Unmemorable.

Young adult old soul magic realism writing
Still from the movie “The Darjeeling Limited”, directed by Wes Anderson.

A realisation: you do not actually fear the passage of time. Rather, you are afraid of the responsibility of Time. Time is like a child you have to raise, a blank canvas in your hands. What will you do with it? What will you make of it?

“You are not scared of Time passing by,” I tell myself, “you are scared of not enjoying it. You are scared that you won’t be able to make the most of it. Because you know Time never comes back.”

Tick and tock goes the clock, and your Time goes with it too. Another day has gone and your canvas is blank, still unmemorable. What will it be tomorrow? Time is precious, the day you are given is a treasured blank page— and Ah, how you fear this. How you fear ruining it.

You want to make something worthwhile, something grand and spectacular to prove your worth to others, to the world. So you think and think. You refine ideas, create worlds in your head that you can’t put to paper. You plan and you study and you intend so much.

Simultaneously though, Time is a train you have to catch and you are already running late. All your plans are weighing you down as you drag them around in stacks of luggage you hold too close to yourself. And as you’re running, you hit other people with them and you’re apologetic but you can’t look back. You really have to catch that train. You’re not a bad person, you just want to do well, you know? You just want life to go okay, good even.

You are running and planning at the same time, heaving all these plans until you realise if you are ever going to get anywhere, you are going to have to make that train. No matter the cost, you will have to jump aboard.

And, and the suitcases aren’t going to make it—this is something you only realise mid-jump as the luggage behind you threatens to bring you down, to pull you with gravity and bury you in their weight.

You just have to let go, even as you dig your fingers into the suitcases, your suitcases, even as you break your nails trying to hold on to them.

And then you’re on board finally, but now you have no plans left but the rudimentary ones that you started out with.

And that’s okay. That’s fine. You’ll figure it out.

Undo,undo,undo…

Young Adult Old Soul Writing Magic realism
Art by : Little Thunder

I feel strangely detached, unearthed.

As though my bones haven’t yet settled into my body and are relearning the shape of the person I have become. Or like maybe I’m just a floating skeleton and my flesh has yet to layer itself back onto my shaking self. My mind’s eye is closing in on the idea of my small everyday life, but my thoughts have been blown out of proportion by the overwhelming vastness of a metropolis. Reconciling the two is proving to be hard for someone like me, who lives in extremes.

Other hard-to-wrap-my-head-around things are: You can start the year, no, the week in London and still be back in time for the weekend in your small, floating piece of land.

It’s like my mother said : “Just yesterday you were phoning from England and today you’re already back. It’s almost like magic.”

And now, as my mind wrestles with old and new truths…nothing feels like it should be. Like I remember. Everything feels strange : my bed, my pillow, my desk, my notes, my scribbles. Any one thing will at one moment feel too small. Too deep, too on the right, too bright. Not like I remember. One world seems too foreign, the other not familiar enough.

But maybe nothing’s changed. Maybe it’s me. And maybe what I’m most scared of is how I don’t know myself. How I can’t find myself in the gap between new and old. And if I don’t, where to will my unfettered self run off ? What crazy thing will she do ?

Get an ear piercing, probably.

I mean, I actually did that.

And immediately felt more regret than physical pain.

What have I done to myself?

I have done things to myself that cannot be undone. I have changed myself beyond repair. There’s no going back.

And I am scared of that above all else. To not feel at home in my own skin. To feel like a grain of sand has infiltrated my skin and has bent my perfectly balanced world out of shape. I am so scared of never being able to go back to the person I used to be. To not have a home to return to after all is said and done.

Countless times I’ve looked at that piercing now, balancing delicately on my upper ear. At times I’ve hated it. Hated that I couldn’t remove it without leaving traces. If I could just make it vanish, things would fall back into place.

But they won’t. The past will not be changed.

And I have to be okay with that. Because travelling did the same to me; changed me beyond repair. Though nostalgia longs for the familiarity of days past, I have to keep moving. Because this is what I want, ultimately, if not immediately.

So I’m keeping the piercing. I’m getting used to my risk-taking, fanciful side. I tell myself it would never have come forward if it hadn’t been there in the first place. So maybe I’m still home within myself. Maybe that will never change. Perhaps I am just discovering new rooms I had left closed before.


Listening to :

A Town With An Ocean View

We’ve moved yet again.

In the 8 months (yikes!) I’ve been working at this start-up, it’s the 4th time now that we are moving offices.

Ah, it tugs at my heartstrings to say it even now…But we’ve moved away from the town with an ocean view, where you could conduct business with sandy toes after lunch by the sea. We’ve bid farewell to walks on the beach, to the lure of the sea breeze teasing your nostrils when you step out onto the 4th floor balcony. And ah, I even miss that balcony layered in cigarette smoke and how it allowed me to gaze at a hundred lives busily unfolding below me, a priceless distraction from my own problems. And we’ve moved away from all too-long bus journeys, from weaving tiredly in and out of old villages vibrant with life. We’ve moved away from the silhouettes of an old man and his granddaughter throwing their fishing lines out at the setting sun.

Now we’ve reached all sandy-toed in a business park closer to the heart of the city.

There will be much to love about it, eventually: the silence, the terrace, eating underneath fruit-bearing trees, the nearby orchards…

Except right now, I feel a bit…young. A bit alone, slightly vulnerable while we try to relearn the bases of moving into a new place. I think maybe I feel…uprooted. Although even that may not be the right term. My colleagues and I used to wander a lot, before. And now we are being made to grow roots instead of wings.

It’s not bad though. It’s really not. But I miss seeing people going to work in shorts and I miss the one man I never talked to, who would go running after work, always dressed in the same neon yellow shirt and cowboy’s hat.

I feel homesick for the sea, for freedom, for feeling in control.

But I am not alone in this, and that’s a small comfort. Besides, I try to remind myself that I have a plane to catch soon and that I will be wandering far past all the places I have ever known.  I cannot get hung up about small changes…

The Garden On The Other Side

 

gardenyellow
Art by: Unknown Artist

I hope that one day, you get to look on the other side of fear.

I hope that the weight of all the lives you are not living comes smacking you in the face and startles you from your numbness. I hope it shakes your bed made of the bitter comforts of days that are all the same. I hope you realise someday that the emptiness you feel cannot be filled with just anything. No matter how much you eat or how many things you buy, the hole will still be gaping. The only moment when it is filled is the split second when all these things pass through, only to be dumped on the other side.

I hope that one day, you no longer have to hide. I hope that you learn to not fear loss. That, instead, you find it’s something to be accepted. Because I don’t want to see you clutching what you love so close to you it bruises, anymore. I don’t want to see you telling yourself that this is fine. That this kind of life is okay, when you have dreams bigger than the world. I hope you will no longer be chained to the past. I hope, I hope that you can learn to trust the world a little more. Trust that, on the other side of that rough, heavy wall, there is a garden awaiting. And freedom.

Freedom from fear.

I hope, one day, to see you running down these plains, laughing like a younger version of you you never got to be. I hope to see you grow like wildflowers by the riverbank, defying the currents and dancing with the wind.

I hope you can be as free as the child who jumps running out of the water only to splash in it again, her laughter like the breeze in between the dangling pieces of a wind chime.

 

Figuring Out Who You Are

 

16508635_1169200069863473_6987414958454314262_n
Art by Gunseli Sepici

You toss and turn the night away,
as if hoping that the movement will
cause all that’s wrong inside,
to finally fall back into place.

You’re restless, breathless and hopeless.
And I want to say: “You don’t have to be.”
Because it is when disassembling the pieces of a Lego house
that you have enough parts to create a bigger one.

Everything doesn’t have to be in place all the time,
else it means that things have never moved,
that they have never changed.
But you, you want to evolve.
You want to grow.
You want to be a better you.

So embrace the messiness.
Make out with the idea that you’re a work-in-progress.
We all are.
It’s just that some of us are building foundations,
and others are redoing the paint.
But even then, you never know when
you’ll want to knock the whole thing down
and start all over again.