I used to be in a pseudo long distance relationship with a guy from Austria. Because of the 7 hour time difference, our conversations took place when one could see light outside and the other could see stars. You might hear that one’s most candid conversations take place before dawn, when the world seems to be in a period of pause, and it feels like nothing can hurt us.
On one such occasion, at my 3 a.m. and his 10 a.m., James laughed whilst informing me that I am a walking contradiction. My response? Life is made of contradictions. It’s funny how we suck at judging people, how we classify them in little boxes in our head, how we think of their being as binary when we know we aren’t binary ourselves. I am a contradiction.
1. I’m cold and calculating but caring and compassionate: I have what people call a “bitch barrier”, an aversion to opening up to new people (and here I am, confessing so much online to strangers, yet another contradiction). I’ve been called manipulative because I get my way professionally, and because I’m relentless in a debate. And yet when I love someone, I go to the end of the world for them.
2. I’m a prude and a slut: I’ve only given this part of the list this title because I am consistently socially labelled as both. I’ve never had an issue with making out with strangers at parties, so I’ve been called a slut. I also never kiss someone I am romantically interested in before we have anything serious, so I’ve been called a prude.
3. I’m a nerd and I party hard : As the girl who memorized the CIA World Factbook up to “France”, I can confidently say I’m a huge nerd. At the same time, I also love going out in the tightest skirt I own, drinking, smoking and fooling around.
Stop and think about it for a second, contradictions are part of the human experience. From Daisy Buchanan’s “I like large parties. They’re so intimate” to Oscar Wilde’s “I can resist anything, except temptation” to retailers telling you to “Spend and Save” to every time you are “busy doing nothing” and to that moment of inexplicable calm after the tears on your face have dried.
An oxymoron (or contradiction) shows us the multifaceted nature of the subject, it shows us that our mutual understanding and experience of the world is completely layered, different and illogical. And that is okay. Perhaps if we stopped demonizing our inner contradictions we would be much more human. Maybe if we start to see the beauty in pain and the truth in myths and the shortness in the wait, we might understand this crazy world a little better.
Life will turn you upside down and spin you around in both directions simultaneously every single day. And that’s just how it is.