For as far back as I can remember, I have been called many things — quiet, shy, introverted, reserved. Reserved is the most accurate and consistent of all. I like to think it is what I’ve always been and also what I’ve grown to become. Every other day, a new layer grows and there’s another story brewing — one I may never tell. So, I find myself clutching my hands together or one hand making a fist, as my chest tightens, trying to take in new information to add to the many untold stories.
When will it stop?
Sometimes, it’s admirable, being able to suck things up, fix your life somehow by yourself and move on. Other times, it’s frustrating and telling. You suck things up and move on so fast that you do not realize that as these stories build-up, you sometimes forget to address your pain. So, they pile up. Again and again, as the story forms. The plot thickens and so does your pain. And one day, unannounced and unprepared, you realize how broken you are. Not in the cutest way, but in the messiest and sometimes most embarrassing way. Unannounced. Unprepared. Like a random pipe burst.
And what does it change?
Nothing. Many times, nothing. It is just another episode, one that is expected to intercept the stories. And you move on, again, starting a new chapter in the same book until you catch your next break — that random pipe burst.
This is how I’ve lived.
I didn’t realize how deep this was until recently when it dawned on me that it wasn’t even about the big things but also the minutest and seemingly insignificant things. Some things aren’t meant to be reserved, like a random stone on the ground that anyone can see and pick up. You’ll be doing a little too much by picking up one and choosing not to show anyone. It would have been different if you picked up a gem, right? That’s what it’s like for me. I reserve everything, even what you think I shouldn’t have.
I’m realizing these days that some stories are for telling. Not the tiny bits and the deep ones shared with specific people for empathy’s sake. I’m talking about the random ones. The randomness of life and the not-too-deep stories I take personally and consider deep. I’m talking about conversations that should happen and flow without me carefully picking all my words because there are a lot of things I’ve reserved and still want to reserve. I’m beginning to desire such randomness and spontaneity.
But can I…? Will I…?
I don’t think so. Maybe I’ll start in bits and gradually build it up. Maybe this is all the telling I’ll do and the unreserved part of me may never see the light of day. Or maybe it’ll be the entire opposite and I’ll be a completely different person.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt about myself in the past year, it is that I am evolving and many things I once thought I would never do, I have done them. And that’s okay. It’s okay to change and watch yourself do much more than you ever thought you would.
I’m also looking forward to the many sides of me I’m yet to see. Sometimes, I’m scared of myself — the many parts of me locked in reservedness that I might explore soon. Will I break? Will I survive? Will I regret it?
I don’t know. But what I do know is that I want to step out of my comfort zone a little and see what it’s like out there.
Today is my birthday and this is probably the most honest publicly-shared conversation I’ve had with myself. It might not be that deep to you, but it is — to me — and this is a step I’m glad I took. Here’s to more softness!
I have lived an eventful life, yet stayed so hidden that I now have many untold stories stacked.
This is Twenty-five and this will perhaps be the year I embrace softness, allow myself to be loved fully, and tell my story — one at a time — starting with the one I’m most comfortable with.
A beautiful silver jubilee anniversary to me!