Twenty, happy and proud of myself. Who would’ve thought, right?
Life takes an abrupt turn down south just when you’re ready to take the new step. And you’re crushed but you manage to hold yourself together because you realise that no one else will bear the brunt of how your life shapes up, but you!
Shit happens, then what?
Growing up in a small village in Goa, I think I’ve come a long way. For most of the years, my parents were my best friends or maybe even my only friends. And while at times, I felt I missed out on hanging out with kids my own age, I couldn’t have asked for a better family life. Even though its life was short, the memories will last me a life time. I see my friends falling short of love from their own homes. And when I think back, I wonder why my family fell apart and not theirs. I wish no evil but there’s only so much you can wonder.
Five years ago, I had just completed my schooling and we decided to move towards better horizons. It wasn’t easy to leave behind a lifetime of memories and people who meant the world to me but I figured it would work out anyway if I tried. In the first week I realise my boyfriend was cheating on me and in the second, I lose my dad. And at fifteen, you’re really not sure which hurts more because well, you’re fifteen. And your father is your hero and your first boyfriend is the love of your life (fifteen, yes!). And in the third week, I’m staring straight at a five year old boy who fails to express his loss and a woman who has lost her everything. There you are, not sure what question to really ask God because you don’t know which thought hurts more. Oddly, not a tear was shed until later. Until it sunk in and that this was it. The whole truth and I had to face it.
Yes, the child in me remained and I did stupid things. But in time I learned to take responsibility for my actions. It took me a while to trust again but I did anyway. But most of all, I learned to live for myself. Some friends thought I was cold, some thought I was a loner, some figured me out not to be a people’s person. But it really isn’t easy on someone who loses a happy life to expect a fresh start yet again. What if you lose all that you care about yet again? Sometimes it is a choice but other times you’re cornered into a situation that isn’t too pleasant. You can’t be hard on yourself, so you’re hard on those around you. I push people away more easily than I get close to them. My insecurities overpower my love for them. I prefer being to myself because I’m sure of being safe in my own space. But for how long? I don’t let anyone walk over me because I’ve realised it’s not worth it. One person holds that ability in my life, the one person I can trust with anything.
In the last five years, I’ve learned enough to know where to draw the line. I’ve learned to build a relationship and yet keep a safe distance. And while a few think it is an easy life, it really isn’t. It’s never too easy to forget the past, the kind of past that changes you. You will always relive those memories even if you are over them and you will always feel insecure because that is what cost you your innocence.
Even the happiest faces have rough phases. You’ve got to know how to bring that smile back to your face because no one else will, not for long anyway. You’ve got learn to be able to take care of yourself because no one else will. You’ve got to learn to stand up for yourself because no one else will. No one else will even though they promise to be there. You will have them by your side but it is up to you to rewrite your own story. They’re only catalysts to
It is important to trust again and let people into your life. It is important to learn from your mistakes and even maybe, make new ones and learn again. Fall to your face and then fix it. No one will love you the way you can love yourself. And no one will accept you unless you’re willing to accept yourself.
Back to the present day, I’m twenty, happy and proud of myself. A graduate from one of India’s best institutes and happily employed. I’ve made friends I can trust my life with. I’m close to my family with no interference. I’ve got someone to lean on and to love and who loves me back just the same. I’ve lived it up in my own way and will only continue to do so because it makes me happy. I’ve learned to be social and yes, I’ve got a lot of friends from various walks of life. Friends who are only a call away and make life meaningful on the dullest days. Life is what happens here and now and you have to seize the moment. You have to feel happy and proud. One’s happiness could be due to different reasons. For me it may be reading a good book on a Sunday afternoon or spending a wild night out with my best friends. While sometimes I like silence, there are times I love a good night out. I’ve learnt to lead my life on my own terms with a clean conscience. And so, even if one chooses to judge me for what I seem to be it doesn’t affect me anymore. For one, they don’t know me and secondly, they never really tried. Family, friends, strangers – they’re all the same at the end of the day – all human in nature. And it is only human to judge with such ease, I do too. It hurts when your own draw up a conclusions, not so much when it is a stranger. But in the end, you learn to stand up for what you believe in. Who else will?
You’ve got the palette in your hand with the ability and capacity to create infinite shades of colors, some dark and some bright. Use the never-ending canvas and paint your life. In the end, when you amalgamate your thoughts, choices and your being, you will have a beautiful picture.