She keeps her dreams hidden In the folds of her soul, How could she tell them, She wants more, more than The small town boundaries Can give her, no, no, 'cause Good girls inherit the silence Of their mothers, But the girl in the mirror tells her To scream She wants to taste the intoxication Of each moment dripping with passion, But how could she tell them, She wants more, more, More than their plan for her offers, No, no, 'cause good girls do as they Are told, But the girl in the mirror tells her She must fight no matter who they are What is this strange malady, What is that thing in her heart, That swells up with each breath she takes, Something boils in her blood, Is it a desire to be who she wants to be, Is it the regret for a life that slips by, unlived, The girl in the mirror, she's got red eyes, She's done with crying, that girl in the mirror, She's got a fire in her veins, to melt away Shackles, that girl in the mirror, she's got A dangerous smile, 'cause she knows, She is going to rip off their shallow moulds, They can no longer contain her, That girl in the mirror, watch out for her, She stands here bloody, bruised but still Wearing hope as her armour, she is a Creature of fearsome beauty..
What does that mean? According to Google, it’s ‘a person that prefers not to associate with others’. I’ll admit, it does sound better than ‘a person with no friends’, like I had come to believe.
It was eighth grade, and my basketball teammates were discussing ‘best friends’. As usual, I was reluctant to join in and preferred to focus on practice. But then one of them turned to ask me. Who’s your best friend? No one. So you’re a loner, then? Yes.
A second later I heard them sniggering behind my back. I didn’t get it then. In fact, it was the first time I’d heard that term and but the meaning was quite plain. And I wasn’t ashamed of it either. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends. No, not the online ones you talk to once in a blue moon. I had people whom I could actually call friends. I sat with them in classes, played with them in breaks and planned all the hangouts and stuff friends usually do. But there was something about this word, “loner” that continued to irk.
I had had some terrible experiences with past friends, some too weird to even talk about, and each time I ended up discovering that I’m better off alone. I’ve always been an introvert from head to toe, but varying in degrees. Two years ago was the most extraverted I’ve ever been, probably because that was time I had been participating in various extra-curricular activities. Now that I’ve had almost a year to myself, I’m back to my usual self.
A loner? Let’s see. I have a small but the most wonderful group of friends I could ever imagine having. They support me, they get me, and that’s more than I could’ve asked. They’ve been with me for enough time for me to move beyond my past experiences and become a better, more accepting person. I also had a friend once who was more like me than myself, but self- sabotage is my personal demon and I’ve ruined things with him. But that shouldn’t be an issue, right? Because I didn’t love him.
I’d like to quote a writer here, one that I look up to, who once wrote; “I envy people who can say ‘I love you’”.
I definitely can’t. Not once in my life I’ve been able to say that. Even when my mom tells me she loves me, all I can do is slightly smile. I love my mother above everything else in the world, but I can’t say that to her. When my friends tell me they love me, I’ve learned to laugh off my lack of proper response, because whatever I do, I can’t make it sound like I mean it. And the thing is, this comes naturally to most people I’ve met, so there must be something wrong within me. And it’s not apathy, it’s far from apathy. More like an inability to express through words (which is just ironic), or something that goes beyond that, like when at times I cannot bring myself to believe when people say that and start questioning the meaning of love itself.
Another thing I’ve discovered during this quarantine is that people just randomly call up other people to talk. Social media, of course, simplifies this whole thing but as I wasn’t on any, I had lost touch with most people. (And nothing has changed yet). More surprised I was at the fact that I didn’t feel in any sense left out by it, as I would’ve done a few years ago. Rather, I told myself that I would’ve been downright annoyed if someone called me up every week with no other reason but to talk, so it was only fair that I don’t do this to anyone else. Not that I felt like it, either; I was relieved by the peace.
All this things do add up to introversion, don’t they? But what difference does it make? I can be outgoing, but I need recharge time. I hate parties, I’d rather spend an evening inside a cave. I don’t think it necessary to talk to people just for the sake of keeping in touch. I don’t believing in maintaining friendships that I never considered as friendships anyway. I’d rather detach myself from everyone so I can clearly focus on myself (and a small group of people who I actually care about and who care about me). For some people it’s not this way, some people may even find this appalling, but it’s who I am. Pretending to be something else has only thrown me further off my course.
And of course, introversion is an incredibly wide field in itself, not all have to be this way. The emotional detachment, for example. If you’re an INTP, like me, maybe you’d relate. But most people I meet don’t tend to analyse these things as much as I do. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who was exactly like me. But then, the ‘me’ I show to others isn’t exactly like me, either.
There’s a saying that if you believe in your strengths too much it becomes your weakness. Perhaps, I just made that up. (The real one is that your biggest strength is also your biggest weakness, but it’s the same thing in my head). I’ve either scoffed at people who put their emotion on a higher pedestal than thoughts, or pitied them. Anyway, I’ve always been glad I wasn’t one of them. I’d do anything for the people I care about, as long as it fits within the boundary of logic. If something doesn’t add up to me, I’ll simply leave it. Unfortunately, this also extends to emotions of others. While I’ve been told I keep my emotions locked out, it’s not the same case for everyone else. I absolutely hate myself for the times when I’ve hurt people by showing disregard for their emotions. Not always, I’m nothing close to a robot (as much as I feel like one right now), but this has happened more times than I care to admit. Like I said, what I consider to be my strength, is also one of my deepest weakness.
I have no idea where I’m going with all of this, but feels good to lift some of the weight that has been lurking around since months. I read somewhere (most probably on an astrology site) that the realization that I won’t be able to love the way I’d imagined would be a startling discovery for me. And for some reason, that stuck. And with every day I feel like I’m moving a bit closer to that realization. Nobody’s perfect, not in the least me. And if there’s someone I can always rely on, it’s my self- sabotaging demon. It tends to activate in emotionally delicate situations, especially when my feelings are on the verge of being exposed. You probably think I’m paranoid, who tf thinks all that?
But I’ve seen that happen already. Twice, thrice, I’ve lost count. I don’t enjoy leaving people hanging, and I don’t like myself for it. But there’s always some reason that pops up for not becoming too close to a person whenever I’m about to. And I always end up running away from the situation. I don’t like myself for it. I really don’t.
And I just cannot stand all the write ups I see up here from people who are either in love or fancy being in love. Now enough for my cynicism, I wasn't always like this. There was a time even I wrote some of them, but now I simply cringe at it. Maybe this is just a place that I am at. I’ll move on, for what it’s worth.
So I guess I can say I’m a loner. I value solitude. I keep most people at an arm’s length and I prefer to keep it that way. But I do care for my friends. And my family. And so I’ve decided to stick with the Google definition of it.
Thank you for reading. And may your new year be a lot happier than this one.
Women are a piece of art. They say, "Keep your body, soul and Everything else pure, sweetheart." Little do they know my poem, too, is an art. The rhymes try to reconcile the broken pieces of me, that have fallen apart.
i) If my poem were a woman, she would have struggled to position itself into that hourglass figure, She would have struggled to look like that of perfect size and shape.
ii) My poem would have tried hard to conceal. Conceal the insecurities, the fears and the miseries, that wet her pillow each night. But she'll be cautious about the slipping bra strap shining under the bright sun light.
iii) Poems will shed tears of blood and agony. Stocked up Tampons and pads will fill up the room, darkening her heart. For she'll be restrained from entering the literature room.
iv) Racism would have haunted my poem. That feeling of suffocation, would have made it a choice to live or to die. Searching for the last hope to breathe and still finding none.
v) My poem would have been questioned about it's existence and remained mum. Those dark circles depict the pain which It masked with metaphors also brushed with highlighter like similes.
vi) Rapes would have been a threat to her body, just like plagiarism is a threat to poetry.
But I'm afriad what if it disappears all of a sudden... into nothingness, into vaccum.