Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash
It doesn’t matter.
Who says what. Who says why. To me. For me. Against me. They don’t say it because of me. It doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter. Unless they are in my head. They come from a place of their head. That’s all that matters to THEM. If their head says that I am x. They call me x. But that’s what their head is saying. That doesn’t make me x. I’m not x. To me, I am A+. It doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. So why does it feel like I have a matter to sort ? What’s the matter with me? There’s a mistake. There should not have been a matter with me. And yet, there is. Or so it seems, now. Strange. It’s matter. Why is it behaving like energy and flowing to my head ? Can the matter please leave me alone when I’m done typing this ? Sigh. Maybe the sigh will convert the matter into energy and release it into the atmosphere. Where, a cloud forms. And the cloud rains on my beautiful garden full of roses. So that, I would grow my own roses and never have to go expect roses from anyone. There. Matter is gone and positive energy has just been formed inside of me.
Photograph by Will Milne at negativespace.co
Women aren’t free. Neither are men, though. But women, especially, aren’t free. And, sadly, the strictest jailors are their own mental barriers. I’m not free when I smuggle the sanitary pad to the washroom at work, hiding it in my sweater or pocket or when I just carry the whole hand bag for just a little pad. I wasn’t free when I stood up and sat back down when I, and this other girl who was sitting with me, realized that none of the people approaching the dinner queue are women, when recently attending a Pakistani event and dinner was just announced. We were starving. I’m not free when I just give up the front passenger seat to a man just because he happens to take a ride with me and my husband. I’m not free when I pull my chino pants down, hiding from view a little bit of hair that has grown on my lower legs. I’m not free when, every time I go bra-less at home, my mom nags me to cover up and act proper. I’m not free when my mom and my grand mom don’t let my dad or my husband do the dishes or make roti, because it’s a “woman’s job”. I’m not free every time my husband excuses himself conveniently from doing things at home by stating the apparently universal fact that he does “outside chores”. In his favour, though, this does not happen often. I’m not free every time I’m expected to like kids and coddle them when all I honestly want is to have nothing to do with them. I’m not free at every Punjabi party I attend where I’m not mentally a 100% carefree when consuming alcohol (?!). I’m not free with every suggestion that is made to me to “remind my husband to take xyz for his better health”, or “help my husband to finish his abc chores”, or “give my husband xyz foods that are good for him”, or “force my husband to go to the gym”. I’m not free every time I find myself floating in or around the kitchen, doing an assortment of trivial, unnecessary actions just because all the other women are standing in there. Why can’t I go sit and chill ? I mean, the men are doing just that… like why can’t I be free ? There are no chains. No words or words strong enough to stop me if I do want to break free. So why won’t I simply break the barriers?
Image courtesy: Andre Benz at andrebenz.io
No, I don’t want to wear summer dresses when everyone else is wearing them and go do the things wearing those dresses when everyone else is doing them. I don’t want to do a group thing. I want to do my own thing. I want to wear those dresses and afford the time and luxury of going for weekday brunches and mid day cocktails. I want to travel the roads out of “rush hour”. I would like to enjoy a session of brainstorming my ideas on a Wednesday, late morning, on a patio.
Image courtesy: Austin Schmid at schmidy.com
Why is it, that after vocalizing loud and clear about being someone who totally accepts herself, I still shy away from sharing parts of my true self? I know that I’m not alone when I say this. We all follow at least a bit of hypocrisy with things that touch us. The reason is, we have not fully accepted those things as true. Or, in other words, have not given these things the true place and acknowledgment. If we can’t accept it, how can we imagine others to accept it? It’s so natural for us to place ourselves in other’s shoes because ours are worn out walking on the same paths. Maybe the shoes are worn out now. Maybe we can attempt to peel them off and give ourselves that respect to accept our true parts. Regardless of sharing it or not, if we come from a place of self-acceptance, we can make a decision to share it with others or not.
Image courtesy: Mira Kemppainen at unsplash.com/mirakemppainen/portfolio
I stare out with my nose pressed on the back sliding glass door. The little pond is a disc of ice. The trees stand stark naked, with their thin wooden sticks frozen in the frame. It is -15 degree Celsius. There’s whiteness accumulated on the side of the road and the sidewalks are full of it. The shrubbery and the backyards of all the houses are covered in it, too. The houses display no activity, whatsoever. Surprisingly, the otherwise busy street has no cars passing. I’m just taking a water break from watching The Big Bang Theory, non-stop pretty much all day today. This dark, white, and so very still scene just draws me in. I get so still as I let myself stare without blinking. The stillness is calling out to me, demanding that I take a break and really listen. I stand there for a few moments, unsure if I should give in to the magical stillness or return to the fun show…… I return.
Image courtesy: Tânia Soares @ https://unsplash.com/@taniafiss
I have PMS depression. And I’m sure that’s a thing. I can Google it. But I won’t bother. I know, now, that MOST of the things that we feel are uncommon aren’t uncommon.
Basically, that essentially bursts my bubble of feeling special. Also, that makes me way more accepting of my issues and feeling increased comfort to be discussing and trying to resolve it. The mere sense of acknowledgement of such sensations that we cycle through is in itself so relieving. It’s like the resistance portion is alleviated and the effort and attention can be used for being at peace with it and helping myself with it.
A major challenge is feeling torn between the two states: (1) trying to feel unimpacted if loved ones refuse or fail to understand me and (2) going through intense lonely feelings upon realizing that they aren’t understanding me. How do you answer questions like, “Why ?”, “What happened?, “Oh, you should be happy. You have everything.”, etc. It hurts when my close ones feel offended and turned off with my moods. Again, a part of me could not care less. Yet, a part of my heart is ripped away each time that they walk away. It’s like I need them, I need them oh so much. But then, I can’t find the words to ask them to stay.
So, I write. I write in the hopes that someone could understand me. But, I feel, that someone is me. When I write, I understand me a bit more. It does not lessen the depressed state when I’m in it. It just gives a clarity that’s comparable to a soothing heat pad to let go of the internal chaos.
Image courtesy: James Stamler at jamesstamler.com
It happens when I finally retire to the soft folds of my bed at night. When I just let gravity take care of my physical and mental weights. They reek out from both sides under my body like climbers and vines creeping up in view. I have no choice but to face them. The negativity dares to climb upwards and form a network of their own, penetrating my tree of life. It’s then, that I just fall asleep, too tired to make any logical sense of any of it.