I never thought of myself as the kind of person who’d buy homes and such. I am young, I am free, I am constantly raring to uproot and find something new. Apart from marriage (which freed me in ways I didn’t quite realize – yup), all conventional milestones have always felt limiting to me. Cities are my milestones. They always have been. One home for the rest of my life? It felt like stagnation where I come from. I feel the same kind of commitment phobia that people feel for relationships. And that explains the extreme levels of stress these last few months. Not only did home buying entail a lot of hard work because I wasn’t about to live in a house I didn’t like – only this time, I was going to have to make one for myself – but also because it meant putting down roots in ways I was – am – not quite ready for. On one hand, I didn’t want to put down roots. On the other, I wanted a home – every tile, every room, every light – that felt like home. And from that point onwards, it was all a whirlwind.
Over the last few months of this conflict, I have found myself wanting in areas like belonging and “normalcy”. Not just because I seem to like things a tad different, but also because things mean more to me than they do to practically everyone else I know. I have wanted to be normal, practical, meh, uncaring. I could let go, care less, be “chill”. But I have realised that things, as much as people and cities, mean (and need to mean) more to me. I think it is about time that I accept this aspect of my personality. Fighting it and trying to fit myself into comfortable labels that indicate normalcy and social acceptance hasn’t quite worked for me – ever – most of all in these last couple of years. I feel feel feel strongly strongly strongly about people, places, things. And that makes me who I am. The world tells me I am inane. I probably am. After a lot of internet browsing, I have figured out that they call people like me “highly sensitive”. It shows in my relationships, it shows in my work, and it shows in the spaces I make and call home. It makes me “ace” in a lot of what I do. Fighting it is futile.
But the good thing is that when you are who I am, rewards follow. Very soon, I am going to have a home that looks and feels like my own. It may have meant many many many many (almost 6 months’ worth of) weekends spent designing the 5 things we needed and buying the 7 things that those designs needed. But eventually, I will have an uncluttered white home which is, basically, EVERYTHING.
And that is amazing. Photos will follow. I can’t wait to have a home that’s all us. And I couldn’t be more grateful for being who I am. Touchwood.
But what I have also realised or rather, remembered, is that no move, no home, no life milestone means more than it does in that moment. Marriage, I thought, would bind me. It didn’t. Leaving India, I thought, would make me a lifetime “NRI”. It didn’t. Leaving full time employment, I thought, would make make me a “gareeb lekhak” (just to clarify, I only wanted to be lekhak). It hasn’t. Buying a house and moving me, I thought, will make me “a settled, rooted, Bangalorean for life”. I don’t think it will. Because nothing has :D So maybe, I could remember this more often in the next half of my life. And I could remember that I force stupid labels on myself even as I fear them. It would make everyone’s life easier, most of all my own.