I was sitting in a cafe in the middle of an overcrowded mall drinking overpriced coffee on a fully occupied table for 10, alone. It wasn’t one of those out of focus moments where it seems like you’re contemplating the meaning of life unconsciously having a stare contest with a random corner tile, or maybe it was, i don’t have it titled yet.
‘ That trip changed my life, i swear ‘
I heard a friend mid conversation, talking about ‘the best trip of her life’ , like the last 46 she’d talked about.
Trying to be more involved in the conversation, I adjusted myself in my seat and put up an attentive demeanor only to realise i was participating in a game a 20 questions amongst a group of unimaginative teenagers. The girl on my right turned towards me, looked me in the eyes with a perturbed expression and said ‘ So,Aria, tell us about something you did or something that happened which held out to be the most significant thing in your life’
That question,rather prevalent, sent me into a thought frenzy, which eventually spiraled down to a tornado of introspection. I thought of a few incidents, the moment i got my 12th board result? the day my dog died? or the day my parents split? none of these felt like the right answer. It got me thinking about how insignificant the last seventeen years of my life have been. And how from all the skills i’ve acquired to the things i’ve done to all the decisions i’ve made that have built upto this moment since the bane of my existence have been “in the middle”. Even though I don’t have the faintest idea about what holds up to be tagged as a ‘significant’ incident, I know i haven’t encountered it yet.
It dawned on me, how i’d never felt a fiery ball in the pit of my stomach because i’d never done anything to ignite the will in me, how i’d never felt my adrenaline gush through my veins to consume me , how i’d never felt something so unnerving it was almost pleasurable.
This does not mean I was thinking about how I should climb the Alps or Hike through the mediterranean forest or meditate on the tip of the K2 for the thrill of doing something consequential. All it did was stir up a banter of existential dread and a questionably monotonous existence. I thought about how the rest of my life will pass like it has up until now and will continue to until one day i’m married with a couple of kids i made with a husband who’s expected to love me along with a mediocre job in a subpar firm where i sit behind a desk doing something I don’t love conforming to what society expects of me , degrading my self worth and my motivation to do something extraordinary along with the onset of old age and i will eventually watch my fledglings do what I did taking my last breath on a hospital bed probably due to a heart disease.
I didn’t realise how unnerving my inclination towards melodrama is but I did realise that what I need to do for now is find an answer to that question.
All this was probably building up since a long time considering how the most exciting thing i’d done was hop on a metro alone to a place on the other side of town and come back in an auto at 10:30, most of which was more terrifying than enthralling,i might add.
Snapping out of my passive aggressive thought process which I hoped i wouldn’t convince myself to be a hormonal rant forecasting my proclivity of staying away from productivity, I answered ‘ ask me this question 5 years from now, and if I still don’t have an answer, bury me alive ‘ .
I got up to leave, hoping, that i was taking much more than a cup of coffee from that table that day.