Human beings sometimes claim to be bad at being human but I’ve looked at the world for decades and I’ve got a lot to learn still yet here’s what I’ve learnt so far: everything in this world is just the sum of our attempts to put all these messy feelings, ideas, and stories into something tangible. To be human, at its very core, is to be understood.

The world sees you breathe chaos in to spit order out in the shape of numbers and figures and they label you the smart one, the pinnacle of intelligence in human form as if sometimes you don’t wish you understand more what your brother sees in his favourite painting he dreams of seeing one day. They don’t care that sometimes you wonder how you’re supposed to move just little to look inwards and get to know yourself when you’ve got the weight of that label on your shoulders just like Atlas. They don’t know how grateful you are to have a friend who seems to know how you feel at any given time and you don’t know how to make them understand.

So what if my tongue lets itself loose desperately trying to make the world see beneath my skin and your feet tap trying to knock some sense into the land you claim to love and her fingers run a rhythm of a song unsung inside her veins and their skin gets tan under the sun trying to soak life in with grass beneath their feet and his eyes dance trying to make sense of it all?

To be human is to speak your language and celebrate in the fact that someone understands you. To be human is to find all these pieces inside yourself and have the freedom to grow them all into something you can be proud of. To be human, finally, is to belong.

—Nazalea Kusuma