I think it would be a gross understatement if I said that my life is great. It’s blessed beyond belief, I say. But sometimes, I do fall into the trap of blaming myself for things happening in my life that I have no control over.
There’s this certain phase of my life that I’m passing through that had kept me more on the edge than usual. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into the deets of what actually happened, but it is safe to say that after a couple months of feeling this way, I finally am back in my normal head space and I’m currently enjoying being my lowkey self.
The most important thing I learnt is that it never does any good to be bitter about life’s lessons. It doesn’t help if you’re learning from your mistakes but you’re, at the same time, killing yourself for messing up in the first place.
There’s also a fine line between bravery and stupidity; between doing some new and something unnecessary. I think I’ve learnt how to distinguish the two.
There’s also a certain flair in being able to love yourself deeply enough to forgive yourself for your mistakes, but also rationally enough to stop you from making the same mistakes going forward, and that’s something I learnt in the summer.
One of the happiest things I’ve done this week is buy a ukulele and play it all the time. Whenever I get the chance. I was playing it before I started writing, and I probably will once I finish writing too. It is a beautiful instrument. I’m in love with it.
I feel like I’m back in the mindspace that I was in right after New Year, where everything was sorted out in my head, problems weren’t problems at all- just exercises. I flew right through my grade 9 finals without feeling a tinge of doubt or anxiety. If I felt anything in those 2 weeks, it was amusement at myself for ever thinking the finals were gonna be hard. I was never in a bad mood for more than 3 minutes, and that’s a fact.
I can tell, from the way I’ve been for the last week or so, that I’m going back to being that way.
A lot of people my age have this issue of being disconnected from their passions and their everyday lives. Luckily, I don’t have this problem. At least, not all the time.
I am so grateful to say that I do what I love, and I absolutely love what I do. These things vary from trigonometry and evolutionary biology to music technology and blogging. And if we’re being honest, it also includes dancing to This is America when no one’s around. Honestly, Donald Glover’s moves are SICK.
I also have the pleasure of connecting and collaborating with people who love the same things that I do. This is true especially in the blogverse. Over the last one year that I’ve been blogging, I have talked to people from all over the world and we have shared ideas that help everyone. I have become more self-reliant, self-confident and I have learnt how to make a mark for myself. The fact that I can now change people’s minds with what I write is the biggest achievement of my journey so far as a writer.
And this feeling of love has also made its way into another part of my life which I don’t really talk about much on my blog-school. I have taught myself to stay strong in the face of adversity and extreme boredom. I have learnt to push myself to new limits without burning out in the process. Over the last few weeks, I have come to love and appreciate myself more strongly than I EVER have in my life. And I love this feeling that I love everything I do.
I have a feeling that I’m going to change this soon. For good.
By the time you read this, I will have been in 10th grade for about a week now. Remember that time when I made a post about 9th grade? It’s the same experience all over again-just now there seems to be a deathly aura all around us at school. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love being in 10th grade, I love learning new things again, I love being able to organize my life and focus on something new. I love cleaning out a slate and starting fresh with a year’s worth of wisdom to help me get better and smarter and stronger. It’s just that the idea of 10th grade tends to stress us out. Primarily because of the boards. Really, there’s no other reason. And no matter how much you want to just ignore this anxiety that everyone seems to have, it will get to you soon. Better to acknowledge it than fight it.
I, too, acknowledged this way before I even entered into 10th grade. I know that I’m going to have to work harder than I ever have this year, not because it’s hard, but because it will feel hard if I don’t push myself a little bit above the rest.
But the key here, as my mum said (love you ma), is to work hard with a sense of ease. She said, “You can be successful and still be as happy as you want.” I know this might seem very obvious, but this is very hard to put into practice. Believe me, I know. When you put your heart into something, you tend to perceive the situation as a high-stakes battle. That’s just not the case.
So, for 10th grade, my main goal is to combine what I love — learning — with what I need to do — step way out of my comfort zone and sphere of knowledge to really excel at studies more than I ever have.
And what will the status of this blog be?
Honestly, I don’t know.
I know for sure that my weekends will be filled with extra studying and mock tests and olympiad preparation and I don’t know how I’m going to fit posting into that hectic schedule. But what I do know is that I love this as much as I love myself. And when you love something that much, you always manage to do it.
Emotionally intelligent people recognize their emotions as responses, not accurate gauges, of what’s going on. Most of the time, our feelings happen to be related to our own, objective perspective of a situation, not what’s actually going on. So next time when your mind tells you your life sucks (or something on the same spectrum of thought), stop for a second and tell yourself this:
My thoughts are not my reality.
They don’t let their emotions depend on others’ actions.
This is something that we usually hear. We’ve all read the quote: ” Don’t leave the keys to your life in someone else’s hands.” I guess you have. If you haven’t before, now you have!
Realize that your emotions aren’t somebody else’s fault, and therefore, not anyone else’s problem. Tell yourself that whatever you’re feeling is a cause of your own actions, instead of becoming a passive aggressive grumpy person, who blames everyone else for her unpleasant state of mind.
They don’t assume to know what it is that will make them truly happy.
Let go of all expectations of what does or doesn’t make you happy. That is something that will keep changing as you grow. As a kid, drawing might make you smile, while now, you might say it’s playing the guitar.
They don’t think that being fearful is a sign that they are on the wrong path.
In reality, indifference is a sign of being on the wrong track. Fear just means that you care about something so much that you will do anything to protect it. Such fear must be accepted, not condemned. Just don’t let this fear stop you from doing all the things that you want to do in life.
They don’t feel the need to be happy all the time.
They are aware that happiness is a choice, but not a sustained state of joy. It is not humanly possible to experience only one emotion your entire life. It doesn’t matter if that emotion is the best feeling in the world. Like happiness.
It is important that we understand that happiness is a choice, not a sustained state of joy. It is important that we allow ourselves to experience every feeling we encounter, without trying to manipulate it. The more you let go, the more you’ll feel free.
They don’t think that infallible composure means emotional intelligence.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my half yearly exams, it’s that just because you don’t make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you are intelligent. In most cases, it happens to be the opposite. To become truly strong, you must be willing to try, and fail miserably, many times. The more you fail, the more you know how not to fail the next time. That’s true intelligence.
They don’t think that their feelings will kill them.
This is something that I openly struggle with on a lot of occasions. I often get into a negative thought spiral, arising from my self-doubts, and before you know it, I’m questioning my existence as it were the weirdest thing that ever happened in the universe.
Over the months. I have realized that a feeling is definitely not going to shape my life (unless I want it to), and so it’s not worth losing sleep over. I’ve realized that all feelings, however ecstatic or depressing in nature, will pass with time, and so they are really not something that you should contemplate your life over.
They don’t just become close friends with anyone.
In her book How To Be A Bawse, Lilly Singh says that your mind is a huge fortress. Only you know all (or most) of its winding paths and mazes. You can invite people over for dinner to the ballroom in your fort, you might take a few on a tour of your private gallery, but you wouldn’t show someone all the little roads and rooms, would you?
I find this to be a great analogy to show that we shouldn’t really open up to each and every person who enters our lives. We must be mindful and fully aware of who we allow into our lives and hearts.
They don’t confuse a bad feeling for a bad life.
Does this statement need any explanation, really? I think I might just make a quote out of this. Let it be your motivation for today.
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will. — Charlotte Bronte
Why Being Independent Matters So Much
It boosts your confidence.
Independence and the ability to hold yourself high is a big boost to your self-confidence and self-esteem. To most, the idea that they don’t need to depend on someone else for their own happiness puts them on a track of self-belief. To me, the fact that I can take care of myself is a huge motivator and this drives me to be my own hero!
Less reliance on others
The more you rely on yourself for getting things done, the more you’re likely to get done! But it is easier said than done. However, if you keep exercising your independence like a muscle, you will obviously get better with time. Soon, independence will change from a habit to a way of life, and you will achieve things that you never even dreamt of dreaming.
Better decision making
Self-reliance does something magical to your brain. It clears all the foggy, misdirecting thoughts and internal fears in your brain, making it easier for you to think with clarity. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to think clearly without any stress clouding your judgment, isn’t it?
More time for personal development and creativity
Letting go of external circumstances that influence you can have a big effect on your daily lifestyle. When I was less independent than I am right now, I would waste so much of my time at home, going over situations that I believe could have gone better. Whatever I’m doing, a nagging voice in the back of my head would keep whining, ” The day has gone bad, and it’s your fault.” This self-defeating self-talk would kill my willpower and happiness, forcing me to depend on someone else for my mental health.
But now, I don’t care about what circumstances that come my way, I just accept it and move on. As for that evil voice in my head, I’ve put it to sleep for good. My focus has been shifted to improving and nurturing my own personality.
“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.” — Bruce Lee
Increases your self-value
Making the decision to stand up for yourself teaches you the importance of self-worth. When you realize the true extent of your strengths as an individual, you strive to do everything in your power to protect those strengths and nurture them. You accept yourself for your flaws, for your innumerable cracks and quirks, because you now realize that these are a part of your core personality. You take pride in knowing that you are everything you want to be, and everything you will be in the future.
How To Increase Your Independence In Your Daily Life
Learn to enjoy your own company.
Embrace the feeling of being alone. It might seem pessimistic and introverted to distance yourself from normal surroundings for a while. But in a world increasingly focused on speed and competitiveness, solitude is precious and something to be treasured.
Solitude gives you time to reflect on life and greater meanings of the world. Every day, try to spend some of the time you spend alone to focus on yourself. Make time to be introspective and think about your life. Consider where you are and where you’re going. Think about your short and long-term goals. It will help you find calmness in a world of growing chaos.
Engage in tasks that require your best efforts.
When you force yourself to focus only on the tasks that require all of your concentration, you block yourself from all others distractions that can lower your self-esteem. For example, whenever I’m feeling a little depressed, I play the guitar, sing or write. These are tasks that need me to be 100% in the moment, keeping my mind free of any distractions that will negatively affect me.
This also works if you’re trying to be more independent. If you do things that put you in a state of extreme focus and concentration, you’re more likely to do it on your own. The more you do things this way, the less dependent you’ll be on other people.
Talk to yourself. Understand what you want and what you need.
Please, please, please read what I’m saying very carefully: NOTHING MATTERS MORE THAN THE FACT THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW YOURSELF TO HELP YOURSELF. It doesn’t matter whether you just want to solve a personality type test or if you’re trying to get yourself out of a situation of self-despair. If you don’t know what in the world your mind thinks of itself, you’re busted. Why? Because you don’t know what you really want in life. You don’t know why some things make you smile and some make you cry, and so you don’t know how to make yourself better.
Getting to know yourself isn’t a cakewalk. But just like getting to know anyone else, it requires time and effort. It requires that you go out of your way to make sure what you’re doing makes sense and feels right not to your friends, your relatives or your pet cat, but to you. You must be willing to be vulnerable to yourself, in order to fully, truly be yourself.
Independence in my life has opened me up to a beautiful, vivid world outside of my bubble of fears and doubts. It has allowed me to treat life, not as a task to tick off a list, but as a gift. I have stepped way outside my comfort zone, something that I never would have done, and in doing so, I have been able to enjoy my life with clarity and a sense of gratitude. I have stopped looking at myself as insignificant, and I have started believing that I do have some value in this world.
The last one week has made me feel much more alive than I’ve felt in a long time. I’ve tried new things, made a fool of myself, pushed myself to new limits, and most importantly, GROWN FROM THE INSIDE.
But opening up to myself at such a level was not easy. to do. It was something I had been putting off for a long time because I was too afraid to know myself. But now that I have, I feel free.
If you’re reading this, first of all: thank you! You successfully read an 1100-word essay! Second: Thank you for your time and attention. It really means a lot to me that my writing gets noticed so much, and words cannot express my gratitude towards every single one of you who reads my stuff.
This post has been pretty personal for me (not that the others aren’t) because it’s made me think about my own struggles with self-love. It’s made me realize that ever since I started blogging 7 months ago, I’ve become WAY stronger and happier than I was, say, a year ago. I’ve learnt to love myself on a scale that I’ve never done before, and all the credit to my happiness goes to you, dear readers. You have made my life colourful, exciting, and full of amazing opportunities.
I love all of you. Thank you for making my life beautiful.