I’ve always found myself attracted to people and things that I feel understood me. I like certain kinds of music and certain kinds of books, and I like talking to certain people who sees the world in a certain kind of way. I guess I am doing what everyone else is doing too – we strive to be understood.
Essentially this is what everybody wants for themselves. A black sheep of a family is called a black sheep because nobody else understands what it is like to be him or her. You find soul mates because you have ‘chemistry’, and ‘chemistry’ is for me, just a fancy word for two people who get each other despite the differences. We value friends who we feel have the ‘same wavelength’ with us. Musicians write music and thinkers write books, all for this very same reason.
The older I get, the harder it is for me to feel like I am understood. In school we all wear the same uniform, in college we all want to graduate. But once real life begins, everybody disperses in a million different directions, with our own goals and outlooks in life. Some of us want to achieve a certain career goal and off they go, with their weekend work ethics and million-dollar aim. Some of us just want to get married as quickly possible and off they go, having ten kids before they’re thirty five. Some of us just want to leave home and travel the world, and off they go with their postcard-perfect pictures. Some of us find the life questions a bit too baffling and we take our own sweet time to figure them out, until we’re ready to get to the next phase, whenever that may be.
Unfortunately we live in a community where instead of being understood, we are forced to understand and comply with a set of rules, set by the common community. If you dream too big your feet won’t touch the ground. If you’re bad at maths, you’re probably stupid as a whole. If you don’t have it all figured out by a certain age, then you’re wasting your life away. If you see the world and life differently, then you’re wrong. We keep listening to these sentiments all the time, and yet it never occurred to us that if we’re all meant to think and feel and want the same, wouldn’t we be made as robots instead of people with independent thoughts?
I used to panic whenever I find myself not quite on everyone else’s timeline, or not really understanding things that other people seem to have already figured out. I felt like in my position, predicament and troubles, nobody understood me. Then I realized that if I wanted a solution, I would have to be a part of it. So instead of demanding people to understand me, I tried to understand other people first (it’s not easy though. People are complicated, I’ve come to realize). Their problems. Their life goals. They way they look at life. If I understood people, maybe, I’ll get the favor returned.