In Between Themes: Is where I exist

One day as I was having what seemed to be a normal conversation,
The person I was speaking to interrupted and asked me without hesitation,

“hey, what exactly are you?”

Never in my 20 years of living did I think I’d ever get such a question,
Her bluntness certainly grabbed my attention

1. is this rhetorical? It is a bit comical,
2. is this a trick question? It could be philosophical
3. Or is this serious one, should I ask her?
4. And if it is, and what if I have no answer?

The reason for that is because
it was a question beyond my mixed ethnicity,
beyond the difference between my race and nationality,
beyond the complexity of where I was raised, to where I have my residency,
from where I live currently to the land which I pray for prosperity.

It is who I am on the inside, where I pledge my identity.

I am a product of everything I read, touch and feel,
A product of my upbringing and my choice of meals

My opinions are based off the views of many somebodies’;
my thoughts yield from the lessons imparted on me
My inclinations are born from the different tastes and sensations I have taken on
my ambitions I have carved out of my own clouds of inspiration like you do,
I am the creation of my experiences and my decisions-
But perhaps that isn’t the answer that everyone envisions

I couldn’t just give her a simple response
I just could not
For I am not my skin colour
Nor am I my attire
I am not my native tongue
Or my city’s lingo
I’m also not what you conclude from this intro

In between themes is where I find myself to be
I move in between harsh lines and soft edges;
soft lines and harsh edges,
Erecting restrictions and fences for myself
With excuses in order to
To repress my desires
Hence this attire
Telling the soul to fit into a mould
It was never meant to hold.
Sometimes I am a free spirit-
Who could show her emotions without hiding it
Who cares not about the people who might judge her for it
Other times I am a cold, lone ranger
who chooses to be that Muslim stranger
I cut off from the world
and try to find myself in nature.

I exist in paradoxes and in contradiction in terms of what I want to be,
who I want to be associated with and be accepted by,
what I am going to do and where I am going to go from here on.

I am a rebel by accident, an adventure full-timer- but not by choice,
I like to think of all my missfortunes as me being miss fortunes
For sometimes, most times, they are blessings in disguise

Don’t feel sad for me
For although I seem to always be swerving
At least I am moving,
I am not lost despite the fact that I’m searching
He said you’re alright even if your iman keeps fluctuating.

If you find yourself lost in a scene
Maybe, just maybe that was an actor’s set
Just walk out and you’ll find the real world just around the corner.
And you’re set.
If you find yourself lost in a dialogue
Maybe, just maybe that was all a different language,
Just smile and nod, leave and admit you knew not
And if you find yourself stuck in a place where you don’t quite belong
Maybe, and just maybe, that place was just not for you all along.

So yes, you may all look the same from the outside
But on the inside you don’t click
Don’t force it
And other times you may all look different from the outside
But on the inside you fit like a puzzle
Then stick with it.

Don’t hold out until they call you a sellout
Or call you out
to minus points for your lack of participation
You don’t need to give any kind of explanation.
Don’t compromise on your own self
To please a crowd or an organization.
Don’t live your life tip-toing around
Just because you may have liked their ways once.
Never feel obliged to shadow
When you were created to be a light

I am fluid in many circles, that is the only thing that is constant
With me
I do not feel uneasy when my circles collide but I think it’s pretty impossible
To just exist in one
As the same.. me.

Because I was never brought up in one place;
I’m not used to saying goodbye with a straight face
I was taught to keep tactful ties with everyone
Which means I’ll always be evolving, all the time.

That is what ‘being myself’ really means to me,
It’s not about having just one face.

They say it is just a phase,
They’ll try to make you feel bad
About feeling displaced
But you are a melting pot
Of personalities-
able to accommodate to every situation,
and every type of person,
and yet still don’t feel like you truly belong anywhere
That’s okay, because remember that
You were never made for this world
No body builds a house on a bridge
If you know what I mean.
I don’t mean to sound cheesy
But the Aakhirah is really what
Should determine the kind of identity
You want to have in this entity.

I exist in paradoxes and in contradiction in terms of what I want to be,
who I want to be associated with and be accepted by,
what I am going to do and where I am going to go from here on.

I used to be able to define myself better
Until something happened which changed my life forever
and I stopped bothering to fit myself into a container
for I realized that being an ever-evolving creature
is really in our true nature.

If there is one thing you should quit right now
Is to quit attaching labels to yourself
For everyone grows differently
Instead of searching for yourself
in blocks of colours
Find yourself in the patterns
Instead of fitting yourself in fixed time periods
Find yourself in its changing seasons

I exist in paradoxes and in contradiction in terms of what I want to be,
who I want to be associated with and be accepted by,
what I am going to do and where I am going to go from here on.

But it’s okay.

You will soon find that you have always been constant
Constant in change
Because you are receptive,
And thinking, and are alive.
The only time you’ll be stagnant
Is when you’re 6-feet under, in God’s archive.


NOTES: Due to the request of some, I’ve decided to put up the script for my spoken word poem which I had recited at Psychology and Life 3 Conference: Identity Crisis event last weekend. I don’t normally do this because to me, spoken word pieces are not usually not of literary value, hence it’s odd to see them in “print”. In order for them to be fully understood, you’ll need to hear its, tone, rhythm and all. These words cannot defend themselves like a prose can. But anyways, perhaps those who were present would be able to appreciate it more, so here you go..



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