I’m sorry.

Dear friend,

You were beautiful. Not in the old-fashioned, high cheekbones, heart-shaped face, slender figure, soft and flowing hair sort of way. No. You were beautiful in your own quirky, kind-hearted, sweet way. You always smiled at me from across the hallway and gave that wave that no one else could ever imitate. You were always happy and I couldn’t ever figure out why. You said hello to everyone and spoke to them as if they were important to you. You smiled, no matter what. But you were also annoying, super clingy, awkward and idiotic. And you were a familiar face in a sea of people I didn’t know.

Maybe that is why I did what I did. Maybe that is why I thought it was okay to do what I did. I didn’t realise it was wrong. I didn’t realise it would hurt your feelings. I know it’s too late now. I should have said something earlier. Or did something. Maybe told an elder about it. Or spoken to you, told you I was sorry and didn’t mean to do what I did. But I didn’t. I was scared. I was so goddamned scared even though I knew I’d get what I deserved.

I know it’s​ too late but I need you​ to know that I’m sorry. And that I never wanted this to happen. I didn’t know that it would hurt you so bad. I thought that this was fun. Fucked up, I know.

But now you’re gone. And nothing I say can bring you back. I messed up with you so bad, you didn’t want to live anymore. Or maybe I was just one of the reasons why. Maybe I was what started it. Or maybe I was what pushed you over the edge.

But there were no signs. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. If I had looked closely, maybe I would have seen the sadness you hid so well. I’m sorry I didn’t look. I’m sorry I didn’t realise. I’m sorry I fucked you up so badly, you didn’t even leave a note explaining why. You didn’t want anyone to get a closure.

I know nothing I say will bring you back but I just wanted you to know how fucking sorry I am. I killed you. I killed your spirit. I killed your will. I killed your soul.

And I’m sorry.

Suicide prevention helpline number: +91 22 2556 3291

Don’t hesitate to call. Nobody deserves to die like this.

Dear diary.

Dear diary,

Today was different. Today felt different. Maybe it was because today was one of my dear friends birthday. Or maybe because I binge watched a really good series. I don’t know. But it felt​ good. I don’t know how to explain “it”.

So instead, I’ll explain how I feels. It’s how breathing fresh air after sitting in a smokey room for too long feels. Having such moments of clarity feels good. Especially when I’m always surrounded by noise, rush and poisoned thoughts. Thoughts that I can’t escape from. What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like me? What if I mess up? What if?

So, today I focused only on the positives.

  • I didn’t fall off the bed while waking up.
  • My phone didn’t fall from my hand all day.
  • I didn’t smoke today 
  • I petted a cute little dog. 
  • I didn’t cancel any plans.
  • I didn’t judge myself when I stood in front of the mirror. 
  • I made everyone in the room laugh with my awkwardness.
  • I spent time with an elderly lady.

These may seem frivolous. Or maybe downright hilarious. But when you’re always looking at things negatively, this is something you learn to appreciate.

This feeling that I’ve got? I don’t want it to go. Ever.

About journals and journeys​.

When I was a child, I used to try to keep a journal. I would see all these movies and TV shows (read: Lol and The vampire diaries) where the actors used to fill in their journal everyday and I think to myself ‘I want that’. I want to be able to express myself this freely.

You see, being a introvert meant keeping most of my thoughts to myself and listening to other people more than talking to them. And honestly, after a while, I started hating it. I hated the fact that people thought I didn’t have an opinion, that they didn’t care about my feelings, that they hurt me as if I didn’t matter. And I hated myself for not speaking up. I needed an outlet. And so I started writing. But no, I didn’t make a fancy journal like I wanted to. I wrote my feelings on pieces of papers and hid them. I didn’t want my family to see them. They wouldn’t understand. I didn’t want myself to reread them. It would make me feel pathetic. So I hid them all and never saw them again.

Until recently, when I was cleaning my cupboard. I reread them all. I didn’t feel​ pathetic like I thought I would. I felt proud. I felt happy. I felt strong. I felt lots of things. But not pathetic. I laughed when I read what I had written. Why? Because I grew up to be way differently then I wrote I would​, I have better friends, I don’t hate those people anymore and most importantly, I am happy. I am happy with my introverted self and my friends understand me, I have learnt to stand up for myself and for what​ I believe in and I don’t care about what other people say anymore.

Time and circumstances change you. If you hate yourself, your job, your teachers, your situations or anything else; it’s okay. It gonna pass eventually. You can’t and you won’t hate it forever. Your circumstances make you stronger and time heals you. But it’s like a journey. A journey that is full of potholes and blocked roads. But honestly, it’s a journey you have to be willing to take. You cannot just expect time to heal you. You have to facilitate it to heal you by taking the first step. YOU have to start this journey. YOU have to decide the route. YOU have to select your companions. YOU have to carry your luggage.

YOUR journey is all about YOU.

So, make sure you give it your all. You deserve it and you are worth it.

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?

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.