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who taught you to be normal

universe fireflie has written a really nice post who taught you to be normal when you are one of a kind? on her blog with some deep personal questions. She had tagged me to answer the same question. So here I am, writing this post. Not sure, how well I can answer them but anyway will try my best.

Warning: It is a pretty lengthy post. And it is not so fun.

Who taught you to be normal when you are one of a kind?
Honestly, in the first half of my life I didn’t even know that being “one of a kind” was a thing. I was just too happy to be with everyone I guess. But then life happened and I got to know things, learnt lessons that broke me. And at that time all I cared for was “I don’t want to be like them”. I think not wanting to associate with insincere people made me want to choose a specific type of lifestyle in which I cannot be affected easily by others. With time I have come to realize that through all my such efforts, I have made myself “the odd one”. Not sure if it is the same thing as “one of a kind”. But anyway, in short, to live by the ideals that I prized and to not get carried away by the plans and feelings of those around me, I put in a lot of effort to become someone better. Though in no way I was aiming to be “one of a kind” but I have turned out to be that somehow. Though I am still not sure if it is a good thing or not.
So in short, I went from being normal to being some “odd/one of a kind”. I taught myself to be to not go along with what people think/say/believe and in that I ended up deviating from being normal.

What is the worst thing that could happen to you?
I have such a long long list for that. I am a person who is afraid of lot of things. I work and plan on worst case scenarios always. So I cannot exactly pinpoint a specific worst thing. But I think I am better at handling emotional worst cases than physical ones. So yeah, I know it is a vague answer but to actually answer it would take probably 7-8 posts. My collection of fear is that huge.
One thing that I do notice about myself is that. When I do face my emotional worst case scenario, I do cope better than I thought it would. They only hurt when I look back. But when I am caught in that situation all I think is that I have been through worse. After trying my best for all this while, I can’t let anything to break my mind. I would say emotional crisis break my heart but I try really hard to preserve my mind. I try my best to not get changed because of some emotional setback.

You finally got an appointment with God. It took some time but it happened. What is the first personal and un-personal question you ask Him?
If I was asked this question some years ago, I would have had lots of question. Most of them would have been variation of “why me?”. For a long time, I used to think that even though I try my best to be good and true to everyone, why am I facing so many issues in life. It seemed that God was only cruel to me and everyone who I was morally against (not that they are evil) continued to live somewhat fulfilled life (or that’s what it looked like). So most of my questions would have been “why me?”.
But now I do not need an answer for that. It is something I have tried to make sense of this for a long time and have found a somewhat satisfying answer. (1) I am not as good and pure as I think I am. It is not necessarily a bad thing. Just a fact that I can or have acted cruelly when I am pushed to my limits. (2) I have become a better person because of suffering. I have ended up finding a more meaningful life because of the crisis in my life. (3) Though we all have unfair suffering, but we also receive an unfair share of happiness. There are so many good things we have got, not because we deserved it, but by pure chance. (4) When I say “why me?” I wonder do I want someone else to suffer in my place. It seems cruel in itself that I would want someone else to suffer what I can’t bear.
You might think I am far from answering the question, but what I want to say is – In my case, every question I wanted God to answer, my life and my heart finds those answer sooner or later. Answers do arrive, even if late.

If you could change something about you at the switch of a button, what would it be?
I would want to become more confident in myself. My self-confidence would probably negative score. It makes living a bit hard sometimes, especially living with other people. I always have this feeling in me that no one likes me (even strangers), that I am not good at anything, that everyone will leave, that my way of life may turn to be the wrong answer in the end, etc. Even if I am wronged, I can’t bring myself to complain or ask for an explanation. I end up feeling quite pathetic to be honest. Confidence is something I need desperately.

If somehow, someway, all the responsibility on your shoulders disappeared, what would be the first thing that you do?
I am not sure of this answers. I am so used to the responsibilities, that I might not even know how to live my life, if they disappeared. Because it has all become sort of habit, the point where I my roles and my identity are indistinguishable to me. I won’t know how to function, let alone have a bucket list for such a scenario.
I forced myself to think what I would do, and all I could think of is to cry. Maybe cry for days and let myself be consoled and not fear how truth of my heart and my pain would affect the ones whom I love and who care about me.

If your heart could be reflected in anything, what would it be? It could be a place, an object, anything.
A mountain.
A music box that plays a beautiful sad song.
A cloudy yet pleasant day.
A warm hug.
Internal bleeding.
A shield.

If you really really didn’t care about people and their opinions, what would be the one thing that would drastically change about u? your clothing? what you say? your behavior? your actions? and if so what actions?
I would like to answer this question with a quote:

“Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…”
― Sylvia Plath

If your mind could be reflected in anything, what would it be?
No clue. Probably a black box.

What would you do if somebody told you you would die tomorrow?
Me: Finally. <Sigh of relief.>
Also me: Oh my god. I thought I had eternity. I want to see the future of the people I love (not interested in my future), read thousand more book, listen to many more songs. One day is not enough.

I have not yet figured out what I feel about death as of now. I have pretty much mixed feeling about it.

“To know this world” – Nayana Nair

The world is not really like what the map tells you,
what the news tells you,
what YouTube tells you, what your people tell you.
To know what you really feel about something
you have to ignore all the hearsay, all the generalization.
To really know something or someone,
sometimes you have too forget yourself first.

“What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself that I have nothing worth saying and that no one wants to listen.
I know this because I have tried to speak my mind
and in best cases I have been told that my mind is not that right,
that the experience that I speak from doesn’t exist for them,
so they will unanimously refuse to acknowledge my narrative.
Or they will smile at me and look down at me.
But I am not their adorable kid who had got her alphabets mixed up.
I am a person equal to them,
and my level of ignorance is equal to them
even if it is not about same things.

***

I am a person equal to them.
I am a person equal to them
I am a person equal to them…
I have to keep repeating it
or else I might just forget.
Maybe I have already started to forget
because these days I speak in small sentences, waiting for affirmative nods.
I find myself reading everything that they will approve of.
I find myself voicing what they want to hear.
I see myself calling myself stupid before they call me one.
I see myself nod understandingly at everything I disagree with.
I hear the arguments inside me against the favorite opinions of everyone
and they stay inside me,
and everyone is happy.

***

“You are too young to know better, to know reality.
You are too girlish to see the world for what it is.
You are too sentimental to speak logically.”
I know the wall of judgement I will run into
if I let myself speak.

***

So you may actually want to listen
and you might not be like others.
But I can’t bring myself to speak about what matters to me.
Cause either I will be wounded at my weakest spot
or I will end up hating you just for being like everyone else
when you ridicule me, interrupt me to correct me
and try to tell me what I should be feeling instead.
I won’t give you a chance
because I can’t take chances with our friendship.
I won’t speak up
because I don’t want to feel more inferior than I already do.

***

“Preference” – Nayana Nair

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What I find sad about people
is that they do not know how to value something
without looking down on everything else.
What irritates me more
that this attitude is celebrated in a way
that makes everyone want to adopt it
just to look like a person with strong opinion.
Fortunately, I do not have any strong opinion
when I say this-
All the things we couldn’t understand,
the books and text we once mugged up
and find no use in life right now,
were not necessarily useless.
People whom we didn’t get along with
were not necessarily bad.
Everything need not appeal to my sensibilities.
I do not have to mock dreams and interests of others
in order to pursue mine.
I would hate a world
set to match the preference of only one
even if it is my own.

“In the Image of” – Nayana Nair

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I am not talking about
enhancing my likability here.
But just to be taken seriously
I need to like certain things,
I need to act certain way.
I need to fill forms
whenever I meet someone new,
whenever I meet them again.

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Am I capable? Am I an intellectual (of the right kind)?
Am I still childish?
Am I still unable to follow the conversation
that is not spoken in the language I follow?
Am I still reluctant to give up on all the things
that are no longer relevant.
Am I now ready to listen and only listen
to take in
the version of a world that is more widely accepted.
Am I finally aligned with the opinions, interests
and common hatred that bonds us?
Have I grown weak and weary
of the silence that I am put through?
Have I realized what I could do, whom all I can befriend
if I break myself in image of my oppressor?

“More Boxes” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

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Everyday I buy more boxes and more trunks,
to stow away the harmless opinions and stories of mine
that have never left my mouth,
and have never known
how the cold air of this world feels like.
They are better off not knowing
how they are going to be broken and crushed
till nothing of them is left.
Let them die in the voiceless trunks.
At least a corpse of what they were
and the soul of what they lost
shall be locked in the same walls.
That’s the only kindness I am capable of delievering-
to spare them the purity of meaning
and dignity of thought
that was never put to question
and never put to shame
by this world
that to everyone does the same.

“Immune to Good Advice” – Nayana Nair

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When my own opinions can’t budge the doors
that are closed on my face,
I run back to these books
which list how to think, what to want.
I do not look for how it is done
I look for what I did wrong.
But my mind is so immune to a good advise
that the words that I read make me sick
even when they could be my medicine.
But I don’t yet know if they are,
cause my wish for a better life fades away
in front of the genuineness my heart demands from me.

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