Agora-poetry: day #4

Click here to read about the Agora-Poetry series!

I’m finally back at it! Thank you all for sticking around, I truly appreciate the fact I haven’t lost any followers despite my lack of posting. I had to take a step back from this series to focus on my mental health and get myself back on track. Now that I’m feeling better, I’ve decided to finish the series before the end of next week. There will be 11 posts in total, since the weather in the UK has been so on and off and somedays I just didn’t want to walk outside in torrential rain! Anyways, enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful day! x

Day 4 of this challenge happened almost accidentally, but I suppose sometimes the best things do!

I was planning to meet my friends at our local park for a picnic (socially distanced, of course), for some quality chill time. My original plan was to arrive slightly earlier than everyone else, pick out a spot, and sit down to write a poem before they arrived.

However, I was running late.

I arrived at the park, already feeling the sense of disappointment spread throughout my body, making my head hang heavy and focus on my shoes. A bag of food and a bundled picnic blanket in hand, I made my way through the crowds of mothers with babies and raucous teenagers (yes, I’m aware I sound like an old man but some of them were being so loud trying to make a TikTok behind a bush – don’t ask), and on my right heard a dog barking.

I looked up, and realised I was in a perfect diamond shaped patch of shade created by the trees around me, whose leaves waved me a warm ‘hello’ as I spread out the picnic blanket and sat down to wait.

Luckily, since my friends are also Indian, they were running late as well, giving me some time to write! (don’t kill me guys if you’re reading this ily)

The problem was then that I was by myself, surrounded by people who weren’t. If you’ve ever been in this situation, alone at a party, abandoned at a restaurant, you know exactly how this feels. Your environment becomes intangible, and you’re detached from that strange, invisible buzz that floats in the air at social gatherings. In other words, you’re isolated.

If I’m alone in my house, I love it. I can read a good book, do some writing, watch my favourite anime (currently Aggretsuko if anyone is curious). But, when I’m outside, something changes. I feel as if people are watching me, and judging me for being alone.

Even though I had sat down, I continued looking at my feet (hence the photo); I didn’t want anyone to notice me. But, I decided to push myself slowly, as my therapist had told me. What was the first baby step I could take to overcoming this anxiety? Looking Up. So, I did, and I saw that others were so absorbed in what they were doing that they weren’t even looking at me – mums chatting as their babies fell out of prams, those teenagers poorly executing whatever Indian or African dance had gone viral on TikTok. Perhaps that sense of isolation was rather not a curse, but a safeguard, inviting me to turn inwards too.

And so, I took my notebook out of my backpack, and began to write.

If you’d like to keep up with these posts via email or on WordPress then you can follow my blog! Thank you so much to all the new followers that have appeared and all the support I’ve received- I am eternally grateful people are willing to read what I write, especially when it’s such a personal topic. With this series, I’m hoping this may inspire others, particularly in the Asian community, to not feel so alone when discussing mental health. Thank you! ❀️

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