Feb 3, 2017

Raw emotions: Felt like a man

They say you see the sincerest hugs and most tear-filled farewells at airports and train stations. 
True. 
I'm never great with 'Goodbyes' and 'See you laters'.
Men are culture trained to not show how much they miss people dear to them. 

It's tough every time it's time to leave, or let go. I have friends and family who occasionally visit me, and no matter how much I've conditioned myself to not feel the pain, I do.

It's like every bone in your body is painlessly crumbling, every muscle spasms as it would if we were deep underwater, every sense in your body disappears. You look like you're hungover and you feel even worse. If there was a medicine that could help you prevent this pain, you would've have pawned yourself to get that. If there was a doctor who could cure this, you would have begged him to look at you. Your home is no longer that warm place it was before they arrived. It is almost like they've taken away every lamp and snuffed the fire from within.

I'm reminded of how my dad would bid me farewell towards the last few years. He knew I loved his smile and he would cloak his sorrow within one. 
His eyes would moisten even as he fought to stop it from brimming over. He would want me to hurry on my journey,  but if you'd stay a minute longer, you'd see the tears streaming. He was too much of a 'man' to allow strangers see his tears. 

Now, several years later, I realize I do the same when it is time to leave. 
I find myself in excruciating emotional pain when it's time. 
24 hours before 'the departure', I begin to miss them.
I choke as the moment arrives. I wonder what is going through their heads and hearts. I want to keep a brave face and not let them know of the darkness I am in. As I grope and feel my way out, at some point, I want to get this over with. I want to let them go so that I can mourn in desolation. 
With the finesse of a weightlifter, I want to make it look simple and joyous even when I dread going back to an empty house. All the fancy furniture is still here, with none of the soul of togetherness and laughter. 
My dad made me realise that you could have a home filled with people, yet when someone dear to you leaves, they take away a part of you. Ditto!

As the pain dulls, and the memories remain. 

You want to know when you'll meet again...

You know technology has warped distances again.

Yet you know it won't ever be the same...

Separation is a cruel thing. 

I wish it would not sting!

Like everything else, this is temporary 

Until the heart learns to unlearn memory.

We are trained to chin up,

We are expected to grunt.
But through it all, we are reminded 'Men can't cry'.

Solitude is a cruel thing.

I wish it would not sting!

No matter how many times people have left you, seeing yourself let that person go is still the greatest pain a common man can experience.

Image Courtesy: Wet Paint 

Feb 2, 2017

The 7 year itch!

Its been 7 years since I put the finger to the keys to write this blog.
I've written over 700 posts in this time, many of them too controversial to publish and some of them attracting the wrong sort of attention.

Back when I'd chosen to revive this blog, I was just out of a devastating relationship that took 4 years of my life to make and just 2 months to disintegrate. I was still grieving. Yet, when I look at my posts, I am surprised at how resilient and upbeat I sounded. 

I know I never saw myself as a blogger back when I began and I never wrote anything remotely 'click-baity'. Even while I was within a small tight knit community of bloggers, I was never the conventional one. I stuck out like a sore thumb just because I never tried to monetize my blog, sell hype or compete for awards. 
I was content writing. 

In the 7 years since I've had the pleasure of meeting thousands of readers through the posts, I've written. People I would've never met otherwise. I've got fans and brickbat-throwers. 
But today, as I visit blogger's conferences in the real world, it is surreal when total strangers walk up to me to strike a conversation because they follow my blog online. 

This took time and perseverance and wasn't build in a year. 
Through all that I went through, I chose to keep writing. Sometimes up to 360 posts in a year and other times, barely one a month. 
Even when I went through the dreaded writer's block, writing always felt therapeutic. 

Today, as I stand at the cusp of celebrating the 7-year itch, I know I want to write more and publish more. I know I haven't run dry of things I want to write about. I know I still have a few years of sarcasm and satire inside me.

Much has changed outside this blog too!
I've survived a marriage that broke me. 
I've been through the darkest parts of depression by myself and lived to tell the tale. 
Like a living Kintsugi, I am now a person who is stronger inside and out. I may be flawed but I'm not broken anymore. I am no longer a victim but a survivor.
Armed with the calluses of experiences with none of the fatigue bearing it, I now know that people will never respect you until you take yourself seriously. 

I could say a lot more but Julissa Loaiza said it best.
Poignant, this holds true in relationships as well as in life. Paraphrasing from 'The Pale Blue Dot- by Carl Sagan', Sometimes, you're ahead. Sometimes, you're behind. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter because the race is against yourself.

Have a nice rest of the year ahead!
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