Photo by Neha Menghwani | Stylessential on April 29, 2020. Image may contain: one or more people

This is an emotional post.

I have been emotionally closed off for as long as I can remember. Sharing my feelings and asking for help was never a part of growing up, and no one is to blame here. That’s just how it was. I have always been extremely independent and self reliant and when things got tough, like they always do, I would deal with it myself. That usually involved stressing a lot and finding a solution ASAP. As long as the problem is solved, it’ll be fine I used to say. A lot of this comes from feeling betrayed (and I still haven’t told the people I felt betrayed by what happened, I would rather avoid the conflict and suffer in silence) Betrayal is an emotion that comes from having expectations in the first place. And after a lot of those experiences, I stopped. I only expected things from myself, no one else. Don’t trust. Don’t share. Don’t expect. I became aloof – what’s the point of sharing anyway? Why bother someone else with my problems? Most likely, they will not understand…. Trust me, I have cried in front of people who were sitting 2 feet away from me and they couldn’t tell I’m crying. This list sadly includes my mom too. I became that good at hiding. Pretending it was all good, screaming inside. My brain, I just love it. It devised a great strategy – repressing bad memories to a point that I have genuinely forgotten a lot of them. At least the pain is gone and now I can look at them objectively without feeling sad. Just to remember them as things that happened, things I learnt from or things that were meant to be and I couldn’t have controlled them anyway. Repressing is great – it keeps you going in life without getting stuck in a rut. It keeps you from having grudges and bitterness and baggage. It leads to forgiveness. It also becomes involuntary. A defence mechanism. Second nature. Protector of your mental health.
I could cry my eyes out one minute and immediately move on to the work at hand. Yes, work always helped. Always my escape. :’) I could always switch on for work and it genuinely changed my mood. The worst day at work would still be a good day if you love what you do (that is a story for another day)

Which makes me come to the situation at hand. There’s no work. There is a lot of isolation. Now isolation is not a problem for me. I’m used to it. I’m usually in my shell, even when I’m surrounded by people. I work from home most days. So staying at home for the first few weeks was normal too…. till it wasn’t.

There were no deadlines to keep me working, self motivation is at an all time low thanks to all the terrible things happening around the world, distraction via Netflix stopped working around 2 weeks ago. What do I do with all my emotions now? So many of them overflowing….I felt. I felt for the first time in a long time. I let myself feel everything. And there are tears in my eyes typing this…. because I owed this to myself. For a long time, I’ve been a rock for other people. A crutch for other people. Happily, too. I take pride in it. But as much as I claim to love myself, I guess I didn’t. I didn’t let myself feel…. just to feel. Wow! There is so much to feel. From movies, from art, from books, from photos, from music…. From people :’) After a very long time I’m experiencing it all without having a motive. Just looking at things without trying to analyse them. (I am overly analytical, I need to understand everything) For the first time, in a long time, I feel like I’m enjoying and seeing the beauty in things and people. And that moves you. That makes you laugh, smile, cry….makes you feel. Like a person again. Not a well oiled machine that was born just to work. I’ve been revisiting my old hobbies (from over a decade ago) I’m finding new interests. I’m finding out that I’m not an introvert after all, I just stopped believing. In people and their goodness. And I’m talking to a lot of people, and wow. Why didn’t I for so long? People are beautiful. And interesting. Exchanging ideas and experiences, finding similarities and differences, being impressed by people’s journeys…. there is so much to learn. And it all comes from sharing my stories too. By stepping out of my comfort zone like I proudly (hypocritically?) put in my bio but stopped doing, I got complacent. I got too scared to trust. 2019 was a disastrous year for me.

January 2020 was amazing and like every major life changing decision, that was the month I decided I’ll try to share more of myself on this page (you know I always share only work otherwise, even stories)
Anyway, I didn’t….But life has its way of taking us apart and putting us back together in beautiful ways. Sharing has been liberating for me. Not overthinking things has been a blessing. I’m just living to live. I don’t know what the future holds, but in the present, I’m going to be true to myself. And not run away from emotions. I’ve always been an empath in denial. Always given myself a reality check – spoken to myself like a true sceptic (which I am in a lot of ways and I’ll always be) But I’m also a dreamer, my mind is a traveller. I read this today on an astro page (and you can laugh at me for believing/relating but it’s true for me) – “Aquarians tend to travel all over the universe in their minds. Because of this, they often lose their sense of self and end up feeling like they don’t belong anywhere. They need a place to feel safe. They need the whole world but they know they’ll never have it. That’s their biggest challenge in life: finding a way to cope with the small amount of sky they are given.” I am going to cope by talking. To myself. To others. To anyone who wants to listen. In person, or via my keyboard. I’m not hiding. I’m feeling things. Like a human. I’m weak and I’m strong. I’m happy and I’m sad. I can be very deep and very silly. I’m going to be kind to myself and not overthink. I’m just going to be. And I’m going to share this side of me. Every side of me. Unapologetically.
Thank you to every one who got me here and touched my life. Here’s to new experiences, to vulnerability, to growth. Here’s to feelings :’)