“To be or not to be, that is the question”

“It has been a great year, thanks for being part of it” flooded my home page. I clicked on a few, ignored a couple of them, resisted temptation to see mine, fell prey to reviewing it in the end (but had a little will power left, so did not succumb to sharing it). Anyway, I was looking, in fact staring at my FB timeline for a long time.  From a person who had talked and shared a lot, I have transitioned to someone who speaks out when it is required, and most surprising was the long periods of radio silence that is so unlike me.

So I ended up wondering, is it that I kind of regressed from using social media to express (literally translated as fed up with FB) or I selectively shared what I wanted people to know (you know, this impression management stuff) or is it a fundamental change in me (and if so, for good or bad)?

tomato-identity-crisis

I feel this year like many before and perhaps like many yet to come, throws more questions at me, than have revealed answers. Many a today went by, when I was busy thinking about tomorrow or was stuck in yesterday.  I had so many stories to tell, but they were too close to my heart, that I wanted it to be just mine and not speak about it. There’s this one about my bond with my house – it’s this sweet friendship story about me and my house- how four walls was my only solace during loneliness, by being there for me all the time, seeing through my happiness, sorrows, the only place I could express myself. Or, there was this day I felt I should never have a baby girl, because I was too scared to bring her into this cruel and unsafe world.

Hmm, did you raise an eyebrow or wrinkle your forehead in disapproval?? This is exactly what I am talking about. The fear of being judged or perceived wrongly has gotten to me, that I measure what I say. I frame a sentence in my head, play it, replay it and then let it out. Well, I was not like this before- I spoke my heart out and I guess, happier, though I screwed up sometimes. But these days, I live in a constant paranoia of being watched, assessed, evaluated, I really don’t know if I am honest anymore.  Forget being honest with others, by going against my instinct, I am not even honest with myself.

Now, I see a lot of people who seem to be expressing whatever they feel and I am totally jealous of them. I envy those who get to follow their dreams and also fearlessly talk about it. People seem to opinion-ate more (and also feel genuine) – about movies they like, what they think of politics, of relationships they are in, how they feel about something and so on. While, all I seem to be doing is failing miserably at being politically correct or diplomatic or not taking sides.

A friend of mine recently told me that I am a pleaser, perhaps he’s true, by trying to fit into every mold, I have lost myself somewhere, that I don’t even know what I want anymore. And here comes a new year, where I am reviewing some random pics based on what I chose to tell world, and thinking is that me? It’s that time we take resolutions and I don’t even know who I am, forget what I want to be.

I guess it’s perhaps late to say this is coming of age, and probably early to say this is a midlife crisis; whatever it is, I can only go through it and hope this experience will make me better, and not get the better off me.

Now, back to the square one, now that I have written this, should you be seeing it??

To be or not to be, that is the question.

Why New Year resolutions fail to materialise, but random myths do.

It was December 30th, 2011and the Cyclone “Thane” was raging outside.  The trees swayed, the wind blew away the curtains, and it was raining cats and dogs. But in no way could it dampen my spirit nor my roommates’.  An animated discussion was going on about the New Year resolutions for 2012, and we agreed on working out every morning at 7:00 AM.

Out of the blue, the mirror hanging on the wall fell down smashing into a million pieces. We were left dumbstruck by the impact of the crash and shattered glass glistened on the floor as if saying ode to its glorious past.

After the initial astonishment passed, we started contemplating on the superstitions associated with the breaking of mirrors.

“Myth says breaking of mirrors brings bad luck”, Jasmine said.

“Oh, come on, let this not spoil our New Year celebrations”, I replied.

We were debating on what to do next, while our friend Deepthi was frantically searching in Google about the myths on broken mirror.

“It says 7 years of bad luck or some bad incident will happen in next 7 days”, said Deepthi without tearing her eyes away from the system.

She scrolled down the page to show hundreds of incidents from the past, representations of it in literature and movies and real life examples quoted by people around the world.

“Google is not God! Come on, we have better things to worry about”, I said, concealing my apprehensions. But the girls looked unconvinced.

Just then Gowry returned home from work and we explained to her about the situation at hand.

She brushed away our arguments saying-

“Tomorrow is New Year Eve and instead of planning the celebrations, you are worrying about all this non sense. Let us get this mess out of our room and out of our mind, once and forever”.

As if waiting for a nudge, we started cleaning up the place and tried to put the episode at the back of our mind. But some misgivings lingered, though none of us wanted to talk about it and spoil the fun.

***********

It was New Year Eve and Deepthi was adamant that we have to cut a cake when clock struck twelve. Just as we gave in to her relentless pleas to go shopping for a cake, Gowry got a call from her office.

“Guys, I have to go to work. A ticket has been raised and I have to resolve it. Got to go”, she said.

“Come on, its New Year Eve, do you really have to go?” we asked her, though we knew that there is no other alternative.

The whole of Chennai was out on the roads, chasing their New Year hopes and dreams.  We three, headed towards the shop and Gowry headed to her office.

We were crossing the road and a car that sped past us splashed rain water, leaving the three of us drenched.  Cursing the driver under breath, we were about to enter the bakers, when the power went off.

Standing in pitch darkness, I heard Jasmine say “Is this bad luck due to the breaking of mirror?”

Cutting short our shopping trip, we hurriedly purchased a cake and fought our way back home, in the dark street amidst the crowd that clogged up lanes.

By the time we reached back, we came up with a theory connecting the broken mirror and all the mishaps. Like we see in final destination movie series, bad luck had just affected the three of us and skipped Gowry who was absent when the mirror broke. Random events that could have zero significance on a normal day got new dimensions because we tried to associate it with the myth.

It might sound absolutely ridiculous to you, but I can tell you that sometimes even the most rational person can succumb to what is called “Self-fulfilling Prophecy”. It was a false belief that we had about the broken mirror and the bad luck it would bring, which resulted in our behaviour that tended to make it come true.

I tried applying the same concept to New Year resolutions. It’s a popular belief or rather an understood fact that New Year resolutions are not to be followed.  May be, again the self-fulfilling prophecy comes to play while taking a New Year resolution, as mind already believes that  it is not to be followed. Perhaps that is why our behaviour is such that, we don’t even put an effort in trying to make the resolution come true.

Are you wondering why I am saying this with such conviction?

Because 4 days have passed and we still have not even moved a muscle and the whole “We will work out every morning at 7.00 AM was gone with the wind”. The same wind that blew on that cyclonic night the mirror crashed.