Am I pretty?

Have you ever stood in front of the mirror wondering if you look better than other girls or not? I bet you have. In fact, most of us have. There’s no shame in it. It is worse in teen years. We spend most of our time wondering if that certain girl from class or work look better than us. Speaking of which, I have noticed a strange behavioral pattern in South Asian people in YouTube. Most of them really care about what the rest of the world thinks of them. I know their culture is the shame culture, but this is not it.

Be that as it may, I used to care about my appearance so much that it would take me an hour to get ready before going out to buy some onions. People would keep staring and stuff. I won’t lie by saying that I didn’t enjoy it for a while. Then a phone company took my photo as a part of their advertisement. There were giant billboards all over the city with my face on. People gave hundred kinds of reactions. But I? I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t get that feeling of achievement and I realized how I was wasting my energies on all the wrong things. I was like, “Ok people it has been established that I am not bad looking. I’m not wasting any more of my time in this silly race.”

I am a person with thousands of possibilities ahead

A few days later, I was watching a travel channel and I realized how much I didn’t know nor seen. From there, my thirst for knowledge began. I read everything I could get my hands on. I learned Morse code just for the sake of it. After finishing something, I get this feeling which I cannot quite express. It is like a breath of fresh air. It is quite liberating.

The more I faced obstacles as a girl, the more I studied. The more I was seen as a silly person by my male friends, the more I worked hard without being a showoff about it. The funny thing is, those male friends are not as close anymore as they used to be. They preferred being around silly girls which made them feel intelligent. It is silly, I know. But it also told me that I should change the crowd.

The curiosity of knowledge can be very addictive. Now when I talk about moving out of the city or even country alone, some people tell me, “It’s a big scary world for one girl.” And, I smile at them saying, “Girl? I left that contest a long ago. I am a person with thousands of possibilities ahead.”

lost & found

I am the youngest in the family. There’s a decade of an age gap between my siblings and I. My brother and sister born two years apart. Basically they are friends by birth. I had always been trying to fit between them, but every time I fell flat on my face. Hallelujah, birth of self-esteem issues. And, I am from a family where no one bothers unless you are physically ill.

Like my other two siblings, my parents got me admitted into the most posh school in the city at that time. I found the girls funny always talking about dolls and dresses and the boys fighting over nothing. They used to have cliques at the age of 5 which seems hilarious now. As you can guess, I obviously couldn’t make any friends. I used to walk around alone during tiffin break and get bullied by a senior. I still have no idea what her problem was with me. Clearly we had never met before but she used to stand in my way and abuse me without any logical reason.

My class was very competitive and I wasn’t a bad student. I used to secure my place within the top 10. However, that ever going contest started to seem funny to me after a while. And, I gave up after a few years. You can ask how an 8 year old thinks of all these? Truth is I don’t know the answer yet but I clearly remember how I felt or how the weather was. With having no friends, there was only little I could do. I struggled to make new friends and eventually, I had become the class clown. Everyone used to make fun of me and my curly hair. After 5th grade, it became mostly about how rich you were. Money never had the pull on me even though I come from a middle class family. My parents didn’t spend on anything else except for studies. In their words, we three siblings were their wealth for which they got rewards; my other two siblings are in very good stages in their careers. And me? I don’t know where life takes me. After all, I am still 21. As I was saying, I used to face bullying every day. I cried when no one watched while praying it to be over. You have no clue how much words can hurt. That unbearable pain in chest because you cannot share your pain with anyone.

Two years before high school, I had to change school. I just couldn’t take it anymore. In the new school, people seemed to welcome me with open arms. It was a breath of fresh air. There was little competition, but the “how rich are you?” contest were nowhere to be seen. I learned how to connect to people; understand their words if not spoken out loud. I had my first relationship. Everything seemed just perfect. I became one of those popular people; everyone chanted my name everywhere. I seemed to enjoy that for a while. Then I realized that I was an introvert person and all those popularity hurt my privacy. So, I didn’t stay there to complete my high school. After finishing high school, I faced the first breakup. I couldn’t breathe. My whole world started shaking beneath me. I learned how anxiety could be a bitch. Either it was nagging anxiety or not feeling anything at all. In order to go on, I let the pain motivate me. The more pain I’d get, the more I’d get motivated. What I didn’t realize was, I was drowning myself slowly. I had tried to kill myself twice. It’s safe to say I’m struggling with depression and bullying for the most of my life. And, I didn’t get help when I needed it the most.

Finally, I had this eureka moment after 20 years. I decided to change the way my life was going. I started writing. I know I’m no J.K. Rowling, but I found it rather refreshing and therapeutic. I also started meditating which helped a great deal. I learned to let go of the bad things and finally allowed myself to be happy. I had this great self esteem issue. I used to shy away from meeting new people in fear of rejection. Now, I’m not afraid of rejections. All I’m saying is, those celebrity books about depression won’t help you unless you allow yourself to change; to be happy. Depression is a curse. It doesn’t completely go away. But it’s your demon; it’s up to you if you give it the power to ruin your life.