As a child, my favourite part of our neighbourhood was the park. My favourite part of the park was the swings. I’ve come to realise that even as playthings, they teach you to adjust your sails when the wind doesn’t blow your way. Not that the wind has anything much to do with you swinging up in the air, it’s mostly how high you want to go. What nobody ever bothers to tell you, is to enjoy it while you can. Yes, the laws of Physics. They ruined it for me. I can barely swing for a few minutes without thinking about how gravity affects my back and forth movement.
When you put your faith in those metal chains – clinging on for support – they rarely disappoint you, depending on the stunts you can perform. That’s an important lesson: Rely on things more than people.
As children, people find it cute when you cling to them. As you get older, they find it increasingly annoying. They start avoiding you. Some people come out of the struggle stronger and independent. Others lose confidence and get depressed. That’s another thing they don’t bother telling you about. It’s okay to want to hold hands and have someone beside you. It’s completely human.
When you withdraw from all the drama, there’s a moment of clarity. Swinging higher and higher on a winter morning, all those thoughts concealed in a silent corner of my mind came gushing out. I thought of all the pranks I’d ever played and all the backlash I’d received. I developed trust issues early on and don’t cling on to people anymore. I learnt that people leave, despite all the promises.
And somewhere in between crying for attention and crying alone quietly so as to not explain the tears, people grow up. We all have a past – each with a different story. It’s what makes us who we are.