Somedays I kick myself so hard for being a self-destructive pessimist. I have so much to be grateful for – a loving mom, an understanding sister and a stable foreseeable future. But yet, thoughts constantly drift towards pieces of puzzle that don’t quite fit. Some of these pieces are so badly misshapen that they no longer accommodate the mould while other pieces don’t even exist to begin with, probably lost in the process or still waiting to be found.
Sometimes, it’s the people around me who make these misfit puzzle pieces scream out, even when they were conveniently buried at the back of my mind prior to the encounter. For instance, my clinical lecturer unassumingly mentions comments like, “Are you taking progesterone?” or “Men must exude confidence and authority so that the patients feel more secure.”, it reminds me of everything that I’m not.
In the past month, especially after my trip to the UK, I’ve begun to realise that the stifling environment around me has slowly and overtime been making me sway to the beat of its rhythm. Your voice is too squeaky Subashan – solution: speak deeper. Your posture is too stooped young man – solution: sit up straight and strain every muscle of your back. You’re moving your hands so much dude, it’s so gay – solution: behave like a “man”. Every conscious effort I took to change the way I was and behaved chipped away a part of me, constructing myself into an image of what others assumed me to be. When did I start giving a damn about what all these people think about me? Am I even the person that I would’ve been if I were to have not done so?
More than one person asked me while I was abroad – “So you can’t be yourself in your country?” Have I ever been myself? Ever since I can remember, I’ve been so caught up with pleasing others by fulfilling their expectations, showering their bloated pride with accomplishments that I’ve left the part of me that should be seeking for authenticity far behind. Frankly, when I look around myself now, all I see is a puddle of self-pity on one side and another puddle of self-loathing on the other.
All this has got to change. I overheard someone important to me saying today that we don’t owe an explanation to others for things that don’t affect them. All my life I’ve been geared towards producing results for others. It was when I was out of this place where I realised I can discover my own path to self-discovery. Better still, I can actually enjoy the process. So here goes a mid-November resolution – stop living for others, stop caring too much about what others say, stop seeking too many opinions because the fairy tales have got it all wrong, be selfish!