Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?

Tag: musings


Let’s be serious, our generation never grew up. We never had to. There were no wars for us to fight, and we tried not to think too hard about the ones in faraway countries we’d never visit. It was irrelevant, it was nothing we had any control over, so why bother with upset? #War would never become trending. Don’t waste your pixels. Our understanding of starvation extends only to a delayed UberEats delivery, and we treat the mildest inconveniences like life ending catastrophe. Our lives revolve around the same first world problems and petty grievances, intermittently interrupted with the latest shiny object within our budget.

Our parents think they had it hard, or at least harder. Some become resentful, bitter that life wasn’t as kind on them as it was on us. They know it isn’t fair or right to feel this way, but that doesn’t stop them from muttering under their breath “…back in my day…”. You wish they had the decency to keep those thoughts to themselves. They don’t care what you think at all, you petulant child. They belong to the generation that believes emotional trauma builds character. They credit themselves for every achievement in your life but your failures are your own to bear. Don’t you dare burden them with disappointment.

Misery loves company only because it’s so damn lonely. I want you to understand my suffering, I have to make sure it’s equally devastating, or you won’t begin to comprehend my pain. But the world’s changing too fast for us to keep up. Round and round we go, we tell the same stories with new faces who distract from familiar, predictable conclusions. We go anyway. The devil’s in the details.

But you can’t escape the nagging feeling that you’ve drifted from the proper path. It’s like pressing the wrong key in a video game and knowing you’ll never get to the ending you wanted, that you worked so hard for. But you’ve come too far to start over, so you settle for second best. Before you know it your entire life becomes a series of second bests. You settle for less, then less, until you’re an empty shell of wasted potential. You spend the rest of your life convincing yourself that this is enough, and if you’re lucky, you’ll believe it.


Do you know what it’s like to wake up one morning and hate the life that you’ve built? A life that so many would envy, a life that some would trade in a heartbeat, a life that perhaps you never deserved to begin with.

The skillfully curated library intended to enlighten your guests to all your class and wisdom. Wallace’s Infinite Jest sprawled open on your bedside table, your chances of actually consuming it growing infinitely smaller with each passing day. No one actually reads books these days, who has the time?

The carefully selected catalog couture stashed neatly in your walk in closet. The grossly overpriced stiletto heels that only a true masochist would fathom walking in. The unethically sourced blood diamonds that satisfies the darkest parts of our selfish nature, the feeling of having won something in this trivial game, of having the upper hand in this meaningless excursion. Petty excuses for a petty existence, self serving because we no longer worship deities, we think we are Gods.

We used to know our place, back when only Emperors wore jewels and gold threaded embroidery. In this age of spin we’re led to believe that we too, can have a chance to experience life as royalty. If not for a lifetime then perhaps a month, a week, a day, an hour. A billion dollar industry designed to make you feel content with what is otherwise a mediocre existence, a mild inconvenience to this planet at best.

Have you ever woken up one morning and no longer recognised yourself? When did the fine lines sink in around your eyes? How many bottles of expensive creams in french labels will it take to erase the tiredness from your soul? When did you grow old? Did anybody notice you were gone? Will anyone notice if you don’t return? Do you fantasise about leaving it all behind? Being dramatic just for once, packing your bags without leaving a forwarding address. It used to be easier to disappear, when we didn’t have devices and accounts that tracked every movement.

I am wary of being called ungrateful, of inviting unpleasant superstitions. But I am so very tired of myself, of what I am becoming, of every day that passes and the days yet to come. I fear becoming a caricature of myself, of withholding my affections for purpose, of a love held together by mutual convenience and bitter compromise. You keep pushing me to be a better version of myself, sometimes I wonder if you ever liked who I am to begin with. I keep chasing your approval and losing myself in the process. I fear when you’re done with me, there’ll be nothing left.


It’s 1am and I can’t sleep. Who do I blame for that?

I feel insatiable, a bottomless pit. He gives me affection but it’s not enough. I became accustomed to the way you loved me. All smiles and sweetness, the gentle calm that would wash over me with your embrace. Sometimes I feel alone even as he holds me. Who do I blame for that?

I feel myself growing older but none the wiser, only more mediocre. Who do I blame for that?

As the days pass by and the unlikely possibility for some miracle of achievement continues to diminish, my feeble attempts to carve dreams into reality only seem to highlight how impossible they are.

I fantasise about something drastic, but a part of me rightfully carries a very grim concern that a true tragedy may not make me, it might simply break me. I have been broken before. I no longer blame him for that.

I miss him at times. Maybe it’s easier now that I know it can never be. I can forgive him for not living up to expectations that are no longer expected. We really loved each other for what it was worth. I know that still. I don’t know how to love like that again. Who do I blame for that?

You can say I love you and not mean it. I could hear it in your voice before you did. I miss falling asleep in your arms. In the mornings we were always so far apart. I was always scrambling back for cover, for warmth, for last minute affection.

Is this as good as it gets? It is enough? Should I learn to be happy? The answer to “are you happy” for me has always been “I should be”.

There is simply too much suffering happening at any given moment to even begin to comprehend, let alone be indulging in my own minor inconveniences.

But it hurts to not know what you want. As Wallace so aptly put it, “the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing”.

I watch others walk through life with such purpose and stride while I continue to fade into darkness.


We’ll never love like this again.
When this is over, we won’t be the same.

Because we might be writing new names into blank spaces but none of us are blank slates anymore. Relationships no longer start at square one. When you meet someone for the first time you’re meeting their every heartbreak, every lie, every broken promise. You’re left carrying all the baggage they should have left behind but stubbornly held onto till it molded them into this beautiful mess. You’re not just falling for the boy his mother raised him to be, but the collective wisdom of ten ex girlfriends and all the things they wanted him to change but he didn’t. You’ll discover the same flaws that made the last one leave and you’ll think the same thing she did- , “I’m different“. That was your chance to walk away. You should have known better.

Instead you’re wearing Ashley’s daring shade of lipstick and Stella’s dyed pixie haircut. You go out to dinner in Lindsay’s little black dress and you’re dabbing on Claire’s favourite brand of mascara. He never bores you with the details of what he loved about them. He’s a gentleman, and he politely pretends you’re brand new, even though every piece of you is a shadow of an ex-lover, and every kiss brings back memories of another. He walks you back to your apartment with his arm around your shoulders, and at the door you lean in to kiss him so hard he sees stars. You just wanted to feel something.

He’s touching your skin but tracing her collarbones, he’s losing himself in finer, gentler memories that you will never understand. You don’t tell him you’re a liar too, he doesn’t need to know you’re better at it. You don’t tell him you fell in love with the boy who smiled at you on the train and when you imagined kissing him your heart beat faster at the thought of betrayal. You don’t reveal the cheap thrills you indulge in when life gets boring and you don’t warn him that the best you’ll ever be is his biggest mistake. He doesn’t notice when you dig your roots into his veins and draw poison to quench a never ending thirst. He doesn’t know you sold your soul to the devil the first chance you got, and your leftover innocence won’t make up for the insanity.

You’ll never replace his first love, and when he doesn’t give you his heart it’s not out of cruelty, but he genuinely does not recall where he misplaced it. What is left is not enough to shatter, you are just the mirror of a mirror, barely leaving an impression. You foolishly poured out your soul at 2 AM in the dark, expecting his warm body to heat up your cold memories, and now you’re nothing but empty. He will miss you but that doesn’t mean he’s not relieved when you leave. He knows how to live without you, just like how he lived without all the others. Practice makes perfect.

You craved understanding but he never wanted to understand you. To get under someone’s skin, tear off the mask, feel their triumphs and their pain, it takes patience and precision. It takes kindness and blind faith. Neither of you had that luxury. It takes a special kind of optimism that diminishes with each round. You were not new to the game and nor was he. When you interrogated him for the last time and whispered “how could you do this to me“, he laughed and replied “you would have done the same“. You vow to never lose again.

When he disposes you he forgets to mention that it isn’t because you’re so disposable. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he really did love you. He just loved himself a little bit more, and at the end of the day you were both better at being alone. When the silence around you began to grow uncomfortable he felt shame for wasting your time. In time, you will thank him for leaving.

When you finally examine the past without a bruised ego blurring your clarity, you discover that every bruise was intentional, and you fought for anonymity because you wanted to be forgotten. You wore a suit of fake skin so you could slip out unseen when needed. Like a snake that can molt on command or the lizard that can detach its tail, you knew how to disappear without a trace.

Nothing feels worse than being left, nothing feels better than leaving.


Lessons Learned

I have learnt that people are not made of straight lines but blurred edges, and though we break, we bend, we’re soft and brittle all at once and you could stretch me like a rubber band but I’ll still bounce back in the end.

I have learnt that intelligence is strong and cruelty doesn’t belong in my world, that harsh words reveal how helpless you really feel, and most of the things my mother told me were wrong.

I have learnt that not everyone will understand you and not every story needs to be told, that there will always be people who try to bring you down but their voices don’t mean anything if you hear what they’re not saying.

I have learnt that ocean waves can heal a soul better than the sun, that rainy days are just a good excuse to stay inside and cuddle with a book or someone you like.

I have learnt to ignore the men who try to buy me drinks at the bar but I am still waiting for a man who will make me tea in the morning, and I’ll smile even though I wanted coffee.

I have learnt to stop counting my mistakes, to take a deep breath when life gets too heavy and remind myself that all this is temporary, and this ride doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it.

I have learnt that smoking might be bad for your health, but the stolen glances in between tapping the ashtray mean so much more, and it was always you who made me happy, not the nicotine rush.

I have learnt that love is not weak, nor loud, nor vain, and it’s more beautiful than the sunrise but it’s never easy. Love is changing, love forgets, and love learns to move on despite the hearts we break.


You have to walk the road to know how long it is. You have to be lonely to realise how much you miss someone. You have to lose them to realise how much they meant to you. Life is bittersweet like that. You can give up everything, but don’t give up on happiness. You can lose everything, but don’t lose your smile. You can be uncertain, indecisive, laugh it off and start over. Laugh, and I’ll be listening.

I had to say no to your childish fantasy, because life is too unpredictable, and you’ll learn the hard way that you can’t have everything. The places we’ve seen, the roads we’ve travelled together, the view, the memories, those matter the most, but they can’t set you free. Sometimes you have to walk away to realise that mistakes make you stronger, distance makes you fonder, and pain wakes you up. Take that step, and you’ll find that happiness is just around the corner.

We hate letting go, even when we know the damage is beyond repair. I always thought the best days with you would last forever, and there was no need for us to ever be apart. That was my selfish fantasy. But we weren’t strong enough. Or maybe we didn’t really love each other. Maybe we just liked the idea of being in love.

I still cry sometimes, but that’s just part of the process. I’ll try to remember even in the worst moments, how I have been blessed. How your kisses made my scars fade and kept the demons at bay, long enough for me to remember how to fight again. How I fell in love with the boy that made me feel safe.

You say I feel more deeply than others. I hurt more deeply too, because I believe life’s too short to waste, to run away from what makes us human. I love recklessly, and I don’t regret it, because no one is perfect. I’ve tripped, I’ve fallen, I’ve been pushed by those I trust, but I still get up, and each time I walk steadier than the last.

Silence makes everything clearer. Words have run out of meaning, they can’t save us anymore. So I’ll listen to what you didn’t say, and I hope you hear me too. I’ll be okay. I’ll make it without you. I never needed you, and now I don’t want you either. You’ll never have another chance to hurt me again. The rose will die before you have a chance to make things right. Life is inconvenient like that.

I’ve carved my own path, and I’ll survive even if I have to crawl. This is not the end to my story, you are not my final chapter. In too many ways, I am ordinary. An ordinary girl living an ordinary life, if I hadn’t knocked on your door you wouldn’t have looked twice. But the way I loved you was extraordinary, and that ought to be enough. I thought we’d end in fire, but you’ve turned into ice. I know how ice can burn when you hold on… so I’m letting go.


When I was deep in my depression, I thought about suicide constantly. 

Wake up; should I kill myself today?

Eat breakfast; why am I still alive?

Go to class; why am I here?

Cross the road; hope the bus hits me.

Go home; grab a knife.

Sleep; hope it lasts forever. 

It was a battle every day, reminding myself what I had left to live for. When I looked around, there wasn’t very much. So I asked her, almost selfishly, to give me some hope. “What do you live for?”

She replied in her stunning accent, something I could never forget: 

As individuals we each have our own unique aura, and if you are close enough, compatible enough, and care enough to allow yourself to open up, you can feel the energy that flows around you, fusing together as our thoughts intertwine. Right now, being connected to you, is why I’m here. I’m here for you. I live for you. 

I didn’t understand her at the time, so I cried more and pretended I knew. But I finally understand now. It doesn’t matter how much people hurt you, how much pain they inflict, how many scars they leave, how many hearts they break. You could hate almost everyone, you could despise a few, they could deserve it, they probably do. But beyond all that, a simple gesture can remind us that human connection remains the most important thing to our existence. No matter how comfortable we are with ourselves, how happy we may be alone, we all crave someone to share that connection with. We all live for each other whether we like it or not. We are only human.

So if you’re reading this, I live for you. 


I’m beginning to think I’ve been wrong all along. 

Perhaps love shouldn’t be free, and I shouldn’t have loved so carelessly. I should have charged, extravagantly, then maybe I wouldn’t be in this mess. I wouldn’t be so drained, so empty, so lost, so cold.

There’s nothing left for me here. 

No happy endings. No timeless romance.

I can only love in dreams, and even then I dream of tragedy. I dream of star crossed lovers, unrequited love, mistakes and untimely misunderstandings. My own failures haunt me, stealing the last symptom of a smile, leaving me with only bitter memories and finally, abandoning me as I choke on tears. 


Are we afraid of death or of loneliness?

It’s ironic how we spend our lives shunning and running, burning bridges, only to find our own company deeply loathsome, and realise we didn’t need all that space after all.

Fill in the gaps.
Smile when you kiss me, I can tell.
Show me what’s real, and I’ll stay for more.

Share the good times, the bad, the ones in between, know that I’m here to stay.

Haven’t you hurt me enough?
The damage is done, the pain will fade eventually, but the scars are eternal.

We all need someone. A shoulder to cry on, one who can hear the words you don’t say.

Tell me the truth. Did you ever love me or was I always a fool?
Tell me quickly. I’m tired of all these games.
Tell me now, and I’ll love you forever.


Being too trusting is a flaw in this world. Being too nice is also a flaw. Being a nice person can get you nowhere.

Growing up, there was a lack of nice people in my life. I don’t mean I grew up around bad people. They just weren’t very nice. There is a difference.

After my grandfather died, there was no one who was nice to me. 

The result? When I finally was old enough to choose for myself who to invite into my life, I clung to affection like it was a drug. I fell for every person who could make me smile.

I knew, I always knew, it was superficial. 

I knew it was false intimacy.

I knew they didn’t really care for me.

But I settled.

I settled for false intimacy so that for a few hours, a stranger would hold me and show me some kindness and make me feel worthy. 

It never occurred to me that I may deserve more than that.

But now I want more. Because I know I’m a good person. Despite what I’ve done, what I do, I’m a good person through and through, and I deserve more than your petty lies and cheap promises. 


The minute we let down our guard is the minute that tragedy strikes. You could try staying on your toes and remaining vigilant, but then you wouldn’t really be living.

The minute we’re born we’re sentenced to a life of fear and inevitable death. It’s unavoidable, so we go searching desperately for distractions.

Romance, family, money, drugs, power; isn’t it all for distraction?

You’re told to seek answers in knowledge and truth but the more educated you are, the more depressed you tend to be. You can never win.

No one really understands what true empathy is, we can only imitate what we remember from the movies and hope the pity isn’t too obvious.

I wonder what footprints I’ve left.
I wonder if they’re good or bad.
I wonder if the good outweighs the bad.
I wonder if that matters.

If you hurt one person, leave one scar, it’s enough to haunt them forever.

No one should have that much influence, yet we all do.
No one should cause that much heartache, yet we’ve all felt it before.

We never realise how powerful we really are.


You know you’re in too deep when

You wish you had never met 

Because that meant the last one had treated them well

And they lived happily ever after


It’s the worst feeling
You would die without them
They could live without you


There is a common misconception that writers are pathetic, absurd creatures. We are depressed, unkempt, always on the verge of bankruptcy, and often toxic to be around.

I was lucky enough to be blessed with all these qualities. 

But writers are not uniquely haunted by such demons, nor is creativity a cause for depression.

Depression finds the writer long before any ink touches paper, and rests its claws deep within the victims’ soul before they have a chance to reconsider their degree in English literature.

But still we write, because writing is the cure. Writing is the only thing that has ever kept me sane, and I don’t care what my doctor says, typing on my laptop lopsidedly in bed is a lot more soothing than running at the gym.


“While you have your dark side, it seems you just really want cuddles, a bit of attention, some pampering and just being treated sweetly. But you work so hard to smother that side. You just need to be treated nice, and you could be the sweetest thing. While I’m not sure if it’s my place to say it, especially since it’s going to sound blunt and annoying like the people who say these things, but, I feel sad for you sometimes.”

I wish I could thank him for his honesty. But it’s difficult to be thankful about anything when you feel yourself slipping back to the dark shadows of a relapse. This has to be one of the worst triggers in the world, and despite all I know of shame and vulnerability, I know I’ll always be too ashamed to tell him the truth. He probably wouldn’t understand anyway, but knowing him, he’d pretend to, and I’d have to pretend I didn’t know.

I don’t want him.

I don’t want him to want me.

But I so desperately wish I was enough for him, even if we didn’t want each other.

I wish I was enough for someone who is enough for me.