Ever since I read Iyanla Vanzant’s Yesterday I cried, the meaning of life has changed for me. Every morning before I get out of bed, I ask myself these questions:
- What do I want?
- What is my greatest strength?
- What is my greatest weakness?
- What is my greatest fear?
- If I died today, what would my friends say about me?
- What would I want them to say?
- Why wouldn’t they say what I wanted them to say?
In the evenings, right before I close my eyes, I try answering the questions according to what I have done during the day, whether I spent my time outdoors or was indoors throughout. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with the findings I almost lose my breath, sometimes I just break down and cry. Other times, one page of my diary is never enough for all I want to write.
So, on this first day of December I asked myself, what do I want?
I do not remember the last time I was excited because it was December. I don’t know whether it is because the holidays do not fascinate me anymore, or maybe it is because I am too busy with myself, I have no time to take a break. I don’t know if I have outgrown people, or people have outgrown me. Or maybe I am just ‘adulting’ at a faster than normal rate.
This December, I need solitude. I need silence, darkness and a room full of myself away from any human disturbance. I want a clear mind, soft music, chilly nights, cold feet, clear skies, old books and a clear conscience. I want a brand-new notebook and a pencil because it is going to be a long ride. I want a large bed with white bed sheets and no mosquito net. I want to cuddle myself to sleep when I can’t read anymore; when the night becomes too dull; when the music no longer makes sense. I want to listen to the rapid beats of my heart and do nothing about it. I want to write so much until my fingers ache. I want to look myself in the eye and smile at the pretty mess I am.
I want to cry when I feel overwhelmed with the idea of being alone. I want to cry when my own stories strip me naked. I want to cry until my shoulders shake when I think of all I have done and all I have failed to do during the past eleven months.
I want to cry alone.
Yesterday, an old friend of mine texted me saying, ‘Business is booming. This is my other number. I use it to get away from people during weekends.’ Immediately, I told myself I wouldn’t want that for myself. I wouldn’t want people bursting my phone with calls and messages to a point I have to look for alternatives. I don’t want to postpone my reading sessions because my best friend is throwing a party. I don’t want to stash away my blanket and get dressed because my favourite group of people are coming to visit. I don’t want to leave the house when my whole self just wants to curl up in bed and watch movies. I don’t want to talk to people when all I want is sleep.
Above it all, I don’t want to look for alternatives because people are bothering my solitude.
Earlier in the day, I was going over my 20 bucket-list and realised how much more is still in store for me. December comes with a couple of deadlines for me; writing submissions, work meetings, book reviews, a grown-ass man I need to banish from my inbox, the confused bunch of boys in my inbox baying for the cookie and a couple of other routine maintenance checks.
So, I will be all here by myself, never wishing away any minute of my life. And I know the questions will pop up as usual in my head, and in the heads of other people who like to micro-manage other people, and those who are quick to diagnose people with depression.
Some of us like solitude. No, we are not lonely. We love from a distance. We are taking a break from the rest of the world and focusing on who we really are, and on the gap between who we are and who we want to be. We are loving ourselves in new ways. We are finding happiness amidst adversities.
So, dear December, this is me:
What do I want? I want all the time to myself. I want to awaken the side of me that has been dead for the past eleven months. I want to read a couple more books. I want to write my own stories.
What is my greatest strength? I believe in myself. I believe I am the greatest. I believe I can do so much more. Oh, and I laugh a lot. I talk a lot more (depending on where I am) and I love unconditionally.
What is my greatest weakness? Fear.
What is my greatest fear? People will judge me for who I am and for who I am not.
If I died today, what would my friends say about me? I loved books. I was brilliant. I was a strong woman.
What would I want them to say? I lived my life to the fullest. I tried my best.
Why wouldn’t they say what I wanted them to say? Because the best parts of my life are only known to me.
So, hello December!!