Story #40: An Anonymous Note (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Dear you,

I know you are suffering in your own, unique way. I know you have a story, a history and something that gives you pain. I know you have happy moments that you never account for, and sad moments you never forget. I know sometimes you hide your pain and mask your insecurities.
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Because I do, too.
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But I want you to know that you’re the writer of your own story. All the characters, living or dead, are the people you chose to be with, at that moment. Every episode you experience is influenced by the words you say and the things you do. Just like every turn adds on to you successfully getting to your destination, every choice adds onto making what your life is or will be.
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That being said, I don’t want to turn this into a sermon. We all know our choices make or break, but still, sometimes we end up saying and doing things that we shouldn’t have. Negativity fills us up. Things go bad one after the other, repeatedly, and everyone you’ve ever come to love seems to either not care, or be there for you.
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But in times like this, I want you to know that you have the power to change your situation. You always have the power to change the situation. I want you to believe that you do.
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Two years ago I had reached the lowest point in my life. I fell, hard; everything in my life seemed to be going wrong. I was sad, and I was sad all alone. To be honest, I still am. I haven’t recovered from it, but I’ve stopped thinking about it. I’ve learnt to focus my energy onto better things. I’ve learned to give into my emotions, but not too much. I’ve learned that emotions make you weak, and love makes you vulnerable. So I have tried to keep them both as far from myself as possible. I’ve come to know that I am alone, and that no matter what, friendship is, in the end, a beautiful illusion we distract ourselves with. Years spent in school together, times spent laughing, and sleepovers: they all dissolve into ego, selfishness and stop to exist. So I’ve just come to terms with the fact that no matter how much I may love people, they will never love me back as much. I will never be enough for anyone, and that is okay because people always have expectations, and expectations always lead to disappointments. 

This may appear to be a very pessimistic view of life, but I swear, I’m a very happy person and a self proclaimed optimist. Although, I believe now I’m turning into a realist. A realist who knows her flaws well; a little too well to hate them. A realist who for quite a long time didn’t look into the mirror because she hated the sight of her face. Anyway, I’m telling you this because I want you to know how I feel better about myself. 

I try to spread happiness. Try to. There’s something very satisfying in seeing someone smile; more so when I’m the reason behind it. So I don’t really care if its over something silly, or a story I just concocted. I just want to make people laugh. Maybe, I think, making someone happy is my way of making myself happy, because I never seem to be able to do it directly. Also, random acts of kindness. You have no idea how wonderful they make you feel. Wish the person who guards your front gate, buy the balloons from the little boy selling them at the red light, compliment your friend who’s insecure about her looks that she is beautiful, tell your parents you love them; there are so, so many little things that you can do that can literally brighten up someone’s day. They feel good, you feel good: it’s a win-win situation!

I know this because these are the things that no one ever told me. I also know this because I know it works. I wish someone would’ve been kind to me back at a time when I felt weak. I was still in school. I’d been crying for last thirty-five minutes in the toilet; that’s how I used to spend my lunch breaks. I’d stopped washing my sore, red eyes because I knew nobody cared enough to ask me what was wrong. This happened again, and again over different time periods in my life so far (I’m big on public crying, lol.) I’ve had multiple panic attacks inside fully crammed metros, and not one person has had the guts to ask me what was wrong. My point here is, in situations like this, people are afraid of being kind. Why? I don’t know. I just hope the people who are reading this aren’t the ones to turn their heads away when something like this happens. 

I want you to do one more thing. If you absolutely hate your existence, or you’ve just been experiencing bad things one after the other, do this: when you lie down at night, close your eyes and just say thank you to the universe for everything that exists in it for you, or rather facilitates your existence. Start with twenty things. The list will expand, day after day and you will realise the thousands of things that you need to be thankful for. I do this exercise at times when I feel that nothing is working out for me anymore, and it just makes me feel that I have way, way more things than I account for, and that my existence is magnanimous. 

I’ve babbled for quite a while now. I just want you to know that your life will go on; you are a unique, wonderful human being who is here for a purpose. I want you to know that right now is all you have. Smile. You’re allowed to cry. Let it out. Love. You will find love, inevitably, but for once try letting love find you? Everything good that is meant for you will come to you in good time. 

I hope you’re happy, wherever you are. 
I wish you well.

Yours. 

P.S: I listened to this song when I was going through a very low point in my life. It made me cry, a lot, but I also felt really better. I want to add it on here, because, I don’t know, maybe if you too are going through something bad, this could help. I hope it does. 

A Little Too Much (Shawn Mendes)


I cannot believe this is the last time I writing this after-note!

We all at some point feel exactly like the writer has described in the episodes of their life. Sadness, dejection, disappointment and what not. But really, true happiness lies in making others happy- be it through lame jokes (if you’re like me) or acts of kindness. These words have really struck a chord in my heart, and I think I will come back to this story, again. I hope the words have resonated with you just like they did with me. 

On that note, I declare The Anonymous Anecdotes Project as closed! I’m so thankful to everyone who’s contributed and/or read the stories; be it one, two or all forty.

Loads of love!

-:-

Any opinions, comments or ideas that you may want to put forward to the writer of this story can be mailed to me at ratti.priya5@gmail.com. Positive feedbacks and constructive criticisms are more than welcome. 

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns.)

 

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Story #36: Dead Men Tell No Tales (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Hence the reason why I’m typing down this extract of my life so that someone somewhere can learn something from this collection of words. Maybe? Maybe not.

About telling tales. I’ve been brought up in a family where in the early stages of my life, my sister and I were showered with a lot of tales and stories from our grandfather. A story from him was not just an habitual occurrence but was an essential post dinner tradition. For a normal person it would be like having dessert. But the spectrum of his tales outranged all the tastes our taste buds could conceive. Well, time and technology took away those precious virtues. Time took away my grandfather and technology, his tradition.

Fast forward to this day where I’m about tell my first tale to a few people ironically with the help of technology. I don’t want to go overboard but I kind of feel like the prodigal son. ;p 

The significance of the title above is accomplished by now. So if anyone was expecting Jack Sparrow to be here, I’m sorry to disappoint you. 

Let’s Begin. 

What I am today is because of my mom.’

It’s 12:30 in the afternoon and a month has passed since my last class 12th exam. I’m currently chilling. ‘Chilling’ is defined as the act of scrolling through the news feed on your phone indifferently. Then I hear this, “Get Up!” There’s only one reply to that which is,”Mumma, 2 minutes please.” FYI: That reply is the gateway to eternal procrastination. A few moments later I hear this loud and clear, “GET UP FROM THE TOILET SEAT IT’S BEEN 20 MINUTES!” My heart skipped a beat (all the guys will relate to this). Before any preconceived notion could form in her shrewd brain I rushed out quickly. It was time to face the inevitable, the death stare. 

Then my mom asked me to go to the tailor to get her clothes altered and stuff. I never went there before in my life so obviously the answer was, “No, I’m tired.” There is one thing all our mothers say to get stuff done and that is, “No need of your help I’ll do it on my own.” That’s a guilt trip straight to hell. But first I had to go to the tailor. 

So I reach the market with a bag full of my mum’s clothes. Nobody is there at the tailor’s workstation. While I’m conjuring up curses in my head for the tailor a young boy comes up with a bag full of clothes. My initial thoughts were that his mum might have sent him too but those thoughts were substituted as soon as he took out the clothes, placed them on a stack and sat on the workstation. He asked me about the clothes and I conveyed him Mom’s orders. 

I saw a bag with a bunch of books and stationery beside him and I couldn’t help but ask him if he went to school. Apparently he did, but not very often. His attendance in the class was indirectly proportional to the work load he got here at this workstation which his father had made him on his 9’th birthday. I rarely empathize with people but at that point it hit me when i thought of stepping into his shoes. I asked him about if I could help with any of his studies thinking that he would be engaged his work and say no. But he left all of it in the middle, stood up and asked me to help him with math. Not at that moment but I asked him to visit me once his tailoring got over. (At this point of time, YOU, the reader might get bored with all the details. But every single one of it just had to happen in a sequence.) So I enter home and call out mom like I deserve a certificate of appreciation for the chore I did. Then I go back to ‘Chilling’. While I was scrolling I came across a sponsored ad by a company as part for their CSR about a short film making competition on a social issue. The instincts that were generated at that point were inviolable not to recognize. Never had I had butterflies in my stomach for just thinking about a project and how it would turn out to be. All I had was an instinct which gave me a string of hope to cling onto and a numerous number of practicalities to stoop me to the ground. But I decided to cling on. 

Later that evening he came with a textbook in one hand and a bag containing my mum’s altered clothes in the other. After studies were done I told him about the project to which he willingly accepted.

The next morning:

(AC/DC’s Back in Black playing in the background) 

We get to work. I didn’t trouble him in his working hours which were from 7:00 am to 7:00pm. We began at 4:00 in the morning and then after 7. The first experience of making a short film had an uncountable number of hurdles but during the process of filming none seemed to be like one, that’s the beauty of it. After 3 days of shooting and 2 days of editing our short film ‘Employed @ 9’ was uploaded to the company’s website.

One month later, I get back from vacation and I see a package from the company. In that is a letter and cheque in my name . Leave the cheque, once I read the letter I started jumping like if the primeval homo sapiens had just discovered fire. The amount of dopamine the was released in my brain that day has never ever been stimulated by any means till today. 

That was the initial domino falling to what I am today. And ‘what I am today is because of my mother’. No destiny bullshit, but if my mom hadn’t asked me to go to the tailor that day, instead of writing this tale I would probably be ‘chilling’ for another ‘2 minutes’ through my entire college life. 

Thank you, Mom.


This story was a treat to read. But as much as I loved reading it, for a long time I could not come with what to write here; or what I could take from it. But as I thought for sometime, it hit me.

Everything in our life is somehow, connected. It’s weird how we see our lives as an ongoing stream of random episodes, but in the long run, all these seemingly random episodes and occurances fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly, everything makes sense. So, it just goes on to make me believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason.

At the moment, someone might me experiencing the happiest or the saddest moment of their lives. While it may give one pain to be in a situation they are in currently, they were made to experience it because of some reason. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s true. Everything happens for a reason; pain, too is meant to teach us lessons happiness can never bring.

So, embrace everything life brings you, for in the long run, it will make you who you are. Most probably, like in this case, it will bring something good to you, something you will hold onto, for years to come. 

-:-

Any opinions, comments or ideas that you may want to put forward to the writer of this story can be mailed to me at ratti.priya5@gmail.com. Positive feedback and constructive criticism are more than welcome. 

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns.)

Story #31: Comparison Kills Contentment (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

In a world that is constantly trying to change you, judge you and mould you… your real strength lies in standing up for what you believe in, working on yourself while being your true self.
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I’m sure you all have experienced “Existential crisis” at some point of your life. For me, it’s almost every week. There comes a time when I start questioning the purpose of my life, literally. I’m usually a very positive person but then one day I’ll just look around, see other people accomplishing so much, tapping bigger opportunities, doing great things in their lives, some of them my friends, and then I look at myself and uncontrollably compare my dull and anti climatic life to their extraordinary glamorous lives. This may sound really cliché but there are certain moments when I feel that maybe I’m not good enough and I’m not doing enough. It’s exactly what running on a treadmill feels like!
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Comparing ourselves to others is a basic human tendency, I guess. The persistent fear of lagging behind, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and the sense of not being the best. And I hope I’m not alone. Looking at our over-achiever friends, the success of our colleagues, we fall into this deep state of introspection where usually we’re disappointed with ourselves, discouraged and not to mention, a little jealous.
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But then one fine day I read these three magical words somewhere (No, not ILY): Comparison Kills Contentment. These three words have really changed my perspective. Comparison is good if it improves us, but the moment it starts to lower our self esteem and makes us dislike ourselves is when it becomes harmful. A lot of times I subconsciously judge myself by looking at what others are doing. Even the little satisfaction left after I’ve accomplished something is totally ruined. The hard work I’ve put into my little big achievements seems nothing in front of what others seem to be doing. There is always someone better, someone prettier, someone a little more hardworking. I get stuck in this never ending cycle of disappointment. And not that comparison is always bad, it can be taken in a positive sense if it motivates and inspires us to become the better version of ourselves, but most of the times it leads to self loathing and can be extremely depressing. It makes us ignorant and ungrateful about our blessings, our capabilities. We become blind towards our own aims and aspirations.
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Easier said than done, but the moment you put your blinkers on, focus on your own goals, your own journey, celebrate your achievements and learn the lessons from your misgivings, is when you experience ultimate satisfaction and happiness. It’s about always giving it your best to everything that you do. However vague, unrealistic and little your dreams may sound, it’s all about dedicating yourself completely into fulfilling them.
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Here, I’d quote Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Similarly, every individual is different, unique and capable in their own ways. The grass is always greener on the other side, only if you forget to water your own grass. Everyday is an opportunity to make yourself better, to grow, to achieve and to succeed. It’s about time that we start getting inspired, and not discouraged by other’s achievements. It’s about taking one step at a time, competing with your own self. And to be the best, you just have to become the best version of yourself.
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I have always believed that every human being is unique, and has their own way of doing things. So likewise, you can’t possibly say two people are the same; I mean, the might be similar, but not the same. So that brings us to the point that, if no two people are the same, how can we ever compare them?

We’re all humans (I hope) and our structures and functions are the same. But, the way we think, how we perceive the world, how we understand things; this is the stuff that varies. Perspectives. That’s what makes you, you. There is no room for comparison for things that aren’t the same. Your history, your emotions, your life experiences make you who you are; no one has experienced life exactly as you have. Embrace that fact. You are different, and thats what its all about.

Comparison kills contentment. The minute you start contemplating where you are in life in comparison to someone else, that’s where you start damaging all the progress you may have made. You don’t know what that person has been through, or how hard they have worked. Possibly, they have embraced themselves, in their individuality, and learned to take advantage of who they are. Maybe we can only make progress in life once we are at peace with who we are.

So be yourself; hopelessly, recklessly yourself. No matter how hard someone may judge you, no matter how many jokes they make. You are one of your kind, irreplaceable. Know that.

-:-

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns. If you’re interested, you can send me your story at ratti.priya5@gmail.com.)