Dawn

She moved silently and as quietly as she could as she ran down the streets towards the railway station. Why was she late? She could have sworn that she woke up on time. The streets were isolated. There was no living thing in site except for the lone street dog scavenging for its next meal.

Why was she late? There couldn’t have been a more inconvenient time to have to travel on her own. It was too early for her. The sun hadn’t risen and none of the birds were awake yet. Morning shift is great, as long as you have someone to travel with. The train would leave in a fifteen minutes and she better be at the station when it does. The foggy darkness loomed around her and she couldn’t wait to reach the safety of the railway station.

She pulled her hoodie tightly around her, desperately trying to hide her feminine body underneath. Darkness is no woman’s best friend. Darkness is where the wolves hide waiting for their prey and she felt like a sheep wandering through. Fear made her quicken her step. But with each step closer her fear faded.

By now it had gotten a little brighter. Its funny how within a few minutes the sky can change hues. Move from a black to a faint greyish blue. How within a few minutes from being surrounded by complete isolation you enter civilization as the dawn approaches. How within a few minutes her fear melted away along with the blackness of the night.  The empty lanes were now filling up with people. People just like her heading off to work on that winters morning.

She could hear the faint call of the vendors as they opened up their shops. School buses zoomed past her along with the cabs and rikshaws. Birds flew over her head. Dogs barked in the distance. Dawn had brought life with it.

She had reached her platform just as soon as the train pulled into the station and so had her day begun.

 

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What 22 years on this planet has taught me

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“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!!” Yes, I did just start my blog with a quote from Taylor Swift’s 22.I have waited since forever to use this line so don’t judge. I recently turned 22 (in December 2017 but it is never too late to post right?) and trust me when I say it has been an adventure.

I have been planning this post for a while. A list of things I have learnt from what life has thrown at me over the past 22 years. Life has been an eventful journey so far, it has had its share of ups and downs, twists, turns and moments when I wish it would just pause.

Here are just a few things that I have learned:

LESSON 1: It is okay to not have a “squad”

I was never lucky when it comes to friendships. Throughout school and college, I have always jumped from person to person. The maximum amount of time I have been in a large group of people who I considered “friends” has only been for a few months. It used to get to me in the beginning but now I don’t mind it one bit. In fact, I feel it is better to have a small group of friends who you know through and through and who have got your back when you need it.

LESSON 2: Time cannot be used to measure friendship. 

From all the people I knew growing up, from all the kids that went to school with me, I can only think of a handful who I would actually consider a good friend. Yes, I may have spent 14 years with these people and we all left high school together but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are best friends for life. I haven’t heard from or spoken to most of them after graduating high school.

And yet, there are those people who I have met only once as complete strangers and we are close friends today.

LESSON 3: After every dark cloud there is a silver lining.

The saying is true, when you feel life is down in the dumps just go on a little ahead and do not give up. There is always something good coming up your way. All you need a little patience. Life is such a thing, it knows when you need something and it takes you towards it. You may feel this isn’t what you want but later on in hindsight you will realise it was all for your own good.

LESSON 4: Family is worth more than a million friends.

Nine years ago my father passed away due to cancer. It was a tough time for all of us. At that time, my mother, brother and I formed such a strong bond and this bond grows stronger year after year.  I see many of my friends around me who do not share a strong relationship with their parents and family. When everything else fails, family is what remains.

LESSON 5: It does not hurt to be kind and truthful.

As much as I can, I try to be truthful and honest in everything that I do. At the moment we may be tempted to say something to get us out of a situation. But it is a small world after all and eventually what you said will get back to you. Kindness may not give you anything in return but it will mean the world to the person to whom it is directed to. All in all it makes the world a happy place to live in.

LESSON 6: You will only know what you had until you loose it. 

There will come a time in you life when you start to take a person for granted and only once they leave will you realise how important they were to you.

LESSON 7: Do not be after people to stay.

Sometimes, people who you hold dear will leave you for reasons of their own. My advice, let them. There is no use trying to stick on to somebody when they do not want you. That will only leave you feeling miserable about yourself.

LESSON 8: Stay away from…

Stay away from emotionally draining people. Stay away from people who keep putting you down. Stay away from people who treat you like dirt. Stay away from people who only love you when its for their convenience. There is no point in investing your emotions in these sort of people because it is never going to make you happy.

LESSON 9:  Forgive

Someone may have done you wrong. They may have used you, cheated on you, lied to you and hurt you. Forgiveness is easier said than done. I know its hard to forgive someone who has hurt you so much emotionally but if you can manage to forgive and forget your life will be better. Holding a grudge towards someone drains you so much more than you actually think.

LESSON 10: Life is not a fairytale.

Life isn’t a fairytale. Nothing goes on like it does in the stories. If it did then what would separate fiction from reality? Life is full of twists and turns. It may go in ways you may never expect it. But along with the hardship come laughter and happy times. Smiles and joys, achievements and defeats.

LESSON 11: Learn to be content

Contentment. We have all been told about it. Be content with what you have, do not look at others, etc . But its true. Once you are content with what you have you will never feel bad about your life. Others may have more than you, they may do things which you want to do. At these times, smile and be happy for them but do not feel bad about yourself. My mother always tells me to look at those who are less fortunate than I am and not at those you have better opportunities than I do. By doing this you will realize how fortunate you are in life.

LESSON 12:  It is okay to take a break when you want one.

This is the one thing I keep on telling my friend every time we are on the phone. If you feel like taking a break from work, from studying, from a certain person. Do it! At the end what matters is how you feel about yourself. If you wake up one morning and you do not feel like going to college that day, or you do not feel like doing anything but just lay in bed for the entire day then do it. This is when your body wants rest. Take some rest and let your mind and body relax. After this you will feel much better.

LESSON 13: Its okay to have ambition, but not too much.

Don’t get me wrong. Ambition is good. In fact, having ambition is great but when this ambition makes you work you body so much to the point when you get ill then it is time to stop.  I have seen a few people in my life who are very ambitious. But when they do not meet their goal, or when they feel they have not achieved what they wanted to achieve they start hating themselves. This should stop!

LESSON 14: Disappointment and defeat are all parts of life.

We all think that life is unfair towards us. That everybody has it better than us. That only we get disappointed again and again. Let me tell you this, EVERYBODY gets defeated in something at sometime or another. It isn’t just us. There are some people who know how to handle defeat. They know how to learn from mistakes and this is why we feel nothing ever happens to them.

LESSON 15: Be HAPPY.

No matter what life throws your way, be happy. Having a positive outlook towards life makes you feel better. Everything happens for the best. There is no use crying over something when it has already happened. Instead, we must take it all in our stride and be happy. There is always a positive side to everything that happens to us.

LESSON 16: Take risks.

Taking risks in life makes life more exciting. Only two things can happen when you take a risk. One is that you may reach disappointment, but on the other hand, taking a risk can open you up to a whole new adventure.

LESSON 17: Take time out for yourself.

Pamper yourself, take up a hobby. Life is all about discovering yourself. Taking some time out for yourself lets you relax. It takes away stress and keeps you feeling happy.

LESSON 18: Taking life too seriously isn’t going to help you.

Yes, I admit. This is something which I still have to work on. It is okay to laugh at yourself, it is okay to have fun. It is okay to joke around. Being too serious only leaves you feeling upset.  Let off some steam, chill and have fun. After all, you only live once.

LESSON 19: It is never good to over think a situation.

Another thing that I still have to work on. Everybody knows that over thinking a situation leaves you feeling miserable. It is hard to not try to analyse what went wrong. But as much as we can we should try not to.

LESSON 20: Life cannot be “planned out”

I am a person who likes to be in control of what is happening in my life. When I feel it is falling out of place I panic. For a long time this would affect me until I realized that we cannot plan life out on a piece of paper. We can never know what will come our way. Sometimes you may feel your plan is falling apart and it is okay. Embrace whatever change comes your way. From what I have learned, life will never give you what you cant handle.

LESSON 21: Every fall is a lesson

We can’t always win a life. Sometimes we fall. But only when we fall we learn. Treat every failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Learn from the past, learn from the mistakes so that in the future you will never get into those situations again.

LESSON 22: And finally, it all starts with you.

Everything in life begins with you. Life is what you make it. To be happy, to be upset, everything starts with you. Your outlook in life will determine your happiness.

 

 

Dear Twenty Somethings,

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To my dear twenty-somethings,

It’s okay. Everything will be alright. I know, I am going through it too.

We have all read the articles online “things you should be doing in your twenties” or “things you should do before you graduate”, and as helpful as the author may want to seem,they only write to their audience who can actually achieve those things. Don’t ask me how many posts I have come across online where I, an almost twenty one year old have been told to get out and travel and see the world, or follow your dreams and to do a million other things that I cannot do. And this leaves me feeling bad about myself and bad about my life. Until I realize that an online article shouldn’t dictate my life or tell me how I have to live it. 

When we reach our early twenties our life changes. We graduate, we get our first proper job,  some of us even get married and start having families of our own. We have student loans to pay back, we have bills to pay, we have taxes and a whole lot of financial work to take care off. We are faced with every single “adult” responsibility that we can ever imagine. And to top it off, we are all on our own. No mum and dad to shelter us and protect us from this big bad world that we live in (unless you are one of the lucky ones who’s parents still pamper you). And at times all of this may seem a little overwhelming and scary. You think you won’t be able to survive but trust me, you will.

You may have made a plan that seemed absolutely perfect for you at the time, perhaps it was the “dream” job you wanted or maybe it involved moving to another city. And just when you think everything is going to be great, every piece falling into place something comes up and it all shatters into a million heart breaking pieces. Its okay. Maybe it all fell apart because this wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. We cannot see the whole picture now but very soon we will see whatever happens to us happens for the best. There is no point in regrets, in feeling sorry for yourself over missed opportunities because you know what? Opportunities keep on knocking and keep on coming your way.

Times will get difficult, people will say things, you will get a ton of “advice” from well to do family members. You will look at other people, other twenty somethings who seem to have it all. There will be times when you feel that there isn’t any point in going on. Please don’t let these thoughts get to you. Don’t let the present disappointments dictate your future. Don’t make rash decisions. And remain happy. You are not alone. Trust me, everybody is going through the bad times. And the good news is, it is not going to last. A year from now you will look back and laugh and be thankful for the experiences you had because that is what shaped you.