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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.

“Cheap Literature” – Nayana Nair

Don’t ask which part of me
are easier to love.

I have tried so hard
to become someone who cannot be be loved
without effort or tears.

My faith in love,
my faith in those who love
or it’s absence
is not so difficult to explain.

Clue: Every pop song that leaves you in shambles.
Clue: The books that you call cheap literature.
Clue: The lovers who want to get to the happy ending fast, so they can think about and focus on more important stuff.
Clue: The sappy feelings that you are not interested in.

Those who first talk of my skin and my volume when they talk of love.
(I mean you.)
Those who think that my view of the world, and how the world views me
is just a phase that won’t hopefully be their burden for life.
(I mean you.)
Those who tell me about my selfishness, my unreasonable fears, my unstable suspicious tiring mind over lunch as they run their blade over every bit of exposed skin of mine. Those who are satisfied when I don’t even wince as I bleed, just the way I have been trained.
(I mean you.)
You have made this whole process
more difficult than it should be.

Don’t ask me the easy way.
I might just begin to hate you for that question.

“this service is no longer available for you” – Nayana Nair

i sat on the sofa
with my feet curled under the warmth of my wings
while next to me, my sadness surfed channels
and forced me to watch things
that could make me cry
but they didn’t.

someone has left the door open again
but i can’t be bothered today
with calling out to anyone.
i hear someone talking about
“…deserving to be lonely…”
and my world, for a change,
doesn’t budge, doesn’t break.

when the questions try to
make a story from my wounds,
i shed a feather or two
and pretend that it hurts
to speak of my loss.
but it doesn’t really.

i have dreaded reaching this point,
where being left
becomes just a change in schedule.
but now that i am here,
now that i have nothing else to wait for,
all that i am allowed to do is
forget all my excuses, all my reasons,
forget all the names.
because unlike me
this world has a bright future to dream of.

The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 3)” – Nayana Nair

#the right time to answer the door

The doorbell has been ringing for hours.
I wish I could say it was annoying. But it is not.
A part of me is happy to know that you are out there. That you know that sooner or later I would answer this door.
It has been long since anyone has deemed me good enough to take trouble for, to wait for.
Is that good enough reason to say yes. Does that mean that I love you back?

    "Each and every one of your actions
     Puts me up and down
     I’m not someone who smiles this much
     Looking back
     I suffered a lot because of you too
     But each and every one of those things
     I don’t hate it"
     - "I love You", Akdong Musician

On days like these, I put on the music at the highest volume. To get rid of this awareness of another heart counting on mine.
But today I am afraid to do something like that. I am afraid to disappoint you. I don’t want you to think I am avoiding you. Even though I probably am.
I want to hear your every knock, I want to see how my heart beats as I sit here afraid of the moment you give up and stop.
I feel guilty of what they call “playing games”? But you know that is not who I am.

    "I hate to make it obvious to you
     I am more accustomed to endure this alone
     please understand me"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "Oh they say love is for the loving
     Without love maybe nothing is real
     So am I loveless or do I just love less"
     -"Home", Passenger
    "Even when I stare at something
     Even as I blink like the windscreen wipers
     I wanted to continue holding on"
     -"Rain Bird", Code Kunst

You want answers that I do not have.
And I have never let you leave empty-handed. Even when you came to me on rainy days with only sorrow, I have held onto you, I have tried my best to keep you together.
But this, this love, this is something too difficult for me.
It is a question that I cannot answer honestly. No matter how hard I try.

    "Stories of ours of our closeness,
     aren't any less.
     So many times I have turned
     my mornings into evenings sitting in your presence."
     -"Channa Mereya", Arjit Singh
    "If I told you with a crying face that I am having a difficult time
     would it be better?
     So who's going to have a harder time? If I whine about being in pain
     will everything be okay?"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "Right now the time is wrong
     I've been writing these songs 'bout how I can't be with you"
     -"Monster", Henry

I want to hang on to a future, any future with you. But should I say things I do not mean to keep you here with me.
Should I keep bringing you flowers that I cannot keep alive?
I may have helped you live for a while.
But I am not the one who heals. I am not the one who understands. I am the one who eventually fails at being the person I am loved for.

    "I don't believe in shootin' stars
     But made a wish and here we are
     But what if we're not meant to be?
     What if dreams aren't meant for dreams?"
     -"be", Gnash
    "You’ll hate me, you’ll go crazy
     You’ll regret, saying you shouldn’t have met me"
     -"Be Well", Sechskies
    "At times I'm disappointed with myself
     Honestly, I trample myself (trample myself)
     "Do you only amount to this?""
     -"uhgood", RM

I am at loss for words, not because I don’t need your love. But because I never expected it.
I am hiding not because I am afraid of opening my heart. I am hiding, because my love is and has always been about thinking for you. To think what is best for you.
Love sometimes becomes a synonym for giving up. I am not stupid enough to think that we are a better than that fate.
I am afraid as I am not sure what you’d have to give up for choosing me.

    "Yesterday, I was awkward
     Today, I’m lost
     It wasn’t an easy day
     The world I used to live in
     And the temperature of today are so different"
     -"I Pray", Motte
    "There’s no such thing as beautiful goodbyes"
     -"Outro:Tear", BTS

My past has become my brokenness. Your past lives on as your vulnerability. I want an answer that doesn’t break us anymore.
But I am reluctant to ask around for the answers I don’t know.
I am reluctant to learn the causes of the ship that sank down in the best promising weather. I do not want to find your reasons or my answers in the words of friends or strangers who only talk of giving up or settle down.
I do want the answer that our fear of loneliness dictates.

    "In this love abandoned Autumn
     We'll go raking up the leaves, yeah
     The leaves that leaves that have fallen
     From these cold and dying trees
     In our hearts"
     -"Bloodstains", Passenger
    "You’re like a flower petal, waiting to fall
     You’re like a numb person
     Walking towards the edge of a cliff
     The longing image of you
     Smears over me"
     -"Almost there", VIXX
    "I don't know what I should do.
     My heart is crashing down."
     -"Wa-r-r", Colde

I am waiting for the right time and right heart to answer your feelings with the sincerity it deserves.
I am sorry that my sincerity comes with wait, hurt, and misunderstandings.

    "When I see you so tired, 
     to you
     am I a burden perhaps? Am I too much for you?"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "My eyes were shimmering with tears, 
     however, in my heart, I remained warm
     Firmly you told me, again and again you told me,
     how much you loved me."
     -"The moment", Aaron Yan

“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.

“i hope i forget this life” – Nayana Nair

matter, substance, meaning…
as my vocabulary expanded with such words,
i knew,
i had an inkling
that this is how
i would be disillusioned,
with such small words
i would be driven to despair.

i would find there is another face behind every smile,
and that some of those upturned lips are just empty coffins.
a smile so sad, a wordless lie
so easily becomes the most normal thing.

but do i even want to know
who lives behind such elaborate masks?
do i care to know how they breathe?
do i want to know who breathes in me?
or whether anyone really care about me?

i knew that now,
given that i have learnt to ask
all the questions whose answers can’t be verified,
living and trusting was bound to become harder.
now that i knew
that i am not capable of knowing myself,
seeing my reflection
was bound to get painful and confusing.
confusion is such a small word
for what life does to us.
all the small words
that are easily said than meant-
i hope i forget them
before i forget myself.

“The Saving Business” – Nayana Nair

Ages ago, I did a course of 48 hours on saving people
(as if saving was that easy).
There were lots of questions, none that I could answer truthfully.
I sat through confessions, lot of confessions.
I sat there distancing myself from everything I had the potential to be-
the one who clutched her handkerchief too tight,
the one whose gaze seems like a hammer, itching to crush and break.
And like the pathetic person I am,
I only thought “Where should I run to now?”

I would return to a sad room to sleep (thank god it was never to be my home),
I would wake up and find myself staring
at slideshows that I tried hard not to see
or find myself cooking up stories of life
that won’t put me on that stage, won’t sound like a cry.

“Is this how this saving business would continue to be?”, I wondered
as I left those 48 hours behind.
“Is this all I can do?”, I asked myself as I finally wept for hours.

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