I don’t need you to worry for me cause I’m alright
I don’t want you to tell me it’s time to come home
I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life
Go ahead with your own life and leave me alone.
~Billy Joel~

Autonomy. A word which has rendered itself a permanent resident of my cognizance. Autonomy – the will and desire to play by one’s own rules, with little (if any) regard to the expectations of others. A refusal to behave in a societally accepted manner unless advantageous to oneself.

After months of behavioral rectification, that small moment where you realise you haven’t met your own expectations to yourself leaves you disappointed at no one but yourself. Many will blame others for causing this “disappointment,” a mere projection of the imperfections they seem unable to accept as their own. But sometimes you tell yourself a lie, and ignore any truths that contradict it.

We all have our defence mechanisms – others more blatant than others. But what if accepting these defence mechanisms (or rather, acknowledging them as defenses) were an honest truth, would that be considered a defence of its own, or vulnerability?

Vulnerability does not mean weakness – it is an inevitability we are innately born with. And everyone is, to some extent, vulnerable. Some are emotionally vulnerable, some are intellectually vulnerable. Some are irrationally vulnerable, others are ignorantly vulnerable. Regardless of which we are, no man is indestructible or invincible. We have safeguards to protect our vulnerability, but our vulnerability is not necessarily attacked when our guards are down – they’re attacked when we believed that there was no need to be cautious.

And the more people warn you to be cautious, the more you feel the need to be cautious of those who are warning you.

People find it hard to trust others when they have trouble trusting themselves – thus, the most gullible of people are easily the most trustworthy – for their blind faith in others enables them to be trustable.

We are all results of our choices, our actions, our behaviour. But we are also vulnerable, and we are influenced by our peers, by expectations.

We get to a point in life where we allow ourselves to become autonomous – we allow ourselves to be our guiding star. But at the same time, we are influenced by those who have expectations of us.

We claim nonchalance, we claim indifference. But at the end of the day, we use “autonomy”  as an excuse to justify disappointment. We use autonomy, because ultimately, the only person you can let down is yourself.

Or so we believe.

And that is the lie in which we all, at one point in life, will begin to realise.

The agony, though, arises when we have to acknowledge that we’ve only been lying to ourselves. A subconscious knowledge isn’t enough, and won’t sustain long, until the facade protecting our vulnerability crashes, and falls, piece by piece, into the waves crashing against the rocks.

A lie we tell ourselves, regardless of how many truths contradict it – a lie we know we want to believe, and will defend it to the death, just to save ourselves from pain, from vulnerability. A lie, so beautifully constructed; a truth locked away, deep inside.

A truth we once knew, but chose to forget.

We all want the lie, because we lie to ourselves. Each and everyday.
Everybody lies – but it’s the reasons that differ.

Until you stop lying to yourself
I’ll never stop lying to you
And I’ve never said a word so true. 

One thought on “Autonomy

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