[By Kyle Iman]
Is it just me, or is the world a bit too ‘normal’ these days?
I used to be very concerned because I would always seem to only make friends and hang out with very particular kinds of personalities. Some of these include the eternally-‘friendzoned’martial arts guys who make lame jokes, the overly-flamboyant performers who make every situation their stage, or the philosophical bookworms who are forever plagued with questions about existentialism and the existence of the Illuminati (if you haven’t had a conversation with one of these, you’re seriously missing out!).
There was some sort of pattern here. For someone who was usually so secure in my own normalcy, I had a knack of attracting the not-so-common types as friends. Then it dawned on me: Maybe I was a ‘weirdo’ as well. I had to be, right? How else would I feel so at home with such a colourful bunch of people? With this newfound knowledge, I began to feel more comfortable with the fact that I chose these people as friends, and I cherished them all the more for it.
However, after long periods of observing people around me (yes, this is something I do a lot), I came to the conclusion that we are all insane, but not all of us are completely honest with our insanities. Everyone has their own brand of crazy, but we try so hard to suppress it that we are driven insane all over again trying to stay sane. If you look hard enough, you’ll come to realise that weird is the new normal; we just have been conditioned to think the exact opposite.
This imaginary closet that we have locked ourselves in is of our own construct, built with the wood of the media and the screws of peer pressure. It is wrong to be an artist, it is wrong to be gay; it is wrong to be this, to be that… It is wrong to be different. And hence we have pushed ourselves further and further into the corner until there is absolutely no space for us to find acceptance, because we cannot even find it within ourselves. Where our uniqueness should be celebrated, it is pummelled into submission because people just do not bother to take the time to understand why we think the way we do.
Remember how frustrated we used to get when we were forced to wear the same uniforms to school? Untucked shirt, wrong. A hairstyle a little on the wild side? Nope. And my personal pet peeve – being told off for wearing the wrong coloured belt. Let’s face it, we hated these rules. So why have we now reintroduced them into our lives by creating all these illusory norms to suppress our differences? Have we grown so insecure with our own insanities that we now feel the need to prevent others from expressing their own colourful personalities?
It is our differences that make us beautiful. The imperfect contours of our personalities are what make us who we are as humans, because otherwise we would all be the same. We were created with different skin colours, languages, interests, and preferences not so that we could champion our superiority over others who are not the same kind as us, but so that we could learn from one another, and make life a little less dull. Truly, the simplest of things can put a smile on your face if you are willing to look hard enough. Look for the rainbow, not the rain clouds, and see how much your life improves just from doing that.
So now I am here to say that it is okay to be wild every now and then. It is okay to dye your hair a crazy colour (or colours), because you feel like it. It is okay to ask that girl or guy out and spend the night enjoying deep conversations about life over green tea latte and Ed Sheeran on repeat, because you feel like it. It is okay to randomly break into song when you’re with your friends, because you feel like it. It is okay to be different, because you feel like it. As long as you know you’re bringing happiness to yourself and others, do it, and do it with your heart. Do it because you feel like it. Spark your insanity and light up the world.