Saturday, May 24, 2014

Encountering idiots on my morning walk and other updates

I've had quite a miserable week. My back sprain refuses to let up. The only time I have no pain is when I take a muscle relaxant. The fact that I do not like pumping myself with medication means I don't really take it and then wince in pain. Normal people would have seen a doctor by now. But I am not normal and I can't get two minutes of alone time in the loo so forget about seeing the doctor!

Sage had a seizure on tuesday right on cue. Now they are 15 days apart and it means that he is clingy for the next couple of days. I sit in a dark room with the air conditioning on and hope that my banging on the key board does not wake him out of his sedative induced sleep. Initially I enjoyed the respite, now I just am antsy that I cannot even step out to fetch water from the fridge. I feel like I am under house arrest.

My tryst with horrible, ill mannered, grumpy people in the morning continues. Apart from the lady vigilantes who asked me not to bring my dog near their gate, today I had a run in with an abusive, toothless, cigarette smoking octogenarian who used the choicest urdu gaalis on me and the dog. He was sitting and smoking on the footpath and my dog just looked at him while passing by, that was enough to trigger off the old fart. I am filled with anger now instead of amusement. Earlier I chuckled at their idiosyncrasies. Now I just get riled up. Who wakes up at 6 AM to wait for a stranger to fight with? Obviously the women who wait for me and Sage are so jobless that this is the most exciting part of their day. Earlier there was one, now four of them wait up for me. Today, the old man yelling at me really threw me off. I yelled back and told him to fuck off. I did remember that he was older than my mother and maybe was alone and sad. But what the hell, I couldn't tolerate his abusive language for more than 60 seconds.

What kind of people are these? and why am I the one to meet them first thing in the morning even before coffee?

My back catch has ensured that I have made very slow progress with the new place. So far I have srcubbed the kitchen tiles from all the gunk and grease, moved all the paper and non perishable items and yesterday I got the pest control guys to treat the place for cockroaches as a precaution.

Next week, I look forward to getting a wall painted and installing a few shelves. I also need to buy a fridge and move my ovens. The furniture will come next weekend. I am hoping that the place will be functional from next month. I am still contemplating about moving my office there. It is ambitious, but may be impractical. Stepping out to just check emails and stuff may be unrealistic. However on the suggestion of a good friend, I plan to set up an old laptop and printer there in case of emergencies.

Just writing about this new place has lifted my spirits today. I need to go out and finish prepping for my class today. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The truth about me

Sometimes, I cannot recognise myself. The unabashed approval seeker of a few decades ago. The life of the party. The person who wanted everyone to know, like and approve of her. The one who outwardly wanted all the attention and yet cringed and felt uncomfortable when the spotlight was on her.

I grew up wanting like every other teenager to be popular. I went out of my way to hide my insecurities. With a less than ideal family situation, I was eager to show people I was normal and likable and fun to be with. That made me more friendly than I actually felt and certainly less assertive. All my secrets were hidden away in the noise I produced.

When I entered my mid twenties, I had a small and secure group of friends. Some of them still remain in my life... Some I outgrew but have fond memories of.

When I got married, unlike every newly wed ( and I am making a very generalised sweeping statement), I did not get cocooned and fall out of touch with friends. Infact on the contrary, K and I went all out to be that young married couple who's door is always open. We had friends, friends of friends and then some. I enjoyed that phase too.... of his friends becoming mine, and mine becoming his and the lines blurring. We moved homes, went through a phase where we had to practice extreme financial discipline to get by and as a result, our friends list whittled down to those who would not mind the downgrade from noisy night club to quiet balcony.

I think around the time that I was entering my 30's having quit my job and in looking for meaningful things to do, I found that despite the fact that my general countenance is loud and aggressive, I am quite the social introvert. My friend N made this discovery and it must speak for the relationship we have, that she recognised and acknowledged this trait about me. I love having people over, as much as I need my quiet time.  After every couple of days of intense socializing and activities involving others, I need my down time. I need my silence and my space. I am territorial and get cranky when it is usurped and encroached upon. I have OCD and it shows even in how vessels need to be arranged inside the kitchen cabinets and it gets to my gut when even my Mom does it another way. 

Slowly but surely, the long hours and silence of being alone at home forced me to calm the fuck down, think and figure out a few things. I don't believe I have "arrived" at suitable answers to all my questions. But I have surely learnt that there are questions, and I will find answers...sometimes sooner than I think, sometimes later. I found that it is also ok to have unanswered questions, to be in doubt and yet go with instinct. Rarely have I been wrong when I have followed my gut. When I have forced myself to work / think / live according to someone else's logic, that's when I have fallen flat. 

So the truth is, I continue to protect myself fiercely. My thoughts, wants, needs, dreams. The difference is that I do not feel the need to make excuses for it anymore. I think this more than anything, has made me bolder and stronger. We all have imaginary conversations, of what we will say when asked this and that. I had most of mine this way. The difference is that now I say it out loud. Politely, but firmly. The truth is that the realisation that I need to nurture myself first, my family and those I love next has been very liberating. 

I love more freely now. Because my love is spent on the people I hold precious and not in the quest of being popular. I speak my mind more now and yet get into less arguments and fights. I am more confident in my decisions because I weigh the pros and cons I realise more than anything else, what I want for myself is as important as anything else that I do. That I cannot be a good person or fulfill any relationships unless I am at peace with myself. 

And this has been the most rewarding realisation for me.