The next thing I have to deal with is being conscious about my appearance. Despite being blessed with good health, we always try to set standards to our beauty. The society’s expectations of the ‘beautiful’ title has us lining up to the salon every now and then, finding the perfect outfit and getting the perfect haircut to stay hip. I ask, why is this validation required? Does it really matter everybody else other than those that love us, think? What they perceive of us?
We are all flawed human beings and it is okay to be comfortable with that. Yes, a new haircut or a cute little dress will make us happy, but that shouldn’t be the sole reason that defines our beauty. Beauty should be the grace with which we carry ourselves. Beauty should be the compassion with which we treat our fellow human beings. Beauty should be the ability to stand strong and smile through all the travails in life. I only wish the experiences I go through in my 20s make me a better person.
We live in an Indian society that up-brings girls with an ultimate aim to get them married. This is proven and significant once you dive into your 20s and finish college.
“When will you invite us to your happiest day?”, inquire my far off relatives.
“Why are you still single? Let us set you up”, tease my married friends.
“Should I circulate your pictures? When will you decide to settle?”, mocks my mother.
“So, will the prince of your dreams ever appear?”, taunt the old aunties in my family.
In annoyance and irritation I keep silent and force a smile replying to them in my head, “No, my prince charming fell off his horse and is probably wandering in the wilderness!”
This phase will not pass until you finally do get married but I have gotten used to the derision and have learnt to ignore it all; thinking that it’s the wisest action I could do. My advice on marriage would be not to rush into these societal and parental pressures because you need to be prepared for this phase of life called marriage – prepared physically, emotionally and financially. Marry only if you are braced and you truly believe that you will love the person all your life no matter what, as you speak your commitment vows on your so-called happiest day! Because baby after that there’s no turning back!
LEARNING AND HAPPINESS
So as a 23-year-old woman, what is happiness to me? Blogging makes me happy. Writing down my thoughts makes me happy. Binge watching a lot of TV shows makes me happy (Who doesn’t like Game of Thrones or Vampire Diaries?) Playing with my baby sister gives me immense joy. Scaling hills and exploring new places makes me happy. These may seem trivial, but right now at this age, these activities make me happy. There is no ultimate key to happiness. What matters is finding joy in the little things we do everyday.
Education and continued learning is essential to every being. In the hope of discovering myself and the purpose of life, I urge you to keep acquiring skills, train yourself to learn at least one new talent every semester because knowledge will steer you places and realization will hit that ignorance is not bliss!
In conclusion, I’d like to advise to my fellow 20 somethings, to just hang in there. Tread onto life’s path carefully but also make the journey memorable. As the journey on life’s path matters just as much as your destination does. Continue to be strong, passionate, beautiful in your own unique ways and show a little more compassion to your fellow ladies!
Ending with a piece of advice from a 20s ending to a 20s something is do not take life seriously. This decade is the most precious to me by far because amidst the success and failures of the uncalculated risks taken, it made me tougher, sharper and wiser. Spend this time to explore places, interact with varied people and plunge into impromptu adventures eventually finding yourself in it all. Learn as many novel skills as you can and perfect those that you love! And eventually you will discover that Life is more than a mere mundane journey!
Grateful to Pradyna for this collaboration and for her motivation to make this possible. Follow her blog at Ponderous Twenty Something