Today I heard someone else talk about a time when she too did not have words. She was talking about having the birds and the bees conversation with her kids. That she did not have words to have that conversation, and without those words she felt so incapacitated.
I would not say I do not have words to describe my experience. I would like to say words fail me. I can tell you that I am going through a heartbreak, but that does not do justice to how I feel. These words fail to say what I want.
Maybe it is that these words fail to do what I want. Maybe when I write I want these words to explain everything to me, to tell me what happened, and also to soothe me, and to heal this heartbreak. This ever-recurring heartbreak.
It is pathetic to feel lonely, to feel so lost at 40, when you assume that everyone should have their shit together. I feel I’m only just starting out to be a grown up, only just managing, barely.
I feel pathetic reaching out to people. There are people, perhaps, to whom I should not reach out: a relationship that has just ended, or people who are looking for something I am not ready to give. I did reach out to two friends today – thank God for WhatsApp – and it felt good to confess that I wasn’t in fact doing well. They comforted me in their own ways. And one of them asked if I had had dinner. Such a thoughtful question, to remind someone to take care of their selves, in simple ways.
This recent heartbreak has come about because my loved one and I are birds of a different feather. He longs for the free, open sky and I long for a nest. There is a song in a play penned by Rabindranath Tagore where two birds in love sing to one another, asking each other to come along with the other. Neither can leave their comfort zone, and so they must part ways.
It was so hard to understand: how could he love me, yet not want to build a nest? Until this song came to mind. And then I understood what I felt I had already known, that we are different, and that we will walk different paths. I am thankful that this song, this image of two birds – one free, one caged – for reflecting my situation to myself.
This is perhaps what we hope for from words: to see our selves reflected, and to know that we are not alone.