I get called weird a lot. On my face, at my back, all the time. I don’t have a problem with it. I accept that I really am weird, multiple levels of weird personified, in fact. But who isn’t, right?
Let me get down to some facts. We are all crazy, weird, not-so-normal. We are all HUMAN. We are hypocrites, too. Most of you after reading the first three sentences might have agreed with me like, “Ha! We know that! What’s new?” but we fail to reflect it in real life and that’s another fact.
I work as a Software Developer in an IT firm. I struggle daily – be it my work, my family, my finances, my ambitions. I pretend to be okay every single day when I’m not and it’s exhausting. So, if sometimes I do not behave in a way people expect me to, they label me ‘weird’. And no, it’s not depressing if that’s the idea you’re getting now. It’s empowering! I’m neither kidding nor am I saying this just for the sake of optimism. It really is like getting noticed for something that you do different, different from the crowd, different from ‘them’. It’s not a slap, it’s an applause!
I truly feel and I say this by experience (the little that I have) that most of our strong feelings like sadness, depression, anxiety, unworthiness, vulnerability, hatred come from this beautiful and unique thing called perspective.
How we react or respond to a situation comes from how we see it in our heads and it’s generally (not generalizing it though) driven by (a) our early experiences in life, (b) our present environment and vibe, and (c) our beliefs of what is right and what is wrong. A combination of these three factors is nothing but the perspective of the individual and so, YOU DECIDE WHAT YOU DO! Simple as that.
I’m not declaring that you become completely reserved by your own thoughts, stop being receptive of any inputs (good or bad) from anyone. It is more about saying that you own who you are, and respect your journey, appreciate your growth, trust in the course of things and believe in yourself.
Most of us deal with self-doubt at moments like after we’re done speaking our minds, reiterating arguments again and again, blaming ourselves for the way things turn out (if they do badly) or for that matter, doubting our beauty when someone calls us ugly. It’s about not giving someone the power to manipulate your mind because that’s a dangerous thing.
When I was in school, I was that kid who had very less friends, who was very socially awkward, who was dark-skinned and was called ‘kaali’ and that made me feel like shit. I started believing those lies and my self-esteem went down like whoosh! I would cry all by myself in the restroom for hours and spoke to nobody about it. So when further in life I got opportunities and people saw potential in me, the first thing I did was doubt myself and think ‘Am I worth it?’ or ‘Why does he/she think I can do it?’
Such experiences, I feel, make you humbler in life because you never forget where you started from, you forever feel grateful in life and most importantly, you don’t take things for granted. That’s also one of the primary reasons why I own my ‘weirdness’ so boldly. Not them, not anybody knows what it took to be this weird but me. And so, I flaunt it with pride!
The other thing that I want to focus on here is originality. People often, in a desperate need of acceptance by society and to match societal norms, start behaving like people they’re not. I made that mistake too. My early days in life (mostly school) were spent looking at people who were popular and were loved by all and then me trying to be like them so that people would love me too.
Now when I look back, I pity myself. I feel bad because I lost my true self in disguise and for the longest time, I didn’t even know who I was. Maybe that’s one of the contributing factors in my bad career choices and the deficiency of clarity in life. Copying others made me lose vision of the important things and it made me realize that I was competing in a blind race at the cost of my own personality.
Moral of the story – It is paramount to be original and to love yourself. Oh yes! Very, very essential. I cannot stress enough on how this is probably one of the most important things to do in life because once you do that, everything else starts falling into place slowly.
Once you accept who you are and fall in love with yourself, people automatically start loving you and you start feeling happy. I know once you’re under that pit hole of self-doubt, it seems almost impossible to get out. Trust me, I’ve been there. So when you stop expecting from others, you stop giving a damn, care less, are more focused and reject validation. That’s unmatched peace.
It takes effort to climb out of the hole but there’s a bigger and prettier sky out of it. You’d do it for that, I’m sure. It’s not late. It’ll never be late. I’m glad to see that something so influential as cinema in India is finally focussing on giving out this message. Films like ‘Ujda Chaman’ and ‘Bala’ among the recent of releases and ‘Jab We Met’ have spoken beautifully of loving and owning ourselves and I just want more of it to come on celluloid. This country needs it badly and it needs to spread faster so that we could teach the next generation to love itself better.
Remember, you’re loved, you’re wanted and you’re the best version of yourself ever possible. Deny anybody who tells you otherwise. Don’t give them the power to tell you who you are and what you can do. The next time anyone calls you a weirdo, I hope you smile and say, “Yes! Maybe you should try being one too. It’s fun! Aur haan, main apni favourite hoon. 🙂
Stuti Agarwal is an engineer by profession but an enthusiast of all things creative by heart. Rules by her Piscean traits, she is a dreamer and a believer who sees the society through an indifferent lens, and makes her own path. She is here to offer her perspective of life and happiness
Featured Image Credits: Canva