I am gearing up for a lonely three hours, bracing myself for the impact of this all too familiar feeling – a sinking sensation in the stomach, ears popping gently, a faint smell of invading gasoline and the gentle whirring of engines that morphs into an angry roar. Yes, my flight is about to take off. And as it is with all kinds of travel, an agonizing movement from point A to point B – I am hoping that this journey ends sooner than later!
Up.. up .. and away! We are in the air, and I can sense that tiny tilt as the wheels disengage from the runway. On journeys like this – tied to the claustrophobic confines of an ever-dwindling airplane economy seat, I always prefer the aisle. It gives you a decent (but mostly false) sense of space and control. But today is one of those days when I haven’t been able to grab one despite futile attempts, furiously checking the American Airlines app hoping that an aisle seat opens up. So… a window it is!
Settling in – I peer out of the glass porthole that separates me from the cold, harsh yet spectacular expanse outside – and that sight almost takes my breath away. It has been just around five minutes after takeoff, and all I can see is this mingled rush of blues, and a vast expanse of the horizon tearing the colors apart. Squinting my eyes, I try to decipher if the lighter blue is perhaps our atmosphere or the cold inhospitable outer space, trying to recollect the long-forgotten geography lessons of past. The darker shades of blue, with a garland of tiny Christmas lights, is a rapidly disappearing San Francisco Bay. I imagine my family somewhere down there – having a quieter dinner tonight with a distant glow of the TV humming in the background. I sigh, then noticing a dozen boats circling the harbor like tiny glowworms attracted to the brilliant display of lights – each on a purposeful journey of its own.
This thin layer of glass, delicately woven with tiny stitches along the seams and precariously placed thousands of miles up in the air takes my loneliness away for a brief moment. Ah, I hear myself saying – the Window seat is not so bad after all!
She started trudging across the long winding trail, not knowing how long it would take for her to reach her destination. And scurrying along because she wanted to be back home early, and in time before the sun sets. Across a lonely road, with barricades on one side where construction was in progress. And up to the steps leading to a meandering trail.
It was the first time she was walking this way, and it filled her with apprehension. Made her think about all the true crime stories she had read about women in books. But she banished all these thoughts and walked along. The long series of steps led to a bridge across two parallel hills. And crossing the bridge she moved to the trail. It was beautiful, with the setting sun casting a pale golden light on the skies, and flocks of birds flying back home in perfect formation. All this making her feel a bit sad and desolate – reminding her of her own loneliness. But then , this was not the time and place for these thoughts. She had to focus her mind on her destination.
On the winding trail, to her right was a huge mansion, with droopy trees and melancholy shadows beginning to grow ominously with fading lights of the setting sun. And embracing it a huge garden, with blossoming flowers and a mammoth tennis court. A faded board on the fence surrounding the mansion read – “No Trespassers”. The front of the house faced the bustling expressway ahead. She peered curiously. Oh, so this is where he lived – dappled in luxury and excess, enjoying his life within these walls.
Something snapped inside her. Was it a pang of jealousy. Or a plea of belonging? She was desperate to see him now!
There is this seemingly innocent question which has popped up in my mind:
“At what time and age do we feel all grown up and without temptation?!”
I mean, all care and caution is abandoned in the heady enthusiasm of youth. I get that.. But do we really grow up and lose that thrill of risk and adventure. Do we grow up and become model citizens and parents and hmm..well.. Grown ups!
Who knows ? Sometimes it might feel that we’ve never grown up. Or never will. There are moments when you want to slip back into the stage of life when you do everything as you wished to. To live your life without any fear. To have to answer to no one.. To be free of all the cares and responsibilities which being a grown up brings..
But then, these are ephemeral wants.
Because in the end, we wish to be tied up by our relationships. We desire to be wanted, loved and cared. We secretly hope things fall apart when we’re not around, so that we’re missed. We want someone to fall back on us.
Otherwise if I were a free bird, and no one’s life depended on me then I imagine I’d feel far worse – thinking that I have wasted my life!
Yes. How paradoxical are these things we want. Sometimes our wishes attempt to set us free, and other times they only serve to bind us in the most irreversible ways. We are so utterly conflicted – but frankly its a bit too difficult to decide. Maybe because we are selfish and want a bit of both.
Perhaps that is what Growing Up is all about – knowing about your conflicts and developing defense mechanisms to survive them with minimum collateral damage.
What do you think?
I’m certain Google is turning my brain into mush. Its shaping the way I think – putting ideas in my head and making me imagine that all of them were my own. So, every time I have to process a question that will take more than a few microseconds of thinking time, I’m tempted to turn to Google for answers. Now that’s an evil genius!
My laptop is now an extended part of my self. Long periods of absence without using it make me anxious, and I see myself increasingly shoving mine in the back seat even on short trips. And yet ironically, we have a deep unfaithful relationship – wouldn’t mind leaving my current love if a better one comes by.
Solving problems helps me thrive. When I’m frustrated , I go solve a problem – clean the dishes, go fix the cracked dresser. That makes me feel better, every-time!
I have lost my capability to monotask. Doing just one thing at one time makes me paranoid, with a voice screaming in my head that I’m missing something urgent. Even driving alone without the radio on makes me uncomfortable – I’d rather not be left to my own thoughts. I’m certainly doomed. Sigh.
Sunday nights always make me think about what I’m doing with my life. And trigger random unrelated discoveries and existential questions. Which are also entirely meaningless.
Thank you if you’ve read them so far though. Have a rocking week ahead! 🙂
A hundred years from now,
What would I be?
A whiff of wind blowing through someone’s hair
Or a tiny drop of tear tricking down a cheek
A speck of sand kissing wild waves of the sea
The bright red paint on a playground’s swing
A hundred years from now, in divine merriment
Returned to Earth, element for element..
A hundred years from now,
Where would I be?
Stored as digital crumbs in dusty archives
Faded photographs in an ancient album
Fragments in a distant stranger’s mind
The sliver of an idea fueling someone’s existence
A permutation of DNA that signifies an identity
Or trapped in some words written by me?
A hundred years from now,
Why should I care ?
So affected by daily intoxications
And captured in the shards of time..
Consumed in yesterdays and tomorrows
Powerless before unknown powers and designs..
A hundred years from now might be a good plan
To face Destiny – Man to Man!
Everywhere you go, you see people ..and places.. Houses and roads and means of transportation. People going somewhere. Everyone trying to be someplace else, different from where they are now..
And that’s how life is in every part of the world. Everyone trying to do something. Reach someplace where they are not right now..on a constant journey. Which is what makes the wheels turn and our blood flow. Or whatever is the term for making things seem normal and routine..
And the moment you wake up somewhere someday with no place you feel inspired enough to go – life comes to a whirring uncomfortable halt. If you do not have any purpose for yourself – however mundane and insignificant it might be, then there is this evil question which creeps up – Am I doing anything worthwhile at all?
And a gnawing question this is – which follows you around like a hungry puppy and bites you in the hand when you try to feed it with inconsequential answers.
So what can you do to tame this ugly thought?
Go with the flow. Do something that makes sense in that moment. Follow a trail – or create a new one.
Because a river is always more interesting than a pond. New experiences always enrich your life’s perspective and because .. “A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.”!
Image Credits: http://ohksocial.com/small-business-growth-go-with-the-flow/
I know the feeling. You have something terribly important to say. And you’ve played it back and forth in your head. But when the moment comes for you to speak it out loud – you freeze. Words come out as garbled bits of incoherent sentences which don’t articulate your thoughts well. You are dismayed by the way they sound, all sad and sorry.
Then it happens. Your confidence takes a precipitous fall.
You end up feeling all disgruntled and disappointed in yourself . As if a part of you has failed. Then come the questions and self doubt rushing in as air rushes in to suck up a void.
Does that sound familiar to you?
Yes. Failure is familiar. So is Misspoken sentences. Inarticulate thoughts . Lost opportunities .
But you know what it really means?..
Playing it in your head is just not enough.
You have to go out there and let your idea grow. Say it out loud to yourself. Feel the power of your words to change the world – or at least your own. You have to let your words be comfortable in their own skin.
If you have something important to say – don’t wait to say it till the last moment. Say it out loud to yourself – right now!