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10 Things To Know Before Taking The Plunge

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  1. Are you sure you want a long-term commitment?
  2. Are you ready to make the sacrifices and take on the responsibilities that come with wedlock?
  3. Does your partner know and understand what your long-term goals are?
  4. Do you and your significant other have the same priorities/ mindset? You have to know if you’re both on the same wavelength.
  5.  Do you want to have kids? Clarify when and how many before committing to each other. If both of you are not on the same page, there’s room for potential arguments.
  6.  Expect a lot of pain and resentment in the beginning if you’re both equally affectionate. You’re both trying your best, the two of you will try to simmer down for the sake of the other, you’ll try not to hurt the other and yet manage to do so.
  7. The higher expectations you have the more disappointed you’ll get. Lower your expectations so that nothing surprises you.
  8. Don’t expect Disney fairy tales to be true. Your parents’ house would always be the house you grew up in, everyone has a different lifestyle, just know that you have to be flexible in order to be able to adjust in an entirely other setup that is unlike how you lived previously.
  9. You’ll have to have a big heart. You’ll have to learn to let go of hurtful things – harsh reality checks that you wouldn’t want to but would have to let go for the sake of it.
  10. Lastly, you’d have to focus a lot on the positive and discard the negative before it starts to rot and the stench spreads. You’ll have to make the effort to pull yourself and pull through.

Rantings of An Anxious 20 Something

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  1. Sometimes, it’s hard to even verbalize your thoughts – what you’re truly feeling. Your heart and head are almost never in the same place at the same time.
  2.  One moment your heart is thumping real fast, the next it’s a splitting headache – whatever the brain pleases to focus on.
  3.  You can’t remotely imagine explaining yourself to people. You’ve tried hard enough already and it’s an uphill battle every time. No one gets it (except the ones who actually suffer from anxiety themselves).
  4.  The “society” is cruel. I’m not jumping the gun, passing judgments and saying that everyone’s alike,  I’m talking about a major chunk of the “desi” Pakistani/Indian community that treats anxiety ridden individuals like people who need to be treated for major mental disorders and (God Forbid) see shrinks (like that’s a bad thing?!).
  5. Seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist is perfectly normal. There’s nothing wrong with talking things out with someone who’d be able to guide you better and understand your ordeal.
  6. Do not, I repeat, do NOT let the society dictate what and how you should feel. It’s their fault that they fail to comprehend basic human nature – It’s OKAY to not feel good some days. You don’t owe anyone anything.
  7. If you’re married or in a committed relationship and have an understanding partner, that’s a blessing. Talk things out with him/her. Don’t make the mistake of not disclosing your issues to your partner no matter how much your conventional desi mother or your older married cousin-sisters warned you of disclosing your personal details to your husband since it was bound to come haunting you later on in your married life.
  8. You need to surround yourself around individuals who support you and get you through your phases. Avoid negativity at all costs.
  9. Distract. Distract. Distract!. Distract yourself as much as you can from letting your thoughts get to you. Pray and meditate. Exercise, read new books, unwind and just don’t let your mind go into overdrive. Over-thinking is your enemy, you have to win this battle.
  10. Last, but not the least….stay put, stay positive and keep calm. Just remember that it’ll all be fine. God helps those who believe.

Cerebrating Pony Ride

 

 Courtesy: Hasan Abbas

How does one express oneself when they don’t have an outlet to blow off steam? How do you express yourself when the walls are closing in on you?. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re not even sure how you feel about the entirety of it – how did you even get there and why?

All those books of the self-help variety should’ve been the least bit “helpful” when they reiterated and underlined the “no regrets in life” extracts. You’re thankful for one thing at one moment and the next, you’re just wondering where you went wrong. Is it wrong to love thyself and perhaps also another – the unforgivable, untouchable, alas! unattainable?

Perhaps modern day Shakespearean tales persist amidst the mundane, and maybe, just maybe some of us will always be misfits who shall for most parts of their lives remain a tad bit crooked to fit the puzzle. Transitioning to new dimensions is as good as your next delusion about the fairytale you imagined would embrace you at the edge of it. If only we could pick and choose our metamorphosis, fight and win these battles for ourselves and not let others decide our fate. In the end we’re just horses running in the race against time and space, ponies charging against the wind, winning battles for the sake of it.

8 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Get Hitched

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Don’t skim through…

Marriage is one of the most important decisions in life. It’s a decision that has the ability to steer your life in an entirely new direction. It’s so important to be in the right frame of mind before you take the plunge. No matter what anyone says, the decision solely lies with you, you alone. Your parents or any other family member cannot dictate you. Desi families don’t make it easy for their kids to choose a path of their liking, they subliminally imply what they want and pressurise their kids into giving in to their idea of a perfect marriage (Dhol, band, baaja, biryani included). Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t crack under pressure. Here are ten questions you need to ask yourself before you decide that you’re ready for the long haul.

1. Have I lived a fulfilling life? 

Ask yourself if you’ve done everything you imagined you would by this age. If you’re too young (18-early twenties) then you may have experienced very little by now. Think this through.

2. Have I reached my personal/professional goals?

Let’s say you’re a complete workaholic who is dedicated to his/her work – so much that its almost an adrenaline rush for you. Do you think you can shift your lifelong priorities and make room for more in such a short span of time? Ask yourself if you’ve reached your full potential.

3. Have I explored my options? 

Are you having doubts about your potential life partner? Do you think you need more time to widen your horizon? Are you sure this is the perfect person for you and you’re not just being pressurised into making a commitment?. It’s very important to be able to imagine your whole life with someone, marriage is no joke.

4. Do you feel comfortable with the idea of a lifelong commitment?

Before you say “yes” make sure you’re mentally prepared to take responsibility. When you get married, it’s not just about you, it’s about your family, your spouse and his family. Don’t do something you’ll regret later on in life. It will only make you and the people you love miserable.

5. Do you feel attracted to the guy/girl? 

We’ve all heard the phrase “Beauty is only skin deep” but it’s only human nature to look at someone’s external appearance before you judge their personality. No religion denies a person the right to choose their significant other. If you don’t like the person your parents are getting you married to for any given reason, make it a point to address the issue. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT be unfair to someone by pretending to be something you’re not. If you’re not feeling it, then you just aren’t. Let it go.

6.  Do you need more time?

Counsel yourself. Self-therapy is key. Marriage is a gamble, there’s no hard and fast rule that applies. If you’re getting married, let the idea gradually sink in. Think about it, don’t panic. Everyone’s afraid of change, specifically those who love their free will a tad too much, and it’s fine. Nobody has the right to judge you for being you. If you’re not prepared to take the step so soon, then give it some time.  If you can find your happiness along the way, that’s great, but if you can’t it’s alright. Don’t rush it, if you’re not happy.

7. Do you, and your significant other share the same fundamental values?

The key to a successful married life is clarity in communication. It’s vital to know if you and your significant other shares similar interests, morals and values. You (girls) just can’t be arguing about what you should/can wear and what not after marriage or whether you can get a job or do household chores or not. Make your priorities clear. It’s important to get married to someone who has the same mindset as yours. If you’re somewhat liberal and perhaps she/he isn’t – it could potentially be harmful in the bigger scheme of things. While it’s essential to compromise in any relationship, it’s good to remember to not lose yourself while doing so. If your spouse truly loves and respects you, they’d support and build you at every step of the way rather than bringing you down.

8. Is he/she ready to take the plunge?

In most cases, both the people involved are not at the same wavelength. The families love each other, but the boy and girl don’t. Getting married without contentment diminishes the whole purpose behind it. If the boy or girl isn’t entirely sure of it, or happy with it, they shouldn’t go ahead with it. However, if you’re sure that this is what you want, just make sure that the other person feels the same way too. You owe this much.

Making an informed decision before taking a giant leap in life is very important. If you don’t think things through, you’d not only be unfair to yourself, you’d also be unfair to everyone else associated with the decision. It’s never too late, to stop yourself from a life full of regrets or take a step towards immense happiness by embracing the change. The choice lies within you, choose wisely.

Dear Human Race

Dear human race,

We have come a long way, a very long way indeed. From living into caves to fancy big ass houses and from watching the birds fly to flying in the air ourselves and from looking at the sun and moon to looking into cosmic bodies millions of light years away. And these are great achievement indeed. We seem to have made our lives much easier for ourselves. The sound of that sounds pretty good doesn’t it! The question, however, that I post towards you is: Have we lost something on the way? Maybe something that we may have to go back decades or even centuries to get a hold of again?

Let me answer that for you. Yes, we have lost not one but many things. Some of them are surprisingly what essentially makes a human a human in the first place. Dignity, which is basically a state of being worthy of great honor and respect. We, lost it. There are humans dying of gunshots and tank fires and hunger and poverty and natural catastrophes and the rest of the humans live in peace, like kings and queens. Are they worthy of honor and respect? No.

There was a notion of integrity somewhere in the air a long while ago. There still is but perhaps the meaning has changed and has become quite relevant to each individual or rather groups of individuals. Humans talk about morality and strong principles based on honesty. Just have a look at the world around you, someone seems to have wiped away all the morals and replaced it with something else instead, prejudice. Humans are proud of things they don’t even possess. How naive is that! Principles based on prejudice can only make things worse not better.

Humans have lost another gem on the way up, selflessness. Its almost impossible to find a selfless human being ready to serve a purpose without expecting something back in return. But it is quite common to find human beings leading their own kind astray in the hopes of staying ahead of them in life. Humans have become selfish, a despicable quality that was mocked at at some point but the human race is full of it now. Selflessness and goodwill, we lost it.

I can probably go on and on but the point of the matter is that being human is a state of mind. We’ve lost that too. It should not be a surprise that the human race is not worthy of being called just the human race anymore, the term “the damned human race” seems to serve the purpose more aptly. Ironically, all the damnation has been brought about by themselves. There must still be some real humans left though, maybe that is why the world hasn’t ended yet.

I am a part of the damned human race but I don’t want to be. I want to live like a real authentic human being, the way all of us have been created. It just amazes me how the most evolved creatures to walk the planet can lose their originality over things that are temporary, to say the least. We need to change, evolve and sustain that evolution. The big change back towards being real humans is quite possible. As it is said that instead of fixing a corrupt system you come up with a better and evolved system so that the old one becomes obsolete on its own, something of that nature needs to happen. We, all of us, need to come up with a new system based upon the values we’ve lost, at individual levels as well as societal ones. This needs to happen as soon as possible and if doesn’t, civil wars are not far from raging out globally and whatever is left of the peace in the world will be gone, for good.

(May 22, 2012)

Submitted by: Holytwistedface

The Empowering Lemonade

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When I made my way through the gates of Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore on Sunday (yesterday) I had absolutely no idea I would walk out a changed individual. I had heard of Tanzila Khan earlier, I knew enough to know she was a woman working towards a better future not only for herself but for all humanity, but little did I know the magic she possessed inside her. I was greeted warmly by Zoya Ishaq who was hosting the event and also happens to be the founder of ‘SHE’ – An organisation that works towards celebrating and promoting womanhood in Pakistan.

Tanzila Khan – a motivational speaker, an author, a mentor and an inspiration to many has been empowering individuals since 5 years but it seems so effortless that one could presume, she’s been doing this her whole life. She has her own production company by the name ‘Creative Alley’ and she also happens to be exceptional at public speaking and marketing. Tanzila Khan with the collaboration of ‘SHE’ held an interactive session for women by the name ‘Lemonade with Tanzila’ at Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore. The event consisted of seven segments based on problem solving, activism, confidence building, communication, career, relationships, and personal grooming.

Amongst the laughter, the light banter, the never ending packets of ‘Oye Hoye’ provided by United Snacks, the oh so sweet and gooey brownies provided by one of Tanzila’s friends and the most beautiful ornamental baskets provided by NN creations, was an aura of rebirth and rejuvenation. It was as if each and every one of us who was a part of that gathering was there to fulfil a purpose, it put so much into perspective. The short while spent with Tanzila wasn’t just about celebrating the joys of womanhood, it was about self-reflection as a human being.  

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Life is all about creating a balance. As a woman residing in the Pakistani society, it is so important to know how to perfectly balance responsibilities. A woman carries the weight of the future on her shoulders, she has to recognise her strengths and weaknesses and condition herself in a manner that emancipates everything around her – Lemonade with Tanzila aimed to do exactly that and succeeded to a great extent.

When I walked out of that place, I felt much lighter than before, I realised that my life’s grievances were insignificant compared to those of the women sitting before Tanzila, discussing their lifelong struggles and hard earned achievements. I spent the four years of my undergrad at Beaconhouse National University (BNU) fussing over the minutest details of my coursework. I worked so hard I forgot to stop and smell the roses, and while my parents were and are extremely proud of me for achieving what I have, I still can’t make up for the lost time.

I just can’t make up for all the golden moments I missed spending with my parents, the times when I could’ve skipped typing away on my laptop for that ‘very important submission’ and just gone out for ice cream with my family. I don’t regret any of the hard work I put into my work. I was respected for my diligence and still am, but a small part of me feels like that perhaps I went too far, my ambitions got the best of me.

It’s not like I didn’t try to strike that balance, I really did, but I made too many sacrifices for no particular reason.  I spent a good amount of time with my friends but not enough with family, which is why I’d say that if I could change one thing, I’d give all my time to my family and little to the people who no longer even exist in my life.

Anyhow, my point here is that I let go of a big part of me yesterday. I realised that while I couldn’t change the past, I had the ability to reflect on my mistakes and make the present better. Every  woman present over there left with a little string of hope, Tanzila’s “Empowerment Party” succeeded in making the most tantalising Lemonade anyone has ever tasted and something that those women would carry with them for a lifetime.

 

 

The Loner’s Plea

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– You’re not the only one.

This is a series of open letters that never got sent. If you want yours to be published please send it on the link provided below:

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I tend to isolate myself from others. I don’t know why I do that, I just need your help or even a small advice could make my life much much better. I fall for everyone, sometimes I become paranoid, I don’t know why. I start thinking that at some point that no one likes me, people say I have ego issues but have they ever noticed why I even tend to have those ego issues? I try to work on myself i try to work on my ego but I fail I don’t know why. I am a self proclaimed introvert and I just want to be happy but I can’t be. At times I can’t be. I isolate myself from people I just don’t know what to do.

 

Sent by: Loner