Growing Up #10: What Have We Done to Our Homes?

I’ve always been a fan of retreats, but then it struck me this time. What have we done to our homes that we must go far far away from it to find our peace back? Isn’t home supposed to be the inviolable place we rested our minds, the impermeable barrier that kept us safe, the impervious door no evil could pass?

This is of course not to say travel and retreats are a waste. It’s just very ironic that our schedules have made us their slaves. We’re always connected, and a few minutes of disconnection can feel like a year of missing out.

I’ve been reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, and a line from the book about the domestication of wheat strikes so familiar to what technology has done to us:

We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us. 

Perhaps technology has domesticated us. Harari calls us a hackable creature, thanks to technology again. Read about it here.

I’ve known myself as someone who has always loved being home. I might be the classic introvert that personality quizzes describe. I love being at home – wiping dust off the book shelf, arranging and rearranging toiletries on the rack, or just playing the keyboard.

These days though I find stress creeping into the walls of my room, insecurity emerging out of social media taking over my dusty study desk, unnecessary emails gnawing up my creating time.

And I ask myself, what have I done to my home?

I must change it. It must be changed. Drawing lines – it might just be as simple, undecorated and acetic as that. Just as hard.


Growing Up is a weekly series on well, growing up, published every Saturday (Cheat week this Week as I wrote this on a Tuesday). It’s been 10 consecutive weeks I’ve been writing this specific column in my blog here. Can’t believe it’s 10 weeks already. They were right: time passes any way.  

Growing Up #9: ‘Tis The Season of Goodbyes

August – the eighth month of the calendar, the month when Summer isn’t gone yet, but the winds begin to feel chilly, a telling sign of how we have lived past over half of the year; a sign of the coming cold in the horizons.

August – a month of goodbyes when the suitcases are neatly packed, weighed, and wrapped. They hold not just belongings but memories and scents of yesterday, and now have pasted tags over their bodies keeping them from getting lost. It is how much can fit inside the weighing limit that one can carry of ones past – crunched, crumbled, convoluted.

I bid goodbye to friends, their eyes yearning for a better tomorrow and their hearts swelling with hope. I wish them the best that there can be. Together we’ve bid our goodbyes to many it seems. Maybe we have lost count now. Some goodbyes are left for electronic wires to convey, some other even unsaid.

There’s something strange about this season, a signal of transition. A fleeting season that could define many tomorrows, or may be it could just be a passing season. An ephemeral season that holds a memory or two for most, of when they left, and when they let go.

August – when the leaves turn yellow in some places, it’s still green here.


Growing Up, a series on Growing Up, every Saturday – because Saturdays are perfect for overthinking. 

Growing Up #6: Life is a Third Person Limited Perspective

I learned something fun and for an ethereal moment a marvelous thing that day: life, as we know, is a third-person limited perspective.
 
I was at a writing workshop this past week. We began by talking about building characters and moved into writing the narrative of the story. We were handed out a task to write a paragraph each in the First Person Limited narrative (the famous I character), Third Person Limited narrative (follow one single character’s Point of View) and the Third Person Omniscient narrative (follow two characters at most).
 
I walked out of the classroom and sat down in the not-too-dark canteen table to type my paragraphs. Inchoate questions and confusion began running like wild horses in my mind.
 
What is a narrative? How do I decide what my character sees? Where do I get my character?! Can my characters have a conversation with someone? Who?
 
I had heard these terms, but when I found myself surrounded by writers far more knowledgeable, I was nervous, unsure of what I knew. I felt out of place. The many literary terms coming my way made little sense to me.
 
I knew the First-person narrative, the famous I character -Dickens’ David Copperfield, the Third Person omniscient – God watching everything from above. But I got stumped at the Third Person Limited narrative.
 
If I follow a single character, can I have dialogues and conversations in the story? I thought.
 
I knew I had to ask this question. I had to muster the courage, despite all the feelings of not belonging that had surged.
 
I asked.
 
The answer was yes. ‘We do not know what the other characters are thinking, but our character can react to the dialogues,’ the instructor said.
 
‘So can we say life, as we know, is a third-person limited perspective?’ I immediately asked as the question formed in a microsecond. I was not sure if it made any sense.
 
The answer was, filled with some slight giggles, a yes. ‘That’s the reason confusions and misunderstandings happen, no?’ he added.
 
For a moment it felt like I had traveled outside of my body, I had myself become a character in a story – a character that could never figure out what other characters were thinking, but could merely react as a result.
 
For some odd reason this realization soothed my being. It was a sudden manifestation that I was merely a character in this world of million stories, or a sense of relief in knowing that none of us carried the capacity or the burden to fully understand every minute thought that goes into the mind of the other.
 
It could have simply been the euphoria of being able to ask a question and get an answer.

Reflecting back on the week gone by since Saturdays are perfect for overthinking, and capturing some of it into words. Growing Up, a series, about the growing pains and confusions of growing up. (Too many growing, I get it!). Every Saturday. 

Growing Up #5: To see oneself from somebody else’s eyes

A strange desire overcomes me. I would like to see myself from somebody else’s eyes.

Would they see me as someone whose inbox is filled with rejection letters? Someone who’s unable to walk the linear path of life, someone who does not understand the way the world runs? Someone who cannot connect the dots of her career, jumping from one area into another? Someone who is not clever enough to navigate through the spider webs of life, someone who doesn’t know where all of this is heading?

If I could see myself from somebody else’s eyes, what would I see? Maybe I wouldn’t see much of anything.

I’d be busy in my own spider webs.


Growing Up, a series on well growing up. Every Saturday, breaking the rule this week (again! because what a Saturday it has been).