So we’ve all been told atleast once in our lifetime that we must stay positive, dream big, make mistakes and learn from them and eventually move on. We all know that in the end this life is about ‘survival’ and why not stay happy while it lasts? But no matter how much I know today either because of time or experiences, I still secretly wish that someone had whispered all this in my ear earlier – much earlier.
My parents made a home video of me when I was about 2 years old. It’s all about what my day would look like back then; right from brushing my teeth in the morning to jumping on the bed before I’d fall asleep at night. I love watching that video. There’s a part in it where I’m sitting on a swing that my dad put up for me in the house – my mum is giving my swing slight pushes while my dad zooms in and out with the handycam. They were throwing rapid questions at me and were making me tell stories just to capture what funny ideas and huge dreams my two year old mind had. There’s one point where they ask me if I knew a word that started with the letter Q and I said ‘Queeeeeeenn!’ and it didn’t end there.. I continued to say in my jumpy mood ‘Nazan will be a queeeeen one day!’.
I sometimes wish that this older me, who’s on the other side of the TV, was the one with the handycam in my hand watching a younger me swing her heart out; I’d probably pause the recording for a bit, stop the swing, kneel down and look at the younger me in her big bright eyes and tell her a few important things that I know she will want to know and believe in and need while growing up gets in her way…
You must always, always feel that rush of fresh air that you were feeling right now when you were swinging back and forth – you must remember to breath in and smile as if you are on top of this world. You must dance and sing and jump around while you’re at it because at that moment you’ll feel free. Be as joyful and carefree as you can be, for as long as you can. Always bask in the opportunity to act and think like a two year old – amongst the seriousness that life will bring, trust me you’ll want to dwell in such opportunities. Throw your arms up in the air – as high as you possibly can – and play with the stars and clouds. Life will try and get serious with you, but you tell it to go away. Make sure you don’t let it take its toll on the happy, playful you. I want you to remember that there will be a lot of seriousness and stressful stuff .. like big, bad stuff.. but in the end, when you look at the entire picture as a whole – all that won’t even be significant. The prominent parts of that big picture will be flashing at you in pink and blue!
In a few years the only thing on your mind will be a virtual race. Everyone is a part of it – at school, at University, at work.. everyone is always competing, wanting to put the other one down so that they can move a step up – closer to what they call ‘achievements’. Remember little one, those will never be the achievements that define who you are or what you have made out of your life. Yes, it will look like the most important thing at that moment but you must keep your focus on building yourself – on collecting those pink and blue memories that will define your life.
Be an individual and always be true to yourself. A lot of situations, a lot of life’s ugly tricks will put you down and break your back but you must never let them define how you look at yourself. Don’t be a bully and limit how others look at themselves – nobody deserves to be treated badly – not you and not anyone else.
School will seem tough but make sure you make the most out of it. You’ll miss it once you’re through. Work will be the one thing that will try and consume you as a whole – resist it. Give your best to your work/career and be driven but never forget to play. You must enjoy what you’re doing – if it doesn’t give you time to be happy – then it’s not worth it. There will be a lot of times when you will have to take big decisions – big and important decisions. Those might be the reasons for a turn in your life. Hold your ground, take a deep breath, pray to God and listen to your heart. And while you’re doing all this, just before you blurt out what you want, make sure that your decision keeps you content if not necessarily happy. That feeling always lasts longer.
Enjoy your childhood for as long as you can. The title of being a ‘grown up’ will eventually come to you and I hope it comes to you in bliss. Be confident. Stand tall and bold. Value the words: individual, self respect and love. Hold onto your manners, remember that ‘thank you’ is a magic word, remember that a smile is always warm and everyone loves it. Treat your parents well; they are the only ones who will love you unconditionally. Never miss a chance to tell anyone; family, friends, colleagues, even your pet that you love them or you miss them or you wish that they were with you or that you were with them or that they make a difference in your life and that they are important. Don’t hesitate to apologize – but make sure its heartfelt. Remember relationships are meant to be treasured and they must strengthen with time. Do and say what you feel; those will be one of the ‘pink and blue’ moments of your map at the end.
Make good friends. Those who make you smile. Those with whom you can be yourself. Those who make you more than what you are. Life will throw in its tricks but despite of everything, if you have that friend by your side in the end – hold tight to him/her. Share your stories with them, lend them a ear, stick up for them and if that calls for a fight; fight. Choose your friends like you pick your favorite colors from a box of crayons. Look for compassion, honesty, humor and kindness. You will need such friends by you when you fall.
Your heart – it will be your best friend at times and it might hurt the most at others. Never run away. You will want to find a story that matches up with the fairy tale dream that you built but always think about the big picture; the ultimate map of your life. There, only ‘you’ matter. Be sincere and love with sincerity. Many times you will want to rebel against your own self but be patient instead. Find someone who will not define you but will let you be good on your own and better with them with you. Find someone who not only accepts but respects your dreams and forbids you to give up on them. Find someone who you can talk to for hours, always. And when you’ve found that person, look for a million ways to keep them with you forever.
And before I let you swing again, I want you to promise me that you will always hold onto to every dream that you have today. No matter how wild or impossible they seem later but never let go of them. Never let anyone tell you that your dreams are a fantasy, that they are irrational. Never listen to them because who knows if you let go of your dreams someone else just might snatch them up and live them instead. Hold onto who you are today and hold on tight. It’s a rough ride ahead. All of this that I have told you might help you when you’re down but don’t bother trying to analyze and understand life. Here are two huge secrets; life is temporary and it makes no sense at all. Just believe in yourself and follow your heart. Cry when you feel like it, be kind to yourself and to others, give warm hugs, kiss with passion, dance like no one’s watching, smile even without a reason, fall but remember to get back up, ask whenever you need help, don’t stop learning and let life be simple. Let it be as simple as it already is right now.