A letter to my 16-year-old self

Alright. I need to come straight out and tell you – Boyfriends are overrated.

I know you know that and you still want them but chill a bit. You have infinite expectations from yourself and zero ideas about how a man’s brain works. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t. But smile more. It’s okay if your braces show. It’s okay if you aren’t on top of the class. It’s okay if JEE is frustrating. Your life is not a disaster. Please don’t sell yourself short. It’s going to be okay. Not just okay, it’s going to be genuinely good.

I know this concept is alien to you. But don’t take things too seriously all right? You don’t know what you want. And they don’t either. So grow some spine. Grow some spine to make mistakes. Because mistakes teach you.

I know how sad, guilty, angry and frustrated you feel. 12th grade; the gateway to your career, the gateway to your life – Ooh! So fucking important. Better not screw it up. But you are screwing it up every single day.

And I want you to know that it’s okay. You think self rebuke might work but it doesn’t. You think you have messed it up but you haven’t. You think there’s no point to your life but even if it’s true it doesn’t matter.

Expectations are killing you. You are facing failures for the first time. Your limitations are naked and ugly. Oh, how much you hate yourself for not being smart enough, for not being diligent enough, for not being determined enough!

Don’t. You deserve to be loved, my love. You deserve to be loved.

Maybe you already know that but you can’t help it. And in that case, I want to tell you – Don’t take those emotions too seriously. Don’t let your feelings judge your character. Bad feelings are not exactly bad. Good feelings are not exactly good. Remember -They are not you. They are just emotions.

Don’t hold things too close. Walking away is sometimes necessary. When you stand too close to it, you don’t understand what you are looking at. You require distance to really know yourself. You require time. So be patient. Be kind. Be forgiving. Most of all to your own self.

You have always pushed yourself harder and I get why you do it. But sometimes it’s important to look back and see what you have achieved. Sometimes it’s important to let yourself fly, break every constraint, run free and wonder – what is your life about, what would you do if you could do anything?

Dream of dreams! Not careers! Careers are boring. You don’t believe me? You want to be rich, I remember. Well a decade later, we are nowhere close. But life ain’t bad. I am not perfect but I love what I do. I love how I dream. I love this imperfect life.

I know you think a lot about what other people think about you. Your image matters. But is that image really you? They are thinking about a thousand other stupid useless things. You are not here to prove anything to anyone. And how does their opinion matter anyway? They think you are a geek? They think you are weird? So what? Accept it and it’s not your weakness anymore.

And you know what – you are lovely! You are kind. You are brilliant. You are beautiful. Don’t believe your deceptive mind telling you that no one would ever love you. Lots of people will. Lots of people do.

It’s the heart that matters. Let it guide you. It will take you to absurd weird-ass places but you will fucking enjoy it.

Yes, I swear a lot. I know you are judging me. But I also know you don’t exactly mind.

I know life is a struggle right now. But try to be happy. By that, I don’t mean that you force happiness on yourself when you actually feel sad and end up feeling guilty that you don’t feel what you are supposed to feel. By being happy, I mean when your life is going smoothly cherish it. When you face any challenge turn it into an opportunity to grow. You may not always succeed in doing this but pat yourself on the back every time you try. That’s the real victory. And love! Love, love, love, give it away as much as you can. To people, to places, to yourself. When you go through pain, which inevitably one day you will, remember it’s the most profound experience you are ever going to have. It will hurt but it will teach you the most. It will hurt but it will make you a kinder, more compassionate person. When you are wrong, accept that with grace because there’s nothing wrong with being wrong. Don’t be ashamed. Take that as a lesson and move on. And yes move on! Use memories as a guide, nostalgia, as that light-hearted, feel-good movie. Be hopeful, always be hopeful for the future – as Queenie, a movie character you are going to come across soon, says, “You never know what’s coming for ya.”

Love,
You

The rat race

Just a little something I wrote when I was not supposed to.

So, the rat went on this trail that was open, wide and broad,
Running and running, he chased all those who were aboard,
He ran and he sped, he left more and more behind,
And among all the cheers spent on him, his own he couldn’t find.
But following other rats was in fact perfectly fine.
His proud parents, his envious friends- How could he ever mind!
So, he ran anyway, his stars were aligned,
So what if his life was something that he never got to define!

Above is just an excerpt, you can read the whole poem at  http://penumbramag.com/the-rat-race/