I know that I haven’t posted much over the past weeks, and that whenever I have posted, I have mentioned changes- transformation that has been occurring in my body and soul as I traverse through some of the biggest changes of my life.
And this is to be expected- moving to another country will open your eyes in ways nothing else will, but feeding your brain with a host of classes that teach you to think and see the world critically is like adding a kaleidoscope before your eyes which enables you to see colors and patterns you never did before. Along the way, I am cruising towards the mid point of my twenties and finding out in clearer terms what defines me. I know I will always change as I go through life but I also know that whatever happens over the next few years will recreate my personality in fundamental ways that will lay a foundation for the rest of my life.
It can be argued that this personality has already been made. ‘What were you doing for 23 years of your life?’, you could very rightly ask and I would tell you that yes, I was made but in most ways, that making was very unconscious. While I participated in my own making, I did not do it voluntarily or willingly. Now, for the first time- I am on my own and while I know that it is nearly impossible to make yourself entirely by your own design, I have started to believe in my power to fix the things that need fixing and not succumb to the forces around me. There will always be structures and institutions that will rain down upon me in a million ways but I am not entirely powerless. And in this of course, I am more fortunate than the general population ever is. With the recognition of this fortune, I am ever grateful to be powerful and open enough to my own possibilities.
I have spent time these past few months, dwelling on the shortcomings of the world that I have lived with, and why it has made me the way that I am. Along this journey, I am discovering fears that are sometimes almost paralyzing in nature but I have been equally delighted to find my ruptures slowly healing. They crack open into chasms when the times are right but by surrounding myself with the best kind of support system that I could possibly have had, I have been able to keep them at bay. I am moving towards functionality- something I have always struggled with. Mulling over how broken I have felt in the past does not make me feel helpless anymore. It makes me feel grateful to have moved on and empowered to have had the chance to be where I was. I do not think that I am entirely safe- on the contrary, I am more convinced than ever that me and everyone around me is always walking on the thinnest possible line and can tip over any second.
I have been struggling to grapple this- my own mortality, my own transitionality. I don’t feel I will ever be “done”, ever be comfortable enough to feel safe in this inherently broken world, ever be free from the curse of thinking too much about my own “self”, whatever it is, whatever form it will take. I am starting to love life, much as I have often chosen to hate it and myself. I am learning and re-learning what it means to be an imperfect human being in an imperfect world. But because I am gaining, I have more to lose and that makes me fear in a way that I might not have before.
At the same time, I want to teach myself how to be at peace, how to be “in the moment”. With every trip I take to a new place, with every ‘aha’ moment of discovery within my own soul, with every little obstacle that I find myself climbing and sometimes merely crawling over, I tell myself to remember to be happy with where I am. “If I were to die tomorrow,” I say to myself, “I will be happy because despite a multitude of unfulfilled dreams and desires, I have achieved so much more than I would have thought myself capable of a year, two years, three years back.”
With this realization, I remember to push away from this jungle of depressing thoughts that bombard us- we’re not pretty enough, not rich enough, not well-travelled enough, not accomplished enough- this is what the media tells us every day, this what our online accounts tell us every day. We strive, with our Instagram and our Facebook and our Snapchat and our Twitter to create an image of a perfect version of ourselves- a version that is untrue. This version does not contain within it the billions of tousled hair mornings we wake up to. It conceals our bleary, teary-eyes; our sore muscles; our ugly fights; our jealousy, our envy; our sweat and pain and diseases. It is a snapshot out of a hundred billion tiny moments that make up our lives.
I invite all of you in the sincerest possible manner,dear readers, if you’re still reading, to think about pushing away the competition, the pain, the agony- we are all suffering in so many ways and this world continues to push suffering onto us every single day as our ageing bodies struggle to survive. But I want to invite you all to breathe and remember to be human and remember to not give in to the hoax, even as you wish you weren’t a part of it. I want to invite you all to remember what matters to your soul and find the cracks that need fixing and to stare at yourself in the mirror as you are and tell yourself what you really believe is true, underneath all your masks. I want to invite you all to remember the messiness of life.