I celebrated my birthday this week. This prompted a good deal of self reflection. My 2013 LE1 exercise.
In short, I am yet the woman I aspire to be. That much I know.
The feeling of being a lesser person for not being true to myself has been gnawing at me for the best part of the last 2 years. I am one of those hand-wringing, eyebrow-furrowing matrons who try too hard because I didn't think I deserved anything if I didn't pay a price for it. So I kept paying and paying fearing that if the hamster wheel stopped, so would everything good in my life.
Fear’s best bedfellows are of course anger and hate. This may explain why I believe that in a parallel universe, I make a kick-ass Sith Lord.
But Darksides aside, the soalan cepu emas remains - how does one begin all over again with all this hard coding. Doing the same things expecting different results is the proverbial fool’s errand, especially if its something so personal as finding purpose and redemption.
So this year I made the biggest decision of my career - by putting the breaks on it. It has taken every ounce of courage, optimism and faith to leap without a parachute.
Still, despite the struggles within, it would be ungrateful to not acknowledge that I have been blessed, painful mandible not withstanding.
So back to the list, here is what I learnt when I was 35:
· Toxic people are infectious. They turn you into them with time, just like zombies. RUN.
· Let sleeping dogs lie.
· The biggest problems are ones that blindsides you on some idle Tuesday (nod to Baz Luhrmanm here). So don't sweat the small stuff. And that includes laundry.
· Always keep a hot pack and a cold pack at home.
· Man proposes, God very quickly disposes. So PRAY.
· Putting together a perfect suji cake and devil curry.
· Never put up with people who won’t respect you as a person. This includes people you had a high regard for.
· Don't owe anyone an apology. Freaking stop with the sorrys already.
· Happiness is an autographed Neil Gaiman book. Gloating euphoria is TWO!
· If you wrap sprigs of mint in a wet paper towel and stick them in a ziplock bag in the fridge, its stays fresh for many cups of tea.
· Darjeeling dust direct from India tastes superior to the packed rubbish from England
· Love and respect are not entitlements, but rewards. Dispense wisely.
· Never be afraid to ask questions at the risk of looking like a fool.
· Never enter a store sale when you are broke. You WILL find something you can’t live without which your conscience will not let you buy. Don't seek heartbreak.
· When on tour, eat where the tour guide eats, not where the rest of the tourists go.
· From Dhaka- do not let despair blind you to what beauty lies within.
· From HY, everything is a choice. Including happiness.
· Articulation and mastery are the keys to greatness.
· Professionalism is a concept. Personalities rule, from the guardhouse to the top floor corner office. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
· Everything is a sales pitch.
· Guilin is beautiful.
· P1 is incompetent and a corporate bully. I hope the company collapses and directors be made personally liable.
· Do not engage with angry activists/politicians/office warriors in love with their own voices. They are blinkered to only one point of view.
· Whittard teapots remain gorgeous.
· Smiling is the most elegant way of baring teeth. So smile at thy enemies.
· You cannot support others when you need supporting yourself
· The Mahabaratha is epic! heh.
· Do not procrastinate with what you want to do when you are still able to. Life is unpredictable and too short.