On Self Love

Here’s the thing about growing up – maybe it’s all about seeing the same problems from different angles.

There are certain flaws of mine which I’ve learnt to look at in different ways – taking responsibility in different ways, for them, with considerable help, of course. I’ve gone from wanting to change myself for others, to change myself for me.

But right now I really want to talk about loving yourself. I don’t really know how I felt about myself when I was younger, but one thing is certain, I’ve always taken myself too seriously, and I’ve always, always assumed I’m right before being proven wrong. I hate how self absorbed I am, and borderline narcissistic I can be, and I’ve been proven wrong enough times to start doubting myself.

And the self hatred started somewhere from there.

Self hatred, is weird, just like self love. It’s weird to think of a relationship in one body. A relationship which technically has two sides. But maybe it’s a relationship between who you are and who you want to be, or are expected to be, or expect yourself to be. And when you can’t match up, it’s just this constant struggle.

I always thought I’d be happy with myself if I did this or got that, but what I didn’t realize is that this pessimistic outlook doesn’t pertain to one or two traits or situations. Ask me to make a list of all the reasons I love myself, and I will find a gaping but… in each of them.

I know we love for a reason, we love others for a reason. Or at least, we’re attracted to someone for a reason, and then it gets deeper, the more you share.

So there should be a reason for loving myself, but when each reason I know can be countered, when there’s someone better, when it’s been proved wrong, when, when, when….

I want to love myself because I need it. Because it will solve half my problems, and because the more I make an effort to love myself, the less I will hate myself. It sounds stupid, but it’s true. The more I become okay with who I am, the less awkward I will be, and the less I will hate myself.

I don’t have a reason for loving myself, and I want to love myself despite having no reason. I want it because I deserve it. No one can heal me if I don’t. No one else’s love can change me the way mine can.

Self doubt and hatred has led me into situations that I still struggle with. It’s a vicious cycle. Round and round until negativity becomes a habit.

I just want to be okay with who I am. Be okay with my flaws. Be proud of my strengths. I don’t want to give in to the world, because if I do, then I’m the only one who suffers.

 

Editing for Dummies

You are an editor.

Remember what that means.

You are the person

Who understands the writing better than the writer themselves,

Knows all the words in the dictionary,

Whose thoughts and feelings are grammatically correct,

And who tells people thank you for your submissions, but we can’t take it as of now, but please do keep trying and never give up on your dreams

Every single day.

But in reality, you are a short school girl

Who likes vampires too much and

Is supposed to be studying.

But no matter. So you open the email.

Sent to you by a friend who you’ve known

For four years (you bonded over Harry Potter)

And smile at her formal tone. She’s one of a kind.

And before you click the link, you brace yourself

deep breathe in. deep breathe out.

And open it.

As you skim through the words, you sigh.

Open a new tab, and go to an online dictionary

Here goes nothing.

It starts with the talks of the Sun, and its rays and how it *enter word you never knew existed*

And it ends with the talk of death.

Funny how many poems go this way.

You break it up, piece by piece,

Stanza by stanza,

Word by word

(the same way you approach Business Studies questions)

You keep checking meanings in the dictionary, of words you don’t know,

And words you know

Hoping to get a better picture of what the poet is trying to say.

But it leaves you dumbfounded.

Thank God the other editors are smarter than you.

You try another submission, glancing through it

This makes slightly more sense

But what does that sentence even mean?

And what is the link between one stanza and the next?

Thank God the others are smarter than you.

Maybe it’s in the genes.

Because stupid voices make your mom laugh,

And your dad likes Whatsapp jokes a lot,

And your brother makes up a deep-shit line, and then mixes it up.

You cringe and decide to work on it a little later.

Thank God the others are smarter than you.

But you know what? Maybe not

(And get ready for a metaphor here)

Because for all the people who look into

Puddles, and see reflections

Of relationships or life or whatever

Maybe it’s all right to have someone who just likes to

Jump around in them.

20 things my mom has tried to teach me that I might or might not have picked up

  1. There is a Hindi song for every occasion. Sing when you’re sharing tea and when you’re cooking or just talking. There is always, always a Hindi song. If there isn’t, then you can pun your way out of it.
  2. It’s really important for a woman to be financially independent. In this day and age, where women have to fight for rights, being financially independent is a need.
  3. Go with the flow – Stumble your way through life. Adjust, change, adapt. Flow with it. Have faith. Let time work its own magic.
  4. Don’t romanticize certain things – Marriage, jobs – they’re a part of everyone’s life. Critical parts. You’re not going to wake up every day looking forward to your job, or loving your partner with everything you’ve got. That’s okay. That’s normal. Most days will be boring, steady, and normal. That’s fine too.
  5. You were young – You were young when you did what you did. You made mistakes but at that point of time, you did what you thought was right. Don’t beat yourself up.
  6. ¬†When your daughter is telling you something deep, comment on her teeth – Look at her straight in the eye as though you’re absorbing every word, and tell her that the braces are doing a good job. It avoids unnecessary dramatic conversations, and allows you to appreciate the metal magic.
  7. Make sure the mirror is centered and the coloring in the room is right.
  8. Take control, take responsibility – Take responsibility for what you are responsible for. Yourself, your section of society. Don’t act helpless. Stop acting helpless.
  9. Don’t always think about yourself – In fact, don’t just keep thinking. Get busy. And always wish the best for others.
  10. Cockroaches are scary.
  11. Watch and learn – Seriously. Observations work wonders. Watch, watch, watch. See what’s going on. Struggle with things a bit. You’ll figure it out.
  12. Let out your frustration. Curse, and hiss. It helps.
  13. Enjoy silence – Learn to soak in the sun. Let the beams touch you and feel it inside you, feel the warmth and brightness and comfort.
  14. There are always more good people than bad – That’s the only reason the world works. And if someone does something bad? Hopefully their conscience won’t let them rest.
  15. Don’t encourage children to beg – Help out those who are honestly helpless, the disabled, the elderly. Don’t encourage children, who can actually do something, to resort to asking for money.
  16. Commerce is a very useful, practical subject – It’s so relevant to today. Everyone should study about some basic economics.
  17. Be precise, get the words exactly right. Be a good editor.
  18. But also look at the bigger picture, don’t get stuck on details. -Just keep going along, don’t get too fixated.
  19. You gotta do what you gotta do. – Even if you don’t want to. Even if you don’t “feel like it“.
  20. Only one can be the best, but any number of people can be good. – You can be good and so can he and so can she. You don’t have to be good at writing, for example, to call yourself a writer. Do you like it? Are you passionate? You’re a writer.