Saturday, 20 March 2010

growing up

With the knowledge that one is getting older comes another more difficult realization-that people see you as an adult. This is terrible, because I feel like a child all the time. I want to be adored and cuddled and made much of and mostly I have a terrible desire to be understood. My friends often point out the inevitability of the complexities that characterize human existence, but it hurts me most when even my mother treats me as grownup at times.

B especially tells me that my irrational habit of disliking someone who doesn't like me much or make much of me is pathetic and childish. N said appearances need not necessarily correspond to reality and to expect this is pathetic and perhaps a piece of philosophical idiocy. S is in many ways like me, the need to be loved comes from so deep within that both of us often end up looking foolish and absurd. But trying to grow up has been a physically exhausting process for me these last few years and I think at times that everything I write will end up being a replay of that old and familiar nostalgia.

I miss people terribly, I miss my old attachments without wanting them back, I replay them in my mind and I love and hate the old times. I miss the innocence and I miss my snootiness and snottiness. There have been instances when I have been hurt terribly and when I have hurt people terribly. I want to ask for forgiveness and I want to distribute it too. I go over these times and try to figure out where and how and what I should have done differently. And then I remember that I am an adult and an adult doesn't treat time like this. An adult looks forward and doesn't dwell in the past and the what-might-have-beens.

I set a lot of store on human attachment- as if being attached to people is the mark of humanity. I would question attachment and at the same time accept it unquestioningly. Why does he/she like me? What do they see in me as a person? How far would they care about me? What if I am in trouble? What if I die? D taught me that one doesn't question attachment when it comes, one is just attached. One is a friend. One cares. Memories don't fade but gradually you get detached from these memories, the good times, the love. You look back but you don't obsess. That is growing up.

Sometimes you become friends with people and get attached to those who can never feel as you do. They might not reciprocate the love and concern you have for them or they might not have the same intellectual and social concerns. You think about different issues, you gradually fall out.
I have had several intense friendships with men and women and strangely enough I seem to have had immense difficulty in preserving these over time. But I am learning, as N may testify.

It is one of my closest friends-N.B.- who unconsciously made me understand in her beautiful dimly lit drowsy afternoon room- the friends who stay are those whom you love and appreciate with detachment, who you see as central to your life in a peripheral way, with whom you have fun but mild enjoyment and not paroxysms of delight. Even looking back at lost time is an art-maintain an aesthetic and intellectual distance-otherwise life could become unbearable, unlivable, and repetitive.

When I have such moments of realization I wonder how these will enrich my art. In my teenage years I believed that moments of agony mingled euphoria- ecstasy and epiphany- characterize the greatest works of art. That might be only partially true. In my twenties I have reached a different understanding. Life is composed of calmer moments-moments when one realizes that one has no enemies and no "best friends" either. It is then that the consciousness feels happy curled up with an interesting book, a cup of good tea and the promise of a phone call a couple of hours later. Accompanying this feeling of almost contentment is the happy realization that nobody in this world will probably "understand" me, myself included. This is when one is in urgent need of chocolate.


Sugar Magnolia said...

I'm going to mail this to myself and read it whenever I have desperate, obsessive self-questioning sessions; which are getting all too frequent lately.

Question. Do the 20s really upturn your life like this? :(

Diviani said...

or no one is always a friend, a non-entity, an intensely disliked person, no?

i find that it gets more and more and more difficult to make friends as one practices being an adult. so much, in fact, that the effort required of the exercise of maintaining friendships turns one way too selective in one's indulgence in the process.

Monidipa said...

No pearl of wisdom from M, of course, but who is surprised at that? :D

Arse Poetica. said...

@M. This is a post about growing up and hating it, not staying young and being forever beloved. :P

Anurima. said...

You are much loved. You are a princess and a darling, and young too- but a young one who knows her Locke.



Arse Poetica. said...

Anu, wait and watch before you start playing Locke and Key.

I <3 you so much. :) and you too Mandyness. and you too magnolia and diviani, though I don't know either of you that well. :)

Madhuri said...

no rules baby, never were, never shall be, dont search, i know, it cant stop :(