“Some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.”
We are reaching a stage in life where we are beginning to think for ourselves. Forming an opinion of our own is the norm. We are creating a new identity for ourselves, outside who we are conditioned to be. Shedding away the personality that society had given us and forging a path of our own. Up until now we knew only ‘good’ and ‘bad’; however, we now understand that there does exist a grey area which is subjective and depends on our definitions of the occurrences in our environment.
Amidst all this new-found sense of discovery a tumult arises within us and a sense ‘I don’t belong here’ begins to surface when the ‘real me’ is in a constant tousle with what my peer group expects from me. The disparity between the ‘real self’ and our ‘ideal self’ lead us down the long winding path of self-doubt, low morale and a general sense of confusion. We feel alone even when we are surrounded by all our friends.
When the realization dawns on us and we’ve had that much required epiphany pill, we understand that we will never truly be free from being labelled or straight jacketed into various absurd categories like ‘the nerd’, ‘the geek’ or ‘the jock’ just because we are all grown up now. We are now just bound by different chains.
We are mocked for not drinking, smoking, having a curfew, or even asking our parents for their opinion on things; in fact, we are even jeered at for not being in a relationship, which I honestly think is just ludicrous! Why should our personal choices be made the butt of jokes and ridicule?
Have human beings become so absolutely self obsessed that they want their entire planet to be inhabited by the same clichéd individuals? Is the world so small that different people don’t have an inch to fit in?
After all, isn’t it the crazy, weird, non-conformists, who are able to see the world in a different light and add a little fantastical whim to ordinary things.
I guess the thing that keeps us moving forward is the fact that we know somewhere deep down that all these chains or different labels are mere abstractions; we look at ourselves and see what we want to see, and in the end that is all that counts. But remember misfits ‘don’t paraphrase your life for anyone, you were born to be a story and if someone can’t understand that, they are just not up to your reading level’.
“We aren’t who we want to be. We are what society demands. We are what our parents choose. We don’t want to disappoint anyone; we have a great need to be loved. So we smother the best in us. Gradually the light of our dreams turns into the monster of our nightmares. They become things not done, possibilities not lived.”
Adultery, Paulo Coelho
Written by Kshaema Susan Mathew