Growing Up #18: A Storm Wave

There are days, aren’t there, when you feel as if the entire universe is imploding inside of you. They say our bones have composition of the stars, so indeed the universe does exist inside of us. We are all made of stardust. And this very stardust begins to ache from every corner for reasons we cannot yet decipher.

The crippling anxiety of growing up has become like a dance of the expanding universe, it keeps spreading away, stretching with it a part of us. It hurts, as it did when our bones expanded when we were younger. We were at least assured that we are going to be two inches taller soon. But the expansion of life feels rather unsure. What will become of it, what roads do they meet with, what are the realities and realms it will pass through? Nobody knows an answer, and all the answers are vastly different from one another.

Admitting we are unique, one of a kind, comes with the burden of accepting that our roads are bound to be very different. And yet we inch closer towards the crossroads of comparison. Isn’t it injustice? But wait, isn’t that just what we have been doing our whole lives, maybe even deriving some hidden pleasure out of it.

It is much more convoluted than what meets the eye. The heart is so very capable of feeling circumstances our minds will, perhaps, never be able to lay out on the table and segregate piece for piece; jumping from the apogee of a happy day to the nadirs of despair, the stomach turning itself inside out in its imaginary yet painful process. How capable is the heart and mind on their own, disobeying the commands of the master they have been given to.

What can we do then, when hit by a storm wave of thoughts that have no beginning and seem to have no end. They come, unannounced invited by the lyric of a song, the words of someone around, a memory both distant and close, circumstances we couldn’t alter. And they leave dilapidating the house we have so closely guarded our soul in.

This too shall pass, they say. Maybe it will.


A weekly blog on Growing Up – every Saturday because Saturdays are perfect for overthinking. 

Growing Up #17: An Essay That Made Me Think

It’s been a while. It’s been a season of festivities on this side of the world. Festivities has made into one of my best excuses to write less. As a kid I loved festivals, but the older I become, the charm began to fade. Perhaps it’s a memory of its own kind. My resolution to write every Saturday about growing up, because holidays are perfect for overthinking has been toppled. Festivities are even better time to overthink, to react in the secret chambers of your mind. I could not make myself write more.

Each year as the festivities pass, I feel as though it chips away a piece of me. The city stops, and the halt sends a thousand thoughts spiraling down my nerves. I stop from my usual life, peek out into the world and it serves as a stark reminder of – the things I wanted to do but couldn’t, the list of To Dos I gave up on, the things I wished but never had the serendipity of coming across.

Time stops, I stop with it, but my racing heart doesn’t. It runs as though chased by an unseen force into an imaginary chaos I can barely contain. The chaos of insecurity, the chaos of incomprehension, the chaos of desire and description, the chaos of simply being. The chaos I wish I could translate frame for frame into words.

There is some solace in words, and in people who take the excruciating task of opening the doors into their minds through them. Without you, I don’t know how much longer I could have remained in the realm of sanity.

There is some solace in strangers who write and whose words tumble down into your world through the ocean of the internet. Without you, I could not have smiled.

I might have just come across such a work this morning. It’s Never Too Late to Start a Brilliant Career.

All of us know someone, care about someone or love someone who seems stuck in life. The critical thing to remember is that we cannot give up on ourselves or others, even—and especially—if society has made it harder to catch up. Human life spans are lengthening. Most people recently born will live into the 22nd century. The vast majority of us will be better served not by high SAT scores or STEM degrees but by discovering and embracing our true talents. A healthy society needs all of its people to recognize that they can bloom and re-bloom, grow and succeed throughout their lives. – Rich Karlgaard

The Supposed Tos of the world and the age milestones attached with it pours with them a stream of anxiety, bringing in the perhaps forbidden thought, that if we do not have a particular milestone by a predefined time we are undeserving of it, even more never bound to find it. We are not robots, preprogrammed bots to behave in a way that is predefined. We’re humans, with minds, brains, and wonders. And we’re bound to be different, bound to find our music in our own frequencies.

A healthy society needs all of its people to recognize that they can bloom and re-bloom, grow and succeed throughout their lives. This is the last line from Rich Karlgaard’s essay, and perhaps the one that struck a chord with my heart. ‘Throughout their lives” these three words mean even more. We’ll always be growing up.