Today is my birthday. Looking back, I feel overwhelmed. Life lately has been in this strange transitional phase, where I don’t exactly understand where it is leading me to. Like, that car that has lost the control over the breaks, but the thrill and excitement that the uncertainty has to offer is exactly what keeps you elevated and going. There have been good days! Yes! And, there have been periods of long, unending sadness as well, like fate is playing a lingering melancholic tune. And I guess that is the story of every mortal being. It is a blend of joyous moments and then there are not so great ones too, except the proportion doesn’t always seem just and perfect. But we always make it, don’t we? Yes, we do, and that is why we celebrate year after year our existence, our journeys. Along this passage, life enlightens us in a myriad, different ways. Sometimes those teachings come as blows of kisses, gentle and sweet, and sometimes those come as blows of rude realizations and awakening. So I decided why not, reflect back and jot down and share with everyone these golden nuggets of insights that my life had to offer. Neither am I 90, or on my deathbed, nor am I proclaiming to be some ‘life expert’, no way!. I still don’t understand life and its many vicissitudes but I am student and life a teacher. We all are learners and figuring out things along the way. So let’s get started.

# 1) The best days of your life are the days you probably don’t even coherently remember-
SERIOUSLY! Infancy is incomparably better than any other phase of life. The grumpy, whiney tiny tot, lazily shrouding away in his mother’s embrace. Everyone finds that little creature delightful and there is not a care in the world. Unburdened and uncomplicated. YAY!

# 2) Don’t take yourself too seriously- YES, there are moments in our lives when we perceive ourselves to be absolutely brilliant, dreaming away in the bubble of our imagination, the heroes of our self written, directed and produced films, playing away in our heads. We’re all uniquely talented and gifted, yes, that’s a fact! Another important fact to remember is that we are ‘Idiots’ too. ALL OF US. Hurrah! That is the one common thread that binds the entire human race together. So for a change we should all imbibe into ourselves, to ‘laugh it off’ and not be so up in arms about anything and everything. No one’s perfect, so let’s not complicate and fuss when not required. It could contribute greatly towards the cause of mental peace. Breathe.

# 3) People are fickle, and so are relationships- As humans we are constantly meeting other mortal beings. We interact, we share experiences, we learn and then we all move on. The period for which these relationships make an appearance in our lives could be an hour, a day or a few years. So invest accordingly. Realize when one relation has reached an expiry and learn to move out. Not all associations need to be fed in the same degree and manner and be carried all along. For that moment, it can take all the strength you have to end it, but down the years we learn that it saved you from the drama and unnecessary baggage.

# 4) Follow your passions, because everything else is plain and mediocre- So whether it’s painting, drawing, singing, writing, dancing or even learning something you’ve always wanted to learn, DO IT!. Yes they’ll be some brief, some stretched out moments of doubts, disappointment and even failure but do it. Listen to that beating heart for it knows its passions well.

# 5) Don’t try to impress everyone, because you can’t, and guess what no one can- I’ve often been dawned by the realization, that no matter how nonchalant people act, we in our brains have been programmed to satisfy every person and fret about their opinion about us. That’s noble, indeed! But it is not always possible. Either you are too diplomatic, or too harsh, too friendly, or too anti- social, you never seem to get it right. They’ll always be something wrong about you and your fundamentals. While evolving as a person is worthy of acknowledgement, don’t lose out on what makes you stand out.

# 6) Learn to experiment and say yes!- While looking back at all those years that have gone by, I recognize achievements that I’m proud of, but what I more vividly remember are the opportunities I let go, those adventures I refused to be a part of and those instances when I let fear and anxiety bulldoze what I meant to do. At times, our life forces us to live by things which are inevitable. We take it all and bravely fight fate. But what is unfortunate is when we let those scars drain out our zest in life and we find ourselves lost in these dark clouds of pessimism. Life is all about bouncing back and striving for experiences that make living worthwhile.

# 7) Never make crucial decisions, when overflowing with joy or when deeply dented with melancholy or anger- This is a situational one. We are often faced by circumstances, when we are meant to take critical, high impacting decisions. Such decisions, in my opinion, require deliberation with a stable head. When we are over blown emotionally with either joy or engulfed by grief, the decisions taken do not always have the most ideal consequences. So it’s imperative to settle on the most rational choice, unstirred by emotions. And when nothing seems right, follow your intuition, for it shall never fail you.

# 8) The sun rises differently for different people- Absolutely! I often find myself comparing my situations in life to my peers. That’s fine, because healthy competition can sometimes prove to be very effective. However when this comparison stirs emotions of envy, unworthiness or proves to wreck self confidence or esteem, it can do more damage than good. ‘EVERYONE TICKS IN THEIR OWN TIME’ and dances on their tune. No two success stories can be same from start to finish, so never lose sight of the fact that the sun rises at different times for different people. Your song will never match someone else’s or have the same chorus. Be inspired, but don’t lose your own vision.

# 9) Blood shall always be thicker and purer than water- We can never predict who we choose to befriend, share emotions, love or bestowed with love from, but certain precious bonds are fabricated at birth. These relations can never be emulated, at least for me, by anyone outside that domain. Of course we need friends, but no one can love the way your family does. The ever-lasting support net, they provide, helps you venture, take flight, and instill in you a strength which is more powerful than anything else. It most definitely is one of the greatest blessings to have a close-knit, supportive family, because when everyone leaves, family stays. (NOTE- WHILE ASSESSING THE SITUATION, KEEP ASIDE THE FIGHTS / ARGUMENTS YOU HAVE WITH THEM BECAUSE THE RESULTS INTERPRETED THEREOF CAN BE INACCURATE AND MISLEADING. THEY STILL LOVE YOU *smiles*)

# 10) Independence is lonely, and it is not as miserable as it sounds- Independence is a quality that is looked upon with admiration, and it is often characterized with strength, self sufficiency, confidence and audaciousness. But what we fail to realize that a large part of ‘being independent’ is finding comfort in solitude. Getting things done with or without support requires the capability of treading on your discovered paths unperturbed by the fear of being or left alone. Very often we miss out on the blurring lines of independence and loneliness. To be secure when no one’s behind you is both liberating and terrifying at the same time.

So, these were it. An accumulation of several experiences and thoughts that keep circling my head has led to me to these revelations and perceptions. And the experience of writing them down was deeply gratifying. But I know, there can never be a straitjacket solution to our problems in life, since, what our life offers in the future shall always stay a mystery. Just when you think, your enlightened self has managed to fathom it out, it spirals itself, like a graceful ballerina, leaving you completely blown away. All I can say, that it is an unending cycle of moving, falling down, dusting yourself off and rising again. So, ‘let life be’!

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