My eyes stuttered open yet again. It was dark.
I struggled to check my phone that doubles as an alarm. I was angry this time, it was not yet time for my early morning prayers; my alarm still had some time to go off. It was the third time I had woken up from sleep that night in a matter of three hours. I felt helpless enough to decide to go for a walk outside.
I was clearly disturbed.
It was a friend’s birthday party earlier that night. I loved being with this special group of friends that was there,with whom I was most comfortable being myself. I could speak without fear of negative judgement, and I could speak without fear of sounding stupid. I spoke a lot, and barely ever held back what I would want to say. Given that I was somewhat younger than the rest, I was pampered, and I felt treated like a baby. I enjoyed their company.
But on the downside, I would also get to meet people that had seen much more in life, that were more sure of what to expect in life, and more unfortunately, that were less optimistic about it for the same reasons.
For someone who is nearly done with school with a promise of a good life is laid out ahead, the more I heard from them that night, the more I was getting depressed. I felt a strong urge to leave but I did not want to be rude. Some part of me wanted to hear it all – for if it was the truth, I would have to hear it. Only exposing myself to positive thoughts and positive people would be deceiving myself, I reasoned, anxiously.
I stayed back after everyone left, with two trusted friends that were like my elder siblings. I had always been very needy; a female friend had remarked more than once that it was a twist of fate for a person as needy as I was to have had to live away from the closest loved ones’ forever. She was close enough to my extended family to be treated as one among my many cousins.
I opened up about my career, family, companionship and relationships, I opened up to them about the things that troubled me from the conversation we had earlier with everyone. I spoke about the transformation that I had seen in myself.
The expectations that I had from people, and how easy it was for me to get hurt and break, because for too long, my happiness was in the hands of other mortal human beings – skin and bones – who by their very definition could not be perfect, just like I wasn’t. They may not return a phone call, they may be friends with me only when they would need me, they may be friends with me for their own benefit, and they would consequently cut it off when I would be boring or not useful to them anymore.
That if I could break out of that cycle, take control of my happiness away from people and give it to God, to have Him as the source of my happiness, that would be a life of bliss on earth. Because God was perfect, and was a never-ending source of strength and happiness, who would never fail me, unlike His creation that was created to falter.
All of this was true, and I went back home with a lighter load after I shared it all. But not light enough to get a good night’s sleep.