The Journal #5

Winter has settled in, and it is getting harder to get out of the bed in the morning. I guess that could explain why the morning workouts are marked “done” at ten in the morning instead of eight lately. I think it is fine as long as it’s getting done.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, perhaps, because I’ve settled into the routine again. I’ve talked about it on the blog before. The idea is to do three things; one to get your body moving, one to get your heart beating and one to get your head working, every day.

Anyway, I’ve decided to spend the last month left of this year in the most uneventful way possible; I’ve decided to spend it, sort of, like a nice Einaudi piece.

I often talk about how everything at this age is in flux. I feel we’re never the same people on two different days. It’s an overwhelming experience to be twenty-something-years-old.

However, I always talk about it in a kind of self-centred way. I’ve noticed recently and have really started to see how it is the same for everyone. It’s funny that I never really internalised the feeling until a couple of weeks ago.

I realised if the past couple of years have been the most eventful years of my life then it must be the same for everyone. I know, it’s an obvious thought.

If it is not evident by how much I talk about my own life, then I’ll have you know I consider myself to be a bad listener. I can go on talking for hours but the moment someone says something, I have to pitch in.

I’ve been working on that now. Actually, I’ve been working on these little things and quirks that I know about myself but never got around to fixing them. I have a list. It’s not long, but it’s not short either.

Despite the traffic and chaos that has erupted in recent years, Dehradun is still really good to walk through in the evenings. I’d love to get a morning walk done one of these days.

So, I take a walk roughly every evening, and it’s nothing special but it helps.

Sometimes, the strolls lead me downward to Astley Hall. Sometimes, they take me a bit further uptown to the AMA café or beyond. I mean, not every part of the new city is worse off like most people believe. In fact, I really like some of the new places.

I often run into people at AMA. Coincidentally, the last two people I ran into there were people who I was in touch with through social media but hadn’t met.

It is an awkward feeling to run into someone. You see they have something going on, and they see you have too. So, all you do is say Hi and exchange some small talk. Still, it feels terrific to see a familiar face unexpectedly.

There’s a boy outside AMA. He sells balloons. We have an understanding. I never buy his balloons but I always get him something to eat from the bakery opposite the café. It won’t be wrong if I said that Anshul, the boy, is one of the few friends I have who actually live in this city.

I wonder if he’ll remember me once I leave the city again next year.

I was talking to him the other day when I finally felt that I had stopped talking and I was finally, listening to this little kid talk about something he wanted to talk about. That was when I realised that I needed to work on the listening.

It feels really good when you finally, take a breath, and just listen.

When you listen, you don’t just hear words. You start seeing the minor cues in their faces. Like, the way their eyes light up when they like what they’re talking about, and the disappointment under their eyes when they shrug something off as nothing. Anyway, it is something I’m working on every day.

I’ve realised how complicated life is for everyone around, including those who did not exactly do right by me in the recent months, and how everyone, or at least most of us, still go on another day.

So, I often call people over the phone now which is something I really didn’t do earlier. But, if they don’t answer or are busy, I’m not disappointed either which is also something which wouldn’t have happened earlier.

I realised, since everyone has something going on that they’d rather wish wasn’t, it’s just normal to send a random text or put in a random call if you think of them. I wish I’d started doing this sooner.

It might sound odd but often when I’m walking, I start to imagine myself as a dot among many moving on the road; everyone else on it is yet another dot.

When you do that, the overview effect that you’re just one among thousands of them, makes you realise a certain something which can be best described by the word sonder.

Still, that overview effect is oddly freeing, at least in thought.

That’s all that has happened lately. I’ve been reading and doing my courses regularly. I’ve started playing some video games again when I have time. I’m not writing a lot, but I have started keeping a gratitude journal. It’s a good practice, so far.

I’m trying to make sure that all of this sticks until the end of the year at least.

Some part of me knows it probably won’t, but it is fine because it isn’t just me for whom things change or whose life is eventful enough. It’s all of us, experiencing so much at the same time. It’s all of us going together, picking each other up along the way.

It feels nice to think of it like that.

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