25 realizations at 25
"There's no lemon so sour that you can't make something resembling lemonade." ~ This Is Us
Hello beautiful human,
How are you doing this Sunday afternoon? Is it raining at your place? It was raining on and off here in the last few days. The weather is pleasant for most people. For me, the rains feel melancholic and gloomy. Nonetheless, all of us feel like napping in this weather.
This week has been overwhelming for me. The onset of late 20s feels strange. I have been critical of myself in the last few years and now I am letting it all go. It is difficult to let go for a control-freak mind like mine. I am trying. I will fail a few times. I will get up, walk, fall, get hurt, get healed, move again, and this cycle will continue. Isn't that the reality of life? It may feel like life is moving faster than you and that is okay. Take all the time and space you need. Things will sort out.
Since I was small and inquisitive, I have been driven by the desire to find and learn new things. There wasn't much support for my queries and questions. Most of my learning had been self-learning. It was difficult and shattering at times. Nonetheless, lessons are still lessons. Though I wish that instead of me going and exploring everything on my own, there would have been a guide, a teacher, or a mentor for me. It would have been easier to absorb the essence of the lessons with their guidance. Unfortunately, there wasn't one. I have this dream to light up others' paths as I wished mine to have been lighted. That is my offering to you in this newsletter. I will share with you the 25 realizations I have had in the last 25 years of my life. I hope my light can guide you wherever you are on your path.
1. Don’t ignore your body’s signs. It might give you warnings before breaking down. I have had my fair share of ignorance towards my health. Trust me, your body needs the most attention. It enables you to do everything and it deserves your love and respect. Would you give it the love and kindness your body deserves?
2. Don’t listen to people who are not where you want to be. Don’t take investment advice from the insurance agent and don’t take love advice from a single friend. Movies and media have shitted in our brains big time. It's time to change that script.
3. Don’t invest in what that you don’t understand. Don't invest time in relationships and skills you don't understand. Don't invest money in businesses you don't understand. Don't invest yourself in what you don't understand. When it gets complicated, your brain might go autopilot. Simplify, understand and then invest anything - be it money, time, or energy.
4. Making friends as an adult is easier. You need to genuinely connect with them and tell them what you admire about them. It has been easier for me to reach out to people and talk to them about things we both love. Try real talk instead of small talk. It has worked out wonderfully for me.
5. You will regret being 16 if you didn’t live when you were 16. This realization hit after reading the book Tuesdays with Morrie. If you have lived a phase of your life in the best possible way, you will not regret looking back.
6. People will body shame you no matter how you look - whether you are skinny or fat. I was on both ends of this spectrum. I was chubby and healthy. I got comments on that. I was thin and bony. I got comments on that. People comment on you because of their own insecurities. Your body is your business and you should be comfortable with the way you are. People will say whatever they have to, ignore them.
7. People will not respect you if you don’t respect yourself. This is a biggie. When you talk negatively for yourself, call yourself names, and humiliate yourself, don't expect others to show you respect. It doesn't work that way.
8. People will cross your boundaries if you don’t enforce them. You can easily put up a Do Not Disturb sign and people will still check if you are free for them. It has happened with me at work, at home, and online. Boundaries have to be enforced, otherwise, they will be crossed.
9. People will say whatever they feel like, you do what you want. The only mouths that shout are of those who don’t do anything new. People will criticize when you don't fit the box they have defined for you. Once you dare to break that box, there is no going back.
10. Separating yourself from your emotions gives you a calmer perspective of life. I had a hard time separating myself and my anger. I am not proud of the incident that led to this realization. Once it hit me, it hit me.
11. Invest in good courses and mentors if you want to learn faster. Learning by yourself and from free resources is good but much more painstaking and time-consuming. I can say this because I am financially stable right now. I understand if you do not have the financial resources. The reason for this comes next.
12. Time is more precious than money. Time is limited and finite. You can’t give money to get back time. Giving up your precious time in pursuit of money, I don't want that to be the story of my life anymore. If you don't have time for things you want to do, what is life?
13. Binge-watching kills your concentration. It makes you boundaryless and more susceptible to life imbalance. Guilty of bingeing on youtube, tv-series, instagram, and even documentaries. Binges just sloth you and stick you to screens. Watching something for a limited time is good, but when it becomes automatic, you have lost free will.
14. Trust the energy or the vibe. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it is. I wish I could tell you how many times my intuition has saved me. I wish I could tell you how many times I screwed up by not listening to my intuition. Trust the energy, it never lies.
15. Getting into a good school doesn’t guarantee a good college. Getting into a good college doesn’t guarantee a good job. Getting a good job doesn’t guarantee a good life. Similarly, coming from not so good school doesn’t mean you won’t get a good college. Not so good college does not mean you wouldn't get a good job. Not so good job doesn’t mean you have a bad life. The more people I meet, the more I realize that you can turn your destiny at any moment in time.
16. Your parents, teachers, and elders don’t know everything. It will be easier to forgive them for their mistakes and move on for your mental sanity. I can hold many people accountable for things that went wrong because they gave wrong information, delayed information or decisions, or just plain made decisions without asking me. But, that will only poison my mental sanity. It is much easier to let the past be past and forgive them, trust me.
17. Don’t let the childlike wonder die in you. Adulthood means seriousness and long faces in our society. It doesn't mean you have to follow the norm. See everything as if you are still a beginner. Learn and ask questions. When everything seems like magic, life's good.
18. I am responsible for where I am in life. I am responsible for everything I do in the future. I am the creator of my destiny. Take charge and own your shit. Shifting responsibility hasn't taken you to a better place and it never will. It gives a momentary satisfaction, I agree. To be completely free, own your life and your actions.
19. Collaboration brings more and better results compared to competition. Ah, if only someone told this to little Shubhangi. She would not be threatened by everyone doing better than her. Alas, the education system would not have it the other way. But, you can. You can choose collaboration over competition today.
20. You cannot bring a person out of victimhood if they are not willing. If only I could tell this to the do-gooder in me when she wanted to help everyone. People will change themselves and their perspectives when and only when they are ready. Change cannot be forced. This universe works on free will. Your will is the most important component in the making of your life.
21. If you make your complete life utilitarian, you will lose yourself. I left writing in college and I hadn’t been less miserable in my life. The reason simply being that it was not of any use. Why don't we do things just because they feel good and don't have any usefulness attached to them? Why not write for the joy of writing? Why not read for the joy of reading? Why not sing, dance, play or do for the simple joy of it?
22. You don’t have to monetize on every skill you have. This comes from the utilitarian economy. If you have a talent you are not monetizing on, you are losing money. This expectation robs you of creating something freely. I started working as a freelance content writer because I wanted to monetize my writing skill. I didn't like writing about random things I didn't care about. The pressure built up. I took a break in the last three months and wrote just for myself and for you. I have felt the words easily flowing out of me. I don't want to monetize on every single skill I have.
23. You don't know the last time you will see or talk to someone. The world has been unpredictable in the last year. We don't know how much time we or the other person has. The least we can do is be kind and compassionate in our words and actions.
24. Say what's in your heart. Just say it lovingly. When you love someone, tell them. When you feel sorry, tell them. When you feel angry, tell them, in a calm loving way of course. Authentic conversations are heart-melting. You will not know what awaits you on the other side.
25. In the end, the only person you have is you. Everyone, your parents, siblings, friends, spouse, kids, family, colleagues, community - all of them may not be tomorrow. All you have is you. I am hard, difficult, inconsiderate, and honest here. The only person you have is you. Work on that relationship with yourself. Life will get better.
That's it for today! Enough gyan from this writer. I hope that you resonated with at least any one of these. If you did, let me know in the comments or our chats.
From your writer friend,
Love and light!