A full stop

Shankar Tripathi
30 Oct 2018

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It’s a horrifying sight, looking at a blank paper.
Words are apparently supposed to be this magical cure; you use them as an elixir to pour your grief, your sorrows, your worries on paper, and vent out your frustrations.
It helps if there is music being played in the background, maybe something alt or soothing, Bach or Cigarettes After Sex, whatever your poison may be. So they say.
They say it helps if you have a hot cup of joe by your side, kept on the table with a lamp over your head, illuminating your aesthetically appealing, Instagrammable workspace.
They say having someone by your side helps.
They’re wrong.
Because the moment you open that blank document, everything hits you at the speed of a bullet penetrating your skull. What do you write really, when your insecurities are being lit up like the night sky over the brilliant hue of the white of the document against your eyes? Does anything inspire you if you’re then constantly dwelling on that one specific text someone sent you a while back, the kind where you can figure what the other person is feeling, but can’t help them? What if that text was addressed to you?
Do you lean back and think of your school days? You’ve got to admit, comparing it to college assignments and exams, school was a paradise. But was it? Don’t you remember that one girl that you really liked, the one you goofed around, the one who enjoyed your presence, till you actually confessed your feelings to her? Oh, or maybe that person who used to be the coolest, yet the most toxic person in your ‘cool’ social circle?
The rumors that spread about you like wildfire? Yes, let’s not dwell on school; it’d be really hard to think back on the time when you gave everything up, that one morbid night.
College was a clean slate though, right? New friends, a new phase, a new start. Hah. Did you just forget yourself drowning in assignments and social expectations? Didn’t you look in the mirror to see what a sorry state you felt yourself to be in; how puberty hit your face like a derailed train wreck?
Or simply the fact that in the face of everything, you’d think countless times, and outrun Doctor Strange in figuring out the trillions of scenarios that might never happen? Live in perpetual anxiety, not open up or feel vulnerable? Be your own person, not actively seek social acceptance yet have the constant fear of missing out while scrolling Instagram posts and stories of all the cool kids?
Travel in the metro or an art gallery, yet the muses everywhere are the people laughing, enjoying and being happy, in front of your state of nihilistic existence? In the midst of all this, do you feel frustration? Do you vent that anger and vex your caring mother when she sounds worried about your dull responses? Or maybe it’s just frustration over the fact that your crush made you her best friend?
Do you distract yourself from everything then? Maybe look for work someplace, bury yourself in books, venture out and explore art? You do, but does it distract what’s inherently in your forever now? Especially in the face of every nagging millennial who feels it’s cool to be into sadness, emo, and depressing stuff? It’s like a fad today to live in anxiety, yet ask the one person who’s clinically taking over-the-table pills to counter his bipolar state of self; his or her constant overthought over every little action.
You don’t differentiate between black and white then. Your whole world is upside down. You’re transient in existence and you just keep going on. Nothing really makes much of any sense.
Yet, you do go on, because you have to. You’re not a full stop, you’re a semi-colon; you’ll not end your sentence, you’ll make it into something beautiful. It’ll have a beginning, it’ll be beautiful in its message, and it’ll end when and if you wish it to be, but only after all this. You’ll not give in.
We’re all a little prince; we’re all touched with fire, and no one can compel you to extinguish that flame. We’re all one pretty shining people, and we’re alright together.
So it’s okay if you find that blank paper terrifying.
It’s okay if you throw a tantrum about not finding inspiration.
It’s okay if you don’t do anything spectacular.
For what’s the worst that’ll happen, really? You’ll not end up writing anything. That’s it. But you shan’t close that page.

Shankar Tripathi

I randomly sing George Ezra and Waterparks. Love discussing (and making) art, history, and good coffee while sipping on coffee and reading up about art history. Yes, Oscars are politicized. Feminism shall probably have another wave. Picasso shouldn't have lived. Nothing exists.

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