On Mute

So this post is going to be one long rant about everything that is not so good in my life at the moment. Yes, it’s a journey into self-pity. Long years past, a then good friend of mine told me, on one of my ‘feeling-blue’ days, that I was simply wallowing in self-pity. Him saying that bothered me and since then I’ve done my best to keep my fears and disappointments to myself, bottle up my bitterness and when it gets a bit too much, like it has today, I do what I’m doing.

My phone is on silent mode. Try reaching me and you’ll hear my phone ring on your end, but I won’t. I’m not going to check who’s trying to check on me. Just so my people know that I’m very much breathing, I’ve dropped in a couple of hellos since morning. So chances are they won’t even try reaching me today. Or even tomorrow. My best friends will know I’ve gone underground. Hiding somewhere. De-toxing. I’ll surface when I do. Till then they won’t disturb me. That’s why they are my best friends.

I’m sitting in my favorite place. Guess where? It’s easier to seat myself among strangers than in the company of those I know at the moment. At least no conversations are needed. To drown out the cacophony, I have my Jazz playlist on high volume, bursting in my ears. So there is a sea of faces in front of me, most unfamiliar and forgettable, few regulars, all doing their own thing. Some sit with their companions, laughing, swapping tales of Friday night, there’s even a woman weeping and her friends trying to calm her down. A few, like me, are lost in their own thing. Reading, writing, watching YouTube videos. But to me, right at this moment, they are all on mute. I’m doing to the world what it does to me. When I’m alone and screaming (figuratively), no one hears me. And now, there’s a crowd, all talking, and I’m refusing to hear any of their voices.

Lately, I’ve been juggling with a lot of issues, all personal, most born in my own head. I’m questioning everything I thought to be true about me. I always thought I wanted a nest of my own. Now, I wish to soar instead. Try different things. Try a lot of things. I want to live out of a suitcase, not within any walls, no matter how cozy a home, no matter the partner I share it with. I want to learn different languages – Italian, French, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Afrikaans (in that order) – just so that I can live within the pages of books, for the rest of my life. I want to study history – anything that happened from the 13th to the 17th century, anywhere in the world, I want to know it. I want to spend two months living just in Italy next year. And the year after that I want to spend two months living in the wilderness of Alaska and Canada. I want to leave a lot of handwritten notes to people. Friends. Family. Acquaintances. Strangers even. Oh, and I want to learn calligraphy, to write those notes.

I want to make a lot of lists. Bucket lists. Lists of things that make me smile. List of names I like. List of lyrics that resonate with me.

I want to photograph a lot. Random things. Meaningful ones and meaningless. Like when Big Ben strikes 9. Actually, I got that one already. And when it strikes 12 noon. Okay, I got that one too. Maybe when it strikes 12 midnight?

And I want to pick on people’s brains. I want to learn what crawls under everyone’s skin. What makes them feel alive? What adventures are they having? Who do they love? I want stories. A lot of stories.

So there are a lot of things that I want to do. That I’m going to do. But once in a while, my insecurities threaten to drag me down, drown me, threatening to obiliterate all my plans. The question, whether I even matter to anyone, makes me feel lonely. I crave a companion that would just be mine. Someone who would let me be me, wholly. Most days it’s okay to not have that someone. But on days that it does matter, that realization hits hard. That in thirty years of my life I haven’t found anyone to love me unconditionally, and I haven’t fallen in love. Self-pity alarm! It doesn’t help when people tell me that I will find someone. That you can’t plan for these things. They happen. But the fact that it isn’t happening, makes me miss it. Wait. Is it possible to miss something you’ve never ever had, never ever experienced? I want to love, not for the sake of loving. I want to love for the sake of having experienced every emotion there is. I’ve known camaraderie, kindness, joy. I’m familiar with bitterness, disappointment, anger. I’ve felt empathy, sympathy, pity. But love has remained elusive.

And among other insecurities, my insignificance sometimes stares back at me in the mirror. I don’t care if I remain an unknown name. I don’t care if I create something that makes me famous now but later forgotten. I don’t care about fame. But I do care about my individuality. And the funny thing is, there are so many people who can easily replace me, at work, in the lives of my friends, even as someone’s potential date, that my time, energy and feelings, no matter how truly and deeply invested, will all be wasted and washed away. I belong to nothing, no one. I can’t say that I’m indispensable, irreplaceable imperative in anyone’s life.

So this week has been all about that. Who I am, who I want to be, and who I will never be. I will never be a ballet dancer. I will never be able to read every word ever written. I will never be a child of six anymore.

That’s what bothers me. Constantly.

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