I’m officially 27 years old. Even though that’s still far away from my first pair of dentures, or urinating in a bed pan, I’ve learned a lot of stuff. And like every old person, I feel the need to share my wisdom. Here are 12 (coz I couldn’t think of a 13th one) things in no particular order, I’ve learned at 27. A lot of them are still in resolution stage (it’ll give me something to talk about next year na?) Some of it might be clichéd. Some of it might be too specific to me. Going to be senti either way.
1. No one is my servant or lower than me. Even who one conventionally calls their ‘servant’ is not my servant. Behind the hand that serves me tea in the morning, the one that hands me a towel in the rest room of fancy restaurant, the hands that drive me to work/school, there is a person doing their job. I have been amazed at how my shitty day flips around to awesome when I ask someone “How are you?” out of the blue or ventured a stray smile at a person on the street. It makes me look weird I imagine. I’m OK with that.
2. I have learned to fail. Over and over, in front of hundreds of people sometimes. But I am proud to say that I have tried my best to remain true to who I am. Not everyone is going to love what I do/say/write. Does not mean I won’t continue doing/saying/writing it. Conversely, I will not romanticize failure. I will not wear it like some badge of honor, I will learn from it and move on. Possibly to my next failure. . My vulnerabilities are not my weaknesses. I am not defined by my success and not defined by my failure.
3. The answer to “What CAN’T you do?” is always “Nothing.” Nothing. I will try everything once. Then apply point #2.
4. I will never ever buy a top that’s a bit tight and then promise myself that I’ll lose weight to get into it. No piece of clothing has ever been motivation enough for me to lose weight. Getting into a shirt is very low on my list of priorities when faced with a deliciously sweet cup of tea and chocolate biscuits. My body will never look the way I want it to look- my arms are too big , my skin still suffers from teenage acne sometimes, but I am alive and well and healthy. I have learned that it is OK to be happy with that. Also, I look nice when I wear a salwar kameez.
5. I will let people think and have whatever opinions they want of me, unless it hurts enough to ring true to me. Someone else calling me a bad person will not automatically make me a bad person unless I believe it. I would rather work to change my flaws for the 10 people that know and love me than 1000 people who don’t. Life’s too short to try to impress everyone beyond a point.
6. My true character is revealed in times of adversity (also when Sheila ki Jawani comes on at a party, WHATTA SONG!)
7. When my dad/mom call me 500 times a day to ask me what time I’m getting home, I will answer their calls and hold my irritation about answering the same question again and again. Sometimes they call because they are lonely, and because they love me. I will listen to them talk about their childhood and youth. I have learned that looking at old pictures with family members reveals a treasure trove of interesting stories.
8. I have learned the hard way that I cannot drive a car, can barely cook, that sometimes printers and hard drives crash around me. I panic less than I used to. Panic makes me even more muddle headed, and when things go wrong that’s the last thing I need to feel.
9. I have learned the value of waking up early. Nothing equals the smug satisfaction of having almost done all your days work, while people are still stumbling out of their bedrooms grumbling about being sleepy.
10. I will write more. Everyday. It will still never be enough, so I will write some more.
11. I have learned to clean up my language. Unless it’s absolutely imperative, I will try and speak without curse words. Because using curse words automatically diverts from what you are saying. I would rather not have that barrier in the message I am trying to get across. Also, I have realised that a carefully worded actual criticism can hurt much more than a “fuck you, you fucker.” (“Ass” is not a curse word btw. It means butt. There’s nothing wrong with butts.)
12. I will try my best to make people laugh. I have been so blessed to be in front of a room full of people while they laugh and enjoy themselves. It makes me feel like the luckiest person alive. I will never ever get complacent. It’s too damn precious to me.