As a child, I was always naturally curious. One of my biggest fascinations was the world beyond us. I found it hard to comprehend how small we were in the big picture. The universe is bigger than we can ever imagine, growing faster than the speed of light. However, the thought of how small we are hit hard. We can all just disappear and the rest of the universe would be unaffected. At some point in time, all of our hard work will be turned to dust. Nothing will matter in the end. So why, why, do we work so hard if no one will be there to remember us? What is the purpose if we’re all going to die, our memories included?
I remember, I remember the time when getting out of bed was the biggest struggle of my day. I remember how the same thoughts circled my mind endlessly. The only thing I found solace and comfort in was my bed. My only friend was my bed. Life felt like an endless routine. Wake up. Get out of bed. Go to school. Come home. Do homework. Go to sleep. Repeat. Repeat for the next 5, 4, 3 more years of your life. I felt like a robot. A drone. A ghost. Life to me was just a mere shell of my past where nothing mattered anymore. I was always tired, so then I soon became tired of being tired and as a result, I tried my best to find something that would fill this growing void.
People. I filled the void with friendships. It worked for a little bit. A couple of months, give or take. But what happened when these friendships, these friendships that I practically devoted my life to, started to decay? Daily facetimes and texts turned to quick, weekly check-ins. Talking all night and making plans for the future turned to nods in the halls and faint smiles. Being alone was, at the time, the worst thing in the world. I could not even imagine living without these people. I did not want to return to that ceaseless cycle. I worked so hard on being someone everyone loved, being the most positive, the most helpful, that I lost who I truly was. I was no longer a ghost. In fact, I was no longer myself. Whatever that meant.
Things started to worsen once I entered high school. I was barely gifted with the opportunity to be in the same classes with my close friends which meant we slowly grew apart. We still remained friends, but our schedules didn’t necessarily match up. My “distractions” were no longer as present, which now meant that I had more time by myself. More time to think. More time to wonder.
I did not know what to do with all my extra free time that I gained from distancing myself from my past friends. Usually, I would just mindlessly scroll through Instagram for hours and hours on end. Is this how I want to live my teenage years? Alone, depressed and tired? My biggest fear was not accomplishing anything in life, and yet that is the only thing I was doing. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I tried to find some productive hobbies so I can at least say I did something in my younger years, regardless if they mattered or not. Consequently, I remembered being a child and always wanting to do ballet, but my parents refused. Now being older, I begged and begged my mom to let me take dance classes, so she finally enrolled me into a beginner class. I finally had something to look forward to. If I had nothing to do I would just practice some steps we learnt in class or watch performances online. These little things gave me a bit more hope and a step in the right direction.
I no longer hated being alone, in fact, I would say I love getting to spend some time by myself. I know that in the end, it is not going to matter that I love to dance or that sure, sometimes I spend endless hours on Instagram. I know that there is no one purpose in life and I know that, in the end, we are all going to die. The thing that matters to me the most though is that I am happy without external causes. I can cause my own happiness and that, that is what I believe.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur