Monday, 5 March 2018

A rose by any other name...

I've been busier than ever. And yet somehow, I still manage to find the time to stare out of a window or become distracted with all the (hilarious) meme's on Facebook. God bless whoever invented meme's and music. They are the only things (aside from prayer) that get me through some tough days.

Then this week, just as I was getting comfortable dwelling in my complacent obscurity, I accidentally stumbled upon something that kinda jolted me back to the reality of my existential crisis. I came across this picture:

A seemingly harmless illustration of a rose, I know. But there’s a story here, as there always is. I was suddenly transported back at least 3 decades, distinctly remembering the smell of a glue stick and the brown paper that we used to cover our school books with at the beginning of every new school year. I remember it so clearly… folding the corners in neatly, before inscribing our names and the subject on carefully placed labels. And then, the flower motif itself – something that very few people will remember. It was purely decorative and served its purpose as an aesthetic to the otherwise dull and dreary mandatory brown paper we had to use.

The effect was so powerful, that almost 30 years later, just looking at the resemblance was enough to make me nauseous. Legit sick to my stomach. And suddenly, all the anxiety and restlessness of those years followed in waves. How did I ever make it out?

Some of the flowers were embellished with a hint of glitter. I always stared down at them, thinking of the irony. What was supposed to beautify, uplift and inspire did nothing for me but become a symbol of my involuntary incarceration and confinement for a crime that I had no knowledge or recollection of committing.

I can’t say for certain what exactly was it that made me absolutely abhorr and detest the institutionalisation that we call school - in a variety of colourful ways that no words would accurately describe - but it got me thinking about how we never really get rid of anything. They’re always there lurking in the background… the fear, the anxiety, the hopelessness, the exhaustion, the depression, the shame, the restlessness, the helplessness… it’s always there. It never goes away. Yeah we can outgrow things, we can move on, we can sit in our fancy offices miles up in the sky and talk about things with an assurance that we once only dreamt of. We can have the world at our feet and everything we’ve ever wanted…

But who we are and what made us is always a shadow away. Waiting for the day that you may forget so that you can be reminded where you really come from.

It’s never an entirely bad thing. I just wish I didn’t feel like retching every time my brain decided to cycle down memory lane.


  1. I see we have similar sentiments about school. In my dreams, on rare occasions, I'm still haunted by my perceived utter unpreparedness for maths or science tests, and not knowing where I'm supposed to be because I can't find my class schedule. Those dreams are far less frequent nowadays, thankfully.

    All part of the scars of life, right?

  2. I get the gut feeling quite often as well - jolting me into the past and reminding me of something awful / horrible typically that was my fault. Ugh memories. Also aww memories. I understand...

  3. So true. We never ever really get rid of anything, Az. Where's that app when we need it?

    Did I mention I love the way you write?