Just Keep Swimming
I’m just going to ramble about life in this post. If you are not feeling particularly philosophical right now, this is your chance to escape and waste your time elsewhere on the internet.
So… after a journey from hell, when I finally landed in Mumbai last weekend, it was a relief to have a close high school friend, Gitangshu, meet me there and we spent hours just talking about life and how we can better arm ourselves against disappoints. It taught me 2 things:
1) I enjoy these sessions far more than any other ways of “chilling out” with friends.
2) You are going to be very disappointed if you try to look for sense or justice in life.
The first confused, sad, and lonely phase for most people occur during their mid-adolescence. For me, it came quite late. When I was around 25, I started getting the feeling that I was losing control over my life.
Before you step into adult life after college or university, your life is pretty much on the beaten track – primary school, high school, college, and then uni – you feel like you are at the wheel of your life. No wonder I used to walk around with an “I’ve got this figured out” air, but once I was out of university and at the end of my first job contract, I realised life does’t give two hoots about my plans.
I was struggling to find my next job, I did not know whether I wanted to go back to India or stay in England, I had a fall out with my best friend, and where the hell was the charming and funny boyfriend I thought I would have by then? So, with life feeling like sand between my fingers (sorry, cliche, I know, but that really would be the best way to put it), I was starting to feel helpless as this felt vey very scary – not knowing what to do, not knowing where I was headed.
Then eventually things changed and they started looking up. I got a great job, moved into a beautiful apartment in a picture postcard town, sorted things out with my best friend and started going out with someone. And just when I thought my life was back on track … BAM… another of those depressing phases was upon me. Issues with the Home Office (UKBA), grandmum losing mobility, grandad getting Alzheimer’s, having to quit my job, and a few other awful things happened in a very quick succession and pushed me back into depression.
I started wondering if this was the Universe’s way of balancing things out: super high followed by super low, in a loop. It might have been a good enough coping mechanism but it was doing no good to prepare me for what was to come.
Looking back, I can’t remember when but I started reading a lot about life and soul and the meaning of life and every article seemed to say that life doesn’t make sense because we think it has to make sense.
During the past year, while coping with deaths in the family, I realised why people become exceedingly religious at difficult times. It is indeed much easier to tell yourself that someone up there is looking out for you and he/she has a plan for you and is only testing you now and very soon you will be given the gift of eternal happiness. Being a spiritual rather than religious person, I am quite skeptical about accepting that but I must say that if it helps you through tough times, by all means, go with it – because in the end what matters is the fact that you made it through it.
During our conversation that evening, Gitangshu and I agreed that life makes zero sense and we should really stop trying to make any sense of it anyway. What we need to do is remind ourselves that times change – good or bad – they will never remain constant and the quicker we adapt to it, the better it is for our sanity. He also taught me a very good way to deal with anxiety and a trick to heal heartbreaks (but that’s a story for another post).
He said he has stopped believing that everything happens for our own good but does still believe that everything happens for a reason and we get to know that only looking back later on in life.
So, there, that’s my two cents on living: just go with the flow or like Dory says, “Just keep swimming…”