Have you ever felt something so fascinatingly specific that you recognize the feeling instantly when it next arrives?
You rush to find the perfect word to describe it, surely it’s at the tip of your tongue – only to realize that it doesn’t exist. At least not in this language.
I wish there were words to describe:
Gathering courage to finally feel comfortable about attempting something, way beyond your comfort zone. A wallflower’s first public speech. Adorning those dance shoes despite having two left feet.
Feeling inspired and empowered enough by another’s joyful success to put yourself out there. Taking vocal lessons after listening to the two-year-old wonder. Diving headfirst into your own passions after your friend’s foreign land fairytale.
Relief of never having to do something heavy, ever again. Phew. Remember when you ripped your board exam hall tickets apart and grinned ear-to-ear?
Celebrating the firsts. Your first blog. Your first bicycle ride after the support wheels came off. Learning the first sentence in an alien language.
Embellishing a silly detail because you fear being judged for the truth. Exaggerating your height on a dating profile or throwing in an extra couple of interests on your resume, for good measure. Wink.
Desire to dwell in the world of a book, a movie, a play; inhabit the life of a fictional character or reside in a real-life hero. I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter.
Being an awkward liar, all-too-obvious. Conversely, when you excuse someone’s apparent lies to protect them from embarrassment. Your sincere head-nods to children’s lies so they can save face.
Laughing till it hurts, jumping for joy or shedding real tears about an imaginary situation that never unfolded in reality.
An image that you can’t stop seeing every time you close your eyes. Every mathematical formula when you’ve been crunching numbers too long, or that terrifying frame from a horror movie that refuses to let you sleep.
Palpably awkward experiences, where you’re beseechingly looking at the ground, hoping you’d be swallowed in. Running into an old boss. Wardrobe malfunction in a grandiose gathering. Forgetting the lines to a song as you perform, right before your Lady Gaga moment.
Delight that floods when you finally fulfil a craving or a dream. Celebratorily eating ice cream at 2 a.m. Buying the instrument you’ve been diligently saving up for.
Absolute painful certainty that something is crawling on your skin. You thoroughly check and recheck every inch to assuringly find no real reason to cringe.
Clarity about a situation from ages ago, attained after learning a critical piece of information. A head-scratcher then. Now, the puzzle fits.
Jubilation when things unfold astonishingly well, surpassing your wildest dreams. A perfect score in a mind-numbing video game. The outpour of enthusiasm for your fresh ideas. The happiest guests relishing your delightful servings.
Copyright © Roshni Ramanan