When I was ten, my mother taught me to look at myself before pointing at others. She taught me to accept my mistakes and what was wrong with me.
The next ten years of my life, I spent appropriating myself, accepting things I was not supposed to accept.
‘Yes, I left the light open.’
‘I was driving fast.’
‘The problem was with me and not him. I am ugly.’
‘Oh yes, I am immature, and maybe you are right.’
‘Yes, I think what you say is correct while I am wrong.’
I started doubting myself. I accepted people’s point of view and kept mine to myself because I was always in doubt.
Ten years and I got so bottled up that when I was nearing 21, I started keeping my points with force and firmness.
I started rejecting myself to an extent where if anyone would come and tell me that I am too thin, I would go home and hog four chapatis just to feel nauseous and puke because I didn’t want to be thin.
To an extent, where people pointed at my follies like counting stars in the sky and then recounting them. I knew that I am imperfect but never knew that I was an extreme misfit too.
But what I couldn’t understand was that maybe those kids weren’t taught to look at themselves when they were ten because they never realized that everyone is flawed.
What I couldn’t understand was that in the process of appropriating myself, I was losing my identity, because I was fitting myself in the blocks people had created for me.
What I could never understand was that only a few people would see both the strengths and faults in you; that it is easier to point at the other.
What I will never understand is, not everyone can accept you with your mistakes and imperfections. Some people want only the good parts of you.
So now when I am 21, I have stopped. I have stopped listening to people telling me what I need to be because I know.
I know what I need to be and I think that is enough.