When I first started watching One Tree Hill a dialogue that Peyton Sawyer kept saying like a constant refrain got stuck in my head – people always leave. She even had artwork dedicated to this particular phrase of hers. While she later on believed that people always leave but sometimes they come back, I have grown darker in the way I look at people. I cannot seem to get out of thinking that people do always leave.
I wrote an article last year talking about the people who stay. They stay despite your heartbreak, despite your psychotic outbursts. They are the ones who hold your hand through the fire and the ones who believe in you even when you forget to believe in yourself. They are the people who remind you that you are amazing when you cease to believe it yourself. Finding your constant in a world where people are always leaving is difficult. Props to those of us who have managed to find them. But, I am discovering it is easier to find the people who leave than the ones who stay.
Almost eight months ago I moved to Mumbai. Don’t get me wrong – I always wanted to move here. But I had also wanted to move here on my terms. I wanted to get here because I would have found my calling as writer. Instead, my life in Kolkata blew up in my face. The one thing I had hoped for didn’t work out and after a series of constant heartbreaks, I decided to quit.
I quit everything I knew: the city I grew up in, the friends whose faith in me to this day remains unbroken, the family who supported all my craziness, and the cats that showered me with constant love. However, I chose to leave. I chose to leave everything and everyone I had ever known. Maybe it wasn’t like Aisha Banerjee from Wake Up, Sid! Maybe it was just Aniesha Brahma trying to quit her old life so that she had a chance at a new one.
I took the first job I got through without thinking too much about it. It was difficult. It is still difficult. But the one reason it is survivable was the people. Everyone I worked with made life easier, and I learned to stop being paranoid, to breathe a little, live a little. One person in particular really helped me get over the heartbreak I was experiencing. The first person who ever found out why I had really left my old life, and why I was in a job that clearly was not what I want to do in life. I told him about the anxiety, the depression, the PCOS…and even therapy. The first person who did not react badly when he learned I was in therapy. The kind of support I received was quiet and understanding. Something I was not used to: quiet.
So many times I have to defend my decision to be in therapy. To seek help because I could feel myself slipping away in the darkness. What are we supposed to do when the quiet support, the warmth of silence and the feeling of being understood without speaking a single word is taken away from us? Do people even realize the great disservice they are doing us when they choose to leave?
We never truly understand the damage we have done until the time the same is done to us. I must have been someone’s safe haven, someone’s solace, someone’s perfect space to be silent. I cannot help but wonder if I have left them too. I know people always leave. I am not different.
I left my old life. I tried to say goodbye to the people who I thought would miss me. I never considered the people who never told me they would miss me. I am vocal about how I feel (until I start dating people), but if I have made you feel that people always leave – I truly am sorry. Especially when people just tell you one fine day they are moving on, is when I am mostly upset.
One conversation is not enough to tell you how much you have meant to me. One car ride will not fit in all the words I would like to say to you. I do not wish to flood your phone with my texts, nor do I wish to take up space in your life by calling you. I will remember you fondly.
People always leave. You are no different.
Au revoir, you freaking walnut. Sleep well.