If you ever come across a green notebook with an old silver ribbon attached to its corner, ignore and walk away as if you never saw it. It is an unsaid rule that you cannot read someone’s diary. Especially not mine. While I completely condemn the idea of a sneak-peek, if the person willingly offers to share something, you can be all ears. I do not usually reveal much about my life to anyone. But the thing that I am sharing with you today, is pretty worthy of a mention. I think it is the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life. Not actually, because every hurdle you face seems the most complex thing to handle at the moment until life replaces it with even worse. But I can give some credit to myself for being able to survive through this. Because in the end, aren’t we all fighting the battles that life throws at us?
As an introvert I have never really been comfortable in social situations or even making friends for that matter. Stepping out of my comfort zone, and talking to people I hardly know really takes a toll on me. I prefer staying to myself most of the time instead of undergoing the pressure of social anxiety. While a lot of my peers and colleagues plan parties and gatherings very often, I hardly attend any. To sum up, I am more comfortable around books than people. But yes, like every child believes in a guardian angel, I had one best friend who I could resort to in every happy and sad moment of mine. Growing up together, I always looked up to him as my well – wisher and a true friend. I loved spending time with him because he always motivated me to be true to myself. Whenever I tried to be someone who I wasn’t, just to fit in with certain people, he taught me to be proud of my innate identity. From sharing my problems to being with me in my happiest moments, I was lucky to have him. The recent pandemic that hit the world was a complete disaster.
January 10th 2021. This date will always be engraved in my mind till the day I die. It was a busy afternoon as I kept adding more mittens to my backpack. “Manali it is!” Thanks to my best friend’s over ambitious nature to plan trips. Just as I put the last sock in my pocket, a text notification pops up on my phone and my eyes go wide open. “I have tested positive for Covid 19.” It was him. My face went pale. I would never wish something like this even on my worst enemy. But with someone who I care about so dearly? It was a little too much for me to digest. And when something like this unleashes on your close ones, you really don’t know what to expect. When would we be able to meet again? Turns out, we never did. He succumbed to death fighting this deadly disease due to lack of proper treatment and medication. My old self would never be able to casually state in words, such a deep loss in my life. But humans are hardwired to survive. The key to survival is acceptance. Maybe I will never be able to accept the fact that I lost my only best friend to this monstrous disease. But over the course of two years now, I have at least come to peace with the fact that yes, you can neither go back in time, nor bring back the ones you lost. I allow myself to still feel the pain and grief, but I think it is the only way one can heal. There is no shortcut in this process.
One moment you dream about having the time of your life in Manali amidst the snow, the next moment everything just falls apart in your life.
Everyday I choose to wake up and fight a battle of emotional turmoil. It is not just about one thing but it is about deciding to move on with your daily chores even when your mind is facing trauma. But one brave decision that I completely do not regret taking is, the one on 12th February 2021.
My mind kept pulling me back but my heart pushed me to do so. I needed to do it. For myself and for my best friend. Had he been present there with me, he would definitely motivate me to do so. With a thousand thoughts in my mind, I decided to take that trip to Manali. Yes, some people called me a sadist. Some claimed I was never a true friend and just cared about the trip. But I think different people cope with grief differently. The world is always going to make comments. Ignoring them is the best choice. Today, two years later when I look back at it, I feel proud of myself and my decision. That trip helped me come to peace with myself. I could begin to accept what I was actually happening with and around me. I needed some time alone to help me through the process. I don’t know if you as a reader might find this to be a brave decision, but it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. All throughout the trip I kept my best friend close to me in my heart and whenever I felt that I wanted to talk to him, I kept writing through my diary. That’s when I realised he was still there, protecting me as my guardian angel this time in the form of a diary.
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