I have been counting on my fingers and it has been five years.
Five years of denial. Five years of confusion. Five years of analysing my feelings and myself to death.
Of Googling things in secret and oscillating between feeling hopeful about liking girls and feeling wretched for letting myself feel that way.
Of the emotional roller coaster that took me up in whirlwinds of panic and threw me off the deep end into a void where I felt nothing.
Of slow, terribly slow steps which took me, inches at a time, away from the grey sadness that I existed in for all those long months.
In these years the feelings I have had, be it good or bad, have been of an intensity that did not let me breathe at times. Every time I liked a girl, I spent a lot of my mental strength trying to deny my feelings because giving in to them, felt like free falling. I have spent so much of my damned time trying to control my feelings and then spiralling into panic on realising that it isn’t humanly possible to do that and consequently trying to avoid every way of falling for someone.
I have had days when I try to delude myself into thinking that love is just a brainwash and that I can train myself to not fall for people. I keep telling myself to not give my queer self so much importance, not once but multiple times a day. I think the only time I stop doing that is when I get tired. Tired to my bones of thinking too much and I just want to drown myself in my work but can’t find a way to escape from this pain.
With every person I have come out to in the recent past, my discomfort hasn’t eased. I am in a place where I have more support than I feel I can ask for. I feel I have no reason to let it affect me, you know? No one judges me. But I judge myself!
I could feel myself getting worse in these months. I have ignored and denied my feelings in private. I have tried to censor too much of myself. I haven’t let myself be at ease at all. I have come out to people in the most informal ways and then have almost had a panic attack in my college bathroom because I had just seen an illustration on LGBT rights on the campus wall and it just hit home.
I had stopped understanding what pride meant and I remember telling myself one day that I just wanted to go back to when I thought I was straight. I think that was my lowest point. I have never told myself I don’t want to like girls, in spite of all the mess that accompanies it because it had and has and still is a big part of my identity whether I accept it or not.
It has been five years and these years have not been simple. Nor have been the feelings that came with it. But today it was.
You must be wondering what earth-shaking event has inspired this post.
Today I realised that I quite simply… have a crush on a girl.
Just like I used to five years ago. Before I realised I like girls too and things started getting messed up.
She is super cute, wears a beanie, and makes me mentally change my routes and sitting positions in the cafeteria so that I can bump into her. Accidentally, of course.
And after a really long time, it feels…normal.
It feels nice and stupid. But in a cute way.
I don’t want to question my feelings this time. I just want to be able to simply like her and let myself free fall this time and enjoy that exhilarating feeling instead of being afraid of it.
This time I am going to let myself be happy.
This time I am going to change.