“Wake me up when it’s all over, when I am wiser and older.”
To you it may seem the lyrics of an Avicii song but to her they were the holy words she chanted all day. Living felt next to impossible for her. Breathing was all she did; surviving was all she could manage. Morning after morning, sunlight after sunlight she hoped this will be her day. She wanted to live like it was her day, her world, but there is that thin line between reverie and solidity which never ceased to prick into her dream pie. Her efforts were futile; there was no second thought to it. She soon learned that it was not her day, not her month, not her year, maybe not her life. And so she slept everyday wishing for some miracle to occur, toss and turn all the moves in her errand.
When something goes wrong, everything else seems to follow the same track. People have been saying this for ages, but now she was living through it. It seemed like the whole universe was conspiring to go against her. Nothing was right and there was nothing left in left. Although the first day of the year was the best day ever in her life, hence she foresaw it as an omen for a new beginning, a brighter future, but from the place where she is standing now, the future seems dazzled. The life she was living now had compelled her to look from those pessimist lenses which she avoided all her life. The futility of her efforts had made her do so. Stuck on a place where she didn’t belong, keeping high hopes from people who least deserve, suffocating amongst the memories of yesterday and the aspirations of tomorrow, she was soon losing herself. She was letting the emotions play the heavy bet on her, putting her life at stake. Whenever she would walk past people, she noticed that long stretch of curve on their lips which somehow seems to have faded for her. There was only a faint hint of a forceful smile left on her face. That smile which stretches from lips to eyes and awaken all the dull spirits bringing glitter to them, was now lost somewhere in her gloom. There wasn’t any reason left to smile and she wondered why. Like a tsunami came and washed away all her reasons to lead a happy life.
The greater part of her agony came from the fact that the people she knew became what they said they would never be. Everybody took that huge lunge in the sea of change, and she kept waiting for the gems on the shore only to realize that there were none. “We will always be by your side” they said, “we will never let you down” they said. Easier said than done. Because when that appetizing exotic burger tempts you, who cares what promises you made to the bland salad and sprouts. This is why big promises scared her, people say,” I’ll always be here” but are nowhere to be seen when you need them. People don’t seem to realize that forever means a very long time. Always means FOREVER. Now she sits in the corner, singing herself to sleep, wrapped around with promises that no one seems to keep. Whenever she would try to pour her heart to someone they would say, “But you seemed fine?”
Ah! There is that word, ‘seemed’. Yes, she may have “seemed” fine, and yes there might have been a smile on her face at each passing day, or a hello on the streets, but she could guarantee you with every inch of flesh in her being that there was nothing “fine” about her. Seemed is a tricky word you see, because things are not always exactly what they “seemed” to be. It took a huge amount of courage for her to admit that she was broken, that she too needs to be fixed. Beneath the smiles and the glee, were scars, huge scars, each screaming aloud, but everyone fails to listen. How true it is, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold inside you.” Each scar had its own story to tell, be it the loss of a dear one, failure in exams, losing a battle or discontent from oneself, yet not a single soul could empathize with her. Lost in the ocean of emotions, she found herself drowning. If only someone would lend her a hand, she could be saved.
However, she knew how to fight battles alone; she did it in the past too. She was brave enough to be her own savior. She just had to break free from the manacles that imprisoned her. The challenge did not lie in freeing herself from those shackles, rather in knowing which ones to break and which ones to keep, to find the demon that she feeds. The real demon lies within us, who is stopping us from reaching the skies, and once we stop paying heed to their wishes they will be left with no choice else than leave. Her demon was her own misery, her vulnerability, her melancholy that never dies away. The reason for her suffering was that she couldn’t admit that she was lost. Stuck between wrong paths and right dreams, she couldn’t find her way back home. It took her too long to realize that it was okay to be lost once in a while. It doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever but it doesn’t mean that you have to neglect it either. The weird sense of aloofness that she experienced was hard to contemplate and even harder to fight back. But she did it gallantly. After all, it was her life and she was in charge of it.
Every wound teaches us to survive in this malevolent world. Maybe this is the reason why we get attached to people through cords and strings, so that when we get to a point where we feel we don’t belong with them anymore, we can just pull off the cord and cut the strings. Save us from the horror of heartbreak and tear. There is always a right a place and a right time for each one of us, we just have to keep moving in pursuit of it. No one needs to stay where they don’t belong. There is no need to wait for the train that will never arrive; if the train forgot to take you along, it was never meant for you. If you were left alone at shore with no gems at all, that sea wasn’t for you. The people who leave us were never meant to take the ride with us. The exams that we fail make paths for something that seemed obscure initially. When we feel betrayed after trusting someone, it prepares us to save our trust for ourselves, to forgive ourselves for not having the foresight to see what now seems so obvious in the hindsight, to restore the faith in us.
Her battle with the self had come to an end; all the rhyme and reasons started making sense to her again. And now that the demon was slain, she could once again be her normal self. A blissful smile glided through her face and she moved ahead humming,
“Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating her heart,
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start…
All this time I was finding myself,
And I didn’t know I was lost.”