Well, I did it. It’s done, and it can’t be taken back. And yet… Why do I feel so apprehensive?
I don’t know if what I did was the right thing, or the height of impatience. I don’t know if I gave up my comfort for loneliness, or if I made the best decision I’ve made so far. But I’ve made it, and there’s no going back now.
I waited. I stayed safe, and I waited to be called back. I watched as everyone else I’d walked along with, once upon a time, move forward, go places. I waited through the waves of disappointment that washed over me, receding while I worked, and rising at the most inopportune moments. I thought I was making the best use of my time, but right beneath the surface, I felt empty.
Never has a facade felt so shallow, and never have I felt the need to shut so many people out of my life. I can’t lie. I can’t wear a mask. And, for the first time, I can’t feel happy for others, either.
I’m that person now. That person who hates themself in the face of other’s victories. That person who can’t get their head out of their ass long enough to feel happy for another’s successes. I’m that person who tries to make the distinction between jealousy and self loathing, only to realise it all amounts to the same thing – the need to isolate.
I used to be happy for others. I used to take joy in other’s achievements more than I did my own. But now, every step forward another person takes reminds me of my own stagnation, reminds me that I earned this place in life after working hard for two years, reminds me the sacrifices I made in vain, reminds me of the goals I didn’t reach and the disappointments I tried to learn to swallow.
I don’t want to share my negativity just because I feel it. I want to work through it, to make sense of it, so that I can work my way out. Being upset, being negative just takes away from the life I’ve been blessed with, the privilege I’ve been given to live. But, the process of realisation slings a lot more mud at my face than I’d preciously imagined, and I sit here, unable to console myself, unable to let others pity me.
So, I worked to doing the things that would enable the circumstances I thought would take me out of it. I decided to do my postgraduate offline, and due to a lack of on campus accommodation thanks to the ‘rona, I decided to rent out a flat nearby. So, in a little more than a month, I’ll be leaving my home city to live in a new city, all alone.
I think I might be a little mad. Just a eensy weensy teensy bit. Just a smidgen.
God, what am I thinking?
Well, I’ll tell you what I’m thinking. I fluctuate between thoughts of living alone, surrounded by complete strangers in a new, unknown city, and thoughts of living in my own and, most importantly, cooking my own food. I fall asleep with scenarios of break-ins and burglary attempts which I bravely fight off with my swiss knife and pepper spray, all the while thinking, “Shit I need to enroll for self defence classes.” I think about living in a tiny house, squeezing my entire life into a space twice the size of my current bedroom, and wonder if I’ll be able to manage. I think about how I’d feel homesick and how I’d be able to cry freely and loudly without the fear of being disturbed or walked in on. I wonder if I’d be able to make new friends without having the weight of the disappointment of the last time I made friends and found them to be not for me, and found myself emotionally distancing myself from them. I think about the one life skill I’ve leant – cooking (and cleaning, that’s two, now) – and how I’d finally have space in the fridge to store stuff that I like.
In short, I think a lot.
Thoughts like this float lazily into my consciousness, bobbing through the current of my mental daily life. However, they seem to burst out of their imaginary dam in the moments before I fall asleep, and my heroic shenanigans, all imagined, lull me to sleep.
I don’t know how I’m going to fare, honestly. Living alone, doing my postgraduate offline have all been things I’ve wanted to do for so long, and, come to think of it, I’ve wanted to do one for as long as I’ve wanted to do the other. But, for some reason, I never thought about the safety prospect earlier, probably because I, back then, thought I’d be getting to stay alone in my home city. As exciting as it had been earlier, the thought now terrifies me, as I realise I know no one, and, if I were to scream in my native language, no one would understand me.
There’s something to be said about fear, and something more about wearing blinders shiny enough to blind yourself to the fear that stares right at you. But, in all honesty, I’m scared. I’m scared of, what I guess, we’re all scared of –
I’m afraid of staying alone and friendless in the unknown.
My mind exerts itself to twist itself into knots trying to produce imaginary scenarios for me to overcome, in the fear of being un- or under-prepared. While I realise things will go a lot different than what I believe they would, I can’t really stop my mind from putting forth its best gig – the act of over-thinking. The only thing I can do is have a little more faith in the universe, and a lot more faith in humanity.
So, I look forward, with excitement and not a little apprehension, to see what the universe provides for me next, and how tomorrow brings forth a version of me than was better than yesterday.