Have you ever thought about how hard it is to be a human being sometimes? I`m sure you have. The last time I thought about it, was yesterday. I started thinking I should move to an island and stay there for a little while, because I don`t understand human beings. I don`t get them. I think I know them, but they keep surprising me so I`ve ended up thinking I don`t know them. Maybe ironic, considering I`m studying social anthropology. Trying to understand humans, but not really able to. It took me a small action to change the direction, though.
On my way to the lecture yesterday, I found a studentcard. It belonged to someone, and I told myself I was going to find the contact details online and contact the girl. At home later I found her number, and sent her a message. “Oh, thank you so much, I`m so relieved now. I looked for it everywhere”. I smiled, gave her a short reply. “You`re welcome, see you tomorrow”. So today I met her. She was already standing there and I could see it in her eyes. The gratefulness. She was so happy and said “thank you” many times. I said “you`re welcome, it`s the least I could do.” I was standing in front of her, and for some seconds it seemed like she wanted to hug me. I wasn`t sure if I should hug her, but I did want to hug her. Suddenly she said “I bought something for you, as a thank you”. She gestured towards the bag in her hand, took out a packet of chocolate and gave it to me. “Oh, how kind, but you didn`t have to buy it!” I hadn`t seen it coming, but seeing the kindness made me happy. I had cared by picking up the card, taking care of it and giving it back to her and she had cared by not only saying a “thank you”, but by giving me something. I said “thank you”, we said bye to each other and went our seperate ways.
Only a small act of kindness and I thought that maybe I`m where I should be.
Imagine how there`s so much in our heads and hearts that we don`t tell each other. Some of us are drowning in our own feelings and I am one of them. I`m so glad that nobody else can see what`s going on inside me, but at the same time that`s what hurts the most. That no one can see the real me. The burdens on my shoulder that seem to get heavier sometimes. The eyes that are full of tears that can`t be seen. The things I`ve been through that are in my head. Let`s please not forget all the feelings I feel too much. I can start crying by someone giving me a hug, I can start crying by seeing someone else cry. I feel the pain others feel and I feel the pain I feel. All alone. I wonder who feels my pain. I wonder who even can see my pain. I can`t really blame people for not seeing it, because I`ve become an expert at hiding the things I don`t want anyone else to see, but yet I`m hoping that someone might break down the wall I made on my own. No, hold on, that`s not completely true, but it is a little true. It`s crazy how much there is that a person can hide. All these little stories that changed my life and are burned at the back of my mind. Nobody really knows and every day I go around, acting like barely anything. Maybe it`s become so easy because I know I`m not alone at doing that. Maybe it`s become a little easier to carry the baggage because it doesn`t feel that heavy anymore. I`m used to my mind, even though it sometimes tends to annoy me too much. Or maybe it`s become easier because I have words. Paper. A blog. This blog wouldn`t mean that much to me anymore if I wasn`t allowed to let the feelings out. My feelings. I need to write down deep, long texts. I already do that for myself, but I hope that sharing the mess I have can help others. Maybe a piece of my puzzle can help a stranger out there. I already hope it does. I`d like to believe it does. What if it doesn`t? It`s okay, because the words are mine and most of all I write them down to comfort myself. Me writing them down every day is proof I`m alive, it`s proof I`ll be okay. It just hurts too much and I… I just don`t know. Why can`t we all chill more?
I don`t know.
Lately I`ve understood how much I`ve done for people, who haven`t done that much for me. It`s sad to realise that you give so much, but hardly get anything back.
Honestly it hurts to think about it, and be treated that way. I know I`m not a mean person and I try to make everyone I meet and know at least smile a little. Therefore it hurts so much when I try my best to make others happy and the same people seem to treat me like air. On top of it I`m a human who feels too much – I feel so much so strongly and it doesn`t exactly make such things easier.
Phew. Is it weird that I`m looking forward to the Netherlands, where I don`t really know anyone.
I`ve been thinking quite a lot about the bullying I went through, about how many of the students at school treated me. It`s not like I`m mad at them or that I hate them. Perhaps I feel a little sorry for them because they so much of their time on putting me down – time they`ll never get back. In ninth grade I wrote an article in the newspaper, in which I said that I`m going to show the bullies the real me. I thought that would be my kind of revenge.
Now that I`m sitting here in my room and realising that I`m in university and that I`m years ahead of what happened, it`s weird. It`s weird that it`s over and that all I have now are memories. Memories full of tears, mean words and looks, but also full of courage and strength. Because the thing is that it did hurt then and it does hurt now, but I didn`t let the pain or whatever happened to me, define me. And God, it hurted me in so many ways that I sometimes thought it was never going to end. A future seemed so far-fetched, that I didn`t really think that much about what life was going to be like after school. Or maybe I did think a lot about it, I just can`t remember it right now. I`m sitting here now thinking “it`s actually really over”.
The bullying ended, we all went our separate ways and went on with our lives. I`m doing okay, even though little Iqra didn`t always believe that. I took my revenge. I didn`t change, I`m still that stubborn girl who`s not afraid to raise her voice. To be honest that`s all that matters. I didn`t let what happened get the best of me. That doesn`t mean what happened hasn`t affected me in any ways or that it`s never going to hurt, but I`ve learned to accept that it`s a part of my past and it really did happen to me.
Now as I`ve moved on, I think of all of you who are being bullied now and are feeling many of the things I felt as a little girl. It`s awful, I know. It`s frustrating, I know. And it hurts too much, I know that too. I know it might seem easy for me to sit here and say “it`s going to be okay” and perhaps you`ve already heard that a million times, but it really does get better. Suddenly you`re going to be in university or you`re going to get married and you`re going to realise that you did well. Not well, you did very well.
The more I blog, the more I realise and understand one thing: nobody can get to know all of you through a blog. And perhaps that`s why I blog.
I`ve been reading different blogs for some years now and it`s easy to think that you know everything about the blogger`s life. But you don`t. You just know what they show you and sometimes, what they show the world isn`t the whole truth. A blogger might blog about make-up or post today`s outfit, while something else is going on behind the screen. Or she or he might not tell you everything about what`s going on in life, whether that`s depression, a divorce, loneliness, bullying or a trauma. It could literally be anything and you as a reader couldn`t know.
That`s why blogging is both something I appreciate and also something… weird. I love being able to share things, inspire and I hope I make a difference. I started this blog when I was still lonely in high-school and now I`m at the university, studying and I`m soon off to Maastricht. Well, soon enough. On the other hand – there have been times where I`ve been sad or things have been going on in my life that I haven`t shared. There have been times where I`m fed up with my overthinking, but I act like nothing and write about how my day was. Because many times, it`s easier to talk about what I did throughout the day than what`s in my mind or how I`m really feeling deep down. It`s easier to hide those things away than to let it all out in front of the world.
That doesn`t mean I`m not honest on this blog. I am, but whenever you read a blog, whether it`s mine or someone else`s, know that you don`t know their whole life. You only see what they allow you to see. You can create your own space online and paint it in whatever colour or colours you like. Black, grey, blue, yellow, red, orange, pink. That`s one of many reasons people find social media helpful. You can show people your so called perfect life, or you can show them your tears. It`s up to you. You shape your own reality online. But to be honest, you never really know someone 100 % by their blog, or by their social media. So don`t think you know absolutely everything there is to know about someone or judge someone based on their online presence, because for all you know an outfit might be a disguise and someone who seems happy is crying themselves to sleep.
No matter what you do in the world, it seems like it`s never good enough.
You could give everything you have to someone, you could give your world to someone and it still wouldn`t be enough. It takes one thing, one damn thing for everything to turn upside down. It takes one thing for people to turn against you, say the worst things about you and suddenly not appreciate anymore. You do so much and barely get anything in return. Our whole life we`re told to be nice. We`re told to share, to give of ourselves and to respect others. But we`re not taught that well that not everyone is nice, not everything we do will be appreciated or matters to everyone we care about. We`re not taught how to handle situations full of rejection and pain. We`re not taught what we should do if someone we love says “you haven`t done anything for me”, while the truth is something completely different. We`re not taught what to do when people we consider our owns show us their backs and walk away. Some don`t bother anymore. Some people don`t see the point in being “kind towards everyone” anymore, because it doesn`t matter. It`s like a description which you try to follow 110 % and when things don`t work out well even though you do everything according to that description, you get frustrated. You get more frustrated the second time and when it`s still not working out the 100th time, you`ve had enough. It`s the same for some people out there who do their best to be kind and share love, but when it turns out it`s not enough, they feel empty. When they realise people are going to say bad things about them even though they`re kind, they don`t see the point anymore. I mean, why not be that kind since people are going to talk anyways? It`s not like people will appreciate it anyways. It`s not like you will get the same back anyways, so why give so much? Opening up hurts, so they stop talking about themselves. Getting too close to people hurts, so they make sure they keep some distance. They stop trusting. They stop being who they are, because the pain and frustration feels unbearable and it doesn`t give them as much as they once thought it would.
I understand better why some people don`t bother anymore. It`s their way of protecting their hearts and souls.
“What will people say”
we`ve all heard this.
some of us more than others.
it kills dreams.
it stops hearts from beating.
it applauds shame and overthinking.
that one sentence makes you want to scream
but you keep the pain to yourself.
because “what will people say”.
it weakens your bones.
it mutes voices.
it puts bodies in cages
and you scream so loud but nobody hears a thing
because “what will people say”.
but let me ask you
what will people not say.