Socializing– Beyond a Periphery

“If you don’t pay attention to the periphery, the periphery changes and the first thing you know the periphery is the center.”

-Dean Rusk

The transition from high school to college is so sudden, we barely have time to let it sink in. In less than a few days we find ourselves uttering “school” in place of college , and hesitate as we step into a class from the back door, surprised at the level of swag we’ve supposedly achieved. Chilling at the canteen is no longer limited to the lunch hour and continues into the hour you want to skip. This entire transition seems to take place effortlessly as you’re still trying to ‘fit’ in .

Amidst all of the “tailoring” we do to ourselves to make sure that we become the perfect ‘fit’, we often find each other in a predicament where we compromise on ideas and thoughts that we weren’t genuinely willing to. We lose a little of who we are in the puzzle that we try to create. This doesn’t always have to be so. How hard can standing up for yourself be? Apparently not so easy. In the world where we’re all occasionally struck by the “log kya kahenge” syndrome, it is a tough battle to fight. In such a situation, clutching to your private identity can give some solace. For instance, I have figured to find myself in pieces that I hide in the poetry that I write, and movies that I’m addicted to. They remind me of the who I was and who I want to be. But more often than not, I forget where I hide these treasures I so badly need, as do probably all of us. It is alright. Time has it’s way of leading to what we really need in its own uncanny ways.

One concept that can be fairly difficult to decipher is “socialising”. It is very confusing to understand exactly what this word entails. Some say speaking out, others acting out. A few suggest indulging in social media, and a few dating. All this becomes a labyrinthine venn diagram with intersections at every arc. Personally, I often attempt to redefine the word ‘extrovert’ as I state that being so isn’t a personality, rather a personality trait. It is a hat we don to help us guise ourselves into a reflection rather than an image. We laugh at not so funny jokes and trade our sense of humour for the possibility of someone enjoying our company. Accustomed to this barter system we engage in banter and try to steal moments we venture to create. I do not say that this is belittling, it is not. We are all still figuring it out.

I honestly believe that we end up creating boundaries we cannot perceive that limit what we want to capture. As Shonda Rhimes rightly puts it, “At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.

It doesn’t have to be a race with hurdles to jump across, just a path you wish to embrace. We shouldn’t shrink to the point where everyone else is superior to the idea of who we are. We have the zeal within us to figure out our own definition of socialising and choose whether or not to seize it. In his classic satirical work Animal Farm, George Orwell said “Four legs good, two legs bad.” That is a staggering thought even if the protagonists are talking animals. Let’s burst the translucent bubble we encase ourselves in. No matter the number of people we have let in, we can always take a step forward to disclose to ourselves the secrets we hide.

Ironically, socialising with others may help us discover our own strengths. Most of the internet world out there is a juxtaposition of layers we don’t peel; layers of mysteries, solutions and scepticism. You never know when you might stumble upon a new friendship or a dark history. We’ve ought to be vigilant and not hesitate to ask for help from those who are willing to offer. Caution is important while we are informed. At times socialising leads to not the ideal outcome, but there’s always something to take away and call your own.

Picture Courtesy- Totally Wicked

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