What we search for lies within us

A page from my life about my situation last year. Written in the second half of 2016, this was about most difficult times I endured then. A lot has changed since. My attitude towards life and everything has changed. Here’s a look at what I’d felt before I realised few things and learned few life lessons. 

In the most difficult of times, we lose ourselves only to find the real one was hiding inside us all along. 

The reality is I lost my confidence, was completely clueless, my mind gave in to those terrible feelings of emptiness, of hopelessness. I detest those feelings. I was waiting for that ‘someday’ when everything would be ‘fine’. I was living in the illusion that everything has an end, a full stop to it. I didn’t feel like eating. I started feeling strange in the stomach. At one point, I just couldn’t feel happy even if I wanted to. I lost interest in any activity, including writing. Let’s just say my pen couldn’t bleed words no matter how much I tried. And so, I gave up writing. But this sounds unbelievable, right? I know why. Because somehow, smile can lie, but eyes cannot.

I always believed in this: what we search for, lies within us. 

I didn’t lose one thing while everything else was slipping from my hand. I held onto it. That was this little hope within hopelessness, faith that it’ll change, that I want to change. And I took control of my mind. I tried not surrendering to it. I tried to muster up all courage that I had to try and try to change this reality. Believe me, it works. It works wonder. Yes, it takes time. Loads of time. To surrender to time is better than to give in to mind. And I did that.

And now, I’m getting my confidence back. I’m becoming the transformed version of myself. In the past few days, life has turned around for me. No, it’s not a happy ending. But I’m happy. I’ve never been this happy in the 20 years of my life. No, life’s not perfect. It’s not all fine. I still have to fight. So, what’s making me feel so happy?

All of a sudden, I’ve gained such realisations. I’ve learned far more in the past couple of months than I ever have. Yes, adversities can be beautiful. Every second of pain, of fighting, of losing hope and still standing in the battlefield, of trying to handle both emotions and physical pain, of living this reality, of trying to find flame bright enough to light up my hopes, of trying to feel like myself, is a moment I’d cherish forever. Yes, I’m blessed not only because I’m alive, but because I’ve finally found who I am. While my heart was never satisfied with the answer to this question earlier, it now feels it’s found the right answer.

I haven’t lost anything. And I’d say this a million times that I’m happy to have gone through all this. I’m going to fight this all the way till the end. Instead of waiting for that ‘someday’, I’m living it everyday. Instead of trying to find a full stop, I’ve accepted that there can be commas and semicolons and that they’re beautiful. Instead of desiring a ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’ life, I’d like to live the new one. Instead of all ‘sugar, spice and everything nice’, I’d like to live this life of surprises. I don’t want to go back to the old life because what I’ve gained cannot be traded for all the perfection that was my life. To have met all the people along this way who made me feel so motivated has been such a blessing. To believe in myself, to become my own light is beautiful. And amongst so many lessons that I’ve learned and am going to, I can confidently say that I love this uniqueness of having to fight this battle alone.

Those scars that I have will always echo stories. And most importantly, my faith has only increased and taught what it means to be fearless, to live in the now, to be happy, to be a fighter.

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Once upon a time

I don’t have a very good memory. However, whatever details I do remember about anything are those little details people normally do not remember. 

Last year, I wasn’t emotionally or mentally at peace. I also didn’t want to forget whatever was happening with me. I wanted to look back and remember those days again. Like a story. 

So, I began writing diary. 

I had one, but I recorded my poems in that. I began recording my life and felt different. I started pouring out my heart and my mind started clearing up. 

The weather of my heart started changing and my words translated into something beautiful, my strength. 

I always believe that writing is a two way process. You learn from it and your words empower you. Writing is cathartic as well. 

I was directionless. I needed a map. A way. And I found it too. 

I didn’t get answers to all my questions, but I made peace with myself. I was at peace with not having my questions answered. I became okay with not having a direction. I became okay with everything not normal and uncertain. 

I evolved. 

It’s like playing games. You win, you lose. But if you change your perception, your failures become success, a way to learn. 

It’s like driving a car without directions and being okay with getting lost because it’ll lead you to find new ways. 

Eventually, you’ll be home. 

This life may be a test, but you’ve got to learn from it. 

Once upon a time, life became beautiful ever since.  

Why The Colour Purple is still relevant

If you’re reading this, I assume you would have read The Colour Purple by Alice Walker published in 1982. Written in the form of letters to God from protagonist Celie and to Celie from her sister Nettie, the novel brings to forefront social issues faced by African American, especially women. It’s an intersection of themes of racism, sexism, questioning the existence of traditional gender roles, and a slight reference to homosexuality.

Today, this world faces much of what has been depicted in this book. These themes have stood the test of time, unfortunately. Let’s take a look at what’s actually in this novel that is still pertinent. While reading, you may be able to draw similarities between the reality of then and now, though I’m sure there has been a certain degree of change.

The novel explicitly brings out the above-mentioned themes, leaving us to question the morality of traditions that do more harm than good to the society. Violence and discrimination against Blacks in those times went to the extent of Whites lynching them for their good. The superiority instilled in the consciousness of Whites is clearly exhibited. Slavery may have been abolished, but its seeds still persisted in the minds of people. It became the way Blacks were perceived and treated.

What’s interesting is the way the protagonist transforms from an abused, raped teenage girl to an independent woman standing up for herself. With various female characters exhibiting different nature, the novel throws light on the suppression of women through violence and abuse. The induced social superiority of man over woman is questioned by showing different lives. Women who refused to give in, who stood up for themselves and fought for their right, who didn’t let men dictate their life empowered and inspired the protagonist, who was buried under ignorance, which led to teenage pregnancy and abuse.

In the days when colour dictated the terms of social relations and established norms biased to a certain community, questioning the traditional ideas cannot be labelled as a radical attempt. The novel does a good job of highlighting the confusion of illiterate, teenage mind conforming to brutal ways of the world only to realise her own worth with the release of built up emotions.

Walker doesn’t go into much detail of clearing the confusion of protagonist regarding her sexuality, which could be interpreted as an effort to mean that whatever be the sexual preference, it’s people’s right to explore and figure it out for themselves rather than be told what is right or wrong. While this may attack the conservatives, it also instils the belief that people should be allowed to be themselves regardless of race, colour, gender and religion. She does do justice to dissecting the gender roles to question if women really should be relegated only to the domestic sphere and men to the public.

I do believe we’re all evolving. I do believe that we’re on a road to progress. However, if you look around, you are going to find some people still struggling with the above-mentioned issues as well as many others. Both women and men face the social challenges of the world in varying degree.

Today, The Colour Purple stands as a metaphor of struggles each one of us goes through no matter how big or small they are. It stands out for its explicit depiction of truth, which does need to be put out to realise the need to change the reality. 

We don’t need to change the world. We need to change ourselves and impact people around us and the world will change automatically.

Start today. Start now.