And how many times have you felt like you are not enough? That expectation of ‘be something more’ pinches every inch of you, and have you not felt that strange lonesomeness in a crowd, which thinks that you are very much a ‘part’ of the conversation?
As I pen this down, let me tell you, I am currently, in one such situation. I see these people, the known strangers, as I would like to call them, all the time. I recognize them by their faces, names, and I know them. But, that is not important, because they don’t know me.
The definitions, they are so overrated. The whole concept of ‘belonging’ is so misunderstood. As here I stand, facing my quarter age crisis- an undefined vagabond!
There is something about winters, they are cold. Not just literally, but also metaphorically speaking. At times, when I sit at Sandra’s café, I miss her. The giggles! She moved to another city and so left her laugh. The coffee is still the same and all. But, that warmth which I felt in that place, a part of it has left the town.
It is me and Estella, still going strong; as we share our conversations over the umpteen cups of coffee. She keeps me sane. Life’s been busy lately. And before this tiring schedule, honestly, I never thought of myself as a traveler.
Why now, you ask? It is only when you can’t afford it no more, that you realize you had it once.
As a kid when I used to fix up board puzzles, I felt irritated when a piece won’t fit in properly. I was so sure that this piece belongs here, right this place! Today, I am that piece. And I know exactly how outrageous that piece might have felt, when I forced it to be in the wrong place.
For years I have been surrounded by people who have tried to tell me who I am and who I should be. The ones who think that climbing a hill makes them a mountaineer (for symbolism’s sake or maybe not) - I have been surrounded by people who do not count my explorations at a beach, as travel, because there was no climb involved!
And have I not tried to fit in, tried to look at the picture from their perception! But, the thing about jury is that they either say guilty or innocent. And how well I know, what it feels like to be guilty of being yourself.
The question is how far can go with this illogical, faint hope of ‘perhaps, someday you might get accepted’?
You are in the wrong place. It took me time to realize that. I am a sea person. Mountains are good to go, but they are not my mug of beer. They are maybe the drink; I would like to have on occasions, but definitely not always. When the company is right and above all when I WANT TO, that is when I shall visit the mountains.
It took me time to find my grounds. More than that, it took me time to clear my throat and tell the crowd,
“This party’s over. Get out!”
It takes a while, a long while to let go the ones who are not genuinely concerned about how you feel. And the reason why it takes time? Well, these people are the majority. And if you have read 1984, you would know that no matter how much you restrain yourself from hailing the Big Brother, you eventually do it, because everyone expects you to.
But currently, my life is restricted to this town. And my maximum travel takes place when I go for a weekend drive with Estella to our favourite restaurant ‘uphill’. I live in a valley; I missed out on that detail, earlier. But, not everyone cares, so my location, still remains unnecessary.
But, hey! Travel is what gives peace; and I get mine on that short drive. I travel as I listen to the tales that are told to me by Estella and Celine.
And before I wrap it up and keep my pen down, just go out and look for the ones who realise and encourage your individuality.
You cannot please everyone. Whoever said that, was a genius.
You will never be enough! You can only be you.
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