I made a grave mistake. For the first time in my life I purchased make-up following which I read up online about using make-up. As someone who has never used make-up apart from eyeliner and lip balm, I didn’t know the first thing about applying or purchasing make-up. So, I began reading to educate myself, as I do with most things. I spiralled through a black hole of information, of how everything we do can lead to diseases, and nothing is good for our body. Everything that followed, were unfortunate appendages to this one mistake.
From the water we drink, to the the food we eat, to everything we wear can kill us. That was the bottom line. Horrified, I closed the twenty or so tabs on my laptop and went to sleep contemplating everything I have inhaled and eaten through the course of my lifetime.
I should have quit while I was ahead if I think about it now. Growing up, my parents never instilled a fear of the world in me. They always said that me and my sister had to be hardy, eat anything put on a plate for us, not be fussy, should fall down multiple times. They believed that we had to train our bodies for everything. Try everything, do everything except for the really dangerous stuff.
So we never cared about the science behind what we did or ate unless our parents pointed it out to us. Then school and college put me in contact with uber-paranoid people, who avoided everything and anything that sounded remotely strange. I still persevered. I mean I have not even had chicken pox for crying out loud. After the interaction I began worrying about little things, the ingredients in products, the warning labels and vaccinations.
I began hoping there was a vaccine for everything. Sometimes I was afraid I might contract something unknowingly. But, when I stepped out I told myself if I have to fall ill, there is nothing I can do about it. The other day when I was talking about UV rays to my Dad, he laughed and said, “try telling a farmer who works in the sun through the day, about this.” That’s when I realised health and being worried about health like most things also boils down to privilege.
Healthcare isn’t affordable, organic food costs way more, and there’s only so much you can do. As somebody who has the tendency to become paranoid, I realised, I’ve been alright till now, without following every internet medical advice, and health is more abstract than we make it out to be. I don’t mean don’t take care of yourself, but if you’ve done all you can, then let it go.
There are so many things we should be doing on a daily basis to preserve our bodies, and I might be struggling to meet a quarter of those habits in a day. I am no doctor, but I also know I have had enough MSG, preservatives, inhaled polluted air, and sometimes sat with an incorrect posture. On that odd day, I worry that these might affect me in the future. As a teenager I did everything to be healthy, and funnily, when all my reports came clean, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. They weren’t even on my list of possible diseases I could contract.
So that’s the moral of the story, I’ve done as much as I can the all the rest is beyond my understanding or capability of preventing. I can only follow doctor’s orders, live my life the way my parents showed me – keep your body clean, eat home-cooked food, change your bedsheets, use few products, don’t fuss, get out, exercise, don’t worry and have faith. It worked for them, hence I know it’s tried and tested. There isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t faced a health concern, it’s terrible, but it’s true.
I might feel like this once again next year. Maybe I might read something or see something and stress about it, but I’m also not going to let my health pass by me for the fear of damaging it. I don’t know if everything in my body will be working like this in the future and I am going to try and make use of it, run, jump, eat and sleep. That’s it.