20 Life lessons in 20 years of life
Photo: Me at 10 years old vs 20 years old
Being 20 feels like I am actually a full-fledged adult now. The transition from a child to someone with real-life responsibilities.
I've struggled to get myself to the point of even writing this blog post. Truthfully, I wanted to make it into a poetry/ voiceover video but life recently has been more about being controlled by my circumstances rather than me taking control.
But somehow I am here and the reason for that is I HATE REGRETS. Deep in my heart, I know that not doing this has been eating away at me for the past week (exactly since my 20th birthday by which I was supposed to have this published). So, this is a great segway into my first lesson:
1. The Pursuit of Perfection is a Slippery Slope:
Don't get me wrong, I love doing things to the best of my abilities and take pride in them. But, I have had many instances where I am completely paralyzed by the thought of something not coming out perfect and thus not being a worthy enough cause to pursue. This blog post is the perfect example which is why this will not be my best writing. However, it is good enough for now and I am learning to be happy with it :)
2. The transience of time is mind-boggling:
I remember as a kid I used to question my teachers on what the concept of time even means. I could not wrap my head around it and turns out, I still can't. 20 years is 630,720,000 seconds. That is a lot. I doubt I will ever be able to truly comprehend what time is but I do hope I internalize that it is and will be the most fleeting thing to ever exist.
3. Irreverence can be a gift:
This has caused a lot of trouble in my life. Teachers, parents, authority, and relatives. Not because I wanted to be a rebel but my obsession with questioning everything has been a lot for people to grapple with. Over the years, however, I have grown to love this part of myself. I have realized that everyone is making it up as they are going so there is no true authority in YOUR life, except you.
4. Belonging and fitting in are opposites:
The times where I have felt a true sense of belonging is when I haven't had to go out of my way to make it happen. I was accepted not despite my set of qualities but because of them.
5. You are not complicated, you are beautifully complex:
I have always asked myself why am I such an overthinker? Why can't I be intelligent enough to make life simple? But just like art, the best pieces have complexity as a part of their simplicity, and simplicity as part of their complexity.
6. The meaning of life is not a question you ask life, it is a question life asks you:
This is self-explanatory. I will be working on answering this one for a lifetime.
7. The truth sets you free:
This one statement has been true over and over and over and over again. 0 fails. It is a very difficult path but in actuality the easiest one among the available options and the only one that is future-proof.
8. Sometimes it's not conquering every single challenge, but having the courage to continue despite them:
This can be attained through wonderful friendships, a support system, and a sense of community. Again, you cannot do this thing called life alone.
9. Faith and doubt are opposites:
If you can doubt without evidence, why can't you believe without evidence?
10. Consumerism will not solve your problems, your habits will:
I conducted many experiments to test this hypothesis of mine. For example: want good skin? do not buy a bottle of an expensive product, build a habit of short regular cheap skincare every day. Want to look good in clothes? do not spend hours and hours on youtube looking up tips and tricks, build a habit to exercise and eat healthy every day so even the cheap clothes look good.
A disclaimer for this: some expensive things should be bought to prevent overspending on many cheap things over time. Cliche but quality over quantity.
11. Don't let outer noise dim the inner voice:
This world is a noisy place. Especially heightened by social media. It is easy to spend time obsessing over the noise but always find your way back to your inner voice. That is what the world needs.
12. When in doubt (or absolute turmoil), focus on the basics:
Sleep, hydration, healthy foods, hygiene, exercise, meditation. These are the foundational pillars. If all of these are in check, then go seek help.
13. You do not have to trade your femininity for your ambition:
This one is a touchy subject. But in my personal life, I have felt the conflict between being my authentic feminine self and my ambition to be a leader. I am unwilling to compromise on either. I have made some progress to find a way but I can tell that this will be a lifelong journey.
14. In a society built on codependency, someone's loss is everyone's loss:
Okay, this one is a bit too abstract. Let me give an example: the war between two major genders. Men and women simply cannot and should not view each other as enemies. We are so integrated with each other that one side losing is the biggest loss to everyone.
15. Trauma healing, both individual and collective is what the world needs more of:
I am a very spiritual person. I do not know if this falls into that but consistently going to therapy to work on my own childhood traumas has been monumental in my life. I hope the world can be a more healed place altogether.
16. Never lose your sense of childlike curiosity, the courage to play the game of life all in, and the urge to create:
I know this one could be like 5 points but I think the 3 Cs are cute together. To add to this, chase awe, wonder, and beauty.
17. The feeling of loving and being loved is incredible:
The tale is as old as time and I confirm ;)
18. Many issues in life are not problems to be solved but paradoxes to be managed:
Life can often be contradictory in nature. I have found myself scratching my head to solve something but have realized that often there is no right answer but a way to live with it or learn from it.
19. Impermanence is sad and beautiful:
I sometimes get asked if death scares me (yes I have philosophical friends). I say not living scares me more. That sounds like the most pretentious answer possible but I do really believe it. The fact that nothing lasts forever makes me hug harder, appreciate more, love unconditionally, create boundlessly, and truly be alive over just living. What a privilege it is to be a speck of dust seeking significance in this vast cosmic arena and to be a part of consciousness. I hope I never take it for granted.
20. What does 20-year-old Jagriti want from life? Peace AND excitement:
Excited to see if this evolves.
Here are a few more honorable mentions:
1. You can be anything, not everything.
2. Be more in your body and nature, not just your head.
3. Family is important.
4. More gratitude and kindness.
5. 50% rule: 50% of happiness, personality, success, is in your control. Take 100% responsibility for that 50%. The rest makes life mysterious :) (Determinism vs. Free Will)
6. It's okay. All will be well.