Indian Woman's Musings · Life

Pay Your Dues, But Don’t Serve The Sentence.

It takes a long time to figure out what you want to be. It takes even longer to figure out how you want people to treat you. When you’re a child, you have to be content with people treating you a certain way, primarily because you’re dependent on others for your health and well-being. But, once you grow up, is it a bad thing to expect basic things such as sensitivity and respect from others?

I find it hard to communicate with my family on many occasions. Have you also been there? My parents are good people, but not sensitive. That has led me to the state where I no longer want to tell them about my problems, because they will never turn around and ask me how I am, rather they will start giving me anecdotes about what I can and should do correctly.

At 26, I no longer want to be told what to do, or who to be. I know that already. I just want someone to give me a hug when I want it, give me a shoulder to cry on when I need it, so that I can pick myself up and deal with my problems myself. But somehow, I feel very alone. And now I think I will be for the rest of my life.

The thing you’re never taught while growing up is how lonely life is. If we tell our children to be prepared for a life alone, perhaps it will make it easier for them to deal with depression and anxiety issues. Or, maybe not. I crave a lot for some company that can give me a hug and tell me it’s all going to be okay. But I have reached that stage of life that even a hug makes me untrustworthy or unnerved, because I know that it’s temporary. Everything in life is temporary, except your existence.

Many people ask me why I love the songs of Queen. Because Queen’s songs hit the recesses of your soul. Queen is a band for the marginalized, for those who feel different, feel left out. I am definitely paying my dues, and also serving an undeserved sentence. Is it my fault that people around me have failed to love me or have I failed in garnering their love? Such thoughts consume me as I contemplate the next step of my life.

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I don’t talk about these things in fear that people will presume that I find it difficult to stay happy. In fact, I am always happy, externally, but with a swirling wind inside that is destroying everything and making me hollow. I don’t know if I can define this as sadness. It’s not sadness, actually. It’s the actualization of a new emotion where you accept your circumstances and your fate.

I know that I am growing distant from my family. I have never fit into their definition of a perfect child.  I have my complaints too. But I can’t tell them because they will feel that I am always complaining and being inconsiderate. ‘Inconsiderate’, ‘selfish’, ‘angry’, ‘self-centered’ – these words are used freely by all of us without considering the amount of damage it is wrecking in the person in front of us. I sometimes wonder if I would want children. I know that I will also probably be this cold when my child comes to me with their problem. I am used to being told to not talk about problems. Probably I will be the same with my child, and that thought scares me. It’s tough to feel bad and not be able to tell your mother, because you know that she won’t respond with a cursory, ‘are you alright, dear’. You know that the response will be standard procedure. I am busy, I have work, or focus on your work and everything will be okay, stop making an issue about little things, etcetera.

Sometimes, you do need help. And it’s okay. It’s okay to love someone and give them a bit of compassionate love. It’s okay to tell them, ‘you will be fine, I am there for you.’ I feel that in this materialistic world, we have forgotten to love. We believe in nothing but self-gain, self-respect and self-appreciation. As I switch off my phone, I wonder whether I should even turn it on. I wonder what’s the point of communicating with people who don’t even want to make the effort to connect with you. But a hope remains that one day I will surround myself with people who are considerate and affectionate. Yes, I am emotional and yes, I like having emotional people around me, because without emotions, this world will be a desert and our emotions will be a sand dune, being bashed around by those who don’t believe in loving or living.

I turn on the radio and a Queen song is playing. I smile and agree with Freddie Mercury. “I consider it a challenge before the whole human race and I ain’t gonna lose. We are the champions, my friend. And we’ll keep on fighting till the end.” I am tired of being starved of love. Time to switch off from those who don’t understand you, even if they are family. If they love you, they will eventually come around and try to understand you. If they don’t, then don’t try. You can never mould people into the shapes you want them in. Just accept that you’re different, and move on.

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