Tag Archives: Life

Being single

Essentially, I think that’s all we ever are: single. Maybe not in the exact way that the word connotes. I don’t want to repeat cliches like, “we are born alone and we die alone”, but that doesn’t make any of them less true. We are all fundamentally alone. We touch lives and we share lives, but that doesn’t make us not alone. It just makes us not lonely.

There’s an indispensable difference between loneliness, and being alone. While loneliness describes being destitute of companions, being alone just means being apart from others which we all are. Mentally, emotionally, physically. Everything and anything which we don’t say out loud, whether it be with words, with writing, or with the emotions that do surface, is our own and it is isolated from everyone and anyone we share the world with.

Relationships allow you to experience this world with someone you care for. But this feeling of companionship is slightly more illusory. Other people can only vicariously comprehend your life through their own eyes. You are never not alone.

So, being single should come like second nature to us, right? Being single should be nothing but mastering the art of being alone, which we all fundamentally are. Doing things for yourself, and striving to be a better version of yourself everyday, that’s what being single should be about. Until you get lonely.

Most often being alone morphs into loneliness. When you start getting tired of discovering and re-discovering both the world, and yourself, and begin feeling unsatisfied with your inability to share your progress with somebody, things get gloomy. You want someone to take interest in your passions, someone to flourish with. Someone you can grow to love, because it gets lonely at the top. Cliche, I know, but maybe cliches are worth more than immediate dismissal. They exemplify common thoughts. And in this particular case, perhaps they offer a reason for us to feel less lonely in our conviction to master being single in adulthood.

Perhaps then, the underlying difficulty in getting over a break up, or forgetting about someone, is to do with all the sharing rather than all the loving. Maybe what we struggle with is not the absence of the hand of a loved one, but the absence of a hand that we grew used to holding, and the absence of a soul to listen and adore the things you adore. It’s not evident at first. You fail to see it through all the brooding. But when all the heartbreak is over, we start longing for that overwhelming warmth in our hearts. We seek a new partner to experience new things with, to share with.  How did that old saying go again? Sharing is caring? Told you cliches are worth more than immediate dismissal. 

The next time you find yourself struggling to move on after a break up, or you feel overcome with the desire for a significant other, remind yourself that we are all alone, and if you start to feel empty, it’s not because you’re alone, it’s because you’re lonely. And hey, guess what? There are so many lonely people. Ergo there are so many people who can’t wait to share their lives with others, to interact, to communicate, and possibly do all of this with you… All you really have to do is listen.

 

 

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Places to find hope:

in the books you read,

in the music you hear,

in the everyday tune of life,

in the people you meet,

in the strangers you catch smiling on the streets,

in the eyes of a baby that won’t stop staring at you in awe,

in window reflections,

in the sea,

in the sky,

in the stars,

in the daisy strewn gardens,

in knee-high fields full of dandelions,

in the ladybird that may have just landed on your hand,

in yourself,

 

 

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Don’t Apologize for Existing

I’m sharing this post mainly because I found a little bit of myself in it. I apologize a lot, I apologize all the time and I apologize for things that I don’t need to apologize for. I never really noticed until people started pointing it out. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I managed to figure it out for myself, but I’ve never been able to put it into words like this. And some parts of this really resonates for me…

Sorry. 

Sorry. 

Pardon. 

Excuse me.

Sorry.

With the onset of my depression and anxiety, “sorry” became my favorite word. Sorry for bumping into you, even if you hardly noticed. Sorry my hair sticks up on one side and I’m not wearing makeup. Sorry I’m so thin when you’re trying to lose weight. Sorry for thinking about how hard it is for me to maintain weight when you’re trying to deal with your own problems. Sorry the gift you bought me doesn’t fit. Sorry.

Sorry. 

Sorry. 

Sorry for being as smart as I am but not pursuing a career in medicine or engineering. Sorry that my leg bounces up and down and it distracted you. Sorry you feel you need to stop wearing your perfume because I’m having breathing problems.

Sorry for taking up space. Sorry for being sad or scared. Sorry for not smiling as brightly as you expect me to, or for not paying you the attention you deserve when you tell me about your day. Sorry for needing a ride instead of growing up and getting a license. Sorry for finally getting a license and not always parking perfectly or taking turns smoothly. Sorry for drawing instead of looking at you because I’ve become too anxious for eye contact.

I didn’t realize how much I was doing it until my dad said, “Stop apologizing for existing.”

“Sorry,” I said, proving his point.

Depression and anxiety told me I was worthless. They told me that I was responsible for fixing everything wrong with the lives of my loved ones. They told me I needed to stop making mistakes. They told me I needed to participate in conversations and get a social life (but they also told me not to hog the spotlight). I always needed to become better or smarter or something. Depression and anxiety told me I was never enough.

They’re still telling me that. And some days, I still believe them.

But on those days I remind myself that depression and anxiety are lying. No one is perfect, and even if I’m not good enough (or so they tell me) I still have value; I can contribute in a positive way to the lives of those around me.

If depression and anxiety are lying to you, that’s OK. Just remind yourself what’s true. And most importantly, don’t apologize: for taking up space, for living your life, for being you.

You are worth more than that. You don’t have to be sorry.

 

Dragon Harris

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Don’t let the damage control your life.
You do the damage control, and you control your life.

And,

“Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.”
Daisaku Ikeda

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Assess, address, adjust

For the first time in my life, I’m starting to face my problems. I’m admitting them out loud… and proud. Addressing the issue, that’s the beginning of everything, right? It’s difficult. It’s also not exactly relieving at first. On the contrary, initially, you’re like ‘shit, is my mind really this screwed up?’ or like ‘why the fuck do I do the things I do?’ but then you realize it’s not necessarily because something is actually wrong with you. And even if it is, at least you’re realizing it soon enough to do something about it. I swear confronting my issues sometimes makes me want to tear my hair out; it makes me hate the person that I was. But only for a minute. Or maybe for an hour, maybe even two! It passes; eventually. You feel better.

So what? Sometimes we go through things that make us act a certain way later on in life. Or sometimes the way we were brought up has a negative effect on us. But there’s no point in blaming yourself for all the messed up wiring in your brain. There’s not even really any point in blaming your parents or your parent or whatever. It’s not like they were given a tutorial of how to raise you either. Just quit pointing fingers, ‘cause it ain’t gonna solve the problem. I get that it feels better to say “it’s all your fault” but ultimately you can’t go back and change the way they did things. What you can do, is move forward. Assess the damage, address the issues, and look into solving them. Find your inner peace. You don’t need anybody else to account for the damage done to be able to fix it.

Assess, address, adjust and move on.

 

 

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Take me away from this Dark Place. Take me to Peace.

What sort of a world have we come to where we have to think twice about where we want to go out to for lunch and what means of transport we have to take and what the risks of dying due to a suicide bomb are on that trajectory? What sort of  a world have we come to where we find ourselves thinking of death, not as something that comes mostly with old age or poor health, but as something which can take masses of innocent lives any where, any day, any hour, any minute or even any second? What sort of a world have we come to where our lives are at risk even as we are going to buy a loaf of bread, or as we are taking a stroll in the park, or as we are waiting at a bus stop to go to work, to go home or to see a friend or a loved one? What kind of a dark place have we come to? Does this place have a name? Does it have a soul? Does it have any mercy?

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Twenty three days and counting

I’ve been walking down a particular road for 23 days now and it has meant leaving a good chunk of my life behind. Occasionally I wonder what would have happened if I had changed the course of my route and wandered down a different road, but this often leads to feelings of despair and discomfort so I try my best not to think about it. Of course however hard I try, I fail to contain my thoughts within the lines I draw. I am somtimes sad and sometimes happy. I am sometimes up and I am sometimes down. As for the road I chose not to take: I am sure it’s still expecting me to pass by some time soon but this time I am not going to change the course of MY life for anyone but ME.

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“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”
– Elbert Hubbard

Tip: Don’t avoid criticism!

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Note to self:

“Dignity will only happen when you realize that having someone in your life doesn’t validate your worth.”
— Shannon L. Alder

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