You label me.

Dear society,

You label me. Why? What goes on in your mind before you do? Do you just look at me from top to bottom and label me accordingly? Or do you label me according to my personality? And again, why?

I wear specs? I must be a nerd. I always cover myself​ up? I must be a prude. I keep my hair short? I must be a lesbian. I like converse? I must be a tomboy. I am fat? I must not be knowing when to stop eating. 

These lables are about my appearance. And oh, how did I forget the lables you put because of my behaviour!?

I talk too less? I don’t have a opinion of my own. I hang out with boys? I am a slut. I don’t​ date? I am unsure about my sexuality. I drink and smoke? I’m asking for attention. I laugh too much? I’m an airhead. I feel too much? I have a heavy baggage.

Why? Why can’t I wear specs because it’s hereditary? Why can’t I cover myself up because I like it that way? Why can’t I keep my hair short because long hair is a hassle for me? Why can’t I like converse because it’s comfortable? Why can’t I be fat because it’s in my genes?

Why can’t talking less mean that I’m an introvert? Why can’t I hang out with boys because it’s less drama? Why can’t I be dateless because I haven’t found the right one? Why can’t I drink and smoke because I want to? Why can’t I laugh if it makes me happy? Why can’t I be emotional if that’s what I want?

Why? Why do you have to label me for everything that I do or say. I am free to choose what I wear, where I go, what I do, who I date, what I like and who I hang out with, without having you judge me and label me.

So don’t. Just leave me alone. Don’t label me. I am not just what you label me as. I am much more than that. I am strongly​ opinionated, free spirited with a kind heart and a beautiful soul. I’m a wonderful person and if someone doesn’t understand this, it’s their problem. You are not an example for me to follow. You are a completely different person than me. I have my own individual personality. I don’t have to love what you love and you don’t have to label me for not being more like you. I am my own person and I refuse to adhere to your rules and standards as to how I should behave.

Love,

A labelled teenager.

Label

The art of giving without expecting.

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”

It is often said that there’s no such thing as a selfless act—that any time we do something to help another person, we get something in return. It might not be much. Maybe it’ll just be a warm fuzzy feeling. Or a token of appreciation. But there’s always something.

I know you get that good feels when you help someone else. To me, it is a completely acceptable type of selfishness. What gives me cause for concern are the “little” expectations we often have when we give “selflessly.”

We’ve all been there. You cover for your friend because you know they’ll cover for you. You give your brother 50 ₹, and then keep reminding him of it every time you need a work to be done by him. You help your friend, and then feel bad when she isn’t as supportive as you were. There are tons of examples.

These expectations cause more stress than happiness. They lead to disappointment if the person you helped doesn’t return the kindness, sometimes places a wedge in your​ relationships; makes you feel incredibly guilty about expecting something in return.

Ask your self ‘What do you expect in return of this?’ If the answer is happiness, do it! Otherwise, don’t even think about it.

I’ve made a list of things you can do to show you care and that you are thoughtful, without wanting the receiver​ to return the kindness. Ways where giving is its own reward. (Although I’ve written you, these are things I try.)


1) Let someone tell you a story- without feeling the need to interrupt them, one-up them or tell your own

2) Let someone vent- even if you can’t offer a solution, just lend them your ears and your support.

3) Help someone who is struggling with difficult feelings- by admitting you’ve felt the same way and giving advices to cope with them.

4) Tell someone how they make you feel-even if it makes you feel vulnerable; just to let them know they’re loved and not alone.

5) Hold someone’s hand when they feel vulnerable- to let them know you haven’t abandoned them.

6) Give your undivided attention to the person in front of you- even when you’re tempted to let your thoughts wander; just to show them their words are valuable to you.

7) Accompany someone to an appointment that they’re stressed about or drive them to an interview- when they need support just to help them feel strong.

8) Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog- not to increase your views but rather to show them how their blog affected you and made you feel

9) Tell someone you believe in them- even if they haven’t always shown you the same support.

10) Tell someone that you know they meant well- instead of using their mistake as an opportunity to make them feel guilty.

None of us is always kind. Human nature dictates, we always give with one eye on what we receive. And it’s okay as long as we put a conscious effort in doing something for someone just for the sake of doing it; without expectations.

Not expecting doesn’t mean you’re​ giving other people permission to treat you thoughtlessly. It means you’re​ checking​ your motivations and giving because you want to, and then asking for things directly when you need them. People who care about you will be there for you.

What would you do just to show that you care?

I hit 50! Dayum!

Oh my gosh guys, I hit 50 likes on my blog! I’ve never been so excited about likes but this really is something. I know it’s not much but I wanted to share this moment with you guys. Baby steps, right? 

A big thank you to all those who follow me, comment and like on my posts and help me grow. 

Thank you guys. Y’all are the best! 

How I’m celebrating holi this year.

Music. That’s all I hear today. I woke up to blaring music and wondered what was so happy about this holi. Living on the 16th floor doesn’t make the music any softer (ugh). I ate my breakfast bobbing my head to the beats. I danced to the music later, in my room, only to have mum glare at me. I wondered what was so happy about this holi. 

Wondering why I’m so bummed about holi this year? Let me explain.

You see, holi is one of my favourite festival. I believe that it is not only the festival of colours, but also the festival of love, equality and all things good. This is the only festival where anyone can get crazy drunk and no one will bat an eyelid. It’s the best thing ever. And my building committee goes all out on holi. There’s rain dance, unlimited powdered colour to throw on people, a buffet of sorts AND unlimited alcohol (who doesn’t love it?) And bhang, the drink with marijuana is customary (how did I forget it!?). Getting drunk and dancing with your friends till you drop is so much fun.

Guess who is missing out on all that fun this year? That’s right, me! How nice, right?

And guess why? Board exams are going on and mum insists that I should be studying instead of having fun (as if I can study with all this music blasting from the speakers). And the worst part of this? My whole family is down. Except for me. I can see people dancing and having fun through my balcony, but I feel like a creeper when looking at them. Oh, fun! 

So here’s me, sitting on my bed, eating lots of snack and having no alcohol, staring at the wall, wishing you all a happy holi while wondering what’s so happy about it this year.

Who am I?

Psychologists believe that this is the most powerful question you can ever ask yourself​. And what’s suprising is that there’s always a plausible answer to this question. People who ask this sort of question typically strugge with their identity or self-worth and are searching for an affirmative answer and are mostly teenagers going through identity crisis. The irony is that the more you seek to find an answer to who you are, the more fragile you are likely to feel about yourself. The importance should not be on discovering who you are but on allowing or facilitating our true self to shine through.

How different would life be if rather than asking who am I, we asked how we’d like to be and actually did something about it?

Finding it hard to understand what I mean? Here’s an example most psychologists use when explaining this.

Imagine that you’ve been in prison for twenty years, put there since the age of eighteen. You literally have no adult life experience outside of the prison. Your sense of self is tragically limited. You might ask yourself, “Who am I? This would likely provoke a fragile sense of self that paradoxically might leave you most apprehensive about your imminent release. You’d hardly choose to remain imprisoned until you could find your identity. You’d have to permit that new sense of self to flow from your new experiences.

The main reason I’m writing this post is for you to understand that it isn’t important to find out who you are. That question will only make you feel inadequate and leave you stuck in a pit. 

Instead, live your life meaningfully, gain new experiences, have a better bond with people, find new hobbies, follow your dreams and live your passion. I cannot stress enough on how important it is to do what you love. Your sense of self-worth should come from how happy you are with what you do and not from the way you look, the clothes you wear or the things you own. 

Because honestly, it’s not what you have that makes you who you are. Rather, it’s what you do and how you live your life.

Love,

Celestine.

Freedom.

Here’s what freedom means to me. It means trying out new things, drinking, smoking, being weird, doping, roaming around at midnight, traveling with my friends, breaking a few rules, experiencing new things and just being my crazy self before I kick the bucket.

But it also means not being questioned, criticized and judged for everything I do. It means not having people give me filthy looks and sneering at me for enjoying my life, trying to make me change and giving me ultimatums if I don’t. Yes, some of the things I do might offend you. But isn’t that what life is  about? Isn’t it about making memories, going places, seeing new things, having experiences and living instead of just existing? Yes, I might make mistakes and things may go wrong. But these​ decisions that I make are what define me. These decisions are what make me unique. These decisions are what shape my future. And I decide to be free. So stop trying to change my definition of freedom to accommodate with your definition of it.

Love,

A teenager.

An open letter to teenagers.

Dear fellow teenagers,

It’s scary that so many of us become shy, anxious, extremely emotional and depressed as we grow up. All the social pressure, stress and hormonal changes builds up into this strong and unstable feeling in our throats, that feeling that chains us up as we struggle to break free, that feeling where we can’t see beauty in ourself anymore, that feeling when you spill the contents of the puzzle box.

Believe me when I say; deep down, it’s fine that we don’t want to try anymore. Because let’s be honest; what’s the use of breaking free when we are going to be imprisoned, again and again, over and over again. But life doesn’t end with one person feeling alone or scared or depressed. Unfortunately, so many people believe that it does. And sadly, some people perish because of it.

So, pick up the puzzle pieces that you dropped. Spend your time putting the pieces together. Stop running around with it safely tucked away inside the box. Believe me, you will see the big picture when the day comes. Believe me, it will be beautiful. It will be all you ever asked for and more. It will make you inherently happy and satisfied. 

You are not worthless. You are not a monster when negativity hits you like a brick. You are not ugly. You are not useless. You are not any of the things people say that you are. Diamonds are under pressure before they are beautiful, gold has to go into a furnace before it shines. Remember, beauty is not something that you see or touch. It is the feeling when you find the puzzle pieces fitting together. There is beauty in everything and everyone.

So look closely.

Love,

A teenager.