My mother’s always told me that I’m somewhat if a social chameleon, a person with no backbone, a flavour like vanilla (which goes with everything), etc. You get the point. I’ve seen, spoken and observed many, but honestly, I found it difficult to find someone like that; like me.

I’ve moved around quite a bit  and initially I thought that the only way to make a place in a sea of people is to be as normal; as mundane as possible. It’s true. Try being your usual crazy self around someone you’ve met for the first time; you’ll see them run in the other direction. But after fitting in for so long, in so many different places, I finally realized that there is no version of me without the second person. No absolute. How fucked up is that? My mother was right, I was social chameleon.

Now now, don’t think this is a sad, whiny post (although it did start of like that). The silver lining to being one is you will always find people to hang out with. The not so silver lining is you will have no idea what to do when the time comes to spend some time by yourself. Recently, I’ve found that kind of time.

Being in college, especially in India, means you’re never alone. Roommates, friends, and people in general; they’re always around. The truth is, at some point or the other, every one of us is going to feel that we’ve got no control over who we have inevitably become (and that feeling is going to suck). But I have news. Good news. All of us have an anchor, an anchor deep within us. This anchor never sways, the basic beliefs we grow up with never change. Sure, they fade out from time to time. We experiment, we try things we never thought we would a few years ago and eventually we regret them. But all it takes is a few months of solitude to get a head screwed back on the right way.

At first, there’s the withdrawal system (no one’s around, it’s something you’re not exactly used to). Following this, the people who you thought to be the most important start to fade out, and you zoom in to the people who actually matter. The solitude seems brilliant after a while, a place you could simply escape to. The surreal part is, that somewhere down that line of solitude, you will find who you were originally, the real person you were meant to be. I did. I wrote something a long time ago: Who I have become is not who I am; who I am, no one needs to know. I think I finally understood the words. I’m still a chameleon, don’t get me wrong, but now I know who I am underneath the different colours. They don’t bother me anymore, and I don’t think they ever will.

4 thoughts on “Chameleon

  1. besty April 6, 2014 / 7:28 am

    A Social chameleon is what you call yourself, when we think about it, aren’t we all like that? We adapt to our surroundings, learn to compromise, let go and smile for others’ sake. So is this really being a chameleon or simply just different phases of life.

  2. Varun April 8, 2014 / 6:57 am

    Waiting for a follow up !

    • iamatripathi April 18, 2014 / 10:26 am

      I don’t know how to follow up to this! Any ideas?

      • varun April 18, 2014 / 11:38 am

        The second one would be after a few years in corporate the detested chameleon phase with a smile for a dime or somethjng like that.. but I could be wrong maybe it wont change at all.

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