One of my majors at university was English. I’ve always had a fondness for English literature and the pragmatics of the language. It was during my university days when I realized that I was indifferent. I also had the opportunity to delve into the subject of Othering in one of my modules.
Now, growing up, I’ve always thought that I was somewhat peculiar and weird. My thought processes and interests did not and do not fit the mould of acceptable societal norms. There were times when I’ve actually thought that I could fake it; throw in the towel; and saunter along like the normal folk of this world. My parents and sisters are probably the only ones!who really have the opportunity to experience me in 3D view. Up to this day, I regularly get told, “You’re weird” or “You’re not normal.” Fear of an ill-fated judgement may be the reason for my current state of reclusiveness.
From the canon of Othering, I pretty much sufficed that You are Them and I am Us. In the 1920’s, Michel Foucault stated that Othering was the cognitive dichotomy of knowledge and power-play systems.That’s how we distinguish our identity, culture and sense of belonging. I am the Red Peter of a Kafka short story; the Meursault of a Camus tragedy; the Hunter S. Thompson of journalists; and the Tesla of inventors.
The aforementioned names have influenced me greatly. There are qualities in them that I find in myself. In third-year French, I read The Outsider by Albert Camus. Meursault’s ‘ça m’est égal’ indifference to love, family, and life were a driving force in the process of Othering. Kafka’s pristinely written prose, Letter to an Academy, highlights the postcolonial Western canon of a civilized African ape, who possesses the humanistic ability to talk and conduct himself in a socially acceptable manner. I am the Red Peter in the garden called my life; doing what’s necessary to get by; teetering on the outskirts of a town called Indifference; struggling with my identity in this constant whirlwind… I am Hunter S. Thompson; breaking journalistic barriers; transforming journalistic prose from objective to subjective points of view. Hunter S. Thompson did more than break barriers; he enriched our lives with brutal honesty and succinct words. He reveled in his eccentricity- a true game-changer. He made it acceptable to be different, but still make strides. I am Nikola Tesla, the inventor, who wanted to change the world for the better with little recognition. The Tesla, who wanted neither fame nor fortune to see his dream realized. The eccentric mad scientist, who spent most of his impoverished life living a hermitic existence but, who left a legacy more colorful than the Olympics’ flag.
I am Kerry. I know that I am different. I accept that more often than not, I will be misunderstood. I am the Other, fastening my seat-belt in this roller coaster ride called My Identity.