Moving Forward and Holding On

Graphic by Arkayana Bora

I changed schools often when I was younger, following my parents as they scaled India. Unfortunately, unlike my brother, I was not bubbly and talkative, so it took me more time to settle down and make friends. Over all the years and all the friends I made and lost, I learnt to keep moving along the flow of time.

2017 was the last time I set foot into an unfamiliar school- my 7th school. I had a mental picture of how the next few months were going to pan out – I would be the awkward kid who really only spoke to either answer a question or when spoken to, the kid with few friends who could be tossed around easily; and that knowledge filled me with dread. But when I stepped foot into my school, I did so with a certain level of comfort that came from knowing that I may be new to this, but before I could tell- I would be like any other kid who has been here all their life. Looking back, that was the first time I told myself- “Time will keep moving and you will move with it, so try not to linger too much on what bothers you now- it won’t for long”.

Since then, I have consoled myself often with this ideology; be it on losing friends or not doing well in school or at competitions and more often than not, everything works out – every wound fades with time. Nobody remembers the one test you didn’t do well on, everyone is focused on the next. Nobody will pay attention to your rank in a competition, because life keeps moving on. Despite what may seem burdensome now, it will continue to tick by, second after second, minute after minute, and before you realise- the memory that pricks you fades away. It first blends into the background and then vanishes entirely till it is only a vague remembrance of the event.

Losing friends and holding sentiments too close to my heart stuck to me like knots deep down that I just could not untangle. But when a knot tightens noticeably, it reminds me of that time, that reality and how distant it feels now. It reminds me that whether tangled or untangled; I have moved forward with a heart full of knots- knots I could not deal with, knots I still hold onto, knots holding testimony to who I was and who I have become, and knots from moving forward.

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