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

About manipulating and getting manipulated

I guess this is one of those days when I just hate everything. I go and find refuge in my playlists, find some company with some of those overplayed songs, feel good about nothing and just waste my whole day. Of course, then “self- worth” ghost that always keeps hovering around me squeaks in her pathetic little voice – “You waste your day anyway be it your bad mood day or a good mood day, so don’t blame it on the day, it’s you pathetic person! It’s you!

Wow. Was I not upset enough?

I don’t even want to bitch about this ghost. It’s tiring. She doesn’t deserve my attention, let alone a whole blog post.

However, the truth is she already has too much of my attention. Yeah. And I don’t think I can spare anymore. I am already hanging on a thin thread. I don’t need more tension and the stress.

Anyway, it’s a bad day. I have to talk about something even more not-happy!

And so here it goes-

It suddenly strikes me now that all I have ever done in my life is to get manipulated. Actually, my whole life is a result of manipulation. And I am not just a victim. I have manipulated others as well.

It’s like a tradition; we get manipulated. We manipulate others. If we are not good at it then we spend an enormous amount of money to learn to manipulate someone. We get manipulated even if we are aware of the very fact. We get manipulated even when the thought doesn’t even remotely cross our minds. We manipulate others in quite similar ways. God, it’s a vicious cycle!

World needs to stop for a moment.

And I need to remember when was the last time that I had an original idea which was free of other people opinions.

Original idea? What is originality anyway?

You know manipulation isn’t as bad as it sounds. We have learnt to live with it. The advertisements, the newspaper, the parents, the friends, the teachers. They are not bad? Come on parents? Sometimes, it all works out for the best. Maybe even the bestest thing in your life can be a result of a hard core brainwash. But at the same time, doesn’t it all begin to feel so pointless? Why do we need someone to wash our brains? Can’t we think on our own?

We need some serious answers. We don’t need opinions.

Do we?

Do we?

Maybe the truth, the real answers are too harsh to bear and hence we just leave ourselves in the hands of others. And all we get in our lives are opinions.

Yeah, this is me consoling myself.

So, am I trying to say that we don’t need answers?

I want myself to think that. Yes.

Oh! Boy! I am back to square one. It’s true isn’t it? Ignorance is bliss.

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