Tuesday, October 13, 2009

do not mind


When the daylight crept into the window, Arlette bid good day to the morning. Arlette loved her Saturdays, it was time to catch up with friends, read, laze and waste away the day. She reached out for her laptop and settled it in her arm's good grace.

She logged in to a familiar social networking site and saw familiar faces. The girl who took self-portraits of herself, looking pretty and mean, with the caption "I don't care what you think or say about me, I'm beautiful." The self-proclaimed narcissist. The oxymoron. Gosh, why would she even bother taking countless pictures with the same pose if she didn't care what others thought about her.

Arlette looked further into the girl's profile. She read that the girl had her similar interests and like a smack on the head, Arlette realized that she was almost a carbon copy of that girl. The same books, the same music, the same movies.

These were the things that Arlette would talk about whenever she had conversations with someone. She had calculated thoughts and dignified opinions on these matters, enough to convince people that she was worthy of something she wasn't so sure of. They gave her a sense of who she is.

But which came first? Did she identify with these things or did she gain identity from these things?

She was disturbed not because someone shared her same social portfolio, but because she had loaned an identity from her thoughts and opinions about these movies, music and books. Arlette knew she was not her mind nor her heart but more like a conscious soul who had been sleeping for too long.

Arlette understood that humans, like products, have shelf lives. We were manufactured from the same template, varying only in expiration date and production mistakes. Given that the majority of us meet our basic needs, we have the luxury to fight to be different. So, we fight but when it all falls down, we're generally the same.

Hence, the difference we make in our lives is not how we disguise in our likes and dislikes, but it is the strength we find to deal with our production mistakes, our imperfections. She cheekily looked for an old awful photograph of herself and replaced her avatar, as if signifying she was way okay to go head to head with her weaknesses. Arlette smiled in acknowledgement of her many imperfections, knowing it would take a while to get there but this was a good beginning.

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