There’s a weird sort of solidarity during mid terms or finals week. Promising to wake people up in the morning by going to their rooms even though you aren’t super close. Studying together and in the process making friends you can smile at from across the room during the exam. Borrowing lighters and coffee in the middle of the night. Nudging the girl on the table next to you cuz she fell asleep while reading. Taking short naps in the quiet zone and asking friends and strangers alike to wake you up in 15 mins. Sharing pancakes and Maggi when we take “break” from studying. Constantly telling each other to get off our phones and study. Cribbing about how much work we have. These tiny things help us survive exam week.
(I’m almost done! Just one paper and one exam to gooo!)
So in college, we have a peer mentorship program. The third and fourth years are the mentors and the first and second years are the mentees. And so I decided to sign up for this program and I LOVE my mentor!
She and I were sort of friends from before too and she’s just the sweetest! I’m so lucky to have got her. So on our first meeting, I took her to the bridge (which is my fave spot on campus) and we chilled there for a bit and got to know each other better and she’s just the sweetest.
We talked about life, mental health, relationships, interest all of that! Last year, everyone knew I was going through a really bad mental health time and I’m found better this sem so she was saying how she’s so happy to see me do better and how worried she was last sem. And she told me that she went to therapy over the summer too to sort herself out a little bit. She’s super fun, she’s a dancer and she loves to go to gym. She plays football too! I know that this posts seems like it’s written by a little kid but I just ugh I appreciate her so much and that’s all there is to this post 🙂
Also, the other day, I had a really bad mental health moment in front of her and I felt so bad and I thought she would hate me and think of me as a burden and hard to deal with and idek I was worried. But then, she messaged me again today, very sweetly and it was great and she doesn’t hate me and I’m so relieved and she’s such a nice person aaah!!!
- Sitting on the bridge and staring at the stars with you was one of my favourite things to do but the stars are too far away and now so are you so I guess I’ll have to make do with the paper stars that I put in a jar so I can reach out and touch them whenever I need.
- Tea and a cigarette on a breezy morning with Paul Anka playing in the background could make me happy in a minute but now they just remind me of your smell mixed with cigarette smoke and sweat and I’d rather shut the window when it’s breezy out and I’d rather sleep in than think of you.
- I have a new deodorant now because the old one just reminds me of how much you liked it and how when we spend afternoons in bed, our scents would mix together and make a new fragrance unto itself but now I can’t even bare to use my old deodorant.
- I remember sitting on your bed, tucked under a blanket, smoking a joint and not talking about anything consequential and gosh I would give anything to go back to that night in 102 when we spent hours talking about toothpaste and crickets and the right kind of green.
- Do you remember that night when we were sitting in your room drinking alcohol mixed with coke from plastic bottles, laughing away at silly things and serous things and not caring about anything going on beyond those four walls?
- You’re not around to make fun of me for wearing t shirts of only solid colours and so I wear them as often as you can and hope that you notice and I know I saw you smile the other day when I wore one and I smiled too.
- You’ve moved on and I’m busy making new friends too and I feel like it’s time to move on na? Have you moved on already?
- I loved showing you notes and things I’d written in my notebook and I loved that you wrote in it too but now I can’t deal with looking at your handwriting all over my it and so I think it’s time to buy a new notebook.
- I’ve always loved hugs from people I love but your hugs made me feel like I was safe and at home but home is never going to be you and so I learned to hold myself up and I’m okay.
- I’m learning something new everyday now like today I learned to listen to your favourite song without crying and tomorrow I’m going to learn to walk past you without being bothered.
Okay so I know this is shitty, I was writing in a hurry. But I plan to eventually at some point use all 10 of these individually as prompts for writing other stuff. Right now they are all just about this one person who I’m not supposed to think about. Also, the words in italics were my prompt for writing this. So basically, in poetry club, we were supposed to make a list of ten things that made us happy/sad/angry/scared. One girl write these 10 things which are in italics as her things that make her happy. I was supposed to write a poem using them but I didn’t have time then so I just wrote this instead.
It’s been raining all day today. I woke up at 1pm and looked out the window and realized it was raining.
I got up and decided that I wanted to go off campus and spend the day in the city and so I immediately bathed and got dressed and headed out. As soon as I reached the place from where I take the shuttle to the city, I realized it was raining too much and I had a small fight with my mom and I was really upset and decided to not go out after all.
So I went up to the fifth floor and was sitting on the stairs, reading and listening to music and was in a weird mood. Suddenly, it started raining even more and I decided to head back to my room. I put my earphones in, put everything in my bag (which is, thankfully, waterproof) and started walking. And I got completely drenched. And I LOVED IT!!!!
It made me feel like a kid again. I was smiling so much and it felt so good and my clothes and hair were all wet but I didn’t care, I was just having fun! It reminded me of the days when me and my sister used to play in almost knee high water. And of rainy Sunday mornings when my friends and I used to play in the water near the swings in the park. And learning to make paper boats from my dadu so I could float them in the puddles.
It’s been a bittersweet day. Rain always gives me mixed feelings.
Except in that one drunk text, I’ve never actually told you that I miss you. And even in that one text, I hid it behind a bunch of other words. It’s really scary, you know. And I don’t know if I’ll ever actually tell you but I miss you so much all the time.
You’re around but you aren’t around and I don’t feel important enough and you don’t miss me and that hurts but I can’t change that. I think everyone has priorities and people let you know what their priorities are even if they don’t actually say it. And it’s become clear enough that I’m not a priority and I’m just trying to wrap my head around that.
I’m going to not text you anymore. And in return, I need you to not give me hope when I fuck up and do text you. Cuz each time you reply with enthusiasm, it gives me hope of something that isn’t real. So here’s what I’m going to do –
- Not text you.
- Try to avoid you a little bit.
- Call anyone but you.
- No bridge chill times.
I just really need to get over you now and distance will help.
But for now, I really miss you.
On one side, the drains are overflowing because of the rains and it almost looks like a flood. Up on the other side, I stand with my earphones in listening to some peppy Hindi song. I knew just where to stop and stand when I saw faces that looked very Ashokan. I don’t know how to describe it. I just know. I look around and there are four of us here excluding the guard Bhaiya. All of us, somewhat impatiently waiting for the shuttle. All of our ears plugged. I worry about whether my music is playing too lour and other people can hear and judge. And then I realise, no one can probably hear it. Their earphones are on too. A kind man in the metro tried to help me figure out where I was king when I got on to the metro but I missed half of what he was saying cuz I had my earphones in. Got out of the metro just in time, slightly confused about what had just happened. I’m a well seasoned metro traveller, how did I fuck up.
You see I was just dreaming about the thukpa and momos and Tibetan bread I had for under 200 rupees having already forgotten the tears that the spicy fenni brought to my eyes. I think the hot chocolate took care of that too.
Somehow it felt like I wasn’t even in delhi. Tiny streets lined with shops and restaurants boasting a menu of Tibetan and Korean and Chinese food. Old women sitting next to the fenni shop near the temple making me smile. Oh and that dog curled up in the corner trying to avoid the rain.
So it was my birthday recently. And every year on my birthday, I get a card/flowers/cake from my dad. Earlier it used to be just a card but in the more recent years it’s usually been a flowers and a card or flowers and a cake. Sometimes all three!
For background – I haven’t met my dad in 10+ years. My parents are divorced and I live with my mom and back when they were together, he was an alcoholic, abusive asshole.
So anyway, I never really had any desire to go back and talk to him. I just never cared enough. But somehow, lately, since my birthday, I’ve been thinking about him. So every year, members from his family call me to wish me happy birthday and they always say things about how much he misses me etc etc. And honestly, I’m just wondering whether he actually misses me. If he does, why doesn’t he contact me. He had no custody over me or my sis and no visitation rights so he couldn’t till I was 18 but now I’m an adult. He can if he wants to. But he doesn’t.
I wonder whether he tells people about me. Does he tell people that he has two daughters? Or does he just omit us from his life when he talks? Sometimes I wonder if I ask him to pay for some stuff I need, would he? I know he has money, but would he be willing to spend it on me.
Sometimes, I want to send him a note saying “I don’t like cherries and I like plain chocolate cake” because he always sends cake which has cherries on the top.
Has he sorted out his life? Is he sober now? Does he think about me ever? Does he want to talk to me? I think I might be at a place that I’m ready to talk to him if the moment/opportunity occurred. But I don’t know. Me wanting to meet him might upset mom. I don’t know.
I don’t know. I might want to speak to him. I don’t know what about or why but I just I don’t know. I might finally be ready after 10 years.
P.S – Also like I think my biggest problem currently is that I don’t know what to call him! Dad? Father? His name? Whatttt?
I’m going back to college in 2 days and I AM SO EXCITED!!!!
I love my college! It’s pretty much home to me. I love learning, I love the people, the atmosphere, my roommate, my friends, everything!
Plus, I also get to go for therapy when I am in college! And I get to go on more adventures around the city too and I love it!
I have really interesting courses this semester. I have Early British Literature and Literary theory as my two literature courses. The professors for both these courses are amazing and I am very excited! For psych I have critical thinking in psych, stats for psych and clinical psych. I’m very excited for clinical psych but not so much for stats! But hopefully it’ll turn out okay!
Oh and I’m doing a french course this semester! It’s just a co curricular course so it won’t be very intense but I’m still looking forward to it. Hopefully, Ill remember some stuff from my previous french lessons grade 6 through 9!
Oh and our dorm rooms are slightly bigger this time even though we won’t be in the same building as our seniors but still that’s okay. I also have a very close friend from school joining my college this year so I’m very happy about that too!
The only thing is, I move in in 2 days but I haven;t even started packing!!! Tomorrow is going to be ALL about packing! I’m so excited to go sit on the bridge and meet my roommate and sit in the mess and lie on the grass after lunch and just aahhh that place is wonderful.
It’s my 19th birthday today! Can you believe it!? I’ve been alive for 19 years! That’s probably like 1/4th my life!
My sister made me a cake and I’m going to go out for dinner with the fam and that’s pretty much it. (19 is such a filler year! 18 and 20 and both milestone birthdays and poor 19 just stuck in the middle!)
So anyway, here’s me doing some thinking and introspection and writing a totally cliched list of 19 things I’ve learn at 19 –
- Home can be multiple places/people/feeling etc. It doesn’t have to be just one physical place and the concept is confusing but it’s okay. You’ll figure it out, don’t stress over it.
- Mental health comes before everything. If your mental health is suffering, everything will suffer. Take a break. Get help. It gets better (told you it’s gonna be cliched).
- Friends are important but it’s also important to pick your friends carefully. Find people you feel good around, people who are there for you even when there’s nothing in it for them. And be there for them.
- There are kind people in the world! So many of them and I promise you, you will find them.
- Friendships formed on the internet can actually be amazing.
- Put yourself out there. Do things that scare you. This is actually one of my daily goals at college. To just do one slightly scary thing. It makes you feel like you did something.
- Eat more pizza. Eat more cake. And pasta. But the gym won’t hurt once in a while either. It’s so important to stay healthy and take care of your body.
- Just like drink water!!! Water is amazing. I love water. (Sorry, I know I sound crazy!) But genuinely, keeping yourself hydrated is soo good and it makes me feel great.
- Take lots of photos. This is something I’ve learnt over this past year. Take a lot of pictures. And keep them all. Even the “bad” ones. Some day, you’ll want them.
- TRAVEL. As much as you can! It makes you (meaning me) happy! So happy!
- Don’t spent time thinking about or caring about people who don’t give a shit about you. It just hurts you in the end and it’s not worth it.
- It’s okay to be angry and upset but don’t let it poison you. Let it go. Forgiving can take time but don’t let you anger get to a point where it hurts you.
- Take out time to do the little things that matter to you. Draw, blog, whatever. It’s refresh you and you’ll be back at acing life in no time.
- Cry. Sometimes it’s the only thing you can do. It’s okay. Ride it out. It’ll blow over. I promise, you’ll be okay.
- Your mom is human. Yes, she fucked up. And yes, you ended up hurt, a lot. And I’m not saying forgive and forget everything. But just try to understand that she is human too. Sh’es going through a hard time too. Be there for her (though not at the expense of your own well being).
- If the bridge feels too scary, especially when you’re alone and feeling extremely stupid, call a friend. They’ll be glad you called them, you will be too.
- Writing helps so much. Just write, okay?
- You know that excitement everyone says that they see in your eyes? Please don’t let it fade, please. It’s the only thing keeping you alive, even if you’re faking it at times.
- I love myself. Took a long time for me to get here but here I am. (To self – You are good and kind. You fuck up too but you’re learning. I love you)
Wow okay that’s it! I really stuck to my word about how this was going to be damn cliche! But yes, happy birthday to me! 🙂
Okay so this is my attempt at recounting everything that happened or I did this summer so when I read this 10 years later, I can recall stuff. Here goes –
- Slept a lot.
- Went to the gym semi-regularly.
- Did a 2 month long internship.
- Went to Shimla.
- Went to Agra.
- Went to Bangalore.
- Painted a lot and set up my art account on Instagram.
- Read books (not as many as I would have liked but still).
- Met friends from high school.
- Decided my major and minor.
- Watched movies.
- Wrote a little.
- Spent some time with my sister.
- Did a 4 course specialization on Coursera.
- Worked for my mom’s organisation and helped her with some projects.
- Translated a TED talk from English to Hindi (you can volunteer to translate videos for them!).
- Set up my LinkedIn profile.
- Read poetry.
- Started making some small jewelry.
- Did origami.
- Was patient with myself and my mental health.
- Started taking medication for my PCOS (and it’s currently fucking with my system – at least till I’m used to the meds)
- Met up with a bunch of relatives, including two of my baby cousins.
- Missed my roommate a lot!
- Started Journal-ing regularly.
- Stopped Journal-ing regularly (I promise I’ll start again).
- Planned for the next semester.
- Came out as bisexual to my sister (tho I don’t know if bisexual is the write word for me but still).
- Sold some art stuff and earned money!
- Made a huge effort to not wallow in my mental illness (it’s so easy to do that in the summer when you don’t have work).
I’m actually quite proud of myself for what I’ve done this summer. Might not be amazing stuff but it was amazing for me. It had it’s bad moments but I’m choosing to ignore them for now.
Note to self – Eat more pizza before you go back to college.