I woke up on Monday morning excited about the week and about the day. By five in the evening, I was done. I was exhausted, unimpressed, burdened and angry. That’s what happens when you think you’re done with something and then it turns out you were never done with it. People have a way of making other people’s lives difficult to live with just one WhatsApp message, that’s all it takes. Just like that everything went downhill.
I spent yesterday running around, scrambling to fulfill a demand. It was draining, some people don’t have a sense of time and maybe that shouldn’t be my problem but it becomes mine. Now I still have things to get done because of that one demand. It’s going to take time that I don’t have left to spare. In vain I tried to keep my fighting spirit, but when the evening came around I was out of it.
I went for a walk with my Dad and wondered what it would be like if for one day I ceased to exist. I want that one day where people can’t reach me, everybody forgets I am there, nobody will think of me and nobody will come to me, no calls, no nothing. I’ll just do my own thing without the burden of life. I want just one day like that.
My work today began the minute I woke up. It was like I just couldn’t catch a break. For some reason when I tell people I am busy, they seem to think I am not. I struggle to say no, and now that I have some confidence to say no, people don’t take no for an answer. So today after 9 in the morning, I did my Yoga, switched my phone off, logged out of all my official accounts on the net, and just read my Master’s readings and watched a K-drama I’d been meaning to watch.
Thanks to work, and the constant demands of people who need me to step up, I realised I loved being a student, I love highlighting, sticking post-its, making colour-coordinated notes and analysing arguments. As I checked off readings on my reading list, I realised that working and putting theory into practice is the worst. Arguing why what I am doing is necessary gives me more joy than actually doing what I am learning.
So as I formed arguments and outlines for my dissertation I felt myself slowly gain some energy. If I have to do one more interview, make one more edit, or beg someone over e-mail threads to get back to me about a quote for an article I will cry. Just when I am getting me-time, I have new responsibilities, I am told that I am still not done. Maybe doing so much was a mistake. I guess I dug my own grave.
If I ceased to exist for one day I know my life would be entirely different. I don’t think I ever respected and appreciated my free time, I always took it for granted. Now when I feel my fingers nearly falling off because of typing, I realise that when I had the time I should have had fun. It’s my fault for being forever available and being there to clean up messes.
I want one day when my mother won’t give me grief for my screen time, for not talking enough, one day when my Dad won’t tell me not to laugh while watching serials, where people won’t message me, where I am unrecognisable and nobody will worry about why I have disappeared. I want that one day when my maid won’t ask me to close the door after her or open it for her just when I am about to fall asleep or am watching a plot twist in a drama.
One day when there are no power cuts, the Wi-Fi is at its strongest, there are no Amazon deliveries, no checklists, the fridge has everything I want to eat, and my laptop has a battery life that can last 24 hours so I don’t have to run downstairs to get the charger when I am just about to start another episode. That one day on which all the new trailers come out for me to watch, Netflix releases all my anticipated shows. I want it all.
I will never ask for a day like that ever again if it happens, I will not complain. But it’s likely that if it does happen, the next day will no doubt be the day I will crumble under the amount of pending work that will fall upon me. But at the moment I’ll take anything. I am someone who’ll do something you ask me to do the minute you tell me to do it, but today I decided the world could wait for me. I don’t feel like being prompt today, if people love to make me wait, it’s time I also took some liberties.
So if I want to read I will, if I want to watch another episode I will, and since I logged out of the health app, I am going to have that extra chocolate wafer. If someone doesn’t like it, I’ll know tomorrow. Today I don’t exist for anyone but myself. I’m just a name on your contact list, and if you call I’ll be unreachable. The single tick will turn to two tomorrow.