“Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms to what we think we remember.”
Coming back to writing was the only logical way I knew I would be able to survive. Whole worlds have come apart, time has ceased to make sense and yet here I am, once again finding myself in that utter despair one experiences after a relationship ends. What do I have to mourn? A future that has been robbed from all of us? Is my sadness justified amidst this upheaval of the very core of our lives? I don’t have the answers anymore.
Many years ago, in a different time and place I would’ve chosen love. Love over everything. Love over common sense and any worldly certainties. I would’ve moved metaphorical mountains and bruised my physical self in the process as long as my heart was safe. I knew that if I was going to make it, I needed to be loved. Loved yes, but how?
I’ve been writing deeply in my journal because I was afraid to share anything on this blog that was this personal. Then I think back to some of the truths that I have spoken about on here and how warmly they were received and my argument falls short.
At my first therapy session, I was asked, “Where do you want to start?” and I cried for the next 45 minutes in front of a complete stranger. Rest assured, this has been a tender few months and if not for the little things, if not for the fact that the sun still rises and that my cat is safe and that I have a small home that is my sanctuary, I don’t know if I’d be able to make it.
It’s about time that I tackle the question many people that have given this blog some kind of appreciation and attention have been wondering. It’s been a year of big changes and one thing that has stood out to me is that I am no longer writing. No longer writing the way I used to. Things are not being broken down and understood by means of me sitting down and writing them out. Something has changed and I want to explain myself – as best as I can – through writing.
I am no longer writing because I am unable to do so. The act of taking that voice in my head and writing it out is not something I am feeling inclined to do any more. Can it be that this is where it ends for me? When I’m older and browsing through a library and chance upon a novel that I could’ve written – will it make me feel like it was beyond my ability? Like I was only a lost cause when it came to the written word. I don’t know.
All I know is that writing is not capable of paying my rent. That writing is not a means to the end. That I chose to be where I am and I chose what I wanted to do with my day and I knowingly left writing out of it. But all that being said, I cannot stress enough that I am happy. As happy as I’ve ever known myself to be. I’m accepting now – I am no longer deeply unsatisfied with my surroundings, my circumstances, my shortcomings. I am accepting. I know love like I’ve never known before. I have the feeling of belonging to a group of people that don’t care about how trying I was when I was a child. I am alive in this moment and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
This also brings me to something that I’ve recently been struggling with. Something that I may change my mind about later but for now feels stubbornly true – I am not meant to be a writer. I thought I knew it in the bones of my being that writing was what kept me going and that writing would save me and maybe someday give me a pretty roof on my head, a fireplace and maybe even a decent amount of money. What I didn’t see coming was that writing would become a labour of love to a point where I just couldn’t even bring myself to think of it any more.
The part about this change that is still tough on me is that the writing voice in my head is now extremely faint, a terribly quiet whisper and this is simply not cathartic.
This blog still has a steady number of views and visitors flowing in daily and that astounds me. Why is anyone reading something I wrote years ago that doesn’t even come close to how I feel now or who I am now? I read some of the posts on this blog and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to write like that again. Have I betrayed myself by choosing to let go of something I was so passionate about back when I had nothing else in my life?
The changes to my lifestyle are for the better, I tell myself. The short hair, the polished heels and the potential to grow my savings are everything I need to feel fulfilled. Writing never eased the nightmares about where the money would come from.
I have hundred posts on this blog now (not including this one I’m writing – because it may just end up in my drafts like the rest.) That is something, right? A reminder that I grounded myself on Sloppy Etymology for a considerable period of time.
Even now, I believe I have failed to explain what I set out to. My thoughts are scattered and the exercise of reaching out and grabbing them and forcing them down onto paper is too tiresome. If it’s any consolation, everyday I’m doing the second best thing I can do when I can’t write. I’m reading.
In the last couple of months, every post that I’ve written on this blog has started with an apology as to why I haven’t been writing. A sort of consolation to no one but myself that if I can give a valid reason, I can escape from the fact that writing is no longer the main focus of my life, that I don’t live through words any more and that my time is not mine to spare.
Already this post is weighing down on me. I don’t check my stats anymore. I don’t log in to read other bloggers’ posts. I just…don’t.
If there’s a valid explanation as to why this has happened, I will find out as I write. Maybe some things never change – I still need to write to understand, to draw semblance and to make sense.
May was the month of new beginnings. I can see in retrospect that a lot happened in May and I just coasted through it all. I didn’t stop to appreciate or be grateful. I was glad to have a routine. I started my first real job and got an office and a phone and a name plate. But then I needed more because I wasn’t satisfied.
June brought with it a whole new change and my beloved’s presence every day when I woke up. This domestic bliss came with a new wind and evened the odds in my life. I begin to thrive on my time at home with my person but I hated everything else I was expected to do outside of that. I found myself drowning under expectations of a job that back then I could see no way of getting better at. For the first time in my life, I felt like I took on something that I was going to fail at miserably and there was nothing I could do to succeed. Tears were spilled almost every other day. Arguments spewed because I couldn’t accept that I made the wrong choice after being forewarned. The only part of June that made me feel any sense of self worth was that I was making money now and I could afford things.
Come July I started doing what I do best when things don’t go my way, I run. I explored other avenues and tried to destroy every thing that I had built in the last couple of months. I decided to throw away things that were in my lap, that I had committed to, in order to find a workplace that didn’t drive me raven mad. July was a month of absolute indecision. I tried writing in July but abandoned it because nothing was close to normal and I had no time to reflect.
Fall came around and there seemed to be hope. I reached a point of comfort at my job that I didn’t think was attainable. The feeling of composure with my surroundings set in. I felt like I was going to be okay. Right around this time, my world began settling into a routine that try as I could I couldn’t shake. There was no way to sit down write. I watched a Drake Doremus movie I waited so long for, just so it would move me to write. I started and stopped. The resistance was too strong.
With September, came responsibility. It dawned on me that I am where I am and this is the best I could do with what I was given. September brought with it a sweeping calm that I needed. I could sleep at night. I could wake up and face the day. Things started to look up in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I was…happy. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that happiness does not stir me to write. I even stopped making feeble attempts to write. Nothing mattered, I was happy and I needed it to last.
That feeling of contentment carried forward into October. Nothing special happened in October – and that’s how I like it. My person and I began to follow a pattern that made a lot of sense. Our time together was now limited and therefore precious. We could discuss our days, bounce ideas off of each other, make dinner and relax. This was exactly how I envisioned our life. I couldn’t ask for more. A spell was cast on us and I couldn’t dare to break it. I also made my first big purchase in October and for the life of me I couldn’t justify it even though if you knew what it was you would say it was absolutely justified. I hate spending money.
November was a big highlight of this year. I traced my way back to my roots. While it was overwhelming and a tad bit nerve wracking at the same time, it was much needed. I have two lives and I have to make every effort to keep them parallel to each other. I realized that people love you regardless of how far you are from them or how little you’ve given to them in return or how feeble an attempt you’ve made to keep in contact. I was touched. It broke my heart to leave. I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting any of those emotions at all. It took me a while to come back even though I was already here.
My favourite time of the year has rolled around and here I am, snuggled in an over-sized sweater, with my cup of coffee and snow that has half covered my windows. I hear the clock ticking and I must be on my way soon. I woke up today feeling like I did when the urge to write would make me drop everything else I had on hand. I forgot how I loved that feeling. December is keeping me on my toes – in a good way. We have a tree and our first ornament and I don’t know how life together gets any better than this. I really don’t.
The year is coming to an end and I have things to say.
It’s not fair that any kind of real life advancements that I may have come at the expense of my blog. I would like to change that in the coming year because time and again I’ve valued how much of a catharsis this has been right here. Always.
I miss people more than I thought I would and what hurts is that I know not when I can see them again. I am constantly seeing through the new people I meet. They’re all the same. I’ve always met them before. I don’t think I’m an introvert but the lack of interesting people around me forces me to retreat and find comfort in my thoughts.
The year is ending and I’m coming full circle. Last year at this time I was on a very different high. I was getting Freshly Pressed and attention on this blog was at an all-time high. I was moving to a country I dreamed about living in every single day for the last two years. I was swept into a life I knew I wanted and everything about my existence up to this point paled in comparison.
I got everything I desired and it wasn’t enough for me.
I spent a big part of this year realizing that my inherent reluctance towards embracing happiness in the little ways it knocks at my door is not something I can do away with. It’ll go with me like an anchor around my foot. I know not under which ocean does the key to it lie and to be honest I’m not going to dive in order to find it. Especially because I don’t know how to swim.
It’s December and I like this month and there’s snow on my blog and there are shimmery lights in the populated parts of the city I live in and I am here and I feel loved.
The year is coming to a close and I’m feeling like a soft blanket has been wrapped around me and I’m safe and ready for the year to come.
“You know what I’d like to be? I mean if I had my goddam choice?”
-J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in The Rye
I’m taking a moment out today to talk to myself and remember just how good it feels when the words on the screen appearing in short bursts and sometimes delayed clicks are mine and they’re speaking to me in my own goddam voice. It’s been a good weekend. It’s been a good two weeks, except for that one day. There’s always that one day. Lately, I’ve kept it in check and I daresay I’m probably going to reduce the recurring nature of those thoughts pretty soon.
I experienced the season of fall and it is everything they said it’d be. They? The government, of course. (The God of Small Things reference, anyone?) Life does start all over again when it gets crisp in fall. For me, it feels like coming full circle and realizing that I’m still me, I’m still happy and a year later exactly where I want to be. Substantial things are falling into my lap and I’m grateful, as grateful as I can be. Almost a year later, I see some sort of a goal I can work towards, the means to guide me there and an inherent sense of confidence that I will be able to, hell I was made to do it.
I spoke about my dream life the other day and I expressed what would be my dream job. I think about it more than usual lately. I feel like as much as I hated the idea of “attracting what you think” I am subconsciously doing just that. I have fallen into a mechanical routine. Sometimes two whole days have gone by and I don’t remember how. I don’t sleep very much but thankfully it is out of choice. My goddam choice.
The signal turns green. I cross the street. Sometimes I run. I see Larry in the morning. Larry, who helps kids and sometimes older persons to cross the street. Larry, who always has a smile on his face that I’m beginning to wonder may actually be genuine. On most mornings I see a guy at the bus stop who has the biggest e-cigarette anyone could ever possibly need which also means he blows out the biggest cloud of smoke and I can easily tell which flavour. Most often, candy. I get on the bus and we start moving. I am lucky to have all of these experiences and be so aware of them.
After all this time, I’m coming around to being me.
My tiny reader audience, it’s a special day for me today. I find my words in hard copy print at The Reverie Journal’s very first magazine. I understand there’s no need for you to rush and purchase it, but there is a free kindle copy available as well (for a limited time). In the meanwhile, I will bask in the happiness that comes from my little successes.
Here’s the link: http://thereveriejournal.com/2015/10/09/launch-day/
“For the few little outward successes that I may seem to have, there are acres of misgivings and self-doubt.”
I recently finished reading The Bell Jar – the iconic book by Sylvia Plath and as late as I might be to join the bandwagon, I will say, the timing for me couldn’t be any better.
For someone who hasn’t read the book, what I’m about to say, the analogies I’m about to draw might seem confusing and gibberish. I apologize. But make of it what you will, the subdued sense of having a bell jar around you is not something you can ignore and have it pop up out of nowhere. It’s been there all along and if that’s the case, this will all make a lot of sense to you.
I’ll start off by saying that The Bell Jar is often termed as a book people read when they are depressed. It is a book people turn to because they need to be understood and realize that their sadness is normal and someone else gets it. I believe it can also be a book that reaches out through a portal and pulls you into a mind that is so clearly on the decline. An honest, interesting, insightful, brilliant mind that is gradually learning that all is not what it looks like and is questioning the authenticity of everything around it. Up until the first few chapters I tried my hardest to separate the protagonist from myself. I tried not to let this book be a recap of the couple of years in my life that I do such a good job of blocking out. The harder I tried, the more Sylvia Plath prodded and probed and let open the floodgates of my repressed memories.
Although the book plays around with many plot points right from virginity, obscure desires, a neurotic personality and the importance of pretence I couldn’t concentrate on any of them the way I did on the protagonist’s descend into depression. In my few brave moments or maybe I should call them weak moments when I lifted the curtain and peeped into the incidents, the signs, the very beginning of the mark of my downfall I realized that the more I kept these memories tucked away the easier it was to forget how it all started in the first place. Sylvia Plath brought it all back in glittering detail.
The protagonist’s inability to write or read felt like a punch in my gut. Her lack of desire to continue living and thinking so easily that life is something she didn’t want any more felt like a deep stab in my sternum. What made it so damn familiar to me was the effortlessness with which she sank…and sank.
And then got better. Or not?
“But I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure at all. How did I know that someday – at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere – the bell jar, with its stifling distortions wouldn’t descend again?”
And then those lines right there were what pushed me over to the point that I just had to sit down and write this. To say it out loud that I wasn’t sure either. That when I made the biggest decision of my life and thought, well from here on forward my bell jar will not be able to lay a finger on me, I was lying to myself through my teeth. When I took a picture of my face before leaving and shared it with a caption “Infinite Joy” I was only just hoping against hopes that it had gone away. But I was wrong.
Dark rooms and an odd plastic smell. The inability to move my limbs. The hollow, terribly hollow feeling in my legs. A sinking, drowning, half-there-not-there feeling. Numbness. And that’s what my bell jar looks like. There are good days and I forget altogether of its existence and just like that, bang, when my bell jar chooses to make its presence felt it latches onto my body and stays for as long as it pleases. Nothing I do makes it go away. Some days I fall asleep in it and when I wake up it feels like it was a nightmare. I only wish it was.
“They seemed to be in New York as I was, on some indefinitely extended leave from wherever they belonged, disciplined to consider the future, temporary exiles who always knew when the flights left for New Orleans or Memphis or Richmond or, in my case, California. Someone who lives with a plane schedule in the drawer lives on a slightly different calendar. Christmas, for example, was a difficult season. Other people could take it in stride, going to Stowe or going abroad or going for the day to their mothers’ places in Connecticut; those of us who believed that we lived somewhere else would spend it making and canceling airline reservations, waiting for weatherbound flights as if for the last plane out of Lisbon in 1940, and finally comforting one another, those of us who were left, with oranges and mementos and smoked-oyster stuffings of childhood, gathering close, colonials in a far country.”
-Joan Didion, Goodbye To All That
This is the first time I’m quoting from my favourite essay by Didion. I tried my hardest to not do that here because I was afraid that this essay says a bit too much about my life right now. It explains in torturous detail what I’m thinking but not quite ready to say out loud. But that’s the funny part, I read it almost everyday. I read it while huddled in a corner of my room, trying to make sense, trying to find something in between the lines that may have slipped past me the first time, the third time, the hundred and seventy fifth time.
I think, often, about how I could be anywhere but here. And then I see that Didion thought that, too. It’s oddly comforting.
Right now, I should be doing something else. I’m actually supposed to be doing something else. I have in front of me, more than eighty-five printed papers to be memorized, a pen cum highlighter that never fails to stain my fingernails, a packet of spicy, minty potato snacks that expired last month but I keep around because I like how it smells.
At nights, I huddle up under two blankets even when it’s awfully warm. I don’t eat very much but that’s only because nothing has changed. Guilt is overpowering and dulls the senses – in my case, taste. I get asked often by people who want to know if I’m doing okay whether I have any friends. And that’s a trick question, I believe. I never cared much about friendships anyway. For me, a friend was always someone who knew, understood, told me they cared then carefully stepped back. God knows I have loved those friends more than I thought I could. I have three separate blogs written in my head and I revise them everyday while I’m on the bus. Time will come when I can be writing and submitting again as I was at this time last year. Much has changed. Yet nothing really has. I’m doing what I need to do and on some days, I’m even perfectly happy with it all.
Found a rant in my drafts. Thought it would be appropriate since my blog’s been a little quiet lately.
I call myself a writer. But in privacy. I call myself a writer but I am afraid to say it out loud. I want to give an elaborate explanation to the world that the act of arranging words into sentences – often ambiguous, seldom meaningful – is a craft. I am a writer and saying that should be simple. It’s not something I get paid for. It’s not something I’m forced to do. It’s not a full time job. It’s not a part of some religion. It’s nothing but who I am. I write, therefore I am, right?
I find that all of my writing is ingrained in a deep sense of grief, inexplicable and a continuous sorrowful feeling, tragedy and insurmountable sadness. I don’t know how to be any other way. Having had my share of depression, having had my troubles with leaving my room for days, having had all of those things you don’t talk about once they’re in the past. I still feel like sorrow lingers long after the reasons for it are reconciled with. It lurks in the corners of the smile you fake when you get asked if you’re doing okay on a completely disorienting day. It scrambles and settles inside the pockets of a jacket you wore too much but couldn’t get rid of. It reappears in the late hours of a party when you’re too tired to keep up with people and all you wish for is to leave, to have simply not been there to begin with. But that’s something for everyone every once in a while and that doesn’t make me a writer.
The stories I love most and even the books I cherish to an obsessive level are all rooted in layers of tragedy and loss. I feel like grief is so goddamn beautiful and to find words fit to describe it is an art that few possess. But for some reason, every person between 20-35 years of age in the 21st century who has access to a keyboard and knows how to type is a writer. Being a writer is the simplest thing in the world from what I’m seeing. Nothing says it better than the words “Writer” in your Instagram bio. Followed by a link to your Tumblr. Tell me it gets any easier than that and I will cry.
So I shy away from the part where I ought to be describing myself as a writer because maybe I’m not. Maybe I have urges to pen down stuff and maybe it’s my safe place and maybe as Didion once wrote that I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking about and what I fear. I battle these thoughts and I feel that self-esteem as a writer is more difficult to attain than I hoped. I envy the people who confidently dish out the part where they freelance and are able to pay monthly rent for luxurious apartments and buy extra-large coffees with bagels and other side dishes every morning. I never question my writing. But I often question the label and what it entails. I don’t know how to separate one from the other. Is there a point where you suddenly go from not being a writer to being one? For the life of me, ever since I started reading I’ve wanted to write. Ever since I realized I could write sentences I wanted longer sentences and perfect sentences and I wanted many of them, lined up one after the other. Because when I sit down to write and when I talk about my blog with someone, it’s just so much easier saying I am my writing and honestly I couldn’t elaborate even if I wanted about there being any distinction between the two.
Last night I cried quietly over the phone as many things came to my mind. I was crying out of joy. I was crying for the person I was and who I became and the tortuous road that lay in between. I believed that there’s only so much joy another person can bring to you and then you’re left to make do for the remaining part yourself. I was wrong.
A very safely nurtured dream came true a few days back. I saw my words being approached by complete strangers and being respected and praised immensely. I realized that the very nature of my writing that day – different from what it usually is – was still my writing and it made it to the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress. For people like me, this means everything and yet it stings just a tiny bit.
What followed in the coming few days was overwhelming, exhausting and so incredibly amazing; I guess there’s no way to entirely explain what I felt in words. Especially not in words. My views climbed and soared. My followers and like counts peaked. My phone was blown up with the incessant notifications and still goes off suddenly on a vibrating trip. But that’s not even the important part.
I received the kind of love writers can only dream about. More people than I can count told me how my writing reached to them. Some offered solace, some gave me their compassion, others promised to read, while the rest simply and honestly said thank you. There were few who said that I got into their minds and wrote their story. Which has to be what shocked me the most. I hurt all over wondering about these people I don’t know but their pain that I know all too well. It restored in me the faith that we’re never truly alone in the way we feel and think. Our experiences might be our own but there are people out there who have crossed those bridges at some point, faced the same demons and come out stronger. It’s a very big revelation to absorb when you spend most of your time cooped up in your worries and your tiny little life comprising of three or four important people. It’s an even harder blow to take when you have never been able to share your humiliating stories for fear of thinking it made you look bad.
One more reason I feel like I have to write this is because in retrospect if I had known this was the blog that was going to make the mark I would not have written some parts of it so harshly. The part about my mother. No, I wouldn’t challenge my integrity and change the facts. But I would’ve selectively imprinted on my readers a somewhat milder version of the pain I felt. The part about my mother. What part is it exactly? The part where I say how she hurt me? The part where I tell you that she only did what she thought was right? Or the part where I don’t talk about her?
Isn’t all of it in some indescribable way all her? Am I not, in the most inescapable reason simply because of her. Tied to her.
People wrote to me and said they couldn’t fathom what kind of mother does that to her child. They expressed their anger and confusion and tried to mimic my sense of betrayal, if only to form a kind of kinship with me, maybe to make me feel better, by virtue of their humanity. But I read those comments, I read the ones that said, “What kind of mother…” and I lost my cool. I couldn’t control the rage I felt on the inside at hearing someone else question my mother. I’m sorry but that is an inherent right that only I can wield.
Last night, I cried because I heard the most beautiful words spoken and they were all for me. There are elegies of love and then there are confessions. There is poetry and wit, letters of love and actions of compassion and infinite mediums of explaining what a person makes you feel and what you feel for them. The rainbows, the sunlight, the kisses sent via snail mail, the memories of the places you’ve seen together, the songs that are always about your lover. Does anything ever not speak directly to you when you’re in love? The unwavering respect that someone can give you for what you do is the most enchanting kind of confession there is. I cried because for the first time in my life, I didn’t have to wonder what it was like to feel complete. I was, in that moment, by all means…infinite.
So I’ve come to understand many things with this whole writing and going viral business. I read on a blog somewhere that you can be really good at what you do but writing is lately like high school and that it’s about who can shout the loudest. Not about who can write the best. I did that shouting into the Internet void and hoping to hit a gold mine thing. I did hit a few good shots and got published in lesser known places but it was not enough for me. I can’t self promote unless it’s absolutely essential. So I waited patiently for WordPress to come through for me, knowing that the odds were way too many. I think this happened to me at such a promising and beautiful time in my life and that instead of it being the sole reason for my joy – as I had initially hoped – it only adds to the pre-existing happiness in my life.
I believe that posts like this, are not going to be too frequent here. They take something out of me and I can only put so much of my life up on public display. I am afraid that one day I will have exhausted all of my personal experiences and that will be the end of it. I was bothered before because hardly anyone was reading my blog, now I’m on the opposite side and I’m still troubled. I patiently spoke to everyone who left their precious comments on my blog because you only get to bask in the sun so much and also because while it’s shining you mustn’t forget to make hay. I said to them that readers like them make everything possible. And it’s true.
Last night, I cried because this is my life now and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Sometimes you wish for something so hard and then it actually comes true. Has that happened to you? Against countless odds and still, your wish actually came true. Does it count as being lucky or should you be careful about hitching your hopes up too high? I’ve been thinking these thoughts for a while now. I’ve been thinking so much about it and I’ve also been trying not to think at all.
So much has happened since the last time I was here, blogger friends. So. Much. Where do I start from and how do I explain any of this? I am not sure. But I want to take it one step at a time. Keep my emotions in check. Make sure I’m not borrowing more happiness than I deserve to have in my share.
I can’t write like I used to. I’m putting that out there so you can decide whether to read further. This will be another of those journal style entries and while I could’ve just used my diary I cannot risk anyone laying their hands on these thoughts, again. I can, however, trust people I’ve never met. It’s something I do effortlessly.
I remember reaching a point in my life where I kept telling myself that if a particular thing was possible, I would do this and if this particular thing happened then I could do that and the conditions and clauses were infinite. I remember that life had become monotonous only running on that little proverbial speck of light at the far end of the dark tunnel. An endless pile of possibilities while I sunk down deeper and deeper and pretended I was fine – hopeful even. I did everything that was asked of me and I remember all too well – even though I wished I didn’t – what I received in return.
But now it’s time to forget everything I remember.
Maybe someday when I want to go back and experience pain and disappointment and need to write something of the sort I can resurface those memories. Maybe someday they’ll actually be useful.
But not now. Not when I’m this happy. Not when I’m finally getting everything I’ve wanted for so long.
I was on the phone with a friend the other day and I told him, “Everything worked out. This is really happening.”
He replied, “I’m actually happy for you.”
I said, “…okay, thank you?”, not sure about the tone in his voice.
He clarified, “I’m never really happy for anyone but I mean it, I’m happy for you.”
And I said to him, and to myself, really, “Everything is perfect except my writing. I can’t write.” I took a pause and added, “Though I’ve been reading a lot.”
He and I discussed it a bit more but I couldn’t make sense of it and changed the topic soon enough.
I think about writing a lot. More than I actually write I spend hours on end thinking about it. The words float around in my mind and it’s my personal heaven right there. Writing was what helped me and writing was what brought me ashore and it was writing that ultimately led me to the best things in my life. It’s hard to bring up anything else to par with it. Yet, I told my friend quickly that I was reading a lot and it wasn’t me trying to backpedal. When I can’t write, I read. Is that supposed to be some sort of consolation to the sad fact that my writing is no good? Does that even come close? I’m not sure if that makes sense. If my reading compensates for the part of my life where I’m unable to write well, is it a much truer love than writing?
Maybe going back to a repressed memory will help me understand.
When I was younger I started reading, collecting and hoarding books while children my age were going out and being social after school hours. Sometimes I remember being asked how I had spent my evening and I realized that the response was the same, every time. With my books. I grew up with words more than I did with people my age. I grew up in different times and different places through the escape provided in the book realm, obviously I felt no need to go anywhere. When I reached an age where subtle romance and other emotional references in books started making sense, I desired to write them down for keeps. I picked up sentences and emotions behind them and started jotting them down as I read them. I wanted to come back to these words and inspect them when the time was right and when I felt the way the characters in the books did. I knew better to keep these notes and pages concealed because my mother would not have been pleased to find them. The reasons for which are so fragile, so complicated and difficult to make anyone understand especially if they haven’t met her. However, soon enough she found the pages.
The scribbles of words and expressions of emotions so much more mature and deep than she expected I was reading. I remember sitting frozen as she put on her glasses and read each and every thing and glanced up at me once with an expression that guaranteed me that I was in a lot of trouble. Who would’ve thought reading and wanting to preserve what you read would be such a heinous crime? I couldn’t think that way then. As far as I knew, I was so scared at what would happen next I couldn’t move a muscle, afraid that I’d wet myself. (I had poor bladder control when I was younger.) While she read through all of them, handling the pages with no care whatsoever, I knew something inside me broke. It was over. Years later I understood reading was my first love. The heartbreak I felt when she stood up, tore the pages into bits and pieces and burned them on the stove will never equal to anything any mortal being has made me feel. In that moment I knew, I didn’t need to copy things other writers wrote. Because my mother would find them and throw them away and probably stop me from reading completely. Which she did, for a while. (Though, I started reading secretly at school again and no one really stopped me there.)
I wasn’t reading anything forbidden but I wonder what my mother thought I was going to do with words. She knew, probably, that words have unprecedented power. I then read books and tried to mark subtle dots in between alphabets and scratches on pages that I wanted to go back to. I then read books and memorized things in my mind because I knew my mother couldn’t get inside my head and tear up my memory. And then suddenly, it came to me that I didn’t have to depend on someone else’s words. I didn’t have to hide and read books when I could one day, write my own.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been so unimaginably happy but I couldn’t come back here to establish that on my blog. I’ve come here in the past and ranted and shared my apprehensions so many times. I’ve even had to leave this place and come back with a different identity and conceal parts of me after that, but I’ve always been around. Is writing about happiness really all that difficult? Why is my writing so afraid of being found out? Am I really never going to be able to write anything good enough and always hide myself behind this anonymity? Was my mother only trying to protect me from eventually realizing my inadequacies, the portent of failures to come? Then again, as Rita Brown rightly put it, “A writer’s life is not designed to reassure your mother.”
A few weeks back I finished Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and my life was put back into perspective. I thought to myself, “I’m glad I can’t write. I’m glad my writing isn’t good enough now because I can appreciate her words so much better. I can see that her sentences are so fluid and so perfect and her thoughts are untainted by the way other people think and express themselves.” I could connect to how Didion felt the pain of being separated from her husband, also a writer. I felt tears of tremendous joy pour down my face when John, her husband, read out a passage of her book for her on her birthday and after closing the book he said, “Goddamn. Don’t ever tell me you can’t write. That’s my birthday present to you.” I reeled over when Didion expressed the fact that it took her a year after John’s sudden death to realize he’s not coming back. I took excerpts of various pages of this book as I read it and sent them to the person I love, also a writer. I was able to explain, in whatever way I needed to satisfy myself, to another person how words move me and how I connect with them. This person has, on several occasions made me realize that my love for words, for books, for book people, for random internet writers is completely sane. He said once, and I quote, “I will champion your literary appetite’s every whim.” To be able to simply share pages with someone of a book I lived vicariously through is a joy I can’t see being compared to anything else and I couldn’t have done it if I was immersed in my writing.
I think that sometimes you spend your entire life searching for people who understand you and then you find someone who does and everyone else in your life suddenly starts falling short to this standard. I explained to my friend that leaving home like this does not affect me because in my heart and mind I had already left this place long back. People ask me if I’m going to miss them and while I know that I will go back and think of them sometimes, I will reminisce and recall fondly moments with them that made me who I am today but I will not be able to imagine going back just for the sake of those things. Home was a place I never fit in fully. Although I was sure that one day I would leave, the difference is I was not sure if I’d have anywhere to come back to. I read somewhere an odd poem of sorts which went along the lines:
How to be unloved
Lose all family,
By chance or by coincidence…
I think about those words now and I wonder if it was chance or coincidence or it was something else entirely. Destiny, maybe? I told my friend that there comes a point in life when for better or for worse a family is finished. I guess finding a safe place in someone’s heart is enough family anyone can need. And finding someone that inspires your writing, someone that respects it and believes in it even when you can’t find the courage to do so, enough love anyone can need.
A few weeks ago I wrote a short fictional piece and found that it was well-received. I was urged by more than one person to go deeper into it and give my characters some background. This may not have been what anyone expected but there’s only so much my brain can produce during everyday 4AM vigils.
It was a frosty winter morning during mid-December and it was difficult not to notice how the hostile chill in the air quite aptly described the condition of my poor, desolate heart. I got out of bed early because I like having a head-start on my daily chores. Sometimes I imagine racing against my life and emerging victorious. But these are only distractions. And I’m trying to keep myself together this morning. It’s only 9 o’ clock and I’m not ready to let my brain wander off into unsafe territories. I’m not ready. Maybe I’m too tired and I should go back to sleep instead of thinking about.. No, I cannot think about it. Think about what? Oh great, here you go.
I have a hazy memory of the first time we met. Since it’s vague I won’t share the details for fear that I’ll misinterpret my own thoughts. For fear that I’ll make up things that weren’t there. Like I’m often known to. But I’ll tell you this, we struck right away not because we had things in common or our personalities jived smoothly with each other, the only string we both held the ends of were mutual distaste and hatred for all the same things.
They say love brings people together. In our case, hatred played that key role. And right then you’d wonder what was love doing in the meanwhile? Well, love waited on the sidelines, like an all too eager menace, waiting to pounce on the weaker one among us. Love and it’s various branching definitions never brought us together, instead they insidiously did us apart.
I knew it all too well that boys who liked boys could just as easily be dead boys. I also knew that although people all over the world professed that coming out of the closet was the best way to go, it’d only do me more harm than good.
Certain countries, certain places within certain countries object to people defiling social norms in a way so demeaning that even if they grant people to come out, as they are, they make sure they pick you up and set you apart. Like the rotten apple in a basket.
What good would it do to me to tell anyone how I functioned on the inside? When you admit to people you’re gay, it’s not as though people can magically look past their insecurities and embrace you for the hardships you’ve faced along the way. I wish it were that simple.
What those success stories about teenage boys accepting their homosexuality don’t tell you is how straight boys start to fear them. Every straight boy you’ve been close to will secretly run a walkthrough in his mind trying to assess if he were one of the milestones on the road to discovery about your homosexuality. What these shallow boys also do is flatter themselves inside their heads but treat you cautiously and with a certain kind of untouchability as though if they shook hands with you, all your pressing, uncontrollable male hormones would be spilled out on a rampage. As though all straight people are deeply in love with every person of the opposite gender they encounter.
The phone rings and I’m caught off guard from my inner monologue. It’s been a year and a half since we last saw each other. The dark gray dashboard of your car and the glove compartment I stared at for the longest time while we spoke about your musical depth are imprinted on my mind with vivid clarity. It’s been a whole year and a half and now I see myself sitting there in the most uncomfortable way possible, as though I had to restrain my shoulders, square them out like my life depended on it. And my hands, I didn’t even know what to do with my hands. I remember constantly shifting them about and never being able to settle on one spot. Finally, I resorted to pressing them against my knees and watched my knuckles turn white. I watch this awkward dance playing out before my eyes as I reach out to reject your call at 9:03 AM. The time of the call matching the moment when I’m thinking about you.
You, on the other hand, were completely relaxed and in absolute control of your body. I envied that but now I realize there was no reason for you to be uncomfortable, anyway. Your heart wasn’t hammering against your chest for reasons you couldn’t understand. You weren’t expecting it to be the last time we’d sit like that. You weren’t feeling the way I did. You were in the driver’s seat and by default, in full control of everything.
I now notice myself noticing you. I watch how I occasionally divert my gaze from the glove compartment and slowly let it settle on the profile of your face. I watch all of this from somewhere above like an invisible floating presence. I don’t remember it like this. I only remember facts. Your blue t-shirt and the way it drooped a bit at the front to reveal your clavicle. I also recall how you half-smiled and smirked at the same time and how ridiculous it made you look. I remember that when you spoke you never made eye contact with me but after you were done you always looked over for my reaction. I was part of that conversation but I was also so much more that day.
I was telling myself that I was leaving after today so that you’d be happy on your own and go out and achieve what you were carved out for. I was convinced that me walking away would ensure you had space and it all seemed noble and pure, even righteous.
A year later I finally saw the truth about myself. Moving away from you was the worst best thing I could have done to myself. I’m still thinking around all these whirlwind of implications minutes after I’ve slid my finger to cancel your call. It’s an involuntary action now and I don’t have to think twice.
You’re a 20-something year old now who is making their mark and slowly climbing scales of success. I stopped interacting with you but I never stopped keeping a tab on you. I had to be sure that even though I left because of my own selfish (at the time, unknown to me) reasons, some good had to come out of it for you. I knew you had it in you and I knew if I hoped and persisted long enough the universe would guide you there. That was how much I would’ve liked to believe in you. To actually put my faith in the very universe we expressed our mutual apathy for.
I also know that you knew all along how I felt about the world and the people that lived inside it. You knew before I knew who I was on the inside and that shames me. I don’t pick up the phone to talk to you anymore because it’s easier to shoulder the hurt and sweet pangs of love when it’s unrequited for independent reasons of the heart and what it does and doesn’t want. But when your love is dictated by societal reasons that give you no right to openly acknowledge your desire without being shamed into guilt, it’s best to observe silence and hope that people like you, people who rattle the very core of my existence don’t stride into my life ever again.
“You’re my Person,” is a line I’ve said to three people in my life and meant it from the core of my being. While I can argue at length with anyone what being someone’s Person actually means I will also admit that it is obviously a borrowed idea from a TV show.
Newsflash: Nothing original about that.
The word ‘Person’ always meant something to me I couldn’t quite elucidate properly. The word in plural meant even more. Persons who knew how to use it in a sentence so as to effectively emphasize that we’re not just talking about Ordinary People always had my salute of respect. Metaphorically. We don’t salute anyone anymore nowadays.
Ultimately my concept of a Person was truly defined by a show and the way it was applied in the lives of fictional beings.
If I could ask for one wish for the betterment of everyday lives, it would be less pop culture influence on our minds and a more individualistic approach to the daily aspects of living. When I won’t be granted that one wish, I would ask for time travel to go back to the ’90s. The beautiful, ephemeral, subtle 1990s. The time when the world was on a precipice of change but not quite there yet. When pop culture was not something our lives depended on, and our face-to-face interactions comprised of inchoate words and sentences that we came up with. On our own. By thinking.
When I woke up this morning and decided to write, I paused and wondered if I was seriously doing this again. Another article to justify I’m different and very clever and a cut above the rest. But the truth is, I am not.
I’m just a nobody like everyone else searching for some kind of semblance and resemblance in a world of fiction and make-believe. I’ve realized that being your own Person is such an uphill task and we’d all rather use fiction to escape than head up that road of discovery about who we truly are.
Does it not terrify you when you meet someone new and you’re not sure if they are actually what they look and talk like? I always am. Because suddenly, we have all become sum totals of the sitcoms we devour every Friday night, the indie movies we binge-watch over the weekends and the young adult novels we bury our noses in. When did ‘you’re not alone’ somehow culminate into ‘let us all be the same’?
Ideas are borrowed from all of these media. Sometimes deliberately. Most of the time, subconsciously. We throw ourselves into these independent realms of escape hoping that we’ll come out new and refined and more knowledgeable, somehow. We come out not with new but simply borrowed, secondhand personalities.
What adds to this visceral way of life, is the kind of boost social media provides to our self-inflated egos. “What Game of Thrones Character are you? Click here to find out.” Why, of course, knowing that I have something in common with an on-screen persona would absolutely make my day. That’s not all. Maybe I should answer the quiz in a way that will ensure I’m most likely to be the Mother of Dragons. Swoon.
Then there are certain other kinds of motivators. “Ask yourself what would XYZ do?” I know more than a handful of naive people who are blind enough to worship these characters to a point that they dictate their every move. What they don’t realize is, that is the reel world. It has a definite ending which, in all likelihood, has already been thought of and anything the characters now do however morally right or wrong is only a step towards a pre-decided conclusion. Applying those things to your life (without considering these factors) is not an indication of how well you think you know and connect with the characters. Trust me, it’s far from that.
Let’s skip over to the part where we decide that reading listicles on Thought Catalog will guide us on how “How To Be A Great Girlfriend”. As ridiculous as it seems, we are all guilty of clicking on these links and mentally ticking check boxes to see how well we’re doing. The kind of validation that is expected in relationships these days simply seems to revolve around the one that social media and movies have imprinted on our minds. Suddenly, everyone’s definition of a perfect romance is a beautiful guy called Augustus Waters telling you that he loves you (in spite of your cancer, and all) and that he knows love is only a shout into the void and we will all be blown away into oblivion eventually. If someone were to profess their love to me like that I’m not sure I would be in a position to believe them. Much less hold myself back from barfing in their face.
I’m not an unhappy person. Nor am I any less of a romantic at heart, it’s just that my idea of love stems from a connection that is original and unique to the two people involved and not a by-product of a fictional story.
When I was younger I always took it upon myself to do things differently. Whether it was a simple assignment, a group effort or even a formal essay. My parents always told me that it was very easy to get swayed by the crowd and lose myself and they took it upon themselves to ingrain that in the very core of my bones. The obstacles you face along the way of being ‘different’ are never-ending. When I reached a stage where I had to adjust my personality to fit in I saw that all the lessons taught to me made no sense. I was very sharp in my mind but weak in my heart. If I did what everyone else did, if I (pretended to) enjoy what they enjoyed, it was actually somewhat of a win-win. On the surface, at least.
When you strive your hardest to be someone you’re not, you will always find yourself unhappy and I stepped out of that disguise soon enough.
While we can all fuel our addictions and interests, what I believe is that moderation is the key. When you step out of the world that is inhabited by the characters you so adore, learn to leave it behind and move on with your life. Realize that just twenty six letters of the English alphabet when arranged and rearranged into words and sentences and the permutations-combinations of writing something original are actually infinite. Maybe you won’t have to complain anymore that all good writing has already been written and done for. That statement in itself should prove how powerful originality can be and the scope of it is unbounded.
All of these facets have the usual pros and cons, two sides to every coin and every other possible adage that you can conjure. You can tell me that the pop culture influence has only brought the world closer, that it is one of the shining victories of globalization and that it unites us when we discover similar interests with another human from another part of the world, it provides fodder for a conversation and is so much better than small talk. But when you’re liked or disliked depending upon the kind of media you’re interested in, when you are basically judged because of the views you uphold about a story that is most often far from reality, when you decide that indulging in a particular activity is for the sole reason of not being left behind, whether globalization or any other heavy term, not being a Person anymore is not a price I’m willing to pay.
I’ve been trying to understand so many things in my life lately. I’ve been cleaning, throwing out, recycling and constantly refreshing my space as if that’s going to give me a new, enriching life. A turnaround of sorts.
I don’t think people even realize change is important and how change alters and refines your perspective. I don’t know if it’s all right to feel a certain way but at least now I’m sure about how I feel. I’m sure that I can actually feel something in the first place.
I’ve been writing and backspacing and I’m mostly never sure about what I intended to say initially. The haphazard and mish-mash of punctuated words, opalescent thoughts trying to look very charming and eloquent, all those qualities that are rare and that the world just has to notice and appreciate. That is not me so I will erase and write what I really feel.
I’ve reached a point where I no longer self-loath. I do not aspire to be what I’m not. I’m just content and loved and that is enough. I’m no longer ambitious or even afraid about the fact that I’m not. I’m still driven by my desire to do a lot of things and be someone good but it’s not the only thing in my world and that’s perfectly okay.
I wish I could make these words spilling out of me look as pretty as the person I love. Or sound like the voice of the person I love. These are things my words can’t do but I always try. I tried when I was heartbroken and sad to provide comfort to others like me. Now that I’m happy, I’m always shy and worried about expressing it. Why should I? Why the constant guilt about being overjoyed? These are the things my summer thoughts are made of. I’m not going out very much but I don’t have to, my mind is already in far-off lands brewing tales and experiencing things which only a strong imagination can conjure and bring to life.
The days are warm and hazy. My air is filled with love. If the weather and my heart were the only things that mattered I would say my life is almost perfect and that I’ve never desired more than that.
I didn’t think that this blog would end up like a diary entry. I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about when I started. I was filling a void in my morning, trying my best to fill that space which belonged to a person, with words. But as you can see, my distractions only last a few paragraphs before I start writing about you again.
“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That’s perhaps my only sin.”
-Joe, Nymphomaniac Vol.1
My story is a complicated one. If you try to trace it back to its roots, you would find that too many Small Occurrences were responsible for the person I became. The Big Things never mattered. They never stirred anything in me and I always found it odd. All my writing is influenced by the Smaller Things which I then expand upon. It’s not all that surprising that my favourite book title reads The God of Small Things.
My writing often feels restricted to the places I’ve seen, the people I’ve experienced and every fictional character that I absorbed. That’s not much, but I improvise. Steal some details from one thought, attribute them to a mixed bag of other feelings, mash them up to make it seem real and unpretentious. It’s what I do in order to write. In order to survive. When it’s appreciated I feel strange but there’s no denying I like it and I will do it again.
Sometimes though I find something that moves me and I must take a step back and decipher what it must mean to be able to write something so original. I can’t quite do that yet and I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. I keep saying that I honestly think the best kind of literature has already been written and there is nothing more we can add to it but then a wonderful book comes along and keeps me strung for so long that I must retract my statement, for a while at least.
We need inspiration and we search for it constantly. Even subconsciously. If you’re trying to write, the first thing you’ll want to do is search for a topic that beckons familiarity. Familiarity in itself is safety. I respect people who can write poetry. Those who can play around with fiction, as well. They are tapping a part of their brain that is brimming with creativity. Not all of us are so gifted and aware.
What I don’t vouch for is people who play by the rules. While writing is said to be an art, why are we so strict and hell bent on following particular unsaid rules? No, I’m not even talking about grammar and syntax. I’m talking about how long a sentence should be. I’m talking about why there’s a twitching of eyebrows when a sentence begins with ‘and’. I mean the part where someone coins their own word which is so unique and undeniably apt for the context in which it is written, yet someone will raise their hand and say, “But that’s not even a dictionary defined word.”
I understand why conforming is important but if you need a shining example of why it’s not, I would suggest you to read books that invent their own language. I would request you to find people who don’t think writing should be studied, who write from their heart and who know how to string the invisible chords present therein. I plead you to not be quick to judge harshly, because although Small Things matter, Small Things can also be overlooked once in a while. I hope that maybe one day you’ll notice that the best books, the best writings, even the best poetry have all broken the rules and created their own universe of writing which we so comfortably inhabit that we never notice the deviations at all.
Originally appeared on Medium.com
Being a Follower is about being submissive. Never forget that.
I will admit it outright, I am the person who secretly craves friendships I will never have. I seek a bond intensely real, requiring no words to elaborate and thereby tarnish the beauty of that camaraderie. With the way my life unfolds it is almost unattainable. I am a person who prefers solitude over companionship. Yet, the longing to be able to share a platonic relationship with another person goes much deeper than I ever let on…
This originally appeared on Medium. Click here to read further.
I feel hopeful. February has ended and memories have been photographed. Many of the things I should’ve been looking forward to in my life are now behind me. Graduation was made a big deal about and I stood under a dark sky, dressed in a way I’m usually not, surrounded by lights and music I don’t like, observing myself and the way I feel. I felt very little emotion but I saw it through. It wasn’t easy.
Recently, someone I have not interacted with very much over the past three years said something to me about my blog. It was an intentional somehow confused yet expressive style of a compliment. She told me that she had to say two things. The first one faded once I heard the next one. She said in the simplest way that she reads my blog and the only words she could muster were, “Oh my god”. Now while there have been people who’ve said more than just that about my writing and flattered me to a very great level I mostly think I don’t deserve, this struck me more than I had anticipated.
People tell you what they like about your words. They say things like your writing inspires me, your words are beautiful and you write tastefully. There is always some kind of restriction, even a compulsion to frame your compliment in the perfect, most acceptable way which I’ve never quite understood. When I see something I like, I’ll say the very first thing that pops in my mind. I won’t search in the recesses of my head for words that need to match the extent of my awe.
When she said those words and tried to think of something more to add to that, I bit my lip hoping she wouldn’t say anything and mar the moment. She didn’t.
Often, it is perceived that conforming to societal ways is the way to be. Time and again, things happen around me that make me question society as a whole.
I’m getting myself organized this month and trying to make the best use of my time. A blog I’ve wanted to write for a very long time is finally taking shape. I have so much to write about it that I pause and don’t get back to it for days in order to gain perspective. I also set a reminder on WordPress for at least one post a month. I’m always amused at the type of sassy mails I get from certain websites. I don’t know if it was that subtle reminder of my goal for the month or the sudden ohmygod, but it was the little push I needed and I’m back to say that I’m still here and I’m writing. I’m always writing.
“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”
Hello to the few souls who actually care and come here time and again to read what I’ve been cataloging. So it may come as a surprise when I say I’ve been experiencing a little bit of the writer’s block lately. I didn’t know if it’s possible to be completely blank when you tried to write but guess what, it is. From what I’ve understood, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with lack of ideas. It’s never the lack of it actually. You can’t not think. It’s an ongoing process and even when you aren’t entirely aware of your thoughts, you are thinking. Like you are right now, even though you believe you are only concentrating on reading this. You are invariably thinking about a hundred different things but your mind is trying to blur them and focus on one.
That moment when you decide that you want to write and the words are all there in your mind in well-framed sentences but you just can’t write. This usually stems from something you’re just not ready to accept. I wasn’t too sure why I was feeling that way until it all came rushing out in a conversation with my person. I vented it all out to him and he just patiently listened, like he always does.
He and I have always been on the same page about most things but he did go ahead to say that unlike him I don’t sell my soul for views. Breaking it down, I don’t have any desire to garner views for which I need go to inexorable heights and write about the pop-culture scene. Don’t get me wrong I love pop-culture. Oh I thrive on it! I think anyone who says that they haven’t ever been thrilled to read about pop-culture on the blogs that they follow is lying through their teeth.
But there comes a point where you start to wonder is that really what writing comes down to? Do you only sit in front of your computer and type because you want random souls to stumble on your blog? Not to mention, a blog that is popular only because of pop-culture and not because of your stupendous wit. Oh that should hurt. Views v/s content. Do they really have any kind of significant mathematical relationship? I would say inversely proportional but that would mean stigmatizing every blog that likes to delve into pop-culture once in a while. That would mean bashing up my all-time favourite blog, Thought Catalog.
There are many writers who write because they feel it’s some kind of obligation to the blogging world. They look at their blog and decide, oh it’s been ten days and it’s time for me to churn out a new post. Then there are those who make sure that they keep their audience hooked and produce post after post with such fervour, you are tempted to unfollow them. They clog up your news feed and also make you feel ridiculous about how rarely you post anything. There are some bloggers who only blog when something bothers the hell out of them. Of course, grief, anger, disappointment and any kind of displeasure is rarely ever felt as deeply as wait, what do you call it, love? So yes, they feel they must add to the misery of this world and blog only when they’re sad. Sorry fellas, my heart goes out to you and everything but I honestly am in a very happy place right now to care about your pain. I understand bloggers who search for inspiration and like reviewing things (all the time? Umm…), deep down we all know we do that for views. Hell, I would be a hypocrite if I said that the movie reviews I had written were just for my eyes alone. But then again fight on me on this, I wrote them for the few respectable followers that I have, hoping they’d read it and watch the movies that I hold close to my heart. Can’t argue with me on that, can you?
I have nothing against people who publicize things. I think it forms a major part of why you write. But it shouldn’t be the only motivation. When you measure your blog by the number of views it has received in the last 48 hours, I wonder what kind of mentality you live by. If that’s the case, I should be ecstatic because just the other day a random blogger liked all of my articles in a time span of less than two minutes. What’s amusing here is, he didn’t read a single one of them. How do I know that, you ask? That’s because my blog gets views that I can count on my hands. I hadn’t got a single view on any of the posts he bothered to like. Good going Sir! I’m not going to be flattered and curious and visit your blog so your blog hits counter goes up. Seriously, the joke’s on you, dear Sir. With publicity like that, well I do have a problem. Quick tip: Don’t insult another blogger by liking something you haven’t bothered to read but liked based on the face-value.
A few months ago, I was chatting with an American freelance writer (works for Thought Catalog, OH MY GOD!) on a social networking site. I must admit he was quite chatty for someone who should apparently be really busy. He spoke to me at length about what he thought about his writing and what it has become now. The only part of that conversation that struck out was when he told me that what I write right now, at the age of 19 is ‘shit’. He said that I’m supposed to be going out and experiencing things and experiencing people, living the life. I shouldn’t be holed up in my room, typing away at a blank screen. He also went on to say that when he was 19, he couldn’t write well and did a miserable job every time he tried. I found that hard to believe and when I go back and read the stuff he’s written I still can’t imagine a world where he didn’t write well. Then again, aren’t we our own worst critic nightmare.
When it comes to taking advice of someone you look up to, I don’t know how much of it I should consider. Hell, when I’m old and shrivelled, I would love to go back and read things I had written when I was 19. No matter how terrible and stupid they might seem to me then. I know for a fact that writing has lead me to a life I could never have imagined.
I have not known a life where I didn’t feel the need to write and keep a record of things I felt. I am not okay with the ephemeral nature of time. I can’t let moments that matter slip away and have only my memory to fall back on to, to recall them. If I ever plan on living my life backwards, I’ll know how to go about it. I’ll be able to go back to every high point in my life through my writings. I’m being selfish here because I’m writing for the future me. So tell me now, is it really that important to get ‘views’ for something that only I care about?