Five realizations of mine as I turned 30

30 is not a magical number. I consider it as the Number of wisdom.

This is a fine time when you find yourself examining your life and weighing against a lot of things; your accomplishments, your thoughts, your approach towards life, and people you are with.

30 is the vantage point from where we can reflect on all the things we have done so far, and do course correction as we move ahead.

Maybe you would like to know some of my lessons – my five most important realizations so far. 

You are stronger than you think you are

There are some things in life that are unpredictable and inevitable in life — failures, disappointments, heartbreaks, and trials. In our everyday lives, there are challenges to overcome, confusions to tackle, and confronting little hiccups along the way.  And, they may not be as simple as they sound here, like a knockout in one punch.

These events disturb our steady life, disrupting the harmony, even if they exist for a moment. In times like these, our inner state of life goes low, we get nervous and anxious. This is how our mind and body reacts — the fight-or-flight response.

Dealing with a strange or unknown situation makes us uneasy. In these moments, how does one respond? A lot depends on one’s understanding of his situation, his conviction, and belief in his ability to overcome the situation, and how easily he can let go of things that no longer serve him.

At 30, I have understood that there will be problems that I may have to face. I can never run away from them. But, first I have to overcome my own fears. This age is not about realization. Realization can come at any point in time.

What I know is by the time you have reached this age, you gain some courage and patience. And, they go a long way in finding solutions to most of your problems.

The funny thing is, no matter how old the problems may look, they always feel new and unpleasant.

Every time life throws a curveball, I feel edgy. But, I have learned that worrying and fretting over the problem costs me more than handling the situation from a tranquil state of mind.

This is an art and I am still learning.

The deadliest blows will shake your ground, and you might lose your footing. But, you know how to recover. This is when you know that you are stronger than you think you are.

You understand relationships better

Relationships are an integral part of one’s life. With time, we realize that the quality of a relationship is important, more than anything. When we are young, we can’t grasp its importance.
I am not saying, back then, a person’s flamboyant, pedantic nature would have impressed you or me. It’s just that we lack the ability to recognize what we want, what must be nurtured and what must be left behind — all those things that are superfluous.

At this stage, I believe strongly that life is meaningful if I share it with people who are important to me, who hold meaning in my life. As far as the rest are concerned, they will simply exit from your life and that wouldn’t bother you anymore.

When you understand the kind of people you want in your life, the kind of qualities you admire and the qualities you detest. That is the time, you understand the importance of these special people.

You become selective of how and with whom you want to spend your time and energy. And, as you grow old, you start valuing the qualities that bring joy to your life, qualities that enrich and add meaning to your life.

You begin to embrace quality over anything, any given day.

Respect yourself and love yourself

Nothing comes first than loving and respecting yourself. Self-love doesn’t mean selfishness. Self-love means you know you should take care of your mind, body, and soul.

To care for someone’s health, you must be healthy yourself.

To educate someone, you must be educated first.

To love someone, first you must love yourself.

You cannot let someone treat you bad if you cannot do the same to others. If you are a kind person, how can you let someone be cruel to you?

When it comes to relationships, it is only natural that the other person often takes the prime place in your life. There is no harm in giving equal importance or sometimes more importance to the other person. After all, he or she means a lot to you.
The only complain here is belittling yourself. If you fear that by being truthful, you will lose the person. That by doing things you love to do, you might offend the other person. Then, that person is not meant for you. He or she doesn’t love you for who you are.

You must get up and stop feeling pity and sorry for yourself.

Talking yourself down for doing the right thing is one of the symptoms of low self-love. Many define it as low self-esteem.

However, you cannot be mean and do unpleasant things, yet expecting the other person to accept you. You have to be a reasonable and understanding person too.

Still, if the person constantly negates your actions, you must pull yourself out from that situation. Because the other person is never going to be happy with you. All they can see are your flaws and incapability.

If you are honest, sincere, loving, warm and kind, then it’s not your problem.

If you really want some love and respect, start doing these things.
Take some time out for yourself.
Pursue your interests.
Pamper yourself.
Learn new things.
If you don’t have a hobby, create one.
Most importantly, enjoy your own company.

Don’t lose yourself pleasing someone simply because you cannot stay alone.

Of course, these are not everything that defines a relationship, but they are some of the significant ones that play a vital role in the success of a relationship. It is not just about the romantic kinds, self-love and self-respect extend to every kind of relationship.

And, I am definitely learning and growing in this art. The sooner, the better.

Suddenly, you are in search of happiness

Tell me how many of you had deliberately thought of being happy when you were children? Probably, you don’t even remember that such thought would have occurred to you. When I was a child, the word happiness never crossed my mind. I never thought that happiness would become an exercise, a verb in our lives, someday when we would grow older.

Happiness was never supposed to be learned. It came to us naturally. We were happy because we lived in the moment. We were deeply connected to the things and people we were with, at that moment. We never thought of what would come next. Simply taking the life as it is.
The irony is children teach the older ones like us about living each day fully. How nice it would have been if we lived life in a childlike manner.

Today, we have so many courses, self-help books that talk about happiness, attaining happiness and being happy.
What happened to all of us? Do we need so much help to be happy? Can’t happiness flow naturally to us, like it used to when we were kids?

The greatest tragedy is we are constantly looking for happiness outside. Whereas this beautiful thing has always resided in our hearts. We are truly desperate souls who lose interest, confidence, and faith in the things we have, in the blink of an eye. Wandering mindlessly and finding happiness in the next thing soon to be abandoned.

‘Carpe diem’ meaning seize the day. Great thinkers, philosophers and sages always had one thought in common — live in the moment.

Alas! We ignore them, thinking it is an unachievable and unrealistic theory.

I don’t know how easy it will be to think like the child that I was once and start living in the moment. What I know is living and connecting with my present moment is going to bring happiness and nothing else.

Happiness is a mirage. You cannot keep running after it.

Start living in this moment. The past is gone and the future you have no control. The present moment is the only time to experience deeply and cherish it.

Life is funny, in a beautiful way

Because we all have a shelf life, we should start making the best use of this limited time. Living life as if it has been forever, not a wise choice. We know the inevitable truth, but we forget that amid the daily grind of our mundane lives.

It is important to give a nudge and remind ourselves that time is running.

I know life is not easy. This is how the path has been laid for us. The ebb and flow of this course are going to be rough. Stay prepared. But along the way there are things I realized that must be done no matter what:

  • Let go of trivial, unimportant things
  • Take care of parents more than ever. They are not going to be there forever. They gave us the greatest gift; our life.
  • Forgive and forget the past. Cherish the present
  • Love deeply and be vulnerable. It’s okay if you get hurt, don’t close yourself.
  • Stay honest. Commit fully
  • Become a better reader, writer, listener, and daughter
  • Practice gratitude
  • Understand that you are not in a hurry. You compete with yourself
  • Don’t waste time on bad investment and bad relationships. Let it go
  • Take care of your health

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/FL7auik_2wU

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