September, August, July and A Little Life by Hanya
It’s been a while, like always. I tend to disappear, don’t I? It’s a habit now..
I have been up to many new things these days. But at the same time, I am missing out on many things. But this year in particular stands out for various things I can’t put down here.. but if you know, you know.
I am kind of afraid of 2024. Why? Because I will turn 26 and I have no idea on what to expect once I turn 26. 26 isn’t old, right? And the elephant in the room is going to be my marriage. I have successfully changed the subject whenever someone came to me asking “Have you started looking out?” NO, KAREN! I HAVEN’T!
But it’s going to be hard now I think. I hope not, but we all know how it ends.
Anyway.. I haven’t been reading much. And whenever I do, it either is a sad book or a depressing one. I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara recently and it broke me. I still haven’t recovered. It has everything one can hope not to happen even with their enemies. It talks about love, relationships (mostly toxic ones – the red flags), losing a loved one, family, growing old.. but mostly about friendship.
I have been lucky when it comes to having friends. Childhood friends, school & college friends, best friends, office friends, bookish friends – I know they are all keepers.. good people. I don’t talk to everyone everyday, but when we do, we know exactly what is going on just by listening to each other’s voices. It makes the world feel less lonely sometimes. It’s hard otherwise. I also met a very old friend for the first time in September. I am glad we did.
September was funny. I have never felt so many emotions all at once I think. Happy, excited, hopeful, angry, sad, alone, afraid, guilt, pride, passion. It’s true when they say don’t be too excited for something. Let things be. If it happens, it happens. Because when things go south, you are not going to like it. It can get ugly sometimes. And as the record holds, it does get ugly.
Talking about friendships, trips and vacations, I went to Goa recently with my childhood friend (for the second time). Last week of July. Or August I think. A very last minute impromptu trip when I had all the shades of fun (maybe not all but most of them). It was just me and her and everything was perfect! I wonder what would happen if I was on a solo trip someday? My parents would never allow so no point talking about it, lol. We hopped cafes, shops and clubs. We clicked good pictures and ate good food. We met a few people I hope to see again someday soon and drove without directions. It was a haywire tbh but we always did find our way back home. It was August. And it was beautiful.
Not gonna lie, it was a bit hard to get back to my work and study routine after this trip. But I wasn’t tired or drained out. I am glad we had this trip because back when we were kids – three or five years old, planning a home picnic with a packet of lays and biscuits waiting for our favorite award show or Hannah Montana.. to going on a trip to Goa together at twenty-five – the feeling was impeccable.
There is this one quote in A Little Life –
“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”
I felt it when I read it for the first time. I have learned how to be better at so many things because of them – how to think more rationally, how to work more efficiently, I have learned from their heartbreaks and traumas, from their ups and downs, how to carry myself among people, how to just be oneself, how books can solve all our problems (literally).
They are my biggest cheerleaders!
“Friendship was witnessing another’s slow drip of miseries, and long bouts of boredom, and occasional triumphs. It was feeling honored by the privilege of getting to be present for another person’s most dismal moments, and knowing that you could be dismal around him in return.” – Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life
I want to get a new tattoo. It actually is from this book A Little Life. ‘x = x’. It stands for the axiom of equality. The thing is, I am not really sure if it’s a happy one or a sad one. I want to believe that it is a happy one but deep down I know it’s a sad one because I have read the book.. I know what content it was being said.
“The axiom of equality states that x always equals x: it assumes that if you have a conceptual thing named x, that it must always be equivalent to itself, that it has a uniqueness about it, that it is in possession of something so irreducible that we must assume it is absolutely, unchangeably equivalent to itself for all time, that its very elementalness can never be altered. But it is impossible to prove.”
In simple words, the person I was will always be the person I am. It is a beautiful concept and I know it stands true by itself. But the context in which it is represented in the book to describe how Jude feels makes me sad. It reminds me of his misery and how he had lost all hopes and happiness within. Where did things go wrong for him?
Anyway, do you think I should get this tattoo? I really want to because I do find it a good reminder of who I have always been and also as a token of how much I love this book.
I think I’ll go for an afternoon nap now. It’s Monday and it’s a holiday. Best thing ever!
See you (soon?)!