My childhood was riddled with a forceful drive for curiosity. While other children played, I sat still in solitude, observing. This disturbed the adults around me in my daycare and later on pre-school, informing my parents in a bid to make me ‘normal’ like an ‘ordinary’ child. Had they asked me what I was thinking about, I would have told them that at age 4 I was thinking about my reason for existence, repeating over and over again ‘ why am I here‘ in my head with such intensity, circulating the coffee table in the living room, it made me scared and dizzy.
Had they asked me instead of assuming, I would have told them that at age 5 I was trying to figure out what the role of the dad was, if the mother is the one who carried and gave birth to the baby? I don’t know how long I spent thinking about it, but I vividly remember the moment I figured it out . I was on my way to pre-school, it must have been in the spring or autumn because the sun looked lazily perched on the sky, like it just woke up. I remember it was chilly but not cold and the air was so pure. I remember it hit me – the dad’s role must be to assist the mum once the baby arrives! That’s the best I could do with the little evidence I had.
But nobody asked, they just assumed and proceeded to mold me in their image of normalcy. My stubbornness led me down a path of solitude, the road less travelled, and I was a prime bully target. For years I was bullied because I didn’t want to lead nor did I want to follow the ring leader, a sassy girl by name of Aisha. Year after year I was bullied but that was alright with me, I had grown accustom to solitude.
Today, 20 years later, I haven’t changed a lot. I have all of 2 friends, one of whom is avoiding me right now because there is not small talk with me, just real talk and she knows that our conversation is going to lead what she is avoiding. In fact, when I realized I had this x-ray vision into people’s hearts and minds, I couldn’t bring myself to ignore it and true to my INFJ-ness, I had to approach them. I became like the dreaded Grim Reaper, killing people’s illusions. I would be on the receiving end of a lot of mockery, anger, denial, cold shoulder-ing but at the end of it all, a lot of appreciation. I made a pact with myself that I would have to give up being liked to stay authentic to myself. I would sacrifice that for me, and for others. I made a pact that I would never allow personal reasons stop me from standing up for the truth or doing something I felt was right.
So I go around and get up to strangers and acquaintances alike and give them what they are seeking, and be on my way, leaving them perplexed.
Though it brings me great joy to help others, occasional loneliness does creep up on me. Everyday when I check my inbox, I subconsciously long for someone to email me casually. To see RE: at the top of my inbox would do so much for me.But I dismiss that feeling and remind myself that I chose this path and I knew it was going to be destitute.
I left the realm of social networking 4 years ago when I saw that it all boiled down to having one’s ego stroked and statuses were regurgitated for mere ‘likes’ and comments. It became a stage, and all were actors.
Honesty and transparency is pivotal to my being. Even the slightest distortion of reality irks me. I commit myself to total honesty because if you are going to find the truth, you have to be true. Though I fall off the wagon often, and lie to myself, I remind myself that I can fall as long as it is on the path towards what I’m seeking. I wage a thousand battles each day, and I often retreat having been overcome. But a win to me isn’t to emerge superior, it is to get back up and continue no matter what. I battle with many demons; demons of superficiality, demons of fitting in , demons of sugar-coating in order to be liked. I battle these demons because they carry shackles with which they enslave me and my quest is to be free.
Do you know what being free is? Do you know what the truth is?
The truth is clear as day and opposes people’s lusts. The falsehood on the other hand is rotten and repugnant, but sugar-coated and repackaged to allude to the basal urges of people.
Basically, what I am saying in too many words that convey little of what I mean, is that if you want to be free, then you have to give up seeking approval from people, and being deterred by their disapproval.
If you want to be free, then this is the price tag of freedom.