My life story? Well. I am a 22 year old fighting new battles everyday. I was born in a family where gender discrimination was valued more than my existence. I didn’t know how it felt like to receive love from anywhere except my parents and sister, which was also accompanied by the hatred I was treated with by my own grandparents. 20 years from now, that little girl didn’t know why her grandfather refused to look at her leave aside loving her but she anyway grew up with the enormous love and comfort received from her parents. As I grew up, I suffered from hypothyroidism which leads to excessive weight gain and a malfunctioning liver and as any fat girl would feel what it’s living like in a body, she didn’t choose to be in, I was the butt of all jokes.
People used to always talk about me, their stares somehow managed to grow into my soul and made me feel like I don’t belong to this world or maybe I don’t feel like a part of it. The childhood trauma that I had lived with somehow seemed small in front of the tags that was associated with the fat girl. I was still loved by my teachers for my sincerity and a few friends who loved me regardless of the shape I was in, but there were a few incidents which left a scar on my school life permanently. I remember being insulted by a classmate in front of the whole class and being subject to ridicule because well, he made me feel like he wasn’t answerable to my “fat figure”. Thankfully, I had great teachers and true friends who stood by me and made me somehow accept myself the way I am. My mother as any Indian mother would be, used to be terrified with the thought of “log kya kahenge”,somehow to the extent that even unknowingly she made me feel like I bring shame to the family because I was a girl who was overweight. It was like the worst quality a human being could have is being FAT.
Slowly as she saw me accepting myself, she started accepting me too. With my family’s support I somehow managed to get into a decent college where I found people who didn’t make fun of me like my schoolmates used to. However, there were still people who used to talk about the fat girl walking across the college and ask their friends to notice her weight and how she managed to somehow walk with the body she is in. It’s been 22 years, I have graduated from that college and this was the year where I missed the chance of getting into the college I aimed for by 1 mark. Sadly, I couldn’t even apply to any other institution because of the financial instability that my family is going through. So again came the horrifying experience of any average Indian student taking a “drop year”. It’s very strange how people who wouldn’t even care if you are alive or not do take out the time to ask you one question which bothers you the most at this stage “hey, what are you doing these days? What are your career plans?” I can’t go and tell everyone that my family is going through terrible financial crunch and my father has to answer to banks first and then think about my career because there are times when I feel tired. Tired of how unfair life has been with me through the years of my existence where some problem or the other seem to take away parts of me which I didn’t want to lose. There have been times when I felt like I can’t live any longer and I want to give up, but these are the times that make me realise how important it is to think about the people who have helped me survive through the life that I have been given with. Of course life is not a sob fest, not for someone who always believed in happy endings.
The fact that my own grandparents were so ignorant when it came to me taught me how to care for others even when I am not biologically related to them. The fact that my own schoolmates who I once considered my friends made me feel like nothing but a joke made me realise how important it is to be kind, how important it is to be there for someone as a support when they feel like the loneliest person in the world. The fact that I didn’t get my dream college made me realise that I should chase my dreams until I die.
The nightmares of people making fun of my weight made me realise how important it is to love and accept myself if not do anything because as human beings we deserve that kindness from at least ourselves. It made me realise how important it is to stay healthy if not thin which motivated me enough to properly take care of my body and which made me start my new journey of weight loss. The financial instability that my family is facing made me realise the importance of something as valuable as money and that I should not go on lavishly spending on as many things as I did when my father was well off.
Life is never going to be very easy is what I’ve learnt in these 22 years as it never has been easy for me at least, but that didn’t let me stop living or being who I am in this world who has mostly been cruel with me. The sufferings that I have dealt with made me realise that happiness is not something you get, it’s something that you find in the small things- when you smell the page of a new book, or enjoy the rain holding a cup of coffee and listen to your old favourite song or simply remembering the occasions when life has been good to you. Life is beautiful ,even if it’s not kind to you, be kind to yourself because you deserve it after what you’ve been through and after what you’ll have to face in the years to come.
Never give up on hope as the quote of my most favourite movie says “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good ever dies.” We have to hope to be alive, to be greater than what we suffer.”