Timeline.

Thirteen and half years old me wanted to travel around the world and write. She wanted to be a single mother by the time she was 30, she didn’t care if she ended up being alone. She wanted to fix the climate change. She wanted to stop global warming and prevent the earth from being destroyed by humans. She wanted to know what happiness felt like.

Sixteen and half years old me wanted to preserve the endangered wildlife, the tigers and the lions, the snow leopards and the elephants. She wanted to go to Africa and learn about chimpanzees and lions. She wanted to go to Siberia to look at the birds during summer. She dreamed of having adventures of a lifetime.

Nineteen and half years old me got her first heartbreak by an almost best friend who ghosted her when she was far away from home, sick. By that time, she’d wanted to save the world – prevent wars and abdicate hunger. She wanted to be a wanderer, roaming around aimlessly at times. She’d started doubting if happiness even existed.

Twenty two and half years old me realized she was afraid of being alone and single. That when she was alone, she almost gave up because she was not ready to adult yet. She also decided that motherhood is not for her. She didn’t want her children to know the pain of losing a mother. “The more people you know, the more pain you get” became her philosophy. So, she shut herself off and pushed people away only to realize her solitude acts as venom. She thought that happiness isn’t worth it at all.

Twenty five and half years old me wants to travel the world again. And write. And learn. And experience it all over again. She wants to be a mother, and isn’t scared about being  single. She is ready to be a single mother before she crosses thirty three; because, otherwise, complications. She is finally sorted in her life. She has friends who stood with her when she completely fell apart. She knows what she wants to do in her life (i.e, travel and write and be a museum curator if possible) and how to do it (hello master’s degree!). She, for the first time in life, has Plan B if Plan A fails. She is in love and still heartbroken but she knows that at the end of the day, she will be okay. She is finally happy.

Thirteen and half years old me is kinda proud of twenty five and half years old me. Because sooner or later, I will have done everything I’ve wanted to do as a kid. Maybe, I might do them less frequently than I’d hoped and wished for but I will still be reading, writing, traveling and growing. Because I will not have given up on my dreams. Because I will find happiness. And that is enough and will be enough. For now. For always.

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Letting go.

“How can you let go of people easily?” he asked.

“By giving them time and space, when they are sad. By not asking them what’s happening time and again when they say they don’t want to talk about it. By trying not to worry about them when they tell you not to do so. By realizing that you’re not important or close to them as you thought to be, after all people do share what happened when things go wrong no matter how closed off they are.

And every time, you feel like you’re starting to get worried, distract yourself. Read books – on loss, on happiness, on moving on. Watch a new tv series or movies – tragic, comedy, action. Go on vacations – with your family, other friends or alone. Take classes – dance, ceramics, kickboxing. Learn about politics, science and development. Attend events. Meet new people. Make new friends. Experience the world. Write about these experiences. Share them with your other friends.

And finally, resolve to start fresh.

So that when you meet them next time, you will realize that you’ve grown, and evolve into something else. Something they won’t be able to relate with. And when you talk to them, you will realize that they no longer understand who you are and who you’ve become. And you are a perfect stranger to them. That’s how you can let go of people easily. Because if someone isn’t ready to share what’s bugging them, if someone needs time and space from you during the bad times, then know that you never mattered enough at the first place.”

Lessons from mother

You were born to a woman who at every chance made you realize that she was barely just a mortal being. “Do you think I am a goddess with sixteen arms? Do you think I am a robot?” she’d repeatedly say every time you’d ask her for a favor at the last minute. But of course, for you she was always Durga with eight pairs of hands – finding your socks, packing your bags, making your hair and feeding you; all at the same time, plus that one favor you’d ask. For you, she was a robot, she moved liked one. She worked like one. You’d never seen her resting, especially, during the mornings when you needed to leave home for the school bus at 7:30 and she needed to wake up at 4 to make it happen. But despite what you thought of her, ‘a goddess, a robot’, she always made you understand that she was just a human being.

She’d make you aware of her flaws; of her anger that spilled like blood when you didn’t do what she wanted you to do; of her greed to give you everything she never had – that extra piece of meat she’d hidden for you, that extra spoon of curd she’d poured in your plate, that extra packet of biscuit she’d left for you. Of her displeasure each time you failed to appreciate her effort to make your life easy. Of how she expected just to get disappointed again when you failed to appreciate. Of her shortcomings in understanding your world and your language. Of how she complained when you wake her up from the afternoon nap in Saturdays because you were too loud.

While your class wrote how perfect their mothers were, never complaining, always working in the kitchen silently, being the last one to eat, welcoming their kids home with smile, your mother was very far from that. You’ve heard her complain when she had to cancel her plans of going to meet her mother because someone came unexpectedly. Your mother murmured in the kitchen to herself because instead of helping her, you are busy watching TV. She is the first one to eat in the morning, when you had vacations because she had to leave for work. She wasn’t usually home to welcome you when you went back from school. She always came home with a tired face.

Your mother reminded you that she was just a human and human beings are never perfect. She is in faults. She makes mistakes: like the time she mistakenly kept the wrong notebook in your bag. She has limitations; there will be days when she can’t wake up to do her usual tasks because she has fever or headache. She can be a failure like when she didn’t show up at an event in your school while everyone else’s mothers did. She might let you down, many times. She might let herself down.

Mothers no matter how much they try to show you that they are strong, they might break down, once in a while. You might find them sad, angry or scared at how their life has turned out to be. They will ask you if they live a boring life. And you won’t be able to answer them, because you can hear fear in their voice. And that they will lie to make sure you are safe. They will say that they are feeling perfectly fine so that you don’t have to worry about them.

You were born to a woman who’d tell you stories about every battle she’d won but who also shows you scars of the wars she’d lost. Who displayed her success like awards in the wall but who will also talk about her failures. Who stood up to fight for what she thought was right but who also bowed down when her children were at risk. You were born to a woman who wasn’t afraid to show that she was just flesh and bone. And by doing so, she also taught you to realize that you were just human too. That you can make mistakes, can have flaws, can be at fault and can let people down. And it’s okay. You don’t have to be flawless and perfect. You can’t ever be that. And it’s okay. You don’t have to play by the rule book, don’t have to live the life they want you to, you don’t have to follow what they say, And it’s okay, you were born to a woman who have asked you to accept her just the way she is and in doing so, accept yourself just the way you are. And by loving her despite everything, she also taught you to love yourself, as flawed as imperfect as you can be.

From a mother to a daughter

Dear daughter,
This poem’s for you
Because I know, just like I did,
You will also have questions for me
But unlike in my case,
I don’t want you to be unanswered.

So if you ask me what I wanted to be as a kid,
I told everyone that I wanted to be a doctor,
Just because your grandmother made me do so
But as I grew up, my aims kept on changing
With every TV series, movies or books that I was reading
Sometimes I wanted to be a nurse, other times, it was a scientist,
A princess, singer and once I even wanted to be in army.
But deep in my heart, I always knew no matter what I became
I wanted to travel and write
Go far and wide and tell stories.

If you ask me if I have always loved rain
Then the answer of course would be yes,
Rain has always calmed me down and
Made me feel alive.
I hope I still get out in the rain
And splash water all over you, every chance I get,
I hope I still have the time to stare outside the window
Counting the colorful umbrellas, with a cup of tea in my hand
And that we still get to eat tato tato jhol momo
And I get to tell you stories of how
I used to come home to the smell of those momos
During a rainy day after school.

And if you ask me about my love life,
I have my heart-broken of course,
Once by a man who was never mine
And the other time by a man who couldn’t make up his mind
About what he wanted from his life.
And both of them pained like it was the first time
I’d spend so many sleepless nights
Crying
Sobbing
Thinking
Wishing
Hoping
But nothing hurts more, that being heartbroken by a man
Who was supposed to be my superhero
I was heartbroken
Each time papa didn’t show up when he was supposed to
And I kept blaming myself for it, thinking it was all my fault
For expecting too much, for wishing too much
But baby, your grandfather, just like your mother
Is a person full of mystery
I guess it’s in our gene
To push people away
Especially those who means everything.

And I have broken hearts too,
Something I am not proud of,
But a girl had to do what a girl had to do
Put herself first
And not ruin her happiness for others.

The other thing I want you to know
Something I didn’t know back then
Is that you can fall in love with someone when you’re just 20
And still be with that person for the rest of your life
As long as you both work for it
And you will somehow find your fairytale
Maybe not happily ever after
But a rollercoaster of relationship
The key is of course not to give up
And to fight for what you want
If that’s something you want.

But the most important thing I want you to know
Is that no matter what happens, everything will make sense one day
And no matter what has happened or what will happen to me,
I, just like your grandmother, wouldn’t mind living all of these moments
Of happiness and heartbreak, again and again
If that means, I get to be your mother, again.