It's been a strange year. Relocation, job-less-ness, a transition to a completely-different kind of life. Not strange in a bad-kind of way, just 'strange'. Sometimes I wonder if any of us completely understand the consequences of decision-making until they are living them. But then I realize that knowing the unknowable is an exercise in futility-frustration best left to political pundits and religious zealots. Me, I've never really had a tendency to look before I leap - and so far this obsessive need to jump off cliffs and hope for a happy landing has served me well. And life - life becomes what I choose to make of it. And to tell you the truth, life is pretty-damn-good :)
A year (and something) of marriage later, I realize that one of the repercussions is that I seem to have forgotten how to be alone. I've forgotten, I think, the years I spent waking up to only myself. Time spent, for example, with a single cup of coffee (or hot chocolate, actually make that hot chocolate), my laptop, a book and my thoughts. I've forgotten, I think, how to live happily inside my own head without the incessant need to share every little thing with someone else. I've forgotten that amidst the crazy-busy-talkative hours of my work-life, one of the smallest - but surest - pleasures lay in 'not' communicating.
I've forgotten, I think, how to spend quality time with me.
You impress me not. And depress me much. And make me wonder how many others out there appreciate the irony that the very force that insists on prescribing the formula for human-salvation is most certainly a key ingredient in the recipe for assured-destruction.
Today, I'm wondering whether totally erasing my digital footprint is still an option. Or is everything that I was archived in some giant machine somewhere forever to inform a total stranger at one click of a button? Worse still, I'm the one who has voluntarily decided to put my life on display to anyone-who-happens-to-have-the-authority. Or who knows their way around the world of information decryption around the internet.
I'm not entirely certain what (if anything) can be done about the whole internet-privacy-conundrum in retrospect (now that all this information is out there and saved somewhere), but do watch the film if you can get hold of it.
This letter, written by a father to his daughter, made me stop and think a little bit about the future of the land-of-the-pure.
It's strange how even the shortest separation can make you re-look at things you used to call your own. I have lived in the motherland most of my whole life, give or take a few years spent here and there. I've survived countless tragedies, some at the epicenter, others standing at the sidelines. I've witnessed injustice and cruelty and a callous disregard for humanity all the while knowing that while I mourned today there would be another tomorrow - one where the latest tragedy would overshadow the one we were struggling with today. In a world where something bad happens every day, something worse makes the earlier injustice milder by comparison. And while I know that it might be the worst possible kind of coping mechanism - this gradual transition to utter numbness - it is all that most of us have.
Because what else will we do? Will we stop driving our cars, visiting our friends, frequenting the malls for fear of bomb-blasts, gun-shots or kidnapping followed (if we are lucky) by death? Will we hole up in our houses, hold our breaths and hope - if we don't move too fast - we will escape what the denizens of the Islamic-Republic have in store for us? Will we stop identifying with our religious beliefs because we're fairly certain someone will take offense and in an effort to attain a privileged afterlife feel like it's their duty to shut-us-down? Will we forget how to speak our minds and instead begin to conform mindlessly to what is dictated by those who pretend to know more, but instead jealously try to hide their own ignorance? Will we also, forget how to breathe?
You think just because you know the lyrics by heart, because they evoke strong feelings, because they describe what-happened-to-you and and exactly-how-you-felt, because there have been times when songs have been there for you when people haven't, because you hummed them when you were at your highest or lowest, because you love them, they love you back.
And they never-really did. Instead, they sold themselves over and over to anyone who happened to be out there feeling-the-same-way-that-you-did. They didn't ever respect your sentiments. You were never, ever the only one.
And you need to remember that the next time you decide to fall in love.
It's a strange sort of feeling, when you realize that you have given-way to much mental atrophy. When you open the GMAT books and realize from math to logic and even the grammar seem to be a little much for you. So much so, that you (once-again) succumb to intimidation and put them books away in favor of another mind-numbing television show a'la Netflix. It's too bad the GMAT doesn't feature TV-show trivia. You are fairly certain you would pass that exam with flying colors. Not so much anything to do with books. Despite a bursting bookshelf and a brand-new-Kindle in your life, you have barely turned a page in the last three months.
So what have you been doing with your life? A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Maybe more of that than this, but no one's complaining (yet). Determined to maintain the pretenses of your career when you came to the-land-of-the-free, you soon decided to leave the economic development of the land-of-the-pure to its own devices in favor of learning how to cook. And it doesn't help that cost of labour in this part of the world means that one has to do ones' own vacuuming. And laundry. And bathroom cleaning (yuck). And pretty much everything else.
It's interesting how easy it is to get caught up in household what-have-you's and realize that it's the end of the day and you have: cleaned your room, sorted out the clothes, bought some groceries, prepared the food and in-between a couple hours at the gym trying to prevent yourself (not very successfully) from becoming a blob-with-a-big-tummy. And every once in a while (maybe more than once, in that while) you shop-a-little-bit just for the barest of life's essentials, you know like clothes. And shoes. And more clothes. And did I mention shoes?
So there you go. The mindless consumerism combined with household bits-and-bobs soak up most of the hours in the day. Which explains what I've been doing all this while. But it does not explain the regression of mental function. I'm not sure if anything does. I'm also not sure why I decide to pass up TED Talks in favor of Grays Anatomy. Okay, maybe I can explain the Grays (old addictions die hard), but there's Private Practice, and Twisted, The Secret Circle and a whole other host of inane shows some of whom would be better off not watched. Seriously. And of course there is the absence of anything even vaguely academic or career-oriented in my life. There are days (like today) when I feel like my brain just decided to go off all alone on its honeymoon, and is sipping a mai-tai on some beach somewhere amusing itself with fancy math and lots-of-logic while I sit here, bemoan its absence and make myself feel better by indulging the stupid.
And of course, it does not help that I'm married to a man who does Linear Algebra for fun. Say's he, one evening, 'Do you want to help me with a math problem?' and then proceeds to explain that there's an X, Y and a Z axis. And he wants to project something to another X, Y and Z axis (or some such) so how would one built the coordinate transformation matrix (forgive my untutored translation, maybe he wanted to ask me something else altogether). Fun times!
Maybe I should just get him an "I'm with Stupid" T-shirt, say good-bye to the brain that seems to have abandoned me, and just find-me a new TV-show to watch.