#5 Even After All This Time

Hey there,


This one is about duality.


I was a cocky, tomboyish teenager who had just been admitted to a very reputable high school. And to bid farewell to my friends, I decided to have them leave me messages in a scrapbook (Instagram wasn’t thing and scrapbooks were in style back in 2005).


The egomaniac I was, I wanted them to write about me rather than me leaving letters or comments for them. This was my indirect way of conveying the very blatant message - they were losing me, not the other way around since I was headed to a much better place.


Goodbyes had always been easy for me, courtesy of the regular change in schools over the course of my education. I had this very false belief that nothing affected me. I didn't like boys (I was too mannish to accept otherwise), so I didn't seek their approval. It was also because of the constant inflow of attention I received from my involvement in sports. Well, narcissism and unawareness do go hand in hand. It was the perfect combination that had me floating in my own little paradise for quite some time. But, with every rise, there’s always a fall. And it was a bad one. That scrapbook gave me the necessary reality check I needed.


Amidst the big basket of very generous words, I had found the bad apple. A boy had written, “You have very beautiful eyes but you’ve got a little mustache growing.” Well, I can say with great confidence that the statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Why with such great confidence? I still have that scrapbook.


Half that line was a compliment but I couldn’t focus much on it… my confidence had been shattered and now that I look back, it was all really trivial. But that one tiny, insignificant detail brought out the insecurity I was masking so well up until that time.


I didn't know what duality meant until that very moment… well not that moment, I went home and researched about it. Sadly, the 15-year-old me didn’t know how to handle that. I decided to go into my dad’s bathroom, get his razor and shave it. I eventually cut myself… didn’t realise how sharp razors would be.


On that day, I confronted my own duality. I realised that my strong, assured self was created to protect my vulnerable, insecure self and let me tell you, for a 15-year-old, that was a lot of thinking to do!


I’ve learnt two things over time - to accept the real me and to have an injury-free experience with a razor.

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