Remember all those summer memories i dreamed of creating? That I wrote about in true poetic fashion, scribbled rough drafts on coffee shop napkins and all?
Yeah, about that…
I dropped calculus, went to the pool three minutes before closing time (so much for nightly swim), forgot about the water fight because water wastage duh!!! (not because i don’t have friends!!!), and made easy mac in less than two minutes. Also, no one wanted to make a summer horror film with me because I get too into it. Or because they hate me (or maybe I never asked them about it because I was too lazy). I was also too cheap to get a gym membership, and every stranger I almost started a conversation with looked at me like they were surprised I knew english.
Besides that, summer has been pretty fruitful.
My graduation party (an event I had been looking forward to forever), a family cruise, the ravishing sight of the Bahamas, a pop up internship, a book club meeting, a newfound obsession with italian coffee makers, an introduction to Gossip Girl (and binge watching, for that matter), the realization that I will never truly need anyone but myself (and maybe a vintage SRK poster), and getting $35 shoes for $10 at ALDO...I’d call it a pretty productive summer.
I know that in life, we’re forced to summarize everything into lists. Lists are helpful, condensed, and easy to follow. They make our goals more prominent, and allowed us to keep track in life. To do lists, Bucket Lists, Summer To Do Lists, I’ve made, seen, and failed to complete all.
Now, I’m not telling you to abandon lists all together or give up on your hopes and dreams. I’m telling you to be optimistic about your future and be aware of yourself. That, just because you didn’t complete everything on your list doesn’t mean everything else is a waste of time. You didn’t make the private yacht virgin Shirley Temple fantasy a reality this summer, but you had a can of Tazo’s savory peach green tea on the lawn of your community college. You didn’t take a roadtrip to New Mexico, but you finished four seasons of The Office.
Instead of specific actions/deeds in the summer, prescribe yourself emotions. Tell yourself to feel fulfilled instead of scribbling that you MUST do something. When you prescribe yourself emotions instead of actions, you broaden your horizons. There are many ways to feel “euphoric”, and only one way to “adopt a cat.”
So be flexible, and open your mind to new things (this advice to myself before anyone else). Avoid getting stuck on the specific little details, and instead, focus on the bigger picture. There is so much beauty in the world, if only you forced yourself to see it.
As many of you know, I write for Brown Girl Magazine, a platform dedicated to empowering the South Asian Diaspora through lifestyle, culture and entertainment news. In order to facilitate a good conversation, all staff shares a secret Facebook post, where today one of the writers commented that she had been going through a nasty breakup and needed to be cheered up.
Homegirl, this is for you, and for those five other friends of mine who are going through something similar but wouldn’t dare tell anyone. This article is for Anjalis in the world who don’t get Raj, and for those girls who haven’t had someone like them (or rather, tell them that they do). This is for the girls who became rebounds, heartbroken, and toyed with. This is for my sisters who need this after a tough time, or the ones who have been single even after they got their braces off (I feel you girl).
Now, how am I qualified to give this tirade when the closest thing I’ve had to a hunnie is the rumor of one? When the last guy I liked was mistaken for my cousin and also, my best friend who liked someone else? When three guys have ever told me they loved me, and one was my father and the other my sister? (KIDDING I LOVE YOU SHAZZO). The answer, honey, is that I’ve seen Queen too many times and am basically the best person to meet over caramel macchiatos and mani pedis when it comes to pep talks. Yes, it’s true: I’m THAT friend. The one that gives propitious advice but can’t follow it for her own life. The one who can tell you what makes a good significant other, but doesn’t even have a cat. But worry not, I’m a writer and I’ve seen a few Bollywood movies.
So ladies, trust me on this one.
If someone breaks your heart, you ARE NOT alone. It happens all the time, and us girls don’t tell each other about it with the fear that someone is going to tell Shagufta Aunty. I say, let’s talk about our feelings. Let’s warn each other and let’s hold AliMalikTheRapper00 responible for all the DMs he’s been sending out. In a world where love is commonly unfairly romanticized and holds no true value, it's so easy to get lost amongst the teen lit novels and sweet text messages from Rasheed. The Arjit Singh songs and the heart eye emojis awaiting on snapchat after your story post (that freaking dog filter!).
And whoever told you it was weird to have a crush, tell them “um no it’s okay Becky”. Crushes, regardless of your religion, race, ethnicity, or preferred flavor of bubble tea, are NORMAL. It’s okay to spend passing period in the hallways humming Love Story and daydreaming, but tell me honestly, wouldn’t you prefer doing something else?
So ladies, the following tips apply to you if:
1. You want to be in a relationship almost as badly as you want SRK and Kajol to be in one
2. You’re “halal dating”
3. You like a guy who likes Salma
4. You think about Zayn Malik for too many hours in a day
1. Love should be mad passionate or nothing. Life has SO many average things, and love shouldn’t be one of them.
And seriously, what kind of love story would that be for your children? “Your dad slid into my DMs and I just KNEW he was the one.” uM, NO!! If you chose to be in love, make sure it’s indulgent. The kind you can start blush thinking about, not the kind you hide your phone because if Mummy saw..!!!!. Mediocrity is for Salman Khan movies and key lime pie recipes off Pinterest, not love. If someone is not 100% dedicated to you, if someone is not 100% obsessed and in love with you, they are no one to you.
2. Worry not about finding someone. Instead, focus on yourself.
Spend the time you have now focusing on building yourself and enjoying yourself. Eat good food, meet good friends. Travel to exotic locations, and laugh hard at dad jokes. Do what makes you happy, and remove the focus off of looking for your “other half”. Homegirl, you are already WHOLE. Focus on being happy, and the universe will take care of it.
3. People cannot be trusted.
Having a significant other is basically trusting someone you knew for 1/18th of your life with you “self destruct” button. It’s being vulnerable: giving someone else the power to hurt or heal you, someone who knows all your secrets, what angers you, and what ruins you...along with the power to do all of it. Don’t die for a guy. He’ll bring another girl to your funeral.
4. Your happiness depends on no one.
Honey, you are not a princess who needs saving. Don’t expect some guy to come and save you. You don’t need saving, you can pull your own weight. Your happiness depends on NO ONE but yourself. You are the universe in ecstatic motion, and no one in the world is you. You control your emotions and you run the world.
5. You don’t have to settle.
You are single because you need not to change your relationship status for someone who is anything less than you deserve. You know your own value, and the space in your heart begins to a real man, someone who is mature enough to prioritize you and wouldn’t dare jeopardize loyalty or respect, no matter what. If you're his second choice, IT IS NOT WORTH IT. If he doesn’t return the butterflies and you’re constantly toyed with, drop him like a spoon you didn't know had been microwaved.
6. Get bigger, better, faster, and stronger.
Okay so, you had a thing. That thing ended quickly, it was one sided, or you got blocked on Snapchat and now you’re stuck in a mess of tissues, a carton of double chocolate chip and A Walk To Remember. That is all okay. Don’t get mad or sad, get better. Rise above all the petty drama, all the emotions. Become so surrounded by your accomplishments and honors that you literally forget about that person (see I can’t even remember their name!).
7. Understand that this is a big, big, world.
Sometimes we never find people. Sometimes we fall for people who aren’t ready to catch us. Be pleased: with or without others. Be no one’s half time, down time, spare time, or sometime: so don’t waste your time. Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your life. If you live off a man’s compliments, you’ll die from his criticisms. If someone is missing you, they’ll call.
And at the very end of it all, ask yourself: Why chase him when you’re the catch?