On Permitting Myself to Fail

It feels like I have been away from my home from too long. And while every word of that sentence is true in actuality, in a more metaphorical sense I have been away from this blog for too long. And now that the clouds shed away and the prodigal writer in me returns, I feel like I can finally breathe. My fingers are defying the laws of physics as I type my soul out; my heart feels full again. My body feels so light, I might just start floating in the air any second now; writing has a high of its own.

It’s not like I didn’t try; I have a draft folder full of half written gibberish to prove it. I guess I had to get out of the weird funk I was in to be able to write again.

So what happened this time? I did what I usually do: stopped in the middle of life and cried rivers and oceans and whirlpools and monsoons over all that I have lost. And I blamed myself for every iota of the disaster that I thought had befallen me. Walls were closing in again and I spent day after day in constant pain. It felt like the storm would never end, no matter what I did.

But then, as it continued to rain, I decided I needed to shelter myself from the elements if I was going to survive this. An epiphany dawned on me, and I held on it for dear life: I realised that I needed to stop pretending that I knew everything. More so, I needed to stop beating myself over the things I didn’t know.

And that is when I decided to burn (only metaphorically, because hello environment) all the prizes I received as a kid that called me a “perfectionist” or “miss 10/10”. I had to let that notion go because in all honesty, you cannot be a perfectionist at something you have no experience of. (And calling the point I am in my life right now “uncharted waters” would be an understatement.) I was waging a war against myself, wounding no one but myself in the process, with nothing to show for it, except depression and anxiety.

And just like that, I did something I wish I had done sooner: I gave myself permission to fail. I decided I was completely fine with failing at everything I do. I was okay with stumbling and falling and bruising myself, as I try to navigate life. I accepted that I am not an prodigy, I am not Einstein, or Van Gogh or J.D. Salinger. I am the mess that is me.

While I try to improve myself and learn new skills, I am okay with sucking at things. I will not hold myself responsible for the fact that everything I touch doesn’t turn into gold. Without realising it, I had put myself, or rather my illusion of my own self, on a pedestal. And boy, did I fall.

And this has solved every problem in my life!

Roll end credits.

(Of course that’s a lie.)

I am sorry to not leave you with a happy ending; almost every problem which lead to my breakdown which, in turn, lead to my precious epiphany, still persists to, pretty much, the same degree. The only difference is that, now, I do not take the problems seriously: I accept that I am shitty at life.

Failure is my new best friend and, in all honesty, the relationship is truly liberating.

An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

The first thing I should do is apologise. I don’t think I am more hurtful, brazen and sometimes downright cruel to anyone else on this planet, and for that I will scrape my knees begging for forgiveness. It is really easy to forget you yourself are human sometimes. And it is just so difficult to forgive yourself, hence the web of conundrums that is a grapevine around my soul.

I never want you to forget that you are brave to have the life that you have: you stood up for what you wanted and what you believe in, and for that I am proud of you. The soles of your shoes have embraced the souls buried in pathways made of mud, concrete, sand, dirt, grass, red carpets, oceans of tears, and castles of clouds. Your eyes have beheld beauty some don’t even know exist. Your hands have caressed moments that some only ever read about. Your heart has felt love some would never find in their lifetimes. You are lucky to have breathed the air that you did and you did not let those crystal moments pass you by idly.

It is why those moments exist within you now, those moments are you now, the new you you have crafted from the depths of the symphony of life.

You did all you could and you did it beautifully. And now that the time has come to close another chapter of this wondrous book, you must bring forth the resilience in embedded in your heart and the strength that imbibes your aura.

This is not defeat: no one can take from you what you have become. No one can steal the moments you relive when you need a little light. No one can tell you something you do not want to hear.

I will not lie: storms lie ahead. The winds will blow against you to be your undoing, but hold on with all you have learnt and all that you have come to know. Stop. Breathe. See. And believe in yourself, because there is no one else I rather believe in. There is no one else I rather be.

All my love,

Me.

 

 

Float

Carrying on the conversation from my last post, I’ve been struggling with words lately, in addition to struggling with life, relationships, job hunt, pandemic fallout, like everyone out there. I do not understand why but it is always during testing times like these I feel so unconnected to every human being on this planet.

I wish I could draw, for it would be able to explain how I feel. I am in space, floating, without any tether, no cord, unfettered, unbound. This is my cavern of loneliness: hollow and black. And it scares me to death, yet I find no one who understands my words: it’s like speaking in a vacuum.

I’ve been broken so many times by those I have trusted that I have lost the strength to try. And I want to spare the pain to those I trust most, so I cannot really acknowledge my fears out loud. I have only me as always.

All these years, and it’s always been a damn circle; I can never escape it, can I?

I can’t find you
But can’t fault you,

’cause I can get so caught up in my own head
You just float through, I can’t catch you
And I can understand,

but can’t face the feeling that I’m just another end

 

Featured image: Eden/ Jonathon Ng singing Float.

Quoted Lyrics: Float, by Eden

Out of Words

This is not a writer’s block this time, no; it is something deeper than that. Usually my heartbreak renders me capable of constructing proses and sonnets that are meaningful, but this time it has shut me down.

I am not heartbroken over a person, I do not thing I possess the bravery to ever let my walls down to be. I am heartbroken over the life I wanted- the life I do not think I can ever have now. My own words haunt me day in and out. I have sculpted my own hell and am meandering through it, more lost than ever. What is hope? What is light? What is peace? What is love?

I imagine blue, lengths and lengths of blue with white foam and sand so soft, you are scared of scaring it by your footsteps. I imagine castles, and music in the streets, my feet on cobbled stones so old I can feel the million steps trodden over it. I imagine being lost in the green, in the middle of the day, sheltered by the vines that wrap around the trees. I imagine the stillness of the orange and red as the sun sets in the hills. I imagine loving it all for the last time, for now I have to let these dreams go.

I should have never felt the perfection.

I should have never let myself belong.

For someone who deserves no words in life, I have been vocal for too long.

And now I must cut these wings off.

Falling Apart

In the minutes when space and time bends

and then, stands still, in infinite windows,

I run to grab a seam

and undo every happy memory,

which kaleidoscopes back again

into myriad cracked mirrors,

just like my emotions.

I hold my favourite necklace in my hand,

for it has become my rosary

in this ebb and flow

of fear and faith.

Nights like these, I can feel the galaxy fall

and I can hear every molecule that moves apart,

forever expanding the nothingness into nothingness.

In these hallow spaces I scream an echo

questioning why my emptiness is laced with pain.

 

shitty day

Oh hello dear shitty day,

If I fall for you will you go away?

If I punch you, would you hit me back?

If I write about you, would you explode my Mac?

You see, you came on a day I’m drenched in Writer’s Block,

I’m drenched in my deluging tears, and swimming in smelly socks.

How do I handle you, when I cannot for the life of me write?

And every conversation from my mouth turns into a fight.

When words feel like pain in my soul,

and my heart black as coal.

Oh shitty shitty day, what do I do with you?

Should I compare you to the moon? or the morning dew?

Will then you become an ally?

For I have never been so alone, my wings clipped to fly.

Tell me, shitty day, can you see what lies ahead?

Is it days of peace? or days of dread?

Are you clairvoyant, shitty day?

Do you have Nostradamus’ gift? Can you hear what Pythia says?

Will I ever find what I am looking for?

Do you understand why my soul wants to soar?

Oh dear shitty day, will the rain ever stop?

And also can you clean my room, because I had a fit of rage and broke my mop.

 

Dear J

It did not start as rainbows, butterflies and Spanish lullabies. In fact when we first met, the day my nerves were so racked I could feel my heart rupture my rib cage for reasons, I thought you hated me.

I was wrong.

You possess the talent so rare, so precious, so pristine, it makes me want to be you: your glance hushed the ocean in me, your words resonated the peace of the morning prayer, your mind made me want to sharpen mine, your humour could melt dark clouds.

You made me laugh. You made me question myself. You made me fall for someone I never wanted to.

We will never be together, life has made sure of that. Miraculously, this doesn’t make me wistful. Rather, I treasure every adorable moment I spent with you. On grey monday mornings when it feels like magic is unreal, I think of us on that empty bus the last time I saw you. I remember your voice, and my laughter, as we passed my favourite part of downtown lit with the brightness of the near eclipsed sun. I can picture the way the city lights shone in your eyes, as you laughed too. I still laugh at our conversation replaying in my head.

You were a surprise; I still cannot believe you, of all people, liked me. And though we may never speak again, I will always be grateful to you for teaching me how I should be loved.

The Worst of Me

If this post turns out to be the worst one I’ve written yet, will it be sheer irony? If that does happen, I wouldn’t be surprised because, ladies and gentlemen, it gives (the people who hate) me great pleasure to announce that I have become the worst version of myself that has ever existed.

Ever go through a phase where you lose at everything in life? Even at a game of stupid monopoly. No matter what you do or how hard you work, you just cannot get a win to satiate your tattered and ripped to shreds ego. That is me at the moment. Am I blaming my circumstances rather than take responsibility for the things I hate about my life? Maybe. I don’t know. Lately, I don’t seem to know anything.

I just feel so uncomfortable all the time. No matter what I wear or what position I sit or lay down in, I just can’t seem to feel at ease within my body. My mind races at a speed defying every law of physics known to man.

And the worst part of it all- I walk around with thorns all over me and sting every person I come across, especially the ones I love the most. I feel untethered, like I’m floating in space with no connection to anyone. Somehow, I lack the words to explain what I’m going through to people around me. More so, I dread what anyone is going to say, because I know for a fact it is going to make me feel worse about everything and hate myself even more.

Everything feels out of sync. It is hard to believe I’ve ever been so lost and defeated. The worst part is that I feel that way despite all that I’ve been through, all the battles I’ve fought, all my wounds that have turned to scars.

Was it all for nothing?

Will this be for nothing too?

The Room

No, I did not take any pictures of the room,

because I did not need to.

It is etched fully in the corners of my mind,

every corner, every curve, every cut in the floor.

I can make a model out of origami, if I knew origami.

I would draw it piece by piece if my hands could draw.

But my limit extends to my fingers, so dry from the weather

so dry from the washing

so dry from cleaning the salt I cry.

Grey and white, the colours of sadness

with lighting so bad you were destined to ruin your sight

if it wasn’t already bad.

If only you weren’t so bad at letting hope stay.

 

 

Potatoes

My crush texted me out of the blue the other day. After days of stopping myself from sending him that funny meme, or just randomly asking him a question out of the blue, or persuading him to run away to the ends of the earth with me, my heart fluttered and the butterflies I had choked to death in my stomach were reincarnated. Sometimes it amazes me just how pathetic I am.

And then, in the middle of calculating just how long I should take to reply back to him so I don’t look too interested and also ensuring he doesn’t lose interest (something which I will never figure out because I am a dork without game),  I got super nervous. On top of that, I was trying to be funny, and smart, and a combo of Midge Maisel, Beyonce and Amal Clooney. So the morsels of brain power in my little head were completely engaged and my responses to his texts were pretty much potatoes. I have been internally screaming going over the conversation and mentally kicking myself with the elegance of Messi.

I cannot, for the love of our father who art in heaven, understand why I pressurize myself to the point that my brain has a muscle spasm and all I can think of and say are the different ways potatoes can be cooked. Mashed Potatoes. French Fries. Poutine. Tater Tots. What excellent boiled potatoes, many years since I’ve had such an exemplary vegetable.

I cannot post a screenshot of the conversation here because I want to protect its sanctity, but I promise you, I said some of the dumbest things imaginable, properly balanced in the art of meanness and stupidity. Like rotten potato salad. A Pringles box crushed to powder after the delivery truck was looted and set on fire and the thieves had an accident with the police car chasing them. Like Hash Browns still frozen in the middle, despite cooking them for the time given on the box.

And I don’t even like this guy that much. With our differences in life, I know for a fact we would be terrible together and the possibility of him not breaking my heart is as remote as the far side of Pluto. But the detestable part of my soul that wants his attention, the insecure part of my being that wants to be desired above all despite knowing it will lead to naught, it takes over the wheel sometimes and we go steering straight into the iceberg. Potato Wedges. Gnocchi. Rosti. Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes with melted cheese, oh yes please.

And now I want him to text me again, just so that I can show that I’m not as dimwitted as I came across before. Or so goes the lie I tell myself.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2019.  All rights reserved.