Would you imagine that? Today’s prompt and yesterday perfectly summarize the past few days.
I am not a fake.
It took me a very long time to finally accept that the aforementioned statement was a lie. For years, I have been telling others, in hopes that it would resonate within me: I am not a fake. I am a very transparent person. I show anger when I am angry and smile when I am happy.
This is not the case.
Those who see me from afar, would describe me as “extrovert”, “outspoken”, and “loud”. But contrary to popular opinion, I am not. Sure, I mingle and I laugh, and giggle and you can most certainly not feel out of place when you bring me to your social gatherings, but I am not that. I am, actually, a very shy person. I like crowds not because I find the noise very comforting or that I love the attention, but because I can hide in it. I enjoy people’s company but an evening with just one person, or even alone, is enough to make my day. I like it just like that. DO not ask me why. A professor, in this semester, lectured for half an hour after I introduced myself as follows, “Hi! My name is M… and I am currently a fourth year BS Accounting Technology student. I love rock music, books, and I am nothing but a painstakingly average person compared to those before me (I was referring to those who introduced themselves first). She seemed to take the remark too seriously and lectured us about how we should all be so proud of ourselves. That we are not ‘nothing’ and that we are always more than what we think we are. Blah. Blah. Blah. I did not listen. I know that! And, I am not that! I tell myself! But the truth is, I am often not sure. I struggle with the fact that I seem to not know myself at certain days in my life. I see myself in others too often that I forget who I really am inside. I have been hiding in a mask for so long, I forgot to take it off.
You’re scared to tell Pia you love her, so you pretend you do not! – Farhan Qureshi, 3 Idiots
Deception is something people cannot live without. We have been programmed to be something. Our gender, sexuality, personal opinions, and beliefs, though we think are our own, in truth has been planted to us by none other than the society. Think about it. Who told you the concept about respect? How did you come to learn it? Who taught you to be on prompt? Cordial? Pleasing? Whether taught to you by your parents or whether learned in school, these values were inculcated to you by teachers with the added value that if you are “this” you are a very good and admirable citizen of the world. That if you say “po” and “opo” (A Filipino greeting of respect) you are a respectful person. That if you show up on time, you are a responsible one, too. Ever since we were kids, we have been taught to act accordingly and be proper for society to not “judge” us. This very concept of right and wrong is our dilemma. This will lead to pretention; fear; and complex rationalization of obvious mistakes.
I am pretentious. I am scared of what others might think of me, so I pretend.
I am scared my peers will think less of me when they know I drink, so I pretend I do not.
I scared my family will judge me if they know I like cheesy films, so I pretend I do not.
Friendship, for one, faces these dilemmas. Friends often get caught in the web of responsibility … they lie just to make their friend feel better. But wouldn’t it be better to just tell the whole truth?
Wouldn’t it be better to just go out there and tell your friend, “Hey, that tie is hideous. Take it off.” As opposed to, “It suits you. They look at you because you are handsome in that tie.” We live in a world where pretentions exist and are necessary for survival. Why? Primal fear.
We fear judgment so we pretend we want nothing.
We fear death so we pretend it does not exist.
We fear rejection so we pretend we do not desire anything.
But the truth is, I want something. I know death will soon come and take me when I least expect it, and desire something. I am afraid, and so I pretend.
Everything starts with a lie, this is my dilemma.
Maybe this lie will be the longest lie I can possibly upturn.