No my friend, I am not talking about the onion layers. Though undoubtedly it would make you cry which is kind of the point of this conversation (I’m kidding), but the onion would be a more metaphorical reference to all the layers in our lives.
We are all made up of several masks. I don’t mean that everybody is fake. But we go about our lives behaving as though that is exactly the state of mind we are in. It’s layers and layers of politeness, keeping face, behaving normally, doing chitchat, going about our work, etc.
But what happens when we turn the lights out? When all the hustle and bustle of our day is over for the evening, and it’s just us and the darkness..and our own thoughts. All the feelings we store hidden, all the way inside at the bottom, come tumbling out one after one. Where there’s nobody around but ourselves.
One evening when I was coming home I had to stop walking all of a sudden because of the sight that met my eyes. I guess the car could have been damaged much worse after the accident, but what got my full attention were the passengers inside. One was unconscious (I hope, because I don’t want to think of the alternative) and the person sitting beside, on the driver’s seat was frantic with panic at the non-responsiveness of the injured. I could not budge. I watched as passerby’s tried to help with water, the police coordinated, more people stopped to watch and then finally the ambulance arrived.
That is the ultimate thing guys. When you take out all the layers of an everyday life, there is only one thing-life and death. One minute you are driving/walking/skating normally on the road like any regular day and the next minute, or even second, your whole world is turned upside down. Just like that. You fall in a daze, have no idea what’s happening around you-all your senses numbed and all you can think about is what’s going to happen now.
I remember having tears in my eyes, I remember putting my hand to my face every few seconds but I was unable to cry. I wanted to, I wanted to go running towards the broken car, but I remained where I was, unable to move. All I could think was how petty I have been my whole life to complain and complain about things that were nowhere near to what was in front of my eyes.
We may be going about our normal lives everyday, trying to survive, trying to achieve our goals, take care of our families, fulfill our responsibilities etc, but we are hardly able to pause and take a minute to look at ourselves. Let me tell you a secret. I hate the thought of going to take a shower (don’t judge me!). Because I know exactly what’s going to happen. I won’t be able to keep my thoughts, my pain, my tears, in check soon enough. There will be nothing in my surroundings to distract me from all that I try to run away from. Which means I will break down, lose control of my calm, relatively chirpy usual demeanor and all the layers will be turned off like in Photoshop with nothing but the background layer.
Yes I know what y’all are thinking. Sounds like this person has a lot of unresolved issues. You won’t be wrong, but then again-who doesn’t? So let’s all take a moment and take step 1 of resolving issues. Acknowledge them. If you count this post as one part of acknowledging, then there, I’ve taken the first step. Sort of.
I will end this post with a mention of the second step so that I can write on it next. Gratitude. Believe me I will need to add this as my habit much more than any of you. But if I want to accomplish that, I would like to do it alongside all of you. Because that’s why we are here isn’t it? To be there for each other as a community. So until next time amigos, let’s all give ourselves some credit for continuing on, in our journey, in our struggles, in spite of all our layers. Unless we want to feel all warm and hot in all our upcoming winter jackets, if you know what I mean.