I just turned 25 last month. It's been one hell of a ride thus far, and I've picked up a few lessons along the way, which I'd like to share with the rest of y'all who are, like me, journeying through life.
And what better way to start this write up than quoting Monica from Friends:
Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it!
Eat your vegetables
One of the most vivid memories I have as a child is that of my parents forcing me to eat my vegetables. I didn't like it one bit. I liked meat, I liked dairy, I liked chips, and I loved chocolates. It's a true miracle that I didn't end up with juvenile diabetes. But as I step into my 25th year, I have grown to realize the importance of including vegetables in your diet. It can make such a great difference to your gut health, but more than that, it does something to your mind - I don't know what it is, but the mere idea of downing something fresh, colourful, and healthy - healthy being the operative word - is like food for your soul, as much as it is for your body. Your skin just becomes so much better too!
Gossip is poisonous
I love gossip. I really do. I always had time for the inner scoop. But I've come to know that gossip is poisonous. If you find yourself engaging in gossip - stop yourself. Each time you gossip about a co-worker or a friend's friend, you're voluntarily partaking in character assassination and misusing someone else's privacy. And it isn't even about them, so much as it is about you - in fact, it tells you more about yourself, than it does of your subject of gossip. Live and let live. If you find yourself being dragged into a conversation about someone, and it isn't in the best light, back the hell off. Respect that person - as well as yourself.
Take care of your hair
For the love of God, just oil your hair. At least once a week. I've noticed a kind of pattern...when things go downhill in my life, get a new hairdo! This was, and still is one of my coping mechanisms. I've done a lot of things to my hair. Tried a million hairstyles, coloured it, smoothened it. Hell, I even got myself bangs. But I skimped on what's most important - I barely oiled my hair. And I can see how wrong that move was. Thankfully, I'm not bald (yet), and I've started to indulge in healthy hair care regimes. And I'm loving it!
You lose a lot of friends...but you'll find your fam
I think as humans, we give a lot of importance to friendship. And that's a great thing. Friendship is precious. So when we lose a friend, it hurts. But that's the way of life. You lose some, and the ones that remain, remain forever...or not. But it is okay. Thank them for what they were, love them for what they are, and respect them for what they've become. We're in this journey together, alone.
I don't believe in religion. I cannot bring myself to believe in a radical system that paints the town black and white. There's always a grey. But I will still tell anyone who asks me - Pray. There is a higher power, a source, that is taking care of you. Here's where I'd like to add a line from Young Sheldon:
Mary: Sheldon, faith means believing in something you can't know for sure is real. And right now, I am struggling with that.
Sheldon: So you don't believe in God anymore?
Mary: That isn't something for you to worry about. I need to figure this out myself.
Sheldon: Can I help? Maybe I could provide a fresh perspective.
Mary: I don't think so, baby.
Sheldon: Did you know that if gravity were slightly more powerful, the universe would collapse into a ball?
Mary: I did not.
Sheldon: Also, if gravity were slightly less powerful, the universe would fly apart and there would be no stars or planets.
Mary: Where you going with this, Sheldon?
Sheldon: It's just that gravity is precisely as strong as it needs to be. And if the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the strong force wasn't one percent, life wouldn't exist. What are the odds that would happen all by itself?
Mary: Why are you trying to convince me to believe in God? You don't believe in God.
Sheldon: I don't, but the precision of the universe at least makes it logical to conclude there's a creator.
You can watch it here. It's one of my all-time favourite scenes! It doesn't matter what your faith is. But when you're feeling low, pray. And when you're feeling elated, pray harder!
Death hurts for the living
I don't know about the ones who are dead, but for the living - death really, REALLY hurts. To lose a loved one to death is a pain like no other. It's a one-way street and there's no coming back from it. One minute a person is right here. And the next, they're gone. So take care of your loved ones. Commit to memory every single, precious moment you have. And when you find yourself dragged to this sick place called grief, know that things won't ever be the same again, but you will find the strength within yourself...deep within yourself. You will heal, beautifully, if you allow it. And your deceased loved one will make sure of it too.
Read, read, and then read some more
Don't ever stop reading. I've always loved reading, and I thank my mother for inculcating, at a very young age, this habit. Instead of barbie dolls, she bought me books. And for that, I will always be grateful. My love for reading started at a young age and it continued well into my early twenties. But I will sadly admit that in the hustle and bustle of life, I haven't read a good book as much as I'd like to in the last few years. But I do my fair share of reading on the internet. Reading is a beautiful habit. Do a lot of it, and you'll be grateful to yourself.
Every blog needs a good conclusion. That's the general rule, isn't it? I find it hard to conclude this one though, given the fact that there's so much more to add. But for now, that's all, folks!