I hate the word define.
To me, the word ‘define’ is as good as a full stop.
And when people ask me, how would you define yourself?
I won’t even go so much as to think of an answer for them.
Because indirectly, I am being asked to stereotype myself.
They want to cast me as a character and judge me based on it.
A tomboy, a heterosexual, a bisexual, a loner, a socialite, a nerd, a rebel, a know it all, a bully and I could go on.
Now they will decide for themselves if I am confident or conservative or shy or girly or popular or sporty or boring.
And there is my definition. That is what now defines me.
Because I come across as a “nerd”, I am boring. Because people think I am a “socialite”, I am confident.
An amalgamation of a tag put on me and a hasty judgment made by someone else.
Sometimes, these definitions aren’t wrong and they may summarise who you are,
Can you really define a book by its’ summary?
I would say that is the biggest disrespect you could give it, even more than judging it by its cover.
Our life, just as any book, has,
Double meanings, deeper messages, a much larger picture that is waiting to be interpreted.
By defining ourselves today, we are putting a lock on that book.
You do so by saying something as simple as,
“Have you seen me, I would never wear that”
“Do you think someone like me would ever do something like that?”
You might genuinely dislike doing or wearing certain things,
But it is possible that you have conditioned yourself to these likes and dislikes.
You have grown up with a certain image of yourself in your head,
Almost like creating a definition of yourself,
And then manicuring your life to fit that definition.
We don’t realize it, because the picture we create of ourselves,
What is expected of us or what we desire to be.
But either way,
We are putting a barricade,
Cutting our journey short.
We blame stereotypes on society,
we say: It is our society that has shaped us this way,
when in reality, we are to blame for them.
Society may have handed them to us,
But we fall victim to them all on our own.
We use them to make life less complicated,
To take the short cut.
I would say, we have gone into a rut.
A rut of allowing “society” to command our life,
And I think it Is time we change the gears.
Put the command back in our hands.
For that, we need to realize,
That with every passing day,
We discover something new about ourselves,
A new like, new dislike; a new mood, new habit.
And when we discover something new,
it may not always go hand in hand with ‘society’s checklist’.
And we need to remind ourselves that, that is okay.
That this new person you have discovered is going to stand out,
is going to be that one bright color, amongst the black and white of stereotypes.
So at no point will I accessorize myself with something as permanent as a definition, rather a full stop.
There will be no full stop,
Not to my looks, my weight, my emotions, my feelings, my personality, my life.
I will only move forward, in the direction I want to
If I want to be a girl who has a crew cut, I will.
If you are a boy who wears jewelry or prefers waxing for that matter, then own it.
Don’t bury your true self under some meaningless definition created for you.
Be your own person.
And most importantly,
Respect the people who have the courage to accept themselves.
Who have touched the true part of themselves,
Instead of mocking or judging them,
because suddenly they don’t fit that particular image in your head.
Allow yourself to grow as far as you want.
Don’t let yourself or anyone limit your potential
By putting a tag on you,
That you now feel obligated to carry along.
Because no obligation is a right one.
I hear these words very often from a friend,
“You do you.”
I say, live by it.