Posted in Musings

A Search For Familiarity

Is all of adulthood a search for familiarity?

Turning 30 did not seem like much at the time. Just a glorified landmark that happened to fall as per the invisible corrugations that we humans made on time. But now it suddenly feels different, as I sense a palpable change around the way I function and think. I also see it reflected in those around me.

I keep searching for things that seemingly existed in another realm – songs that I once hummed, movies that I watched and forgot about, words that meant the world to me. They hang in the air around me like wispy smoke, infused with the smell of faint sadness. My heart swells as I breathe it in, letting the longing spread through my lungs and warm my soul, before dissipating under the present sun.

I feel like I’m living out the endings of multiple TV shows, feeling nostalgic for scenes that are mine, and yet aren’t. I see myself sitting next to a talking horse on a rooftop in LA, subtly bidding goodbye. Standing in an empty lavender apartment with five other friends, putting our keys on the table and deciding to grab a last cup of coffee together. As if something amazing and monumental has come to an end, and I’m on the cusp of something… different. Not quite tragic, but very real, nevertheless. I relive their moments as someone who understands that I’m not the first person to feel this way, or the last, and that however inimitable, we shall all have this common thread running through us – this sense of longing as we wade through time – connecting and comforting us.

There is a small voice inside me that says that perhaps the rest will also prove to be phenomenal in some other ways… who’s to say? At 18, when I left my school, I was leaving behind 12 years worth of memories, a close-knit circle of friends and my first real love. But it also meant that I was walking to a place that gave me my fiercely loyal best friend. When college ended, I thought it was the end of deep friendships, but post-graduation gave me people who stood by me in the worst of times. And now, in the last few weeks, heartbreak has made me open up, and draw closer to so many who weren’t a big part of all these years, and I can’t help being hopeful for the bonds that I may now get to build with them.

We search for familiarity and attach ourselves to nostalgia because it feels safe and natural in a world that is constantly changing. We are all on our individual journeys following that basic thread, but they do not run parallel, and we often feel like we are on our own. And we are. But every end brings with it the potential for new experiences, which in turn settles into forming another layer of intimacy and warmth, as long as we let ourselves be vulnerable.

For, while all our orbits may only intercept briefly and then slip away, we are immersed in a wider world where there is always love to be had, and stories to be shared.


A wayward thinker hiding behind the facade of necessary courtesies

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