wrong about this. I want to believe that killers are born that way. I know, it doesn’t make the world any safer, but hey, a few serial killers is contextually better than a potential seven billion serial killers. Again, I’m hoping serial killers is a Hollywood fiction. I mean, I understand that serial killers do exist in real life, I just don’t want to believe that they are as prolific and scheming and clever as television shows make it seem.  Even so, I haven’t been able to get this theory out of my mind these last few days. Particularly, I haven’t been able to stop myself from worrying about my seemingly casual attitude towards death. A statement that was said in passing has managed to lodge itself into my brain and make me question everything about my humanity. 

Just how human am I? And while we are at it, on what scale is humanity measured? But even more importantly, how human do I want to be? Am I comfortable with the cliché standards of humanity? You know, is it enough for me to just be bothered by wars and hunger and excruciating poverty levels? Is it enough that every once in a while I donate my old clothes to orphans and drop a coin or two to the beggar on the street? Why do I even do it? Is it because I actually care? Or is it because I don’t have much use for my old clothes or the few extra coins? Am I kind? Am I empathetic? Why do I have a morbid sense of humour? Why does death not rattle me as much as it does others? Can I take a life? Would it be a leap to think that if I have managed to convince myself to not be somewhat indifferent towards death, then it is only a matter of time before I convince myself it is okay to cause it? Is it a valid worry? Why am I seemingly indifferent towards death? Is it because I can’t deal with it, so I just brush it off? Or is it because I actually don’t care? And if the most permanent form of loss, doesn’t scare me much, then how can I tell that my humane emotions are genuine? Do I feel because I have been conditioned to feel or because I am actually human? Have my emotions become routine? Is that what my humanity has become? Some sort of garment that I wear every morning? When I am descent, or even nice, is it because I am kind, or am I only acting on ingrained tendencies? Is my humanity on some sort of auto-pilot or is it a conscious decision? Is it all just a game? Am I aware that I am playing it?

Is our humanity supposed to be a conscious decision? Are we supposed to be aware of it when we are being human? Do we get accustomed to pain and cruelty over time? Do we stop to care about injustice? Do we resign ourselves to the fact that the world is rotten and there isn’t much we can do to save it? And when that happens, have we lost a bit of our humanity? Do we lose our humanity every single time we are not as human as we could be? Is it possible for our humanity to be completely corroded? Is that all we’ve become? Shells masquerading as human beings, slowly dying? Really, why am I so worried about this? Is it an overreaction to a less than accurate observation? Or is it because deep down I know I have lost a bit of my humanity. Because not so long ago, I fiercely wanted to help people. Street children and natural disasters upset me to the point of tears. Right now? I think television shows about serial killers are funny. I would like to think it is because I have grown up and somehow managed to handle my emotions. And maybe that is partly true. But I am also still emotional as ever, albeit most of it is rage and irritability. Maybe that is why I feel so lost. I have lost a bit of myself. And maybe I just miss caring about other people. Random people on the street. People that I don’t have to care about. People that aren’t my family and friends. People who don’t have to reciprocate that care. Maybe I just miss who I was, and I gotta say, it is a little scary and embarrassing and rage inducing, that I don’t really care to do the work to get her back. 

What’s done is never done.

I think I was six years old when someone told me to stop looking her in the eye because it is rude as I was a child and she was older. To date, I still struggle with maintaining eye contact especially with older people. I still get mini-panic attacks when I have to hold a conversation with an older acquaintance because part of my brain thinks it is rude to look someone in the eye. This misinformation has stuck with me, fifteen years later. Long after I have learnt that maintaining eye contact isn’t rude and in fact is an essential part of having a fulfilling conversation. I constantly need to remind myself to look at people when I am talking to them. Sometimes I have to practice in the mirror before I go out. And sometimes I fail horribly and just say screw it and look anywhere else but at someone’s face. I am not proud of this, but there are people I have had conversations with and I do not know what their faces look like. I could tell you the colour of their shoes, the size of their fingernails, the design on their shirts, but not a single detail about their face. So what’s the point of this? This is about those things that we cannot talk about, those things that still hurt, those things that eat away at us and we can’t vent because someone told us that we should be over it. That we should stop bringing it up because it is in the past and what is done is done. This is because sometimes, what is done is never quite done.

It is said that actions speak louder than words. Every single time I read this somewhere or hear someone say it, there is a voice in my head that goes, “but do they really?” Because the things that have hurt me are more of the things people said than what they actually did. But maybe that is just me. Maybe it is because I have always considered words my fortress; the place I run to when I need to run away. My arsenal; what I wield when I want to win a fight. Because honestly, I am so little, I could never win a physical fight with anyone. And that is even before life wears me down. I think words are the best part of me; the glue that hold my disintegrated attempts at being a better person, a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter. Because I may not be the easiest person to approach, or the easiest person to talk to and I never know what to do in a social situation but I could always write you an email or send you a text that pulls at a few of your heart strings and feebly hope that makes me worth your while. So I guess that is why words hurt the most, when someone uses your best feature against you. Because words have a way of getting under your skin, itching at your brain, corroding your very being.

That being said, let’s talk about abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse to be specific. I think the saddest thing these kinds of abuse is that they are perpetrated by the people we care about. Because words only hurt if you care about who’s saying them. And the occasional vile utterance of a complete stranger. More times than not, we forget about the latter but never do we get over a parent calling you useless, a loved one thinking of you as pathetic, or a friend calling you stupid. You know it’s just words, and the opinions of others are in no way a measure of your self-worth and abilities or whatever self-help banter you chant before you leave the house every morning, and a lot of times, you believe it. And then there are those nights when you’ve had a bad day and you want to call your best friend but you don’t because you don’t want to seem pathetic. Or the days you don’t understand a concept and it doesn’t quite surprise you because part of you has always felt stupid. So is this an aversion of responsibility? No. I am in no way saying that other people are to blame for our self-destructive thoughts and unhealthy perception of self. I am saying, that maybe if we were nicer to each other and mindful of what we said to one another, then maybe loving ourselves wouldn’t be a daunting task after all. That maybe if we didn’t grow up in abusive homes, we wouldn’t be so abusive after all.

There is this song by The Script, my all-time favourite band, titled “The End Where I Begin.” My favourite line is “sometimes your first scars don’t ever fade away.” The first time I made my best friend listen to this song, he teasingly asked me, “What is wrong with your taste in music?” which was his way of asking, “Why do you listen to such sad music?” I just shrugged. Years later, I still think about that question. It is because of how painfully true the aforementioned line is. Yes, we heal. We move on. We are able to tell our stories without shedding a tear and sometimes we even find those same stories funny. But the scars remain. And while scars are proof that you’ve lived, that you’ve been knocked down but didn’t stay down. Scars are proof that you can survive, that you are much stronger than you seem, sometimes they are just reminders that you were hurt. That you are still hurting. So be nice. Because sometimes, what’s done is never quite done.

If I should have a daughter

If you are ever at a party, smoking cigarettes on a rooftop with some girl with extremely rugged jeans and green hair, ask her how her day was. I promise you won’t regret it. Because unconventional people have the most exciting stories to tell.

If you are ever hanging out with your closest guy friend, just the two of you, and he turns around and kisses you, kiss him back. Yeah, it might make your friendship weird, but you can always work on your friendship. Or you could always make new friends. Regret on the other hand is difficult to work through. Because one day, you’ll be alone in your bed at two in the morning and you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from wondering how he would have tasted like.

If you are ever at a party taking shots, playing truth or dare and they dare you to make out with some girl. It is okay to say no if you do not feel drunk enough and you know you will remember it the next morning and feel like throwing up. Who cares if they call you uptight and not fun. Those are your lips after all, no?

If you ever like a guy who doesn’t like you back, don’t pretend it doesn’t hurt. Cry yourself to sleep if you must. Hell, cry for weeks if you want to. Write cheesy poems. Listen to sad music. Just know that eventually, you have to put it behind you and trust me, a lot of times, the easiest way to do it is to go on that coffee date with that other guy.

If you ever break up with your first love. Baby, that is going to sting for years on end. Because yeah, a woman never really forgets her first love. You just have to do whatever it takes to heal. Do not date anyone for a while if you do not want to. Move towns if you have to. Write him angry letters. Burn those angry letters. Cry until you throw up. Drink until you pass out. Let yourself grieve. Let yourself heal.

If life ever brings you disappointment after disappointment, heartbreak after heartbreak, as it will. If it is ever too much for you to bear, so much so, you feel like you are drowning in tears, losing your will to live. Here is what you do; you take a break, and you go figure things out. You go find yourself. Travel the world, go for walks at one in the morning, watch the sunset, listen to crickets. Come home.

If you ever forget who you are. Or if you ever feel the pressure to be someone else, spend a few days alone. Remind yourself who you are. And whoever that is, just remember you are the very definition of perfection. And that is enough. Take it from me, one of the most painful things in life is losing yourself. Trust me kiddo, you do not want to go down that road.

If you ever find yourself over-thinking things like why that guy you met on the bus and asked for your number hasn’t called you, or why he didn’t ask you on a second date, or why he just stopped talking to you. Just remember that not everyone you meet in your life is meant to stay. Some are meant to make that bus ride less boring, or for late night conversations that night you had an argument with your mum and your best friend is offline.

If you are ever eating your favorite snack and your friend asks for some, give it to them. Yeah, it is things like these that will give you mini heart attacks and put you in so much pain. But someday, you are going to look back and treasure those moments. And if that doesn’t happen, you could always take pride in your alleged generosity and selflessness.

If you are ever feeling alone, or sad or sacred, you call me. And I will send you a couple of Drake’s albums. And when you get them, you first listen to ‘Shot For Me’ in ‘Take Care. ’ Because that is my favorite song and that will be my way of telling you that I know what you are going through because I have been where you are. You just have to wait it out, you’ll be okay.

to the men that loved us.

So I have been mauling over this question, “when is the last time I expressed gratitude to anyone for loving me?” and I realized it’s been a while. And so that is what I am going to do. But I am going to start with the male members of society because I spend most of the time referring to them as selfish, arrogant bastards and maybe this is my way of making it up to them. Plus, father’s day is coming up. But so that they do not feel so special, ‘we’ are going to write this.

To our fathers and everyone else who has been a father figure? I don’t know how you did it. Maybe you left our mothers before we were born or walked out before we were toddlers. Or maybe you stuck it out and taught us to ride a bike, punch the guy who first kissed you. Or maybe you were never really home because you had to work, make ends meet. And maybe we are the best of friends, or maybe we don’t really have any functional relationship. Either way, in whatever way you chose, you have molded us into the women we’ve become. Confident or insecure. Ambitious or lazy. Either way, we owe a huge part of who we are to what you did and didn’t do for us. And maybe some of us are angry at you and some of us owe their very existence to you (not in the literal sense.) but we am going to say thank you. Because you have taught us lessons. And that is the greatest gift a father could give a daughter. For the best fathers out there, you taught us that just because a guy claims he loved you, he didn’t have to get stuff out of you. You taught us that we could always come back home and that you’ll always be there. You taught us that you’ll always catch us when we fall. That you’ll let us sit on your shoulder if we ever needed to reach higher. And for that, there is no guy we will ever love more than we love you. And for the ones who let us down, thank you for teaching us that it doesn’t matter how broken you are, that is as whole as you will ever need to be. And for that, happy father’s day.

To our brothers. And cousins. And everyone who has threatened the guys crushing on us. Thank you. But sometimes you should mind your own business. I will admit this is going to be difficult to write because I do not have brothers, but I have amazing cousins. And yeah, we do not talk as much, but I know they have my back. And honestly that is all I can say. And to my friends who are brothers, thank you for being such bullies, for not doing house chores, to sometimes yelling it to our faces that you are better than us. We know you mean well.

To the guys that broke our hearts. Some parts of us still hate you. Some of us are not over you. Some of us are crazy. We have stalked you, logged into your Instagram, and deleted the pictures we took together. And some of us don’t really care about your existence. Either way, thank you. Thank you for teaching us that we could endure pain and still get out alive. Thank you for fueling our creativity, for the soppy love poems we wrote, for the songs that reminded us of you, for the drunk texts we sent or not. For the shots of vodka we took, for the times we threw up in the bathroom wishing you were there to hold our hair. For the pills we took, for the times we felt so dead. For the times we kept feeling our chests, convinced that our hearts had followed you. But most importantly, thank you for allowing us to feel the refreshing feeling of healing. To learn to laugh again. To look in the mirror and love our scars. To learn to be ourselves again. Thank you for helping us grow.

To the guys that like us. Thank you. Thank you for helping us get over someone else. Thank you for thinking that our rambling on and on about that pair of shoes is cute. Thank you for removing that eye lash and somehow always thinking it would lead to a kiss. Thank you for texting us, and asking about our days even though we both know you don’t really care. Thank you for making us feel special, for spending money on us even though it earned you a lecture on overspending from your parents. And for the ones we like back. I do not know how you did it. And for the ones we don’t really like. I am so sorry. But if it is any consolation, karma is a bitch. The guy we like, doesn’t even know we exist. That said, stop sending sixteen texts at a time, it doesn’t increase your chances of getting a reply. But I do wish you the best in life. And thank you so much. Because I won’t lie, there are days we were feeling low, and you are the only person who told us they liked us. And I can’t speak for everyone else, but for some twisted reason, I kept those texts.

And to our friends. The genuine kind. Not the ones who think they have been friend zoned. The ones who sincerely care about us. I know most of us can count you on one hand. But you are our favorite kind of people. And yes, our conversations are mostly insults. And yeah, your girlfriends hate us. And some of us hate them too. But most of us don’t really care. Thank you for being there. Thank you for holding our hair while we threw up. Thank you for not leaving us when we broke down over and over again about some loser as you always called them. Thank you for picking up and listen to us complain about literally anything on this planet. Thank you for tucking us in bed even after we got drunk and tried to kiss you. Thank you for always teasing us. Thank you for punching us as a greeting because we just texted you and told you this guy felt us up when we hugged him. Thank you for treating us like one of the boys even though we cannot play those video games and keep scoffing when you talk about some hot chics. Thank you for not losing your patience when we insisted that you teach us to play fifa and then went ahead and just sat there, doing nothing with the controls. And to my best friend, I realize our friendship is somewhat unconventional. But beneath all the insults and faked disinterest in literally anything you say or do, I miss you. And I promise to continue to be a buzz kill till the end of time.

Best friends forever??

So I just found my ten year old sister making a card for her best friend. It had this BFF acronym splashed all over it.  I think it’s cute; cute as hell. You get? Because hell is not cute.
*high-fives my left hand with my right hand*
*has a sheepish green on my face*
*cries myself to sleep for being so lame*
So, BFF, huh? First, this is one of the cheesiest things I have heard in my life. Do not get me wrong, I believe in the concept of having a favourite friend. I think everyone needs a best friend. I just do not believe in forever. Especially not when it involves another human being with free will, ambition, direction, life.
Maybe I am just cynical but I do not believe anyone can get forever with anyone. Come on, what is this, the notebook? And that scares me.  Because my sister is ten. I remember being ten. Ten is the year I became who I am now. We had just moved into a different town. I had no friends. I only had my sister, whom we spent more time fighting than being each other’s support systems. But my sister is good with people, so, she didn’t really need me. Ten is the year my childhood ended. Ten is the year I became a loner.  Ten is the year I began to prefer books and music over people. Ten is the year I taught myself to look hostile. Ten is the year that I learnt to ignore people, tune people out. Ten is the year I taught myself to be self-sufficient. Ten is the year I lost the person I occasionally try to be. Ten is the year that broke me. Ten is the year I broke myself. For my sister, ten is just another blissful year in her childhood. Another year to laugh and make memories. I will admit, I am kind of jealous.
And maybe that is why it is so hard to watch her have such faith in people. Because I lost my faith in people when I was her age. Because I learnt of impermanence and the human capability to break their promises when I was her age. Because I stopped believing in forever when I was her age. Because I know that a few years down the line (god forbid), she won’t be bffs with whoever this card is for. And that is the hardest thing one can ever live through. Severed relationships. Because people don’t always keep their word. They stab you in the back, they move away, they die. But the worst kind is those friendships that just fizzle and die. No major fight. No nothing. You just talk less and less until one day you see them across the street and they are just total strangers. And you rack your brains for something to tell them, and a tense wave is all you can manage. It is things like these that put a fist through your heart. And in some ways, I feel like she is setting herself up for heartache and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. And that is the second hardest thing I am going to have to live through.

tut

words are tsunamis, yet we splash them around like puddles.

“words are tsunamis, yet people splash them around like puddles.” hell like yeah.

“you are cold and somewhat cocooned.” while this is somewhat true, I am yet to think of anything that has made me question myself as much. I think by now, most of you know that i am an introvert. so it goes without saying that i am not good with people. i suck at making friends. and i don’t really care, except when i do. and this time i did. ever met someone and you just felt this mental connection? i repeat, mental connection? i mean, the first time you had a conversation you talked about god and religion? and i was recommending “the art of seduction” to him even before i knew his second name. he got me cracking jokes about climbing a tree so i could get sufficient connection to e-mail him one of my favorite poems. i was e-mailing him my poems, when usually i don’t even tell people my second name. hell, my parents don’t even know i write. and on Christmas eve, we were cracking dirty jokes about animals mounting each other and things along that line. and then he called me cold and cocooned. and i told myself i didn’t care. but that was probably because he said it at two in the morning, and despite my self-induced insomnia, some parts of my brain had switched off. but then i woke up at six in the morning, and standing alone in my rooftop, shaking and gritting my teeth, i remember feeling dysfunctional. and a few months later, some parts of me still feel alone and unwanted. those are the same parts of me that wanted to explain to him that i am not cold; i just have trouble expressing emotion verbally. and about being cocooned, i am just not very good at meeting new people, that i had loved meeting him. but like i said, it was just some parts of me. the rest of me just smiled and still pretend not to care. the rest of me actually doesn’t care.

“you are so weird.” maybe i am. i have too many rugged jeans for my own good. i hate combing my hair and even when it’s braided, it’s barely held into a bun or anything decent, let alone attractive. and sometimes, i deliberately look hostile. most people find me scary and intimidating, and candidly speaking, i like it that way. i like dark red lipstick, i feel like it adds onto this scary vibe i got going on. i like taking walks at one in the morning, and a lot of times i just sit in the dark and listen to my heart beats try to keep up with my destructive thoughts. but beneath all that, i am nice. i am too generous for my own good. and i try not to judge people. see, my logic is, we are all sinners. i am not going to judge someone for sinning differently. and i would kill for my sisters. bottom line is, i am an all in or all out kind of girl. i either feel too much or feel nothing at all. and that is going to be my undoing. so maybe it shouldn’t sting when someone called me weird. but the problem is when someone doesn’t really know you, when there are thousands of adjectives they could use to describe you, they chose weird. they chose, odd and unusual. they chose not fun and boring. they chose annoyingly opinionated and dangerously stubborn. they chose to remind you that you don’t fit in. they choose to rub it in your face and have a good laugh about it. they chose to remind you that it doesn’t matter how beautiful, strong and smart you are, you might end up alone anyway. see, they did not choose different or unique, they chose weird.

see, it’s the smallest words that will break your heart. trust me, i know.