I’d like to think that it’s not just because of one or two things that happened in the fairly recent past, this, whatever it is, has been bubbling under the surface for a couple of months at the very least in my opinion – probably sometime around the 3rd of July, yeah?
Today’s post is just a culmination of a very, very stressful week. With eight different papers, a load of lectures, some really annoying feelings and even the odd fight thrown into the mix, it has not been an easy time.
For the first time today, I travelled by first class. For those of you who do not live in Mumbai, here’s some much needed context: there are local trains that transport you from one location in the city to another in my city and there are two types of compartments- first class and second class. For three and a half years of my college life, I’ve travelled by the second class – my best friend was with me, I took empty trains and I liked it more than the first class.
But now, with a recovering dislocated knee my mother finally cajoled me into taking a first class pass (regardless of my concerns of how useless it was, along with a complete waste of money I could be spending on books) and I made one yesterday. So this morning was my very first morning in the first class compartment of my Churchgate train (first legal ride, at least – that’s a story for another day).
From the moment I passed the green striped compartments in favour for the orange and blue ones I felt out of my skin. Standing in the compartment, waiting for the goddamn train to move on I wondered if the people sitting in front of me could recognize I didn’t belong there, or rather didn’t want to. Always having judged them as pretentious; overly concerned about their clothes and hair and perfumes rather than letting a fourth person sit, I felt like an outsider the whole time. I felt like a child playing with their parent’s stuff, pretending to be someone they’re not.
But that is life, isn’t it? Constantly forcing us to change, to adapt – ask me about this in a week or maybe even tomorrow and I might be familiar with it. Even if I do long for the far more open second class (wider spaces), the nice and friendly people (the lady next to me elbowed me four times and didn’t apologize once) and the kids – so many kids in second class, they do bring a smile on my face every time I play some little meaningless game with them. And since almost all first class ladies are fat, I am forced to sit in the smaller spaces. Sigh.
But feeling out of sorts has been happening on a larger scale since I missed a major chunk of my college term sitting at home and nursing a dislocated knee. Major FOMO happened and the effects of it are reaching me around now. And then almost everyone I know is either doing this fest, heading that or doing something and here I am studying (not well) for CIAs that I should have given back in July. And somehow I feel like I have lost my potential along the way, that now I am a mere shell of my former talented self. And it’s not like my academic achievements are anything to boast about – so that above average feeling I had? Slowly disappearing and making me feel more inadequate that anything.
I think I just expected a lot more of myself by the time I turned eighteen. I had many dreams, several ways in which things would work out in my favour and now that they might not, it scares me. It scares the fuck out of me and I can’t do anything about it and I wonder how much of my ‘whole’ life I have in front of me to achieve anything that someone hasn’t already done? Anything I want to do, or can do well is being done better or in the best way by someone else. How then do I cope with this sense of complete and utter failure?
From worrying about how the Xavierites in the first class along with me who get on at Bandra and Andheri will judge me, who will critically analyse my outfit better than I analysed my poetry paper, to feeling like an outsider among my own friends, to feeling like an idiot or completely lost when they speak about things I don’t know, to not knowing if they wonder why she’s studying literature if she can’t spell benign or received correctly to getting average marks and not feeling like I want to study any more, it’s not been a good time for me. This is probably one of the few times I’ve wallowed in self-doubt and self-pity, usually I make a point of shoving it down so deep it can’t be found unless something like this triggers it. And this is also one of the very personal things I’m sharing about my life, which is why this isn’t being shared on FB with my friends like I normally do.
I’ll probably get my confident persona back soon, I hope.
Until then I’ll bury my insecurities by reading books, battling them with sarcasm and more CIAs.
Also, my book blog is now live (changed that summer blog ) – Books, Feels & Tears. Maybe check it out?
More reading of The Duff (which is how I feel right about now), and then on to attack Developmental Psychology.
Until next time,