– The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
It has been years since I’ve last read the book or watched the movie. But that quote is still stuck in my head.
In the story, it was used to explain why the people around Charlie’s (main character) life chose to stay in abusive relationships. Maybe even why Charlie chose to stay in the background instead of living a full life.
People who feel broken tend to gravitate toward broken things. We believed that if we could just fix this one thing – make this one person a bit better – we would feel less broken ourselves.
But more often than not, we end up with more disappointments, crushed souls and bitter hearts.
I, myself, was a victim of this negative mentality.
Most of my life, I felt weird and less of a person just because I don’t think or act the same way as other people. I have been told that I was not normal because of the things that I like and dislike.
So, I walked through life mimicking the people around me. Putting on the façade of “normality”. I tried to do what society dictates a woman of my age and race should do.
I repressed my natural instincts – fought to keep my weirdness inside. But all I ended up with was anxiety, overthinking mind, and lots of sleepless nights.
I couldn’t be what they wanted me to be. So, I decided maybe it’ll be better if I become myself.
But even that backfired on me. I was too different, I had too many things that goes against the grain of normalcy. But I learned how to cope. Slowly, I learned to use my flaws as weapons instead of weakness. I would openly voice out all that was wrong about me, before someone else could use it to hurt me.
Over time, I just accepted that I would always be that “weird girl” no matter where I go. Even if it hurts me, and even if I felt small and unworthy from all of this, I have accepted that this was my reality. I took the burden of everything that was wrong in my life:
- If my parents were disappointed, it was because I couldn’t be a perfect daughter.
- If I lose friends, it was because I was a lousy friend.
- If my relationships failed, it was because I don’t know how to be in a relationship.
I was weird, immature, introverted and weak. And I deserved all the pain and tears I had endured.
At least that was my old mentality.
We do accept the love we think we deserve. But because I thought I didn’t deserve love, I settled for any attention I could get. In the end, all I did was hurt myself more.
It wasn’t until I started therapy that I realized the only person suffocating me was me. It was my own fears of being isolated and cast out that trapped me within my mind.
I saw how people act and feel. I saw that I was different, and judged myself to be the abnormal one. But I am not.
I may be different, but I am no less than a person. I may have a million and one emotions, but it is normal to feel. I may speak and act in a totally different way than what everyone expects, but I am a human being – a functional and complete human being.
I spent so many days and nights trying to fit in with the world, trying to achieve the standards set out by culture and society. But I won’t anymore.
Because for the first time in my life, I finally know what I want. I finally have a goal for my future that was borne from my desires. And even though what I want is different from what was expected of me, I don’t care.
The voices in my head had gone down, and all the “what ifs” were erased. It felt freeing to finally know who I am and what I want to be. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone else because I am not weird, I’m just me.
And these are my realities:
- I am not perfect, but there is nothing wrong with me.
- I know how to love and care, and I deserve to be loved and cared for.
- I am a complete person all by myself, and I don’t need to find completeness in somebody else.
And we all deserve to love ourselves – in our own way and time. We walk on the same earth, but we have different roads and we have to find our own path. We are all deserving of love, happiness and respect.
I am worthy of this life and I deserve to walk this path towards my dream. I deserve to do the things that will make me happy.
Now that I’ve figured these things out, all I have to do is plan how I will reach my goal: to see the world and experience all its wonders!