Life’s Lessons, Longings and Impressions

Life’s unpredictable, unfair and yet a beautiful journey If you have an appetite life has a lot to offer. You just need to open your arms to feel it, experience it in entirety , all joys and sorrows, all hopes all dreams . As I inch towards 30, I have this incessant urge to reflect on all the lessons life’s brought my way, to gather those nuggets and capture them somewhere. Most of my growing up happened in the last decade. Before which I was comfortably sheltered in a cocooned existence. But the past few years shook me out of complacence and forced me to get my hands dirty and learn more about life, about letting go of what I was to become what I could be. To shed my perceptions, biases, to look at life up and close. To learn some more and reflect less. Here’s what I thought I could share in a long self indulgent monologue. You can read it at the risk of falling asleep with such hackneyed, done to death lessons.

  • Travel, stir the wanderlust within. Roam the world, see all you can. Experience all you can. Traveling is the shortest route to discovering what your soul needs and it is what helps you unwind and break monotony like nothing. Travel to rejuvenate yourself and travel to resurrect your relationships with those who matter. Travel with a partner; a companion. Travel alone, travel to quench the thirst for knowledge, to find meaning in life.
  • Read: Books will be your only constant companion in life’s journey. Read when you’re happy. Read when you’re low. Read to know the world and yourself. Read till words dance like images in your mind, read to nourish your mind.
  • Love till it hurts. Love to give unasked, with your entire being. Love yourself, love those who matter. Love your weaknesses, love the darkness in those you love. Love teaches you acceptance and compassion. Don’t stay trapped in hurt, forgive those who hurt you and move on. You can really love another once you’ve accepted yourself, warts and all. Don’t close your heart and mind to possibilities.Keep them open to find love.
  • In the race to make a career, buy a house and acquire all material possessions. Don’t forget the people who matter. Don’t lose yourself to the madness of a rat race. Life boils down to being more than having. Make time for yourself and for others.
  • Don’t stress and sweat over the small stuff. It is best ignored. Think about the bigger picture. There’s no point gathering excess baggage with guilt, resentment, anger. Life’s much more so shed them before it’s too late
  • Make time for your parents. Call them often. They need you more as they age, spend more time talking to them, connecting with them.
  • Take time off from the virtual world. Switch off the phone, that tablet, the laptop. Take a deep breath and have a real conversation with yourself, with a friend, co-worker. Anyone. The virtual world can never replace the physical one.
  • Measure your words; use them with care. You never know when you’d be forced to take them back. Use them to reach out, express, share, but rarely to lash out, hurt. Life is an echo.
  • Retain that child-like curiosity, the eagerness to know and learn something new. Its the best anti-aging solution.
  • Every now and then do some housekeeping of your physical as well mental space. Let go of things you don’t need and have no use of. Let go of relationships that are meaningless and don’t make you happy or teach you anything. The older you get; your world will shrink and will be restricted to the people who really matter.
  • Don’t bend backwards to please people. Or to be someone you aren’t . Sooner or later they’ll see through it. Just be yourself, unabashedly sans apologies. There will be people you meet who may not like you for no real reason; you can’t do a thing to change that. Don’t try and change their perception, they are entitled to it, as you are entitled to your own.
  • Let work give meaning to your life.Put your heart and soul into it. Find a calling that intersects with your passion and work will be fun. But don’t make work a synonym for life.
  • Don’t ever give up on your dreams, your hopes. They define you. Go all out to make them real. Chase them. If they break, find new ones. But never give up on hope. Have your feet firmly rooted in reality, yet give wings to all that you want from life.
  • Never be a naysayer. Be open to change. It can be fearful and intimidating, yet change turns out for the best. Almost. Always.
  • Create something. Learn to draw, write, paint, create a life. It gives you the kind of joy nothing can.
  • Find home. Quell your inner restlessness. Home isn’t necessary a place. It’s a state of being.  A place within which nourishes you, feeds you, give you comfort and strength to face life’s blows. Every now and then look within, retreat to the place you call home and find strength to walk again.
  • Take both praise and criticism with a pinch of salt. Yet learn from them. I used to be an oversensitive person who could cry at the drop of a hat or when I saw people point out mistakes. I am still learning to deal with criticism. Take the lesson but don’t carry  the hurt.
  • Learn to see the people you love as they are and not with rose tinted glasses. Accept their weaknesses and strengths. Learn to see your parents objectively so that your life isn’t a shadow of theirs. Carry the best they taught you; but try and sift out the worst.It comes with growing up.
  • Everything takes time. Dreams will realize, the life you want will come your way. But give it time; don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere.
  • Speak up when it is needed. Speak up when you want to be heard. Silence isn’t always the best alternative. And don’t flinch within while saying no say it politely yet firmly. Most  of us women find it hard to do so.
  • Live in the moment. It is easier said than done. I am prone to fret over the past or keep nursing dreams for the future. It ultimately serves no purpose. So give into the moment and soak in the experience. Don’t focus on making the moment a memory with a photograph or Facebook update. You immortalize it by living it wholly.

I could go on and on and this virtually started to sound like my own wish-list or bucket list of things to do and learn. But for the sake of time and at the risk of sounding like an overzealous preacher, I must stop here. What is that you draw from life ? Do share it.

Beyond Words

Beyond

Words and

Verse

There’s

A space

We together traverse

A Companionable

Silence

Beyond

The shackles

Of politeness

And grace

Where we

Don’t need

To put on

A face

Where we

Sense

One another’s

Dreams and desires

Intense

Where we see

The yearning

And longing

To walk free

Where we feel

The darkest deepest

Feelings we

Struggle

To conceal

Where

We lay

Bare

Our souls

Which we’d

Veiled

With superficial

Layers

A walk through the mountains

The waft

Of wind

The gushing

Stream

The mesmerizing

Mountains

The waft

Of wind

The gushing

Stream

The

A Thick Forest

A Thick Forest (Photo credit: Jon Person)

mesmerizing

Mountains

A walk

Through the woods

The sparkling

Night sky

Stir something

In me

Encircling

My being

Like a

Raging

Forest fire

The cedars

And pines

That line

Up the verdant

Walkways

Bring alive

Faded

Memories

Tucked

Away cosily

In the recesses

Of my mind

When I look back….

When I look back tomorrow

I’d like to look at the joys over sorrow

When I look back tomorrow

I’d like to reminisce what I could give rather than what I desired to borrow

When I look back tomorrow

I’d like a life wholesome and full,not bare and hollow

When I look back tomorrow

I want to  evoke a productive life and not one left fallow

When I look back tomorrow

I’d rather unearth what I helped create and find rather than what I had to follow

When I look back tomorrow

I ‘d ruminate life of the mind and spirit free, unbridled and generous not a life  in a lane rather linear and narrow

Ruminations…

When we branch out on our own..we’re raw, naive and unabashed. I still remember when I first left home to work, I was a tad too idealistic and was brimming with enthusiasm. Almost four years down the line, a few hard knocks from life, a lot of lessons later I am a tad wiser..not really there but at least I have more realistic expectations of love, life and work..But sometimes I really miss the energy I then possessed and the foolish optimistic streak which made me believe I could change the world !!  I was perpetually air-borne living in a world of my making. Being on terra firma has its advantages; you’re more of a realist, you learn to tackle life’s complexities, untie the knots and understand what really makes the world tick.. But somehow I am still miles away from being street smart and smart Alecky..perhaps what ever might happen .with time it’s dawned on me.one’s core essentially remains the same.. what one values, cherishes, believes in, what moves you, makes you cry, what makes you feel vulnerable; doesn’t change and for that I am eternally grateful. The day I stop reacting , lose my joie-de-vivre.. and become atrophied will be the day my spirit wares down…It is a constant endeavour  to keep that flame burning, that spirit alive, to keep the inner child tickled , to see the world with rose-tinted glasses sometimes …this is what makes life worthwhile…