Word of the Week #217:

Torrid

Often, I love having this outlet for some of the relatively lukewarm issues I encounter on a daily—or maybe weekly—basis.

It is good to have such outlets. It can be cathartic.

Writing always helps me control the chaos. 

However, if things escalate beyond a certain level, I feel uncomfortable talking about them, which further makes it more difficult to handle an already difficult situation.

And, instead, I shift the conversation to something more mundane, something easier to discuss.

Something like the weather.

Speaking of which, it has been pretty warm, lately. I am not unfamiliar with such heat, but not am I comfortable with it.

I hope it rains soon.

I have no real reason to believe that it will, but a man can hope, right?

After all, it has to rain, right? Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon.

Till it does, I just need to survive, right?

Lying under the searing sun, alone, I await the rain. 

Word of the Week #208:

Incubation

Okay, visualise this:

The quarantine has ended.

My favourite friends are throwing a party at their place… Because, that’s what you do when a quarantine ends, right?

I’m late, but not too late. I’m just at the right time, really, when the party is already in its full flow and everyone is already having fun. No more awkward small talk while everyone waits for people to join in on the dance floor. 

I can see her through the open door. I watch her as she prances about, her long, lustrous hair bobbing around her waist and her beautiful smile lighting up the dimly lit room. 

She turns. Our eyes meet.

Cue the music

She sees me walking up the stairs in slow motion, my hair ruffled by the soft breeze and my black shirt just unbuttoned enough to offer a glimpse of the recently-chiseled body underneath.

Striding in, I place my hand at her waist and spin her into my arms. Our eyes meet again, and we know what we want.

The chorus rises.

Without hesitation, we break into dance.

I was made for lovin’ you, Baby,
You were made for lovin’ me.
And I can’t get enough of you, Baby
Can you get enough of me?

Sounds fun, right?

Well, anybody who knows me knows that I cannot dance. At all.

Do I have a chiseled body? Maybe if it were chiseled out of foam.

Actually, I don’t think I even have a black shirt.

So, what is the point of this daydream?

In tough times like these, it is important to dream. And not just dream idly, either. Continuing to work towards your goals is important to sustain sanity when the normalcy and the noise of a routine are taken from you.

This is not the time to pause your dreams, but to feed them, gestate them, and prepare them to be borne into a new world.

Isolation can be the best time to work on things that scare you. Use it wisely. Keep working, not from the fear of failure but from the joy of the pursuit. And soon enough, things will be back to a new normal. 

I have my list:

  • Learn how to dance
  • Keep working out
  • Get a black shirt

Let’s get to work, shall we?

Word of the Week #202:

Hibernate

Now, it is not often that I say this, but I have been sleeping A LOT these past few days.

Since Saturday, I’ve spent more time asleep than I have awake.

In fact, I just woke up and I’m already sleepy…

It is quite odd, really.

I haven’t been particularly ill. The usual sniffles, but nothing too major.

Have I been fatigued? Maybe. But then again, who isn’t, right?

Maybe I’m just decompressing. As the saying goes:

When the cat is back,
the mice hit the sack.

Eh, all this thinking and typing is making me sleepy.

Maybe I’ll just sleep while I can.

Word of the Week #186:

Ingeminate

Repetition.

Is it good or bad? How much of it is too much? 

When I find a song I love, I will listen to it on loop for literally weeks or months. Never change. Never tire.

If you ask me which was the book I last read, my answer would often be the same: Perhaps Wuthering Heights, or one of my Agatha Christie favourites. 

That doesn’t mean I haven’t read anything since I read those, but that I read it again, and I shall continue to do so.

I have a few favourite movies and series. I can often be found rewatching them. Within those, I have a few favourite scenes, and there are times when I just want to watch those, nando mo, nando mo.

Is there benefit to trying new things and expanding your horizons? Absolutely, and, while reluctant, I am not averse to that. It is like travelling. It adds to one’s life.

However, what I gain from reading the same book, or watching the same series, or singing the same song, a hundred time cannot be gained by reading a hundred books, or watching a hundred series, or singing a hundred songs, once.

The pleasure of completely immersing yourself in something, absorbing every ounce of its essence, and watching it become a part of your being is irreplaceable.

The pages of your favourite book, the scenes of your favourite series, the bars of your favourite song, the lips of your favourite girl—all hold a piece of your heart and tell you where you belong.

That is home.

As much as I may travel, I have to come home…

Word of the Week #185:

Associative

The human mind works in strange ways.

Whenever we don’t know something about someone, we use their actions to draw inferences, thus trying to get to know them better.

X missed the deadline by two days? He must be lazy.

X quit his high-paying, soul-crushing job without any particular plan? He must be reckless.

X got his hair dyed an alarming shade of purple? He must be wild.

X didn’t show up for karaoke night? He must be fatigued.

However, when we did know the person, we tend to use whatever we do know to explain everything they do.

Suppose X is suffering from depression.

X missed the deadline by two days? Must be the depression.

X quit his high-paying, soul-crushing job without any particular plan? Must be the depression.

X got his hair dyed an alarming shade of purple? Must be the depression.

X didn’t show up for karaoke night? Must be the depression.

And it can work with anything else. 

Maybe X has an addiction to drugs. Or has cancer. Or is going through a bitter divorce AND a mid-life crisis… which in turn leads him to drugs, which later causes cancer.

Could happen, you know…

Or, maybe, it is none of that.

Humans are complex.

We barely even understand ourselves. Believing we can understand others is hubris, plain and simple.

Humans are complex. Humans are… stupid.

Word of the Week #182:

Soot

Hah…

Every now and then, I will do this.

I will work very hard for a very long, until I cannot work anymore.

If life is a candle, I don’t just burn it at both ends; I slit the candle down the middle, sprinkle some gunpowder over it, and I set the whole thing ablaze.

Needless to say, every subsequent cycle leaves me completely spent.

And, gradually, like the eternal phoenix, I too rise from the ashes, only to set myself on fire once again.

Only, this time, I saw the end coming. I had the time to prepare. I got a chance to pause.

And for once, I did.

Now, I can take a couple of days, refresh my mind, rebuild my strength, return to the peak of my abilities—or as close to them as I can—before I resume the blaze that is my life.

Personal growth, you know.

I am quite proud.

Word of the Week #174:

Obsequies

For the longest time, I did not appreciate the concept of lengthy funerals and the ceremonial nonsense that tends to follow.

After all, it does not benefit the dead, right. They literally could not care less. If anything, it just adds more burden to the grieving, who would much rather be left alone in their grief.

Now, while I would not discard the arguments I have mentioned above, from my own recent experiences, I have learned how there is a lot more to those ceremonies.

Firstly, grief is heavy. Not everyone should be left alone with it. Some people might think they would prefer it, but dealing with it in a vacuum can get extremely unhealthy.

The second thing that can real hurt you in a situation like this is your own helplessness. You are always left wondering if you could have done something—anything—to change the outcome. Regardless of the answer, the question itself can break your soul.

So, how does one mitigate them both?

By immersing oneself in a series of activities that feel very important but cannot really go wrong.

This helps you deal with your grief slowly and in stages, surrounded by your family and friends.

It also gives you back the sense of control, as you make all the arrangements that are required. It might seem pointless to some, but just the chance to do something and have the results go according to your will can be extremely empowering.

Having burdens you can actually lift and problems you can actually solve helps you deal with the ones you cannot.

The structure provided by these ceremonies provides you with the foundation on which you can recover from your loss and rebuild your life.

It is not the end of your grief, of course, but it is a good way to conclude one chapter of your life and feel prepared enough to begin another.