Jokes apart, the following is a topic that's been in my mind for quite some time, and (wonder of wonders), a pet peeve, something which PA has been nagging all along since....hmmm....hmmm...for almost two years now! Auuunnnnd the topic is - I don't hang out with people. I don't call up people. I don't interact with people. Given a book (and a laptop with Internet), I prefer to be by myself. Why? Given this soul-searching nature of the question, I had to dug into my depths of my memory to come up with a suitable explanation. I was such friendly soul in the past. But now, I've become such a notoriously selective person, so much that I prefer being alone rather than being with people who are a pain to be with. It's not that I don't hang out with friends. It's just that.... I like being alone. But then again, I like being alone. To the point of secluding myself. So..... what made me such an introvert? PA, this post is for you (and all those people who've foolishly ventured out to pop this question to me), and the whole world is out to witness my explanation....and my wrath.
- Expl 1: I was nerd. A geek. During my college days, my geekiness (and gawkiness) was predominant in the way I dressed (ack....was it me?), spoke, and I guess, every aspect of my character. And I only came to know of this 'little thing' when the boyfriend of my friend (who's no longer a friend) revealed this truly revealing thought- "She is such a specimen." Ahem....ladies and gentlemen (I hope), that 'she' is none other than yours truly and imagine the distress she felt when she was addressed a specimen! (Not good for her image at all!). And to think that I actually cried over it! All names under the sun....to me!
- Expl 2: Thanks to my.... err...'image', I was shunned by most of my collegians. Hence, the uppermost feeling during those days was a craving for acceptance. By peers. By friends. But most were too smart for their age: here I was, the loner who dressed badly. Imagine what would happen to your image if you hang out with me, this....this geeky specimen (hah!). The implications were too scary to imagine....... I guess. Between a geek and your friends, whom would you choose? Geek lost round 2 , and was condemned to remain alone for the rest of her term.
- Expl 3: Public image is a very powerful thing. And more than the individual, this image is more or less fueled by the society, by people talking behind your back. And the more 'powerful' and 'influential' they are, the more you are screwed! Even if I was a friendly albeit badly dressed, geeky soul, people were simply not ready to 'invest' their time, energy and emotion in me because......I was simply not worth it. Most of the times, I was excluded out of that 'elite' group of people invited to a party, get-together, a trek simply because I wasn't accepted by the rule-makers of that group. Or somebody had an axe to grind with me. And even though I was apparently a your friendly neighborhood girl to hang out with alone, the helpful classmate who lends her notes to you, the kind girl who listens to your cribs about life (and boys), I .....was not 'classy' enough to be invited to your party.
I learnt one of the most important lessons in my life - it's easier to simply venture out and identify your friends rather than penetrate a judgmental clique. Nobody has the guts to speak up for you since they themselves want to be accepted (this is the best explanation I could come up with). If there's something called hope, you'll find people who accept you, and even if that number's pretty small compared to the phenomenal number of the 'accepted' group, you'll be happy being yourself with the former.
Past is history. But sometimes, history has a weird way of repeating itself. And I am very averse to be caught in that loop. I give too much credit....to myself! I am smart. Talented. I write well. I can express my thoughts fluently. I dress well. I look...and feel good. I am on my way to pursue my career ambitions. I am loved and accepted by all those who matter most in my life. The prejudiced rest are simply not worth my time.
And this, my friends, remains the fundamental truth of my life.