Let’s get straight to it- I’ve jumped out of the frying pan into some pretty shitty oil. You know, the one you’ve used to fried three batches of chicken kebab in and then conveniently forgot on the kitchen counter for a week. In between working the 9 to 5, managing my personal projects, trying to hold close relationships together, and setting time aside for some personal growth, I am shaking ever so slightly under the weight of several responsibilities that I have been fortunate enough not to encounter until now- like having to clean up even when you’re drop-dead exhausted, or getting only the last scraps of the day to do things you find fulfilling, or just plain old homesickness. Try doing all of that in a city so big that it makes you feel like a speck. Maybe throw in some mental pressure because of not having anyone remotely available like your family and friends were. You get the picture.
I am writing this for several reasons but I’m publishing it because I hope that somewhere, somehow, the story of a struggling 20 year old trying to cut it in one of India’s biggest metropolitans will help someone sleep better knowing that they’re not the only ones standing on quivering feet.
I do have a silver lining and of course I will share it with you. But you must understand that even as we see the silver lining, the cloud is still fucking there. In light of that revelation, I’ve begun to wonder at the power of simple kindnesses. I know I’ve only made it so far because of the kindness extended to me from places I never foresaw. A listening ear from miles away, a cozy drink with a stranger at the bar, comforting meals from a colleague’s lunchbox, or just warm coffee (yes, coffee is kind to me, I don’t care what you think on that end). These are moments that probably won’t hand you a tissue when you’re in tears, but at least will help you get by not matter how hard the going is. Just people things, you know. We are quite capable of surprising ourselves.
My silver lining:
(a) The Top Half
No matter how beat you are, you can always pull yourself up. And you’ll most probably be doing that quite a bit until you find someone who can help you up. I am aware that that sounds more like a deal-breaker than a silver lining, but I assure you- everytime you pick yourself up, you become a little new. You discover strengths you never had. You start to become a force instead of a survivor. And that is just so much more cool.
(b) The Bottom Half
You start gaining new skills, inter-personal and/or otherwise. Think of it as the intensive training that Benedict Cumberbatch *slight drool trail starts to appear* undergoes in Doctor Strange. Or Jaden Smith in The Karate Kid. PC in Mary Kom, Stallone in Rocky, you get it? Just keep an open mind. Don’t forget to do that or you may turn out to become an asshole and we have enough of those as is.
Alright, I’d love to conclude but sleep is hitting me in waves. Thanks for reading this, I feel better now that you have and I hope some of these words will stay with you for when you need them most. All the best with life, brethren and sistren (yes, that is a word).