An Elegy to My Youth

Read with some caution, I guess. Extreme moping about.

1. -

~~I don't really know how to start.

 I've been meaning to write this for months, literally, before Christmas, before NaNo, maybe even before school started up in September. This isn't going to be an autobiographical report on my life, I'm not really prepared to write that much about myself. It's just far too complicated and if I told you every aspect of what I've seen and known in the past two decades of my life... you probably won't believe me, but this will cover some aspects and anecdotes, I guess.

 So, to get straight to the point, this is my last few days being 19. And I know that it looks like I'm making a mountain out of a mole-hill, and I don't really want your sympathy - patronising or not - since I've heard it all before. I just... feel like I need to confess, you know? I've been here for a while and... I think you guys don't really know who I am, what I'm like. I mean, I put on a guise, a persona. The Movellas Me isn't at all like the Real Me.
 So I thought - nobody else is going to listen, why don't I share my major/minor problems with people who will?
 But being 20... I honestly feel like I've been on death-row. I am not joking, 2014 has been hell for me. I guess there were loads of distractions and I didn't really say much until now because I guess I just wanted to pretend like it wasn't there. But I haven't been sleeping well, I haven't eaten properly in months, I've lost so much weight and I hate it (and to all of you girls who are furrowing your brows and thinking, 'But that's a good thing! I can never lose weight!': it's not, okay? It is in no possible way, a good thing. I look and feel horrible. I liked being the way I was and, for the record, you should like how you are too), my temper snaps in an instant, I'm swearing more even though I abhor bad language and I've seen things that, five years ago, I would fainted if I was presented with it.

 Just on the idea that I going to be 20 (and there was other stuff, sure, but they weren't nearly as big).

 Now, I've never liked birthdays. In my culture, we don't typically celebrate them, but even when I was old enough to celebrate it with my friends in school or whatever - I hated the idea. But this time I hate it even more. It's been two whole decades. Two whole decades. It not might seem that long to you, or anybody, but 20 years is a long time. If you said someone was shut up in prison for twenty years, you'd say it was a while. Before the advancement of medicine, some people might not have even made it to twenty, life expectancy was something like 35. Now, I'm not particularly afraid that I'm about to die and I don't plan on it any time soon, but my life has been flashing before my eyes in the past few months. I've been killing myself over what I've done over the last two decades and it's occurred to me that perhaps nothing will change and everything will stay as it is.
 Is that a good thing? No, it's not.
 They say that teenage is a trial and error period, where we do stupid things to get it out of our systems and such things. I've never been a teenager. It feels like I've been an adult my entire life and I've never once made a major mistake to look back on and laugh at. I've thought about this for almost half a year and I can't find one. Not one.

 I remember, when I was in Year 10, we were getting a talk about fire safety and hazard drills in school. And the instructor asked us, who would panic in a fire and who would stay calm. A girl stood up, she pointed at me and she told the instructor that I would be the calmest one and the rest of them agreed that they would panic. Now, on the face of it, any rational person would have taken it as a complement. But I remember feeling so offended. I didn't say anything, I laughed it off, but it burned me up inside. Like, what was she trying to say? Why would I be any different?
 And, ironically, two or three years later, someone did something stupid in our Common Room and set the microwave on fire - and I was facing away and had headphones on, so I was unaware that a fire had started. But when I turned around, everyone was running out of the building and I noticed there was something on fire inside the microwave. I don't remember thinking anything or feeling anything. I just picked up the fire-extinguisher by the computers and I put the fire out.
 It only occurred to me a few months ago how right that that girl who pointed at me was.
 When I was putting out that fire, I didn't feel like it wasn't a threat, at all. It was just a small one and nobody died and nothing was exploding. But everybody else ran away (without even tapping me on the shoulder, shows what great friends I have, lol).
 I have never been a child. People have treated me like one, but I've never felt like one. And, to be candid, I couldn't make a mistake if I wanted to. Throughout my entire existence, I've been constantly pushed to do things and even when I do them, it's never good enough. Never. To my classmates, I was never "cool enough"; to my dad, I was never "girly enough"; to my extended relatives, I was never "Bengali enough"; to my teachers, I was "insufferable, too smart" (I'm not kidding. I had a RS teacher who used to sit me in a corner for pointing out all the flaws in her religious opinions. I was 16); and you don't even want to get me started on my siblings.
 And my mum?
 I don't want to talk too much about my mum, because she's gone and I should really put it all behind me - but I always felt like she never liked me.

 That's another thing. I have so many regrets. So many. How does that even work? I have tried so hard and for so long, and everyone is still... not satisfied. And my mother was just never satisfied. I mean she was always happy with my brother - my lying, cheating, stealing brother - and everyone she knew liked her, but... it's like I wasn't even hers, you know? I've never really talked about it with anyone, because no-one would understand. Everyone loved my mum and she was a loving person - I just never understood why I was left out, or why everything ever was always my fault, or why I was never good enough for her.
 In the year I turned 18, she became very ill. I spent the whole year running from exams, to home, to the doctors and the hospitals... She hugged me once in her lifetime, that I remember. Once. I was so afraid to visit her in the hospital, I was afraid what she would say, if she would even acknowledge me... She just asked me about my siblings, my two youngest brothers mostly. And that was that...
 Some people have a... a beautiful connection with their mothers. I remember some of my friends telling me that their relationship with their mums was like friendship, even best-friendship. I think my greatest regret in life so far is the fact that my mother and I never really connected. I don't think it's something I can forgive myself for, I don't know if it's something she can forgive me for. Sometimes, I'd be doing something and I'd wonder what she would think of it... And it scares me to think that most of the time: I don't know.

 You know, I've already said that I've never really made a big mistake in my life, but if there's anything the last year has taught me is that... the time for making mistakes and blaming it on youthful ignorance is gone. It's over and suddenly you're so much more responsible than you thought you would be. Not because you choose to be, but because you have to be. It sounds crazy, but I wish I'd done more stupid things in my life. Tried out more things, talked to people. I studied really hard and I got good grades (or I think so, anyway) but it's doing peanuts for me now.
 But all of that is gone.
 Twenty years... feels like twenty seconds ago I was playing video games with my cousin, twenty seconds ago I was putting out that fire, twenty seconds ago I was hugging my mum.

 I've written so much, but it doesn't change anything.

 Tomorrow is still going to come, and the day after that, and the day after that... And if it doesn't, then you've just read a summary of my life - a bloated list of regrets and... more regrets.
 I don't know if I've provided you with something to take away from all this, or if this is just irritatingly time-consuming for you, but...
 It is how I feel.
 So thank you for reading, it's all the same to me.

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