30 years is a long time to live. It’s wonderful to have lived this long and I’m extremely grateful that I had these years. Having said that, has life been rose-y (for the lack of a more suitable word)? Not quite. I’ve had a plethora of remarkable days, a sizeable amount of painstakingly horrible days and a whole load of ‘meh’ days. But, I’ve been grateful for each and every one of them. Does that mean I don’t wish away some of those excruciating experiences? Why in the world not? It’s only normal. So, are you wondering why I’m still grateful for even those days? Here’s why!

I’ve learnt so much… and unlearnt so much…

These discoveries about my own life and through my own life; have changed me so drastically that it’s altered the very core of my beliefs and value systems.

They dare go as far as disrupting my personality and affecting the way I function. Some of them even reaffirm some dormant character traits within me and shake them awake. It’s only right that I share them with you.

Don’t Assign Others the Power to Control How You Fee

I’ve seen distant relatives affect my family members with their words and actions, in various ways. More often than not, these deeds have tremendous repercussions that disrupt family life for all members of the family. For instance, if anyone uses harsh words against a member of the family, and the said member dwells on these thoughts for a long time, it begins to affect the other members of the family too. All I’m trying to say is, persistently assigning others the power to control how you feel is like giving headspace for others to live in your head rent-free. I mean, if you wouldn’t let someone live in your house without paying rent for years on end, then why would you let someone’s words and actions reverberate in your head for so long?

Don’t React, Act

You cannot control everything but you can control how to respond. Both these sayings are extremely cliche but they ring true for me ever in my life. I, like many others, find it extremely hard to not react to something. As soon as I am put in an uncomfortable situation or see some form of injustice happening in front of me, I tend to react to that situation. And in doing so, I’ve found myself in many uncomfortable plots of life. In hindsight, I wish I had not reacted and instead acted with more wisdom and forethought. Otherwise, everything that you do will seem like you are playing into somebody else’s story with a plot twist. If you really want to be the main character, you’ve got to build a parallel story. That’s just how I feel.

Love Doesn’t Run a Relationship, People Do

This quote right here lives rent-free in my head. All of 5 years of dating, I heard my boyfriend [ now husband ] say these lines, repeatedly. Back then, I used to think that it was such a selfish thought. I used to think that love should be enough, but soon, came to realize that love doesn’t run a relationship. Truly, people do! In fact, I used to think that he is far too pragmatic in his approach to life and I would have a hard time keeping up. I even assumed that it would clash a lot post-marriage. But slowly, I began to understand what he meant by those lines. Life happened and love wasn’t nearly enough. It takes sheer effort to keep a relationship going.

Prepare for a Tough Conversation, Don’t Run

The day I realized this was when I saw a couple of fights on and on about some random but ‘deep-rooted’ issue they were facing. Each relationship is special, beautiful, unique and tough. Along with that, conversations that one leads within those boundaries can be especially tough to navigate. For instance, personally, ‘finance’ is one such topic. Talking about Finance is something that is extremely tough for me, especially with my spouse. My husband knows that if he is gearing up for a tough conversation with me about our finances, my likely reaction is to flee from the situation with some excuse. I tend to run away when the conversation can get tough. But that’s just me. Some of you may be the very same way.

What I’ve seen through these years is that Vivin tends to understand my reaction and used to get frustrated with me earlier on. Over years, he never springs up this particular conversation as a surprise. He tends to prepare me for this conversation at least a week in advance. I dunno if he does this consciously, but I know he treads carefully. It’s definitely not because he’s afraid but because he knows I’ll be more receptive.

You Can’t Always Cross That Bridge, When We Get There

Somebody I used to know always said, “we will cross that bridge when we get there”. Back then, this line was extremely fancy to hear. But the reality for me was far from it. Knowing what want and going after it is the best way to succeed. Your intentions are clear from the get-go and you strive toward them. To be honest, IFYKYK! (If you know, you know!). Trust your gut. Often, your gut tells you the truth. More on this later. (I have a whole blog, I’ve planned to disclose about this respect.)

Pain is the Worst Reason to Stop Trying

I’m just gonna share an instance from my life that explains what I mean to say. My brother’s pet doggo, Barney recently got a corneal ulcer in his left eye. Literally, there was a visibly huge dent of sorts in the eye. My brother Benji is now in Canada and the doggo stays with my folks. But then, both of my folks were out of town after they got his eye checked out at the vet, so he came to stay with us. The doc shared a healing procedure with 3 medications and asked that he keep his e-collar on.

The first day that Barney had his e-collar on, he was extremely uncomfortable. He kept banging on walls, doorways, and dining benches; and found it taxing to navigate around the house. I sure did feel sympathetic towards him and then found my googling away – “must dogs have e-collars on while sleeping”, only to find out that they have it on pretty much all the time. Even though I watched him struggle, I kept him on a strict ‘no collar off’ rule, and he although agitated learnt to cope with it and eventually got used to it. After a few days, my folks were back in town and clearly let their sympathy for his condition run them. They took off the e-collar only to find him with a bad eye infection in both eyes this time around. This story just reaffirms that pain is the worst reason to stop while on the track, trying!