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My days are busy, physically exhausting, there are times when I feel drained but every single day is a day in the life I chose for myself. And that, is peace for me!
It’s been a while since I updated my blog or wrote something that others could read. Writing has always been my solace. My calm in chaos and my most honest companion.
However hard I try, I could never lie while writing something. This basically also means I bare my soul each time I pen something down.
The process takes courage and a certain degree of raw honesty that somehow I wasn’t prepared to share in the past 2 years or so. Today, miles away from the land I was born and raised in, I somehow feel a sense of calm and strength which made me miss my process.
The process of a thought creeping into my mind, taking shape, taking space, creating unrest and finally being expelled from my system in the form of words on a blank sheet of paper.
In today’s day and age, the way homo sapiens are overstimulated, it’s been an eye-opening journey to finally feel a sense of calm. The more I chased it, the more clarity I kept having in my life. A lot changed in my life in the past couple of years.
Words and phrases like letting go, moving on, life goes on, it is what it is, are thrown around too casually in our day-to-day lives. Their meaning and their consequences hit differently when actually experienced.
So, when life threw some lemons at me and I decided to not make lemonade out of them, I knew I was in trouble, taking the harder path, testing my own limits.
Each individual’s journey, perceptions, experiences are different. No two individual looking at, say, a painting, would say or think or associate the exact same emotions with it. Our experiences in life are unique to us. So, when I share my experience, it is just me sharing my experience.
I believe, more often than not, a person always has a choice. The decisions we make, the paths we choose, the conversations we have, the time we choose to spend, how we choose to spend it, it’s all a choice.
It’s just about what’s convenient and what’s not. A few years ago, I had the choice between existing and living. I chose living. I could have existed, been comfortable, would have appeared happy but, I listened to my soul craving a life which challenged the hell out of me.
There are many defining moments in life. Moments which appear to be inconsequential but, hang heavy with realisations. I remember a couple of such moments. I remember the exact moment I knew I had to become someone and not be someone’s.
Likewise, I remember the exact moment I looked at my father and saw him fighting a guilt he’d been carrying. I remember the exact moment I knew I lost a dear friend. To give life to these emotions, to listen to the silence in these moments, was a choice.
Brushing them aside and ignoring their presence would have made my life “easier” at the time. On the other hand, acknowledging and befriending these moments made me who I am today.
When I say ‘it made me who I am today’ I don’t mean I have earned an exorbitant amount of money or become the CEO of a company. I simply mean I became a person who is at peace. With herself, with the world and with life.
Peace and calm in today’s world doesn’t come without working for it. When I first started realising I needed to cleanse my life of unnecessary stimulants, it wasn’t because I knew what I was doing. It was just because I somehow realised I cannot listen to myself with the high-pitched noise of the world around me.
The change didn’t come overnight. It was slow. Painfully slow, if you ask me, because every stage needed a degree of de-conditioning and introspection. Be it social media, relatives, societal expectations, friends, I was surprised to watch how everything ceased to matter and seemed so tiny just by the virtue of looking at them differently.
Did all these dynamics ever mean enough in reality, or was it always just in my mind? It is a question I often ask myself. Maybe I ask this question in a hope to absolve myself of the debt that a lot of us feel and carry in life, without knowing the cause, paying for it, days after days, years after years, generations after generations.
Once the noise cancelled out, I was left with myself and my thoughts. What I never anticipated was, how loud and how unnerving these thoughts could get. It’s not easy to be with one’s self without pretences.
What came next was a jumble of thoughts, intertwined with memories and feelings, which needed to be carefully separated, delicately handled and minutely observed. It was during this time that I looked at ways to calm my unrest and in the process, discovered the joy of creating art.
I was determined to keep my interactions with myself to the maximum and with screens of any sort, the minimum. It resulted in me rekindling my affair with books. Books took me to places far away, engrossed and gripped my mind in ways I could only dream of and every once in a while, I felt my horizons expand, opening a newer world for me.
My process of wanting to touch and feel peace started roughly four years ago. Since then, a lot has changed. I changed as a person, would like to believe for the better, my marriage came to an end, I chose to be a single mom and moved to a country and a continent I had never stepped a foot on before.
Some things, I planned, some I didn’t but every turn in my life in the past couple of years taught something to me and made me more aware of myself. These changes also taught me not every wound and every pain would have a closure. Some things would just be, without us ever knowing their cause, without ever getting an explanation or apology.
I think for peace, a person needs a certain degree of detachment and an unconditional ability to accept. Detachment from expectations, from our idea of what should be, from the idea of perfection and acceptance of the fact that it’s not humanly possible to control anything in our lives. Even our own thoughts.
As a specie with highly developed cognitive abilities, we often tend to complicate our lives without thinking things through. The solution, the answer, the obvious explanation is often just there, staring right back at us but, because we view them through our lens of expectations, pre-conceived notions, we either see them pretty late or sometimes, don’t see them at all.
Just like happiness, I think peace too can only be pursued. It can never be yours one hundred percent. So, a few moons into the life I chose, can I say I got what I was looking for? Definitely not. Does that make me stop my search? Of course not! If anything, I have understood its never really about the result. It always the process.
The results of our actions, of someone else’s actions, of the consequences, are always compounded, consolidated and contextual. Results are never just there, sitting in isolation.
So here I am, a single mom in a continent far away from the one I called home for more than three decades, managing my finances, my child and life on my own, away from the cushion of family, support system and familiarity. My days are busy, physically exhausting, there are times when I feel drained, crave for my mother’s hug, but, every single day is a day in the life I chose for myself. And that, is peace for me. I do realise I have a long way to go but, what makes me happy and at peace is, the path is mine.
Image source: Nadi Whatisdelirium at Unsplash
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Trigger Warning: This has graphic descriptions of violence and may be triggering to survivors and victims of violence.
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