Sometimes it’s not clear — the way forward. Sometimes it’s not there anymore — it’s a dark foggish slug, and it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Sometimes you are so encapsulated in the fog that you lose the big picture — and that happens to me almost every day.
I wish I could be a success story too. One of those billboard declarations of someone who clawed their way back to life, back to normalcy, back to success. I wish that was me, that person who wins the game against all odds, but the reality is I don’t even know what the odds are, I don’t even know what game it is and I don’t even know if I’m playing anymore.
Hope is hard work you know. Everyone talks of hope as if it is some tangible thing dangling in the air, but that’s not true. Hope is not there, hope does not come to you. Sometimes you have to run to it and even then it seems out of sight. It’s a struggle. It really is a fight.
Why go through the unbearable drudgery that is life?
I have asked everyone — literally everyone — this question. Everyone including my therapist could not answer. Because there is none. Logically, what person, what rational, sane person would choose to fight and to suffer everyday for the next thousand days? Really, no logical person would.
It’s a good thing then, that humanity is not grounded in rationality and that things like hope and joy are not grounded in reason. I have thought long and hard about this question and I think this is why I fight:
I fight because trees are beautiful. They are green and lush and big and they form a canopy in the sky like an eternal house. I fight because sometimes when I breathe and look at trees my breath catches in my throat, and I want to cry because they are just so goddamn beautiful.
I fight for when I laugh with my best friends. I throw my head back and my breath comes out in incremental gasps because this giddy happiness bubbles on the inside and laughing is a way for this to escape. I fight because in those moments I learn seconds can last an eternity.
I fight for when I read math textbooks and things make sense. I fight for when I read the examples and the numbers follow this beautiful logical pattern and things finally make sense. And it does not matter that the world is unstructured and scary because math is structured, and in it I have found a world that is certain and provable.
I fight for poetry. I fight for the moment when I read a certain line and I feel something rise in me. It’s inexplicable — words that touch your soul and you feel as if some sort of fundamental truth of your existence has been discovered and printed in ink.
I fight for writing. I fight for the sense of relief I get when something forms in my mind and there is no release except pen and paper and hands. I fight for the swirling images that line up, waiting to be poured into blotches forming words — creating coherence (hopefully) out of something that was not there before.
I fight for Karachi’s beach. I fight because it is dirty and disgusting most of the times, but in the morning when the sun touches it, the water glimmers like blue diamonds and the sand is a hot, hot golden.
I fight for kindness. Because I found kindness in people when all hope was lost.
I fight for physics. Because it is the most beautiful description of the world. I fight because forces are beautiful — that they can be represented on paper is unbelievable.
I fight because clichés are real.
I fight because I will heal. (I think.)
I fight because I will make it my life’s prerogative to ensure to the best of my ability that no one ever has to experience what I experienced with assault.
I fight because there are some who can’t.
I fight because dressing up is fun. I fight because I like seeing what a bronzer can do to my cheekbones.
I fight because... because... I don’t know.
I don’t want to fight sometimes. If I’m being honest sometimes the pain is too much to bear, and I don’t want to fight.
But I’m trying. I’m trying to find the beauty in small things. And there is so much, there is so much that is beautiful. Look around, even as I sit in the fluorescently lit B-level, I see the wood and the tiny dark grains of brown forming curves (perfect hyperbolas!!) in the mustard yellow of the table, and I find that beautiful. My J-Card string is a brilliant blue and there are stripes of a different blue showing up in tiny threads and it’s beautiful.
Life is a shit show. But some parts are beautiful. And I think that can be enough. And I hope that can be enough.
The things we carry are heavy. So lighten your load for just a tiny bit.