It has been a while, my friends. Hello. I have been…living with myself this past month and a half: learning, feeling, moving, breathing. Just the same as always. And today I felt the stirrings to return to my roots, to return to whatever transcendental place it is that Blue Loft comes from. That longing inside me to tell stories- to tell my story above all others, brings me back to this place again and again. I do not know why my story is of any importance to anyone but myself. And I tell it in bits and pieces anyway, jealously guarding myself from the harshness and critiques of outsiders. That compromises the stories I tell. But a part of me keeps trying to tell them, keeps pushing against the world to establish my stories within its cruel environment. Because ultimately, if I have the ability to tell these stories and give rise to a butterfly effect, I must do it.
Today- today is an important day. Today I did something I had been thinking about for some time but pushing back. It is something that may change everything. Or it may change nothing at all. I do not know. What I do know is that I did something….and tomorrow I will know a little better where this will lead me…
But for now I will tell you a story- one that I have lived but it is only in retrospection that I can find the bits and pieces that make it semi-complete for me. As I continue to add to this story in the future, I will find more and more of the jigsaw. And I do not know what the complete picture will be….
I was 18 when I started this blog. Someone asked me why I seem to write from a place of pain and sadness…why can I not write happy stories of love and blooming flowers instead? I didn’t know. I have never known why my writing comes from a place of darkness, what that darkness even is. What does it mean? Since when have I had it?
Since as far back as I can remember. At 16, I took to heart a task that was never meant to be mine and when I first started to fail at it, I felt a cloud descend over my head. It hung there briefly, letting lose a stream of cold water on me, and then it went away and the sun shone again. At 14, I befriended a man I had no business befriending, and he led me down a road from which I could never recover. At 11, my best girlfriend and I were discovering secrets about the world that we were too little to know, and nobody stopped us. At 10, I saw my best friend leave town and felt my first wave of loneliness. At 4, I had already seen something inside me that statistics say only 1% of other people do.
I don’t know where it began. I know that this is not all of it. I know that this may not be my most significant story going forward. Or…it might!
Flashback four years from today, and I once found myself sitting in my room back at home in Ahmedabad, reading Guy de Maupassant under the bathroom light because I wanted the house to think I was asleep. I had spent countless nights feigning sleep during my teenage years, and reading fiction through various lights…the street lamp outside my window in Nazira, Assam; for instance, was my companion in getting through The Princess Diaries and Harry Potter at 15. That night…the night of Guy de Maupassant, I cried. I cried because I felt deeply in the core of me for the very first time, what it might be like to be engulfed by a black hole.
Black holes are strange things. I have often hung out by myself on their edges, sipping coffee, reading a book and crying real tears while the world feels like a stranger I have nothing to say to. But I turn around and find people, places, thoughts, and art waiting for me. Luckily I have never fallen into a black hole. But I can almost feel its emptiness, its nothingness from the distance. I can almost understand what it must be like to invariably fall into one and become blind, and lose color. How undeniably powerful a black hole is likely to be! How strangely sublime it is to write about, to read about, to listen to the trippy music and movies that depict it. And at the same time, how absolutely frightening to actually be in one!
I was drawn towards these black holes from a very young age. I played make-belief with myself where I was almost inside them. I chose to fall into black holes. I can’t help but wonder today if they chose me merely because I chose them.
As I write this, at times it feels, even to me, like I am almost being too dramatic. I know of people…friends…who have personally been through horrifying things. Things I wouldn’t even know how to survive. Unspeakable things happen around us in the physical world everyday…but they also happen in my head.
I have been told to think less, to change who I am. I was dictated simultaneously through my teenage years by the urge to be normal, the urge to be a rebel, and the urge to be ideal. I have, in turn, succumbed to each of these urges in different ways…performing well at school, dating the wrong people, and trying to be popular, all in turn. But today I know that I was none of these things. I was merely…different. I am different and I cannot get myself to think less. There are times when I briefly, fleetingly ‘fit in’, but then… there I am again, a round peg in a square hole.
And so the stories pile into my head. The deeper I dig, the more I find everything fitting into this narrative that I am piecing together these days. At times that gives me hope…by knowing this story, I can perhaps change it. At other times I am hit with inertia…the power of my will can easily fold under the weight of this world. It is too much to fight alone. That is why I have turned to my creative side to protect me. Sylvia Plath would be proud.
I am telling this story today…as lucidly as I can, because I owe it to myself, not to the countless people who have brought me to my knees in the past, either intentionally or otherwise. To them, I have nothing to say. To myself, I have everything left to say, and give…and this story is a part of doing exactly that.
It is a way of stringing along the bits that seem to fit and discarding the ones that do not. The picture continues to become whole, as I hope, someday, will I.