Redefining Yourself

If someone suddenly asked you to give yourself a definition, what words would you choose to portray your inner self to the outer world? I got into thinking if what I see of someone is actually what they see in themselves too, and out of curiosity I sent out facebook messages to about 30 people, hoping to get a few replies and to pick a few to include in a blog post. To keep things fair, I sent the same message to everyone:

I’m writing something for my blog and I’m asking a few people to answer a simple question:
“Give the most honest definition of yourself that you can”
If you have the time, I’d love to hear your answer and ask if I could use your answer on my blog.

Maybe some of us really are “Crazy beyond ol reason” and some of us are as simple as being able to be defined as “helpful ,caring & lovable” and some as easy to know as “mad” but it was also the same person who called himself “mad” that also first said, “the problem is I don’t know how to define myself”. Who gets to define us if we don’t do it ourselves? And are our definitions true enough for someone to pick us out of a crowd with nothing but these words in mind?

Much like most of us, an answer says that he is blinded by life; “I think I’m a very lost. That’s honestly what I feel I am. Lost, dazed and confused. Struck blind by the sheer awesomeness of LIFE happening all around me.

Thisun Gamlath “Is kind of lost and thinks he could be saved” just like the previous answer but this time Thisun turns on the batman theme song, wears his cape and steps into the world saying, “But he knows the only savior is himself.” Maybe it’s time we all pull out our capes. We may not be batmen, but aren’t we just as good in our own skin?

Some people dedicate themselves so wholeheartedly to others that they make it the very thing that defines them. When I asked Shashini the same question, she replied, “Something that I learned about myself is that I am able of spreading love everywhere I go. And something that I learned along the way is that I should let no one ever come to me without leaving happier. I am capable of loving people and I have no time to judge them.” The kind of positivity in this person is the kind of positivity that we need to save humanity.

Seeking out these opinions from people was an eye-opener. Cyber-bullying, peer pressure, name-calling and labeling are major concerns of our society today and all of us know at least a case or two where the results of these have threatened lives and futures of teenagers around the world. I was lucky to meet a person who turned this negative energy into something that does quite the opposite. He realized there was little he could do to change the way people saw him so he started seeing the good in it. Vihanga says,
One thing I do like about myself is how passionate I am about certain things, I take being called a “nerd” as a compliment because honestly, people call you a nerd because you are passionate about something and you aren’t afraid of showing it, right? I am passionate about physics, music, movies, writing and so much more. What is life if there is no passion?
Let’s ask ourselves what Vihanga asks himself, “What is like if there is no passion?

While Vihanga is passionate about “physics, music, movies, writing and so much more”, Amruth is “merely someone who is passionately curious about the secrets and mysteries of the universe”. The universe,“probably covers everything that one could possibly imagine”.

A rebel in a subtle way, Reema refuses to live up to someone else’s expectations of her. “I am not a dreamer because I feel that dreams are only for the sentimental. I am who I am, and I do not bother to live up to the expectations of others because I have been instilled with my own unique set of traits, morals and values from birth.

There were loads of people talking about how positive they were on the inside but let’s face it: none of us are all sunshine and rainbows. We have our own thunderstorms and gloomy skies. Confusions and struggles. What defines S., she says is how she’s made of two sides, one more dominant than the other. She explains one side to her as “The daredevil eternally breaking her boundaries” as opposed to the other that’s “the one who breaks herself rather than boundaries”.
Reflecting her definition was another that I received from N. who included the words “Selfless at times, selfish at times” as part of the definition she gave herself.
Honest to people who are honest with me n deceptive to the ones who try to deceive me” said another.
Or simply, the way Naadirah puts it, “I may be considered rude and selfish, but everyone has flaws.

Maybe you’re the person “who likes the unpredictable” or maybe you’re “everything about books, dogs, family, green tea, vegan, yoga and comfort”. Maybe you’re the guy who said he’s “goal oriented” or the one to claim himself to be an anarchist. Or possibly, you are the guy who’s “sensitive, only when it comes to the people who are really close to [me]”. I don’t know if it’s only me, or did you notice how different we all can be in our own little ways!

Maybe there’s things about yourself you’re afraid to say out loud. Maybe you don’t fit into definitions, maybe you’re not someone I quoted at all, and even though I said I was going to ask a “simple” question I know it wasn’t the simplest question someone could throw at you. Amesha Willarachchi left me with a question herself that we could all ponder upon: “Aren’t we all looking for that answer? Don’t we all do everything we do on a daily basis to find who we really are?

I don’t know who you are, but neither do I know who I am for sure. It’s true we’re all looking for the answer and maybe we’re all confused and lost but what baffled me was just how much truth there was in all the answers. How no two answers were even slightly alike, but somehow they weren’t all that different either. I guess we’re all made of each other: of people, places and things we’ve come to know. You wrote down the words that made you who you are today. You chose to define yourself in all the ways you saw yourself, despite all the things everyone else could say you were. If you haven’t given yourself a definition yet, or if you’re not happy of the words you’ve written (like so many answers confessed) it’s time you pick that pen back up again and redefine yourself.


More than a story

This is for the friend of mine who thought the only reason I listen to him is because his secrets are good foundations for the stories I write.

You were never a page I stopped to read, you weren’t even a book. You were a universe full of secrets that took time to come off in layers in a language I could understand. You weren’t an unwritten line or an unscripted scene off a drama you played King as. Your brother was not actually your brother at all. You were more than a character to me. More. More than a name, more than a mark, more than the delegate they called you to be. And for someone who notices so much, you never noticed this? That I listened to you because the words you said made sense to me, and I heard more pain in those words than the masks you were changing unsure which one suited you best. That I saw you for all you were, and not for the flaws you were made to make the best of you. That you were more than a story, more than a play, more than a conference, more than you itself. I watched you walk over thorns you planted yourself so you could pick the roses to heal your wounds and mend your broken heart. I watched you sew parts of you into place hoping I wouldn’t notice how broken you were. I watched you do all this and more so you would have a shield when I asked you questions you only knew how to duck from. You were afraid… of numbers and of the dark. You were afraid of the truth you promised to tell me each time but run away from. You thought we were made of complete circles when you yourself were never complete to start with. You shadowed your words just like I did mine. You were never a story to me, you didn’t come with a plot- twisted or straight. You weren’t as confident as a hard cover or as fragile as a paperback, you weren’t a novel or words dropping off a mind of a tired writer. You were never a story to me. You were a person.