I was exhilarated when I found out that my eighth-grade final exams were cancelled. The covid situation was not as horrifying then as it is now. So, in minimal celebration, my dad decided to pack us up and leave for our native place overnight. Mindlessly agreeing to this is my biggest regret. The first few days were marvelous and I had the time of my life with my cousins.
But then, as though my lifeboat splintered, I fell into the ocean and got stuck midway- not being able to swim up, nor drowning. It felt like I was stuck in an abyss of emotions I could not control.
My paternal grandparents are high-strung people who want everything to go their way. I love them with all my heart, but I was so used to living without them, in my own little bubble, that it felt like anything they asked or did was an invasion of my privacy. I’m extremely comfortable being in my own company, yet I adore spending time with my family. Nonetheless, when people force me to do particular things, there’s this feeling in me that tells me to do the opposite.
First of all, I felt like a piece of crumpled paper that was aimed to be thrown into the trash but missed and ended up being next to it instead of in it, dooming my fate in the hands of all those who are too lazy to pick it up. On top of that, I had to put up the facade of the perfect little girl without being able to embrace my feelings or showcase them. I'm not over-exaggerating at all. I spent three whole months without being able to watch Netflix or any form of television!
My parents were constantly nagging me to try something new and innovative during the time off, claiming that the lockdown was a blessing in disguise. It wasn’t a blessing! It was a horror movie for me, where I was the helpless victim, who couldn’t shout for any help.
And then, things got worse. The COVID situation escalated and with that, so was our fear. Masks became the new fashion trend and the world began slowly adapting. . The hurricane that we had heard about a few months ago had finally hit, leaving behind remnants of its terrifying attack for us to deal with. However, I decided to step out of the mud and stop feeling sorry for myself. I asked my uncle to buy a ruled book for me and I manifested that whenever I “feel,” I should go and write whatever comes to my mind. I wrote everything, from silly poems, fanfictions, stories to even a few songs. I was content that I had finally found an escape, a place where I could let my emotions run wild.
From then on, I was able to swim back to the shore; somebody decided that I wasn’t a waste piece of paper anymore and wrote on me. A radical change had occurred in the way I perceived the situation and I soon found myself to be enjoying things I wouldn’t have even cared to give a second glance.
I started having a whale of a time playing cards, ludo, and other silly games. I made a variety of delicacies, (or at least tried to!) including the infamous Dalgona coffee. I made an effort to talk to my grandparents about sensitive topics like gender discrimination or marrying at an early age, just to understand their opinion.
Soon, it went from writing when I’m angry or sad, to writing whenever I had a moment to spare. I think that’s why it is so close to my heart because it was my saving grace when I was stuck and drowning on my own.