I like having time on my side, but I worry I might lose sight of what’s important. Of course, I am able to rationalise, something I didn’t do before. Slowly I am learning more about my depression and how to argue back with the feelings of desperation and humiliation. I have a lot of bad habits, but I am just as good. There are always two sides to a coin. I am learning to respect that fact. I used to look at things one-dimensionally of how everything is bad for me. I forgot to think about the plus points.
I always race through the day and slow down during the night. Especially before I go to bed I find my life moving really slowly. I can remember every movement and every thought in my head. I am a terrible sleeper. I have nightmares, I can’t fall asleep half the time and for reasons unknown to me I am never ok with the temperature in the room. I have a hundred thoughts, mostly about what my future will be like. I imagine every detail from what I wear to the colour of the curtains. I am somebody who is perpetually trying to run away from her past. Every night for a few moments I am transported to the imagination of my future. It’s another matter that my future usually doesn’t turn out how I imagined it.
I have dreams even before I fall asleep, it’s funny. For me, the future is a wonderland of possibilities, opportunities, and when I read the news every morning as a student of journalism it’s like the bubbles in my head pop one after another. Pollution, leaders who can’t be trusted, wars, crisis, what’s the point? I climb onto my bed every night with star-studded visions and wake up filled with resentment and disappointment. It’s a vicious cycle. The only time I show any positivity is when I think of my future, I love imagining my life, middle-class comforts, travelling and enjoying.
I think of how good I’ll look in the future, being able to do 20 pull-ups at a stretch. I always imagine a beautiful motorbike, sleek, and black, money in my wallet and a job in hand. I imagine a quaint flat in any metropolitan city, small, filled to the brim with books. My book collection usually takes at least half-an-hour to imagine because I arrange the books in my mind one by one, by height, obviously. I even imagine a really cool love story for myself, it’s always a debate in my head, whether it’ll be arranged by my parents or a chance meeting somewhere, a chain of coincidences leading to forever. But I can never see a face clear enough on that person, I can imagine everything from his choice of career to his ideology, everything except the face and his name, not for the lack of my trying.
I live in my mind palace for hours, my future, my little secret. When I was sixteen I imagined a lot of things including what I’d be doing by the time I was 21, but it was nothing like the reality. The reality is me in the most boring and oldest clothes in my wardrobe, growing my very own paunch still bespectacled and pimple-faced complaining of pain after doing Yoga for an hour. I eat as much as a walrus might in a day, watching movie after movie using escapism to hide my disappointment with my reality, going to therapy and popping pills like they’re M&Ms. I am single to the point that my only company are my two parents. Yes, it’s quite picturesque.
It’s not that I ask for a different reality or that I keep expectations for my future. At night nowadays I can tell my sixteen-year-old self, “Listen, did you expect to complete a degree with much to be proud of? Did you expect that you’d finally live your life-long dream of going to London and enjoy it? Did you ever expect you would be mature, and wiser? That you have lived a future better than you expected and made some amazing friends along the way? You should be happy because you’ve become closer to your mother something you never expected, you attended your sister’s wedding and also learnt to appreciate your body for what it is. You learnt how to respect yourself even if it meant you messed up a couple of times.” And then she shuts up so I can sleep in peace. I am smiling as I write this in the dead of the night. Life is more than we make it, nothing goes our way, but it still manages to surprise us, doesn’t it?…..We have miles to go before we sleep.