I’m not sure where to start because I never saw the things I did in life as accomplishments till I sat and thought about our bucket list. I started to realize that I was so busy chasing things, and beating myself up for not getting far enough, that I never looked back and saw the things I already achieved, that things that made me who I am today.
Here are the things I think I have achieved so far:
– Move out – Since the age of 14 I wanted to leave home.Yes, I was too young, and no, my family was/is not evil. I just always wanted to do my own thing. When I was 23, about a year after I got my first proper job,and after years of trying and failing, I moved out! I was always relatively independent, even when I lived with my family, so it wasn’t difficult. But it was definitely more liberating.
This is the last picture I took of the first place I moved into. (I was packing up to move cities)
– Talk to people and be comfortable in a public place – I used to be an outspoken and straightforward kid. Somewhere along the line my confidence began to break. I became extremely conscious about myself and found it very hard to just be around people. If I was in public, without a friend, I would get very nervous.
I forced myself to change that. I do not think there is anything wrong in not wanting to always engage people. But firstly, I felt that sometimes I’d miss out on opportunities because of my self-consciousness and more over unlike some of the silent ones I was highly uncomfortable and nervous when I was alone, in public. I wanted to be comfortable and unafraid in my skin.
So I forced myself to change my outlook. I decided to say “Yes” to things, as much as possible, because 90% of my responses were “No”. (Yes, this was inspired by the movie, ‘Yes Man’)
And the first time I went by myself to an underground gig I met my ex. Thanks to him I had the chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and a world of opportunities opened up and I began to break out of my uncomfortable comfort zone. Thank you Martin, and everyone who I met along the way.
– Open up and share love – I was an almost emotionless, neutral person who would perhaps hug one person, once a year, if it seemed like they reaaaallly, reaaaaaaalllly needed it. Now I enjoy hugging my those I care about, and I also let them know that they mean something to me. I do still avoid hugs when I think they come from a less genuine, place, but I don’t cringe at them as much as I used to. Also, I actually initiate the hugging process and ask for a hug when I really have to get it out of my system.
– Confrontation – After the last ‘achievement’ I think it’s pretty obvious that confrontation may have been an issue for me. Everything was always fine, and okay, even if it wasn’t. I believed that no one, and nothing can change. Only I couldn’t change how I feel or act to make the situation.This sprung up from a few futile efforts to get something right out of things that were wrong.
And I managed to get through life this way, escaping situations, cutting out people. But then it hit me, that sometimes, my old methods would not work. Because sometimes confrontation is really the only way, when it comes to those you care about, and those who add value to your life. And it’s worth it.
– Picked up the guitar – I have loved singing forever. I thought that there was no way I could pull off playing an instrument, but I did somewhere, along the way, pick up the guitar. And after years, I’ve started making music of my own!
– Perform infront people – I was always too scared to approach and play with a band. Somehow, the moment the person next to me has a guitar as well, and says, ‘Let’s jam,’ my knees go weak. (Ahem, back to “accomplishments”) But I have managed to put myself out there and perform in front of people. Before, it was once in a few years. Now, I grab onto any chance I get.
– Busking – I remember always wanting to go busking. It was even marked on a bucket list I wrote years back.
Unfortunately, in this country, they have rules against it. But not-so-unfortunately, some good soul set up legal busking stations around Dubai and I finally got to do it!
– Youtube – One of the reason my confidence to perform in front of others opened up is because I forced myself to put videos of me singing on Youtube. About 4 years back, I kept taking videos of myself and deleting them. After months of trying to convince myself I finally did it it!
Here’s the very first clip of a home recording I did
– Finally, have more self respect – When we were talking about this whole achievement thing, Hina pointed out that she’s seen me take care of myself much better than I used to. And she’s right. I had a lot less self respect before, and I barely valued my health or my sanity. Nowadays I find myself making better decisions for myself. My body feels a lot healthier, and my mind feels a lot clearer. =)