“It’s all about loving yourself”, she said.
Too often we forget who we are, until something unfortunate happens in our lives. The point is that we get too busy making other’s life happier and better, we spend hours trying to do something special for them, we devote majority of our time texting them and talking over phone, that if one day you’re unable to make such efforts due to some problem or commitment, everything that you have ever done becomes equivalent to one big fat zero.
We have all lived our school life, made a lot of friends, have gone out for movies and lunch to the mall, shopped together, and our parents always made sure we came back home before it got too dark, we’d have our parents or drivers to pick and drop us around to places, we were only given a few rupees that we could blow up in school canteens, etc. We were always taught by our parents and teachers to stay in a limit, and be careful, because life afterwards is going to be full of challenges, problems, barriers, ups and downs, and failures.
This is Phase 1.
When we were so selfless. When our version of spending time with friends and family was a simple outing or a sleepover. When an ordinary T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans could be worn everywhere, because no one really bothered much about clothes or hairstyles, when having a good time was the main focus. When selfies weren’t trending, we clicked pictures from our not-so-amazing phones, and actually smiled for them, instead of pouting. When status didn’t matter. When auto rides were so much fun, sitting on top of each other, even though it only allowed a seating for max three people. Such simple things, yet the best.
Basically you had a very free, happy life. You didn’t have to think too much. You spent too much of your time just doing your own thing, taking exams, attending birthday parties, running around from one tuition center to another, playing various games in the park, and lots of sleeping and eating! And of course, you followed all rules and regulations, and thought multiple times before going against them! Back then, we didn’t have to worry much about our clothes, or what present to buy for a friend. Back then, we were carefree, yet handled ourselves appropriately. Back then, we were punished for making the smallest possible mistake. Back then, we accepted things faster. Back then, we fought for ourselves. Back then, we spent time with our family.
Times have changed now.
My confessions: I never had a phone when I was in school. I did have a phone in grade 11 (without the camera), but it was confiscated by my parents, because studies. I relied on my desktop, which was used by everyone at home, because owning a laptop back then didn’t make sense. Landlines were used to call up friends, mostly to discuss homework, and I had a time limit on my telephonic conversations. Msn and Yahoo messenger were our saviors, because online chatting.
“We are the last generation whose baby photos weren’t taken on phone.” – An Instagram post. And I immediately double tapped!
But hey, welcome to Phase 2.
Time to go to college. Time to start working. Time to part ways with Phase 1. Time to make new friends. Time to focus on life. Time for a change.
As we grow up, things change. Or maybe we do. Fading away, drifting with the flow, losing ourselves. Forgetting childhood dreams and old promises. Getting lost in the whirlpool of fake priorities and artificial emotions. We do things because we are supposed to do them. Because someone said so. Because everyone does this. We forget who we are and what we want. We are too scared to follow our own dreams. 24 hours are not enough anymore. We have to run somewhere. To fix this, to clear that, to fight, to argue, to prove ourselves right, to learn new stuff, to earn more money, to work more… to smile less. 1440 minutes of constant struggling. 86400 seconds of permanent stress.
Deprived of the privilege to actually enjoy life.
We have a luggage of sad memories, broken promises, lost friendships, missed opportunities. We know what it is like to believe, to hope, to dream. But we also know how it feels when every promise, every feeling, every dream would break into pieces. It is tougher to be happy. We want more from life, we expect more from people. We lose more. We are not the same anymore. It is tougher to believe. Tougher to dream. Tougher to be that kid who wanted to fly high in the sky like an eagle, or just any bird. It is tougher to be.
“We stop throwing coins into the fountains. We don’t cross fingers anymore or make a wish when we blow out birthday candles. We don’t believe in the shooting stars either.”
Maybe because we lost hope that our deepest wishes would finally come true. We laugh less. We enjoy less. We forget to call people we care about. We pretend to be too busy. We don’t have time to tell people what they mean to us. We forget what it means to be real. To be human. To be yourself.
In the end, it’s all about being able to love yourself. Fine, if things don’t work out. Fine, if you are going through major failures. Fine, if you can’t find a reason good enough to smile. I think this is the time, when you should focus more on yourself, than anything else. Because if you lose yourself once, it is very difficult to get back. It’s not impossible, it just takes time. Just be a little selfish, sometimes. Make yourself a better person and feel proud of who you’ve become.
Life is the most precious gift bestowed upon us by God. We must love and appreciate it. We love others but what about loving yourself. Do you love yourself? It is not complicated but upon thinking, you will realize that you’ve never thought about it. Once you start loving yourself, you will have the sense of satisfaction.
Be happy. Be loving.