A letter to myself 

A year of introspection, sitting in raw discomfort and finding the path of healing. 2020 was the toughest year yet but it was also the most eye opening. Maybe it was a global pandemic or maybe it was everything in between but it sent shock waves within that triggered a sense of self reflection, one that was emotionally and physically draining.

I guess I was forced to look inwards and truly figure out what my internal and external pain points were and are. I felt that it was forcing me to either remain or evolve. There was no form of distraction during a lockdown and the world going through so much pain. All that was left to do was to be consumed by what was going on externally and internally. The latter being something I wanted to avoid. Rather than tuning it out or burying it, I had no choice but to map it all out and figure out what I genuinely wanted from life.

It began slowly, with journaling, with reading, with long conversations with my closest and finding inspiration in many things including what I would usually dismiss. I did not want to be a bigot so I wanted to educate myself on those things. I found so much healing in doing so. I said yes more and equally learnt to put my foot down by saying no and was unapologetic about it. It is still something I need to get better at. I am growing out of my comfort zone and pushing myself out from the waves I used to let drown me. It felt liberating but also emotionally raw.

What gave me joy? What made me sad? What gave me energy and what drained it? I started to draw it all and designed a painting I was happy with. Not complete but a work in progress- it was satisfying. Messy but beautiful.

I think as a society, especially a patriarchal and capitalist one, we attach a lot of our self worth to how productive we are, or at least I did and maybe still do. I held myself to these insane standards of perfection and over time I ended up just being robotic. I attached a vast amount of my value on how productive I was and from it, I lost sight of what I wanted and what actually made me truly happy. It was also a great excuse to avoid other aspects of my life. I felt like I was coasting down a hill or just floating with time. I soon learnt that I did not want to just go through the motions of living life by constantly chasing long term goal after the next. Having your blinkers on and losing sight of what's around will never be fulfilling. That is no way to live. Growing old is a privilege that a lot of people do not get so I want to do everything to make the most of now, in being present and taking it one step at a time. It is a marathon after all. 

Life isn’t a one size fits all that we have been indoctrinated to believe. The milestones of supposed success and happiness should be defined by only you, not society. When we're caught in a belief system that happiness should take a particular form, we fail to see the opportunities we genuinely want that are right in front of us. I certainly did. We mirror those who have a similar life to us or someone of a similar age to try and keep up. But why? This addiction to constantly compare, even on a subconscious level sometimes has us yearning for things we didn’t even want. Why must the clichéd picture of a family in a white picket fence be the only end goal? If you want to get married, do it and if you don’t, be unapologetic about it. It shouldn’t matter either way because it’s your choice. If you want to have children, may you nurture those gorgeous babies to be wholesome humans but if you don’t, may you continue to nurture yourself. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, may you do so gracefully. If you want to pursue your hobbies full time, may the universe give you luck that matches your hard work and drive. If you don’t have a bloody clue what to do next, may you find the courage to figure it out. It is never too late but you do have to start. Life is far too short to be settling. Don’t get me wrong, it is terrifying and equally a privilege to have these thoughts. No one chose the life they were born into but life is a gift so grab it by the lapels and make it the best adventure it can be. Cheesy but fuck it! Create the magic you want in your life, it will grow with you.

Despite this being a tough year, I truly hope we all find the courage to heal and grow in whatever capacity that comes in. I hope we live in the most magical way, for ourselves only. Self-care isn’t selfish, it is survival. I hope you continue to learn more about yourself and subjects you usually wouldn’t think about. I hope you are unapologetic about your love for others and that you continue to bravely wear your heart on your sleeve; may it help you blossom that self love, growth and inner healing you so truly desire and deserve.

2020, thank you for the whirlwind ride. May the following year be much more gentle.

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