Coming of Age: A Decade in Time

The first decade of the new millennium was a realization as I stepped of the comfort of school life and structured learning into the big bad world. Everything that I have to show for myself, I earned in these ten long years, right from my degrees to my new family life. Whether for better or for worse, only time can tell. However, here are some of the lessons I learnt through this beautiful and gruelling decade, with the best of companions that God handpicked, just for me! Hopefully the next decade goes a bit easy on me.

  1. It is good to believe. Faith however is optional.
  2. Blood is thicker than water; even then it flows smoothly continuously and without jerks, despite distances and differences.
  3. A sibling is the best gift god gives you. He tops it with an amazing life-partner!
  4. You can’t choose your relatives or co-workers, but choose friends wisely.
  5. A friend in need, most often than never, is an opportunist in disguise.
  6. Pay compliments without malice and in goodtime. A delayed compliment often translates into jealously.
  7. Actions without expectations are the best. It helps you keep anxiety in check.
  8. Revenge is the strongest emotion of all, but karma always wins.
  9. Keep prejudices at bay. That way your mind doesn’t lie to you.
  10. Never stock up any emotions. Laugh when something’s funny, cry when you’re sad, and yell when you’re angry. But never displace it to the wrong person; not even yourself.
  11. Enjoy everything in its entirety, it’s easier to analyse and dissect later.
  12. A regret of action can be rectified, but a time bound regret can’t. Do all that you want in good time and with foresight; ‘could have beens’ and ‘should have beens’ are very difficult to live with.
  13. Be open to change, but learn to draw the line subtly.
  14. Inquisitiveness is good if your questions are answered; most often than never.
  15. It’s good to have perspectives, but be cautious when sharing them.
  16. Never hate someone who has a point of view and has the courage to express it too. Such people are difficult to come by.
  17. Never put your self in someone else’s shoes, they will end up blaming you for stealing them; extra pairs of shoes are not always good.
  18. For all the bad things you do, your children pay the price. Be better parents for them right from the start.
  19. Have an imagination; it becomes easier to appreciate the finer things in life.
  20. To have a healthy love life, you need to be the closest of friends for life.
  21. Love is always between equals.
  22. You need to be truly blessed to love unconditionally and not be taken for granted in return.
  23. It is healthy to hold on to memories. Sometime it’s all you have.
  24. It’s never too late to grieve for a loss. Realisation is not always sudden.
  25. Professionalism is not the best of virtues to have, but it guarantees you sound sleep every night.
  26. Speak your mind, but choose your words.
  27. Don’t expect perfection, only aim for it. That way you will still like yourself in the end.
  28. Its better to fantasize than procrastinate that too while appearing to be busy. That’s what multitasking is all about!
  29. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, being smart is better than being intelligent.
  30. It’s easier to remember nightmares in detail, but dreams are very forgettable. Same goes for joys and sorrows.
  31.  Dogs love you unconditionally, even if you don’t feed them or play with them everyday.
  32. A relationship that can stand the test of geographical distances and get better despite of the void is for keeps.
  33. When you love unconditionally, there are only random acts of kindness, no sacrifices of compromises.
  34. There are no such things as rose-tinted glasses; the world is full of cynics who are negative. Positivism is, at times, overrated.
  35. Competition is never healthy. You feel the guilt despite winning or losing.
  36. Avoid monetizing your hobby; the very essence of its de-stressing nature is lost. Make money from your second most favourite thing instead.
  37. All the questions of life come with options. But at times, you get the results the hard way.
  38. Never say no to anyone. Whether you carry out the deed is a different thing altogether. Save yourself the energy of getting into meaningless arguments that leave a bitter taste without doing any good.
  39. Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut. You need to use only your ears and shut your brain when criticism comes about.
  40. Don’t try to change the world all by yourself. It’s quite capable to do so by itself and that too at a blistering pace that you don’t even notice!
  41. You can’t make everybody like you. Settle with liking yourself to start with.
  42. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, especially when you are suicidal.
  43. Work is the worse thing to get addicted to. Detached attachment is the best medicine.
  44. No one but you can decide your own calibre. Others just try to clip your wings.
  45. Honesty is the best policy only if it doesn’t get you into trouble.
  46. It’s good to be punctual, even if no one else is. It goes a long way.
  47. Create a happy place in your mind. It helps you switch off your mind and wander away when in boring meetings. But cultivate sharp reflexes before that.
  48. Read across genres. You never know what you would end up enjoying.
  49. You can never learn from another’s mistakes, you got to make them all yourself and learn things the hard way. But it’s important to get the best out of every folly you commit.
  50. ‘I am sorry’ is the most powerful of statement. Even without any emotional backing, it helps you save energy for more important decisions in life.
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Life’s crossroads have no sign-posts!

Like many people suggest, adolescence is one of the scariest crossroads that one would encounter in their life. You will probably regret some of the decisions you made back then, but you don’t remember life’s lessons and wrong decisions without regret.

You also realize that your mistakes are your alone, you cannot undo them, nor can you learn from the ones others make. If you reflect and reminisce you will probably realize that no two people learn the same lesson from the same mistake either!

In your adolescence, everything is a crisis because every feeling is new and frightening all at once. Plus no one understands you because for your elders you’re either a drama queen or they blame it on hormones. So you are basically all by yourself and the person who helps you make your decisions (or vetoes them), your best friend, you soul sister, who is your age probably, is just as clueless as you are about life.

As you grow older, priorities shift base. With the mounting work stress, relationships take a back seat. By the time you wake you to a not-so-happy realization, reality hits you in the face and your feelings are at a complete disarray… you never really saw that coming!

Or you are really working hard to salvage a relationship that means a lot to you, but keep hitting dead ends…you don’t want to give up, but you can’t do it alone, you are looking for help.

And then there are times when you try too hard and realize that you are trying to change yourself too much for someone and end up feeling lost at times and foolish at times. And to top it all, you are scared to reveal your true feelings fearing misunderstandings or being ridiculed!

This song I heard captures all these emotions at multiples levels. It is sung by an Australian signer known as Lenka, who is in her early 30’s but she sounds like a teen! Her song called ‘The Show’ is chirpy and light, yet is just as deep as the song ‘Smile’. As the song comes to an end, the singer reminds you, like all else even this turbulence will pass over, sit back and enjoy your miseries just like you enjoy the good times.

I’m sure a 13-year-old and a 25-year-old will both feel an instant connect to the song, albeit the intensity of feelings may be varied. I’m putting up the lyrics for your reading pleasure (or if you wish to sing-along), but you really need to hear it rather than read it to feel it!

The Show
I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don’t know where to go
Can’t do it alone I’ve tried
And I don’t know why.

Slow it down
Make it stop
Or else my heart is going to pop.

Cos it’s too much, yeh it’s a lot
To be something I’m not.
I’m a fool, out of love
Cos I just can’t get enough

I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don’t know where to go
Can’t do it alone I’ve tried
And I don’t know why

I am just a little girl lost in the moment
I’m so scared, but I don’t show it
I can’t figure it out
It’s bringing me down I know
I got to let it go
And just enjoy the show.

The sun is hot, in the sky
Just like a giant spotlight.
The people follow a sign
And synchronize in time.
It’s a joke, nobody knows
They got a ticket to the show

Yeh, I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don’t know where to go
Can’t do it alone I’ve tried
And I don’t know why
I am just a little girl lost in the moment I’m so scared,
That I don’t show it
I can’t figure it out It’s bringing me down I know
I got to let it go

And just enjoy the show oh oh oh oh oh.
Just enjoy the show oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don’t know where to go
Can’t do it alone I’ve tried
And I don’t know why
I am just a little girl lost in the moment
I’m so scared, but I don’t show it
I can’t figure it out
It’s bringing me down I know
I got to let it go
And just enjoy the show.

Dum de dum, duh dum de dum just enjoy the show (x2)
I want my money back (x3)
Just enjoy the show
I want my money back (x3)
Just enjoy the show…..