wanderlust

14 Vows I Made To Myself When I Reflected On The Past 10 Years Of My Life

Drawing by Henn Kim

Drawing by Henn Kim

  1. Never fall into a routine ever again. Keep trying things that help you grow and keep trying things that push you out of the comfort zone. Life is what happens outside your comfort zone. Don’t have a comfort zone. Make the world your playground. Live on the edge.
  2. Don’t expect anything from anyone ever again. Only have expectations from yourself and yourself alone. Everyone will eventually let you down, not because they’re bad people, but simply because their priorities will be different from your expectations of them.
  3. Try not to be as judgmental as possible. A ton of things will be thrown at you for you to judge. But just don’t. Let it be, let it be. Everything is as it should be. Everything will be as it will be. The only thing you have to pay heed to is YOURSELF.
  4. Don’t be afraid of changing. After a certain point in life, you look around and everything is different. That point makes you finally aware that you aren’t where you were once or you aren’t where you were hoping you would be. But have faith. In yourself, if not anything else. Things will connect in the future. Have faith in that idea.
  5. Learn how to stand up for yourself without being rude to others. It’s a very fine line that exists between saying what you want and it not being hurtful to others. You don’t have to prove everything you say and do or think to others. Nobody is asking, just leave it alone, leave it alone. Talk only if your words are more beautiful than the silence.
  6. Be comfortable in your own skin. Stop trying to hide yourself from the world’s eyes. Stop undermining yourself whenever you see someone more attractive or intelligent or well-spoken than you. Just because they’re better, doesn’t mean you’re not good. Instead of despairing, learn. Learn how to be better than you are. Life is about constantly challenging yourself to be better than yourself. Compete only with yourself.
  7. Avoid running back to familiar things that hurt you just because you don’t see anything else in the future. You will meet better people, they won’t be like the ones in the past, and maybe that’s a good thing. Stop running. The people in your past are there for a reason. Let them be. Don’t scratch your wounds and then complain that you’re bleeding.
  8. Don’t live for the applause or praises. They turn to condescending criticisms just as fast as they escalated into pats on the back. Others’ opinions don’t matter at all. Both the praises or criticisms. Be careful with what you get influenced by. It’s the easiest goddamn thing to be carried away by peer pressure or pressure from parents whatever. The only person you shouldn’t fall in the eyes of, is yourself.
  9. Don’t let praises or criticisms get to your head. Both are equally dangerous. One lets you believe that you’re better than what you are and the other worse than how you are. You are and you will always be enough. Don’t cut yourself into pieces for them to pick them and throw away when they get bored. Sacrifice only what you WANT to sacrifice.
  10. Learn how to accept yourself and learn how to accept others. Don’t try to change them to suit your idea of them. Don’t alter yourself so people will be comfortable around you. Be yourself, others will adjust somehow, if they really want to be with you. If not, oh well.
  11. Stop getting tangled up in the mind-games that others play all the time. Stop reading between the lines. Say what you want directly with clarity, and don’t apologize for passing over something that wasn’t said directly too. Enough with the mind-games. It complicates life too much.
  12. It’s okay to be unsure of the future. There will be tons of people telling you what to do, there will be tons of people telling you what NOT to do, there will be tons of people who genuinely want you to succeed, there will tons of people who will want to see you fall, but NONE of these people matter. Not one.
  13. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to have regrets. That means that you were brave enough to try, at least. A good life isn’t JUST the one with the lined up trophies and people lining up to shake your hand, and that is a remarkable life, but not having all that doesn’t mean your life is unnecessary and useless. We have too many wrong ideas about sufficiency.
  14. Actions speak louder than words. It’s true, it’s true. You are what you do, not what you’ll say you’re going to do. Speak only what you can achieve. People will always speak a lot, about you, for you, against you. None of them matter. Speak for YOURSELF. Louder than anyone. Speak now. The answer will always be NO if you don’t ask. Take the chance to turn it into a yes.

 

Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says. 

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