Dirty Socks and Confrontations

We like to run away from things that threaten us. Our first animal instinct. These threatening things can either be tangible, like someone coming towards you with a saw or intangible, like when someone’s words tend to break your heart, for those of you mere mortals who still have one, that is.

Just like dirty socks, you prefer to throw away these situations in a dark corner of your room and not face them till the mound grows to such an extent that it topples over. But that’s the thing with confrontations, they never really go away unless you do something about them. Unless you physically pick up that sock and place it in the laundry bag. Or you could rely on some other  “pretty” analogy to help to understand, because I won’t sugar coat it for you.

Confrontations are best served raw.

The more you try to embellish or avoid them, you’re just complicating things for yourself. Bad news is easy to avoid but hard to face, because even though we all pretend to be realistic in life, deep down we’re all idealists (one or another), who occasionally compromise on their values because we’re too afraid. Bravery is one of those things that can be idealized endlessly but is difficult to implement in the real world.

But then again, the real world isn’t meant to be a suitable place for idealists.

Like the cracks in glass that eventually cause it to shatter, lack of confrontations shatters many things, such as trust, relationships, practical life matters, you name it. It’s always hard coming to terms with confrontational situations, but you have to if you don’t want a life of regrets and constant self torture. Just get it over with and deal with the consequences. Human beings are surprisingly resilient creatures.

It’s basically like when you jump off a diving board  and there’s this moment of pure apprehension when you don’t know what will happen next. So do it, confront matters and sweep them out from under the carpet. Wash your dirty socks, work things out in your laundry and life in general because you’ve had enough of this stabbing guilt, and you deserve clean socks too (let’s be real for once). Oh, and the feeling of exhilaration and relief after confrontations isn’t so bad either.

The Fate of Oppressors

It’s funny how dictators and other oppressors think they can simply kill or hurt all those who differ from them. Come to think of it, killing people is all they all do. Makes you feel sorry for them, to be honest. That’s because it is literally all they can do. Nothing more.

So powerless.

These oppressors can’t defeat the purpose or the impact of those they thought to be so revolutionary that they must be wiped off from the face of the earth. They’re just like a child eating bon bons. He can continuously  unwrap the them and eat them in the process but he can’t do anything if the chocolate stains his shirt and is absolutely helpless in determining the composition of the bon bons. The chocolate may be gone but the wrapper will still remain and there’s nothing he can do about it, except throw it away. But just because you throw something away, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist anymore. This is the same with dictators who don’t like to reveal their true disruptive nature because they are afraid of pointing fingers.

Too bold to commit murder but too cowardly to accept it.

How consistent.

In the end, this is what they must resort to. Torture and murder. Perhaps they think that they are setting a precedent for all those who dare to oppose them but look at all the cruel precedents set by the dictators in history. Even if they were effective, it was only for a brief period of time. Because how many people can you kill and torture? The entire human race, maybe? But then again, you oppressors would be left alone and will probably end up getting the homo sapiens specie extinct. But you don’t really care about the future generation do you? If you did, you wouldn’t demean yourself like this and wouldn’t set such a pitiful and cruel example for them. Perhaps you want them to be as ruthless as you are. Fine then. They’ll end up becoming so ruthless that they won’t even come to your grave or pray for you or even mention you with pride. They’ll  end up spitting out your name and ridiculing you if they don’t curse you first.

Perhaps this is the legacy you want to leave behind, and rightly so. You deserve it.

You see, all those activities you so carefully designed to empower yourself and to wipe out revolutionary ideas, it is you will end up getting hurt and wiped out at the end. Think of it as the domino effect, you disturbed them and now you’ll have to face the consequences. And you will, inevitably.

Karma is not as mythical as it seems.

No matter how much you try to deny it or run away from it. Because even though revolutionaries can be oppressed, you can’t suppress revolution. The world is not formed by mere human bodies but by ideals, beliefs, values, and morals of different people from different regions. And if you’re practical about it, you can’t “kill” ideas. So if you think you can do “anything” and kill whomever, then think again, because that’s just an illusion.

It’s interesting how the intangible things make the world go round. The invisible attraction between the Sun and Earth, the invisible supremacist ideals and values you hold so close to your heart yet you claim that you don’t believe in things you can’t see. The world is being inherited by those who are intolerant and intolerance is the impostor that seems to befriend you initially, but in the long run you’ll see how this intolerance will come back to haunt you. The reason I’m telling you that all your hatred towards others is hatred towards yourself is because I understand that human beings are acutely selfish creatures and the only way to make them consider something is to give them an incentive that will benefit them. Or in this case, harm them. In conclusion, you’re can’t stop those offending revolutionary ideas, you end up damaging so much more than your ego and you are the one who will fall on your sword. But your end won’t be come as some noble suicide, it’ll be torturous and painful. You can’t complain, really. You sealed your fate yourself.

Losing Lashes

Do you lose lashes often?

You find them on your hand as you rub your eyes after salty rivers run down your cheeks.Some lashes end up in your eye. Those keratin based bodies are designed to protect your eye but they end up causing discomfort to them. That is how it is with different aspects in life. Like friends and family. Yes, I consider different people around me as aspects. Bur that is nothing to be ashamed of. Some destined to vanish after a short time, some stay on for a longer period of time. Notice how I don’t mention forever.

I don’t believe in forever.

Forever is just an idea that we humans have come up with that is romanticized excessively, and we like to rely on it to comfort us during our best and worst times.

“These hard times won’t last forever.”

“I’ll stay with you forever .”

Little do we know, that this little comforting idea of “forever” basically goes on to hurt us in the future and we don’t even brace ourselves for its devastating impact. Instead we like to “hope for the best” and rely on our imagination and delusions. Pretty pathetic, I know.

We’re all fragments of DNA, energy, decisions and dreams in this temporary world that is designed to test our mettle. The people around you, like your friends are like lashes. You lose them quite frequently, there’s a sinking feeling in your stomach every time you do so but then you manage to get over it. You have to. Your body will make up for it even if your brain refuses to do so but then again, the brain’s healing machinery will take over too and it will have no choice but to heal itself. And you thought you had control over body.

People drift in and out of your life all the time. What makes them significant or insignificant is the way they exit from your life. Most of the time, it’s not always the big rows and quarrels that end your relationships with people. That is the easy way out, if you ask me. It’s harder to cope with your relationship which have frayed at the ends when you gradually fall apart. You don’t remember their birthdays. You talk less. Small talk substitutes your banter and intimate stories. You don’t confide in them anymore. It’s like the lash that doesn’t necessarily break off but it’s there. It pokes you in your eye but it never really goes away.That is how it is with some relationships that used to mean so much to you, initially.

You end up in this uncomfortable foggy realm with these people who seem like strangers but you don’t know what to do with them. Approach them and make it awkward? Ignore them and wait for the guilt to strike? Will you be too intrusive? Some relationships end with a proper climax scene. You fight, argue and finally decide that you can’t work out your differences and separate. That is actually quite convenient, but it hurts nonetheless, even if you don’t admit it.

Like some lashes that end up hurting your eye, there are also some relationships which end up hurting something much more significant, like your trust. This trust or lack thereof helps you see the best and worst in people. But at the end of the day, they’re all just lashes, supportive but eventually they’ll fall off. Some may grow back, some won’t and you’ll learn to get over it, eventually, but you’ll notice how much or little the shape of your eye is affected by their presence or absence. This is how we humans work. We are resilient enough to get over different relationships but not resilient enough. Because all those relationships will end up framing your lifestyle, thought process and personality. Quite similar to the way your lashes frame your eyes.

 

Standards of Ugly

“How much does this whitening cream cost?”

“Can I have this foundation lighter/darker than my actual skin color?”

“This foundation in the shade ivory seems about right for you, miss.” A saleswoman told me when I went shopping with my friend. We both gave each other funny looks because no way in hell I am “ivory” or even close. For those who don’t know, I am a brown Pakistani woman. Simply put. Desi as can be and I’m not ashamed of it. Being half-pathan (pashtuns from the northern areas of Pakistan with considerably pale skin tones) doesn’t necessarily “improve” my skin tone because the gene responsible for the milky pathani skin tone got lost among my mother’s brown Punjabi genes. As if genes have different colors. But don’t worry we’ll soon find a way to discriminate against them too, even if they do. This is 2017 and racism isn’t going anywhere ladies and gentlemen. Consistency at its best.

I see some painstakingly sunbathing and burning to a crisp in the process to get the coveted “tan” that most South Asian women try so hard to get rid of.

Fascinating.

The trouble is not with those tanning gels or whitening creams, the companies behind them are simply exploiting the ideals of beauty which people base their sole existence on. You see, the problem lies not in the availability of these items but the ideals that sustain them. Our so called “standards” of beauty. More suitably, the standards of ugly which we try to avoid. For example if we associate dark skin with ugliness, we’re setting that as a standard to avoid and hence we’ll end up using tubfuls of whatever cheap whitening cream we can get out hands on. It’s funny how something as versatile as beauty can be forcibly allowed to conform to a certain standard. It’s like wearing uniforms, but not that flattering.

For those of you wondering if I’ll quote something cute like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or something along those lines then don’t worry, I won’t. Because thin noses, plenty of lid space, almond shaped eyes are just some standards of beauty that we’ve conjured based on the “eye of the beholder” type sayings. There are about 7 billion people in the world, all with different likes, dislikes, ideals of beauty. So why do you want to seem beautiful to some beholder? Why can’t you perceive the beauty within you without needing admirers? I get it, it’s hard but not impossible. After all you’re doing this for yourself and these “standards” are just mere intangible ideals, nothing more.

Some people resort to cosmetic surgery to be perceived beautiful because even if we don’t admit it, we’re all superficial. Some like me, have accepted the fact that they don’t fit in the standards of beauty  and will remain ugly trolls forever. Just kidding. Truth is, you shouldn’t be able to fit in a standard to consider yourself to be “pretty”. What does that word even mean? I think lizards are pretty and you think there’s nothing uglier than them. What you or I think of them won’t necessarily contribute to their existence in any way.

Get up and look at yourself in the mirror. You can hate yourself for what you have or you can learn to love yourself. Notice how I used the word “learn” when I mentioned the part about loving yourself, because I know it’s hard after all the self-critique we put ourselves through. But that’s okay, the best things in life don’t come easy. There is a reason you have what you have, it’s not just coincidence. Come to think, all those complex genes aligned themselves precisely, the sperm meeting the egg in the exact fraction of a second which ultimately resulted in your existence. As Gary Vee said, “You won the lottery.” But here you are wondering why you don’t look like Bella Hadid. Truth is, you won’t look like her and you don’t need to. The presence of her beauty does not signify the absence of your own, and whoever said that was absolutely right. You are beautiful, birthmark, crooked nose and all. Why do you think a wonderful, complex creature like you should belittle herself/himself for the sake of mere “standards”?

Another amusing thing about these standards is that they’re not constant. They vary from time to time with every region. The things viewed as attractive in Pakistan won’t be be viewed the same way in Korea or Japan or the United States. Because at the end of the day they are just standards and they won’t mean anything if you don’t allow them to. It’s all based on perception.

Here’s what you can do, you can either wish that you were a chameleon so you can fit in the beauty standards of the world and be considered “beautiful” or you can alter your perception and appreciate what you have because your unique self is beautiful whether you choose to believe it or not. Just because you like chocolate cake, that doesn’t mean that vanilla isn’t delicious. At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. You are your own rescuer. If you can’t learn to love yourself then how can you expect the world to do the same?