15: You are in your own ‘time zone’

A friend forwarded this message today, and it instantly lifted my mood and took away some of my anxiety. I am sharing it verbatim below.

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Hope you are all enjoying in your own ‘time zone’. You will ask, what is this time zone? This is a very important factor in one’s life and life moves in this very factor. In order to understand more, read the message below:

Kenya is 2 hrs ahead of Nigeria, but it does not mean that Nigeria is slow, or that Kenya is fast. Both countries are working based on their own “Time Zone.”

Someone is still single while someone got married. Someone after marriage waited for 10 yrs before having a child, there is another who had a baby within a year of marriage.

Someone graduated at the age of 22, yet waited 5 years before securing a good job; and there is another who graduated at 27 and secured employment immediately !

Someone became CEO at 25 and died at 50 while another became a CEO at 50 and lived to 90 years.

Everyone works based on his or her ‘Time Zone’.

People can have things worked out only according to their pace, working in their own “time zone”.

Your colleagues, friends and even younger ones might “seem” to go ahead of you.
May be some might “seem” behind you.

Don’t envy them or mock them, it’s their ‘Time Zone’
You are in yours!

Hold on, be strong, and stay true to yourself and make your life happy and full of aspirations, goals and pursuits. All things shall work together for your good. You’re not late … You are not early … you’re very much on time! Because you are in your own ‘Time Zone’. Best wishes

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13: Letting go

The most difficult part of losing something, a person, a dream or a memory, is to surrender and accept things for what they are. You see the person, the dream or the memory fading away, and all you want in that instance is to hold tight. But, the more you try the more you fall apart and sink deeper in the pain. It’s like riding a roller coaster or trying to survive in a quicksand. You have to be able to give up and let go, in order to survive. The person, the dream, and the memory may be precious to you, and you might feel that you won’t be able to live without them. They might be the best thing that happened to you, and gave the desire to live. But their value is not absolute, it’s all relative to you. The value of a person, a dream or a memory cannot be more than life itself, your life. You have to lose control first, in order to gain it back. For when you let life nurture and flow like a river, many new people will enter your world, that lost dream will make its way for another, the faded memory will be replaced by a more vivid one. You have to believe in the possibilities that life has to offer.

Imagine yourself in a train journey, the first destination might have been amazing but don’t get stuck there. If we stay in one place for long enough, we become obsolete. Allow yourself the chance to explore many more destinations in your life. Give yourself the chance to get back on your journey and who knows you might end up at the same places where you started.

12: Should we use the word ‘love’ sparingly?

I have always had a great fondness for people. People bring out my best spirit (and sometimes my worst). I love the kindness, tenacity, and spirit of people, I love their talent and zeal for life. I find something to love in everyone I know; and when I say ‘love’, I actually mean love. My heart swells with joy and I am struck with admiration and respect for them. I never hesitate to tell people when I love something about them. Very often, people are unaware about their own qualities and I like to remind them that they are special. A lot of people have difficulty believing it when they hear their own praise. It’s because they don’t believe those things about themselves and they struggle to figure if I am being genuine in my praise or merely trying to flatter them.

All this changed when I first fell in ‘love’. The experience was so overwhelming for me, that I started questioning every other time I used the word love in my life. The feelings of joy and other emotions associated with it were so intense, that everything else seemed bland and not worthy of that label. It was the kind of selfless love which makes you cherish everything about the person, the good and the bad, and prompts you to be a better version of yourself. I decided then that I would not use the word ‘love’ for anyone, unless I come close to experiencing similar emotions. In doing so, I was also trying to ensure that, that one particular love remained special. I wanted to give that relationship its rightful place in my life, the highest one, so I demoted every other one in my life. I would proudly say, I love only a few people in my life also meaning my love is rare, cherish it. But, reality does not always play out as we like and things do not always remain the same, so when the dust settled on the ‘one love’, I found myself at a place where I felt that I wouldn’t ever be capable of producing love for anyone else. Everything from here on would just be a game of charade and pretence.

But, I was wrong. All this while, it was I who was stopping myself from finding joy in the world and people. The world never ceased to exist and be beautiful, it was I who was looking the other way. The moment I let myself fall freely in love with anybody and everybody, I gradually started to fall in love with the world again. I thought I had just one heart to give to the person who deserved it the most. It turns out, I had a thousand more from where the first one came from. The more I give it away, the more I feel complete.

11: Avoiding expectations

This blog began as a journey to subvert expectations. A place in the corner of the web, which no one would chance upon. Where I would discover what I like to think about, what I like to talk about. A place where my creativity would not be determined by the affirmations I receive. This is my secret, kept between me and you. Yet, as this blog grows daily and I receive a few dollops of encouragement, my trained mind automatically asks, is this what they like to read, should I write more of that? Avoiding expectations is difficult, especially when your endgame is to be appreciated by others. It’s not very difficult to be liked by others, just do what they want you to do. It’s when you want to be your true self and yet liked by others that the complication arises. For, when you put yourself out there completely, and you receive brickbats there is nowhere to hide but accept yourself the way you are. In most cases though, no matter who you are, people appreciate honesty and conviction. Even if you are a bitch, you honesty to yourself may be your only redeeming quality.

So, back to the topic how do we live our lives without letting expectations overburden us?  Expectations may be from friends, family, peers and more importantly your own self. We were closest to our true self, when we were children. As we grew up, we let our societal conditioning take over. As adults we need to bring out our younger versions. If we have to receive cues from anyone, it should be from our younger selves. All the other expectations, needs to be avoided like a plague. It’s difficult to trust your own instincts rather than be guided by people, but give it some time and thought and it happens. That is why some of the best art, song, and literature is born purely out of an urge to produce and not to provide. I struggled with these questions for a while, and it made me stop for some time but I am glad to be back on track again.