Rite of Passage: I Lived

I am obsessed with space, planets and everything in between. The idea of being made of stars fascinates and comforts me. Somewhere I can find an illogical link between my existence and the grand old universe. My mind is so broad that the brain sometimes rolls off and finds crazy theories and paradigms to justify the mystical, everything that can’t be seen but can only be felt. May be it is a fragment of my imagination like the entire world around me or may be it isn’t and there are truly mind-blowing entities beyond what our eyes can visualise. Before I go off surfing on a stranger tide, I’ll get to the point of this blog post.

I love the concept of Saturn Return. It basically suggests that the planet returns to the position it was at when you were born, making it personal. For the sake of this blog-post I shall not get into the many dwindling views I have on astrology as at the end of the day it is a pseudo-science. But so is everything and everything…and anything when you choose philosophical stances. I can sit here shooting faux stoner philosophies at the world but the truth of the matter is that the underlying meaning behind the Saturn Return is tragically beautiful.

My mind understands this concept as the Rite of Passage. Saturn returns generally happen between the ages of 29-31, which makes sense as Saturn resembles the task master who puts you through hell to teach you some life lesson(s). I doubt this means that hell vanishes after age 30, but may be our 20s hardships just give us enough resilience to fight through until the clock ticks out.

Today marks my official Saturn return which has given me an excuse to review my life so far. Throughout my 20s, I met an insane-almost bipolar range of people and circumstances swinging from one end of the continuum to another. I often get told that I indeed connected and made friends with some very weird people and that I have lived a unique life.

The truth is that I just like most humans…I met people who spun out hate to my face. I met people who thought I was just an accent/a colour, not a human. I met people who were slowly disappearing into thin space. I met people who shared their intimate memories with me within our first meeting. I met people who gave me the tightest goodbye hugs even though they didn’t really know me. I met people who instantly distrusted me. I met people who fed me when I couldn’t cook. I met people who feared me without a reason. I met people who told me I am one of a kind. I met people who went out of their ways to make me feel loved. The list just goes on and on…but to sum it up, all the people I met helped me live. They let me jump into their worlds and take on different identities. They introduced me to things that were strange yet familiar, that the little kid who grew up in small Indian towns would have been so thrilled to know existed. My 20s have been a wild explorer’s dream.

I will forever be grateful for all the experiences everyone brought into my life. I definitely struck the luck-pot when I was born to my amazing parents, in a family full of generous-kind hearted souls but the people I met on the outside weren’t all monsters either. This morning I randomly heard the song- I Lived by One Republic and it made me smile because coincidently I was trying to review my life. Below are some life themes that were too prominent for me to miss. I hope reading this will bring someone, somewhere some solace as they ride through the storms.

Lessons learnt…

No Longer-Resentful

I spent most part of my life resentful and angry at being excluded by the world, starting age 3. Those memories from the first day at kinder garten still haunt me. Even though I had a ton of friends and was always pretty popular, I felt like an outsider but truth of the matter is that we all are outsiders in one way or another. I always found myself surrounded by the wrong people because I was forcing myself to be someone I am not. Today, I am comfortable with who I have become and surprisingly the few people who remain in my life don’t mind the sweet weirdness that is me. This issue brought me an insane amount of mental anguish up until a few months back but I finally feel that I crossed the line and lived to tell the story. I will always be lonely and I am OK with that because the lonely periods have enhanced my ability to detach/space out. That is the quality that makes me resilient and capable of surviving the shit storms anywhere on earth.

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No Longer-Feeling Unloved/Unappreciated

For most part of my life I felt unloved by the external world. I had programmed my mind into thinking that no one outside the two people who made me would ever find me love worthy. This is a constant struggle but visiting Sivan in May turned that view point on its ass. Someone outside me, a complete stranger in many aspects loves me and it fills my heart with joy. Over the past few months I have allowed others to have the opportunity to give to me and it is freeing. I don’t always have to be the sole provider of love in any friendship, if anything that probably makes others feel incompetent.

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No Longer-Controlling

Another hard lesson has been letting go of the control I like to have on every aspect of my life. This is what turned me into a cyber hypochondriac, an OCD and a paranoid nut-case. It wasn’t until my own parents pointed out how difficult I had become to live with because of my OCD, that I figured I was suffering from some form of irrational madness that could seriously break me. I am allowing the universe/higher forces/whatever else that isn’t me to take charge. This doesn’t mean giving up taking action but it does mean, stopping myself from over-doing everything.

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No Longer-Cynical

For as long as I can remember, I have been a proud cynic. Cynics aren’t harmful until they turn judgemental and start looking down upon others from their high horse. After I deactivated my Facebook in September, I learnt that the problem was not others, the problem was me. People try their best to do their best in whatever they are given..well most people do, not sociopaths/psychopaths. Just because other people don’t choose to live inside their own brains as I do and are more in touch with their ego-based nature, doesn’t mean they are lesser than me. It just means, we underwent different life transformations because of where were born and what we were given. Two people don’t have to be the same. For all I know, they probably resent my out-there ideas or my space-cadet attitudes too. Letting go of cynicism has allowed me to forgive others and forgive myself.

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No Longer-Unkind

I have definitely done some awful, mean things to others. I bullied people at school who I thought were being nasty to others or had strayed my moral compass. Unintentionally I must have definitely hurt hundreds using my blunt words. But, over the past year or so I am learning to give and be kind to myself and others. Just being kind to someone with a smile or a £1 will make both of your days. Unkindness always stemmed from my inability to trust others. I always assumed the worst, so every-time they did something that ticked off my anxious alarms, I turned into an unkind-mean soul to defend my emotions from their unpredictable/untrustworthy behaviour. This is not a requirement! I have now learnt that life has sent me similar experiences over and over again to test how I react when I find myself in those situations. I have been trying to re-do my wrongs by not falling back into my old patterns and choosing kindness instead. Kindness is not expecting anything in return, it is a form of unconditional devotion to other souls around you.

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No Longer-Inexpressive

My expression always felt stifled, be it in the form of my opinions and standing up for myself in front of authority or just being creative. None of my friends supported my writing, I doubt anyone even read my blog but I have stopped putting the onus on them to be my art admirers. I am learning to be expressive for my own sake. One way I do so now is through cooking. I make a point to cook myself creative meals from scratch. No one else tastes it and the only people who see it are those on my Instagram who are genuinely very kind for admiring my food. Another form of expression also came in the form of standing up for myself in front of authority. This has been a rather long-long-very long lesson but I always felt the need to comply with authority figures because that is the safest thing to do. I was more than happy to be argumentative with those I love but it was always hard to put my foot down in front of outsiders. I am slowly learning to do this. My heart fills with joy when I express myself assertively and it doesn’t back fire!

adventure-branch-explore-forest-quote-Favim.com-207940No Longer-Sticking By The Rules

Apart from the many lessons I learned in the past 9 years, the most amazing lesson came in the form of accepting my quirks. I hate suits, I hate 9 to 5s and I hate everything predictable. For years I kept attracting unpredictable people only to realise that their presence brought out the eccentric within me. My views on all popular opinions have shifted 180 degrees. I have implemented the –Live and Let Die theory to survive things I can’t make sense of and it works wonders!

I have also found that my idea of what love really means has become an oddity in itself. All of the experiences thus far have taught me that at the bottom of all relationships lies a-friendship. If we are more than our physical existence then it must mean that romantic love is just a means to an end for procreation. Often sex is confused with love, when love really is the purest form of friendship. There is no need to own the other person, control their actions or expect they don’t stray away from your judgemental radar. This kid I met through uni articulated my unstructured thought really well- You can’t control others. They will do what they want to. The best you can do out of love is to pray that they get whatever it is that they are after. It is a truly freeing thought.

Life will continue to happen even after this imaginary silly hurdle has been jumped but I hope that the lessons I learnt will give me enough ammunition to fight some more. I have finally become someone I am truly comfortable being, unashamed, unpredictable, unstoppable and free.

Now here’s that One Republic song and the beautiful video that blew my mind this morning,

I owned every second that this world could give, I saw so many places, the things that I did…I lived.

the only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday

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