21 things I have learned being 21

Birthday walks 🧡

Fever stricken and puffy eyed I spend majority of my birthday laying face down crying. As the symptoms dissipated, I had the time to process everything. I remember when I was 15 I envisioned how my 20s will shape up. With high expectation, little information and sleazy magazines my imagination ran wild. For the last couple of years I was presented with situations which forced me to reflect on life. Since then I have done a lot of reflecting and I thought I would share some of the things I have learned through the years. As always if you are interested —keep reading!

1. Happiness is not sustainable.

Some say it is a state of being. Others say it comes with time. Whichever it may be, for sure the feeling is not long term. Eventually, we learn to live with rest with of the cotton-candy of emotions in absence of happiness.

2. Life doesn’t guarantee it will fulfil all your dreams

It took me a while to come in terms with this idea. It is in our nature to expect things from life, to dream. But that doesn’t mean whatever we expect or dream will become a reality. Because we live in unpredictable tide of life, it chooses its turns. This however doesn’t mean we don’t try to work hard to fulfill our dreams —it just means ultimately we surrender to the uncertainty of life.

3. Patience gives way to resilience

It is hard at best of times to stay put. To reassure yourself without any fruit of your labour. To put your name in ‘endless waiting list’; to live in uncertainties, but at every turn when you think you may give up —you are blessed with this resilience you never knew you had. Whenever, there comes a situation where patience in abundance is required know that not only what you want will come to you but you will be greeted with grit, determination and beautiful patience that will pave the way for future.

4. The power of faith

The last few years has been quite something for me. Faith is universal and it has its own relationship with each one of us. Even on a wobbly day when hope is crumbling —I know deep down —there’s light at the end of the tunnel. There has to be. The firm belief on my part; it will happen, mountains can be moved, sun will shine, I will get through it.

5. Insecurities are part of being a human

It took me a while to love myself wholeheartedly. I have talked a lot about insecurities. We all have them. Don’t be afraid to embrace all of which that makes you —YOU!

6. Teachers aren’t always right about future.

I think a part of me will always resent them for their endless predictions for my future. Here‘s the thing: our education system sucks. It puts young people in categories of ‘smartness’ the segregation creates fiction and self doubt. The worst thing we could do to a young person is insert a seed of doubt. We don’t always have it figured out and that’s okay. As Michelle Obama said ‘Growing up is not finite’.

7. Embrace the power of NO

Sometimes saying NO can save you from a lot of bullsh*t. Occasionally no is enough. We can’t please everyone and if it means staying at home —having the Friday night to yourself, do it!

8. Good things takes time

When something takes time to come to you —you will appreciate it more. The whole waiting period for it to arrive and when it does —the reward means all that more. Often the prolonging wait harvests the ripest fruit.

9. Have a view of politics —it matters!

It is important to know what is happening around us. To hold the policy makers accountable for their actions. A lot of sacrifices went into just having a say —to vote. Now that we enjoy this right —it is our civic duty to exercise this right. We owe it to those who came before us and those who will come after us to have our voices heard because it will affect all of our lives. From brexit, climate change, racial injustice to the handling of COVID_19, it is fundamental to have a view, to know where we stand in history.

10. Discovering books will transform your life

I love to read. And being a reader was what had made me most myself; it had given me the gifts of curiosity and sympathy, an awareness of the world as an odd and vibrant and contradictory place, and it had made me unafraid of its oddness, vibrancy and contradictions.

11. You will never find a meaning to life

Life is not there to give you a meaning. No matter how much you search sometimes you will return empty handed. Don’t let this stop you from accepting for what it is: an unpredictable tide. Accept yesterday, enjoy today and anticipate tomorrow. What is meant for you will not miss you.

12. It’s okay not to be okay

Treat yourself as if you were someone who you are responsible for helping. Yep —exactly that!

13. Be kind

We needed others then, we need them now and we will need them in future. From the very beginning, since birth, we were in the mercy of others to bathe us in love, to show us how to navigate around this world, and most of all teach us how to be a human. Towards the end —we will need others again to send us off from this world with respect and dignity. After all of it how could we not be kind to others.

14. Self care is mandatory

Long walks, warm baths, a book and good company. What more do you need?

15. Compliment little girls on their intellect rather than on looks

We need girls to appreciate their true value. To know that they are worth more than what we see outside.

16. Learn to let go

Every now and again it is good to declutter our life, just to peek at the other side. Not all the memories are worth keeping.

17. Forgive

You are doing yourself a massive favour. It is truly not worth holding onto negativity. Less burden better you.

18. Being dumb is not attractive

It’s for those who act dumb for the sake of it when they are actually clever. We need to distort the notion of ‘dumb blonde’. If you are intelligent flaunt your intellect.

19. You wouldn’t always know where you belong

Recently, I am finding myself questioning everything about where I come from. Where do I belong? Having spent half of my life in one country and other somewhere else and when neither feels home —I sometimes feel restless (the only accurate word I could think off to describe this feeling). I guess I am in a journey to find that place.

20. You are enough

Keep repeating this. Are you enough? Yes I am.

21. Take risks

As many as possible. It forces us to change the narrative of our life. To never stay the same. It has so many surprises it store —you will be delighted at the end.

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