The Burden of Idealism

It was late at night and the sector had gone to sleep. The shops were closed and the only sound that punctuated my inchoate thoughts was that of typing on my keyboard. My friend was having trouble with a software. Both of us had been up with the lark and had worked through the day that resembled furious burrowing. For her, the day should have ended with a dance party. For me, it should have ended with writing. I offered help, she refused it. She pushed me away to go to sleep. I had been working too hard and too long, she said. I egged her to let me take up her share of work. She needed to take time off to go dance, I said. The day ended with our tired selves giving up, and neither did she go dance nor did I write.

At the start of the day, I had a handle on my day and everything was going according to plan. I had a plan, alright. Work was on track, the clock was ticking on my side, and yes, I even understood the pages of A Clockwork Orange that I read. And then suddenly, a curveball came from nowhere throwing everything out of accord. I had no idea what was going on. I have no experience in playing ball. I don’t know how. I also don’t know if what I did was acceptable. I had to get out of there, alive. And while I lived I needed to have some self-respect that I lived it well.

I created a character that says “Life is like a Sine Wave. Sometimes up, and sometimes down.” But I don’t think she knows what that really means. No one knows what “down” really means. Even I don’t. Because when that curveball comes and hits you in the face, you’re not sure which way to go. Yes, I have spent a major part of this year learning how to be efficient, kinder, positive, an achiever, and myself. I have had to re-learn how to be myself. Am I a dreamer? Am I a dreamer who does? Am I supposed to call people? Will that be okay, or does that make me too needy? Am i supposed to ask for what is my right? Or does that make me too arrogant? Am I supposed to “expect” my friends to be there for me? (This one is really tough. I still don’t know the answer.) Am I supposed to mask all my fears? Am I supposed to hide my vulnerabilities? Or is it okay if I confide in someone that I am scared? Is it socially acceptable to not know how to be a strong person? Is it okay to say that I am tired? Or not? Will someone love me with my fractures? Or no?

Or am I supposed to be that girl who has everything in order? Am I supposed to have planned my vacation to the t? Should I know how to politely disagree? Should I not laugh too loudly? Should I be that person who never says a word out of line? Should I not ask for what I want because why should I? Should I never be a bad version of myself? Should I never fall from grace? Should I pretend to like people even if I don’t? Should I hide excessive feelings? Should I not tell someone that I like them because they would run away from me thinking that I am getting too close for comfort? Should I be an ideal person?

All this gets compounded when I am at the end of a day which had everything going for me and then it suddenly crashed all the way to the gutter. I think this can be extrapolated to life as well. How do you deal with that “down”? You had everything going for you, and then poof. Everything got turned into ash. Was I too needy? Was I not strong? Was I insecure? Was I falling?

Maybe, I was. But, so what? Isn’t there room for my failings?

Yes, I am imperfect. I am insecure, and my self-worth is not at its zenith. I get scared. I am not very efficient. I am jealous. I like people, but I also don’t like some. I have a dark side. I have demons. But I constantly try to be better. Yesterday, I tried to be better than the day before, and up until a point I did well after which I failed. So, yes, I fail.

And I cry.

Is there no room for me?

4 thoughts on “The Burden of Idealism

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  1. I read your post, and could not leave without commenting.

    You’re young, and it matters what others think of you. Once you grow up, you’ll realize that best way to live is to measure life (and happiness/success) with your own yardstick – not with the one you borrowed from friends.

    “Yes, I am imperfect. I am insecure, and my self-worth is not at its zenith.”…
    Option 1: In 5-10 years you will realize that fair/dark doesn’t matter in the long run, and look back at your youth and think what an awful lot of time you wasted thinking about it.
    Option 2: Just accept the way you are, go out, be happy, and think of better things in life… and not waste your prime.

    If you’re sad becase you’re “darker” – just remember there are 30% of this world who do not get basic food, shelter and there are umpteen familier torn apart by wars. You are much better off – I am sure. (the fact that you have the time and resource to blog).

    Be proud of what you are

    Well wisher


    1. Thank you for commenting, well wisher.

      I didn’t intend this to be a post that came across as an issue about my complexion. If it seems so, I must apologize and make necessary edits. I have never been insecure about my colour. The example was to imply that not only adults want everything to be perfect, even children do.

      This post was to impress upon the point that we’re so used to living in a world that caters to all our needs, we tend to forget not everyone can be everything. That’s what I mean by being imperfect. I’m not everything that an ideal person should be.

      Thank you for kind words and advice. 😀


  2. Sameen, you’ve raised some really important questions that I’ve been struggling with too, and reading your post has made me realize part of the answer to those questions, so thank you for that.

    Like you, this year (only 4 months into it and yet, so much has happened!) has been a huge lesson for me. Like you, I’ve been learning to be a better me and as I write this, I realize that there is no absolute better me, so I guess I’m trying to be what I think is a better me.

    Also, I have realized that we try our best to understand things, but we are limited by our experiences. It’s not like those fair-skinned girls didn’t have any room for you, they did. The problem is that they saw what they did as an innocent and perhaps even friendly way of interacting with you. So, I guess the only way to set things right is to talk and let them know that you’re not comfortable. And if you were not uncomfortable then, but only realize now how they treated you, I would say that you should not color your old memories with new understanding.

    Perfection and beauty are all relative terms. In fact more comparisons are relative and inherently subjective, so you shouldn’t be affected by them. I know it’s easy to say, but then that really helps when you realize it.

    Lastly, there’s always room for you. And you do have beautiful eyes.


    1. Thank you, Aamil.

      Just like the well-wisher above, I also want to tell you that this post was not about skin colour. And so, I have made the necessary edits. That part was just to show, how, as kids also we want everything thay is ideal. and it starts young. But since it doesn’t come across as that way, I have had to edit it. However, thank you for the compliment about my eyes. 🙂

      I think all of us have to acknowledge that we’re going to fall and that’s okay. The pursuit for a perfect person, life, house, marriage is futile. They don’t exist and it adds unnecessary pressure on us as people. We need space to fall just like we need space to stand up.

      It’s all a part of the game.


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