I have lived a good chunk of my life, you can say… and I consider it fairly well lived.
From a naughty kid getting beaten by the elders, to being a silent kid, to being a brat again.
From considering myself ugly, to being called good looking.
From being single af, to being committed af.
From being shy, to being a bully.
From being boringly sober, to being absurdly high.
From being homely, to being a travel junkie…
Well I’m glad I’ve seen most aspects of life. I would not regret too much at this stage. However, at times I do feel that maybe I can time travel and go back to my 15 year old self to give these few pieces of advice that I have learnt over this period:
- Replace your library. Throw away all your current books
I used to read crappy books at that time, mostly novels and story books. While they were not bad, I wish I had developed an interest in reading biographies and success stories. During the teens is when the brain is extremely malleable. Any information that gets to being impactful that time, could actually fester and become a huge force. I wish I had developed the desire to copy Ambani. I would have neared to at least being Shubhra Chadda, the founder of Chumbak. (As per the theory of ‘aim for 100 and you land up at 70’)
- Stop being shy
I was a terribly shy kid during my teens. I blame myself for being that way. Not having the courage to speak to people or look them in the eyes is a clear indicator of low self-esteem. I wish I hadn’t been too shy then. I could have used those few years.
- Talk to More people
Since I was shy, I barely spoke to anyone at all. I probably had 2 friends max. What the hell was I doing? By not talking to people, I was limiting myself from ideas about the different streams of career options available in front of me. I didn’t develop a mind of my own which led into me being a blind sheep and following anything that my parents would say (and according to them anyone who did not take up ‘science’ was a stupid person).
- Work on building confidence
I did not have the guts to approach people or go talk to them and start building a network right then. Why? ‘Coz I lacked confidence. When we are young, we have this absolute energy and carefree attitude. Channeling this energy in the right direction would have given me a mighty kick start for sure. I could have looked into the things that I felt I lacked or made me feel vulnerable, and worked on it. Like maybe I could have learnt dance, played sports, been smarter, done more public speaking etc. This would have automatically built my confidence.
- Participate more
I should have participated in everything. Any event- participate. NCC? Participate. Sports day? Participate. ‘It’s okay, if you’re not good. Just participate girl. It will pay dividends.’
- Date more
‘You’re in your teens. C’mon! Date more.’ I think I wasted it away with my silly conservative ideologies. It’s an age where you need to be aware of how men are different and how it’s okay to be friendly with them and even date them. It’s not a crime. It’s not wrong.
- Stop being goody two shoes
It’s not bad to go out with your friends for a party, a night out, a late night movie etc. And stop judging girls who are doing all of the things that you wish you could do but are so damn scared. I wish I went ahead with getting a life for myself.
- Respect more
This period is the most self-obsessed we are ever going to be. But it doesn’t take much effort to stop being jerks and try to respect the elders without really having to obey every command of theirs. Diplomacy is something to be learnt sooner than later. Look at me, I still pretty much suck at it.
- Talk more to the elders, teachers, seniors
Talk to people older than you are. I never spoke to my seniors, or teachers about issues, about life, about dreams and goals. I think speaking to someone more mature than me would have given me a better perspective about life.
- Take life as a learning experience
If I had developed an attitude that everything was a learning experience right then, than realizing it now, I think I would have been more liberal during those years.
- Never say no
Don’t say no to going out, to meeting new people, to exploring new options, to living life. I was a kid who always loved comfort zone. But as you know nothing grows in that zone, which meant I too did not grow. I was in a dormant state, not ready to sprout out of my seed. I loved the comfort and walls too much, I was afraid to leave. So I would never say yes to anything.
Let’s go out- No. Let’s party- No. Let’s plan for a night out – No. Go approach that guy- Hell No.
- Fall in love
I had crushes. Yes, I did. A lot. Every guy who caught my fancy, I’d imagine a future with him. I know it sounds super silly. But I was single af and any girl at that time does that one thing she best can- Fantasize! But I think at the age of 15, you should fall in love. It’s beautiful, even more so when you’re young. Fall in love for the feels and whatever would come next is the risk you should be willing to take. The wrath of parents, heart break, teasing, the stealth etc… They would all in the end amount to your bucket load of experience.
- Fall in love with yourself
If you’re not loving yourself, you’re like a plant that has small roots in loose soil and can uproot any time with just some light wind. Falling in love with yourself is like making yourself strong as a tree with deep roots in the ground, concrete, bricks and what not. No passing wind can shake you if you are that rooted.
- Begin your journey of finding yourself
Finding yourself is a long, long, long journey. The sooner it is started the better. I should’ve spent more time alone with myself, reflecting on things I want, so I could figure out my wishes, my dreams & my inspirations.
- Make lots n lots of friends, but spend more time with the smart ones
We are an average of 5 people we spend the most time with. So choosing wisely is the way to go about life. Your friends reflect what you want and prioritize in life.
So smart people, let’s hang! 😛