Don’t do the things I would do

It’s a really weird time in the world and where we once found it necessary to slow down and take a deep breath, today, deep breaths are plenty. Hearts are fuller – either from being closer than ever to your loved ones or being farther than ever to their magical hugs. Where once we made decisions on the run, today, reflections are standing their ground. In this existential crisis, there’s thought before action, and even after it. More than ever, there is a candid affair with this new-found friend – TIME. Probably casual, probably temporary, but definitely worth it. As every feeling is felt with deeper consciousness and every moment can be seen passing, experiences seem enhanced somehow – the good, the bad and the ugly. For many of us, it’s been a time to stop, refresh & reanalyse. For many of us, it hasn’t been straight forward and while we strive to flatten a global curve, we are flattening our own life curves laboriously. It’s what I call the sine curve of existence.

A little bit of context is in order, I feel.

Over the years, this blog has been that place where I’ve come to remind myself where my strengths lie. It’s the brave, new me. The one who has come a long winding way, growing both personally and professionally. It’s been a place meant to inspire. Positive and intentional. With feelers of love and hope. It hasn’t been scripted or content strategised to be that way, but, the power of believing in the existence of good in a bad place has been my modus operandi. Open wounds, insecurities, fears, judgements, disillusionment, compulsive negativity, depression, regret, and losing the will to fight – talking about these never made anybody happy. But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist in people who resolve to see beyond them. Internally, we give up time and again. But, we stand back up for the ones who stand with us. A lot of fulfilment comes from acceptance of what can be and what can’t, where your weaknesses will get you and where your will will take you, who stays by you and who you can never trust. A greater fulfilment comes from knowing that you kept your grace (at most times, if not all) even at your lowest points.

But what about the highest points?

To me, it’s the highest points that call out danger. Highs and lows are relative experiences. The lower you’ve been, the higher you’ll go. The lowest you’ve seen will always be a measure to the rush you feel when joy hits you in an unexpected place. You pamper yourself with joy because you feel you deserve it so bad. Because obviously, the balance must be restored somehow. All the strength you held inside you in that storm – that’s a strength you want to keep aside for sometime – holding on to it was all-consuming for a while. There’s wisdom in the storm, but somehow that wisdom is limited to bad tidings. There’s self-indulgence where there should be self-care – and no, you’re not naive to be blinded by it. You see it and you tell yourself – ‘I need to let go. Moderation can wait.’ You tell yourself that these highs are temporary and this happiness that fills your heart is a feeling you must cherish while it lasts. Because life has taught you that it might slip away one fine morning. For now, excessive is normal. It’s acceptable. It’s deserved. It’s only fair. All the reg flags are there, but you think you have time before you must abort mission rogue.

Tell me this hasn’t happened to you? Ever? In the slightest? That time you fell so in love on rebound. Or partied too hard. Or smoked too much. Drank because it felt like the greatest escape. Shopped like a maniac because you felt you earned it. Binged ate and binged watched. Became anti-social or overtly social. Worked too hard because it was a distraction. Chased money or success. Let a love-sick mind take big decisions. Became a compulsive attention seeker. Stepped on somebody’s else piece of pie. How many times have you honestly looked at yourself and known that excessive is becoming the new normal for you – and that the time bomb is quietly ticking in the dark.

Now I know that sounds fucked-up. But, let’s not be so quick to judge or be so hard on ourselves. We all believe that we deserve a certain deal from what we are dealt. Oftentimes, life throws curveballs and the game is reversed. The cards are all mixed up. There is no pure sequence. No joker. And then suddenly, the next card you’re dealt is a piece of the 7th heaven. It completes a sequence, it calls for a new story, a new chance. It floods an empty space. So you bet double. And then ten-fold. Until you are barely left with anything but some remnant pride. You plunge – knowing all too well this is a gamble, but believing in that good fortune because you deserve it don’t you? A gift for all that has been. It’s empathy vs self-pity – the emotions are confusing. Terribly misplaced. There are moments of delirium. And then, like a rude shock, somebody declares three aces. Somebody who isn’t you. You were waiting on this day while you began putting up that excessive house of cards. You always knew it wasn’t sustainable. And, crash landing now…

Back to the lows. Back to the sine curve. The periodic oscillation of up-down-up.

Nobody is above and beyond this process. But, some of these lessons stay on for posterity – only one glitch here – you can’t learn it from me. You’ll do it in your own time.

And yet I would say (like Tony Stark says to Peter Parker) –

‘Don’t do the things I would do, and definitely don’t do the things I wouldn’t do.’

Stay home, keep your loves safe. And, if they are away from you, remind them often that they are so very loved. Let the continuous waves of up-down-ups not dim your inner light. If it’s a dark time, you’re probably on the side of the moon where the best music lives. With it, you’ll live to fight another day.

Until next time,

XOXO

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