Tomorrow, I turn 20. I have survived all the middle school lows, prudes, the high school drama, teachers who tell you how NOT to be, insecure boys, bitching, backbiting, third wheeling, being broke, being too thin, being not too thin, acne, fake friends, real friends, heartbreak, depression, tears and the quest to remain grounded. But it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, in fact it was one hell of a ride. Only now when I look back, I see what I have grown above. Who says teen years are easy, but who says they aren’t the best?
The existential crisis is what makes these years so so special .You are still discovering who you are and what you want to be on so many levels that the struggle doesn’t seem like one. It is an internal evolution of sorts ,where you realise you need to let go of the unnecessary; break free !
I have finally come to reckon with the fact that I have wasted so much time. I have wasted so much time worrying about what other people think of me, of how much they don’t or may be do like me. I have wasted so much time dwelling over how differently people would perceive me if only they knew the entire story, if only I were more outgoing and thus be seen as a more fun and pleasant person to be with. I have often looked down upon myself: the way I look, the way I talk, the way I think, being completely certain that people are equally critical of the same things.I have wasted so much time, tossed my peace and wasted my tears. The teens have taught me that my existence on earth does not depend upon opinions or how desirable or pleasing I can be. It does not depend upon how well I can mould down to fit in. It depends rather, on how far I can maintain my individuality against all the moulds forced upon me.
I am not easily outgoing and often struggle to open up, but that is fine!
I am also not an introvert at times, that is fine too!
The next time I meet someone new, they will notice the nervousness and the awkwardness, but that is fine! They will also notice that I am human!
We all seek validation . Or rather most of us .I certainly did, without realising that everyone will always have something to say, something to presume, something to judge, everyone including my own self!
No one will ever know the other part of the story: the internal monologue and struggle that leads to the good, bad, and even worse decisions I made or will make .
The beautiful seven years have dawned upon me a lesson for a lifetime. Your weight, your dark circles, your hair, your looks, your diction, the number of friends you have ,your flaws and lows, relationships you were in or will be in, the guy/girl who dumped you, the guy/girl you dumped, that one person always scoring more marks than you, that one person you assume is always better than you, do not and will never take away from the person that you are or choose to be .
Nobody is 100% confident. Nobody is flawless. I happened to read somewhere that embracing life is not really about jumping from cliffs or getting drunk in nightclubs; it is probably the process of learning to love yourself.
Nobody, absolutely nobody knows what it takes to to be you every single day! And nobody will ever know. Turning twenty has at least initiated the process of me believing in the fact that despite all my flaws and insecurities, I am pretty damn awesome and so are you!
This post was written by Deepika Katyal.