Anti-social. Eccentric. Chemically clean. Neatness-obsessed. People-hating. Super-stressed. Perfectionist (in all the wrong ways).
That’s who I have become.
Somebody dumping a wet towel on my bed is enough to drive me up the wall. Forget maid absenteeism, traffic and over-spending.
I expect things to be perfect. And people to be perfect too. And when that doesn’t happen, well, I start screaming in my head, scowling on the outside and snapping at my loved ones.
I have built a wall around me. Concentrating on just getting to work and back. And managing to keep myself sane from the stress, by cozying up afterwards in my warm furry blanket and a hot cocoa. Alone. Without small talk, pointless chitter and anything to distract me from my “me” time. Because, sometimes I really feel like I would lose it. In the sea of petty conversations, overworked-ness, less money and a zillion other things that threaten to haunt me and drag me to the darkness.
“No”, I tell myself. And to stay afloat, I go home a little earlier, pamper myself a little more, dress a little brighter, and drink a little more tea.
A decade ago, I was pretty much the opposite. Like I was telling some people yesterday, I was crazy enough to rub “conjunctivitis fluid” in my eye, so I could get the illness too and therefore be able to bunk class and games and stay in the hostel with 20 other fellow patients who played cards – spit and taboo, while we – the healthier ones sat and got bored in class. Talk about being rewarded for good health.
I was carefree enough to go a week without bathing – twice, and not give it a second thought – We’d wet our towels and wash our faces as proof of our “hygiene” to our matron.
And we would eat a ton of junk (I don’t touch fried food now – I get anxiety after every bite of unhealthy food) and we’d empty a dozen packets of Lays on the counterpane or bedcover, and eat it straight from that. Yes. We were a bit too dirty.
I am the exact opposite now.
And I don’t think I like me very much.
I think I miss the me who would laugh with her braces on display, and flap her hands around like a chicken.
I miss the me who wouldn’t stress over the sugary french toast I had for breakfast.
I miss the me who missed her friends, who could talk nonstop and laugh about the silly things.
I miss the me who wouldn’t care about a wet towel on the bed. Or the pile of clothes in the corner.
I miss the 13-year-old me, even as I know I could never be that again. And this 13-year-old me would hate her ‘twice-the-age’ version. Maybe this is growing up. Or maybe it’s me who has taken growing up too seriously. Or it could just be the circumstances that have changed me. Or it could just be the genes kicking in. I don’t know.
Well. From what I hear, I think this is just called “growing-up”. And I don’t think I like it very much.