So, for today’s post, I wanted to do something a little different.
In the past week, I’ve been having quite a few conversations with people, friends, and family where I’ve spoken at length about my experiences, and what I’ve learnt in my twenty years on planet Earth. So, I thought, why not share them with you all?
Do keep in mind that these are my own personal thoughts and opinions, and please respect that I’m trying to be completely honest and transparent with you all, because this blog couldn’t be what it is without your support, and I owe it to you guys to be myself with you!
Also, excuse the occasional curse word!
Disclaimer over, here we go:
1. Demand respect. This could easily be one of the biggest lessons I’ve ever learnt. No-one is more important than you, and if you don’t feel right about something, cut off all ties with whoever is making you feel like this.
I had a very close male friend, who had quickly become important to me. He started falling for me, and I had made it absolutely clear that I didn’t want any romantic relationship with him. Then, he pulled off the biggest dick move, and stopped speaking to me for a month straight, because he wanted to “clear his head”. He then tried to contact me again, and when I refused to speak to him, blamed me for our strained friendship. Right when he had stopped speaking to me and started treating me like shit, I had decided that I had to cut off my ties with this toxic person. Respect is a two-way street, and you should always demand respect, whether it is a friendship or a relationship.
No one is worth losing your shit over, trust me. And remember- it’s okay to be alone, rather than be surrounded by toxic people. Love your own company, because it’s amazing.
2. Take a mental health day if you need it. I cannot stress this enough. If you’ve had a bad couple of days and need some rest, even if rest to you is just lying in your bed and binge-watching Netflix or reading a book, do it! Take a day off if you need it. That party can be skipped, it’s not like there won’t be more. Meetings can be rescheduled. Would you rather push yourself and have a breakdown at the last minute, or take a day off and cool down, and be able to tackle problems a little better?
3. Never be afraid to be different. In school, I was always picked on for being “different”-just because I loved to read books, watched anime, had a dry sense of humor, had buck teeth with a gap, and listened to metal. And you know what? At that time, I thought that something was so wrong with me. I enjoyed my own company over parties. I liked to do dumb shit and sing songs in the hallway and have fun. Everyone around me judged me for it and I always wondered- why couldn’t I be like the “cool” kids? Always prim and proper and pretty (keep in mind, that I used to study in a Catholic school).
And now, I am glad I never changed. In a world full of people trying to be Instagram famous and fawning over Justin Bieber and playing with fidget spinners and wearing crop tops, I’m here dressed in all black, wearing a Metallica shirt, playing the drums and bass, re-watching Californication, and reading about Nietzsche. And you know what? I love it. I am me, and that’s what’s different about me.
Oh, and by the way, I still go around with my friends singing along to Party in the USA and have dance parties in the bathroom. You know, just in case you were wondering.
4. Learn and accept the hard truths of life. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns and decent humans who don’t make your life hell. Most people suck, and you’re going to come across idiots your whole life. People will judge you on your looks, back-stab you, screw you over, and much more. Obviously, this leaves me wishing that the world was a little different.
If you still don’t believe me, I’ll give you one simple example.
I’ve been called ugly most of my life. People have said that they wouldn’t even go out on a date with me for a million dollars. I’ve been called names. And you know what? That shit really hurt.
Then, in grade 12, I got braces. I started taking care of myself and experimenting with makeup. Suddenly, the things that made me “different and weird” were now “bad-ass”. Alright, then. I started getting treated differently. Boys started approaching me. People were laughing at the jokes that a year ago, would have earned me an eye-roll. And that’s when I truly realized that in this shitty world, appearance unfortunately matters.
Need more evidence? In grade 12, a guy whom I used to have a huge crush on in my earlier school, messaged me. I was over the moon, as any teenage girl would be. But when I read the message, it broke my heart. It read, “Hey! You’re so gorgeous ;). Were you ever in (insert school name)? I never noticed you.”
Now, this may seem like quite a normal message. But the kicker here is, I used to sit next to him in the same class for two years straight. We had mutual friends. We (well, I’m guessing only I) used to see each other every day. Yeah. So, either he was a complete piece of shit or had a terrible memory (which isn’t really believable, since he used to top the class). Either way, hard pass.
5. Don’t give a shit about what people think. Oh God, I really wish I could go back in time and give myself this golden piece of advice. Just because I used to care what people think (or would think) of me, I missed out on major opportunities, didn’t speak up for myself, shut down my fashion blog that I had started in the ninth grade, didn’t start my YouTube channel till just recently, didn’t embrace my bare face or my body, and so much more.
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, no? Well, just to be sure, I’ll elaborate.
People don’t care as much as you think. Seriously, I understand how hard it is to get that thought in your mind. I’m an overthinker and over-analyzer too. But people really don’t give a shit beyond a point. That outfit you’ve been wanting to wear but are holding off on, because you think it’s too “weird”? Wear it! Sure, some people might think it’s stupid and idiotic. But some will think that it’s awesome, trust me. If you’re a guy and are too scared to wear makeup, go for it. Just do it. And I’m willing to bet that your skills might just be better than that little shit in your class who can’t even execute a straight line with her eyeliner. And even if no one accepts it- fuck them! Do you what makes you feel good about yourself. You’ll thank yourself later.
6. Learn, read, educate yourself. And by this, I’m not trying to compel you to read Shakespeare and attempt to get into an IIT. What I mean is, take every chance you get to learn something. Seriously, anything.
I have watched countless documentaries about sociopaths and Multiple Personality Disorder. No, I’m not a psychology major, these topics just interest me. I also know a lot of random facts about the Victorian era, right from corsets to prostitution (fact: even high class, educated women ended up turning to prostitution because the skills that they were taught did not qualify them for a regular job).
You might think that all this information is useless. But trust me, it helps. For example, I always have something interesting to contribute to a conversation or topic which I may not know a lot about. Another example- I recently got pretty deep into the dark web (see what I did there?). The next week I had my data journalism test, and in one answer where I needed just a little more material, I wrote about the dark web. And that saved my ass. No, seriously- it saved my ass from becoming homeless, courtesy my mom.
Moreover, sometimes, learning something can help you out in the most unexpected way ever.
When I was younger, I used to suck at mathematics. That was the one subject I’d consistently fail in, right up till the ninth grade. Fast forward to eleventh grade, and I’m topping my class! (I admit that it was IB Math Studies SL, but it still counts, okay?)
My mom was overjoyed and I was relieved. But how did this magic happen? Well, when showing my results, my psychology teacher told my mom that this was quite expected of me, as musicians tend to score better at mathematics, and countless studies have proven that. Tempo, time signatures, rhythm- any of that ring a bell? And that’s when I realized- I had started learning the drums in the tenth grade!
My point is, take any and every opportunity you can to learn. Education is one of the greatest things ever, because no one can take your learnings away from you. Who knows? Your knowledge may lead you to start a billion-dollar empire, or your dancing skills may enable you to become a part-time dance teacher and earn just enough to put yourself through college and move forward in life.
Well, that’s all for today, guys. What are some of the most important life lessons that you’ve ever learnt? Let me know in the comments below.
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