Thursday, September 25, 2014

I read something today that made me think of you. Then again, there are too many things that make me think of you. A picture, a song, so many random things.

Anyway, I was reading an article that talked about the things one thinks of before falling asleep. Because those last few minutes before you fall asleep are your quietest, most personal moments, away from the noise of the people around you and the constant barrage of information that assails you through the day. And how the person you think of in that time, in those few moments before sleep takes over, is extremely privileged.

Because you see, when you think of this person through the day, it isn't as important or relevant since those thoughts are soon replaced with the million other things going through your head. But in the quiet of the night, when you really have time to think, and this is who you dedicate your thoughts to, then the person is special, important.

I think that we usually, not always, but often, end up dreaming about those last thoughts in our head. Or we try to think of things that we might want to dream about which adds to the fact that you think of this person because you might want to also dream of him/her.

And every day, I find myself thinking of you. Because I can't be with you like I want to, I tend to think of you just as I fall asleep, hoping that maybe that night, I will dream of you. And it's why I like talking to you when I get into bed or before I get into bed. It's all very silly. But it's true.

You are the last thing I think of before I fall asleep.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Broken record

Stuck

Stuck

Stuck

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Goodbye

I've been putting this off for a few months now. I keep writing this and then deleting it and then writing it again and then saving it and then coming up with lines in that dim haze just before falling asleep so that I can forget them when I wake up the next day. This is one of those posts that will not make things better when I write it all out. On the contrary, it'll probably make things worse by concretizing something very painful. Probably why I have broken my own "writing is therapeutic purging" rule in this particular regard.

Now that the explanation is done, let me get straight to Part 1.

Long distance relationships are very difficult.
Now the thing is, whenever anyone hears the words "long distance relationship," the mind immediately jumps to the romantic relationship. And images of late-night conversations, phone bills and constant angst. More often than not, all of those associations are true and justified. But what people seem to forget is that friendships between people in different places are also long distance relationships. So if you live in one city and your best friend lives in another, that is also a long distance relationship. The reason I bring this up and explain it is because long distance friendships, LDFs, are sometimes much more difficult than the long distance romances, LDRs.

When people are not in physical proximity to each other, the principle of "out of sight, out of mind" immediately comes into play. Now with LDRs, people make more of an effort to reduce that by making it a point to talk regardless of work and fatigue because there is love, lust and desire at play. There is a certain selfishness that makes it difficult to take the LDR for granted because the factors at play differ from those of the LDF.
Things change when it comes to friends. Since you were so close or since you believe you know each other so well that the friend will understand, it becomes that much easier to take the LDF for granted. It becomes easy to take the person himself/herself for granted because "hey, you know what I'm like na. I suck at keeping in touch and I've been so busy and so much has been happening and I know you understand." And the ironic truth is that the friendship itself hinges on that very understanding of each other.

The essential difference is that because it's easier to take each other for granted, the parties in an LDF have to make that much more effort to stay in each other's lives. Like with LDRs where people do cheesy things they otherwise would laugh at and arrange date nights every week or call as often as possible and constantly text, LDFs also need friend chat nights, long rambling mails, more WhatsApp and more SMSes if WhatsApp isn't an option.


Now for Part 2 of this letter/ramble/post.

It is much more difficult to get over a friendship than a romance.
In a romance, when the two people decide they can't be together, they have "the talk". They talk about breaking up and the reasons why. Even if the breakup isn't mutual, the dreaded talk still happens. Where one person says "I can't do this anymore." There is a modicum of closure. You KNOW that the relationship is over and can begin the process of moving on.
But with a friendship, there is no talk. Because more often than not, you don't even realize that the relationship is over. There is no closure because the next time you two meet, you'll probably have an okay time but when you leave, it goes back to no calls, no conversations. One day you wake up and realize that the only updates you are getting are from Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. You see a 'Last seen at XX' on WhatsApp and realize that you have not had a conversation in a while. You think of the last time you spoke and you can't remember when it was and you see a huge black chasm of empty where your supposedly forever friendship was. And another thing, it's very possible that the second person realizes none of these things. Which is another reason why it's more difficult for one person to get over the failed relationship.

With the end of a romance, you turn to your friends for support.
With the end of a friendship, where do you go?


Now Part 3.

Why I have rambled so much.

Because I'm grieving. I woke up one day and realized that the "family" I chose for myself doesn't exist anymore. After growing up with barely any friends, when I found a set of people who understood and loved me, I decided I would never let go. And the thing is, I did try. But then, I realized that if people want you in their lives, they'll make just as much of an effort as you do to have you in their lives. That when I take a step forward, the other person must too. And to fall back on the age-old cliche, "You can't clap with one hand." That while you might want to hold on to someone, they have to want to be held on to.

It's because I realized that while I was expected to understand busy schedules and new boyfriends/girlfriends, new office friends, workplace shenanigans and gruelling college timetables, my one-time friends forgot that I have the same issues too. I work and have weird shifts. I also have office friends to maintain relationships with. I have my mom to make time for. I have a non-college group boyfriend. While I was expected to drop everything to maintain a friendship I believed important, the second party didn't care enough to do the same.

While I was expected to understand that X or Y or Z sucks at keeping in touch, X and Y and Z forgot that sometimes I prefer texting to talking on the phone. That I on principle will reply to any message I get, no matter how busy I am, to the extent that it borders on a compulsion.

Friendships survive when there are one-on-one conversations. While group conversations have their own unique charm, they are also safe because you don't have to make that much of an effort to understand one person. You can disappear in the five other chattering voices and speak up once in a while without it being a problem.

So the reason I have been putting this post off for so long and have ranted for so long, is because I am trying to heal. And the fact that writing this down is a symbolic gesture that means a lot.
I am trying to move on from the broken friendships that I can never get closure from. I am trying not to feel jealous when I see an update or picture on Facebook/Instagram, wondering how if there was time to post that update, there was no time to say hello. I am trying to be indifferent to those 'Last seen at XX' moments, wondering if that conversation could have been with me. I am trying to live without the pieces of myself I gave away in vain to people who I thought deserved them.

Which is why any breakup in this social media obsessed age is impossible. But then that's a topic for another day.

I am trying to work harder at saving the few LDFs that did survive and are surviving the distance. Because the fact that they lasted this long, means that maybe I wasn't completely idiotic with my choice of family.

This is an attempt at saying goodbye.

I know I will never completely move on. It's almost impossible to, as I just illustrated. But at least I can try letting go of the pain, hurt, bitterness and anger.

I suck at letting go. Because anyone who has followed this blog knows that I am hoarder who is terrified of forgetting.

But well, it's high time that I make self-preservation my overarching impulse.

So...

Goodbye.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Which is worse?

A life never lived or a life wasted?
Opportunities never had or opportunities squandered?
Potential that was never allowed to be fulfilled or potential that was lost?
Dreams never followed through or dreams had and broken?
Families never made or families pushed away?
Love that never bloomed or love that was allowed to wither?
Houses never built or houses gone to ruin?

Which is worse?
Life lost young or life going on too long?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Happy birthday, you :)

Another year, another post.

It's been a long year, this last one. And an extremely quick one too. It's 2014 June already. Where in hell did the time fly?

I've learnt a lot in the last year. Had lots of good days. And lots of bad days. And learnt that people change, distance is sometimes just too much, friendships evolve and that sometimes, people just grow up and move on.

We barely talk. We barely meet. We don't have crazy video chats. There are no long walks, no cups of coffee while curled up in an ancient blue sofa.

You know what? It's funny, but I realised that I only drink coffee at work or in cafes/restaurants. Rarely, if ever, at home. I was always making the coffee and watching people I love drink it. Anyhoo, I digress.

Our friendship has changed. We have changed. You have your people, I have mine. You have your life, your loves, your family and I have mine.

But over the last year I also learned not to delude myself into believing that people will stick around for you. But we'll always have each other. Because I never learnt how to properly let go.

So here's to us. To our love for words and each other. For a birthday tradition that we have both vowed to keep at, for better or for worse.

Happy birthday, beloved gopher. I know underground is cozy, but pop up and say hello more often :)

Love and lots of Ayesha hugs.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Do not show. Do not tell.

Know how it's said that relationships are about honesty and trust? How you should be completely honest with the ones you love? How you need to make sure the person you love knows the good, the bad and the ugly? And how you need to respect them enough to let them decide whether they accept it or not? How love is about taking chances and jumping off a cliff hoping you can fly and any other metaphors the movies and books keep telling you about?

Yeah. About that.

It's BULLSHIT.

Take it from me, a small no one in a world full of nobodies, who has nothing to her name but some experience, a few words and too many ideas.

Risks can fail. Miserably. Nothing good can ever come out of true honesty.

Write those feelings, those opinions down on pieces of paper and then send them out into the universe. Save them as notes on your phone and drafts on your blog. Anywhere you can get yours hands on that will help you feel like you've gotten them out of your system.

Whatever you do, don't tell.

Don't show how intensely and how much you feel. Don't show the fear, the absolute panic.

You cannot judge, you cannot speak, you cannot let on how much goes on in your head.

How can you show them all that darkness, all those jagged pieces?

You cannot scare them away.

Because if they leave then how will you find anyone to love you again.

Swallow them down, those words, those feelings.

Do not show, do not tell.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I get off the cab and walk up the two flights of stairs trying not to slip and break my neck because it's dark. I don't want to switch on the lights and wake the whole building up. I try to be as quiet as I can be when unlocking the door, but at this time of the day everything is eerily magnified. I shut the door and lock it quietly behind me, glad that it doesn't creak. I leave my sandals at the door, glad to get into my exquisitely comfortable home slippers.

I check the door again, because I'm paranoid.

Now that I'm on familiar ground, I don't need to switch on the lights, unless you've left your slippers or the TV remotes lying around again, something I wouldn't be surprised by. I leave my bag in a corner where I know you won't trip on it the morning when you wake up because I'm considerate like that. I leave my watch on the table near the bag. I walk into the bathroom, slipping out of my jeans into a pair of shorts and a tee. I take off my bra, the ultimate sign that I am home. I wash my face and feet.

I'm hungry and dinner feels like hours ago. I know you probably didn't leave anything for me from dinner so I scrounge through the fridge wondering what I can munch on. That's when I see the bowl of noodles and the postit that I read using the light from the fridge, "Knew you'd be hungry. Left some for you. Not as much of an ass as all that. Have some faith." Grinning to myself I grab a fork and eat the noodles, sitting on the kitchen counter because I can't be bothered to walk back to the kitchen once I'm done. I leave the bowl in the sink, glad that the maid will wash up in the morning.

Now that I'm full I just want to crawl into bed.

I walk into the bedroom and from the door I can see you sprawled on our bed, one leg under the blanket and one leg out. I smile again. I crawl into the bed and nuzzle against you. You shift position and pull me close mumbling something, still fast asleep. I breathe you in, relaxing completely.

We fit together, as if we were created as one entity and then in two only so that we could find each other again.

It is now that I know I'm finally home, exactly where I am meant to be. That the really weird work hours, the monotony and the stupid cab complaints are all okay if they end with this - me coming home to your arms every night. Because with you, is where I belong.

I close my eyes and fall asleep with a smile on my face.

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I get off the cab and walk up the two flights of stairs trying not to slip and break my neck because it's dark. I don't want to switch on the lights and wake the whole building up. I try to be as quiet as I can be when unlocking the door, but at this time of the day everything is eerily magnified. I shut the door and lock it quietly behind me, glad that it doesn't creak. I leave my sandals at the door, glad to get into my exquisitely comfortable home slippers.

I check the door again, because I'm paranoid.

Now that I'm on familiar ground, I don't need to switch on the lights, unless I left the TV remotes lying around again, something I wouldn't be surprised by. I leave my bag in a corner where I won't trip on it whenever it is that I wake up. I leave my watch on the table near the bag. I walk into the bathroom, slipping out of my jeans into a pair of shorts and a tee. I take off my bra, the ultimate sign that I am home. I wash my face and feet.

I'm hungry and dinner feels like hours ago. I know there is nothing in the fridge because I was too lazy to go grocery shopping. There is some bread left in the kitchen and I spread some butter and jam on a few slices. I eat while sitting on the kitchen counter because I can't be bothered to walk back to the kitchen once I'm done. I leave the plate in the sink, glad that the maid will wash up in the morning.

Now that I'm full I just want to crawl into bed.

I walk into the bedroom and get into bed. I put my phone on charge and play some music. I set a sleep timer on the app so that it doesn't stay on the whole time I'm asleep. I hug my pillow tight, cover myself up and sigh.

Tomorrow I do this all over again. The really weird work hours, the monotony and the stupid cab complaints.

I close my eyes and fall asleep. Alone.