It’s no secret I have been trying to find a job. Clearly, I haven’t gotten very far but I guess that’s how it is for everyone. This weekend though we celebrated my niece which distracted me from my quest. Kind of like the beginning of Lion King, but with humans, less drama, sans the amazing music and obviously no Rafiki or problematic reverential bowing to the one who sees a meal in you.
It was a confluence of family and friends, really small gathering which suits our quiet and minimalistic personality as a family. Our house was full of people and food, but also a mess and no maids to clean it. Now as the house empties slowly, the silence is settling like dust over the furniture and in the rooms. Promptly, the rain poured today afternoon, delayed by a day thankfully. The Gods held off for the party which was kind of them.
It’s also the festive season, and the city is less busy. It was fun, thanks to having my cousins over I was able to play Badminton which I haven’t in a year or so. I was reminded of how out of touch I am when the first two shots were so poor, it hit me in a sour spot. I haven’t talked about my fraught love story with Badminton here because it was just that emotional for me. Badminton was the first time I felt love in a way I hadn’t before.
Badminton shaped into this person, the first time I felt good about myself. The court was my safe place when I was nine. It was the one place I never felt targeted. I never played Badminton to compete, but only for the love of it. It was a sport I was naturally good at too, and my love for the sport made it so easy for me to play it. Of everything I have ever done, if I lost a Badminton match I didn’t feel asbad, I felt thankful I got to play and I learnt to smile even when defeated. The racket felt like an extension of my arm and the sport became my guide to life. But when my mental health slowly began to heal itself it was like I wasn’t depending on the sport anymore.
To this day, I still regularly change my grip and check my guts like religion. It’s been instilled in me since I was 10 and was taught by my coach to change my grip for the first time. This year I had to throw out my shoes, and my heart broke more than after a break-up or rejection, this felt like my soul was being torn from me. Yet, it represented a beginning of sorts.
This year truly has been the year of beginnings for me, if last year was all about endings. It’s the truth. I guess I’m on an optimistic curve right now, so even the falling doesn’t hurt as much. I am aware of my unemployment, but I am not worried, it’s not a standard to measure my lack of worth. I am taking baby steps to see my worth in what I have done, rather than in what I wish I did.
So as I strutted around the party wearing a saree, for the first time instead of continuously thinking to myself that I look terrible, everybody is judging me and I am a disappointment I felt like one of them, confident and using my scars as accessories to look like the best version of myself rather than an imitation. Seeing friends and family mix was beautiful, the change felt like a breath of fresh air.
As I watch my family converse around the dinner table it makes me think I am in a dream, all of this can’t be real. But, when a mosquito buzzes near my ear I believe that this is reality. My priorities have changed because of all of this. Now I am strong enough to carry the weight of priorities beyond me, I am thinking about others. And, I can carry it all without crutches and props.
Seeing my family, the same faces I have been around since my birth and some new ones, I feel as if I am standing in the middle of something. This is the mid-point, my future and my past are now mixing to form my present which is beginning to feel so much more important. It was always one or the other, either the future or the past, now I am demanding both of myself.
The present is a sweet spot, the future brings uncertainty and the past brings regrets, but the present is as is, pure and unadultrated. Previously my priorities were to outdo my past, and prepare for my future, now my priority is my present, nothing more and nothing less. It took me a lifetime to understand what ‘living in the moment’ means, better late than never, right?