She was never little miss sunshine

Published: July 2, 2017

As the heavy downpour turned into tiny droplets of drizzle falling peacefully from the sky above, she stepped outside, let them touch her bare skin. PHOTO: TUMBLR

She sat there staring outside her balcony, watching the heavy, thunderous downpour tear its way through the dark clouds and fall to the ground, like it was the last time it was falling. She realised how it was a metaphor of her own life – a life so full of passion and rigour, but slowly dying down – phasing out into the everyday nothingness.

It’s not like she suffered through depression or some mental disorder or experienced anxiety attacks every now and then. She was an average, 30-year-old struggling to get by, just like many other 30-year-olds who had started off with big hopes and dreams to fulfil and life goals to achieve. She was like all the women that believed 30 was that prime age; those that aspired to be something out of the ordinary but were smacked on the head by the sad reality that life is nothing but ordinary. She was just like the unfortunate few who had lost their way by the time they got here.

Gloominess was all she felt. Where had all her passion gone? She was never a happy-go-lucky, little miss sunshine kind of girl. She had always struggled to get by in life, but at least her goals were straight; she knew what she had to do, where she wanted to go and that had always been enough to push her through all odds. Then why was it now that she felt so terribly aimless? Life had just fallen into place for her she was right where she wanted to be. This is exactly what she had wanted, wasn’t it? Then, why the uneasiness? Why the feeling of dissatisfaction, of not being good enough?

She didn’t feel like this before. Yes, maybe in her teenage years but everyone goes through a phase when they are teenagers. You aren’t supposed to have a meltdown when you hit 30! Your life should be stable, set. Never had she felt this down. Why was she feeling like a lost cause while everyone’s life was moving forward just perfectly and she felt she hadn’t achieved even a fraction of what she had planned? What happened, you ask? Life happened.

You see, life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies and things don’t always turn out the way you had imagined. Yes, there are days when you feel utterly useless, unbeautiful, unneeded and aimless. Life throws curveballs at you and you just have to keep taking the hits. And with her experiences with life, she was sure there was always a dark cloud lurking at the end of the horizon. For every good that happened to her, something bad always awaited, and vice versa.

Let’s go back a little…

When Zara was 12-years-old her mother passed away due to cancer. She fought through the pain, struggled and completed her studies, despite the evil workings of a clichéd step mother and a distant father. With no siblings to share her agony with, she mostly stayed alone. Read books, wrote, made very few friends and aspired to one day be someone out of the ordinary, someone totally independent. You see, she was always the smart one in class, the one who was quiet and shy but intelligent. She was sharp, focused and ambitious, but she was also very humble, modest, down to earth, and possessed a huge heart. Despite her own misgivings, she had learnt to find peace and joy in selflessly helping others, and this eventually became her enemy.

She felt too much, too deeply. She loved and cared too deeply and hence, when things fell to the ground, she was always scarred too deeply too.

She hit 22 and met a boy; a boy who was just as charming as he was adorable. Zara couldn’t help but fall for him because of how perfectly they fit together. Like two missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They became friends, then best friends and then inseparable. But life had some other plans. He didn’t have to last. He was just a phase; he was wind and she was fire. It just didn’t last.

She didn’t let this tragedy get in her way too, she was adamant to move forward. She always welcomed life’s challenges with open arms and a huge smile. That’s who she was.

So what happened now? Why did she feel so stagnant? Everyone else was moving forward. They seemed to have it all figured out. Some friends were traveling; some were starting new lives and families while some were at the pinnacle of success in their professional careers. And there she was, at a crossroads, unsure of everything and everyone around her.

As the heavy downpour turned into tiny droplets of drizzle falling peacefully from the sky above, she stepped outside, let them touch her bare skin. While gazing up at the sky, she only wished and hoped to feel alive again… for the spark to return and to feel just as passionately as she did when she was 16-years-old.

Sometimes life works in funny ways. Sometimes it makes you believe anything is possible, and as the rain drops created a melody around her, she believed, yes, anything is possible.

Hareem Zafar

Hareem Zafar

The writer is a business graduate, a lover at heart, and a rootless wanderer by soul.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.