LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
Sit. Feast on your life.
– By Derek Walcott
This year was about closing accounts. About letting go. About learning how to take things in my stride.
Above all this year was about taking a massive break from being me. I haven’t actively made any decisions this year, I have sort of let life happen to me. Sometimes it brought people into my life and at other times it took them away.
I accepted both without any fight.
My soul is a resilient one. I crave control and certainty. This year somehow was ruled by uncertainty.
The one thing I cannot deny though, is that throughout the whole year, I never lacked support.
Deconstructing myself is perhaps the biggest challenge I have faced so far. It is easier sometimes to be who you are. The problem lies in behaving like someone you want to be. You let experiences shape you. But at the same time it is important to govern how they shape you. You pick aspects you want to ingrain and you learn of this quintessential art called “Letting things GO!”.
A basic job that paid my shopping bills and allowed me to visit three different countries. (not forgetting the fact that living with parents left me free from having to pay for rent or for food which contributed to the savings, that lead to the consequent travel plans). The little journeys also made me realize that there is no such thing as a trip to discover thyself. You don’t need to cross borders and fly across skies to find yourself. More often than not, you will find yourself in small things that people said or your deeds that affected someone else. There is no place like home, if you are indeed looking to find yourself.
I remember leaving home some 6 years back, promising myself never to come back. The laws and rules that the patriarch of my family had set weren’t something I wanted to abide by. For most part of this year, I stood cursing the giver of my life for tricking me into coming back. But as I stand at the edge of 2013 – with a supposed move to Dubai, that never worked out; many plans of moving back to India, that did not materialize; three new stamps on my passport and a new job later, I realize it wasn’t so bad after all.
I am the queen of tragedies. I love to instill drama in everything I do. This year, I have learned to cut down on the drama. Learned to live by facts, if not completely, at least to some extent. Sometimes the only way to save yourself a lot of trouble, is to leave the emotions aside for a bit and evaluate facts. Balance Sheets and Calculators.
A friend once told me, that his friend once told him, “If you cannot enjoy your own company, how do you expect others to tolerate you”. This year I have learned to enjoy my own company.
I have spent close to a quarter of my life, listening to the head or the heart, this year, the gut has proven its worth. Not everything needs a justifiable reason to be done. Sometimes you do things, simply because you feel like it or because it feels right.
“Keep your word”. Do what you say you will. Or do not promise. If you don’t value your word, others won’t either. In order to be taken seriously, you need to take yourself seriously too. I am someone who cannot do things on time. Personally, I need to wait until the end of time, to be able to get myself to do something, because like the great Calvin said, “Nothing inspires me like the last minute”.
Deliver what you promise or else just resolve to giving people surprises. (Yes! There is a solution to everything 🙂 ).
“There are no problems, just solutions”. Two friends have contributed greatly to this line of thought. One in Kuwait and the other one in India. Both refuse to talk about their problems until they have resolved it. In contrast to the “Me”, who needs to rant on and on about the injustices that life is subjecting me to. It’s amazing sometimes, when things fall into place. Do the best you can and give serendipity a chance.
Loving myself is one of the most difficult things I have had to learn to do. Somehow we know ourselves the best and yet we don’t give ourselves a break. People are going to judge our stand, what we said, how we ate and which chair we chose to sit.
No one knows you better than you and as long as you are honest to yourself, you will sooner or later be able to make peace with what others think. At times you will be able to change their perspective, and at other times, you just have to make peace with the fact that there are many realities.
On my birthday this year, I promised myself that as I turn 25, I will let life happen to me. I have stuck by that promise. I have kept my word.
Because, if I don’t value my word then who will. 🙂
Love Always, Z