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 #33: The Lighthouse (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Picture this – a little ship sailing out in the open sea. It’s all nice and calm. The sky’s clear and the annoying, noisy seagulls are surprisingly missing. Such beautiful peace! However, don’t be so easily fooled by this quiet, deceptive tranquility. The absence of those very same noisy birds doesn’t bode well. Heard of ‘the quiet before the storm’? And before you realize it, there are menacing, dark clouds crawling over the same clear canvas. The heavens split open as torrential misery pours down.

Just a tiny boat, a tiny boat that is no match for the giant waves rapidly approaching. You lose control over the wheel, there’s nothing but looming rocks, encompassing shadows and monstrous waves up ahead. Treacherous whirlpools and sweeping tides that silently linger to bait in clueless, naïve wooden preys, threaten to break and gobble you up. You’re but a mere wooden toy tossed and flung around by the tides that just might capsize you. They conspire to seize you and hold you down till all the fight leaves your being and all that’s left behind is a beaten down wreck in the very depths of the high seas. A wreck that wards off most and commands a presence that is answered only by nervousness and a silent wish to stay away.

You should know this though, this tiny boat is anything but tiny. It’s your existence. It’s as magnificent as any of the finest ships out there decked in its own unique grandeur. It is your life and as much as you’d like to always be in control, but there are times when that’s out of the question. There are so many monsters out in the sea looking such harmless vessels to wander out, testing the waters, so that they can find them at their most vulnerable state and devour them. One small blind spot. Just one Achilles’ heel. Just one little insecurity for them to hound upon.

But amidst this turmoil and chaos, for that one moment when the waters retreat, have you ever looked about? Or are you just too caught up in healing and recharging yourself for the next onslaught?

Sure, it’s important to heal and pull your guard back up. But just for a little while forget them. Let your guards remain down and look into the dark, dreary expanse of the night. What might appear to be camouflaged as an abysmal stretch, hides among its countless evanescent stars a single, sole light lower than the rest perhaps. A lighthouse.

A lone ray of brilliance to guide back the other solitary crafts. Just a tower to guide you back home. It doesn’t forsake your tiny meandering self. It doesn’t leave you alone with your own thoughts. There’s suddenly so much more to your life and there’s this tiny spark within yourself. A hope to possibly continue hoping and to survive. Even if it’s but a mere mirage, it still fills the lost nomad with a promise of there being a light at the end of the tunnel.

When surely all seems lost and you seem to be done for, don’t forget there are those who will guide you back. There were times I faltered and almost gave in to my demons. I could barely get back up from where I had fallen. The ones I relied on, my own blood, weren’t there for me. In fact, I wasn’t needed. I was just a mistake after all. I would like to make this about a story of true love, because who doesn’t love a romantic story once in a while! My apologies, but that didn’t happen.

Sure, I found love and soulmates. Yes, I say soulmates, with an ‘s’ , for they are my better halves. I hadn’t had the best experiences in friendship before but if there was something good that pain gave me – that was my own lighthouse. They scattered rays of hope for me to hold onto in my life and a drive to continue fighting.

The companions I cherish and always seek out, be it when my life’s caught up in a storm or not. They made me realize that even if my self is rendered into a formidable wreck, there are those select few curious minds that will set out to explore this same wreck. They will dive into the scary depths to find me all battered on the ocean-floor, only to preserve and put me back together again.

There are times I have been unable to express how they quite literally saved me from rotting away and breaking down. There’s now a drive in me to seek out this lighthouse, to wait for that occasional explorer, and to continue sailing and conquering the high tides.


This is the most beautiful analogy to life that I’ve read in a long, long time.

Life tosses and turns you over, but there is always that one source of light, that beacon of hope that shines in your darkness, telling you that there is a way- a way out. 

So you know you need to hang in there a little longer, if you’re not seeing your lighthouse just yet. Hang in there a little longer. It will find you, and in Coldplay’s words, lights will guide you home. When you do find that lighthouse of yours, hold on to it like you’ve never loved anything before. 

I hope you do. 

-:-

(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.)

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.)

Story #30: Feelings & Fears (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

I was pondering over which life instance I should write about but then, I chose to write about a feeling which hits me almost everyday. It’s the fear of not being good enough. No matter how hard I try, I am never enough for anyone or anything. The frustration and exhaustion it causes is inexplicable.
We live in a world where even being your own self isn’t good enough. Each one of us must have experienced those times when we think we’re not just worth it. Not good looking enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not interesting enough, not funny enough, not good enough- that’s what’s on my mind all day, everyday. 
My self doubt, expectations, unrealistically high standards for everything and need for accomplishments crush my self esteem. I have a fear of letting people down. I feel so indecisive most of the times because I am afraid I am not good enough and that I am undeserving. 
I fear that I will never live up to the expectations I imagine that others have for me and that I have for myself. No matter how much I do for others and for myself, it’s never enough. I am tired of being treated as an option and not as a priority. Incompetency and inadequacy, comparisons and criticism, disappointment and despondency, fear and anxiety have crippled me. 
For me, self-deprecation is a way of life. It’s not perfection or attention that I strive for but it’s the acceptance I long for. I hope one day, I’ll be able to make everyone proud and overcome my insecurities. Till then, everything is totally okay.
I just need to get hit by a truck.

Our own thoughts make or break us. The way we see ourselves, shapes the majority of our actions. In psychological terms, the set of beliefs and perceptions we have about ourselves refers to self concept. So a positive self concept fosters positive self esteem and confidence, while a negative self concept brings them down, ultimately making one feel sad and depressed.
This is not related to the story as such. I just feel that our self concept is something very important, but often overlooked. How many of us actually focus on the positivity or the negativity of our inner monologues? How many of us work towards changing them for the better?
All of us, at some point of time are engulfed in thoughts of self depreciation, and doubt. This is the reason that I don’t consider myself fit to give a counter opinion or derive a lesson out of this one because I’m sailing in the same boat. 
But, I will suffice by saying that if we’re aware of the problem, then we’re one step closer towards solving it. I don’t know why I sound like such a psychologist today, but it’s just what I believe. You are the solution to all your problems. Talk yourself out of your self doubt; overcome or rather, embrace your insecurities. All you have is you, might as well love yourself. 
-:-
(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.)

Story #29: Being A Teenager (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Teenager: College, Studies, Friends, Relationships and what else?

Being a teenager, a college student, I was so excited about my new “college ” life. There I met a guy, and after a few months, we fell for each other (apparently) and got together. We went out for around 7-8 months. I was totally into that guy, always being a girl who lives in a dream world of having a perfect life , a perfect partner to be with for the whole life. But, maybe he was not even sure what he was doing. 

One day, he left. For some anonymous and a bit absurd reasons. I was shattered to the core that I didn’t want to get into this “relationship” thing ever again. 

I never met him again. After sometime I really didn’t even want to. But even after whatever he did to me, there is this one very important lesson which he taught me, and I am very thankful that he came into my life; “First, learn to love yourself” which he always did. I was so much into him, that I forgot how to live my own life. I thought that he was all I had. But no, you have a lot more to do than just getting into a relationship at this stage. Learn to prioritise. 

We talked about “What else?” in the beginning, it’s your Career, your Dreams which you need to achieve and fulfil.

I did believe in love, I do believe now. Presently, I am with someone, but now I have learnt how to live my life on my own terms and not handover my key to happiness to someone else. People do fall in love, people do live together but everyone has their own life too which you need to make a priority for yourself.

Your life has just begun. Enjoy. Work hard. Dream. Fall in love. But first, with yourself. 
From my personal view, I am a completely changed person from what I used to be a year ago, and honestly, I’m lovin’ it!


Adulthood brings us many new experiences, and with those new experiences, inevitably, a lot of learning. From school to college, from love to heartbreak, from success to failures we come across countless situations that test us, let us down and/or reward us, and entangled in these situations are the learnings of life.

Growth occurs with experience. We learn to love, but rarely love ourselves.

I think the one thing from this story that stands out the most, for me, is when she writes, “…But now I have learnt how to live my life on my own terms and not handover my key to happiness to someone else.” I think this sentence is the key to a happy life. Do not hand over your remote control to anyone; otherwise, it would be too easy for them to change you, manipulate you and maybe even hurt you. Do not hand over your permanent feelings to temporary people. 

-:-

(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.)

Six Strings To Salvation

Especially when it’s crafted in maple wood,
A guitar will feel warm and homely like mine;
The strings will lie open in front of you, stretched across its length,
Urging you to strum, to pluck or just a tender touch would be fine.

It’s melody will send goosebumps across your skin and shivers down your spine,
On your touch this lifeless object suddenly sprung to life;
Animated, you will try to place it in your arms ,
It’s hypnotizing beauty, like a lovers’ charm.

Curious at first, gawky next and finally acquainted,
It’s curve will perfectly sit upon your thigh;
You’ll run your fingers across the six strings-
Vibrations, resounding notes low and high.

Your fingertips will venture to briefly touch the fret-board,
But a shrilling pain recoils your hand;
This new touch is alien and hurtful,
Like a thorn pricks your skin, as sinfully as it can.

Dawn and dusk set in and fall multiple times,
Until your fingers will finally settle in;
Acquainted, to make the fret-board their home,
When calluses will develop to defend your skin.

Your fondness of the beauty of a guitar will grow multitudes,
Between rapid acoustics and outpouring emotionally-
You’ll find your happiness exuding through those strings,
And your salvation in this melody.

Solitude

Repeatedly,
the existence of human interactions gave me proof
of how
solitude will always be my salvation;
the shallow conversation starters,
the constant blabbers about things that never matter-
will never appeal to me as much as
my mind pelting thoughts at lightening speed
as I
stand beneath the shower;
it will never be capable enough
to be compared with the solace I get
by weaving tales and fables in my mind
as I see anonymous people walk past me on the road,
while I walk with my iPod on;
my silence as I talk to myself is peaceful, too;
but as I talk to another,
the silence is a heavy vacuum-
bereft of words, comfort and peace
yet loaded with so much uncertainty.
Thus, I remain,
alone but not lonely at all;
my solitude giving birth
to my consequential multitudes.