YOU WHO FOCUS ON FIFTEEN-SIXTEENTHS OF A MAN.

So, it is no secret I love comedy series. There is this comedy TV series titled “Happy Endings.” I think I mostly like it because it is such a simple show. You know, you don’t have to think when watching it. It is not like The Big Bang Theory where they are always talking about a scientific concept, or Two and a Half Men where everything had sexual innuendo. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chuck Lorre. He is a comedic genius. But if you ever need to just sit, stare at your screen and get entertained, Happy Endings is the series to watch. So one of the characters, Dave, in this series discovers he is one-sixteenth Navajo (a Native American tribe). in one episode, the characters are having an all American thanksgiving. So Dave decides to integrate the Navajo culture to this thanksgiving. How? By adding clams to the menu. So he sets to go get clams but he is a very gullible person so he ends up losing his car and all his money before he even gets to the store. So when he finally gets to the store, seeing as he has no conventional form of currency, he has to appeal to the store keeper’s emotions by getting into how his people (the Navajos) had to endure all types of tribulations just to get to the first thanksgiving. But the storekeeper is really confused, like, “You’re white.” To which Dave replies, “you who focus on fifteen-sixteenths of a man.” I don’t know why, but that statement has stuck with me.

So I have been a little ticked off lately. Why? First, I am suffering from an acute shortage of hard copy material to read. Because yeah, I am one of those people who still prefer physical books. There is something about turning actual, tangible pages that is just immensely therapeutic. I like to think of it as a metaphor of sorts. A sense of closure, if you may. Plus I also feel like downloading books in a sense just compromises the material, not to mention illegal most of the time. Second, I have been forced to rely on blogs and Instagram captions for my reading material. I mean I love reading people’s blogs. I have to, especially since I need you guys to love reading my blog. But I just miss books. Plus, I feel like the universe has been aligning a series of slightly annoying posts for me to find. Get this, over the last few days, I have run into a lot of pasts and articles referencing Jhene Aiko’s line in Post To be, “you gotta eat the booty like groceries.” What annoys me about this is most of this people probably haven’t listened to any other of Jhene Aiko’s songs. Because if they have, they would know there is a lot more to her music than “eating the booty like groceries.” And I guess it just bugs me that she has been singing about peace and love and souls and weed for years only for her most famous line to be “you gotta eat the booty like groceries.” Because if you ask me, she is the very definition of soul. And I realize Adele just made the world emotionally unstable. But I also know it is one thing to appeal to people’s emotions and another to appeal to someone’s individuality, their spirituality, who they are as a person. And I feel like Jhene Aiko does that. She is like a singing Kendrick Lamar.

So why am I bringing this up now? It is the holidays and a lot of us are home. And maybe it is just me, but home is a little boxing. Sure, for the first few days it is fun and nostalgic and comfortable. But after a few days, you have done all the catching up you needed to do and all the excitement sort of just dies down. It is especially harder for me because I grew up a quiet withdrawn kid. And overtime, I think my family mistook that for a shy, weak personality. And maybe I was. But I have grown up and I think I can say I am very opinionated and I feel very strongly about things. I am not particularly shy, I just like keeping to myself. I don’t have a weak personality. If you ask me, I have a strong personality in my own way, it is just not loud and in your face. So every time I come home, I feel like my family expects me to fit into this image they have of me in their head. I think they expect me to be the person they think they know. And that is mind-numbingly exasperating and somewhat hurtful. And so my point is, human beings are complex and layered. There is so much to people that what we used to know about them. And I think the world, or at least this coming year, would be slightly better if we understood that. If we made an active effort to understand people, not as what we want them to be, but as who they really are, who they are becoming.

Being Twenty

Can I just say, I did not look forward to turning twenty. I mean, as long as I had “teen” in my age’s spelling, I had the right to feel like someone’s baby. which I guess was somewhat comforting because I have never really felt like anyone’s baby. The thought of turning twenty gave me anxiety, butterflies in my stomach, not the beautiful kind. I wanted to throw up just thinking about it. why? Maybe it is because of how old twenty feels. Or maybe it is because of how I have been conditioned to think that I had to get my life together in my twenties. Basically, turning twenty came with so much pressure and for someone who trips while wearing flat shoes at least thrice in a day, turning twenty just didn’t settle nicely with me. The only good thing about turning twenty was that it gave me an excuse to spend money I didn’t have and perhaps write about how uneasy I was. But that was eight months ago. Anyway, I finally got down to it.

Being twenty has been the most beautiful tragedy of my life. As Taylor Swift put it, “we are happy, free,confused and lonely in the best ways. It’s miserable and magical.” Miserable and magical. I cannot think of a more accurate description for these past eight months. Let’s start with the magical bits. While I haven’t had anything grand happen, I have heard many little triumphs and special moments. Like amazing conversations with strangers on Instagram and rib cracking comedy series. And I realize it is a little sad that these are the things I find special. Yeah, my life sucks like that. But really, this is the year that I have learnt to love my own company and even more importantly, my relationship with my best friend has just gotten to another level. You know it is no longer a teenage-go-to-the-movies-do-stupid-things-kind of friendship. It is more of a conscious understanding that life is getting hard and I may not be able to see you as often as I would like to, but it doesn’t matter from which galaxy you are, I am going to be here just loving and supporting the crap out of you. And life could not have given me a better idiot to suffer through life with. And for that, twenty has been magical.

But it has also been miserable. For starters, it is the year I have second guessed everything right from the size of my breasts to my career options. We are raised a certain way, made to believe certain things are important, others irrelevant. We are expected to get certain grades, attend certain schools, take certain courses. We are taught to love and admire certain people, distance ourselves from others. But this is the year all that has been jumbled up. This is the year I have learnt that there is so much more to people than what our parents think of them, their sexual orientation, their bad habits and addictions. This is the year I have learnt that just because someone loves you, it doesn’t mean they know what is best for you. This is the year I have made some painful realizations like just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you have to be in good terms with them. I have learnt to be rational and make decisions with my head and stick by them no matter how many nights i cry over those decisions. It is the year I have learnt to fight for what i want. to say no mean it even if I feel guilty about it. I have learnt to be a little selfish and put myself first. I have learnt that just because I like a guy doesn’t mean I have to be with them. If they are bad for me, I have to find a way to get over them. I could go on and on. but my point is, while these things seem like good things, the process of learning these lessons was pure and utter misery.

But I do no want to bore you with lessons. Because as I said I haven’t enjoyed learning these lessons. What I enjoyed however as the illusion that turning twenty would change my fortunes. I thought twenty was the year i would get to do something more with my writing. Something more than just posting my somewhat uncensored thoughts on a blog. I thought it was the year I’d learn to love the course I take in school. And on nights more delusional than others, I thought I was the year I got a boyfriend. Scratch that. Let’s call it present admirer. Let me explain that. I am not really into this thing people do and call relationships. Because everything is way too casual. And I have accepted that I won’t find the relationship I want from a college boy. because I want consistency and assurance and friendship. I want a guy who wants to hear my thoughts and basically just love me for my intelligence above anything else. So no, I didn’t really want a boyfriend, but I wanted to feel wanted. I wanted at the very least, someone to ferociously hit on me. Someone to make saying no, a little hard. But instead I got perverts on the street crudely telling me I have nice breasts, I got random waiters telling me I have kissable lips, I got chauvinists telling me I’m too intimidating as a woman, I got acquaintances telling me I have a scary aura and strangers telling me I have piercing eyes.

So while I expected so much out of twenty, all i became was a woman wishing I had smaller breasts, a woman scared to put on lipstick a woman scared to wear feminine clothes. Twenty in a way has made me want to disappear. Because somewhere along these eight months, a thought has managed to creep and settle at the back of my mind, slowly growing into an insecurity; that maybe I’m not that good a writer, that bright a student or that attractive a woman. That perhaps after all, I am just as average as everyone else. But maybe that is the beauty of being twenty. I will probably cry myself to sleep today, but I might wake up with vigour and an incredible love of life tomorrow. Maybe.