It’s been a year into the pandemic, and I am back from what seems like an endless interlude, and while we’ve all moved on from the initial down-in-the-dumps phase, we’ve somehow learned to concoct a routine to pick up our flesh and bones and carry on with our not-so-fun days. There has also been a pedantic interpretation of feelings in this massive bubble of a void.
We have learned beautifully to sublet our brain space to emptiness. It’s safe, it’s practical, it’s all things streamlined, but is it making your stomach feel like Piccadilly Circus? That’s what I thought. While we sat in our homes and swore by @freddy_birdy’s instagram posts, we somewhere along the line forgot to, in fact, apply those suggestions with ourselves, our crushes, the space between our pet’s paw and our hand, the distance to our favourite pub, or even a delicious hug from our totally platonic friend that we are almost too certain we won’t fall for. How did we get here?
Gertrude Stein once said, “Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” She was not jesting. The woman practically saw the 21st century millennial gang fail at accepting and communicating their feelings. It’s a dark age to be in your 20s, yearning for love and not being able to swing such luck. I know it, I’ve been there. I am there. Being a 20 something woman in India who has recently gotten out of a feature film of a relationship, is bang in the middle of a tired cocktail of dating apps, unsolicited selfies from schoolmates, booty calls and “what are your marriage plans” messages from high-class relatives, the thought of wanting to get back with your ex comes almost as quickly as pee after a long day at work without an access to a functional loo.
We. Want. To. Belong. It’s a reality as old as Pangea and it needs some getting used to if you are not popularly known as a sorted person. We fear getting attached and then getting our hearts minced by beautiful people who weren’t ready to get on a long ride to comitment with us. It happens. Plans evolve, needs metamorphose, sometimes our visions just don’t align and we reach a plateau. This often leads to a long string of fear-borne breakups. The classic leave them before they leave you. And, as much as I’d like to say it is healthy, it is not. It is corrupting your feelings box. We kill our feelings to avoid hurt. It’s a flawed barter. We fear crying ourselves to sleep, we fear sleeping with new people, we fear feeling new, we fear abandonment, we fear taking a blow to our hearts. It is natural, but maladaptive.
On the flip-side is a romantically slutty heart that just wants to clone itself and belong to numerous people, almost one after the other, or all at once. It’s an ocean of an orgasm in your heart when you let go and fall. Fall for a new person. A person who might not stick around for long. Might forget you the moment you turn around for a cup of coffee. Or might fall right back for you, and you might kiss on your ride back home and just shakily hold hands. It is magical to love unconditionally; a weightless gain. But what does it take to be brave?
A boom in flicks and series that reflect empowered singles who take a chance in love and life is one of the biggest contributors to such decisions. Sometimes it is a stalwart streak that we inherit from our parents, sometimes we just give birth to this quality on our own. The thing is, risks help us stay informed and keep us in the game of truth. The more you chase your heart, the faster you learn of your weaknesses. These weaknesses are our golden cracks of wisdom. They help us rebut, accept, deflect, ask and reflect. The RADAR within ourselves. And now while we lie as a wedge on our breakthrough door it is for us to decide whether we get on the other side and clink with a cooler version of ourselves that has loved and lost and will love again and ponder upon a Pap smear for this cancerous idea of toxic familiarity, or not. Let courage stay rent free in your bones.