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.

 

 

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.

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?

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.

On Falling for Assholes

Yes, this post is exactly what you think it is. It is me crying about how I always fall for the wrong kind of person and then blame myself for (a) falling for them despite knowing better and (b) not being good enough for them to feel the same way (oh yes, I just admitted that out loud. That is exactly what my brain tells me.)

Why do I classify my type as “assholes” you ask? Well, that is a great question, which I will answer in a unnecessarily complicated way to fit in my life story and how I want my opinions to be vindicated, because deep down my nonchalant exterior, I oh so crave to be accepted and understood. (I’m writing this post in a bit jet lagged sleep trance, so things are about to get super confessional. Hence, ladies and gentlemen and all my homies out there who prefer no gender labels, bring out your popcorn and pull up a comfortable chair.)

So, I don’t really fall for guys that often (which makes people question my sexual orientation, and frankly, they can all just go to hell for being judgmental pricks confused about their own lives and choices so the rest of us on earth can live peacefully and love whomever). I mean, years could pass and I wouldn’t even have a crush on someone who is a living breathing human being, rather than a fictional character from the pen of Jane Austen. That’s just who I am and who I’ve been.

But whenever I did have a crush on someone, lord, it was all of heaven and earth colliding into a roller blading disco dance with nothing else in sight. That’s just who I am, the extreme kind. I’m Marianne Dashwood to the core, with a hint of Mary Bennet around the edges. I go all in with no care in the world, but I am also an introvert who doesn’t really do well in social situations, so go figure the conundrum that is my soul. (Why does my life revolve around wanting mutually exclusive things that will never ever ever happen? The curse of a dreamer, the bane of a fool. )

So, I call the type of boys I fall for “assholes” because they love playing games. While I’m looking for Tuck Everlasting, or maybe even Tuck lasting for a couple of months, they’re just in it for the thrill of it I guess. And the worst part is, I know all of this. Having experienced it all, now, I try to force myself to stay away from these ultra short narratives that will only end in tragedy.

And yet, I find myself wanting to text him again, praying to see his name pop up on my phone, despite knowing that the text would only cause me pain at my feelings not being reciprocated with the same intensity. Despite knowing the fact that me texting him will do nothing but satiate his ego at having my heart in the palm of his hand to crush and shatter to dust. And all this while, his heart is excalibur shielded in stone, as is his will to resist eating the chocolate chip cookies I left for him after lunch. (This is my Waterloo on a loop; this is not the first time this is happening.)

And then, at times, pops up the asshole you avoid right from the beginning. You avoid him and his charm like the plague, until his attention towards you becomes a drug. And you begin to give meaning to his thousand times a day glances, and how he always finds a way walk next to you in a crowd of people. You get comfortable with the way he makes you feel, all this time wondering if it is the guy you like or just the attention he is giving you. You decide to throw caution to the wind and give him a chance to see where this thing goes, and boy, that is where it all goes to hell. You did it again, despite promising to guard your soul and protect your heart.

On a brighter note, since this is not the first time your heart has been broken by an asshole, you know you’ll get over it and discover the magic of the moon again. And I’m wondering how unfit a writer this change in the narrative voice makes me. But, this is me, the unshielded, make up free, no eyebrows version. And sometimes, accepting the mess you are helps you breathe easy.

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

(one of the assholes thinks this copyright warning is useless)

 

The Long Absence Explained

The best way to explain my absence would be to publish all of the half (and mostly less than half) written posts I’ve attempted to scribble. Nothing felt good or right, neither do these words; I’m half a second away from sending this post to the black hole that is the draft folder.

This blog is pretty much a secret. Almost no one who knows me in real life knows about its existence. I’m flattering myself in a way by saying this, because in all honestly, no one would give a shit about it anyway if they knew.

The reason why I keep this blog and my words away from my real life, is because this has always been a refuge for me in the rain. I love the freedom of writing my deepest and darkest secrets, the parts of me I’m not too proud of, of not having to explain why I wrote what I wrote. It brings me peace like nothing else does.

Pardon the pandering, I’ll get back to the point. I’m going through a difficult time right now, and have been for a long while. And as always is the case with me, I’m alone through it all. I feel too unconnected to everyone in my life right now to reach out. I’m so uncomfortable around everyone that I don’t see the point in causing myself the pain of… opening up. Opening up requires vulnerability, trust, faith, hope, courage. I can’t find any of these in me.

Sometimes it saddens me when I look at my phone, especially in moments when fear overwhelms me so much that I forget how to breathe. When I look at my phone and there is no one I would like to talk to in such testing moments. In moments when the sky bursts open and there is thunder like I’ve never known. When everything falls apart, and so do I with it. I know by keeping all this pain to myself, I’m piercing myself with my own shield, but I feel so helpless.

And hope, that four lettered word that keeps us alive, that oxygen to our lungs, that blood in our veins… it has just disappeared for me. I tore it to pieces and threw it away in the wind. Had I thrown it in a recycling bin, at least I would know where the pieces are, and have a chance at taping it up. But it’s gone. I have no idea where.

I realise this still doesn’t explain why I haven’t been posting anything. It’s because I felt that whatever I say won’t really matter to anyone. No one would understand my pain. Or just how choked up with fear I am at the moment. How the stress is hurting my body visibly. Because I felt talking about failure would be more failure. Addressing my brokenness will only bring more ruin.

But, I’m me.

I need to write.

I need to pour out what has been simmering in me for so long,

even if no one understands it.

No Title

Somedays I want to fold into myself, like a thin piece of paper.

One fold.

Two folds.

Three folds.

Four folds.

I want to occupy the minimum space I can.

Just bundle up in a corner

and hope to not exist.

Not die, no. Not that at all.

I just want to disappear from the universe,

from the surface of the planet,

from the mind and memory of every human being.

Just not be there, altogether.

Because that is what I think it will take to not feel the pain I hold within the crevices of my twisted soul.

What is the threshold of misery?

How much pain can a heart bear?

It’s something I never wondered,

but now I think I know.

The Land of Eternal Summer: Winter

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, but somehow the words coming out of me seem to be rotten. Like my core is shaken and something is amiss. Maybe it’s just in my head or maybe, or rather more likely, what I’m writing these days is pretty much chaotic garbage.

So what’s new in the Land of Eternal Summer? Well, for one the rain is over and the stars are back for me to gawk at every night. And even on days like today when there are clouds floating in the night sky, like smoke on a stage scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, I find myself humbled for the piece of sky that I do get to wallow at before the haze takes over. Right the second before the shimmer of the stars is enveloped in mysticism and enigma.

It’s summer here but winter never leaves me. I think I carry it with me, along with my inability to function normally. Maybe I’ve absorbed it in the deep crevices of my soul. Maybe it’s a part of my bones now. For I cannot keep it at bay for too long ever.

The other day I wrote in my diary that all there seems to be in life is to stand and watch things fall apart. All we do is build sand castles too close to the ocean no matter how hard we try not to. And then, all we can do is put it back together, fix it, bear the disappointment, and wait for it to fall apart again. And fix it again. And watch it be swept away again, only to come back and build it up from the ruin.

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