Ever since I read These are not my eggs written by a very good friend, I have been wanting to write a rejoinder. Just that something or the other always prevented me from getting down to it. What Arpita has written reminds me a lot of my own life. Maybe the fact that both of us grew up in somewhat similar backgrounds also is a factor. It is imperative to read the link, so that you would understand the post that follows.
So which were the eggs I experimented with? Handwriting was one. I used to change it every year too. It was cursive 90 degrees for two years, then cursive 45 degrees for two years. Finally, I modelled my handwriting on that of one of my favourite teachers, who had a slightly childish veering to printed words handwriting. Mine I am told only looks childish, not the eggs I wanted, but never really complained about it.
But like Arpita says acceptance is a major thing. What do you do when you don’t like your eggs? Back when I was a teenager, I used to just shut it out. Ok I don’t like these eggs, so I will pretend they don’t exist. Maybe I would also have one of those fantasy escape day dreams that we generally have as kids, somehow getting rid of the eggs to my satisfaction. Aah the number of innovative ideas that have come to us in our teenage revenge fantasies could make up an alternative universe or atleast a great script for Tom and Jerry.
As I grew older it was more about resisting. Ok I don’t like this egg, what do I do now? Sometimes it came to constructive dialogue, finding solutions. But more often than not, it turned into the unhealthy feeling of not having the power. Feeling powerless acts itself out in various ways. Some people take refuge in sadism. Children and anyone perceived weaker is an easier target. You target them to feel powerful.
Another common reaction to feeling powerless is feeling victimised. You cry, rave and rant to yourself or anyone who would listen how the world is unfair to you. Victimhood has a way of making you feel entitled. You place an unrealistic expectation on the world to give you much more than it would because you argue, oh well, haven’t I gone through so much already. How dare the world not give me what I want? Karpman, the man who invented the concept of the victim triangle always says that the victim often ends up becoming the persecutor after years and years of pent up frustration. There is also a demand of perfectionism from those around you.
A fallout of victim mentality is the loss of faith and the subsequent readiness to place faith in just about anything. This I believe is one of the major causes for blind faith and superstitions. You don’t like your eggs and you have tried all the rational methods of throwing them away or getting new ones, but you failed, so you turn to Voodoo. Ok, not that drastic, but you get the drift.
But at some point something snaps within (well not for everyone). You realise that your eggs are different and that different and bad are not the same. This happens sometimes when you get a closer look at the eggs you think you wanted or sometimes when you have tried every trick in the book and you see that no one has been as loyal to you as these old eggs that you hate. It could also happen because well, you just woke up to reality. However it happens, at some point, you realise that different is not so bad. You can live with different. Infact, different makes you, you. But that doesn’t mean you dont eye the other eggs again. I guess, a part of human condition is to always look at what’s ahead or on the other end. Sometimes, it leads to self betterment and sometimes you just go vegetarian.