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As, I write this second letter to you, it is a cold January evening. I will be joining the thirties club this year. So, here are a few things my twenties taught me. I know you might ask me someday, “Maa why do you need to publish them, can’t you just hand it over to me?” The answer is here. I publish them because I have many daughters – just that I did not raise them or give birth to them. But they are equally mine.
We are all faceless and nameless, yet a part of the cumulative history and story. So, to them also I leave these letters with equal love and faith for a brighter future. Like you, they too have the right to pick up what I write or toss it away. Yet, with deep hope, I write.
1. Discipline is great thing: I learnt it the hard way. No matter how talented and gifted you are, without discipline you will always lose the shine. Discipline makes you do the same thing over and over again till you know it is your best shot. It will make you wake up early in the morning and do what is required of you. There is no greatness is neglecting what God has given you. You will meet people who would say, ‘I don’t give a shit about what I do.’ Don’t fall for that attitude. If you do not give a shit, the world will give you truckloads of it, till you become bitter.
2. Lose a few friends: In our twenties we make great friends and we pick up some unnecessary ones. It is perfectly okay to let go the great colleague of yours who refuses to keep in touch or once-up-a-time great friends who would only be with you when they need you. This year, I dropped a few friends I thought once I could not live without, but once I did, I was lighter. Anyone who bogs you down is not worth it. Choose your well being first.
3. People want you or not: This, I learnt after a lot of falls. There are two things in every relationship. You are wanted or not. If you think ‘they’ will want you if you have money or a better body, trust me, then they are after your money or body. You are worth being loved and cherished right now. If anyone refuses, leave the room. Don’t sit there to prove yourself. One day you will be mad at yourself for sitting there. Choose people who choose you.
4.The right man will see the right things: We all fall in love. And it is a wonderful thing to have a partner in life. However, sometimes the feelings may not be reciprocated. Cry your heart out and move on. Do not try to put up a show to get his attention. The right man will always see the right things. There is a line in the movie, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, “Beautiful things don’t seek attention.” You are beautiful; if the man is right for you, he will see it. Period.
5. Keep a tab on people’s behavior: No matter what people say, watch how they treat you or behave with you. Friends, lovers, relatives or anyone should always treat you well. Fights are okay but if people who say they love you treat you bad, you should take the first flight home. Remember, when people love, they treasure. No one abuses anything they love. If they do, either they don’t love or are sick. In both cases, wear your running shoes.
6. Being broke is not cool: Being in your late twenties or early thirties, if you are broke financially, mentally or emotionally there is nothing great about it. It shows you are not stable. If you cannot afford yourself the basic amenities of life or are always falling sick and emotionally turbulent all the time, it says that you have not learnt to take care of yourself, which is the basic need of a human being. By now, you should be able to take care of yourself; if you are failing, go back to the basics and do it again. But you must learn it.
7. Read: The past is written mostly in words. When you read you will realize that you are never the lone one who is going through a situation. Even if you are not a voracious reader, use the internet, read something each day. Reading was and still is one of the finest human habits. When you read you will find that there are many people who speak and think in your language.
8. There is a difference between a friend with a problem and a problematic friend: When I was in graduation school, I had a friend who always had issues. I remember that one summer dawn, she texted me that she wants to pop sleeping pills and commit suicide. I, trying to be the savior, jumped the hostel walls with a few of my friends and reached her apartment. Nothing much happened after an hour of melodrama. However, such traits continued for years. No amount of counseling, suggesting help, books or anything ever helped. I learnt that for some people suffering is the most comfortable zone and change is an inner work. Finally, I had to let her go. I was at a place that I just could not take it anymore. Friends share pain, true, but they raise, appreciate and share joy too. She never did. She was a problematic friend, so I called it quits.
9. Life always shows up: This is something about life. She makes sure she shows up at the right time and the right place. Whatever you run away from will stand before you even stronger. If anything is troubling you, wake up, take a note and work through it. People can help you around but beta, it is always you who has to do the inner work. Do it, face the sun and walk like a queen, the world is yours.
10. Its’ okay to still love people who are gone: Honey, when someone leaves you or you leave them, it is perfectly okay to wish them good, love them and send a prayer. But they do not have to be a part of your life. Your emotional and physical protection is always your first priority. Protect it.
11. You are wonderful: That you are awesome and wonderful should be your life mantra. Do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
This was all I could say today. Remember that you will always be my priority. There is nothing as a mother I would not do for you. I only hope I bring up a daughter who can lie next to me and have some of the best conversations of her life.
Pic credit: Revraikes (Used under a Creative Commons license)
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, if there is just ONE crucial advice that you would give to your daughter, what would it be?
Self love 🙂
Loved the letter…thank you for sharing….
It’s such a heartfelt, simple piece of writing. I loved every word of it, especially the bit of ‘still loving people who are gone’ and ‘life always shows up’. I guess it’s all your reading & experiences that help you write about the simplest things in life so beautifully.
Loved reading it! Beautifully expressed. Made me think 🙂
Lovely . So beautifully penned Parotima. Packed with wisdom. So many women don’t learn this even after a lifetime! you are blessed to learn them before you hit 30 🙂 Happy birthday!
loved each and every bit……..
Beautiful. Thank you. This is exactly what the universe has been trying to tell me. Thank you.
That was just AWESOME. saving it and definitely sharing it!
Thank you so much. Each comment just made me feel spell bound. Hope our daughters grow and fly without pins. Deep gratitude!
Hello Paromita, I loved your letter. This is so insightful and would love my daughter to read it someday. I just wanted to let you about one point that I do not agree with is that ’emotional and physical protection’ can not be only a responsibility on my daughters’ part…just do not wanna let her feel over burdened…after all she is the best thing that happened to me!
Well written! Loved it. Every daughter should read this. Wish we also bad a letter from a father to his son published, teaching him how to take on things in life, how not to be competitive (yes u read it right), how to be fair and just, and how to treat women! 🙂 In these times of torture, rape and assaults on women, I think its high time we start parenting our sons better, making them fit to live with their female counterparts. Somebody said on facebook : “Instead of adivising our daughters to be back at home before the sun sets, we should start teaching our sons to behave well.”. I second it. Hoping for a better future in the hands of our daughters n sons, Cheers!
Hieee….really motivating….. i will definitely share it with my daughter
Madam,I loved every bit of your letter..very inspiring..but I would love it if you write something meant for boys as well that would hit them right in their heart…
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