It’s one of those evenings where it seems as if – aside from me and my perturbed mind – the whole world is asleep.
Everything is quiet. So quiet that I can hear the slight beating of my heart; thump, thump, thump. My chest rises as slowly as it falls, and oddly, the laptop hums in unison, getting louder with every breath that I exhale as if, it too, is tired and wants rest.
But why am I awake – you ask.
Truth is, I don’t know myself.
I think I’ve reached a point in my life where I need to reassess things every few months. Am I doing something wrong? Have I taken the right turn? Do I know where I’m going with my life? These questions circulate my mind too frequently, gnawing at my sanity and taking away every fragment of certainty that exists within me. Too often, I forget that I am only 21. Just 21. A feeble being. A mere seed. Barely having stepped into my adulthood. Still waiting to blossom. Still waiting to be watered.
And I think that’s what bothers me.
Not the fact that I don’t know where I’m going with my life. Because believe me, I do (I think). It’s just that sometimes I’m too hard on myself. I lose sleep over the kind of stuff that people can come up with an answer to within minutes. I think. And over-think. And over-think to the brink of mental breakdown. I punish myself for things that I should have done or said to people that don’t even matter. And that’s just personal struggles. I’m so much harder on myself when it comes to my dreams. Write every single day. My mind screams at me. Why haven’t you written today? Did you not see the recent Instagram post of the girl-who-has-a-page-dedicated-to-writing-her-novel? She had TWO exams today and she’s STILL working on her novel. What’s your excuse?
Then I feel guilty and wonder why I’ve become such a disappointment.
But I haven’t and that’s the thing that the control-freak within me doesn’t understand.
You see, for too long I have been in control of the way that my life runs. Everything was decided by me. These particular A levels. That degree. This university. That Masters. But I failed to acknowledge that even the most planned life will stray inevitably. So, I was bound to falter on one of those occasions right? And I did. I stumbled and I fell and I hopped back, examining the consequences of certain actions that I took. It didn’t help that everything came crashing down all at once. As if the roof had exploded and the debris tumbled all around me, confining me to a little space in the center. But I didn’t rattle. My faith didn’t waver. I placed my thin palms on the brittle floor and pushed myself upright, my spine stood straight and my eyes were poised, and I was in control once again. But this time I didn’t try to take control of everything. I realised that some things are meant to go wrong, so that eventually, they can go right again. And in those wrong turnings we have to find the best of the situation. And that’s exactly what I did. I tried to stay calm and take each day as it came. Everything will be fine. I told myself. And it did get better.
But that’s what the control freak within me couldn’t accept. She continued to pressurise me. She forced me to believe that I should be writing all the time. That every moment and every second should somehow contribute to making my dreams come true. And it is her. She is the anxious psyche that keeps me awake for long hours when everyone else dreams and I fathom a life where my dreams have become my reality. It is because of her that I fail to accredit myself for how far I’ve come. For all the battles that I have fought. For her – everything is controlled. For me, everything will eventually flow into place, and I will make that happen.
I think the problem lies in my inability to strike a balance between the two parts of me that refuse to work together. Sometimes I stray on one side, and then I slither to the other. I need to understand that the only way that I can get the best out of me is if I get the best out of the two psyche’s that want the same thing for me.
It’s all a process though right? Pleasing one part of you and displeasing the other. Fulfilling one aim with the cost of putting another aside. It’s all a struggle but it’s not difficult. It’s achievable. It’s something that we all have the power to do. And often, I’m nearly there. I’m just inches away from reaching that balance, that mental euphoria. I can just about reach it. It’s right there. In front of me. It’s teasing me. And I can almost touch it. I’m almost there.
Suddenly, it vanishes into thin air and reappears in a far-reaching horizon that I can’t seem to clasp.
And then follows a mocking echo ‘until next time’, and a distant laughter prevails.