ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 47

Wasn't me!

By Rukshani Weerasooriya

Ever feel like you're trapped in the wrong body? Or trapped in the wrong life? 'Wrong' is not exactly the word I'm looking for. But do you ever feel you and your body (or you and your life) are completely separate and somehow don't fit together? Are there times when you are this close to disowning yourself? "That could not be me! I didn't just do that?!" Are there moments in your life when nothing is more stupid than what you just said or did? And you're sitting there wondering, "Where did that come from? I am a mature human being. How am I capable of this?"

I give you the example of… Me. Legally, I am an adult. And technically speaking, I do have an education, a pittance of an income and some of the other so-called frills that come with adulthood. But practically speaking, I look fifteen, run a mile when I don't want to talk to someone, like lollypops and have an imaginary friend. Sometimes I am quite sure Rukshani Weerasooriya is pathetically under qualified to be out in society. But I am. And as long as I am, I must stay true to what's expected of me, despite the constant urge to laugh at myself till I'm sore in the side. At least, I must hold on to the one thing I'm sure I want in life, and that one thing is dignity.

But dignity is a tall order if you are a twenty-two year old, lollypop loving, anti-social, under-developed individual, and have got caught talking to yourself more often than you'd like to admit. There are moments when I'm sure I've done the dumbest thing anyone could do in a given situation, and usually, I am absolutely right about such things.

But here I'd like to point out the unusual sense of triumph you experience when you truly become aware of your stupidity, notwithstanding your terrible shame at that moment. What I mean is (if you're anything like me at least) you'll do the mother of all dumb things, beat yourself up over it, make fun of yourself for a month, and then prance around in some strange kind of pride owing to the so-called knowledge of the fact that there'll never be anything you can do that can be worse than what you've done already. You'll be happy inside thinking "Yippy! The worst is over!" – at which point exactly, you will find that you are well capable of breaking your own record. And with such tremendous style too, that you will certainly be scarred for life by the wonders of stupidity you so ably demonstrate.

Let me elaborate further with yet another example, this time a practical and true story. When I was eighteen years old – just a slip of a girl – I fancied this one guy, who, let's just say, had no clue of my existence on the planet. Now if the stars above wanted to see me happy by giving me a chance to get some of his attention, surely there was a better way to intervene than to allow me to do what I did that dreadful Friday evening in July. It so happened that someone threw me into a pond with all my clothes on, and it so happened that I showered off and changed and carried my muddy, grassy, dirty, soaking pond-water clothes with me, just in time to bump into Mr. Gorgeous and do him the great honour of dropping my most embarrassing clothing item at his wonderful feet! The sense of humiliation could not be stronger. I wanted to die, or blend into the doorpost I so ashamedly leant against. But I couldn't, however hard I tried.

But like I said before, extreme humiliation is soon followed by that strange sense of pride. 'Surely the worst is over. I'll never be able to top that one! Hurray!' But oh I did top that one, just last week! And in full style too. However I choose to keep that story to myself for now, in the name of my noble aim of maintaining dignity! Can you imagine anything being worse than my previous stunt?

I could go on in my illustration of the point, but I think it's best to get to it here. True, I sometimes seriously wonder if the labels got switched when I was being made. Was I really supposed to be so silly and so serious all at the same time? Am I stuck in the wrong body, or is the wrong body stuck with me? I don't know. I have no answers. But one thing I do know (and this is my point) is that there are others out there. Others who have experienced the magic of laughing at themselves. It really is magic. You'll know it if you try. It' s the most liberating and necessary exercises you can ever purport to experience. LAUGH at yourself when you get the chance. You'll find it is quite addictive in the end!

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.