Jun 30, 2013

25 things nobody tells you about life

25th birthday. They say it's a milestone year, quarter life crisis and all. But for me, birthdays usually come with (apart from all the binge drinking) a lot of baggage, my own that is.

Get me thinking about life, what I've done, achieved, and where I am going. More like an existential crisis for me. I'd like to think I have grown wiser (almost reluctantly) and i should share some of what *I* have learnt about life, people, relationships, and all that grandmother stuff, in the last 25 years of my existence.

Cold, cynical & of course my personal set of perception, here goes, things *I* have observed, condensed in 25 points (Thought-catalogue much?) that nobody else tells you about life.

1) Nobody owes it to you to have a good time. You need to go out there and make it happen for yourself. People hang out with you because they're having fun, not because you are.

2) Give strangers a chance. By the sheer fact that they're that, they are the only ones who don't disappoint. There is a sea of kindness waiting to be unlocked. Today you're on the giving end, someday you'll receive it. In another form, from another person. The keywords are pay.it.forward.

3) Most people don't care how smart, kind or talented you are. They will like you based on how you make THEM feel & what you do for them. For eg people like funny people because they make them laugh. You might have a friend with a mind like Einstein's but at the end of a low, tiring day, you want to run to someone that'll give you a warm hug & make you your favourite cup of ginger tea.

4) The internet is a blessing if you use it to get/share knowledge, network, make new friends etc. It is a curse if you let it replace your real life or blur the lines in between.

5) Travelling is the only way to know the world, life, people way beyond text books, novels or a job and grow a sense of tolerance and appreciation towards the diversity we live in/inspite of.

6) People will disappoint you & more often than not, it's your closest friends who will. Easier said than done, but it's about keeping your expectations low because whether or not we realise it, we start expecting people to react and do the things we would, had we been in their place but we forget that a person's approach to doing things is influenced by their perception of you, their experiences & conditioning.

7) We tend to over-romanticize things. A love story made in heaven for you could well have been a testosterone fueled romp for someone else. The key is not get emotional & believe it's for real until you see that ring on your finger.

8) Pamper yourself. More than anything, including your house, your friends or work. When the years go by and you look at those deep-seated (pun unintended) craters on your feet, you'll wonder why you were the last person on your priority list.

9) Your family's love is the only selfless love. Most everyone else is on a mutual-benefit relationship.

10) Dogs. Nothing feels better than waking up to your dogs on your side. To hell with Rabies, ( don;t quote me on this but) let that dog lick you on your face & heal you up to bliss.

11) You can do without your parents or just about anyone. Life will have a huge void, and you will miss them, too painfully at times, but you were born with the ability, strength & instinct to go out on a limb.

12) Not everyone has to like you. Just you don't like everyone. And it's alright.

13) The nicer you are, the more you'll be taken for granted. So while I've seen myself mulling overnight on personalised cards/gifts to friends on ocassions, carrying them food when sick or otherwise playing the nourishing-mother, i'd be surprised if I see even half of that ever coming back to me. 'Cuz I'm just that girl who does things. I'm supposed to.

14) Blaming others for your failures is a sign of being a failure itself. You only get what you work for. And if someone *has* screwed you over, again you deserved it for letting them screw you over. Or maybe you really did ask for it.

15) Making a difference feels good. Not many realise it but being able to work for the underprivileged is a privilege in itself. Sometimes an unexpected act of kindness, making someone smile or just that extra mile to make someone's day does more for you than the receiver.

16) Looks do make a difference in how the world treats you. Chances are, the day you look your best will also be the day you're made to feel your best.

17) They all wish you a happy birthday but only a very few do anything to make it so. They're for real.

18) There really is no substitute to self-respect and confidence.
Respect yourself and be assertive and the world will follow. Feel like shit one day and voice it out, and they peg you just about the same, even if they say otherwise.

19) Everything illegal isn't necessarily bad. And vice versa.

20) Being frugal is nice but being a miser is not. Spend on partying, buying yourself good things, travelling, attending shows, contributing to a cause- whatever adds value to your life. Enjoy the sunshine before saving up for a rainy day.

21) People who read a lot, look & sound impressive at first but scratch the surface and you'll realise all they have is borrowed wisdom. To put it crudely, all erudite but a very little contribution to the society or even to you as a person.

22) It's not about how long you've known someone or how often you meet that determines the quality of a relationship. It's about the moments you've shared with them, in whatever time.

23) People do judge you behind your back, yes, and everyone loves a little gossip & a topic of conversation. So do you. Never blindly trust anything you read in the grapevine about anything/anyone. And as I read somewhere "nobody is ever the villain in their own story."

24) This works differently for different people, and I've never fortunately needed to experience it first hand but from what I've seen around, never quit the day job till you have clarity in life about "what next". The loss of a source of a steady income and the ensuing depression/id crisis is still not worth living the uncorporate life.

25) Age truly is just a number. You could be 50 and not have lived. You could be 20 and have a world of knowledge, experience & thoughts to enrich your own & others' lives.

C'est la vie. Carpe diem. (And other cool phrases in foreign languages)

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