I did not have a happy childhood. I was lonely and misunderstood, to say the least. But there was one part of my childhood which was absolutely wonderful. I had my books and my imagination. I used to love reading. I think it was my way of escaping reality.
Harry Potter was the ultimate escape from reality. It would fill my mind with characters, images and magic. It was also about love, friendship, kindness and loss. I read the first book when I was 12. I was hooked. I used to relish every word and every page.
Even now, when adult life hits me hard, I go back to Harry Potter. Sometimes the books, other times the films. It comforts me. I guess the fact that I found comfort in it during a sad childhood, makes me turn to it as an adult too.
I’ve been through my share of betrayals.I know I’m not alone. All of us have been let down, and consequently hurt by other people. These people were family, friends, lovers or someone we were close to.
I had built a wall around myself as a result of these bad experiences. I refused to let people in. If I don’t let them in, they can’t hurt me. However, I’ve realised that I was wrong. If you don’t trust people, you save yourself from hurt. But you deny yourself the experiences of love, friendship and social connections.
If you’re like me, maybe it’s time to stop hiding. Yes, you were hurt. But you cannot use that as an excuse forever. It’s time to deal with it. You’re hurting yourself further by not allowing yourself to open your heart. Do not punish yourself for the pain someone else caused you.
Yet again, I got sucked into the trap of trying to control everything. I’ve spoken about this multiple times on this blog. But, I keep forgetting.
The last few days have been terrible. The circumstances were bad, but I think I made things worse for myself by trying to control other people’s actions and behaviour. I lost myself and made it all about external situations and other people.
Life flows only in the absence of control. You cannot control anything except your own reactions to whatever challenges are being thrown your way. At the end of the day, you must allow things to happen. They tend to work out in the end, anyway.
It was a dark, dark night for me. I thought I had lost everything I had worked so hard for. I have been a victim of over thinking before. It’s my self defence mechanism. I create the worst case scenario in my head, to prepare myself so I don’t get hurt.
But, worst case scenarios rarely happen, and all this does is that it ruins my present. It doesn’t let me enjoy what I have. And then I feel guilty for not being grateful. Vicious circle.
Today, I’m feeling drained. I don’t have the energy to move a muscle. But I need to get myself out of this funk. It’s pointless wallowing in my self created misery. So I will force myself to work out, meditate and face the day.
I cannot control life beyond a point. I forget this and I suffer. All I can do is give it my best and let things happen.
I’ve been feeling terrible for the past three days. My thoughts have been all over the place. I’ve been feeling negative about something that is super important to me. I know my thoughts aren’t true. I know fear is a liar. Yet, I can’t seem to find my centre.
Trauma will do that to you. It’ll come back and haunt you when you least expect it. One day, you’re super happy, and then something reminds you of the grief in your past, and things will go from zero to hundred very quickly.
But, you have to tell yourself over and over again- Not every thought is true. The mind plays games. Don’t let it control you. Yes, there will be days when your thoughts will overwhelm you. And those days will pass. Let them pass. Give them your silence.
Most importantly, don’t let those days change your definition of you. Bad days don’t mean you’re weak or less important. EVERYONE has shitty days. If you try too hard to control them, you’ll end up feeling worse. Let them come and go. Acknowledge that you’re having bad thoughts, and that it’s normal. And know that God is bigger than these thoughts.
I find myself going back to this quote on such days- Karta kare na kar sake, Shiv kare so hoye. Teen Lok, Nau khand mein, Shiv se bada na koye.
I quit my job last week. I had been doing the same thing, at the same company, for three years, and I knew I was finished with it. I was very good at my job, to the extent that my manager told me I could rejoin whenever I wanted to.
But the problem isn’t that I’m out of work. The problem is that I tend to equate my worth with my work. I had spoken about the ‘Curse of Productivity’ and I can’t seem to let it go. And our current culture obsessed with ‘hustle’ isn’t helping.
It’s unhealthy. If your self worth depends on anything external, be it your job or your relationship, you’ll never really be completely at peace. You’ll hold on to things much longer than you need to, simply because you associate your own value with it.
I acknowledge that there’s a problem. And I know I’ll really have to sit with all of these thoughts every single day to get myself out of this cycle. But I intend to do that. I don’t just want to get another job or start something new to avoid facing this.
I am consciously going to choose a slow, leisurely and laid-back life. Because it is perfectly okay to just live. Because there’s nothing glamorous about being busy.
I seem to have dropped my people pleasing habit. Altogether.
I call a spade a spade, and don’t engage with anyone who tries to manipulate me or pull me down or add any negativity to my life.
I was the nice girl for a long time. I gave people the benefit of doubt, considered their problems and was kind. But I think, quite a few times, I was just doing it because I wanted them to like me. I didn’t want them to say something hurtful to me, that involved my past. I think I didn’t want them to say ‘she deserved what she got’.
I don’t care anymore. Call it confidence, call it whatever. I know what I deserve, and what people say is irrelevant.
I don’t know where this will take me. But, it’s okay. I know what I am doing, and it’s a choice I’ve made.
‘You’re only as happy as you choose to be’, ‘Happiness is a choice’- I’m sure everyone has read these quotes. Every time I read something like this, I would just roll my eyes.
But, perhaps, these quotes aren’t completely off the mark. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. Life will never be perfect. Even when you get that goal, that relationship, that job, you’ll never be truly happy, unless you decide to be happy. You can search for flaws in your life and complain, or you can use that energy in looking for and appreciating the good things, the joys- big and small. There will always be the next goal, but nothing will fulfil you completely. So maybe the answer lies in appreciation and gratitude and acceptance. It is what it is, and I choose to see the good in it.
We’re here, we’re alive. Life isn’t always fair but there is always something to be grateful for.
Today, I have to remind myself that I don’t need to be productive all the time. I don’t know when I started putting this pressure on myself that I constantly need to be doing something that has meaning. I used to be the kind of girl who lived by ‘dolce far niente’. When did that change?
Actually, I know the answer. It changed when my marriage failed, and I thought I had to prove my worth to the world. By working, by having a purpose and by being busy. It was then, that I started judging other women for their lack of careers. But to be honest, I was just jealous of them. Jealous because they didn’t have to prove anything. They belonged.
Anyway, that craving to prove something just turned into a habit, over the years. And I was doing okay when life was normal and the pandemic hadn’t hit. I could go to work and just be occupied.
But, as is with every other area of my life, this year has made me reflect on this part as well. And with reflection, comes realisation. This particular realisation was not a very happy one.
In theory, I’m aware that I shouldn’t have to prove anything. But, how do I practically change something that has become a part of me? How do I tell myself I’d be enough even if all I did was breathe? Because right now I am doing everything I’m supposed to be doing-I work, I work out, I meditate and whatever else is needed. But it doesn’t feel enough.
I used to think I was unlucky in love. However, the more I think about it, the more I realise I’ve never been in love. The crushes or infatuations or attraction were labeled as love by me.
Isn’t it weird? Someone who is in love with the idea of being in love, has never really been in love. That was one strange sentence.
I don’t necessarily know what love is. It’s obviously not limited to romance. That used to be my definition of love. Not anymore. I’ve decided I cant define it. I haven’t experienced it, so I’ll leave that blank for now. Maybe one day, I will know what it is, and I’ll be able to write about it at length. But until then, I think I’ll allow it to stay untouched, instead of giving it a vague meaning, based on the experiences of others.