Less Noisy

The last thing I want to do is wilt away in self-pity. It’s not exactly becoming of the kind of person I am, as hidden as it is under the layers of frustration and annoyance.

I took a digital break, and made a small visit to meet some friends. Three days of bliss … that too doggie bliss! My friends adopted a dog a few months back and that mutt brought a touch of happy reality after this really long haze. He made me laugh, he made love and he made me feel. Waking up to his kisses and demands for belly rub was therapy – a doggie therapy.

D has been a blessing throughout, putting up with my mood swings, and basically being a ticking bomb. He ensures there is a good supply of chocolate and feel-good movies, and smartly gets out of the way. He also cajoled me into embracing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and now all I want in life is my very own Groot and Jarvis.

I read the comments on my earlier post and it moved me beyond words. To know that what I am feeling is completely normal and definitely not something to be ashamed of was heartening. What really touched me was the fact that all the support came absolutely without any judgements! It was pure and complete.

I am writing this, on my way to the year-end break. I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to happen given the circumstances but it is happening. While I don’t want to say I am running away from work, but yes… this is a conscious decision to initiate the detox. I want that noxious poison out – it’s been brewing for way too long and I don’t want to infect the people I love with it.

Thank you so much. I am definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

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Flight #writephoto

It takes a lot to fight gravity,

The first law of nature that we adapt to.

To keep our feet firmly grounded,

Lest we crash and fall.

But oh, the exhilaration of jumping in the air,

Of the innocent abandonment of playing on a swing,

A leap of faith, if nothing else.

Take the plunge to soar up,

Feel the gusts of wind bringing out wings hitherto invisible.

Don’t turn your back to increasingly piercing light of the sun,

Don’t shut your eyes and find yourself astray.

Try again if you crash hard,

And let the freedom of the flight be your guide.


Written for the weekly prompt at Sue‘s write photo challenge.

Stage Fright

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If only I had walked back on that stage… 

I used to keep questioning myself for a long time on the above “If” of my life and I have no answers. This used to make an ugly entrance in my thoughts every time I was up for a presentation or public speaking (ironically supposed to my significant strength).

I was 20 and was in the final round of extempore. I was really confident as I had racked up quite a few winning certificates in the past couple of years. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the saying “Pride comes before the fall” coming to life? I got the topic and I started off really well! And Bang! Before I know it, I have come to a pregnant pause. I am looking at those hundreds of people and I forget everything. I fumble. I grasp. And I walk-off. I went into a corner backstage and had this minor panic attack. What had just happened? My friends and professors were gobsmacked! Later, the judges offered a second chance and without knowing or understanding why, I refused.

And I never discussed those seconds with anyone. I am not sure if my parents were even aware of it.

The aftermath was, I stayed clear of the stage for almost a year. In my final semester, my professors convinced me to try one more time for a smaller event. It was a different me on the stage. Quiet and earnest – it did end up giving me a second place and the much-needed confidence boost.

But every time I faced an audience, the inside me was a deer caught in headlights. I tighten ed up with that awful swallowing feeling. I had to work hard to mute the scared voice and hit straight, for the sake of my team members and grades. My two years in university ensured I had enough time to contain the panic germ into a small corner. And three years into the corporate I am back in my element, albeit quiet and restrained.

I was attending a stand-up comic show with the line-up being a mix of first-timers and upcoming comedians. Through the two hour show, there were some brilliant, some cringe-worthy and some truly awful jokes shared and bantered around. While some made our tummies ache, some did not even deserve the customary crack on the smile. But being so close to the stage, I saw all the standard signs. The sweat on the brow, the flickering of eyes, the slight tremble of the fingers.

For a moment, I was 20 again when I had depended on the support from my friends and professors in the audience to attempt the hard climb back up to the stage and thrive. Which is why every comedian yesterday got a huge round of applause from us – at times, it is not the content that carries you to the next level but just the encouraging audience.

And it also brought back my nagging question to which I STILL have no answer. What if I had taken the second chance?

What would have happened then?


Linda has come up with a thoughtful prompt of “if/then” on her Stream of Consciousness Saturday!

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Say

Say

When was the last time your mouth followed your heart? Where there were no filters on your tongue and no Darwin’s natural selection at work with your words…

Isn’t this what makes  children so fabulous? The ability to speak their mind without giving two hoots about what they are actually speaking? I am not saying to be careless and drop inappropriate comments at the drop of that hat – simply let your heart have its way instead of the muddling brain editing what you are looking to express.

There have been so many moments filed away in my brain that if I open them, I invariably wish that I had spoken instead of choosing to remain silent. And what I noticed was that I was also repressing the GOOD things and not just the snide & sarcastic remarks (absolutely well-deserved though). I was doing it by keeping quiet, maintaining a neutral face and reigning in the urge to give those impulsive hugs!

I have little experienced in theater and mime was my absolute favourite – the scope of storytelling through expressions is tremendous and most enjoyable. Every day we used to exercise our faces and the control our features into putting together the emotion we want to showcase – happiness, greed, anger, fear, greed, insanity, love – you name it, we did it. I learnt the true power of our faces and the depth of feelings it can project.

It came out insanely well during out post-graduation when our communications professor made us all recite this very stupid passage in a serious dramatic mode …. In front of a video camera!!! So that we could look at our recordings and study our verbal and non-verbal patterns. The output was hilarious with people trying to keep a straight face while narrating. It resulted in this video by this creative guy, who put together the bloopers and shy smiles and bursts of laughter uncontrolled during this exercise to Say by John Mayer – And the line “Say what you need to say” kind of ended up as our motto.

A motto that I wish I could go back to or at least, work towards! And let go instead of holding back on that compliment or that apology or simply a thank you. Expressing involves more than one person which is beautiful!

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Linda’s prompt at Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “Press.” Find a word that starts with press-, ends with -press, or use “press” as a word all by itself and responsible for filling me with the touching memories of university! 🙂