A few years ago, in school, we were asked to decorate our classrooms. A girl from my class cut out a couplet by a very famous poet and put it up on the wall. I loved it. Since then, I’ve felt emotionally attached to that couplet. It brings back a lot of good memories, whenever i recite it and leaves me with a passion to fly higher. This is how it goes:
“تو شاہین ہے پرواز ہے کام تیرا، تیرے سامنے آسمان اور بھی ہیں” – علامہ اقبال
Translation: “You are an eagle, flight is your vocation, There are other skies stretching before you” -Allama Iqbal
to all the people out there, who are smiling through the pain, putting up an effort to show the world they are ok when they are actually not, to the people who are broken inside but bring smiles in other’s lives, the people who cheer for their friends and tell them they are proud of them while they themselves feel like a failure, to the people who have so much to say but are never heard, to those who pretend they are okay until they start believing that they are, to the people who aren’t validated often enough, who are struggling to cope up, who are fighting with their demons secretly, y’all are the real superheroes.
It took me some time to realize that there are certain things which are better left unknown because knowing them affects us and our life in weird ways. Often in negative ways. If we grow up with a bad memory or an opinion that we’ve formed about something or somebody, it can affect the rest of our life. Opinions that we grow up with can hardly ever be outgrown. Experiences that we’ve been through can hardly ever be forgotten. The worst thing actually is when you are dragged into a fight that wasn’t yours in the first place. A battle that you aren’t allowed to take part in but you are forced to watch it from the sidelines. You can’t talk about it because “its not your story to tell”, you can’t protest, you can’t feel terrorized because hey, you didnt even take part in it right? But what about the inner fight that we had to fight? The heart that was forever scarred because it was too weak to even see it all? The brain that wanted to explode because it couldn’t stand being so helpless? The warrior fights the war and then leaves the battlefield braver than before. The person on the sideline however, leaves with a heart weaker than ever, with a fear that this war will start all over again. With such memories and visuals that will forever change the way he sees life. Every battle doesn’t make every person stronger. Some battles leave people sad and broken; especially those who stand on the side and wonder what they ever did to be going through this mental torture. Sometimes, you are shattered by incidents that you were never supposed to know of and all you can do is wrap your arms around yourself and in the silent night, head buried in the pillow, give yourself a hug. Tell yourself it’ll be okay. It always is.
I am sitting in the common room and I can’t seem to push this thought out of my head so I’m going to write about it to silence my head. A few months ago, I changed schools. I had been studying in my previous school for 9 years and hence, was emotionally attached to it to such an extent that i couldn’t bear the thought of leaving it or the people there. People say school is their second home, but for me it was my first home. I breathed in school, the air seemed fresher there. Then one fine day, during the summer holidays, I enrolled in another school. Trust me when i tell you, I had no solid reason, I don’t know why I did that. It just happened and fast forward to 6 months later, here i am sitting in the common room of my new school. The first few months here were terrible. So torturous I can’t seem to find the right words for it. None of my friends or family can ever understand what I went through. I faced rejection, social anxiety and loneliness. Loneliness hurts the worst. Solitude is different but being lonely suffocates you from within. I used to cry everyday. I thought I was my own biggest enemy because this was my decision. I think I saw depression for the first time then. It was horrible. It took me months to pull myself out of the ocean of guilt and suffering. I learnt that I had to become my own saviour. For many months, i tried holding onto my friends from my previous school. I texted them regularly, talked to them, listened to them. But you know, despite all of that, the connection faded. We moved on emotionally. Maybe because we don’t meet everyday now. We live in different worlds now, we encounter different problems. And just like that we slipped out of each others lives. The people i thought i couldn’t breathe without, today I live, love, laugh without them. Life moves on, it never stops. We are all travellers, sometimes our journeys intersect, we walk together but eventually we have to move on, each of us towards our own destinations. And then maybe we’ll meet again, at a better place, on a bigger stage. Cheering for each other. Rooting for each other for the sake of the good times spent together. For the sake of the golden days.
People believed in character in the previous centuries. They lived in small towns where everyone knew each other. It was calm, it was peaceful and most importantly people knew each other by their character; who they are from the inside.
Recently, almost a decade or two ago, people started moving from small towns to big cities where they were expected to work in a different environment and interact with different people. In the cities, only those people were able to shine who could easily get along with others, socialise, do team work and basically just be seen in a crowd. This is where the problem started.
Extroverts generally became more “acceptable” and intorverts became outcasts. No matter how creative a person is, the first and often last impression is made by how well people gel with others and if they are able to handle crowds and large groups of unfamiliar people. In our school and work places, team work is being promoted increasingly even for college admissions, for leadership posts, the first and foremost thing that most people have set as the criteria for judging people is whether they are able to adjust in a new environment and if they can speak up in a room full of people.
This is a biased criteria. Extroverts can easily ace this. They are naturally gifted. Introverts, on the other hand, are expected to “work on themselves” and become more outgoing. They are expected to come out of their shell. This hinders the growth of introverts as from a very early age they start trying to tranform thenselves into an extrovert. They try to become more “socially acceptable”. This, in my opinion, needs to be stopped.
According to research extroverts are better speakers, debaters and better at team work while introverts are more creative, come up with better ideas, are better writers, thinkers, poet and philosophers. When we take from them their solitude or make them feel guilty for staying alone, we are actually depriving ourselves of all those genius ideas and remarkable achievements that they were going to achieve.
Everybody has their own role in a society. To classify extroverts as being better than introverts can destroy they societal balance as well as the mental health of a lot of people who’d rather stay in their room with a book than go out and party. It is high time we accept people for who they are and stop passing comments such as ” she is a loner” or ” he is too rowdy” because i know from personal experience that this hurts. Being called out in a gathering for talking too less hurts. This is not something that introverts do. This is who they are and i read somewhere once that if you ever have to make fun of somebody make sure it is not about who they are but about what they do. Every person is unique and very very beautiful in their own gorgeous ways. With 2020 around the corner, its time we improve our mentality and be more accepting and less judgemental because the world needs more of that.
It’s so weird. We never can truly know who a person is. However much we think we know them, there is always a side of them that is masked; hidden from the public. One of my friends, whom I know for more than 5 years, who was with me every single day in school since the last 3 years, was not who i thought she was. I recently found out that the girl i thought she was, was all pretence; an act put up by her. I fail to understand why she couldn’t open up to me, tell me her deepest secrets. I trusted her so much and only a few days ago, through another friend, i found out something about her, that I wished she had told me herself. All this time, she was never my friend. She never considered me her friend. I cared too deeply for her because the very few friends that I have, are very very close to me. It is heart breaking to suddenly find out that one of your friends is ruining herself and you could’ve stopped her if only she’d confided in you. I feel betrayed. And very sad. I lost a very dear friend. All this made me realise, we can never truly know anyone’s true intentions. You can never distinguish between real and fake friends. People are not what they seem to be and I wish it wasn’t this way.
Some dreams remain buried in your heart forever. You know they can’t be fulfilled but there’s a tiny corner of your heart that’ll always long for it. A tiny voice in your head that tells you it might be possible. You are a girl with vision and you want to fly but they won’t let you, for they fear that as soon as you spread your wings, society will shoot you. What they don’t realise is, keeping you caged due to their fears will kill you long before society.
It is almost scary how everyone in this world is going through different emotions at the same time. Our ecstatic moments are someone else’s darkest days. Two people in the same world may be experiencing opposite emotions at the same moment. One may be shedding tears of joy while the other weeps his heart out, drowned in misery.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to deal with obstacles in our own journeys, fighting battles in our own lives, at our own time. And the most we can do for each other is, to just be there for them in their bad times. Maybe, in return, someone will lend us a hand during our dark days.