When I was young, I was shy to talk to girls. I wanted to hide that fact. So I often used to disguise myself as a tough person. I wore a serious look on my face and never looked in the eye of any girl, out of fear. Girls did not talk to me much either.
It was different story with the boys. When boys would get together to chat, I always had some advice of what needs to be done and why it needs to be that way. I remember me being called Upadeshi (a preacher). Though I hated being called that, I was that literally.
Now, I don’t have any school friends who are in touch. When I hear my college friends talk about their school reunion, I feel sad that I don’t get to attend one. Even though there are school reunions that have happened, I was not invited. It is a bitter feeling to be left out, to not be invited.
The other day I happened to chat with a girl from my school. We talked and became friends. She revealed to me that girls from my class in school considered me egotistical. I was a little shocked. Looking back I can see why. Though I never intended to be perceived that way, that is how it was. And guys probably still consider me a Upadeshi.
And with bitter experiences are some profound lessons to be learnt.
3 lessons from my childhood
- Past is past. You can’t change it: You’d badly want to fix your past. You’d want to change how people perceived you. But you can’t. Make peace with your past, live your present for your future. Now, I never miss any of my friend’s marriages. I never miss any functions, get-togethers. I find occasions to invite friends to my place
- Saying what I have to: I am an introvert. I still have difficulties talking to girls. But I don’t disguise myself anymore. I try to be vocal. I try to never miss a chance to say what I feel about something/someone.
- I stopped giving advice: Nobody likes unsolicited advice, including me. I am guilty of doing that for a long time. Now I don’t pour all my advice on others. I am simply happy the way things are. I give my recommendations/ideas only when solicited.
‘Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.’ ~Seneca
Thanks to ADB for the image