One of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever withheld, was a time where I saw nothing at all. The blackness had enveloped me in its familiar hold and I noticed I no longer cringed at its touch. The beauty of sunrise showered through an open window and my eyes unfolded unto the mesmerizing luminosity. Realizing there’s light beyond the shadows by perceiving it with my own irises has been one of the most breathtaking emotions to overthrow my sensibilities.
Alas, such light is as fleeting as love born from distrust. For it was and still is nearly every day I am stifled by darkness. The twists and turns in my own mind are too much as it is, but with the presence of those that will not cease to tell me of what I am, I find myself at even greater odds with myself.
They say blood is thicker than water, but if your blood is too thick, suffocation will result. So, how do you live when your body is malnourished of oxygen? How do you proceed when your shouts are being ignored or your cries are being shunned? How do you belong, when the only place where you’re embraced is with yourself?
It’s easy to succumb to feelings that strike you without caution. Its even easier to never feel good enough no matter who you are. Believe me, I’ve always been an expert at standing apart, and though it frightens me at times, I wouldn’t want myself to be any other way. Some call it self-confidence and some cry stubbornness, but my mother taught me that fearing what other people have to say about you is no way to live.
She once instructed, “Whenever anyone comes up to you and says you’re weird or different, you just tell them, ‘No I’m not, I’m just unique.’”
And so I did. I’d say it once, and I wouldn’t have to again— because those words alone made people, even my young peers, think differently. And before I knew it, my future became the present, and I currently find myself surrounded by the most unique and beautiful people I could ever stand by, family and friends alike.
It’s incredible how time changes and how lives can alter simply from accepting yourself before giving in to society’s criticism.
So, how does one proceed when being yourself leads to the ignorance of others who can’t seem to adjust who they are? How do you belong anywhere but with yourself? How do you fix a problem that is about everyone else?
As straightforward as this world can be, it is often not. As much as being yourself and being good is embraced, it’s actually not. As often as trivial things like fitting in and being treated kindly should occur, dismally I pronounce, they do not. Darkness often takes the form of the opposing side in the mental war waged within your mind. It is so heavy, so thick, that it can ambush one’s consciousness to believe a facade that will torment them for even holding it within. Your throat runs dry and you are unable to express the good you have— the good that you are— because the tones of others underwhelm every experience you’ve had. Every instance you do something right, your actions are misjudged and misplaced into a pile of noteworthy mistakes. No ounce of action will ever seem to make a difference. No pound of kindness will ever seem kind enough. Your silence is preferred, and yet it is discouraged. You’re supposed to love who you are, and yet, you are encouraged to be something else.
The world can be a cruel place to expect one person to know when to speak or when to hide or when to cry or who to be. For having expectations of others is a subconscious gesture that one cannot always control. That’s the point though: sometimes our minds escape our control and sometimes our feelings last longer than they should. It makes you question everything about who you are, no matter how set in your ways you may be.
And that, my dear readers, is completely normal.
If you can manage to sustain the mere idea of who you are or who you want to be despite the rash judgements or unruly criticisms of those around you, then you have succeeded in becoming this being you want the world to perceive.
You see, that’s always been my goal, no matter how unrealistic it appears to so many others; I will become someone that stands out, because fitting in is so typical. I refuse to be the statistical norm, because I am more than just a number or an average person. I will be someone great, because being extraordinary isn’t in my blood, it’s just who I believe I am.
I encourage all of my readers to believe in the good they contain— to look in the mirror and accept who they are. Smile and embrace every ounce of your originality. Love every curve, every straight line, every instance your lips dare to twitch up. Love every ounce of who you are for at least a moment, because in this day and age, being unique comes from just accepting who you are.
And that light of belief is stronger than any darkness trying to overtake your being, for it doesn’t fight from the mind, it flourishes from the heart.
-Kiran Bains Sahota