For the past several months, I’ve been going through some shit. That includes losing people/friends that I regret losing (no, don’t be like, “Well, they weren’t worth your friendship in the first place if they had to choose to get out of your life,” or, “Oh, well – their loss!” No, it’s their loss, maybe, but it’s my loss, too, and I’m not okay with that), and some other stuff. I share these things with Kashmala because I love her opinions, I love her reminders to me that “It’s okay, I’m here for you. You want me to do your make-up? Let me do your make-up and then you’ll feel sooooo good.” I share stories and anecdotes of my friends with Kashmala, and she knows the names of some of my closest friends and has even talked with some of them through Skype, Whatsapp, gchat, Facebook, etc. She’s loveable, and she’s easy to talk to and have fun with.
So, as I lose people that Kashmala has come to know about or interacted with before, she goes, “I hate her; don’t ever, ever talk to her again” (I love that she takes my side – loyalty FTW, ai). I told her of two people I’d briefly been close to this summer in Oman who stopped talking to me without at all communicating their feelings to me about whatever problem we were having and who denied any tension when I went up to try to talk to them about it; I told her about this other friend I lost whom she adored; she saw pictures of my friends on FB who are no longer in my life, and I told her that, na, I didn’t know them anymore, etc., etc. And finally came her wise words:
“Shanu, all of your friends are not talking to you. Maybe YOU are the bad one.”
I was speechless. This is a five-year-old who just told me something I’d absolutely refused to consider as a possibility at all. And at that moment, all I could do was hug her and tell her how proud I was of her for thinking that way. It didn’t even hurt, though. Because she’s right – what if I’m the problem? What if there’s a flaw in my personality that prevents certain special people from staying in my life? What if I’m doing something that pushes them away from me? I know the reasons I’ve lost some people, and I don’t know the reasons I’ve lost others – but in the latter case, that’s because they didn’t wanna talk to me about it. Maybe it IS me, maybe it’s not, but Kashmala’s point is beyond my own issue: we are flawed humans, and we rarely pause to think that we may be the reason or a part of the reason that cause us certain problems. It’s certainly not the case for all people or even all situations, but maybe we actually put ourselves in positions that hurt us.
Point is, sometimes it’s good to take a step back from whatever we’re going through to evaluate whatever the hell’s going on in our lives and be like, “Hm, maybe *I* am the problem here.” Then again, if you can think that way, you’re probably not the problem, no?
Just remember my favorite 5-year-old human’s words 🙂
And as always, death to patriarchy (that’s always relevant, in case you were wondering about its relevance to Kashmala’s deep words).