Let Yourself

Is it one of those days where you’ve been too hard on yourself? Been too self-critical? Witnessed a dream shatter? Pushed yourself too hard and fallen down? Been unfairly treated? Here are some tips that you can try. You need to let yourself do one or more of them. None of these are blanket-rules and may not apply always to everyone. But if it’s been one of those days, you might want to consider trying them.


1. Let yourself : Deal with shit on your own. Don’t bitch about it to random people. Don’t seek sympathy and attention. The harsh truth is that people don’t care. I know it sounds callous when put like that, but that’s the reality. People don’t understand, and all they do is gossip. Let yourself learn and adapt to the crisis. There is no trouble that is beyond your ability to cope. Confide in those you trust, hold them close and ignore everyone else. At the end of the day, people who love us are the only ones that can help.

2. Let yourself : Be Kind. You’ve seen some nasty stuff but so have they. Everyone has issues and there’s no reason to be unkind just because things haven’t gone your way. That doesn’t mean I’m telling you to be a wuss and I’m definitely not telling you to bend over. Stick to your guns but don’t assume your problems are bigger. There’s always someone who’s going through a harder time. Be kind and see how it makes someone’s day. I’d get on my mother’s nerves sometimes when I was a kid and she’d get really mad, but she applauded whenever I did amateur mimicry- which made me feel like an award-winning actress. I still do impressions and accents behind your back, by the way, so now you know whom to blame.

3. Let yourself : Dream. If you’re a day-dreamer, be proud of it. Have no shame. I have collided with a motorist and fallen off my bike, responded to a VIVA question 10 seconds late (making me seem like an imbecile) and left the gas on because I was busy day-dreaming. So whenever you get those few precious moments when you can fantasise about chocolate doughnuts, becoming famous and going on a talk-show or a great night with a hot date- let yourself. Just don’t leave the gas on, though.


4. Let yourself : Love. It could be anybody or anything. Feel it in your heart. Love like you’re selling tickets in black at a movie theatre- freely. This is one of the only emotions in the world that makes it worthwhile to be alive. It is the only thing you will go through in your own, unique way. Don’t worry about what every miserable poet portends – unrequited love. I’m in love with fried chicken but it gives me stomach ache. Doesn’t stop me from sneaking it out of the kitchen. I love my cat’s new kitten but he bit me today with his razor-sharp kitty canines. And I loved Chester Bennington (lead singer of
Linkin Park) at 15 and thought I was going to marry him until he broke my heart and married a Playboy model. There’s no such thing as unrequited love, there’s only love.

5. Let yourself : Hope. People drink hope every day and don’t realise it’s humanity’s ambrosia. A shy boy hopes a girl in class will notice him. A budding cricketer hopes he makes a century in his first match. A terminally sick person wakes up and hopes for a healthier day. Parents hope their kids know how much they love them. I hope I become a family-law advocate, a writer, a Private Eye, a double-agent for an anti-terrorist squad, a sign language teacher, a UN ambassador and a size -2 model. Hope has no practical dimensions, as you can clearly deduce.

6. And finally, let yourself : Be. There are no certainties, no guarantees and no refunds in life. There isn’t an egg-timer set for your accomplishments either. Push yourself when the going gets tough- last year I had to give 9 exams in 4 weeks with an ailing body. I drove 24 km back and forth for 3 months, while doing a part-time job and attending lectures at college. Relax when you get the chance- I once spent an entire weekend reading John Grisham’s The Firm, stuffing my face with prawn fried rice, listening non-stop to Indie rock bands and watching a marathon of M*A*S*H on my laptop. Life decides when it’s going to be easy, and it decides it when it’s going to screw you over. Every person has their own time-zone. There is absolutely no hurry, to get anywhere or to be something.
If there’s a jerk trying to rush you, tell him you don’t want to reach the afterlife in a hurry, just because you rushed through this one.