>It’s different


I don’t think I’ve ever really discussed why being me isn’t easy. Because the answer is a cliche – the answer is that I’m different. Yes, like every new flick, every new idea, every new person in your life, I’m different. But always only relatively. I think it’s just about being me in the world that I live in. There must be, I’m sure, plenty of people like me in this world, but they aren’t the people I spend my life with. The people I spend my life with, I’m not like them. And when I come across those who don’t make me feel like the outsider in my own life, I know I’m not an aberration. For the rest of the time, I am just trying to be me, because by some mutation of my parents’ DNA, I cannot live like I am another person, inherently incapable of doing that.

The Guy and I, for all our love and years of being together, are as different as chalk and cheese, not perhaps in values and beliefs as much as our likes and dislikes. If I want to watch a play, he’s going to fall asleep 10 minutes into it. If I want to play scrabble, he’s going to want to watch TV. If he wants to watch cricket, I’m going to read a book. We celebrate our differences, most of the time we do, but sometimes I just want company to do a thing I want to do. Sometimes,  I just want him to go on a walk with me, order veg fare when we go out to eat. Sometimes, it’s not fun to have someone do something for you just because you want them to, and not because their heart is in it as much as your’s. You know what I mean?

At work, it’s not too different. I sometimes feel like a one-man army, trying to juggle ten tasks at the same time, while some of my colleagues are struggling through their first. They’re looking for friendships and alliances at work, and I’m looking for work. And that’s how everyone was in my Delhi office, which I took to like fish to water. People came to office, did heap loads of work, shared a laugh, a lunch, a cab and went home, without any fuss. And now that’s what makes me different from others in my work space!

I want to be me, but I don’t want to be the only one like me in my environment. I live in a family, which is very nice, but I share very little with them in common. It’s our priorities, our attitudes, our problem-solving mechanism, our survival mechanism, everything that’s totally divergent. Not that anyone stops me from doing what I want to, or being who I am, but it’s not always easy to keep going against the grain, to hold your belief strong in your heart even if everyone around you has no faith in it, and then to keep that faith intact. I wish so much that we could just agree on things not for each other’s sake, but because in our heart of hearts we do. This constant negotiation for our spaces, albeit peaceful, drains my energy, and sometimes what’s left inside of you at the end of it is just this burden of restless energy. It’s not the energy that lets you be you. On the contrary, it takes away from it, altering you in small but irreversible ways.

And then, I wish that like so many other people, I could stop being myself. That would be so much easier.


18 responses »

  1. >It was like reading about my own self in your words. I am married into a family which is as different from me as different could be. The husband and I are just the way you described your differences with the guy. But then, D, these differnces are what makes you love yourself for what you are. How much of a reflection of ourselves would we like to see around?

  2. >So, so, so true! So beautifully said. At times, this whole balancing thing become too tough. And, sometimes I feel why only me so different frm others, wen 90% of people seem like grains of the same sack. Vry nice post.

  3. >@Prats: Right :)@Proof: Wow! That's quite an unexpected response for such a post.@sscribbles: I know what you're saying, but sometimes, just once in a while, doesn't it get tiring?@Deepti: Thank you. I know everyone is different, but a few people like me around me won't do no harm.

  4. >and thats why we need friends!like-minded friends with whom we share *taste* , *activities* , *opinions* etc..believe me even I thought I was slotted all wrong for a major part of my life. But then God got really kind to me and made me meet sooo many *similar* people!I know am different than a lot many people around and yet I have found similarly-different people too!If you are really stuck at this and wish to solve can suggest some stuff. Being a fellow aries I guess I do understand it a little 🙂

  5. >@Soulmate: :)@mepretentious: I think that too. I read somewhere that you should not look for everything in one person – as in your emotional and intellectual needs could be met by different people. And I'm open to that. But right now, I wish there were more people of the kind I am around me. Pls suggest the stuff.

  6. >I hear you D! At times its just tiring to maintain your individuality, you feel like just giving in, and being a part of the crowd, just to make it easier, but then it just gets frustrating mentally. Been there D. I even changed myself for a few years, trying to fit in, did not work, just made a frustrated nut out of me. Hang in there girl, all the best. 🙂

  7. >By the way just to discover yourself more, have a read at this, and it might answer your questions regarding being different, some personality types are just much rarer than the rest. As for me, I am the rarest there is!! Solved a lot of questions for me, this thing.

  8. >How true. Resonated with me in more than one way. Trying to balance two acts in the process of making everyone happy despite yourself, is not worth it in the long run. I used to be a very diplomatic, politically correct person. Making friends with people i didn't want to be friends with, just to break ice at work place, doing things together at lunch etc. after a bit, it started getting to me. Its best you stick to being yourself . I think that gives out the right vibes and gives everyone an idea of the kind of person you are. Nothing like being yourself, D. Loved this post.

  9. >@Goofy: The problem with me is that I cannot seem to change myself beyond a point. And I wish I could, just to make things easier! Hopping over to read about the Keirsey Temperament Sorter@Myworld: Ok, thanks.@KG: What if I'm just not a nice person and everyone else is? Can I still be me?

  10. >This post reminded me of a post you wrote long ago – about being called by your name amongst other things… and that post had ended with they letting you be 'you'. Being different is fine, being what you are not is not. I too could never be happy not being myself.

  11. >Do you know why should being around "different" people seems a "drain on your mental energy reserves"? It is because your brain and neural connections have to work extra hard to process new information, ideas and beliefs :-)Actually this process enriches your brain and personality; on the other hand, being amongst a close knit clique of similar minded friends and relatives most of the time would narrow your vision and thinking and would only reinforce pre-existing ideas and stereotypes, even though it may be "easy" and "comfortable". I personally love and appreciate differences in people; differences in opinions, beliefs, tastes, ways of doing thigs, hobbies etc.. That's what enriches life and brings fresh and new perspectives, doesn't it? You grow richer and wiser 🙂 So what if your brain has to work a bit extra hard? Exercise is good for the brain..And don't worry about losing "yourself" in trying to adjust to the differences; you actually enhance your "self" and personality when you deal with differences! You don't have to "adjust" to feel comfortable; you pick and choose and enrich yourself with positives (and reject negatives) as you go on experiencing different "differences". Just "free your mind" and "take it easy" !! 🙂

  12. >@IHM: Yes, there was that post 🙂 But that was about identity, this is about being me without having to assert my identity. Yes, you're right, it's better to be different than to be fake. @Ayan Roy: I get your point, but I'm assuming that as a man, you don't have to live with people who aren't like you and call them family… I love and celebrate differences too, all my friends are not really like me. But living with people with whom you're constantly trying to understand things isn't very appealing. And I'm sure they'd say the same too. Also, like I said, just sometimes, the operative word here is 'sometimes', I wish I could have it easier and do away with those differences.@Shweta: Thank you, that's a really sweet compliment!

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