Mid Semester Musings

I hate waking up more than ever now. Not only do I have to muster up the courage to uncurl from underneath the warmth, I now make it a point to have 1/2 a gallon of water when I wake up. It’s terribly healthy.

Even though I did expect bouts of existential despair by this point in the semester from past experiences, these bouts still leave me clueless. I’m not unhappy by a long shot, a lot has gone well over the past few weeks. But there’s this lingering feeling of being incomplete that I was constantly succumbing to. Then came today’s news.

I know I’ve pointed out before that it’s very easy to smudge out despair in the shadows of extravagance, but I believe it’s worth reiterating. It’s also very easy to forget about how much in despair you are when so many good things are making you happy on the surface.

Only now did I realise how much of an incoherent ramble the first bit of this article is. Time to make this more legible.

My family has been tattered and torn for a while now. The sheer number of people we have lost recently has broken the best of us down. We also knew this wasn’t the end, and that we’d be dealing with these soon wasn’t a pleasant thought. Beyond the deaths, both sides of my family have been going through turmoil, which put an unfair burden on my parents. All this aside, we were still a strong unit till the end of this summer. All of us were in one city, consolidating each one’s brave face to put up an impenetrable front. And then we left, each to our own devices half way across the world from each other. But this was on a good note, right?

My dad put up the bravest face of them all. He’s beyond immaculate; he would never allow weakness to be visible in any sphere. I’ll be honest, we haven’t had the best relationship ever, we’ve had our share our disagreements. But the amount of respect and love I have for him is obviously unparalleled.  I unfortunately don’t get to speak to him too often. He’s busy and we often don’t have a lot to talk about beyond the business and the state of affairs at home. We’re very different people. I got a call from mom yesterday about him being rushed to the hospital. This one we didn’t expect. Yes, he’d had problems. Yes, we’d warned him about the scotch. But this? Nope. 

The results will be coming in over the next few days. I’ve pretty much been unable to leave the house. And the usual party in my head is now a grave. 

I just want to give my dad a hug.

I called mom a while back and got to speak to dad for a bit. He yelled at me for being worried – he would never accept any weakness from me. He defined fortitude and chivalry to me, and taught me how to abide by these at every given instance. His willpower is absolutely ridiculous in the face of adversity, and his perseverance is incredible. His achievements are nonpareil. Such a man’s life deserves to be celebrated even when that life sometimes starts choking with the scotch. But he will be fine. He’s also too adamant to let anything cut short his upcoming ventures, which include giving me a hug 2 months from today when I’m home.

Finally, that brings me to these bouts of existential despair, that actually came before I got this news (with an oddly eerie time coincidence). Going to a competitive school has it’s perks; you interact on a daily basis with minds that will be at the forefront of tomorrow. Also, consequently, your achievements that would’ve otherwise seemed monumental are but a blotch to life here. And even the achievements of note are extremely fleeting, somehow nothing that I’ve managed to do lately has given me a reason to be beyond-transient happy. This constant hammering at your abilities isn’t really my idea of fun. That said, I don’t mean to give up. I’ve got my dad’s gene of fortitude. And we’re both going to be fine.

Water actually fixes these bouts. So do obnoxious pictures of yourself after working out. At least I look better than most of the scrawny kids here. I’ll count that as a win.


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