To the Unknown You

By Chetna Gaur. Chetna, 19, studies Political Science. She is from Rohtak, India. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

You must be thinking, what’s the deal about this insta-caption worthy title? As mystical as it sounds it has a lot to do with the subtext intended.

When asked upon to tell them something about yourself, what’s the first thing you know for sure about you and what do you want to make others believe about you?

Name, family, and credentials kept apart, the pretence changes with the one who’s asking the question. Which aspect is to show and what must you hide? Whether you should feign ignorance or play victim all along? All kinds of thoughts roam across your mind and out of all those many facades of your personality you eventually find the perfect one, apt for that time. Now that’s intentional and conventional. What I am trying to talk about here is that there are various sides to us that we ourselves are unaware of. One can never know oneself certainly enough that he/she knows to what extent their limits can be pushed, how much hardship and pain they can bear, where their loyalties lie, etc.

But why is it so? The main reason is that with any change in the stimulus, our paradigm shifts. It can either make us into an unrestrained child or a perpetual loner, an unrequited lover or jealousy incarnate. We experience so many kinds of feelings and each one of them accompanies a different kind of response in return. Any hardship we bear, betrayal we face and the pride relished, causes evident changes on the implanted convictions we had. Maybe this messy denouement we get every time, was one of the reasons why the famous satirist of eighteenth century, Alexander Pope, in his famous work “An essay on man”, reduces man to chaos and riddle. It concludes man as “The glory, jest and riddle of the world” and  he even abandons the search for oneself.

Scientifically, Mankind exists as it continuously adapts and evolves itself and not because it sticks to its roots and traces them back. So, what’s even the point in dwelling to know and understand something that’s liable to change?

Any know-it-all could find something that it is possible to seek. Aside from being a never-ending difficult task to begin with, is it even something meaningful to think upon? Does it even matter whether we know ourselves wholly?

Although it sounds unreasonable, the curiosity to test our limits will make it inevitable for us to get entangled with the “Quest of selves”. It may be pointless to ponder upon, but if we must, I think the first step in this process must be to separate our real-selves from the camouflaged ones. This then follows the discovery of intrinsic flaws that are deep hidden within and are vulnerable when exposed. This cognition would take a whole lot of courage to accept too. Also, this should never ever be the end of our desires to become someone better, as an enlightened ambitionless parasite would do no good to the earth. Say, what would a stagnant life be worth?

This also doesn’t mean to cowardly ignore the existence of our failings as well, but to take the pain inflicted after acknowledging them as the abrasions received in the process of becoming better and letting us get over it.

Michel Foucault once said, “I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” I can’t agree more.

No matter where we are, what we are indulging ourselves in, we are continuously striving to become someone better, waiting to embrace any thrilling new aspect our lives will cross paths with. We all are in transit towards becoming a big shot in our career, chasing the faraway dreams or paving our way to bask conjugal bliss and slowly giving it our all to reach the end of our lives. To me, life is just a beautiful anecdote of how the dynamic of our growth evolves. I am living for that unpredictable, unknown and untamed raw version of me that I am coding myself into. That’s exactly where the beauty of the future lies.

What about you? Don’t you think so?

26 comments on “To the Unknown You

  1. Jennie Bennett on

    This is beautiful writing. Very clear, very inspiring, and makes the reader really think. I must say that my favorite part was your quote “To me, life is just a beautiful anecdote of how the dynamic of our growth evolves. I am living for that unpredictable, unknown and untamed raw version of me that I am coding myself into. That’s exactly where the beauty of the future lies. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.


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