An Indian mother with three children

I watched a helpless woman manage three children, this past weekend. All by herself. And she wasn’t even a single mother. In fact she was just another Indian mother.

She had a perfectly capable husband, who had quietly huddled up with his buddies to discuss something that I believe was more important than helping the mother of his children. 

Because clearly, while the woman struggled to keep all her children from running away in three different directions, he took solace in smoking a well deserved cigarret.  While she held one kid by his arm, tried to shove a banana in the other toddlers mouth, and tried to verbally pacify her eldest daughter who had a perfectly timed temper tantrum. He seemed unmoved. 

When I made my way past her, I could see the regret in her eyes. I could tell she wanted all of this to end. She wanted to just let her hair down and dip her feet in the white waterfall and close her eyes. I knew she wanted to shut herself to the world she lived in and just breath the fragrant air for a change. But where was she? Was she even aware of the other side? The one where you can really be yourself and live life queenlike?

Every time I read an article about women liberation and empowerment, I think about this woman and the likes of her. I would like to see her happy, but does she want to be on the other side of the fence? Maybe she doesn’t, because she doesn’t know it exists. The only media she is exposed to is the drama filled Indian soaps, which are definitely no source for picking up feminist virtues. Neither is she on Twitter or Facebook, where she could read these personal blogs and understand that she has the power too. She doesn’t know her place in the world, she only believes what she is told without questioning it, because thats how she was brought up. 

But how is her upbringing to be blamed for her current situation? She’s probably 35 by now, has three brats for kids and a wonderful doctor/engineer husband, who probably got a huge dowry for taking this girl off her parents hands. How is her life before she got married to be blamed for her misery now? 



Burying your desires

sometimes the only way to move past a mess is to bury every desire that surrounds it. every thing that you’ve ever wanted to do for yourself and for your loved ones sometime is only possible when you have enough and sometimes you cannot have enough. So the only solution as I see it is to bury your desires. die a bitter person.

What does it take for us to think before we leap?

As human beings we always express regret or concern over only those issues that affect us personally. A wise man once said to me, most behavior altering changes occur only when one has either something to gain or loose from it. In other words, when you can mentally put yourself in someone else shoes and feel his/her pain is when you are most likely to empathize with the affected person. 

Now to give you a background in to that thought. About a week ago, we got our four month old puppy fixed. What does that mean, you ask?

Well, to put it simply, he underwent a tiny surgery called ‘neutering’. Like most well-informed doggie parents, we too did our research, consulted several experts including doctors, read a million yelp reviews and almost a month later took an appointment with a local non-profit called Emancipet for his sterilization. My experience so far in this episode has been extremely positive and my pup is recovering just fine with our love and affection, but the only thing amusing in this entire process were the extreme reactions that he received. It is good to see and hear that so many men and a handful of women have expressed their deepest regret at the puppy’s lack of possible sexual activity in the future. (I am sorry that he is not going to be casanova and will always be our little baby. I am extremely regretful that he never going to be a ladies man.) But what is more unsettling is that most people have a stronger reaction to him loosing his genitals than a 16-year old girl being raped over and over again and dumped in the field to die. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard everything from “you got him fixed, huh!” to “what’s he good for now”, “did he loose his you know what” and “what’s he, a girl now?”, “what does he know about the pleasures of life”.

Surprisingly, something that moves these people to make such harsh statements about a four month old puppy, also makes them flip the pages of a newspaper every time they read of a brutal murder and rape.  Why is that? Is it only because they know that it will never happen to them? But are they really thinking straight? That they sleep every night feeling secure.

So when a woman in India is forced to abandon her girl child in the trash can, where the baby dies due to lack any post natal care and dehydration, nobody so much as points a finger at her family, because apparently only women are responsible for giving birth to a girl child. No man every played a role in it. And what gives anybody the right to demand a woman to abort her child based on it’s gender? Why doesn’t this move anyone enough to make a comment about it? Even if it is in the passing. Why doesn’t anyone talk about having more girls in a normal conversation or making this world a better/safer place for women to be themselves and not just some puppets born to bred more irresponsible men?

Why are there more corpses of newborn girls in the wells in India than there is water for irrigation? Why don’t we spend a precious moment from objectifying women and think about these little souls who never got a chance? When we talk about women in the most degrading manner, why are we forgetting that we have mothers and we will have daughters at someday. I want a daughter and I feel sorry for the people who don’t want one. I hope, wish and pray that you don’t regret saying every horrible lusting statement you’ve made about a woman when your teenage daughter steps out of the house. I hope she feels safe with you, because if you don’t want her right now, I doubt you will ever really make her truly comfortable. 

Why don’t people think about the consequences of what they do or express? When they call a woman fat or blonde. When they reduce her entire identity to her appreance? Is that how you would like to be seen? Would you be happy if your entire existence was reduced to the lack of teeth in your mouth? 

How much do we have to grow up before we stop doing any of this? Or should we just sweep this under the carpet because it’s easier to let boys be boys and when we have sisters and daughters we’d just follow them till the day we die to ensure their safety. 



A wish list for our puppy in the year 2014.


Typically as the year approaches the last week of it’s existence, most people reflect on the ups and downs it brought. I am no exception to this and some intellectually reflective conversations with myself over the last few days have helped me put together a list of things I would like the next year to be a part of.

But, instead of listing boring ‘to do’ items for myself, I made this wish list for my puppy. In a very strange way, I want the same things for my puppy and me in the coming year. Barely four months old, my yellow labrador pup ‘Sunny’, is just only beginning to get a hang of life. And just like me, he is refusing to open up to the world. He loves his parents and he takes comfort in the fact that we will always be around to protect him, but what he’s missing out on is a world of adventure and experiences. So here’s what I wish 2014 brings his way and helps him grow.

  1. Health: Like all responsible parents, I want our puppy ‘Sunny’, to be hale and hearty. He has spent the last few days recovering from a stomach bug that has left him weak and pale. I wish good health and steady growth for my little one. I love watching him run around the house and I hope the new year brings him more energy and strength to take his exploration to new levels.
  2. Trust: As secure as he feels with us, he is very mistrusting of other people and his friends. I wish that he musters the courage to give people a chance to prove themselves worth the while. I want him to judge less based on appearances and superficial traits and wait a moment longer before he jumps to conclusions. I want him to walk up to people and confidently greet them and not hide behind me every time he sees a stranger pass by. I want him to accept people based on the good they have to offer and ignore the negatives.
  3. Confidence: It took Sunny over a week before he could finally climb up or down the stairs leading to the entrance to our door. And it makes him very nervous every time a well-groomed dog passes by. Although, he is by far the most good looking puppy I’ve ever seen, he doesn’t quite know it yet. I want him to take a good look at himself in the mirror and then I want him to notice his big strong paws. I know he has it in him to be the best dog there is and I just want to help him see it for himself.
  4. I want him to concentrate less on the rewards and more on learning the tricks of life.
  5. I want him to bring himself up to playing with the same toy at least for a whole day. Even though he knows his mummy daddy have a million tricks in their bag to keep him entertained all day long, I want him to know that he has to be on his own one day and that his toys would come in very handy then.
  6. I want him to learn to fetch and bring the ball back. This is purely a wish for my puppy and it has no reflection on my own life whatsoever.
  7. I want him to appreciate and trust the people he is with. I want him to know that he can sleep soundly as long as the people he is with are alive and kicking.
  8. I want him to understand the difference between plastic, paper, metal and kibble. He seems really confused at this point.
  9. I want him to be more adventurous and for a change chase the squirrels that tease him, rather than just watching them run up and down the tree.
  10. I want him to have a set of godparents. Applications welcomed.
  11. I want him to be thankful for the beautiful life he lives and for the people he loves the most. Likewise.
  12. Finally, I want him to be happy always. Because, there’s no other joy than to see a happy puppy jumping around the living room wagging his long tail.

Here’s wishing that 2014 brings him joy, more love and bacon treats!



Thank you, Mr. Anurag Kashyap! But here’s my problem.

Dear Mr. Kashyap,

I wanted to write a sincere note of thanks commending you on your recent efforts to give the women of India a quick fix to eve teasing. I recently came across your short film, ‘The day after everyday’ that went viral all over the internet. It was a very enlightening experience, not only because self-defense lessons for women in India is a nearly unknown concept, but also because after your remarkable yet abstract sort of genre of films such as Dev D, The girl in yellow boots, Gulal, Last Train to Mahakali etc, you are now seen as a humanitarian philanthropist who really cares for other people, not just the commercial success of your films. So yes, you did a good thing. For that, I would pat your back. And of course, for your pure talent to cast brilliant actors such as Sandhya Mridul in your recent short film.

I hope I’ve said enough good things about you, your work and your talent to get to the next part of my letter. Let me tell you that I really appreciate your efforts in the form of this film. Having worked in the media industry myself, I am aware of the amount of work and energy that goes into putting together a powerful project like this one. And to allot your precious time for a cause like this one is really your greatness.

But I have some fairly simple issues to bring to your notice about this short film. Something that really bothers me about this short film is the some what half-thought out, ambiguous message that it sends out. I am not entirely sure what to make of the quick fix solution that you’ve so blatantly used in this film. Violence. Is it ever a solution?

In all of my twenty-five years in Mumbai, I’ve survived eve teasing, lewd comments, random strangers feeling me up on the roads and inside public transport, men whipping out their private parts and wagging them at me, men staring down my unmentionables and being filmed and photographed in public places. So I can assure you that I come from a place of experience and this issue is of utmost importance to me. Having said that, not at any point during these years did I feel like just walking away. At every moment in my life, when a man was doing these absolutely disgusting things to me, my first instinct was always to slap him across his face. But at that very moment, I would turn around and find myself alone among a crowd of lechers and other helpless women equally harassed by these soulless men.  With not a single policeman or savior in sight, I would often think about my parents and the repercussions slapping a man in public would bring. Would I be followed every day till the day I was found alone and helpless and then the worst would happen? Would I ever be able to leave the house without expecting an acid attack? What would my parents have to go through if any of this happened to me?

This was all I kept thinking about when I watched your film. I am glad that the protagonist in your film had two other women friends to support her. But will she or any women in her position always have a friend to drop their bags, tie their dupattas by the side and start a Bruce Lee type fight in the middle of the road for a little more than ten minutes with no cop in sight?

And say they beat these bad boys black and blue. Then what? Is that the end of the fight against eve teasing? This is not a Karan Johar movie, Mr. Kashyap, where everyone lives happily ever after at the end. Do you know the repercussions of beating and kicking a group of men in public? Haven’t you heard of revenge raping? Haven’t you heard of women being raped and murdered for a hurting a man’s ego? Get real, Sir.

And say that these men are taken in to custody by the police and they are put in jail for a few days. How much time does a man have to do for eve teasing anyway? A week? one month or two? What happens when they comes back? Because surely they don’t have to go to a rehab or do compulsory community service after serving time. It’s not like they are being watched over after their jail time. Sure enough, they are out on the same corner doubling up their strength to retaliate. What happens then? Who protects these brave women then? Most of us women don’t have parents with high-level bureaucratic contacts. Nobody to help us fight the society and the judicial system after an unforeseen event.

Think again about your film, Mr. Kashyap. Is a martial arts class the answer to the attitude that men have towards women? Even the cops in our country believe that it’s actually the woman’s fault if she gets raped. Either her clothes are too slutty or her upbringing is to be blamed. In a country where men believe that women shouldn’t have careers and that they should restrict themselves to the kitchens, is bashing up a few bad men going to help?

Repercussions, Mr. Kashyap. This way or the other, the woman is always the loser. Unless you bring up your boys right. Unless every parent in the nation makes it their own personal goal to teach their boys to respect women. To not only consider them as equals but to  stop taking pictures of their breast and pass them along as cheap MMSes. Ingrain in them the idea of treating women as peers and not categorizing them based on their looks.

The onus is on everyone out there, educated and uneducated, to teach their boys not to commoditize women based on their backsides and upper body, but to see them as intelligent human beings not restricted to being a man’s nanny. Why do men need to be babied anyway?

Just like everything else, there is a real solution to this problem and it lies at the bottom of a  chain of reforms. A change that needs to be made at the grass root level. Violence never is and will never be the solution to any problem, let alone eve teasing.

Hope this helps!

Thank you.

I’m going downtown! Austin, downtown.

Blue rich skies and wide mountain ranges make people happy. Some love the ocean and others love vast green pasteurs. As for me, I love skyscrapers and Austin, Downtown. It’s the closest I come to being deliriously excited about New York City.

There is something about the downtown part of most big cities that makes me want to dream big. This morning as I walked through the avenues, making my way towards the destination, I could think about nothing but how I would love to wake up every morning, wear the finest business suit and a pair of black heels and work in one of these tall buildings. To be someone important and to make a difference. To put my education and ideas to use and to be able to sleep sound at night. The ambition to make it here or the dream that helped me survive New York City, isn’t dead and I hope to keep it alive till the day it comes true.

There are parts of this dream I cannot explain to most. Who’d like to wake up every morning and get stuck in the rut, they ask. But it’s the amazingly musical routine that makes me want to jump right in it. Yes, it’ll get to me a few months down the road, but who doesn’t love cribbing about their commute? Or about their work desk not having enough space or that the elevator in their office building reeks of body odor. I love everything that comes with going to work. The deadlines, the bosses, colleagues, awkward coffee machine hellos, avoiding superiors while on your way out for a long lunch and last but not the least, your work, my work!

Of all the places I’ve worked so far, The Economist, is and will always be my dream come true. Even today, if could turn back time and freeze that part of life, I would. Frame it in gold and put it up on the biggest wall in the house. Life was truly complete and there wasn’t anything left to ask for. Yet, the internship came to an end and the dream suffered a small crack. No harm, no foul. 

Two years since, I’ve managed to keep the ambition alive. I often fight with people for stereotyping me in a certain category, only to realize they’d never understand. The difference is that I got to live my dream and I am still capable of making the next part of it come true. For the rest of the world, it’s an endless miserable story. dreamless, without imaginations. For the people who don’t dream, have no use of an imagination. Stereotypes is all they have and they’d never change. Here I take a pledge to never argue with ignorance. 

Walking down sixth street today, I so badly wanted to just stay there, forever. Have the cake and eat it to. There’s a job out there thats made for me and I know I will find my way to it. Till then, I have downtown, Austin to keep me motivated. 

Indian television versus reality.

This morning I overheard an hour and a half of three different soap opera playing on the Indian television while I Facetimed (it’s high time they make Facetime a verb) with my parents in India. Well, they talk to me during breaks, so it totally works for me. But the striking part about these series was that they all shared a common theme: quarrelsome families make good entertainment. 

Now this was extremely surprising to me not because I was culture shocked, but because of the massive fan following these series enjoy. And to basically watch women plotting and pitting against each other, spineless men having no opinions and making a fool out of themselves, extra-martial affairs, young women being tortured for not having given birth to a boy and more such extremely disturbing stuff. What is more upsetting is how normal everybody in India thinks it is.

So i’ve decided to come up with ten things that they show on Indian television that absolutely never happen in real life. Here you go:

1) Women are absolutely not as shallow as they are portrayed to be in these soap operas. They don’t spend every minute of every day making plans and plotting against another woman. 

2)Men have opinions. They don’t just listen to their mothers and their wives. They are perfectly capable of making sound and healthy decisions. And unlike the characters shown on Indian primetime television, not all men wear glossy suits to work and travel in fancy cars. And more importantly, not every man cheats on his wife!

3)Women don’t just dress up in their finest clothes every day! They don’t just watch television all day and they definitely don’t spend the better part of their lives in the kitchen. More than 80% of the women today work, have extremely fulfilling careers and enjoy an absolutely rocking social life.

4) The mother-in-law – daughter-in-law dynamics are just so outdated! I mean for heaven sake who talks like that anymore. And honestly, women are not as nasty as they are made out to be in this cheap shows. 

5)Have you seen the houses these characters live in. They are like palaces in lalaland! Does anyone in Bombay have that kind of a house and imagine the kind of money you’d need to live the kind of a lifestyle they propagate in these show. People actually have their own bedroom in the series, there are spiral staircases running through the houses and helpers pacing to please the rich. Honestly, only the Ambanis and the Tatas can afford a lifestyle like that.

6) How about dead people walking back alive in the series and varying levels of memory loss. That kind of stuff only happens in the bizzaro world. 

7)Don’t these characters ever take vacations? Because I’ve only ever seen them fighting with each other. Why not take a break, go to a peaceful place, come back all relaxed. ‘Honeymoon’ is the only time these Indian characters ever step out of their houses. Whoever thought you’d have to be married to take a vacation!

8)Let me break your myth, joint families are not the happiest families in the world. And these series amply prove that. You put three women together and add two womanizing men to the mixture and you have a perfectly messed up joint family in an Indian television series. 

9)Not all teenage girls who wear jeans are a lost cause. Similarly not all young college going teenage boys get wasted! People have goals to achieve and careers to make. Not every teenager is a spoilt brat if he/she hums an english song.

10)Everything shown in these series is a serious attempt at pulling us backward. These shows are not meant to entertain, but they are meant to reinforce hypocritical cultural values that seriously ought to keep up with the changing times. They are making sure our women stagnant and get caught in the stereotypes. 

There are far more important things out there that one need to learn and understand than to watch a woman seduce somebody else’s husband just to get back at her. Don’t waste your time. 






A silent prayer for the unborn

“In the womb she tosses and turns. At the exit doors of heaven she was asked to choose, to be born or to be free. Now in the deep waters she sits alone and ponders on her choice.”

Choice. The most debated word in American history. But i’m talking about the choice that an unborn child made at the gates of heaven and earth. Did she know what she was getting herself in to? Was she give a clear picture or was she shown a glossy commercial of the things she would witness on earth?

“Life is not all swings and sand castles”, read the fine print on the brochure for our beloved world.

The footage of innocent children wrapped in white, victims of the Syrian chemical attack is a glimpse in to the kind of world we are living in and the world that these unborn babies will step in to. Is it fair though, that while humanity is reaching it’s peak of atrociousness, these new lives are being formed?

Today’s attack in Syria is said to be the first and by far the most disastrous chemical weapons strike in the last decade. So does that mean we’ve gotten over the nightmare called Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Have we moved on since then to more horrifying events in history?

How long are we going to shield the unborn, because one day we’d be out in the open and they’d be there with us. The dangerous, desperate world they are marching towards.

Well and when there are no chemical weapons, there is lust, pride and neurosis.

I just saw a video of the young woman who talked the Georgia school gunman out of massacring the place. She spoke to him. All she did was talk to him about the grief she shared with him. She didn’t know him from adam. But she understood the pain. She felt unloved once and he shared her feelings. It got her to dissuade him from ruthlessly killing helpless children. Bravo! She is a hero. And heroes we need.

Is that all humanity needs? to be heard and to be loved. And how difficult is that? Will there be no wars, pain and hurt, if we only learn to hear and love?

But then what about boredom? What is the cure for three young children shooting an Australian baseball player because they had exhausted their means of normal entertainment?

Who knows what drives people to watch someone in misery and enjoy it. Why wouldn’t they want to rescue animals instead? Heal and not hurt?

Who knows why lust exist? Why certain men in India don’t believe in consent, but get pleasure out of forcing themselves on to powerless women? And why is that the way a woman dresses is blamed for her rape and not the fact that the man could have such a barbaric thought. Why are her parents outcasted for her misfortune and his parents celebrated for his manhood? The laws of nature versus nurture downplayed.

It truly is a sad day for the world. Because dead children wrapped in white shroud never makes for a pretty picture.

Serious attempts at breaking the routine

Routine scares me as much as an adventurous life freaks me out. For a creative person, adding a dash of color to your everyday mundane life is the constant endeavour. Yet, most others go through life without even realizing that their yesterday looks exactly like today. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but for me it comes close to being disastrous. 

There is a sense of discipline involved in accepting the routine. To the extent that your mind has to completely and listlessly agree with the slow yet ordinary unfolding of events. Each day, every day, the day slows down even further. As you do one thing after another, the thrill vanishes. It’s like living in a dark room, blindfolded and yet being able to maneuver perfectly. 

 You know where everything is in the room. The milk carton, the sugar, your toothbrush, your couch that turns in to a bed every now and then and the pile of clothes that you trip over everyday at 4 o clock as you go looking for more stuff to wear. 

Everything is the same. For most part of your morning you think of everything you could do to break the routine. Run, skip, jump, read and write. You often try listening to a different genre of music just cause the one you listen to everyday makes you wanna throw up. Yet, Youtube prompts you to your favorite-not-so-favorite songs. 

Taking a walk helps. If I could, i’d walk my life through. But unfortunately, i’d be way ahead of most things and that would just mean catching up or moving backwards. 

The thing about routine is that it makes you dull. It leads to slow deterioration of your brain cells due to lack of new activity. You see, you are so use to not doing anything out of the blue, that you practically stop producing grey matter. Now, this is not scientifically proven, but weight gain is a sure shot side effect of giving up your fight against the routine. Other side effects include, hair loss, lack of sleep, listlessness, gossiping, flakey behavior, agitation and a tendency to take on new addictions. 

Now, don’t hold me to this, but I’ve also realized that people who do not think there is anything wrong with a routine, extremely pathetic life are referred to as ‘normal’. Well, that makes the rest of anti-normal. Which is not so insulting because, normal people aren’t fun at all. They think they are. But they really are just a sorry, safe excuse for being too comfortable in the corner of their box.

Anti-normal on the other hand are people desperately trying to jump out of the box. The box here being a hypothetical visualization for our lives. These explanations are strictly for normal people who are so caught up in perfecting their daily chores (tying shoe laces for instance) that they forget to stand up and peek beyond the walls of their boxes. 

Forgive me, if this sounds like a post on the unusual differences between normal and fun people. oops! Did I say fun? Then maybe I meant it. 

The thrill in being different and part of the crazy class of 2003 is that no matter how many times you are let down by the daily grind, you almost always bounce back. Some days it takes a little bit more motivation than yesterday, but you can always find new crazy ways to excite yourself. Don’t be normal, be cool. That’s all.



In my early 20s.. and more.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of time, it was the age of wisdom and the age of foolishness.

Not to quote Charles Dickens in vain, I am just using his precious words to describe a period of extreme shakiness, ambiguities and indefinite levels of self-confidence. Being in your early 20s. What a time!

Two of my closest friends are in these most glorious years of their life right now and every time I hear about their exciting adventures and unfortunate setbacks, I miss being 21!

Don’t get me wrong; life after 25 is better than I expected it to be. In fact, I’ve never been more at peace with myself.

But it’s nothing like being young and inexperienced. The thrills, the insecurities, the sudden rush of excitement, the indecisiveness and the false sense of stability.

‘Consequences’ was an unknown concept. And all you could think of were ways to escape reality.

I miss my ‘I can conquer the world’ attitude. Fresh and unfazed zest for life. Nights that were spent talking to like-minded people about taking charge of your life and making things happen for you. Watching friends fall in and out of love faster than you can get through a gooey chocolate cake. Pep talking them out of a broken heart and back to life.

Ignoring all signs of growing up and listening to ‘Chop suey’ on the repeat mode.

For me, my early twenties were full of contradictions. Like most twenty somethings, at one point I had it all. I had a plan and I knew where I was headed. The best job, great friends and a life that was a complete joy ride.

And then one day, it all came crashing down. Don’t ask me how. It just did. It always does. It’s not just an early 20s phenomenon. But this is when it is the most significant, because you have deal with it on your own. No one really helps. Honestly, no one can help. Even if they want to. You’re so far along in your evolution process, that they can’t play catch up.

You drift away from your friends. On various pretexts. Most of these are pure crap. Deep down you know you are just isolating yourself, because they remind you of how good your life was and what it’s not anymore. It’s never about them. It’s all about what you had and what you’ve lost.

But moving away from these people helps. Extreme desperation pushes you out of your comfort zone. Now, you’re truly alone. And guess what, you survive. Cause, you’ve just spent two horrible years in a haunted house infested with rats, bats, centipedes and honeybees. And you’ve made it to the other side, without so much as a physical scratch. Although, let’s not get in to the emotional aspects of this phase, you’re pretty damaged on that front and you know you’re beyond repair. But you’re fine. And you can walk. Soon, you’ll be up and about your business.

What else? You meet new people. You make safer relationships. Relationships that don’t consume you. People that don’t hold you back. You no longer feel the need to explain yourself to irrelevant parties. You can hold your fort and well. Your concepts of space are stronger. Better.

You are no longer chasing a wild dream. You don’t see yourself covering the greatest story in the history of journalism or winning the Pulitzer. Rather, you see yourself chalking out your way towards these goals. Slowly. One step at a time.

You no longer read autobiographies and self-help books. You’ve moved on to more solid literary readings and soaking in as much as you can. You’ve got to make a stronger point at the next constructive, intellectual conversation you have with that person who has an over inflated image of herself.

You are letting go of your grudges. You’ve made a conscious effort to recognize your mistakes and you’ve stopped blaming others for the mess your life is.

Above all, you stop planning. If my 20s have taught me anything and reinforced it time and again, is that I have to stop planning every step of my life. Because plans just don’t work. And by stop planning I also mean, not having back up. They are for the escapists.

Life is an orchestrated mess. And the sooner you accept it, the better it is.

The greatest gift of your early 20s to your late 20s is waking up each morning with the enthusiasm of a six year old and the wisdom of a 27 year old.

Sincerely, there couldn’t have been a better time to experience the ups and downs the early 20s bring. Teens have their own issues, what with sibling rivalry and all. And after 30, you’ve got all these societal pressures you’ve got to concentrate on ignoring. Early 20s is when you have the strength to survive. Late 20s is when you write about it!

-Inspired by two of the most interesting 20 somethings I know.