I’m the kind of person who reads the newspaper from the last page to the first, hoping that I’d be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Virat Kohli’s latest haircut along with a side of some hot cricket drama before I can get to the more daunting and real news section. The kind of person who’d rather read the book than watch the movie, because that means the characters aren’t real, right? The kind of person who takes the term “shower thoughts” to a whole new extreme, the shower literally being my platform for having all those conversations I’ve deliberately avoided and steered clear of. A platform for gossiping and making plans with all my favourite TV show characters and for letting my shampoo bottles know exactly how I feel about the world since they’re definitely going to do something about it!
I’m nearly 20 years old (I typed and retyped this sentence multiple times because I couldn’t believe my eyes or in my case, don’t want to) and I can state with certainty that I have lived inside my head, housed by my filtered thoughts and blanketed by my notions, much more than I have outside of it. In short, I’m no realist. On an ordinary day, you’d find me making up wonky scenarios in my head and getting myself worked up about it. I’d spend hours wondering what every fictional character’s end in a book would be, had the author not written it a certain way. I’ve even come to terms with the voices inside my head, “There’s always going to be one pointing out your insecurities”, I tell myself repeatedly, “but just drown out that one with the one that’s obsessed with naming objects like they’re human”. For instance, my friend and I tell the time in colours (did I mention I’m almost 20?), we say the silliest things like “It’s 30 oranges to blue O’ clock”, and somehow understand each other, because why limit ourselves to numbers?
I only recently discovered the art of epistemology when I went on one of my usual rants about why all that we are made to believe since birth necessarily should be the truth and why facts are deemed facts instead of just mere accurate assumptions, and my friend put an end to it by informing me that there’s an entire branch of study devoted to this. It’s appalling how we restrict ourselves and our actions to only the things we know and are expected to do, when our minds are so powerfully capable of delving deep into worlds unknown. We inherently build and curate the world around us through the way we perceive it.
One of my favourite quotes comes from John Donne who says “Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.” Moreover, what’s right to me may be wrong to you, and that’s what makes it all the more wonderful. So the next time someone asks me if I’m “out of my mind” or if I’ve “lost it” when I say or do something that goes off on a tangent from what’s considered normal, my simple answer is- no. My mind is the place where I’m happiest, and it is where you can always find me. Because in there, who decides what’s real and what’s not, anyway?