“Yeh kya hai*. Didi, come join us, we are playing dumb charades. Don’t be a bore.”
I am sitting inside my school bus as I’m writing this, and I’m thinking. Maybe the positioning of planets is to blame, maybe the rains are to blame, maybe the fact that I finally had 4+ hours of sleep after weeks of sleep deprivation that I feel slightly-less-zombie-like is to blame, but after so long, I’ve sat down, just to think.
It’s not that I don’t think, guys, I’m still alive. But usually I am the one calling people to the dumb charads match; not the one refusing.
What am I thinking? I don’t know, everything at once. Hard to entangle one thought from another. But besides the homework anxiety, there is one prominent thing one my mind today. When I sat down, I planned on napping the journey away. But the request made by my friend and my reaction to it made me think, “Wait, that is so unlike me!” But then, what is like me?
Screw school this is what we’re doing today.
Since the beginning time of time, I’ve liked labels. They give me a sense of acceptance, a thing to put on as a badge on my shirt and been feeling validated. I crave labels, but not so much lately. Call it my age but I’ve grown more introspective, and also critical of myself. In the Quest To Find Myself™, I think it is an understatement to say , that I have struggled. Am I an extrovert? But just yesterday I napped for 4 hours straight. Am I an introvert? But I love meeting new people. Am I nerdy? But sometimes I go to tests without studying. Am I a rebel? But I worry myself sick before those tests. Who am I? I don’t know. Am I any of these adjectives. Yes. But are they all that I am? No.
Now somehow all these labels which used to empower me, all those badges I used to put on my shirt, feel like pebbles on my back; uncomfortable. Burdening me with the responsibility of acting out the personas I’ve carved for myself. It had gotten to a point when I felt like a hypocrite. Yes, that is the exact term I would shout at myself on one of the bad days. And that would explain the title of this blog too, which I started to discover my true self.
But as it (never) happens in all the inspirational stories, I didn’t come to my conclusion during a trek, or a traumatising/empowering event. Life was mundane, and it was somewher between weekly tests and daily commute to school that I realised a thing.
I’m not any of the things I describe myself as. I am Tanushka. And that word alone describes my ability to hold multitudes, yet be simple. It holds my ability to evolve, my contradictory personality, my humanity, my mistakes, my beauty, my empathy, my struggle, me. Now really, I don’t I need anything else after that.
I cannot say I’ve understood myself or life or other fancy stuff, no. This is not the conclusion of my autobiography. Heck, this is not even the prologue.
Now, I allow myself to do things I want to. Now, I’ve started to forgive myself for all the things I am not, or will not be. Now, as much as going without a plan scares me, I’ve stopped planning my feelings, and begun to just, feel. All the these changes are huge, and it will take time for me to get used to the new ways, but atleast I’ve worn the shoes to begin the marathon.
Only after writing this down I realise how cliché this sounds. But maybe, that is what I need to do. Allow myself to be a little cliché now and then. I’m not here to stand out, I’m not here to blend in; I’m here to be me.
And boy was this a long post just to say that one line.
*translates to “What is this?”