Coming Undone

As I climb the steps to the yoga shala each morning I find my legs and feet become shaky and I struggle to find my balance, to feel grounded. For a ‘yogi’ (if I can call myself that now??) one would think I would have more balance, and not topple into the woman next to me, another of my many Mysore faux pas I have achieved so far!

This sensation of instability I feel in my feet gives away the lack of certainty I feel in my sense of self. The suffocating greyness of home provided a false security blanket – or is a shroud a more apt description? – that hid away my fears from view, kept them at a safe distance.

But here I am exposed – no one to depend on or hide behind. At 26 I still wish for someone to take over the responsibilty of running my own life. But when others have opinions on my decisions, I rebel, feel trapped. After all there is a reason I had freedom tattooed on my wrist. That is my fetish, my talisman. And I ended up here in my quest. But what have I found?

I have found only an insecure sense of self that stripped of all sense of ontological security is floundering in waves of emotion.

I cannot deny the loneliness I expressed in my last post – or maybe I can, maybe I can put that loneliness back on its shelf and distract myself with idle chatter.

Yet loneliness is created only through the sense of obligation to be sociable, to act a certain way, to say the right things. For I still cannot rid myself of the sense of inadequacy I experience when I undertake everyday activities alone or if I go out to eat lunch alone and see every table filled with people in pairs, trios or groups.

It is not only what solitude says about you in terms of social identity, but also how that solitude works its way into how you see your self. As a woman, the sense of self is further conflicted.

For is not true that experiences only become so when shared? But to what extent is an experience shared anyway? Do I need a witness to validate my life?

And what of those moments experienced with others when I feel like I’m dying inside? The trivial chatter, the ignorant views, the ill informed opinion, tires and wears the mind, and each time a part of my self is destroyed.

It does not help that I appear to spend most of my life listening to other people talk about themselves. I am used to being described as the quiet, distant, aloof, stand-offish – whatever adjective you like – but I have often thought, do other people not realise the utter rubbish they spout? Why are they not aware (or bothered by) their immense self-absorption?

To develop a sense of stability in ones self is key to living without fear. I had begun I felt to achieve that, but environment has worked to undo that – perhaps it was not so stable after all.

Stability is an illusion, or so I thought, but is stability what I am after not freedom – or are they the same? and thus both an illusion?

Either way, the mind is blurry – India is making me come undone – my recent antics back home initiating the coming undone process. To come undone, is to mourn, and to lose something – what am I shedding? Aside from buckets of sweat and tears?

And as each day closes I list the mundane activities I need to undertake, and in my head remain the desires I have yet to fulfill. Tomorrow I tell myself is a new day, a day in which all can be accomplished and I can become the better version of myself. Tomorrow I could climb a mountain, fall in love, write a novel; tomorrow I could figure it all out; tomorrow I won’t screw up anymore, or cry on the bathroom floor.

But tomorrow always takes too long…

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