The Root of All Flaws

[Dedicated To My Wonderful Friend Rhi]

As humans we are flawed. Some of us have minor things we may consider flaws within ourselves – we may irritate others with our vexatiously loud chewing; speak out of line and go on a tangent a tad too often, or even bite our nails to the point that strangers may wonder what incurable disease our fingers may have contracted.

For many of us, we have a whole plethora of flaws, and a reasonably large amount of us may not even be aware of any of them; – I am not one of those people. I envy those who can go so blithely unaware of their faults, as the saying goes: ‘Ignorance is bliss’. But I am one of those people who is painfully aware of everything I may do wrong that it haunts me at any given moment. I can be seated in class staring at my charming little doodles when it suddenly occurs to me that I am incredibly awkwardly clumsy. I could be preparing dinner and out of the blue the thought that I fumble with my words all the time strikes me. I may even be sleeping soundly when I abruptly wake up in distress so I can contemplate my inability to sit still.

As much as I may sound afflicted by these minor flaws however, I can actually tolerate them. It’s my bigger, personality flaws that really seem to sink my soul.

Recently in a conversation with a close friend, she absently mindedly brought up some of my flaws, then when I expressed how self conscious I was, now that she had materialised them in conversation, she told me it was okay because she could ‘deal with them’. The problem was that I was already aware of them… but some how her saying it to me hurt me more than I could’ve anticipated, and somehow made them more real and pressing.

There are two major flaws that I am aware of; the first being that I am: Uptight (as fuck – as the kids say these days), and the second being: I rant a-hell-of-a-lot.

But here’s the thing, like most personality traits that may be considered flaws, there are reasons, situations and various things that have encoded these traits into our being. I struggle to know whether I am simply making excuses or if I am genuinely right in believing that there are roots to my flaws, so I’ll explain what I believe may have caused me to contract these troublesome flaws of mine, and plant the seed for you to decide.

Ranting too much: The reason I may rant an awful lot now is because, as a child whenever I’d cry or get myself into trouble, I was expected not to cry, even when I was being yelled at or even had a spanking. I’ve never really understand why parents do this – surely, as annoying as crying is, it’s a sign of remorse, no? As well as that, being the youngest meant that no one really cared all too much what I thought about any given situation or had the time to ask what was on my mind. Anyhow, this meant that growing up, anytime I was upset, perturbed or angry, I kept it to myself. No matter how big it may have been. When I finally came across friends who encouraged me to share my woes, my feelings were suddenly validated and thus the overflow of words – which may be considered ‘ranting’ – was set free. And ever since I’ve probably never been able to stop, it’s my way of coping and allowing myself to realise that the emotions a I feel are real, and are meant to be felt. Yet I know that ranting in itself is an unfavourable quality.

Being up tight: Despite many factors coming into this particular one, some of the main reasons I feel are fairly obviously. As a child of a large family, calamity and conflict was always around the corner. I had nieces and nephews who were three or more years younger, thus sometimes I felt it was my duty to protect them all from it. I remember at the age of 10 or so the police coming over to our house, despite being so young I knew it was wrong for the children to have to see and get involved in all of it, so instead I distracted them with games and sweets. It was an innocent act at the time, but as I look back, I wonder if it was right for me to have to do such a thing in a household full of adults? Moreover, growing up I quickly had to learn that there was no space for a child’s naivety in such a house, whenever arguments arose and I had tried to voice my childlike opinion or let my young emotional self overwhelm me, I was quickly blamed, punished and pushed aside. There was no time for me behave like a child in a house full of adults. I had to grow up. And I haven’t been able to go back to being a child ever since.

So those are the roots I believed to have cause my flaws, and I must say, my flaws themselves, through much effort, are slowly being pulled from the ground but it may be years before I can properly untangle myself from this over grown garden of weeds.

But  what do you reckon? Am I making excuses? – Actually, in retrospect, maybe I don’t want to know… maybe, as all of us are flawed human beings, we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves to other people. And maybe… just maybe:

We shouldn’t find people who will ‘put up with’ and ‘deal with’ our flaws,

Perhaps, instead we should find  someone who will appreciate us despite our flaws….

– Love Aery x



Diagnosis – Love Sickness

“Your Creative-Writing assignment is to write a short passionate piece on the most romantic experience you have had – No fifty shades of grey please!” My teacher announces with tone of sarcasm in his voice as he gives a quick look to Jake who frowns. But I’m distracted, barely even looking at them.

Why do I take so much notice of her?

What was she diagnosed with? It can’t be that bad right? Because I watch her in class; we only share two classes together but either way, she always has that look in her eyes every time I see her. That passionate look, like she’s seeing the whole galaxy shine before her on a single faultless summer night. It made me wonder what else she was passionate about, it made me think about how often her face lights up with excitement. I felt like I knew her, yet here I was still not knowing her entirely. I wanted to know her from her breadth and height. I wanted to explore the depths of her darkness and investigate the light that vanquishes the abyss that she conceals with her smile. Is it normal to be so obsessed? Ah! – I need to stop.

I blink away my wonderment reluctantly and stare out the window instead, but I find myself gawking at her again. Her lips move but no words come out, the teacher announces something, and she smirks. There she goes again; she always knows the answers, whispers it to herself but never announces her intelligence to others. That really bugs me; if I were that smart, I’d make sure others knew! But not her. And I kind of like that. She’s humble. It’s annoying, but I find myself liking that about her. Weird.

I like her hair too, sometimes she has it in twin tails, like she’s still in never land; other times – like today – it’s just down naturally, messy yet so attractive. I’ve never really taken much notice of a girl’s hair but hers is just…It’s like velvet trails from her head and frames her face perfectly and hangs from her shoulders in the most elegant way. And her face, man – her face is gorgeous. All her features are so soft yet sweet. Her face is round, and her chubby blushing cheeks are constant victims of pinches delivered by her friends. I kind of wish I could pull her cheeks too… that sounds kind of weird. Perhaps, I should have kept that one to myself. The point is…

She’s perfect.

Everything about her is perfect. Even the way she falls asleep and drools during class presentation days. And the times where she has random angry outburst or goes on a rant to her friends – I find it amusing. Oh, and her awkwardness! That, along with her innocent voice, shyness and bushing are the definition cute. She’s probably not that humble either – as much as I try to make myself believe that. In truth she’s simply she  a wallflower. Sure, she comes in everyday like as if she’s someone new; different moods mean a different look, but I think that’s interesting. And so what if she carries around a box of happy pills, and has scars cascading down her arms? She tells everyone that they’re battle scars… but that doesn’t make sense to me, since all she ever emits is peace, wisdom, and a tad bit of clumsy dorky-geeky-ness .

How can anyone hate her? How can she hate herself like that?

Regardless, she’s perfect, and all I want, to is to know her better, know why she’s so cute, why she’s so shy when she’s a bloody philosopher-author-photographer-in-the-making; I want to know what kind of guy she likes and what goes through her mind every second of every day. I long to know what it’s like to have her stare back at me with those big brown eyes, filled with love and lust and affection. I want to know what it’s like to love her. I just want to know her –

“Three words, go!” – My teacher suddenly interrupts my thoughts bringing me back to reality. I realise he’s talking to her. I swallow and sit up, quickly finding myself immersed in the lesson… or just infatuated with her all the same.

“Uhmm… Non-existent, Imaginary… um… hopeful?” She smiles bashfully; the teacher shares the same surprised look as me but then returns the smile and spares her any further embarrassment. Yes!! I grin to myself – I have chance, however slim – I have a chance!

“You boy, three words to describe your experiences of love!”

“M-M-Me? ” I stutter. My teacher nods and urges me to go on and share on my gory details. “Well…” I stall as everyone waits patiently for me to answer. My eyes look desperately to the door and then the clock – there’s no escape this time. I sigh, all my experiences have been pretty bad but I suppose I have no choice but to share that with the class. I sigh and search for the right words. Let’s see… well I’m traumatized for starters and:

“Scarred and…” my eyes drift towards her… “Shy, and … so… and so unfathomably beautiful…”

The words leave my mind and escape via my mouth before I can even comprehend what’s happened. Suddenly conscious, I realise I am amongst a silent class who have turned back to stare in confusion. I steer clear of the possible awkward eye contact and doge my vision up at Sir. He grins at me fully aware of the inducement behind my words.

“That wasn’t three words, but I’ll let you off since you’re such a hopeless romantic!” the class all laugh under their breath not fully knowing the intent behind his words. Then, as if nothing has happened he resumes with the lesson. Asshole – he knew! He picked me on purpose!

I slowly drown in my seat and hide behind my book; embarrassed… One last look, I promise myself. I turn cautiously. My chest tightens as I realise she’s already staring at me; our eyes meet, she stares at me in puzzlement, her face is flushed bright pink. – She knows too!? She quickly hides her face behind her fringe and avoids me…she hates me. She hates me! She definitely must hate me!

However, from behind my book I see her glancing at me.

Though as much as she tries to hide it, she’s smiling now and I find myself smiling too.

She’s contagious. And my diagnosis?

… love sickness…