I was in Cape Town last week and I was just so happy to be there and it was so easy to be happy: to run, to eat healthy, to laugh, to banter with my friend’s neighbours, to want to cook again, to sashay down the road and smile at the ‘howzit?’s that follow, to enjoy the sunshine- to bask in it, to lie in the grass and let a little girl climb all over you, to bat my eyelashes at strangers in comfortable bars where the staff look out for you and call you ‘my sister’ and laugh at you when you do something stupid like spill mustard all over yourself.
I’d forgotten it could be like that: so easy, so effortless.
I’d spent so long- nearly a year- trying so hard
to be happy not to be miserable that I forgot that happiness isn’t a chore, it isn’t meant to be this difficult, that I shouldn’t have to struggle so much. I’ve been wrapping myself up in a blanket of my insecurities, my self-doubt, my nervousness about my choices, my questions around my relationships (and non-relationships), and whether I am too much or too little or nothing at all, and I’ve stayed up nights wondering about people who don’t really care, or perhaps care only a little bit and how I once said that I never wanted to care about someone more than they cared about me- what a colossally stupid thing to have said because I’ve learnt that this is the kind of nonsense that makes you unhappy: caring about someone and something can’t possibly be anything to be ashamed of; but perhaps somewhere in all that caring I’ve also got to find some time to care about myself and figure out how I wrapped myself up in a blanket filled with tommyrot.
I can’t keep treating places- and Bangalore, in particular- as some sort of transit stop before I go off on my next jaunt across the universe: it isn’t fair to Bangalore, the people I miss so dearly when I am not here, and it certainly isn’t fair to me. I can’t be happy if I’m not even trying to be, if I’m spending my time waiting for wherever I’ll end up next; if I’m too afraid to settle in because I’ll have to leave again before too long: and I’ve realised that’s another colossally stupid thing to think, another knot to add to my blanket.
So, to unravel this blanket & work out all my knots; call-out my own stupidity; I will recall the words of Fernando Pessoa: ‘In order to understand, I destroyed myself’.