Sunday, May 12, 2013

Free!


Do you know the most basic right you’re entitled to?

The right to live your life, and to live it on your own terms as long as you’re not messing with the law or morality. Which means, by extension, you get the right to decide who stays in your life, and who doesn’t.
It didn’t matter what I did – or didn’t do – I was me, and that was difficult for people around me to accept. I had my ambitions and dreams. But to so many people around me, I was nothing more than a joke, a stimulus for cruel laughter and insults. To them, I was supposed to be invisible, if the earth below didn’t do me a favour by caving in and swallowing me whole. For years, being the one that got called these unsavoury things, the one that grew up trying to hide or get lost in the crowd in the hallway of High School or College, the one that tried to meld into the background so I was a wallflower, it was an uphill climb. For years, I heard the same thing, laid over me like dollops of thick cream, until it became one with my skin. Whenever I wanted to try something I thought I might be good at, the words I had heard swilled about in my head. I would lie down until the feeling of wanting to give something a shot went away. Trusted friends were mythical creatures. When people were nice, it felt like they were doing me a favour – or worse still, like they were being nice to get something out of me.

That was when a beautiful lesson in the form of true friends happened. When you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will, life changes and changes for the better. This does not mean that some people are inherently ‘bad’. No human being is inherently bad – we’re all yin and yang, good and bad. Sometimes, life forces you to interact with certain people that aren’t good for you or for your future. Some try to find a foothold in your life by butting in, but only few can stay on, because they are worth it. There are only some people one can get along with, some that you can enjoy the company of, and only some that are worthy of being friends with. It’s the truth with everyone. The rest, well, for your own sanity, have to be sent packing. It is foolish to believe that you have to be friends with everyone.

It’s like math: some numbers add up to the right answer, and when numbers that have no place in the equation creep up, everything can go ballistic. What use do numbers that don’t add up have in an equation where they only detract from the right destination? So forget the people you are leaving behind in your past. There's a reason why there not in your future, and it’s a good reason. 

For me, this has been a beautiful lesson in finding my feet in life. For a good many years, I realised that I was packed in a compartment full of people who I didn't want to have anything to do with. Right from bringing my morale down to eroding my self-faith, they were spokes in wheels in ways I couldn't decipher. Setting myself free, I gave myself the best gift I could: letting myself stay and remain solely in the company of those that I care for, and those that equally care for my existence. The rest? Well, they were sent packing.
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