Missing Blogger pt. 2

It has now been 116 days since I last posted something on my blog. I haven’t been putting it off or coming up empty on ideas. It’s mostly because I have too many things going through my mind and its been getting hard to focus on any one of them. But, today I decided to slap on a fresh coat of paint on the site and finally sit down and type this post up.

I am currently in the middle of an online semester. Online classes & labs are inefficient learning environments, so that’s an ongoing struggle. COVID-19 is still a thing and I’m pretty sure we have a second wave of cases on the way. So, the uncomfortable mask on the beard must stay where it is. I’m doing a whole lot of electives this semester and learning a lot about what people in Psych & Pols science study. Some of it is fascinating but some is downright boring.

This past summer was a long and introspective one. I confronted a lot of thoughts and tried to figure out how to embody better versions of myself. Not all days were successful. I worked on self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. The summer was also a wake-up call on friendships that drifted away when school wasn’t on. I realized that sometimes people you think or hope would stay around a long time don’t. Sometimes, people who have been around forever aren’t right for you. Time just goes on and people become more of who they are. It is up to you to recognize the kind of people you want to have around you.

The past few weeks have been tiring, frustrating but also incredible. I am finding more and more about myself. I find myself drawn to people who don’t make friendships feel like a chore. And I’m lucky enough to have friends always there for a chat or a beer or even sharing good music. I do things that make me happy. I go for walks and watch the trees turn yellow and red. I feel grateful for everything I am lucky enough to have. I am still a bit inefficient and occasionally lazy when it comes to schoolwork, but I always seem to end up with a good result, thanks to late nights and gameplay music.

These 116 days have been full of reflections, walks, music, podcasts, movie nights and baby steps towards better versions of myself. I look forward to what is to come and to giving my best to this semester. For now though, I’m going to enjoy what remains of this glorious Fall we are having.

P.S. Hope you all are staying safe. Please use masks in public areas like stores and buses & let’s get through this responsibly!

Here for you

I would like to talk about mental health.

At the age of 8, I was in a world of depression having left my home. I was surrounded by children around my age and some adults (boarding school staff) assigned to look after us. When I told someone that I couldn’t focus, they told me I was a bad student. When I told them I was being bullied, they made me shake hands with them hoping that fixed everything.

One night, I found myself unable to breathe and unable to move. For more than two minutes, I was terrified. I felt like my body wasn’t my own. It was like someone had sucked all the air out of the room. When I finally found my strength and tried to tell someone, they checked my temperature, told me I could take a day off school and said that I was fine. Because it’s easier to ignore symptoms than to accept the ugly truth that even a child can face such ordeals of depression and trauma. Age isn’t a factor when it comes to mental health.

With no one there for me, I had to be there for myself. This was not me being motivational or inspirational. This was me clawing back out of depression because no one else was around to help or listen. It required all the will power I could muster to focus on the good in my life and make the journey on my own. To discover my passion for reading and writing. To stand up to bullies. To deal with emotionally stressful days by reminding myself that it would be alright. To know that it was going to be alright.

As I eventually learnt to rise above the depression, I knew I had a clear goal in life. To be there for people like I wish someone had been there for me. I am grateful that I was spared and I am thankful that I now know the consequences of standing idle while people go through things. I have lived those consequences.

And now to you, the person reading this.

Reach out to people. To those who stopped responding. To those living in difficult conditions. To anyone, really. Reach out and talk. Don’t just voice solidarity online and then go back to your life. Practise it by talking to someone. That’s honestly all it takes. Ask people how they’re doing. Talk about your day. Give some time to the sea of people out there going through bad days.

As for me, there is no choice to make. I simply cannot stand by and let someone walk down that path alone. If I do, all my efforts to rise above my poor mental health state will have been for nothing. So I am here for you, reach out, contact me through the social media on my blog or anyway you know how. I will not judge you, I will not ignore you and I will do my very best to offer the highest level of support of which I am capable. You are not in this by yourself. Not if I can help it.

I AM HERE FOR YOU

Overnight

Why is it that sometimes, despite having the time and resources to make something work, we fail horribly at it? Why do we watch opportunities slip us by in promise of reaching for them the next time they come around? And why does it all have to boil down to the last night of effort?

These were just a few of the thoughts on my head after a midterm I wrote earlier today. With about a week to study for a course that many consider difficult, I told myself I had enough time. I did have enough time. But, thanks to me, things went sideways nonetheless. I messed up nonetheless. And here I sit with a couple messy months behind me, and a thoroughly unpredictable one in front of me.

Thinking back, I think we all start out good. Fresh start and all. New year. New semester. New lecture. Doesn’t matter. We like the feeling of knowing that this moment right now can be when I start to work towards a better tomorrow. I like to think of those moments as something I’ll remember a few years from now as – “That night at 8:23pm I began working towards my goal and I haven’t stopped till now. That night at 8:23pm I changed my life.” Countless times I’ve pictured myself in the future reminiscing about the moment when I changed my life for the better. And here I sit. In the present, waiting for myself to make that change.

It’s an interesting thought – the idea of changing your life overnight, isn’t it? Don’t pretend like you’ve never considered it. The thought that one sleepless night can change your future. You suddenly get hit by motivation, start working and change everything. Sadly, that doesn’t happen. And speaking from personal experience, I’ll tell you exactly why.

If you’re at that point where you “need” to change your life overnight, you’ve definitely not been doing the right things for a while now. So at this point, you’re not being average at life. You’re being poor at it. And one night of work isn’t going to change that. It won’t push you over to the “excelling at life” side of the aisle. That takes more than a night. Could take a year or two. So perhaps, a better goal would be to “start” changing your life. And then change it a little bit more every night. Consistently. Eventually, I’m sure you’ll find yourself where you want to be. And even if you don’t, you know what they say about the journey being the destination. You’ll be fine.

Lastly, if you ever get thinking about the whole overnight life changing shtick, just go to bed. You’ll find its a better use of your time.