Ah, the joys of working only 4 days a week! (I do have freelance work to get to on Fridays, but well) The song I’ve picked to kickstart this evening – at 8.50pm, at home – and the weekend, is Mayya Mayya from Guru. I love this song for many things – the very genuine/generic sounding (to my untrained ears) Middle Eastern feels, the views of the Blue Mosque from the Bosphorus in the song, the way the song sets up the titles for the film. In a fit of pure joy, I switched on the fairy lights and danced with abandon for all of a couple of minutes. Life felt good, I felt happy, I was able to dance – a few weeks ago, that didn’t seem possible.
2017 has probably been the strangest year of my life so far; it’s ironic that three months ago I wrote that adulting had been easy on me. I had just returned from a wonderful trek to the Valley of Flowers and to Hemkund Sahib, an experience that helped me understand myself better: my ability to push myself, to be contented, to be able to remember a trip without a million pictures on my phone. I haven’t even written about the trip yet, and that’s telling, because most of my travels have some scribbles that I can always go back to when I want to remember them.
As if in response to that post, two weeks after writing it I was hospitalised unexpectedly, leaving my partner and me perplexed and scared even as we tried to put on brave faces and soldier on. Five days on, I needed surgery. This was too much for me to handle – I’d never been hospitalised before, never got stitches or even been administered a drip. I survived the surgery ok, started recovering well, only to know I needed a different surgery again. The second time on, I was better prepared.
So that’s been 2017 now – two surgeries, a much-awaited international trip cancelled because of these, a court visit to identify whether the two men produced had stolen my purse three years ago (I couldn’t, so they were let go). It’s been pure drama. There was tons of self-pity as I came to deal with the biggest question of ‘Why me?’ Doctors were baffled by the reasons for both surgeries – I was a really unlikely candidate. It took the smallest thing to make me tear up – people brisk-walking in the park, people doing yoga, people drinking, people dancing, people travelling, people eating fried food or food that wasn’t cooked at home – all things that I couldn’t do. It’s been really tough, to say the least, but I hope I’ve learnt a thing or two. To be calmer, to be a little more forgiving, to be more thankful and most importantly, to understand that some things are just not in my hands.
Of course, this is all easy to say when I’m on the better side of things – I’m able to dance now! – but I think I’ll be able to remember these for a while. It’s taken me a long time to be able to write this – I gave up a few minutes in because anxiety welled up in me and I had to fight back tears. But I felt it was time this got recorded somewhere.
But hey, what’s life if not a good mix of happy-testing-difficult-painful? I can now say I’ve got a pretty strong lesson at adulting – f***, it’s not easy, and what’s worse, there’s more coming my way, for sure. But others are in the same awful boat, and we’re all sailing along, laughing from time to time despite the mess. And to circle back to where this post started: life is (still) good; scary, but good.