Words by: Shabnam Sidhu Art by: Alyssa Maggio
There is a difference between ‘trusting my instinct’ and ‘following my instinct’ that I sometimes fail to recognise. More often than not, the latter has landed me in some unpleasant and chaotic conundrums. To a certain extent, I pride myself on my ability to be rather impulsive. However, I am a walking contradiction. As paradoxical as it may sound, I overthink everything, and everything I do or say is meticulously calculated, that is, in my head a least.
All the sensible thinking and planning goes to waste when I let my emotions get the best of me. At the initial appeal of anything remotely provocative or provoking, I find myself bidding adieu to logic, and letting my more spontaneous thoughts and actions take centre stage.
To some degree, I like to think it portrays me as carefree, bold, and exciting as I take life by the reins in the most self-destructive way possible and deem it an enriching experience.
It is one thing to daydream — allowing the unorthodox thoughts one might have to run rampant in the imagination — but it is another to actually say or do things that may come off offbeat.
Here’s a list of times, in increasing order of severity, which one should — but often doesn’t — reflect on before reacting.
1. Liking something you don’t know much about, but talking about it like you do, only because you like the idea of it.
I once told someone I loved a specific author that I’d only heard of, but had never read anything by, because I find works broadly written about sex, drugs, and New York in the 1970s extremely edgy. Acting like I knew them made me come off as mysterious, alternative, and well to simply put, hot… That is until I realised the other person was a massive fan of the author, and started asking me questions about a specific book I actually hadn’t read. I very nervously said I loved the novel to then get told it was a series of short stories.
2. Pressing the restart button without a plan in place.
I decided to move abroad and live alone for the first time at the ripe age of 22. At this point, I didn’t even know how to cut an onion. I was also unaware that milk (even if unopened) should be put in a fridge to prevent it from exploding. This traumatised me into never drinking milk again.
3. Correlating one’s behaviour to their star sign.
The first thing I said to my situationship (whom I’ve clearly caught feels for) was that he’s “such a Sagittarius” right after he told me he quit his job, bought a one-way plane ticket to Spain, and is leaving the country indefinitely in two weeks.
4. Being passive-aggressive when a dating app match decides to ghost me.
There was a time when I created a survey and sent it out to all the men who’ve ghosted me. I wanted to write about my findings and have it published. I felt the need to make a point about how incredibly frustrating it is to not be communicated to. In hindsight, I now feel I should’ve just let the dead rest in peace.
5. Willingly walking into what could potentially be the perfect scene for a murder.
A Hinge match I had not met yet texted me to come over one night. He said he’d make me dinner and that was enough to convince me to go meet him, despite not knowing the area very well. I walked in and his whole place was decked out in animal print and a massive, framed poster of Jordan Peterson. I still chose to stay the night.
6. Crying to Pitbull.
It just so happened that Pitbull’s ‘International Love’ was playing, and at that very moment, I decided it was a good time to have a mental breakdown in public. As Pitbull once said, “I’m taking all the negatives in my life, and turning them into a positive”.
I suppose it’s a guilty pleasure occasionally acting impulsively. A part of me is aware of the actions I’m taking but the other part of me enjoys being completely delusional, wandering through life in the most eccentric way possible. I could make a list of pros and cons, but for now, I’d rather continue with the thrill of it.