It has been a few days since I went off Instagram. I really thought I would miss it more but instead I feel… like nothing much has actually changed. I don’t think I miss it at all, and the fact that absolutely no one has noticed – no shade, the last 18 months have been hellish and everyone I know has their own shit to deal with it – further proved to me that I no longer desire to be on a platform whose only purpose is to serve me targeted ads. I am really enjoying TikTok though – I like the anonymity – and I am always learning something new. It varies from social justice to cleaning hacks to random trivia to free therapy. It’s never uninteresting!
I am slowly removing all that in unnecessary from my life. People, possessions, apps, the whole shebang. Next up, is Facebook. I am …decluttering if you will, though not all that I am removing or distancing from is unimportant. Quite the opposite in fact, many of the things I am walking away from are deeply precious in a way that it will take some time to get used to this new configuration of life where they don’t exist.
There are so many drafts lying on this blog. So many times I’ve tried (and failed to complete) a post in 2020. In summary, it was miserable. My cat died and my world was forever altered. It is still too tough to write about it but life goes on, as it must and as it will.
I sometimes feel like 2020 fundamentally changed who I am as a person. For the first time in ..forever really, I have no goals for the future. No plans, no lists. Just the other day I told someone, the pandemic “sucked the joy out of my life.” I no longer enjoy things I used to. I don’t have any hobbies anymore, as strange as it sounds. I don’t have life to-do lists. I don’t spend time tending to my plants. I don’t paint or craft. Since Dusk died, I have not been able to read at all. When I am not working, I spend my time either sleeping, cooking or watching TV shows on end, many of them reruns, and then call it a day. I don’t feel inspired to create. And the part that is truly strange is that I am not really bothered by this fugue state.
I also fell down a deep deep rabbit hole today. I was thinking of something that reminded me vaguely of a few lines I was almost sure had made it into one of the fiction posts on the old blog. Before I knew it, I had spent this entire Saturday afternoon reading my old blogposts, many personal ramblings but several others made up stories, and thinking wow who is this person?!
Some of my old posts detail adventures from college, and now I am glad I didn’t nuke the old blog because wow.. some of this stuff I have absolutely no memory of saying or doing or feeling. It feels like I am peeping into a totally different person’s life. Some of the stories I made up, I recognized the elements from. In all my fiction stories, there was always something real I wove in, and reading them now I can remember exactly the who and what and where. It’s been more than a decade since I wrote all that stuff but I mentally edited all that I was reading now, something that simply comes from experience. Hah, look at me all grown up, significantly more mature and refined.
One particular post that made me really laugh out aloud was this list of “fifty awesome and totally underrated things”, because I suddenly realized that there are things on here that an entire generation of people will not understand or relate to (unexpected and fast downloading speed? long-distance phone calls? listening to late night RADIO?? zoomers will never know). Also, not gonna lie, “the smell of parle-G biscuits when your train goes past Vile Parle station” and “cheering for India when Sachin is batting” really got me, because that biscuit factory shut down and Sachin retired, making these experiences forever lost to the void. You really had to be there.
Lot of things are changing and I should be more excited, more grateful for all of this. But I am just a bit… meh. Even as the world moves on and tries to reshape itself around the pandemic, forcing everyone to believe its all in the rear-view now, throwing open doors and welcoming everyone “back”, something inside me knows on an atomic level that absolutely nothing is the same and can never be the same. It’s a new page, maybe even a whole new book, and here I am still trying to figure out who I am… yet again. I read somewhere that grief and trauma does that to people, what nobody writes about what you’re supposed to do next. Let it flow? Go looking for the next big frontier? Wait for it to come to you? Sigh. I guess, we will figure it out. Annnd I am being morose again so I guess this is as good a time as any to stop.
Until next time, Annie
(all my old blog posts ended with this so why not hah!) Now Listening: Jurassic Park Theme | John Williams