Essays

Waking Up To
Someone Else’s Alarm

Sometimes life gives us the clues we need in strangest ways. The clues to a better self. A happier self. A wiser self. A much more mature self.

I got one of my clues, a sign in other words, yesterday morning in a hotel room. The room was small but with a very high ceiling, making everything in it small and simple, including me. This simplicity and too much air enhanced the sounds within the room and its surroundings. I did wake up to several sounds from neighboring rooms during the night, but one of these sounds was indeed a real wake-up call. I heard my phone’s alarm. It was my alarm melody. The one I had picked among several different melodies. It was my alarm allright but the sound was lower than usual. For a second, I thought it would get louder gradually. But it didn’t. I had just waken up to someone else’s alarm that was close by.

Sometimes I forget that all that is happening around me, and everyone around me, can be a mirror to my feelings, my fears, my oddities and all the stuff I have to figure out about myself. For a better self. A happier self. A wiser self. A much more mature self. So here it was: A mirror of my mirror. Just a friendly reminder that I shouldn’t forget “someone else” is “me” indeed. In the ways only I can know. And only when I am attentive, when I look deeper. Like the low sound of the alarm, indeed, coming from far but very recognizable. Or from the other way round, it is just like an alarm that wakes up the one who is supposed to be waken up by it at that very moment, but also someone else who is all ears to be waken up at any time.

Let the ripple effect begin!

Unruly and Rebellious

….Hair. That’s what my shampoo says on its packaging. Each morning I see it in the shower, I chuckle. I take it not only as a reminder that my hair is indeed “unruly and rebellious”, but also, due to the vocabulary choice, as a statement with deeper meaning. I almost hear a baritone voiceover in that shower scene singing those exact words and then stopping abruptly. 

Since childhood, I’ve always wanted straight hair. My hair is neither curly nor straight. It’s that in-between wavy and thick hair. I think what has bothered me most all this time is that “in-betweenness”. That desire to take something to either end of the spectrum while you are stuck somewhere “in-between”. Vagueness. Complexity. Imbalance. If only my hair was straight and sleek as some of my friends’. I used to look at their hair in envy. I still do…sometimes. Their hair looks just perfect. Not a bit out of place. In order. Soft-looking. Shiny. The irony, of course, is I can always straighten my hair only to miss my natural hair. I spend couple of days with straight hair, and I feel as if I am tamed. My feelings are not as passionate, my voice is soft, and my whole existence becomes sleek. I like it for a couple of days only. Then I have the urge to wash it with my “unruly and rebellious hair” shampoo in order to get my natural hair back, but only a relatively less unruly and rebellious version of it. It soothes my soul. It’s good for me. To accept that even my hair can be a reflection of what’s happening inside me. My character. My complex, not easily definable inner world. Not curly. Not straight. In-between!

Speechless:
Speak Less, Sing More.

I feel like I used it all, all my energy to utter words, to make sense, to be understood. This used energy brought a great exhaustion. An exhaustion I most feel in my lungs. As if there is no air left in there. As if every word uses up the air in there without letting the fresh air in again. 

To be speechless is my resolution. To be speechless in almost every meaning of the word, but mostly “to refrain from speech; silent”. Silence and letting go. Not having to explain, agree on, disagree with every single thing. Just nodding maybe or blinking. A small gesture. A tiny smile. And breath in and breath out. A natural rhythm rather than a forced bombardment of many words.

I do sometimes imagine a “musical” world. A world we sing to communicate with each other and not necessarily speak at all. Each time we start to sing, it takes an effort and utmost care in rhythm and selection of words, there is no way to really be perceived as angry as you can’t sing in an angry tone. A serious tone maybe, but not an outrageous one. Even when you are sad, you are sad with dignity and not bawling. As if the sad song is just as acceptable as a joyful song. Both valid in life.

So this year, of all years, I declare that it should be the year of “speaking less, singing more”. Even if I don’t sing; I will treat every speech as a song with which I express myself in a rhythmic and well-thought manner. Not a single word more, not a single word less. Alors, let’s begin…

Zipper

It happens to me quite often, mostly with a jacket: A zipper zipped on the wrong track. Each time it happens, it is first a “oh, no!” reaction. Then comes the stage when I know I have to be patient and slow whereas my hand movements are impatient and rapid. The key is the zipper slider bringing the two sides together. This small piece of metal goes up and down, up and down until one day it gets stuck. The two sides don’t come together as they are supposed to be.

As often as this malicious act of the zipper catches me off guard, I think about relationships on wrong track. The zipper slide reminds me of the perfect balance between two people living together. The balance keeps the two sides on track. The balance can be a combination of several things, different for each couple. When one of these things change in nature, it affects the whole, and the off-balance starts. You feel it in your guts, it can show itself in the form of cramps in your stomach or a suffocating feeling on your chest. Something is not right. You are not yourself. You are the zipper on the wrong track. And you have no idea how you ended up in that mess. The two sides move haphazardly stuck in that position although the core, the zipper slider, knows that smooth and tranquil movements are needed to set free. Ironically, once you are free from that trap, the two sides come together and join to become one again. Alas, that oneness can still feel harmonious as long as the two sides are themselves and not on the wrong track.

Happy zipping!

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