I am an uninteresting person if you look at my life in a three-dimensional manner. I have a pretty basic life and today it was reaffirmed when I started to look at my diaries. I have lost count of how many diaries I own in all sizes and shapes. I like to go through them and I see the effort I have tried to put in making them interesting. I don’t know if it’s just me but whenever I make an entry in one of my diaries I feel my mind look into a future where I’m dead and somebody, a grandkid or something comes across my diaries. So for the future, I write in an autobiographical manner. Maybe one of my diaries will bear testament for the 21st century.
I’ve always looked at people and wondered what their secrets might be. We say a lot of things about ourselves but for every sentence, we do say there are a hundred sentences we don’t say. I know that moment when you just stop short of telling someone something really personal. I always feel the temptation to tell someone who barely knows me my secrets. I feel safe because they don’t know me enough to do any damage. Whereas people I know will definitely have strong opinions of my secrets.
I am not a mind reader but I know if I ever want to have a superpower it’ll be mind-reading. Mostly I want to know what people think of me. Do they see what I see in the mirror? I always have this realisation when I am in front of the mirror. All my life I believed what the mirror has shown me, what my eyes have seen and what photos have shown me. But we’ve never really seen ourselves. I don’t know if this makes sense but we’ve never really seen our faces, our own expressions. We’ve always believed what technology and other people have seen of us.
You can look at the same thing and still not see what others see. I think that’s how love works. You look at someone and you see something in them that nobody else sees and you feel special like that little bit of them only you have witnessed is yours to keep. I think that’s why my family loves me, and I would assume my best friends too. Wanting to stay with someone when you know they are not perfect is incredibly hard. My parents have done it for thirty years now, my sister and I still love each other even though we’ve had some of the most terrible fights.
Life and love are fickle things and it’s taken me time to accept that. There’s a deadly virus going around for which there is no cure apparently called ‘Nipah’, that’s when you realise that we barely have control over anything. If we are going to fall ill we will and we cannot avoid it. Knowing this is scary and I feel scared about it on most days. When I think about how nothing lasts forever I wonder why I am holding onto my secrets. Why am I hiding things? I am only a guest on this planet for a little while and will be remembered for a few days by few people, I am no famous person. So why am I trying so hard to get somewhere?
My secrets are not scandalous. My secrets are my shortcomings, they are those parts of me that I am not proud of, a collection of incidents I still can’t admit I was a part of. My secrets are those parts of me where I failed myself and no one else. I’ve made peace with my secrets, every time I share one I atone for it in a way. My sister told me that those who hurt you suffer more than you will because they have to live with what they did. It helped me forgive, but I know I’ve hurt people too. Now I know what she said. I guess those diaries serve as reminders, that I’m just a person with feelings made of flesh and blood. Everyone needs these reminders.
More than that over time my secrets have gotten fewer. When my secrets started becoming fewer in number, I didn’t return to the drawer as often as I once did. But yesterday I didn’t visit it to record another secret but out of curiosity to understand myself better. I have struggled with myself quite a bit, as does everyone. Maybe one day I’ll open my drawer full of secrets to someone apart from me. Maybe they’ll understand and maybe they won’t. I tried to once before and the attempt failed.
As of now, it’s just me, running my fingers over those inked pages, tracing the slanted hand-writing remembering the feel of my hand flying across the pages, places where tears smudged the writing. Sometimes I can even hear the sound of my pen scratching paper. Will I be brave enough to give someone a glimpse of the darkest part of my personality, insight into the darker times? I like that work distracts me from this, every day I can disconnect and focus on making a difference. I like being around other humans it humanises me. I like that the world is more than just me and my secrets. Maybe that’s why I hope the world’s a better place one day. Just so that one’s secrets will never come in the way of their lives. I’m shutting my drawer full of secrets for now.