I got on the bed at 00:03 am (China time) and it’s currently 01:32 am (so it’s actually Friday morning here)and I’m not sleepy. It is probably because of the coffee that I had in the late afternoon today.
It’s been 2 weeks since my last cup of coffee before today’s, so I’m actually proud of not succumbing to the temptation of having more coffee every day.
But I’m digressing. This is not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about two things actually.
First, I have been off Facebook and Instagram for more than 2 weeks now and I feel great. I am still procrastinating using YouTube but I am more responsible for that matter. As soon as I went offline from these two platforms, I thought great I’ll spend more time on WordPress. It’s the same thing but better. Here at least I’ll have a real connection with people. I’ll have a social life on this social platform which was very true. I got to know many more people. I recognise the works of the ones I follow. I was spending much more time on my writing and on WordPress, but I wonder was it not too much too soon? I think it overwhelmed me to have so many people respond to my posts and interacting with so many people. I felt scared and anxious. I held tightly onto all the likes and visitors that I was getting and I felt scared of losing them all. I have moved beyond blog stats but the fear of losing the new friendships made me scared.
When I was on Facebook and Instagram, I rarely interacted with my “friends” and followers. They were just platforms for procrastination and time filler. I would normally just skim through the posts, like them and comment under 2-3 of my closest friends’ posts, wish my friends happy birthday when I would get a notification, blah bla bla..
To be honest, I don’t have many friends. I have never had many friends. Since primary school at least. When I went to secondary school, my mother was afraid that I would not have any friends. I was shy. I took time to open up to strangers.
(Me, 18, in my school uniform)
I remember my first day in secondary school as clearly as it was yesterday. I was just in time for the assembly because it was raining and since I lived quite far from the school, I miscalculated. As a result, I was among the last in the line to enter the hall for the assembly and after that, I was the last to enter the class too. I couldn’t find a place in front, where I wanted to sit. I found a place next to the wall, in the second last row. The seat to my left was empty. A girl came a few seconds later and asked me if the seat was taken and I said no. She sat next to me and started talking to me. While talking to her I got to know that she lives in a village nearby mine and was actually late to the assembly.
The next day I came to school, not overly happy. I was neutral.
(The fact that I had to leave home early did not bother me at all and I did not even think of changing schools because coming to that school – the Queen Elizabeth College-had been my dream since I was 8. It was and still is the best school for girls in the country. You could enter it at the age of 12 by attaining the highest grades in the country at the certificate of primary education exam)
I am digressing again 😥
I was early the next day. I always prefer to be early rather than late. It’s a habit that has been instilled in me since I was very little. Punctuality has always been a key value in my life. Anyway, I was early and my only friend wasn’t here yet. There were a few kids in the class but I didn’t know them and I was not confident enough to approach them. I felt very lonely at that time. I felt emotional and sad. And I faced the wall to my right and shed a few tears quietly in my handkerchief. Then I quickly told myself to stay strong just like my parents always told me to.
I braced myself for the new day and I started making friends with the students in my row.
You see, I came to school in public transport while many of my classmates came to school in the buses that the school provided, so they knew each other since the first day itself. I didn’t feel bad or resentful about it though, not then and not even now.
The next few days I made more friends mainly due to my name. Deepika. There is an Indian actress called Deepika Padukone and she had just debuted the year before (2007) and it was in a movie with Shah Rukh Khan, the King of Bollywood, as he is known. So once I introduced myself, my classmates would tease me and say oh so you are Deepika Padukone. I would laugh about it and this immediately broke the barrier that I felt between me and the other students. My name has been a great contributor to me being more open with people on my first meeting with them. In fact, the nickname Padukone stayed with me until I left school at 18. Some of my friends even thought that Padukone was my surname 😂 I think they will call me by that name at the 10-year reunion party (if or when there’ll be one)
All these words just to say that I needed time to process the meaning of my newfound friendships, hobby, interest, social life, whatever you would like to call it.
I think this post is too long to talk about the second thing I wanted to share with you
If I’m not asleep after posting this, I’ll probably write some more😅
So see you soon