I always claim that I skipped my teenage, and that the pierced nose and purple hair is kharma’s belated birthday gift. People who knew me as a kid say I didn’t know how to be one. My high school pal said I was hatched as an adult. But after watching Ink yesterday, wailing until my eyes hurt, and sedating myself to sleep, I made a few key discoveries.

Let me back up a bit. I’ve been on a depression spiel and written about it pretty much everywhere. This morning, I woke up to this post, and was somewhat surprised, because Loco always seems like such a cheery sort. I didn’t think she was anything like me. But depression is a disease, and with faith, we’ll get better. I read iCon’s response, and was quite touched. I always knew that boy was deep, but dang! Sometimes the net shows you sides of people that real life never could.

So back to Ink. I’d never have watched this movie on my own. I’d have stopped the second the dreams appeared. They looked terribly creepy, and the music was wrong. And those were the good dreams! When the bad guys I appeared, I hid under a chair, and by the time Ink showed up, I was looking for the light switch despite daylight. For some strange reason, I was also thinking of that show, The Ink Thief.

I’m not very good at kiddie games, especially Barbie world and kalongo. I’m not bad at By-show and Ina-mina-apsa-mina, but when Princess wants to play dress up, I’m likely to say, ‘I’m not very good at that sweetie. So the scene at the railway haunted me. I’d have turned it off at that point if Mr 3CB hadn’t stopped me.

By the end of the movie, I was crying, though I still wasn’t sure I liked it, and after sleep and analysis, I’ve decided it’s a must see for everyone. The camera work is great too, and the Angel lady has such awesome hair. If I was white, I’d wear my hair like that. Or like Roxette. Or like Olga, Sunny, and Octopus in MGS.

I realize that not being good at kiddie games is a learned response. When I was little, the kids didn’t want to play with me, so I pretended I’m too old to play. I did it so long that I started to like it, and as an adult, I still find most children’s games … well … childish.

It’s like in Class 4, when everyone was reading Sweet Valley High, I could never get a copy because I wasn’t one of the popular kids. So instead of sulking that no one would lend me theirs, I started reading Lamb Tales Shakespeare and Sidney Sheldon, because there was no waiting list for those. I ended up looking precocious, when I was really just taking what I could get. I read all 8 Sheldons, but lost interest after Stars Shine Down. It wasn’t very good.

Dr Phil says we pick up habits for one reason, then keep them for another. I picked ‘mature’ books to hide my lack of social clout. I kept reading them to look grown up. I hung out with adults to hide my hurt pride, and when the grown ups moved away, I stopped hanging out period. I don’t feel lonely or reclusive, and I rarely long for company. I’m not missing out on anything. I’ve built up habits that work for me, and I’m quite okay with this. Although I know I’m a fun person, I don’t feel drawn to spread it beyond my blog.

The reason Ink made me cry is that it opened up a lot. It reinforced my thoughts that nothing is random. It made sure I’ll never attempt suicide again. And most off all, it taught me to never give up.

Ink became what he became because he stopped fighting. He lost himself, and he didn’t even know it. I’ll always remember the scene enar the end where the Goth girl is standing in the room, facing a million incubi [?], knowing she’s bound to lose but refusing to back down. And just as they bad guys close in on her, the beacon goes off and tha cavalry arrives. I’ll always think of the Blind Pathfinder, and how he counts the beats in life  … 1 … 2 … 3 … 4. You could give up only to realise you were on Beat 3, and if you’d held on just a little bit longer, salvation would have come.

So which part of this says I’m old? Well, I allowed myself two gifts today. One, I looked at a person’s work, decided I don’t  like it, and accepted that I was cool with that. I won’t lie – I wasted half an hour wondering what was wrong with me, since this is the most gifted person ever, and everyone adores him. But finally, I looked, smiled, said, ‘No thanks, not really my thing,’ and walked away. Voilà! maturity!!

My second gift was admitting that I’m fun. Self loathing is so last season. There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself – take that any way you will. But like Pati, doing one bad thing doesn’t stop you being a nice person, and being a hermit doesn’t make you hard to hang out with. It just means you get around less, and you revel in the few friends you have.

As a bonus for today, I say one thing. I walk away from others, so they walk away from me, and that’s okay too. In the same way I don’t like some people, some people don’t like me. And for the first time in ages … actually…  for the first time ever … I’m perfectly okay with that, and it feels pretty damn good.

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