I let my life mix with my dreams like two coloured cans of paint; the saffron 🇮🇳 mixed with the red, green and black 🇦🇪 until I didn’t know which was what and I didn’t care, I call you home 🏡Dubai is my hustle and my grind, Bangalore is my victory lap and my celebration. Dubai is my heart, Bangalore you’ll always be the blood that pumps through it. Dubai taught be about being not having, Bangalore showed me how blessed I am. Between Dubai and Bangalore, I learn everyday that my glass is always full and refillable. Dubai and Bangalore you make me grow towards the sky while the sun calls my name and the stars light up my pathway. Home is always here and a missed land ❤️
She wrote a note to herself today.
Before the moon bid its goodbye to it’s kind.
Before the world had a chance to wash her mind;
With pending tasks and bitter words that made her wrong,
Telling her how this would only make her strong.
She wrote it before emotions took over,
Before she said her name to the barista as a coffee-lover.
Before she had the choice between hope and optimism,
And sip into all the criticism.
A simple sentence that would resonate within mind;
before her eyes witness normality,
She wrote a note of what she wanted the day to be in reality.
She was not greedy, she tried to be kind,
Everyday she made up her mind.
Only to cease the day,
Yet be humble and not prey.
’Tis true that she wanted things her way,
She knew the dark clouds would not stay.
On the days it was hard to breathe,
She took a look around at the papers beneath.
Between the bills, payment sheets and cheques,
On the days she felt life was a wreck.
‘Breathe woman! Everything will be okay!’ she read,
This is how she knew her life wasn’t hanging by a thread.
A girl who is used to being on her own will be unlike any other girl who you will ever love. That much is guaranteed. She’ll be the toughest nut to crack and her walls will be built up the highest.
Because for so long they were just that: her walls.
They’re a part of world that she built entirely on her own, and while yes they are in one part protection, they’re also just as much a source of her identity. They’re the encompassing shell of a place she made, a life she built, a world that belongs to nobody but her. And while it protects her, maintains her, and keeps her safe, it’s also simply, just what she knows.
So finding space for someone else is going to be hard for her, it’s going to be a challenge.
A girl who is used to being on her own will probably say (at one point or another) that she “doesn’t need you.” She’ll spout variations of “I can do it myself”s and “Don’t worry about it”s and “I’ve got this shit handle”s so often that she’ll begin to sound like a one-woman, independent broken record.
And to a certain extent, it’s all true. She probably can do it herself, you don’t need to worry about it, and she’s got this shit handled.
But just because she can do it herself, just because realistically she probably doesn’t need you, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you.
Just because she’s got this, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you watching her handle it.
Just because she can walk the road alone, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy your company.
See, the truth about being on your own is that after a while, being on your own becomes your comfort, becomes your safe space. There’s a reliability in answering to only yourself, to only minding yourself, to only worrying about yourself. And though at times it can be lonely, it’s a softer lonely. It’s a loneliness that eventually becomes familiar and almost beautiful.
So when someone else comes in, and shakes up that world and that loneliness, it’s jarring.
It’s a shake up not only to her world, but to her routine, but to what she knows.
And so, for a while, there’s going to be some adjustment. There’s going to be some ebb and flow, some give and take. There’s going to be some fear on her end. Not only because she’ll be tentative to let you into her world, to let you scale those walls, to invite you into a life that previously only hers.
But there will also be the fear that if she does let you in, does trust you, that she’ll stop being comfortable on her own, and start to only be comfortable with you.
And the intrinsic fear of getting comfortable with another person is,
“What do I do if they leave?”
When you love a girl who is used to being on her own, you’re loving a girl who is scared by the possibility of ever having to relearn how to do that. You’re saying, “Please let me in,” while she’s saying, “Please don’t go.”
There’s an ease to being on your own once you get used to it, but the getting used to it part is often times an uphill battle, an incredibly difficult journey, and she really dreads the possibility of having to do it again.
So when you love a girl who has been used to being on her own, please be prepared to stay. Be ready to hold her hand when she says, “I can do it,” and respond with, “But I can help.” Be ready to learn about her life, her world, and find a way to respect it while still being a part of it.
Be ready to scale the walls she’s built around herself, and her heart, and be ready to never worry about what’s going on outside of them.
Because when you do, when you really do, she’ll be ready to never let you go.
Something borrowed from every that’s borrowed.
You deserve a love that doesn’t leave. We all do.
You see, the type of love that we all deserve is probably not one we have felt yet. And it is probably not one we have experienced. Yet.
You deserve a love that does not make you fear being let go of. You deserve a love that you feel all around you, regardless of when you are with them or not. You deserve a love that you know has the strength of steel. And even with all of the twists and turns life will hand out to you, it won’t ever split in half.
You deserve a love that is patient. That acknowledges your faults and imperfections. That knows when it is time to give you space. That is patient with your mistakes. And that doesn’t let silly fights rip you two apart.
You deserve a love that refuses to leave. That even when you are far apart from one another, that love will rise no matter what. You deserve a love that will reach out it’s hand to you, no matter what you have done or what you have said. You deserve a love that does not give up on you. Ever.
You deserve a love that will work for you two to become closer. This love will not lay stagnant in a dusty, empty room. The love you deserve is always present. Even when it’s hard to be, you deserve a love that does not lock you out of open communication. You deserve a love that does not turn away from your open heart, and you deserve a love that doesn’t reject a single ounce of who you are.
You deserve a love that is mighty. The kind of love that is stronger than anything you could come up with. You deserve love that is a fighter. The kind that will walk through a storm to get to you. The kind that will sacrifice themselves for you. The kind that will want to lift you up higher even if it drags them down.
You deserve a love that doesn’t pretend. This love will never hide anything from you, because they know you are worth more than a broken promise or a lie. You deserve a love that does not hide in the shadows from your greatness. You deserve a love that makes you want to scream out, “I deserve this. I am worthy of this love. And I accept it”. You deserve a love that makes you recognize your strengths.
You deserve a love that doesn’t and wouldn’t ever dare leave. That never questions you. That never looks at other people and question if they are better than you. You deserve a love that doesn’t stray. You deserve the kind of love that always, always believes.
And they said it over and over again,
You are strong.
You are strong.
All she wanted to do was believe in it as much as they did,
But she told herself it was all wrong
She let her mind bully her body,
She never had the hand to guide like that of a daddy
A masculine past is what made her look less attractive,
Any red-blood that came by knew she was radioactive
It was easier they never tried,
And this she never denied
This is what made her boring, she had so much say she couldn’t contain
No one to listen so she gave into Mary Jane
She got tired and it all backfired;
She got too tired to agree,
She got too tired to object,
Regardless of what they believed, she was being deceived
She was running the wheel, she believed she wasn’t made of steel
Every day she tried not to be tired,
She did it all with a smile on her face and heaven in her eyes
She held on to the burden with the entire world on her shoulders
Like they were twice as big as two boulders
I saw it! I saw the tear drop that fell on her heart
I saw it showing under that super hero she was trying to be from the start.
It was time she decided to throw down the cape, it was her heart that kept saving this world from its fate.
Maybe you scare them because you’re too honest in a time where people are drawn to those who frost their words, who manipulate their sentences and people who know how to make a lie sound sweeter than the truth. Maybe your honesty is bitter to those who don’t want to taste what’s original – to those who only want the icing on the cake.
Maybe you scare them because you know what you want and you know what you don’t want and everyone else is lost trying to figure it out. Maybe they’re lost in their own uncertainty to a point where they reject anything that’s sure of itself or maybe they just got used to people being unsure of them that now they don’t understand those who are.
Maybe you scare them because you don’t want to play games when everyone is competing, when everyone is obsessed with winning that not playing the game makes you a loser. Maybe you’re surrounded by people who are experts at playing the game they don’t know what it’s like on the other side and they don’t want to be beginners again.
Maybe you scare them because you tell them what they don’t want to hear and they’ve gotten so used to people feeding them lies to win them over. Maybe they want to believe whatever image people have created for them and they don’t want to look for who they really are. Maybe your words are so unfamiliar to them that they just don’t believe them or even understand them.
Maybe you scare them because you pay attention. You don’t forget what they said when they were angry or when they were vulnerable, you pay attention to their eyes and their body language, you pay attention to the tone of their voice and their hand gestures, maybe they’re not used to being seen or heard and your attention makes them uncomfortable because it means they have to take their masks off.
Maybe you scare them because you know they’re scared and you’re still not cautious. Maybe you’re reckless with your heart and your emotions and they don’t know how to handle them, they don’t know how to handle anything that disturbs their safety, that disturbs their routine or disturbs their reality. Maybe your heart beats faster than them and they can’t catch up with you.
Maybe you scare them because you don’t need them. Because they know you can survive without them, because they know that you won’t wait for them, because they know you will stand up for yourself and because they know that you will not allow yourself to be another number on their list.
Maybe you scare them because you value yourself, because you’re strong enough to walk away and because you’re smart enough to know your worth. Maybe they got so used to being put on a pedestal that they don’t know how to be anywhere else.
No matter what the reason may be, keep scaring them. Keep scaring them with your honesty, with your strength, with your kindness, with your love, with your understanding, with your words, with your eyes, with your presence and with your ability to read them. Keep reading them until you find someone who is just as fearless as you are and who won’t get scared off that easily, someone who is just as scary as you are that it starts to scare you.
Something borrowed from the Thought Catalog
I have a confession: I am a people pleaser and I know it.
This is hardly newsworthy. In fact, I’d say if I were a totally happy, well-adjusted and famous writer —THAT would be newsworthy. So, it was with shock that I found myself seeing a notification from WordPress about the 100th post I had made that I laughed this morning until I burst into tears. I don’t mean a little tear — I mean a full-on mid life crisis breakdown. And it was the greatest moment I’ve had in a while. Let me explain.
It all started around the time I was 12ish. I very concretely remember being a 12-year-old girl who believed that she was the man of the house. I moulded myself into being strong, self-motivated, independent, role-model figure kinds. At least that is what I was aiming for. I sat up at night literally coaching myself through this entire episode of how I am going to conquer and achieve everything the said man of the house couldn’t, rather wouldn’t provide. I decided I will take up a work, where I will earn the money I will need to cry comfortably. Yes, I stopped lying to myself as a young child where I knew my life isn’t like what other normal families have. It was different. But, different is good.
I distinctly remember sitting up at night crying to myself with my night light on, afraid someone would hear me/afraid no one would. It was a nighttime ritual that went on for quite a while; I’d tip-toe to the bathroom or lie down on the sofa in the hall. I didn’t do anything. I just sat there. Maybe I was too afraid of not being able to get the attention I wanted; Or maybe I wasn’t messed up enough to hurt myself to get that attention. This is a painful memory to have and to write about years later. It’s painful because I cry for that little girl who had no idea of how to process all that pain inside of her.
I tried in various ways to get attention, to express to people that I needed help. Help to understand puberty, understand the changes my mind and body went through. Or maybe I didn’t have the words to express the guilt I felt about why we weren’t a happy family. There was something wrong with me for feeling that way. Then, I found a shortcut.
I started doing things, nice things for people and they noticed. I got the attention from them. I was a helpful child. The girl who always smiles, helps you when in need and will be there whenever you need any help. I began liking the feeling. I please people in order to please myself.
A couple years later, my now recognised depression manifested in to an eating disorder or as a friend once put it, “I eat so that I can feel happy.” This disorder lasted on and off for about ten years with varying degrees of severity. Not blind to my issues, I was certainly not invested in getting better. One of my favorite “games” to play was to manipulate the art of people pleasing which sadly worked a lot of the time. Then there would be periods when I’d be happy and outgoing, successful and accomplished without the people pleasing.
There were many times I was lucky not to have been hurt as I indulged in some serious stupidity and telling myself to distinctly remember how this feels. Remember just how low, scary, illegal, dirty and rotten this feeling is so you don’t do whatever stupid thing again… that is, until I did it again. During this time, there were two things that saved me. The first was writing. This was my way of cataloging experiences, as if to give them meaning beyond myself, and in return, giving myself hope that in all this self-destruction there was the possibility of creation.
Sometimes, I’d be OK. Things would be OK for a while again. I’d start being productive. I stopped partying. I became more invested in my writing, more invested in being happy. But I don’t think I understood what being happy was. I mean, our culture sells you this version of happiness that’s unattainable and kind of stupid. Not to sound like an anti-national, but, the Indian notion of happiness is completely superficial. A Raymond man, a independent home in the urban lands, a fancy car or two, a branded purse full of cash to spend, calendar children and your image as the loving daughter, sister, friend, wife, daughter in law, mother, grand mother and so now.
Now, isn’t this a haven for the perfect people pleaser? I had it all figured out. In any event, just as things in my life were beginning to settle down, I suffered a “traumatic loss”. Back to back, I suffered losses from different directions. This changed me. This sent me into a depression that lasted about three years. During this time, all of my previous unhealthy habits manifested, but tenfold. But, being an adult, I had to be accountable for myself. I had to work. I had to maintain friendships. I had to continue being happy. I had to write. I had to continue my sick obsession as a people pleaser. If I realised someone din’t like me or wasn’t too fond of me, I will find a way to suck it up and make them like me. Or pretend to like me. I settled for that many times. Pretend.
Slowly, and I mean slowly, things started shifting. I gave up. I din’t want to please people. I wanted to please myself. How am I a people pleaser through all these years, yet I never found myself feel pleased at the end of the day. I pretended that that pleased me, but it dint. So I stopped. Friends started noticing that I seemed different, changed and saw reasons to not see me happier. I started enjoying myself more. I allowed myself momentary feelings of pride. I found myself being proud for finding a higher meaning or clarity in my madness or the reason for my madness over these years. In 32 years, I am independent without the Great Indian Dream Wedding, I am well-travelled, I have developed an understanding of different cultures, developed a lifestyle I intend to lead, know the don’t want, accept failures, feel a sense of pride for achievements personal to me, had very few people I call my own.
So this morning, when I struggled to write that one post I was thinking in my mind – Did I really make something or anything that 12 year old dreamt of? I laughed. Not even close. I mean, it’s something borrowed if you read it. I am often misunderstood for all I write, because it may reflect on how one is treating their emotions, feelings or people around them. Trust me this is purely coincidental and has nothing to do with quoting you unless I mention names or alphabets.
I’ve changed and some things din’t bend to favour me. I stayed single, people came and people left. I stayed away away from all, minds crossed, words spoken that will never be taken back. I realized, whatever the cause of my depression or state of mind as one can aptly put it, it’s not something that’s going to be cured; I’m not going to be fixed. My depression is something I can, at very best, manage. I must accept the fact that sometimes I’ll have a bad day for no particular reason at all. But there’s always tomorrow. And one thing that’s really helped me is taking ownership of that. I won’t let experiences happen to me any more. No. I decided I was going to be in charge, because, guess what? That 12-year-old girl, she’s not running the show anymore. This 30-something woman is.
People pleaser, happy, sad, naughty, caring, helpful, young, old, mature, defensive, offensive, broken, wise. Words don’t define you, it’s what put you together that does. This is what I laughed for, I have nothing to say. After 32 years, I sometimes just have nothing to say that will please the one looking back at me in the mirror.