There came a time when I knew, staying on will just make things worse. My last desperate attempt to heal this frayed marriage was by taking the brutal call to break off completely. That’s when I began packing my bags, frightened, insecure but stuffing things in a suitcase with fake-bravado, for staying back would mean killing every singe thing that’s ‘me’ in me. Before I walked out of home towards a freedom I never asked for, I made a checklist of everything I needed. Here’s that list.
A laptop with an internet connection. This marvellous invention annihilated boredom, found me jobs, helped me vent and brought the world to my window, when I looked out of it alone.
One bull-shit spotting meter. I had to really fine tune this instrument for I was listening to all sorts of things from all sorts of people. It was tough to separate well-meaning advice from malicious suggestions, caring acts from condescending help, genuine concern from prejudiced middle-class alarm, especially since all of them sounded slightly similar.
All my personal belongings, for I had decided to pack like I was never coming back.
Passport, bank documents and photographs.
A few friends asked me to pack half the linen and crockery. I refused. We had built a house together, I couldn’t dismantle it to save some money. Also, every bedsheet had some memory. Why on earth would I roll it up and carry it along? As it is I had enough baggage.
One spot the wrong man radar. As explained in a previous post, it was almost like I had sprinkled magic dust that was attracting all these highly undesirable creatures into my life, the minute I walked out of home.
A gas cylinder, books, music and objects that I still loved and had bought with my money.
The gifts my parents gave me.
All my work, every single scrap of paper scribbled on.
A t-shirt of his, I don’t know why ...
Luckily there were no plants, puppies, kittens or babies to divide or share.
The truth is that I had to leave a lot of things behind, for most houses have just one washing machine, one gas stove, one dining table and one sofa. I don’t think anybody in the world knows how to divide a washing machine into two and still get it to work.
I took only the bare minimum required to start a life again. That first night alone, I remember looking at all my possessions scattered in a 400 square feet hall and not feeling sad. I had forgotten about the woman who had got married and built a fully functioning house. Instead, I remembered a girl who had left college and had come to a big city to ‘make it’. All her worldly possessions were contained in a single, black Samsonite suitcase. Compared to what that girl had, I had a lot. And that thought was enough for me to restart, to fell gloriously happy about an uncertain future.
There is something about new beginnings that inspire the best in each one of us, filling us with an adrenal rush that’s fuelled by pure optimism. It is true, new beginnings have a way of never being sad.
Happy New Year.