Punctuate Life

Pause Breathe Relax


4 Comments

What Do I Want?

Today I find myself at the park again but this time I brought a pen and some paper so I don’t need to struggle with the tiny keyboard on my phone. So many emotions. So many thoughts. So many things that I want to put down on paper. They keep swimming around in my consciousness making me confused and clueless. Sometimes putting it down on paper gives me some clarity.

So what is it that I want? It is what everybody wants. Happiness, peace, love. Where can you find it? Within. Although I know these things hypothetically, when life happens I falter and wrestle with conflicting emotions. But tell me this – if your immediate needs are not met will you look within for peace and happiness? Not really! Spirituality on an empty stomach may not be attractive to everyone. Which explains why the Masters addressed suffering and tried to alleviate pain, hunger and disease.

If you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from would you care to sit down and find inner peace? It is those who have everything and find that they are still empty that go seeking happiness and God. The rest of us believe that some goal in the future can get us there. If I can just make this much more money. If I can just find the right job. If I can just marry the perfect person for me. And the list goes on and on.

From where I stand, I know all of these things but try as I may I can’t find the peace that comes with the security of having a good job, a roof over your head and happy children. And I can’t seem to find it here while others transpose their will on my wishes and dreams. It feels as if the reins of my life are slipping away from me. So much so that I have turned into another version of myself – one I can’t recognize in the mirror.

The burden of others wishes have become my manacles – keeping me from living my life to the fullest. Keeping me from shining my brightest. Manacles or duties, call them what you like but the truth is that they keep you bound. Yes everyone has responsibilities, I know. But when these responsibilities keep you from doing what is best for you or prevents you from fulfilling other responsibilities that is when it becomes onerous and heavy. And try as you might no one benefits from it, least of all you. It results in a sort of co-dependency that keeps you trapped in the belief that you are actually helping the other person. The fact of the matter is that you are tying them down and making them more helpless. It is like giving a crutch to a man who can walk and convincing him that he cannot do without it.

Everyday I wake up to a world where I have to choose between my happiness and the happiness of others and I wish it wasn’t that way at all.


1 Comment

Not Depressed…Just Melancholic

That much celebrated emotion of bygone poets, bards and writers. That very same state of mind that evokes the deepest of sentiments that spill over and create art that transcends time, culture, and every other tangible wall. I fancy melancholic. It is definitely more palatable than depressed, don’t you think? Like a fancy mental state not requiring the 3 Ps – Prozac, a psychiatrist or psychological counseling. The hard part is to convince people that I’m simply in a melancholy mood on the verge of penning my next bestseller. I really doubt Van Gogh or Hemingway cared a hoot for what people thought. So these days I don’t give a damn either. You can pronounce me depressed, given your limited understanding of an artistic persona and you probably weren’t around when I was really depressed. I’m no where close to that now. I do have some days when I find it hard to get out of bed but I always find the strength to pull myself out of it.

So keep your eyes peeled for one helluva novel, poetry that pulls at your heart strings and other artistic outpourings from me. Just hope I can hold on to the melancholy long enough. Some days its just gone and other days it hangs around like a blanket obstructing the sun. Wish I could bottle some of it for days when I need a muse injected with a dose of sadness.

I don’t fancy putting on a smiling face and pretending everything is ok. It seems fake and unauthentic to me. That doesn’t mean you need to lament and share your sob stories with all. Nor does it mean that you should wallow in your woe. When you are not happy inside, the unhappiness spills out somehow. You are not really addressing it and so it stays there under the surface. You don’t have to say a word but people sense it and soak up some of it. After a point being around such people is unbearable.

It’s ok to feel sad and it’s ok to ask for what you need. I’m not going to burst into song and giggle my way through the day just because that is how you want me to behave. I might sing when I feel up to it or laugh at a joke that my kids made up. I give myself permission to be happy or melancholic and I don’t need you to judge me. I’m trying my best just like everyone else is and I need you to respect that. And maybe you’d be happy in the same circumstances but I’m not because I have higher standards! I don’t need to conform to your views of how I should live my life. You can keep going on like a hamster on a wheel, shoving everything down and pretending to be righteous. Excuse me for not joining your rat race and for stepping aside to do something more meaningful. For having the courage to say, this is not working for me and for looking for something better.

So the next time you see me and I’m not really grinning from ear to ear do yourself a favor and leave. I might be on the brink of a creative endeavor and I don’t need any naysayers to rain on my parade.