You just celebrated your 16th birthday! And there’re so many things I want to tell you. I can see you rolling your eyes at what you think is another mushy gushy note from the heart. Yes, it’s from the heart; how can it not be. It’s from a mother to her son. But this one isn’t mushy gushy at all. It’s anything but.
You are approaching the age when you’ll step into the world alone and chart a path for yourself. You’ll live the life that you were meant to live. Yes, I know you just can’t wait to be free of your helicopter, tiger mom!!
I don’t care if you forget to bathe, cut your nails or hair (dear! God!!!)…but don’t forget the following..
- Things will go wrong Yes, believe me they will. That’s what life is about. Things go awry. Things don’t go the way we plan and the way we hopelessly want them to. And when they do, I don’t want you to lose hope. Believe in yourself. Be with your friends, swim, play your guitar or beat the hell out of your drums, take a holiday…but never give up. For as good turns to bad, bad gives way to the good. Things pass. Nothing stays the same forever. So if you’re stuck with a boss from hell. A colleague who takes credit for your work. Get passed over the coveted promotion which you thought was yours. Just hold it together. The uuggh! phase will pass. And while this phase has you in its grip, try to stay away from beer and pizza. It’ll be tough but try.
- Opportunities will come all at once, never one at a time. You will have an important meeting to prepare for and the chance to perform at the hip pub …all together. You’ll tearing your hair cursing God why does He have to pile your plate up so much?? Why?? He does this to everyone. That’s why He is called Fiddler on the roof. (watch the movie some day, it’s brilliant). This is just His way of testing you, your capability and your burning desire. How much do you love what you do? How far are you willing to stretch yourself? If you think your trigonometry tests are the worst ever…wait for life to happen. That’s when the real rock & roll begins!! So baby, learn to juggle. Drop a few but you’ll eventually learn. I did too.
- Never lose touch with your school friends. They know you, the real you. No matter how far you go in life, how much money and fame you make; keep this bunch close, really close. They will be the rock in your life. And there’s no better camaraderie than sitting down with the school bunch and talking about how shamelessly you cheated in the bio exam. (Yes, I know. Mummy knows everything!). Make the effort to stick to the plan and meet them. Once again, you’ll tested. Your friendship will be tested. You’ll have the networking event that you’ve waited for months on the very day when the gang is meeting. Don’t falter even for a second. Meet the gang. Money and connections will come and go. Friends are for life.
- You’ll be let down by the one you love the most. Your best buddy or may be the person you love. I hope this doesn’t happen but it can. We are often hurt by those whom we love the most. And I hope and pray that you are lucky in love, life and friendship. But if this happens, promise me you wouldn’t lose faith. And you wouldn’t shut yourself away. For there’s nothing worse than being without love or friends.
- Always dance in the rain! Or cycling will also do. The simple joys of life are often left behind as we grow older. Don’t let that happen. Have fun! Get soaked to your skin. Have chai at the roadside stall. Munch a bhutta. Play football with the kids on a muddy field. Bunk office and spend the day watching movies, reading books or playing music…don’t let go of the child in you.
- Don’t stop dreaming and chasing your dreams. Give it your all and then some more. Even if you lose, at least you’d know that you tried and gave your best.
And last of all, baby… what I wish may seem odd to you today but someday you’ll understand. I hope you never have a bed of roses. I don’t wish a path strewn with thorns but just enough hurdles to challenge and bring out the best in you. A bed of roses makes one complacent and lazy. No one has ever achieved anything in life without taking on difficulties. It’s only after we’ve fallen that we rise up and run to the finishing line. So every time you stumble and fall, struggle and lose; I will cringe and hurt as all mothers do; but I’ll steel myself so that you can pick up yourself and walk tall.
Love you now & forever,