I’ve suffered from an inferiority complex all my life.
No. It’s not just my own problem. It’s because of you.
You were so sure, so bold. So confident. You still are.
But the problem is, with that assurance came cruelty. Indifference. You batted me down, like an alleyway of cats swiping at a single desperate starling.
Your words were etched in stone. My own opinions, qualms and dislikes, even when I did voice them, evaporated like smoke. I was a ghost among the living, unheard, unnoticed, unheeded.
When you’re introverted, it’s hard not to be intimidated by extroverts of facile tongue.
When you’re sensitive, it’s hard not too feel weaker than your less soft counterparts.
When you’re a dreamer, it’s hard not to let the words of realists get to you.
Every word I hear in my day-to-day life is another nail hammered into the coffin.
You can’t be a writer. You don’t have any talent. Besides, it’s really hard, and takes a lot of time.
You’re too sensitive. And optimistic. You need to start thinking realistically.
Why are you so quiet?
Only unintelligent students who will get nowhere in life skip school.
You have to go to university to be successful. Otherwise, you’ll be a failure. Washed up.
You must work at a job, even if you hate it. You must give up precious minutes of your life and stand at a desk shuffling papers and twittering on phones. This is the contribution of every good citizen.
Follow our rules. When the bell rings, then you can go home. When the man turns green, you walk across the road. When everyone rushes in one direction, you better follow.
You’re dead. You’re dead and buried, at least three feet down beneath the earth, and you can’t breathe. Thick earth clogs your throat. A thousand beetles scuttle industriously over your body. Rats chew out your eyes. You’re dead.
And how fantastically easy it is to live a life this way, with a tombstone weighing on your heart. There is nothing less stressful and more simpler than to coast along the path ordained for you, passed from hand to hand like a well-trained little puppy.
After all, that’s what they told us, and look at what tough, grand, glorious, knowledgeable people they are! Navigating through the perils of society like it’s only a little trip down to the corner store. Their words must be right. They understand the harsh realities of this world, and while they go out and succeed, sipping wine in their million dollar complexes, you’ll be a raggedy, homeless person by the curb with only the bitter dregs of broken dreams in your mouth.
No. I refuse to believe it. I refuse to believe what they say. I refuse to be buried. I refuse not to trust my own words, my own instincts, my own intuitions. I refuse to feel inferior every time you ignore me, talk to me, hate me, avoid me, look down on me. I refuse to see my strengths of sensitivity, creativity, quietness, insight, and understanding as weaknesses.
I’d rather be a pigeon pecking at crumbs on the sidewalk than live on jeweled fruits in a gilded cage.
I’d rather be out in the open air, and see the sky, the clouds, the stars, than be buried in the most comfortable coffin.
Yes, I’m not like you.
I like to talk to flowers more than people. They can teach me more of life than you ever could.
I like my own company better than that of others. Our conversations will sparkle like stardust. You don’t like talking to me? You think I’m too strange and awkward and quiet? Good. Because I don’t like talking to you either. After conversing with you, the taste of lies and high-pitched laughter that lingers in my mouth reminds me of blood. My eyes are shiny and bright and blank as copper pennies after trying to light up for you. No more.
I like to be quiet, and I like silence. All the better to hear the mice chewing through your soul. Oh, did you know your face was cracking? Look, it’s splintering like plaster. Goodness, what squeaking. I wonder when they’ll burst your skin open and crawl down your chest in a tidal wave of furry grey bodies.
I like to daydream and imagine. It makes my existence happier. Sure, I might lose my keys. Misplace my money. Forgot phone calls. And maybe my imagination will not earn me a single dime – after all, like you said, I can’t become a writer, right? But don’t slap me across the face for it. Don’t rip my books out of my hands and slam my head into the jaws of a mechanical grinder. My brain works differently from yours, and, in the long run, you’ll lose more than me.
I’m soft. I’m sensitive. I’m a daydreamer. I’m quiet. I’m an introvert. I’m a misfit. I’m scatterbrained. I’m awkward. I’m solitary. I’m not like you.
But that does not make you better than me.
But we both have dreams, don’t we? Only, you sure like to crush mine, grinding your heels into my fingers until they break and bleed. You sure like to discount me. And I don’t need that. I have enough self-doubt as it is. I don’t need you to make me feel worse.
And your dreams of making big bucks and living the high life? They don’t touch upon the pulse of life. They are dead, shiny dreams, like slaughtered animals with hairy golden pelts.
We are different. I chase my dreams. You chase yours. Just don’t try to kill mine before they’ve grown their wings. Don’t try to put me down before I’ve even taken my first shaky step.
We’ll see who’s happier in the end.