Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Have I really grown up?

As I sit here in a new environment, learning new techniques, talking to new people, feeling quite by myself, a cloud of thought submerges me into the ground. I am restless from within, but this feeling isn't new. It is, on the contrary, far too familiar. And hence frustrating. I have faced this feeling too many times, and had thought I had grown out of it, learnt from my lessons. For a long time this cloud didn't visit me, and I thought I have finally outgrown it, finally shielded myself from the world's insensitivity. But the sad part is, I know deep within that the world isn't so bad. Its always me, the sensitive one. The one who cares too much about other people, and then gets hurt. The reason I get hurt is because I always end up expecting an acknowledgement of what I did for you. And that's because I always do that, make it a point to reciprocate and prioritize that. Is there no one else like that in the world? There are people who seem to be like that for a while and suddenly change, leaving you surprised. Ive tried to be attached and not expect in return, but failed each time. I thought I had learnt it the hard way though, thought I had managed to curb my natural instinct of getting attached, getting excited and expecting the others to feel the same. And for a while I know I had nailed it - I had not experienced this restless frustrated feeling for a long time in the not so distant past. At times I missed being me though, I missed being the fierce friend that used to be, missed being the person who would do anything for my friend. Because that is what gave me real happiness. It came with a price each time however, and so I slowly adopted the defensive front. And it was hard. But it was perhaps better than getting hurt? I wasn't sure, until again, recently, I was reminded that it definitely is better than getting hurt. Again I had let my guard down, got excited, felt passionate, went out of the way for some people and started giving without thinking. This time, I decided I am not going to think twice, I am just going to do what I feel like, show my love and not be inhibited by worldly masks like formality. But, this feeling was too good to last. Within a week it all came crashing down. I felt unwanted, felt used and felt unreciprocated. And to hell with being logical and sensible and blah and blah. I felt all these things in flesh and blood, so there has to be a reason for it, isn't there? People come find you when they need you, when they have nothing else to do, and you let your guard down and go all out for them. But again and again, every time, when its their turn to reciprocate, to build the relation, their priorities go elsewhere. Everyone goes their own way, does their own thing, but Im the one always trying to include others, make them feel involved, make them feel at home in a home away from home. But the whole point is, this is not something new, its far too established. I have been taught this lesson a million times, feeling equally hurt each time. Then why the hell do I let it happen again? Why do I give some people so much importance? Why do I end up feeling an affection for someone and act upon it? Why am I this way? Can I NEVER learn? Do people never grow out of these things? Have I really even the slightest bit and will I ever really, in this sense, grow up?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Me time...

I am sitting here in the corner-most table of this building, all alone with my laptop, phone and a box of chhole! As I sat eating the chhole, I realized its been so long that I just sat doing nothing while eating. In fact its been ages I sat all by myself and reflected on everything thats happened in the past one year. As I did, I immediately remembered my blog, my space, which I had neglected all this while. I logged in, and the first thing I see was a new post from a dear old friend, also after ages. She was the one who had introduced me to blogging, so her blog is sort of like the benchmark for me. Seeing her make a come back at around the same time as me sort of felt like a signal, a sign. Reading her posts again made me feel assured that even if we haven't been in touch of late, a bond exists :) As I sit here writing, I tell myself, I should be working on my presentation due on Monday. But naah, that can wait. This is Me time, after soooooo long, and I wanna make the most out of it! Let's see, what all happened after I nearly died last year - 1. I found the truest form of love possible in my best friend 2. I recovered from my illness and made it to Diwali night, even as just a contributor (Next year Im participating. Wait up, Diwali night stage!!) 3. Our parents met and spoke, and we fixed our wedding dates :):) 4. We formed a music group on campus, something that's been taking off quite well 5. I got some data in lab enough to get me start thinking of a publication 6. We started a dance group (my dream!!!!!). Although right now the dynamics aren't quite what I had envisioned them to be, but I guess thats usually how anything new starts. 7. And, oh, and, with a sudden turn of events, Im getting engaged, suddenly, in 3 weeks time, at no other place but home with my family and closest of friends!!! Wow! Life....happens! I guess the biggest thing that I have realized during all this is that I don't want to live in this country. As I see my friends change to the tune of this place, it saddens me, it makes me feel out of place. No one's wrong here, but its a strong indication that my roots lie in my country. I cannot let go of a lot of things to blend in this place. And Im not sad about it. A friend rightly pointed out recently - 'at home if you meet someone who's mean to you, you establish he/she is mean. but here, you also wonder if they are racist'. I remember my father's reply to when I had asked him why he returned to his country, 28 years ago, with me as a new born. He had said ' I didn't want to live like a second class citizen'. I used to have life in me, I used to be a crazy person on the streets, my friends used to say that one day of my absence would make the classroom seem dull. I've realized, I haven't grown out of it, I've grown away from it. My heart and soul still reside very much in my country. I don't appreciate racist jokes, especially made by our own people, I don't appreciate people having to change the way they speak to fit in here. And most of all, I don't appreciate the small talk that is quite the norm here for any get-together. I'm done smiling about the weather, or having a debatable discussion on how awesome someone's new bike is, or hearing gossips about people claiming to be friends. What's the definition of friendship here? Frankness is not appreciated, and more than that, being considerate or forgiving is taken as a weakness. Anyway, I know Im sore, I know its not the country, or the people. But its definitely not me in here. There is something, about the norm, that hits me, each time. And even though I have changed in the past 4 years, this aspect of me hasn't. In fact its just grown stronger. Refer back to my 2009 post, Identity crisis, and its all the same. I miss having meaningful conversations with people. After a long time, I felt like I got some Me time, but why is that? Its because, without realizing, I am having to be someone I am not, literally everywhere - at work, with friends. Yes I have nothing to complain about when I have found my soulmate. But, one needs a life around them where they are happy. One needs people who lift you up. And not those who are always trying to compete or are just plain fake. Yes, its not the place, its me. I want to go back to where I belong, walk the streets without feeling an alien, know that I don't have to pretend to like rock climbing or marathons to be able to make conversation, have people raise an eye when I tell them I sing and dance, be my hospitable self and invite everyone home without thinking I need to preserve myself and act individualistic. But I don't know when that will happen. In fact, the bigger question is, if and when I go back, will I be able to deal with the reverse cultural shock? As for now, as I eat my chocolate ice cream, Im content with the little Me time I got today :)

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