Hi there. I won’t be talking today about random sh*t for a change.
I was going to start this post with tips on how to ‘find’ yourself. Before I wrote this line, I realized that you never really ‘find’ yourself – you develop yourself. Even when you think you’ve lost a part of your personality for whatsoever reason, like maybe you’re not as fun and crazy as you were x years ago, you don’t really need to look around and try to be the same person. Actually, scratch that. No one ever loses a part of themselves, they just shed it off like snakes (bad reference, but you get my point). When you finally come out, you’re fresh and shiny, and that skin gets older with more experience and wisdom till it’s ready to shed again. People change for a reason – it’s called development – and it should be embraced. If you don’t like it, you always have the power to change it, but it’s actually good if you don’t go back to being exactly what you used to be because if you do, it would mean that you really haven’t grown. And from what I have learnt, people grow most during tough times. So when you’re dealing with something like ‘who am I?’, I call it developing yourself. So dear reader, if you’re confused and feel ‘lost’, stop trying to find yourself, and develop yourself. It won’t happen overnight, but I promise you it will when you’re ready, and you’ll know you’re ready not by telling yourself that you are, but by feeling all those questions burn through you, confusing you, enraging you and eventually embracing and accepting all those feelings. There is no other way to it, no shortcuts, and no rushing through it.
Now since that is clear, let’s move on to the next stage.
I’m a firm believer of the saying ‘tough times define tough people’ (not sure if it’s actually a quote, but it’s good as long as you get it). I remember when I was in my teens, I was talking on the phone to someone in his early 20’s at that time, and he told me that he’s trying to know himself and discover who he is. I didn’t know the intensity of his struggle because I couldn’t understand it at that time. So when he asked me in return, “do you know who you are?” I responded like any other teen going through their own whirlwind of struggles and complaining that life is too hard – “Of course, I do”
I smile to myself when I think of it now.
When the dust finally settled, I had just graduated out of high school and I thought to myself – “Now I know what he meant” when really it was just the tip of the iceberg. That time onward, I again, like an ignorant piece of sh*t, thought I knew everything there was to know about myself, till I faced another problem. I had shaped my choices, behavior personality, everything on the basis of an idea of what I wanted everyone else to perceive me as. I still see many people doing that. There is nothing wrong in picking up pieces of other people’s personality and traits except it makes you Frankenstein if overdone. You must be what you feel like being, and not what you think you should be like.
Anyway, so this 2nd person made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, so I started adapting to his idea of a perfect person. I won’t blame him entirely for what happened because I was partly at fault. I believed that I wasn’t good enough and started changing myself to fit in his box of a perfect person. That was a test, and I don’t think I failed. Not going down to the bottom of that pit wasn’t success, but coming out was. It seems like an easy decision, but it isn’t when you’re in that situation. I felt lost for almost a year, hoping to get out of the pit, thinking that I was ready. But like I said, you have to feel and go through all of the suffering, confusion, pain, and the whole party that comes with it in order to finally be ready to emerge. Your endurance and patience will be tested and that is when you must not give up. It’s okay to be scared, people who say that they’re not afraid of hardships are lying. You will feel hopeless and helpless with no idea where to go. You might try to ask for help from loved ones, but they might not understand. Even if they do, there is only so much they can do to help you. In the end, it’s your battle and only you can fight it. But when you do, you keep doing it without seeing light in the cave (I won’t say tunnel, because you have no sense of direction in these kind of situations). Keep faith, and keep trying to move and struggle even if you think that it’s not working, because there is always an end, and I promise you, you will emerge stronger and more confident than ever before. You will get over the aftermath and see everything clearer as each day, month and year passes by – I promise.
Today I know that I don’t know everything, not even about myself. But I keep getting better at it every day. I may not be proud of all the decisions I made during those times, but I’m proud that I’ve learnt from them, and I’m still learning when I think about the past from a different perspective. Thinking about the past doesn’t mean that you obsess over it, but you learn to detach yourself from the equation and be open to learning from it as much as you can. One should let go of the past, but not forget it, because it is one of the things that make us who we are. The rest of the things that truly define us are our choices. Seeing situations objectively is one of those choices and a talent that one perfects over time.
I hope this will help me in some way tomorrow when I’m going through another rough patch and someone else who is going through it right now. And if you feel you’re alone and you wish to be happy like everyone else seems to be, just remember – you’re far ahead of the people oblivious to this struggle.
“Be scared of the hard times, but don’t run from them. And if you’re not scared, it’s just not hard enough”
– That was me
Note: I have started to think more for myself, otherwise I wouldn’t have written about my own personal experiences here simply because I’m a bit private that way. I am writing all this because writing makes me feel lighter sometimes and I want to keep this as something I do for myself and not for the blog. Now whether you get to read this post or not will be based on another decision – whether to put this piece out there for everyone else to read and hopefully help someone in the process, or to keep it safely to myself, like I have till now.