You’re just 59, going on 60

I’m looking for 60 fond memories because you’re turning 60. I’m 27 – nearly half your age and I figured I could come up with at least 2 memories for each year.
When I was 21 and I told you that I hated you – I never thought I’d be looking back “fondly ” at my childhood.

When I was 21, I realized how human you were. 

I worked hard to earn your love as a child. I despised you as a teenager , because you were growing up too. And then somehow you became my best friend. And my best friend was supposed to be better than me. And I realized you weren’t. You had messed up, you were not a “role model”, you were not perfect.

I’m 27 now. If one of the kids I worked with told me they hated me, I’d be devastated, let alone my own child. You didn’t really react when I said it. I thought you were rude but I knew you knew. You understood. 

Back then I never thought that feeling would pass. I hated hating you. I hope you’ve forgotten about it. 

My cappuccino cup is empty. My mind wanders. My pen hovers over my list of “60 fond memories with you.” Funny thing, I stopped at number 21. 
21 – I was still a kid in many way. 

21 – That’s when you got married. You must have been a kid in many ways. 

And as I sit writing down all of our fondest memories , the not so fond ones kick in too.

And I don’t mind. I actually don’t mind. I understand , now. The burden has been lifted. The memories hurt, I always wished you were stronger back then. But you’re so much stronger now. 

As you said, no one really gets a handbook on parenting. You know if you said that today, I would be on my phone listing out all the parenting handbooks out there. But as a joke, of course.

I know that if I was a parent I’d do things differently, I would have learnt from your mistakes the same way you learnt from those of your parents. I’d do the best that I could, the way that you did.

I can’t help but wonder how many birthdays you have left. 

I can’t help but be glad that we’ve grown up. 

I hope I can have you for as many more years as possible. 

Better than OK

I have a list of things to do. The idea is to complete one task every week. 

Normally it takes me more than a week, and sometimes tasks over lap. But it’s ok. It gives me perspective and at least I make progress in the span of weeks to months, rather than months to never.

The past few weeks have been my “put a song on soundcloud” and “put a video on YouTube ” weeks. But then I felt like writing a short story, and I thought I’d skip to “write a blog/short story”.

I started a short story but writer’s block hit me.

It hit me hard and gave me a nose bleed. My head’s been consistently hurting too. Or maybe that’s just my wisdom teeth growing out.

“Oh you’re finally getting wiser”, yeah…..no… It’s not  I’ve never heard that before. I’m Desi. It’s Desi protocol to say these kind of things, but they always forget that a million people would have already said that before them. I guess they hope to be the first.

Other things I expect to hear and have heard from a Desi because I am… me:

“Anushka? Like Anushka Sharma?” (My name is Anushka Abraham, hi.) She’s a relatively new Indian actress and at one point, we both had short hair. I still haven’t grown my hair. Ha! Beat you to it Ms. Sharma!

“Are you a boy or a girl?” Apparently I’m way too flat-chested and for them to see the difference and apparently my sex really matters.

“Why short hair?”

“Are you Sri Lankan? Where you from?” – that’s a complimentary question  because when my hair was longer , it was impossible to be racially ambiguous , but now, now I have slightly better chance. I was even asked if I was Ethiopian! So cool! (No, I do enjoy my culture, I just am a wannabe superhero)

Off topic.

Right, so list of things to do, writer’s block, da da dum…dee dee doo…. The pain began to subside and I sat down.

I forget to breathe through my nose, so I did. I forget to just sit and not do anything, so I did. That didn’t last long, but that’s ok. 

I began to think about the people in my life. And now I’m here. Clearly I settled on the “Write a blog” part.

It has been 10 years since I moved to the UAE and earned the company of some beautiful people. Through my last year of school and university I was graced by the presence of some crazy, quirky, intelligent and simply good people.

10. That’s almost one-third of my life. It’s a big number to me….. (God, this is where the ultimate shitiness of my writing surfaces)

I know some of you have the privilege of speaking to the person you have known since you had tiny toes and big heads, almost everyday. My chuddy buddy (childhood bestie) is in my heart, no doubt.  But our lives flow in parallel streams, and that’s ok. Once in a while there’ll be a crack in the ground and we will get to hi5 each other.

10 years. These wonderful people have been my constants. We (mostly they) have traveled, studied, worked abroad, but we’ve always somehow comeback and found some middle ground. 

It’s comforting. I don’t take it for granted. I won’t check up on them day to day and they won’t know what I ate and how my day was. But it’s ok.  I know them and they know me. We may reunite after weeks or months but we pick up where left off, as if we never left. 

They are , family.

What would this place be with out the familiarity that they bring into my life? How would I look back at my time here when I leave? 

It just wouldn’t be the same.

It couldn’t have been better.

It’s better than OK. This thought is just like that feeling I get when it’s that time of the day, when the sun isn’t too high, nor too low, but it’s dimmed just enough for me to look right at it without squinting. 

Bright, warm, brilliant and welcoming.

Milky Chance – Down by The River

Waking Up

Sometimes even after you’ve grown up and grown out of the old methods you used to deal with tough times and tough thoughts, your body naturally craves them. We’re creatures of habits right? Seems fair. It makes sense. 
I’m here now. I know how I would react to this discomfort I feel. But I need to resist. What’s the point of living up to the age of 26, making mature decisions about work, money, traveling, relationships and not being able to make mature decisions when it comes to dealing with my personal demons?

Time, in Your Hands

We’ve all been in that situation where we realize a mistake we’ve made and an apology or change that we would could make. And we’ve all been in situations where such a realization mattered and was useful.

But there have also been times when no one could give a flying fuck about our realization, because it’s simply too late. You’re officially a dick, an inconsiderate asshole, a dimwit and what not.

Sometimes, however you get to be the face of the coin, and not the tail. It was you was wronged, and it’s you who needs the metaphorical (or not) bandaid and flowers and apologies. And it is you who can decide if you want to accept it, or if it’s just simply too late. And this is a massive responsibility (for me atleast).

There are so many things to consider. Self-value and self respect, if it’s worth it to give people another try, do I have it in me to start over and forgive truly, is there even any point to it because it’s happened way to many times? There must have been mistakes you made, and needed second chances for, and maybe time has changed things, maybe you can trust again…or maybe not.

In the end, this concept of “it’s too late”, and the value of this time-span of lateness is in my/your hands. Only you know if you can handle what has to come after. Or maybe you don’t know till you try, but the results can be messy, scary or just pointless. Or they can actually strengthen whatever it is that you share with the other person.

I’m amused by the fact that the concept of time can be so fragile. That when it comes to our individual lives, and the lives of those whom we (almost) directly affect being late, early, or just on time, can be in our hands. And it feels like such a heavy decision to make, especially when it feels late.

When it’s early, you just go, yikes, I’m probably not ready for this.  Though sometimes you don’t know that till much later.

When it’s on time, it feels right. Your face feels alive, your mind feels determined.

And then, when it’s late, or when it could be late, it feels like a weight.

Maybe this isn’t much of a struggle for most people. The good people around me, make strong decisions so easily, like they were nothing. I can’t.

Trial and Failure

Not too long ago I thought that everything could be explained and if you explained something enough at some point the other person would get it. And when I say ‘get it’ I mean really understand, empathize, ‘get it.’

It wasn’t always important to be understood 100% but when I thought that the issue, was really an issue; when it involved someone really close to me; when adjustments needed to be made; when I really needed help; yes it was and I guess, is really important to be understood.

I also thought that the value of the second chances we earn, or give would easily be understood by all those involved. And therefore the ‘everything’ that needs to be explained in light of the second chances would even more so be easily explained.

And I thought this was totally possible. I’ve tried, the simple straight explanations, the expanded explanations. I’ve used all my heart,  let the emotions out, expressed every emotion I could. I tried role play when I felt my feelings still didn’t come through.

Really, if you feel like someone doesn’t ‘get’ what you’re saying, sometimes it really helps to take them through the situation by pretending like whatever happened, happened to them. Again, it depends on the other person as well.

Role-play was great. I got several ‘aha!’ reactions. I felt my opinion was getting a bit of respect. But when it came down to it, I realized I still was not understood.

Finally, I had to really put them in a similar situation. A mini-simulation. When I say mini – I mean minute. I indirectly replayed what I felt I had experienced. I got a big, slightly sad, ‘AHA’.

Value of the second chance – very moderately understood

Patience – a fruitless virtue

It’s been months now. And it sucks to see that no matter what I’ve tried, I probably won’t really be understood. The gravity of my situation can still make apples float in their world; not as high as before, but they don’t touch the ground.

It’s time to give up. I never thought, I’d ever reach a point in my life, when I’d give in and say that I guess, that they never will really understand.

What this means, for what we have, I’m not sure.