Notes to my 21 year old self

A couple of months ago I was asked by my friend Rachana Manjani, the editor of Beyond Sindh magazine, to write a piece for the magazine’s ten year anniversary. I was really excited. I’ve done a fair bit of writing for other’s but this was the was the first time it was going to be published in print. Here is the article…what I have to say to my 21 year old self, 10 years ago:

Earlier this month I turned 31, another year older is both exciting and intimidating. As each year goes by it makes me ponder many of life’s big questions and look back upon my life with a sense of objectivity. Given that Beyond Sindh is 10 years old this month (wow, that went by quickly), I thought I’d look back at the last ten years of my life personally and think about how far I’ve come and what advice I’d give to my 21 year old self, 10 years ago.

1. You’ve just graduated and you’re wondering what to do with your life. Go do that course in New York. I know you’re scared and the idea of moving to yet another new city is daunting but you’re young and if there is ever a chance to do it, it’s now. So go, choose a course, for 6 months or a year and enjoy living in the Big Apple. We only truly learn when we are outside of our comfort zone.

2. Dare to dream. You can be anything you set your mind to, don’t let anyone let you think otherwise. You’re so passionate about helping those less fortunate, get out there and put all your energy into doing that and make a difference in the world like you know you can. Time waits for no one, do it now.

3. Stop living waiting for signs. Those who know what they want, get what they want. So instead of waiting for a sign to know what you should do, go out and do it. You always say you’re quite an intuitive person who can feel different energies so trust yourself and go with how you feel, not with what you think everyone else wants you to do/say.

4. You’ve spent every summer in India for the last 3 years and each year you’ve created a little count down calendar to mark the days until you go back to London. I know why you so desperately want to go back and I get it but enjoy the time you have there because one day you’ll look back and wish you did something more useful with your time. Mumbai is amazing, explore it.

5. Save!! You really don’t need that top from Warehouse and those shoes from Faith are just going to lie in your cupboard for the next 3 years. You’re lucky you don’t pay rent and you live in Central London so when you’re not out having a fabulous time, save! You never know when you’ll need it.

6. Don’t get married until you’re at least 28. There is so much you want to do, so don’t feel pressured into it by anyone. If he’s worth it, he’ll wait. You go out there and do your thing girl.

7. Look after your body. I know you go to the gym and you try and be healthy but remember everyone’s body works differently. Just because your colleague beside you eats chocolate at 8am doesn’t mean you should as well. You know what’s good for you and what’s not, listen to your body now to avoid any issues in the future.

8. Know that everything that happens over the next 10 years is a building block and you should have no regrets, only a better understanding of things based on your experiences. Every person and experience – good, bad, fair or unfair happen for a reason. Learn from them and move on.

9. You have an amazing family, don’t let anyone come between you and them and if a problem does arise, clear it with the person so it doesn’t become an issue for the next decade. Half of people’s problems would disappear if they just communicated better. Communication is one of the key’s to great relationships.

10. Believe in yourself. You don’t need anyone else to tell you how you should live your life. All the answers are there, within you. Spend some time alone each week and just be. Mediate or lay back and listen to your favourite song. All your answers will come to you and the decisions you make will be right for you. Never ask someone else to make your decisions for you, no matter who they are.

What advice would you give your younger self?

don, jo n me

Young and naïve innocent at 21!

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6 thoughts on “Notes to my 21 year old self

  1. I love this post, if you don’t mind I might write my own at some stage, i will mention you as my inspiration too, but I love it, great advise and lovely to look back and see what you would change or advise.

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