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Looking back from her vantage point of being 40, the author gives some essential advice to her younger self, and with that, to all other younger women too.
Just crossed another milestone in my birthday month. The 40 is taking a step ahead and things have not much changed. I am still struggling to lose some fat, and I am still looking damn hot..( thanks to the DMs I got this realization)!
Being an office going mom I am still facing the struggle to balance teen woes and work and home and passion and friends and shopping and chatting and parlour visits…Phew! I have not got any wiser though over time, and again I get that chocolate craving kind of urge to go back in time, and just give some piece of mind to my younger self.
The characteristics which make you popular and ‘good’ are not always good for your own self.
As a girl, I was told to compromise at various levels especially when dealing with people. Talk sweetly and politely were a camouflaged way of telling me that it’s ok to accept people’s opinion even if you are not much comfortable with it.
Being straightforward or blunt is not a trait to be developed. Believe me, I have done this so far in life. Letting go of people’s opinion if it’s not directly harming me but it has done no good. Those who like me, like me anyway, and those who don’t – why should I not be straightforward in telling them to back off with their whims and fancies?
Girl… Learn to be straightforward, else at 41 you will have grudges about not giving a befitting reply to so many people who took you for granted, and they are not worthy at all! Please mend yourself.
No matter how far-fetched it seems it’s never impossible. Share your dreams with your parents and siblings. It might be rejected at first, but don’t lose heart.
They would see the qualities beyond the safe option of medical or engineering or UPSC (which anyway you might have flunked!). Let them see that you can put the stage on fire and you love gruelling people aka Arnab (Oh I love that guy in spite of all his high pitch session… I love his no-nonsense attitude!).
Don’t shy away from following a path less ordinary, and putting forth your will to do something which is beyond the norms. Try, it’s worth it else you need to start all over again to pacify your soul, which will by now put a foot down and push you to leave the tried and tested cushioned job for what you crave to do.
First thing please understand that finance is not maths, and it has nothing to do with sine cos theta and inverted proportion. Do not be scared of matters related to money which is more than the calculations of the sale percentage on your favourite Allen Solly dress.
Learn to manage your finances. Learn banking. Understand saving options, mutual funds, loan processes and even if you don’t dabble, learn about shares and dividends. Understand that property buying is more than just putting down your signature. Don’t be happy just by being a nominee, understand the pros and cons of the policies.
If you’re earning, remember that you’re not earning for a hobby, so please save and be financially strong as life never ceases to throw a bouncer towards you. Needless to say, financial independence is important. The diamond you buy yourself might not shine with love but shines brighter with pride! So darling numbers are important please pay more attention to them. (Ahem..No not talking of 36,26,36, that will be covered later).
Now I know you would roll your eyes and say don’t preach to me, but I swear I am not! Hey, I’m your older self just giving you some piece of advice for your own good, on second thoughts: our own good.
Please girl test the waters, take your own time. Do not fall for the first guy you meet lest you regret the options later on (I’m rolling eyes at you!). Meet, mingle, judge and test on your parameters. Yes, keep parameters high. You are worth it. You won’t be able to get out once you accept the societal norms just like the chakravyuh of Mahabharata. You, my dear younger self, are naive, without any prior knowledge, like Abhimanyu, and will be thrashed, but mind you, won’t lose and die. That I won’t allow!
Still, let go of the KJo’s movies and those Valentines fever kind meet ups, that’s not true love. You need a man who can handle and cherish a kickass woman like you with panache and spoil you like a baby, and stand beside you like a rock! And this will take time to figure out… Take the time my love! Please, maan jaa!
Lastly all the above summed up together. You are born with yourself only. Your closest pal is you. The one who loves you most is You (yes Dad and bhai are in the list and others too but you… Focus please). You are your priority. Live for yourself and love yourself.
It will be absolutely OK to take help during your motherhood. Don’t aspire to be Mother Teresa. Take it easy.
Take out time for your dream and passion else the bucket list will be too long.
Do not hesitate to move away from negativity and those greasy kachoris too, please. It’s important to keep your choices on priority. Yes, life will give you twists and turns and make you insane, pushing you to give up on your dreams but beware you are stardust which will shine brighter under all the compression given by the life. So learn to keep yourself on priority.
And now go on and slay it as usual!
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: a still from the movie Qarib Qarib Singlle
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Love to dwell upon the layers within one statement.
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