She stared at the screen, horrified at the travesty. The post was over 5months old. And she’d spotted a spelling error! With over a hundred views, the post was beyond salvation. It’s just a typographical error, she chided herself. But the world will KNOW, she argued.
Exhausted, she decided to just sleep over it. And that’s when she heard it. At first it was laughter. Sinister laughter. More like a witch’s cackle. It grew louder as more and more people harmoniously joined in. Then she saw them. The faceless readers of her blog. Pointing and laughing. At her. They surrounded her from all sides and she looked for a way of escape but all she saw were misplaced commas, dancing and taunting her. She saw a door and ran to it. Then a question mark as tall as her, gave her a look that was questioning and quizzical. While she pondered on that, letters started flowing in through the door. And they danced, first in pairs then they formed groups of misspelled words. She started to sweat nervously. Then the faceless humans walked toward her like zombies on a mission, screaming out the correct spellings to her. She covered her ears and screamed herself awake. Breathless, she looked around and saw the laptop with the misspelled post right beside her. Wiping the sweat off her brow, she edited the post. Heaving a sigh of relief, she dozed off into dreams that had letters grouped correctly and faceless humans that hummed quietly till she slipped into deep slumber.
Her knuckles turned white as she held on to the handle for dear life. Her feet shuffled nervously on the ledge that kept her from the roaring ocean beneath her. Her thoughts ran wild as she pondered over what brought her there. I just wish they’d understand! she fumed. I cannot live like them! I am not like them! She shuddered as she thought of what happened last night. All the shouting and screaming. It was just too much for her to handle. Isn’t this supposed to be her own life? Isn’t she supposed to make her own decisions?
She looked around to see if someone was around. To care about what she was about to do. To at least try to make her stop. But all she saw were birds, flying about in circles over her head. Waiting for her to take the plunge. This is it, she thought in resolve. There was no stopping her now.
Slowly and carefully, she let go of the handle. Spreading her arms wide, she prepared herself to embrace the waters. She closed her eyes and stepped ahead, into the air. And down she went. It was faster than she’d imagined. Before she knew it, she’d hit the cold waters. If she knew how to swim, she’d forgotten it as the waves enveloped around her. She felt cold stinging sensation in her lungs. Nothing could stop her now. She’d done it. She’d given in.
This girl gave the 14 years of her life up because she couldn’t take the pressure anymore. Pressure to be like her parents. Pressure to score more marks. Pressure to do what they wanted her to do. She succumbed to all the pressure and finally gave in.
What can you, as parents, do differently for your teenagers?
We laughed at silly things
And coffee “gave us wings”
We shopped and shopped
Until our credit limits popped
We giggled and glared
All of our troubles we shared
Sticking by each other through thick and thin
Wondering if our bet on GG was gonna win
We quoted FRIENDS on a daily basis
At that, people sneered and made faces
Gossip brought us together and tore us apart
But from these memories, we will never part
Someday, down the broken road we might
Cross paths and know we never gave up the fight
Out of all the silliness, we will know for sure
Arose a friendship so sweet and so pure
Even now that we are miles apart
You will always have a special place in my heart
She didn’t have what I’d like to call “Shopper’s luck”. You know, when some people just “happen” to get stuff at half the price and great stuff at discounted rates. She, however, is one of those that ends up buying things at full price (‘cause the stuff she likes is not on sale or her size is not available) or not liking things that are on sale. So this time when her phone kept beeping with texts reminding her of all the sales, she figured she should try it buying stuff at a lower cost for a change. And so she ventured into the mall closest to home which seemed to be nearly at-capacity!
It seemed like a modern-day fair. Everywhere you looked you saw people. Its probably safe to say there were more people than clothes in all the stores combined. Children pulling and tugging at their parents, men feigning interest and women dragging their toddlers along with them. It really was some sight! With crowded trial rooms and unending queues at the cash counter, all of her patience seemed to be tested. Her heart skipped a beat every time she almost walked into a little person running straight into her. Struggling to catch her breath, she walked into one of the bookstores looking for solace. She found none, as the books were on sale too! Finding a lonely spot in the store, she managed to draw in a deep breath. Exhausted with all the navigating through the crowds, she decided to stay in there.
Her friend finally joined her and she could let go of the bookstore and venture into the halls again. If it was possible, the mall seemed to be even more crowded than before! But with company, she seemed to have renewed courage to battle it out till she bought something. Thus began the endless hunt for something to buy. Anything. After searching for a couple of hours, I wish I could tell you that she’d found something at half its price. She’d found the one thing in “New Arrivals” that fit her perfectly. Glad about getting out of there smoothly, she stumbled out of the store, victorious. Well, moral victory (more or less). Resolving to buy at full price and not be swayed by the sales, she tucked her phone into her bag and walked out of there. Smiling.
(Inspired by true events)
Have you ever had an ex that made you smile every time he entered your thoughts? The kind that you care about even after things didn’t exactly work out for you two?
This is what I’d like to call “Residual Love”. You are not in love with that person, but will always have feelings for him no matter what happened between you two. There is always going to be a “what if” scenario despite knowing fully well that things will not work out.
It’s not the same as being in love. It’s what’s left of love for that person.
Residual love allows you to remain friends with that person. Count on them when it matters most. Secretly imagine what it would be like if things worked out for you two. Or not. It could simply be genuinely being happy for that person in their major or minor victories.
The only way it will completely go away is if things ended badly or if you have found greater love in another.
All of us have experienced this at some point in our lives. Some have found their greater love and moved on into the realms of true love with someone really special. And some of us are yet to find greater love. So until then, we make do with the residual love and hope to the Almighty that greater love will come rescue us some day.
“Welcome to adulthood.”
“25 huh? Time to settle down eh?”
While my mind fully comprehends that these good-natured people mean well, my heart chooses to crawl away into a corner and sob silently.
Such a significant milestone, crossed. I suddenly realize that I will never be 24 again. Or 22. Or celebrate my 21st again.
Now I can say things like “We met 15 years ago” and almost feel my skin wrinkle and my teeth pop out.
Now is when I’d start getting offended if a child calls me “aunty”.
Now I can’t dismiss those stray strands of white hair saying they’re a “sign of wisdom”.
Now I understand why adult acne is such a big deal.
Now I realize the role of that extra carb on my body.
Now I understand what it feels like to be on the other side of the Generation Gap.
So you’re probably thinking that this is just a me over-reacting. But now I can say overly dramatic things and still come across as sane. Because I’m older and that means I am right. 🙂
At 5’3″ and a half (yes, that half is very important), you’d think I’ll be content with my height. But if you spend half as much time as I do with the kids in school you’d empathize. Children these days seem to grow like Jack’s beanstalk. With a bunch of them standing around me I find myself lost in the midst of tall trees dressed in school uniforms. Needless to say, I don’t step out of my room during recess.
In my first week of work I remember I had arranged for a session with an 8th grade class. I still remember exactly how the first few minutes of that session went. I entered the class extremely confident. And as soon as I did, everyone in class stood up to greet me. That is when my confidence shook a bit. Your’s would too if you couldn’t see past the first bench. Quickly I asked them to be seated. In the pretext of keeping my stuff away I turned away and took a deep breath. The session went quite well, thankfully. (I didn’t ask them to stand again.) After that I kinda got used to it; really tall kids crowding me in the hallway or in classrooms.
But then I started to wear wedges that were not just comfortable, they also helped elevate my self-esteem. Of course, its all in my head. But if that helps my confidence, then why not. A few inches of extra height never hurt anyone.
A year and a half into working here and I find that its not just my students that make me feel really small. A lot of people that I have come know and care about, too are really tall. It kinda makes it easier to not be bothered by their height. I mean, sure they are really tall and I’d look small even if I wore pumps. But it doesn’t really matter when you are comfortable with yourself and with them too.
I’m sure none of these people care about my height. Tiny insecurities like these tend to make their way into our oh-so-brilliant minds and have us obsessed with them. But it is alright to feel insecure once in a while. But accepting yourself just the way you are is the first step in others accepting you. Acceptance starts from within.