What 2013 taught me – the customary lessons learned post

I can’t believe 2013 is already over (I say this every year don’t I?!). This year has been a heck of a ride – the good, the bad, the great and the ugly – all packed into one little package called the year 2013. I learned some pretty darn deep lessons this year and I think they’re worth sharing.

lessons-learned

  1. Embrace change. Change is life. Things you have today will be gone tomorrow. People you are with today won’t be there in the future. Situation that you are in today, will not exist tomorrow. Remember – This too shall pass.
  2. Be patient. Things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. But in the end they work out for the highest good of everyone.
  3. Living out of a suitcase can sound adventurous, but you can only do it for so long.
  4. Listen to your body. Our bodies talk to us, and more often than not we ignore the signs. At least until it breaks down, gets fatigued or sick. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you and give it what it wants – exercise, rest, nutrition whatever it is. That’s the only true instrument you will ever really own. Take care of it.
  5. This moment is your life – Enjoy it. If you’re not having fun, don’t do it. Spend time with friends and family. Make time for yourself, your hobbies and things that matter to you. Memories are made by people, not things. Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  6. What you do every day is what matters. Long term goals are great. But if you don’t act on them a little every day, they don’t really matter. Take a small step everyday that will take you just a little bit closer to your goal. And most importantly, enjoy the journey.
  7. Stop trying to be in control. You can’t control the traffic. You can’t control who your family is. You can’t control how your coworkers act. Stop getting annoyed by the things that you have no control over. The only thing you have full control over is you – your responses, your attitude, your thoughts.
  8. Be grateful for everything you have today.
  9. Love and forgive unconditionally with all your heart.
  10. Your attitude is what defines the situation. We all have heard this one before. I heard this story somewhere – You walk into your patio and see a little bee humming around minding its own business. There are two ways you can look at this situation:
    1. You look at the bee and you freak out about how it can sting you and you can have a swollen face because of that and how that will make you look weird at the party you are going to next week. You are terrified and your moment is ruined. OR
    2. You can be reminded of the gorgeous garden the bee might have come from, the beautiful flowers and the chirping birds; and the moment turns into a peaceful one.

While you dealt with your thoughts (option i or ii), the bee is still humming and floating around unaware of what you think about it. That’s how the situations are – they are just events – you choose to define them as good or bad.

What were some of the things you learned in 2013?

Life update and some fun things about moving to a new city

Moving to a new city, changing jobs, changing local social network are some of the most stressful life events. What makes it worse is bidding goodbye to your friends and your comfort zone. It’s like starting your life over. It can be overwhelming. Scary.

I did all of the above recently. I said goodbye to my friends, coworkers and the life I knew in Oklahoma; sold almost everything I owned; packed the rest; and moved to Dallas. Distance wise, I wouldn’t consider this a painful move; but lifestyle wise, it’s a 180 degrees shift. I am still settling down and it’s not fun to run errands and go furniture shopping over the weekends.

I am totally outside my comfort zone here.

And I love it!

If you are happy where you are – Great! But if you hate being where you are and want to pack your bags and leave; but are too scared to do that – I want to list out some fun and exciting things that have happened with me after this move. Get ready!

new and different

Every day is an adventure

Why? Because you don’t know where anything is and you keep getting lost. I think getting lost in a new city has a charm of its own. You find places you wouldn’t otherwise think of, or find out about.

You will find a new best friend – A map

When was the last time you looked at a map? I know I didn’t until recently. I was so sure that Siri can take me anywhere in the new city. But very soon I realized that I needed to look at the map to figure out where everything was. Once I did that, I felt so independent! I didn’t have to depend on Siri to take me to work every day; or to the grocery store; or Chipotle. I found freedom!

You will meet new people

I’ll be honest – this is a tough one for me. I am not a big fan of meeting strangers. But you know what; these strangers can end up being great friends. Meet friends you have lost touch with. Meet friends of friends. Meet neighbors. Meet strangers.

Your brain will gain super powers and work better, faster, longer hours!

I don’t know how that happened, but my brain has been working like a super hero since I moved. Yes, it gets stressed out working overtime, but then I take some downtime and it’s recharged again. And BAM we’re back in the game.

Opportunity to hit the reset button

If there is anything you wanted to change about yourself or improve on; this is the time. Want to shake off that image you had built among friends? Go for it. Want to start a few healthier, newer habits? No problem.

Hobbies

When you find yourself sitting at home alone on a Friday night, you’ll realize that you can use this time to work on your hobbies or little weekend projects. Paint, read, write, watch a movie, make music or anything else you wanted to do and had no time for.

You may be pretty nervous about moving to a new city where you don’t know anybody and don’t know what to expect. That is completely natural. Hopefully, I have given you some reasons to look forward to it.

P.S. Enjoy being new in the city while you can. You’ll not stay new forever. 

I will not mourn your death; I will instead celebrate your life!

My grandfather, my dad’s dad, was a strong, confident, self-made man. He lost his father when he was still in school; and lost everything else he had, the house, money etc., during the India-Pakistan partition in 1947. He was forced to move to India, empty-handed, only with the responsibility to take care of his sick mother. And when he passed away, he was a lawyer, had a full family, a house and a lot of fans; including me. He was my coffee buddy, a foodie and my friend.

Over the past few years, he had been fading. He was diagnosed with the Parkinson’s disease, which not only took over his brain, but his entire body. His organs started to shut down one by one and he had multiple tubes in his body to breathe, take in food and take the wastes out. Slowly he had lost the ability to do even his daily tasks and was completely bed-ridden. Among other things, he also lost his speech. We all could see that he was suffering and was in a lot of pain.

On Feb 20th this year, I met him after year and a half and I was in shock to see him like that. But I was overwhelmed that he still recognized me. He looked right in my eyes, held my hand, so tight, and we both teared-up. The night I was leaving, it happened again. Except this time when I looked into his eyes, I had a feeling that this might be the last time I was doing this. I had a feeling that we might never meet again, at least in this lifetime. I took his blessings and said the final goodbye.

I reached home safely, and the very next day I got a call from my mom telling me that my grandfather, my dada, passed away. In that moment, I felt a deep connection with him. I felt that maybe he was hanging in there, dealing with all the pain and suffering just to see me for one last time. I can’t be grateful enough to have a chance to spend the last three weeks of his life with him.

This phone call changed my life; it changed the person I was; and it changed the way I looked at life. My grandfather taught me many things when I was a child, but what he taught me when he died, I will never forget.

He taught me that taking care of your body is important. Because your body is the only thing that you really own. And it decides how happy (or sad) your life will be when you get old.

That living simply gives you more time to focus on things that really matter to you, like family, friends and yourself.

That every action you do or every word you say affects people around you. So why not live a loving life; people will remember you for who you were and how you made them feel.

That you should never give up.

That you should never take anything for granted. Enjoy and be mindful of every little action of yours, breathing, eating, sitting, talking, and be grateful for it, you don’t know what tomorrow will bring with it.

Don’t complain about the difficulties in life, they don’t really matter at all in the big picture.

That if you are alive, your purpose is not over yet.

That death is inevitable; appreciate the people who are here whilst they are here. Spend more time with them. Talk to them more often. Make good memories while you still can.

I miss my grandfather greatly. I remember him when I sip my first coffee every morning. I am very proud of him for his love, for being a great man and for fighting so bravely till his last breath.  And for the same reasons, today I decide that I will not mourn his death; I will instead, celebrate his life!

RIP Grandfather. I love you, always.

 

Why you should not give two fucks about people who don’t matter

people

I would divide this world population in three categories –

  1. People who are totally unaware of your existence
  2. People who don’t like you, and
  3. People who do like you.

People in category 1 don’t even know you exist and don’t really care about what you do and what happens to you.

Category 2 consists of people who don’t really like you. And there is really nothing you can do to make them like you. They just won’t. The more you try to charm them, the more you will piss them off. And guess what, there will always be some buggers like that.

But you know what; you shouldn’t change yourself for these people. You do what you want to do. It’s okay to stand up for what you believe in. Without caring about what ‘others’ think of it. Cz you know what, ‘others’ already don’t like you.

Let me break this down for you nice and simple – When people don’t like you, what do you think happens. Correct. Nothing at all. Worst case scenario, they may get annoyed by you; which, if you think about it, only gives you more power over them. Right?

So why are you attempting to please them?

But hey, don’t you be feeling lonely already. There are people out there who care about you, and probably only you.

These are your friends, family and loyal customers. These are the people who should matter to you and you should be focusing on (Category 3). And to be honest, these people will support you in whatever you may choose to do anyway.

But keep in mind that relationships are weird. Although we know they are important, we tend to take these people for granted. It’s not just the men who like the chase, we all do. We all like to find new people to impress and once they become a part of category 3, we instantly stop caring about them as much as we should and move on to new targets (in category 1 and 2) to impress. That is the dirty truth.

For a moment, let’s assume that you actually forget about categories that don’t matter (1 and 2) and put all your effort into category 3, towards people who love you and care about you. These are the people you have made memories with. These are the people who stood by you when you fought against something you felt was wrong. These are your cheer leaders, your mentors, your teachers, your loved ones.

How would that feel?

What’s the point of this post, you ask? Well, it’s simple –

If you take your mind off of all the unimportant bullshit, you can have 100% of your heart and mind available to focus on people that are important to you. How liberating is that? Can you feel it?

The crux of this is – Get rid of unimportant horse shit from your life, and focus on what actually matters (to YOU).

Stop doing things to please people who probably have killed you three times in their dreams.

Stop living a life that boo-sayers say you should.

Explore a whole new world– one where anything you choose to do is fine as long as it isn’t seriously hurting you or anyone else.

Act on your dreams. NOW. There is no tomorrow. You have just one life and the time is limited. Don’t waste it doing things that don’t matter for people who don’t matter.

Know that whatever your heart desires you can achieve. The obstacle is inimportant (yes, that’s a word).

I can’t emphasize enough: The only person stopping you from being the best is YOU.

P.S. This sounds very cliched, and probably is a horrible way to end this post, but it is truer than true.

2013 resolution – Smile and be happy. That’s it.

After much thought and anticipation, I have come up with my final resolution list for 2013. Yes, about time.

I declare 2013 as the year of happiness! This year, I pledge to do anything and everything to make me a happy girl (Cz happy girls are the prettiest *Batting Eyelashes*).

Here is the first ever manifesto I made. I call it the happiness manifesto. If you too relate to this, feel free to print/download/link-back to it 🙂

2013MANIFESTO-color

What are your resolutions for 2013? Care to share?

Have a wonderful, joyous and magnificent year ahead! XOXO