“One of the greatest tragedies of life,” said K. L. Toth, “is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.” Unfortunately, I often think I myself have fallen victim to this tragedy. It’s sad how we change our lives, our character, our personality, even our looks to please others; sometimes consciously, but often subconsciously. Even though you yearn to be with someone who accepts you, “as you are,” it is hard – I’d say impossible – to find him/her in actuality. We’re slowly moulded, like rocks being eroded by the wind, as a closer reflection of our partners, families and maybe even friends or colleagues. Anyone who has any impact or bearing on our lives. Those we depend on. And it’s not like we don’t do the same. We also crave those around us to be more of this or less of that. To give up a certain habit we consider vile or take up a hobby more to our liking.
I remember a time, and I swear it wasn’t that long ago, when I could stay up till 2 or 3am, watching series or movies, eating pizza, having random conversations with friends or even pulling an all-nighter to catch up on work. This wasn’t unusual. Nor was being up at 7 the next morning, maybe a little bleary-eyed, walking to bus stops or underground stations, commuting via one or the other, never getting a seat to sit down, being pushed in between weary travellers (clean in the morning but hot n sticky on the way home!) and then packing a whole productive day in. Nor was it unusual to put on dancing shoes and short skirts, go clubbing, take a night bus, walk bare foot across tower bridge cos there were no cabs, find 24hr shops to rehydrate and munch, and then go to bed after sunrise only to wake up at noon and not feel like I was dying.
Yes. This used to be me. Now though… I feel old. SUPER old. My limbs ache, my back is always sore and my head is perpetually pounding from something or the other. Lack of sleep and oversleeping have similar symptoms and it’s hard to find the right amount. Yesterday I crashed at 9.30pm and my SleepCycle app tells me I was fast asleep at 10.30. Mister was busy working and things (or so he says) on his side of the bed, but I just slept through. I woke up feeling wide awake (and mega hungry) at 2.30am. After some crackers, juice and water I went promptly back to bed – but the stupid spine kept me tossing and turning. When my alarm went off at 7.20am I felt awake – and happy. More so after my first cuppa tea.
Now though, at 4.38pm I’m tired again. The day has been so long. I’ve worked, I’ve done home chores, I’ve spent time with mister over breakfast and lunch. But I’m not one to nap… which leaves me in a state of fatigue. Gotta prepare a roast chicken in an hour so it’s ready in time for dinner – protein n carbs will pack a punch in the knocking out department and out like a light i’ll be again. Can you imagine, I’m typing some of these sentences with my head down while resting my eyes. Yes, I’m that good. And yes, I’m that tired.
Anyone else feel that age is catching up with them? I’m not even that old!! I have my whole life ahead of me. Or so I think… I guess when one has an active lifestyle they’re blessed with more energy. Less blessed and more, um… I guess they need it so they have it? They take in more in terms of food cos they’re hungrier cos they use up the calories they have and yada yada.. the cycle continues. I know that’s not BS because when I exercise regularly, even if it’s just a walk in the park, I feel better overall. Multivitamins help too, but I haven’t quite made up my mind about them. Sigh. Back to Hilal Park with my sneakers and yoga pants!
So I’m a nature lover – I’m not talking botany and rain forest resorts, though I can be a bit of a tree-hugger, but more my love for animals. Whether they’re my own pets Dexter & Muffin, a bird that’s fallen out of its nest, an itsy bitsy frog, a turtle displaced from the river after the rains or even a baby lizard that makes my mother run shrieking to a safer spot… they make my heart melt. Just observing them and their ways makes me ooh and aah. They’re so… natural. Their actions and reactions are something I can relate to. Almost human. I’m not sure any of this makes any sense to ya’ll…
Where is this coming from? Oh well, there’s a pair of these long-legged birds, I’m not quite sure what they are – I’m going to have to google that – but they’ve got these three little chicks right outside my office. One of the parents, I’m guessing it’s the mom, stays down with the little ones, while the other, probably dad, stays up on a higher surface looking out for enemies. Sometimes when I’m bored I like to observe them. It’s like National Geographic right outside my window! The mom stands there in the centre watching the three chicklets running around, pecking at the grass, wandering, turning regularly to make sure each one is still there, still safe. At the very sight of a human both parents raise the alarm and the babies disappear, camouflaging themselves amongst the rubble.
Curious – and unfortunately, rather illiterate – colleagues of sorts were intrigued by this miracle of nature and went poking around. I saw through the glass as both adult birds got agitated, wreaking havoc with their loud wails. This, in turn, angered me. What was wrong with these people? They could clearly see that their actions were disconcerting the birds. How would they feel if predators threatened their young? Luckily though, they only wanted to see, and I guess they did have a conscience, for they didn’t harm the fluffy little birds, only looked at them in awe, smiling and chattering away like they’d never before seen anything of the sort.
The birds have become a permanent fixture it seems now. They’ve been here just over a week and are not as bothered by us as they were initially. I hope we’ll be seeing them even after the little ones learn to fly. I love watching them :) I love being so at one with these creatures – they offer so much to learn – if we go into it with our hearts and minds open we can live in utmost harmony with each other, in the separate worlds that overlap.