It’s been a while now, since I have been trying to connect the dots for myself, though it’s only been a few weeks since I have seriously started doing some self reflection. I recently saw this unique stand up comedy by Hannah Gadsby called ‘Nanette’; a powerful one. One of the things she mentions is to tell your story so that you can connect; maybe to someone who can help you, maybe to someone who is going through the same, or it might just make people aware that such a story exists.
I surely don’t have such a powerful story as hers (not that I have to compare), but I feel I need to type it out somewhere so that it gives me a sense of clarity or just reduces the baggage.
My story for me begins with the day I just happened to realise how much I enjoy solitude. It just dawned to me that there is a world outside the conservative home that I was brought up in and there are places and people out there. I also think this seed was sown by my father unknowingly when he used to talk about stories of his friends from different places and the odd jobs he did.
So yes, the age when girls thought of their looks, dreamt about their future, goals and what not, I had just one thought in my mind, I wanted to travel to new places and meet a lot of people. There was no real goal or ambition nor had I thought of a career. To get away, I had to get hold of something that would make sense to the people around me, so I choose this exotic course which no one had ever heard about (at least the people I knew hadn’t heard of it) and off I went to do the course.
Yes, I grew passionate about the course and where it was leading me. Far away from home that I was, I had to jump from one friend’s house to another relative’s home during the few days of holidays. I was living in villages, walking alone on endless empty roads, making friends with tea stall guy.Without consciously trying I had started living what I had imagined for more than a year; I was going places and meeting people. I was in a different kind of high. People who have often traveled talk about this feeling; the feeling the out-of-the-comfort-zone experience, going with the flow and all that. So yes, I did all that, I didn’t merely travel, I stayed, I lived in places and moved almost each year and would go home in between jobs.
Most of the time I was day dreaming and being content but also with a slight nagging feeling of wanting someone with whom I can share this. The feeling was not of wanting a partner (or maybe it was) but it was about wanting a place I belong, wanting my family (even if not always). There was a struggle between the two worlds; a world where I was a friend at a stranger’s place and a world where I was a stranger at my own home.
People who knew me from before were probably confused of the path I was taking, or they didn’t understand it (I, for sure couldn’t explain it). Gradually I was referred to as being weird / different / bold / courageous / loner depending on what the situation called for and my feeling towards it also depended on how I felt. Most times, I felt proud and cool about myself, but there were other times when I longed to be simple and uncomplicated for others (at least for the people I really cared about).
Soon, the balance between these feelings was gone, and I was stuck with the thought that I wasn’t simple and normal enough for people. I was too ‘crazy’. I think it was then that my crazy slowly but steadily went into hibernation for a long period.
In between, I have continued to juggle with experiences, shifted cities, found a place to belong, people to share my stories with and yet there is this hollow feeling inside. I think it is mostly a feeling of doubt and fear. Will the people around me accept my crazy? Will I be able to balance it this time? Will I handle the lessons I am going to learn better than before?
Recently I went to a nearby park with my husband who is a partially obsessed runner. While he went behind his obsession, I put my earphones and the new favourite song on loop and went for a slow walk around the lake. I sat down on the bench to look at the cloudy day, the trees and the birds. I decided to climb up the small hillock and just sit by myself watching pigeons fly (an old habit), watching an old man meditate and still listening to the same song.
I felt my crazy is waking up… slowly but steadily. It is.