The Storm

Silent is the night
The din deafening
Calm before the storm
The end is nearing

There is a light
Born of the dark
With a hint of gloom
With an aura stark

The sound of the ocean
Calming as it rages on
Birds no longer chirping
As nearer approaches the storm

Brace yourselves
Find shelter from
The approaching
Will overthrow the norm

The end is here
Destruction looms
Ignored the warning bells
When they rang at noon

No day like today to repent
To atone for sins past
To clean up our act
And make the sanctity last

The storm passes
We still stand
Did we learn our lesson
Standing hand-in-hand

Don’t mourn the past
Don’t look behind now
What’s done is done
Rise up from the bow

Take a moment
Let it sink in
You’re still here
Amidst the silent din

Find your path
Don’t wander astray
And don’t forget now
To live like it’s your last day

Free

It wasn’t me
But it wasn’t you either
I wish it were
Because now I blame neither
Me? My kind of love
Is overwhelming
And you were so caught up
Playing the unscathed and disbelieving
Friend to my Juliet
To look at my love
Beyond your mindset
And so I free you from the guilt
I hope that you never felt

Mirrors

If the sky was a mirror
A reflection of the world beneath
Then up there among the stars
Is where I’d like to have been

If the ocean were a mirror
A reflection of the sky up above
Then in the shining waters
Is where I would find love

If I sneaked a quick glance
Into a glass with a mirror carved
Then in its depths I would find
A reflection of mistakes past

Identity Crisis

When I look into the mirror
And I see those hollow eyes
I feel something in me stir
Like a feeling of love deprived

There’s something to be said
About believing in your own karma
But where do you put that misplaced faith
When you don’t know who you are

A case of mistaken identity
Revealing itself after ages flown by
No time for soul searching
Nor for hopelessness or crying

I am pain unheard of
At least to my own ears
For I am my own suffering
That seeps through my tears

Why couldn’t I have said that I was me
Floating through the sky carefree
Or even driving down the highway
Belting out the lyrics to some melody

So morose and yet so naïve
To think that I could find
The answers I am looking for
Outside of my own mind

I look to the world for validation
Though they aren’t rushing to provide
So I do whatever it is that it takes
To astonish and mesmerise

My view of me is contingent
On the way the world can see
Whatever it is they’re looking to find
When they take a good look at me

Life Lessons

I used to think that I knew things, you know? That every mistake, sorry, life lesson, was just a learning and that it contributed to my growth. Whether the damage was irreparable or simply a trifle, I believed that there was some teaching which a disgruntled human like myself could find a message in.

My beliefs now stand shaken. How many life lessons, sorry, mistakes, can a person make before they begin to seem as a way of life rather than a simple learning?

Who is a bad person? Who defines the concepts of good and bad? I keep repeating to myself that bad actions or bad behaviour doesn’t make a person bad. But who I am to decide? In my own head, my actions are everything I make them out to be. But, as one of these majestic life lessons have taught me, not everyone lives in my head.

I love the idea of justifications. Why did you do something that you’re taught is a bad thing? It’s easier to forgive something when there is an explanation for it. But do you really move forward when it’s always held over your head?

I don’t want to spend my life atoning for the sins of my past. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to apologise or rectify or try and make things right. But the truth is, there’s no such thing as a clean slate. This is the reality. Moving forward is one thing, but you’re still moving forward from the place of the – lets call it a ‘hiccup’ – and it’s still a significantly large deal in the scheme of things.

This idea of life lessons is simple. You learn from something, and that’s it. Situations change, as do people. Everyone has their own life lessons to grow from. Empathy is a wonderous concept, but you haven’t really been in the other’s persons shoes, because you don’t have every single bit of information and experience that defines them in that moment. Moments come and go, but the outcome is here to stay.

Guilt-ridden and spiralling into a well filled to the brim with ghosts of memories past, I wonder if every white lie I’ve ever told should come back to haunt me. Every mistake I’ve ever made, does it really define me? How do I allow myself to move forward from being the person I was to the person I wish to be? That yardstick is so long that I might as well call it quits right now; it’s an impossible goal to achieve. But I have to keep trying, don’t I? Because that’s what I want to define me: the courage that it takes to overcome these hiccups and truly strive to be a better person or not.

It’s not about the end goal, it’s about the journey. The journey isn’t a straight path, from the mistake till the end. Mistakes keep happening, but it’s up to us to turn them into life lessons. Guilt and spiralling is one way to go, but the ability to learn from our mistakes is the defining factor.

Embrace your life lessons. You can’t always fix what you’ve broken, and it takes a great deal of acceptance to allow that realization to dawn upon you sans resilience from your mind, hell-bent on making amends. Sometimes, making amends doesn’t mean that you can turn the situation which went awry around. Sometimes, you just move upwards and forwards, and that’s one of the biggest life lessons you could allow yourself to learn.

People are the sum total of their experiences. I don’t think we get to pick which ones we allow to define us, because at some level, every experience, be it good or bad, surfaces at the opportune moment in different scenarios, leaving the choice to us. Once bitten, twice shy or simply, take it as it comes?

Beyond Saving

I asked you to save me
Not watch me drown
So if you weren’t going to help
Why did you stick around?

It wasn’t your responsibility
To help me pull through
So why didn’t you kill the expectations
Born of my attachment to you?

And I’m asking once again
For your help – to help me survive
And once again you haven’t failed
To leave me high and dry – to disappoint

And now it’s no longer about what
Is making me feel undeserving
It’s that I allowed myself to believe
That I would succeed in my rescuing

I’m beyond saving now
The time is now far gone
There’s no escape for me
So you just stay and watch on

I don’t have it in me
To be my own savior
And I honestly wouldn’t care
Had you not still been here

It almost feels as though
You stuck around just to watch
The result of your betrayal
Unspoken and never caught

But you can do no wrong
So how could I put you to test
Instead I chose to believe
That you tried your best

But I’m beyond saving
I know I always have been
And maybe that’s why today
I can forgive your lack of remedying

So go on, walk away
This isn’t yours to fight
I promised myself I wouldn’t either
And soon I’ll be one with the night

My Truth Is The Lies I Tell Myself

If you want to learn my truth
Look into my eyes
You will find nothing
But the self-inflicted lies

If you want to find answers
To questions I haven’t asked
Don’t look towards me
After I’ve taken off the mask

I owe it to myself now
To distinguish the truth and lies
And my inability to do so
Is merely my own choice

Don’t hold it against me
For being unknowing of reality
Because I am unaccepting of my own
Only for the sake of my sanity

In my head everything’s justified
And in my head it’s all okay
To wake up after all this time
And want to run away

Don’t stop me from escaping
Don’t make me face the truth
I’ve given you all I could
Now I leave it up to you

I need to run
I need to find
Someplace safe
Before I lose my mind

I can’t allow myself to believe
That it’s just that easy
And everything is black and white
Isn’t my lie just about me

The lies I tell myself to avoid
Facing the truth of reality
Isn’t about anything else
But living with myself for me

Don’t hold it against me
If I have a moment of weakness
If I undermined every feeling
And turned it into a mess

I don’t claim to know any better
Than my own limited truth
Which is made of lies and facts
To put my thoughts on mute

Let’s call it self-preservation
Because being selfish sounds so harsh
But if I had the strength before
I wouldn’t have spiralled and crashed

I’m not the kind of person
Who can just accept things status quo
So I go above and beyond
To make the truth unknown

I wouldn’t survive being burdened
Down by the weight of the truth
So all I ask today and forevermore
Is don’t ask me to believe it for you

My truth is what I believe
And I may be deluding myself
But it’s only because it’s easier for me
So I stick to the versions I tell

Misinterpreted at every step
Misunderstood as a wont perpetual
Unable to understand for myself
Running away to save my soul

How can I accept that’s who I am
A person so filled with pride
That every mistake just adds up
And shatters my ideals inside

Who wants to be someone
Who constantly lies or denies
Whether to themselves or someone else
Upholding only what’s true in their eyes

But this is how I function
And this is who I am
How much can I justify it
Before my identity becomes a sham

They say life is a journey
That we find purpose in our strides
But to be honest I think that’s overrated
I’d rather just drown with the tide

Berate Me But Don’t Hate Me

“I often find myself thinking about the kind of person I was and the person I’ve become. Part of these deliberations include answers to questions I never through could possibly arise, had I been someone who didn’t reside in the Grey Area of Conflicted County.”

Inherently, I’ve always been a people-pleaser. I’ve done things and said things that I thought people wanted to hear, because I thought that it would make them happy. Putting aside the entirely different tangent I’m preventing myself from taking off on – that happiness is highly overrated – who was I to decide what would make someone else happy when I couldn’t even figure it out for myself?

My greatest failure till now has been knowing that I could be better, but wanting that because of someone else. If I had indeed decided that I chose to be a better person for myself, wouldn’t that have been a real achievement? But no, I wanted to change myself because I thought I wasn’t good enough. Going to reiterate that – I thought that I wasn’t good enough. No one said it to be explicitly, but of course my beautiful mind, always happy to make a cocktail of emotions and thoughts, decided to whip up a brand new mixture which I like to call Let’s Find More Reasons To Undermine Myself. And let’s be honest, low self-esteem has this magnetic effect on all things overthinked (I’m aware that this isn’t a word but if anyone knows the past tense of overthink please hmu!)

I often find myself thinking about the kind of person I was and the person I’ve become. Part of these deliberations include answers to questions I never through could possibly arise, had I been someone who didn’t reside in the Grey Area of Conflicted County. Do I still want to please people? Will I go out of my way to do something for someone I love? Would I do that for someone I don’t love? Such contradictions often plague the vacant space I call my mind, when it’s taking a recess from wondering how much more of a disappointment I could possibly prove to be to myself.

Look at me ranting about these improbably unimportant matters, pretending as though my entire being going up in the flames of the fire that are my feelings is more important than the next person’s devastation. For the sake of knowing that the next person would validate my starving self-worth, I’d forego the idea that the crumbling façade of my life is intact, and allow myself the diversion of playing savior. But who am I to give myself the importance that my words or actions would save someone from feeling as though their reality was evaporating? I couldn’t play Superman any better than I could walk on water. But I’d want that validation – the gratification of being there for someone else because I want to be Superman, and pretending that even for a moment, I could be something more than the wreckage of a plane crash that is outcome of the conflict of emotions askew.

Avoidance is the most real thing I’ve ever felt. If you gave me a million bucks to face my fears, I’d probably double that and give it back to avoid the way I feel – and that’s only because I despise the human I become when I’m portraying the version of Superman that needs to save themselves first. It’s like when you’re on a plane, you’re told to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help others out, right? But no. I’m the kind of person who would want to play martyr and try and rescue someone else first just because it would make me feel good about having made the sacrifice; once again, giving myself the undue importance that I did it for the betterment of someone else. And at some level, I did it because I didn’t want to rescue myself. Because if I did that, then you wouldn’t get the chance to play my knight in shining armor.

I want to be saved. I want to be rescued. I want to be caught because I’m free-falling into a spiral – a tornado that is blowing through my body like it’s pumped up on coke, and frankly, I’m not going to survive it. I’ve made my peace with it and managed to keep it at bay, but you know as well as I do that the only person who could make the tornado feel like a drizzle is the likes of the one person who believes I am about as destructive as a tornado anyway. So, as I put on the mask of survivor once again, reckoning that I’m still fighting this battle with my one-man army of multiple personalities, I just want to put it out there that this is me accepting that I’m everything you thought I was, and probably a lot worse. But I’m not going to change myself because I like knowing that if no one else is going to give me the importance, then I can do that for myself. And that is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt till date; do unto yourself as you would have others do to you. Be your own hero, your own warrior, and your own damn Superman.

Does this owning of my characteristics make me any wiser? The answer to that, as you probably have guessed, is in the negative, primarily because there’s no one to tell me otherwise. I’ve perfected faking the gypsy – or so I’d like to believe – floating through life with no clue, no stability and no sense of direction. You were a mirror, a reflection of myself with the horns and the tail that I so desperately needed sight of. But above the horns was the halo that you didn’t acknowledge. And while I’m no longer pleasing people, I’m still not pleasing myself. I’m stuck in the rut I created for myself, and while Superman is a worthy candidate for my façade, I’d throw the halo off my head like a broken boomerang if you put together the pieces of the mirror that shattered when you departed from the eye of the storm.  

Tell me what I did wrong. It bothers me to not know. Will I change myself based on what you think of me? Probably not. But I need to know. I’m curious as to what about my newly embraced beautiful self has driven people away. My constant need for validation demands answers from the souls that managed to slip through the clutches of my need for validation. Tell me what about me was it that you couldn’t take anymore? Was it just the constant need to prove myself for a test I was the maker and taker of, or was it just the idea of having to play rescuer to the false sense of security that was my Superman identity that made you finally throw your hands up and decide that I was beyond saving? Help me out here; accuse me, insult me, berate me. Just don’t hate me.

With love from My Battered Self-Esteem.

It’s Probably Just The Loneliness Talking

A little rant because today I choose to believe this is my personal diary.

The feeling overwhelms and it seems like there is no end in sight to the constant ache in your heart and the pit in your stomach. The thoughts playing on repeat like your favorite song on a loop; there’s no escape from the confines of your mind. You’re upset, you’re lonely, you’re unable to find the strength.

The feeling that overwhelms could be anything from the bundle of negative emotions, be it fear, jealousy, anxiety, insecurity, sadness, or whatever term we choose to put to the way we feel. This feeling is your nemesis. You can’t live with it, but it’s not going away that easily. You have no other choice but to neutralize the target. But the only way to make the feeling go away is by facing it head on. It’s definitely not an easy task, but you won’t know how to overcome until you try.

The strength you need to face your fear is inside you. No one else can give you that strength. Any action to be taken must be your decision because no matter how much someone pushes you to do something, at the end of the day, the choice to do or not do it is yours to make.

Despite the fact that you’ve probably been told all of this before, and it sounds super preachy, it’s important to remember that it’s true. You are only as strong as you believe you are. Yes, the strength is inside of you. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t accept it because it will lie dormant inside of you. Because strength, like fear, pain and all those other fun emotions which are causing havoc in your mind right now, is intangible. It’s just a feeling, and with time, feelings fade. You just have to be accepting of your feelings.

Humanity’s favourite coping mechanism seems to be avoidance. Not just of feelings, but of situations. Let’s just not confront the way we feel or the thing which is making us feel this way, right? That’s the problem right there.

Face your feelings as you would your fears. They’re all intangible at the end of the day. They are the stimulus which causes a chain reaction of actions and decisions. By embracing your feelings, you are literally going in headfirst and allowing yourself the chance to get the better of these feelings.

It sounds super preachy even as I type it, and in all honesty, it’s just a bunch of words I’m saying to make myself feel better. It’s possible that sometimes, instead of strength knocking at the door of our battle-ready hearts, we drown. The feeling overwhelms to an extent where survival is no longer an option, and the feeling persists as though a cloud during the monsoon. Let’s face it, there is no monsoon without the clouds and there is no human without the burden of feelings.

The voices inside my head telling me I’m not good enough only get louder when I’m left alone. The ghosts that are repercussions of the choices I have made don’t fade as easily as they used to. When left alone with nothing but the other person who’s been living inside my head, dormant until now, havoc reigns.

My thoughts are all over the place. I can’t sleep through the night. I’ve lost myself to the darkness and yet, it’s the only time I feel alive. Why is being alone so difficult? Why is it that I can’t just be who I am regardless of who’s around me? I’m a different person when I’m alone, and I’m so scared that that’s the real me. I don’t want to admit to myself that I feel guilt or pain or sadness or any emotion I know will strike through me like a shiv to the stomach.

I find myself constantly struggling with who I am. It’s painful for me to admit that there are certain things about me, inherent traits, that I’m scared to claim possession of. They are the more dominant personality traits that I’m always trying to bury. But it’s time I embrace myself for who I am. The voices in my head don’t own me. I am a summary of the thoughts and feelings and actions, and yet, none are my choices, and frankly, I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling like I have nobody because my greatest weapon is myself and I need to start embracing that.

Some people may not like the way I dress, and some won’t like what I have to say. I can’t please everyone. I’m not a hundred dollar bill; not everyone is going to like me. And I’m finally okay with that. I don’t want you to like me. You’re not going to accept me because I’m not the criteria of a perfect person to you. You’re going to think my hair is too short or too thin or my dressing sense makes me look homeless, but so what? Why do I owe you any answers? Why do I need to prove to you that I’m a fully functioning member of society because I wake up every morning and put on a mask made of mascara and eyeliner and lipstick and concealer to hide the scars that are my true self? Yes, I’m damaged. But aren’t we all? The scars I won’t show you are the ones you’re helping the world carve into my brain: the scars of judgment. Don’t pretend you don’t do it, because we all do. She puts on a fake accent and he puts on a fake belt. But you know what? They’re happy lying to themselves, so why can’t you back off and let them get away with it?

Isn’t everyone lying at some level? Whether it’s to someone else or to themselves. But it may not always be a bad thing to lie to yourself. I’m lying to myself right now, pretending that this piece of literature, these incoherent thoughts of mine which I’m putting into words right now are going to have any impact on the world. No one’s really going to look at this and it’s not going to change your lives. And you know what? That’s okay. Because it changed mine. And maybe tonight, I can sleep a little lighter, knowing that I’m not solely burdened by the thoughts in my head and that I’m not alone, because now a little piece of me is out there in the world, and even if no one ever sees it, no one can take that away from me.