I feel like since a couple of years, life has decided to put me on a roller coaster of life lessons. Sucker punch after sucker punch of brutal realities and confrontations with my inner self. My perceptions of myself, my job, other people, love, friendship, the world, life are all being challenged on a daily basis. It feels relentless, it feels like I have no respite.
But what exactly am I asking when I ask for respite? I feel like I am asking to undo all these things I have learned about the world and myself, like in the middle of the unveiling that has begun, I am asking to put a few veils back on again, go a few steps back again. I want to be ‘comfortably numb’ again. I want to stop demanding myself to be honest, vulnerable and authentic all the time. But the truth is I can’t anymore. And when I look closely it is unfolding naturally. My experiences are taking me on a path where I have no choice but to be as honest as I know to be, in that moment and learn to do it with as much grace as possible.
Conversations are also reminding me that this ‘option’ of not being our true selves is easier for some of us. An adolescent I’ve been working with said to me “May be you think that there are injustices in the world and then life goes on. But I can’t. I can’t ignore it. The world is unfair to me. ” It reminded me of something another adolescent said to me years back, “People value social etiquette more than the truth.” And how true is that? We go on pretending to the world so much, that we are not even aware of all the masks we have accumulated. Some of us have simply forgotten, for some the unveiling is too painful, for some the masks have become permanent. What does it take to unveil?
Isn’t it grossly unfair that the world is hardest on those who can’t seem to learn to pretend? To those whom pretending would require hiding their true selves completely and trying to fit in and failing every time because we demand too much sameness. And then we grow up and become adults and we ask the same out of our children mostly because as soon as we see a streak of unicorn, we panic and want them to try harder to fit in than anyone else. Let’s try hard not to do that, ok?