When The Cynic Meets The Realist And The Commitment Phobe

Painting by Kezban Arca Batibeki

Painting by Kezban Arca Batibeki

My mother told me the other day that you cannot have everything. Generic, but it’s not like i exactly want everything because mostly i have a hard time deciding if i really want anything. And difficulty responding to questions that require me to play the unfair game of elimination, to pick one colour when i really like two, to give serial numbers to things i like in the order i like them.
Intense situations that demand me to segregate the things i love with a two page thesis on why i love them with footnotes saying why i shouldn’t- like icebreakers, which by the way I always fuck up trying too hard not to contradict myself. Like “have you heard of Damien Rice? I listen to him for nights on repeat; but well no not like he’s my favourite or anything. I love Arctic Monkeys, and also eEminem; and i really like when i get high enough to forget my last name but not like i do it often, out of choice”.

My mother told me you cannot have everything. But I want to. My mother says it’s because I’m yet to find what I really love. Like all those men who are still living in those inherited matchbox houses because they wouldn’t settle for anything without a jacuzzi to bear their initials on the name plate. Or all those women who are shuffling between jobs everyday saying, “don’t call it ‘unfocused'; it’s INTERDISCIPLINARY approach”.
Yet to find what i really love. Like a personal logo, saying ‘priorities under construction’. That explains why i sometimes get haircuts more often than i shave.

And sometimes, people take my commitment phobia to be over ambition, tell me i want to have everything; my mother told me you cannot have everything, YOU were everything- i guess she was right after all.
But in keeping myself away from stamps of new found lovers i have saved my skin long enough to call it my own, to make it feel like it doesn’t belong to you anymore. And even robbery feels like ownership if you play the game long enough.

So I like relationships from the third person, and i sport a good couple when I see one, but I have third wheeled long enough to know that love hurts. And maybe tomorrow it’ll come crawling up my sleeves again, like a nasty relative whose kid you’ve always liked to play with. But my mother taught me well, and in that moment, I’ll know that it isn’t everything. That love, isn’t everything; it never was.

Written by Diksha Bijlani