It’s a mirage

There are songs that you listen to, that shape your memories; there are people who constantly make their way towards you—directly or indirectly, sometimes even forcefully—to shape your lives, both positively and negatively, even so that they might be the force of a constant distraction in your lives, but you need to focus. You need to focus on good things, the positive energy that comes from waking up early in the morning to pray fajr, even though you might have slept at three in the morning—for you need to realize that you’re not doing it for the sake of making the Almighty happy, you’re doing it as much for yourself too.

Our jobs suck most of the times, we don’t get along with a lot of our colleagues, but we need to find that one ounce of motivation that makes us go to work gladly every morning—be it the smile of the guard who greets you at the gate or the lady guard who you sometimes help financially to make her ends meet, or that one colleague who brings you video games that you could play when the boss is not around, or that group of people who you have your lunch with.

Life is not always easy as we might like to think for other people who always have their way. You would look at their social media and find them smiling and having fun but no one knows if they’re doing it for public validation or a general show off, none of which is healthy. Adulting is a tough task—for people like me it’s a 24/7 job that you’re constantly struggling with, trying to ace it following the ‘fake it till you make it’ mantra. And s much as I would want to deny it, we are not young anymore. We are neither fresh-out-of-college-graduates nor 22-23 looking forward to settling. And although we are still looking forward to settle, we are basically nowhere. Our dreams are yet to be fulfilled, love of our lives to be found, careers still in a phase where we are in a dilemma of whether to switch or to get going with what we have. We are so confused. And while we are acing some of the job interviews and getting into that school for post-grad education we’ve always wanted to get into or getting told in some family gathering by teenagers that we are their inspiration and asked by some youngsters to speak at their college as a motivational speaker, we still tend to underestimate ourselves. Why are we so confused?

Is it a quarter-life crisis? Our parents are our friends but sometimes their wants and our needs don’t match. The books we read inspire us to write but what we don’t have is time—no time to catch up with friends from college who we miss constantly but are embarrassed to admit because what if they have moved on? We don’t have time to listen to that song that friend the other day recommended us to listen or that article they shared with us thinking we would appreciate the genius of it, the book we borrowed from that friend who never minds is still lying on the bedside table because ‘who has time?’

Why has time become such a lMirage.fulluxury all of a sudden that we don’t have? We have money but no time to spend that money, and honestly when I say this, I’m not exaggerating. We keep on procrastinating, on planning that trip, reading that book, cooking that great recipe, baking that cake, eating healthy and working out, gifting that whatever our friend liked the other day but couldn’t buy, what do we have if we don’t have time to give ourselves and our loved ones?

We are going after all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. Most of us. Career plans. New job. Progression. Happily ever after. It’s just a mirage. What we are, where we need to be, is here. Right where we are. And that is where we need to make amendments.




PS: It’s a rumbling, only a slight reflection of a chaotic mind. 

Book Review: Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown

I remember the time when I graduated a year and half ago and was extremely depressed about leaving school and coming back home. All of a sudden the world was expecting me to start acting as all grown up, find a job (as if they are offered on a platter) and get settled somewhere, anywhere where they pay excellent salaries, you have a healthy work-life balance and you could somehow manage to meet your friends and family (read all the relatives) on a regular basis. That was certainly too much to ask since I had not even gotten over my graduation and the post-graduation-trip-with-friends nostalgia. I lot of my friends and class fellows were going through the same feelings around that time.

It was during that time that I found the book ‘Adulting: How to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps’ by Kelly Williams Brown and started reading it. Needless to say, this book is one of the funniest and engaging self-help books I’ve ever read. This book was also nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 in the category of Best Humor.

Adulting is Kelly Williams Brown’s debut book and the idea of writing such book came to her after going through the period of Adulting (Adulting describes acting like an adult or engaging in activities usually associated with adulthood—often responsible or boring tasks)–when she started learning the art of acting like an adult through trial and error method.

Even though this book is relatively more suitable for Western kids graduating from colleges, who have to move out of their parents’ house to make everything on their own, I believe it is helpful for our kids as well, as there is has been a growing trend of moving out of parents’ houses (especially for kids from smaller towns to bigger metropolitan cities) in search of better jobs and careers.

Starting from the time one has graduated, and is depressed of leaving school and best friends behind to moving out and finding a place to live on reasonable rates, to learning to cook and clean your part of the house, the book describes in detail, every minor step of these adulting milestones. From tips to effectively packing your stuff and suitcases, to teaching easy recipes to cook, to domestic tips on how to clean your kitchen and bathroom, everything is elaborately discussed with witty monologues and funny diagrams from the author which keep the one-way dialogue interesting. There are even dramatic discussion questions at the end of every chapter which keep the reader engaged.

The chapters progress further to discuss faking etiquettes— the author believes that until you can’t fake it, you can’t make it—to getting in the line for one of the most difficult jobs in the world: getting a job. This chapter provides steps to networking with people (friends, friends of friends, friends of parents, parents of friends, etc.), scheduling your interviews and how not to screw your schedules of interviews to finally negotiating your salary and signing your job offer. There are further steps on how to dress and how to socialize with your coworkers.

Money is another important concern for newly-turned-adults. From politely refusing your work colleagues from hanging out, to splitting your dinner bills and managing to shop cheap but trendy clothes and accessories, Kelly offers easy and doable solutions to saving money and managing one’s budget.

Chapters following money include tips on making new friends at work and neighborhood—who might not be your age, but one of the best things about becoming an adult is that the age range of your friends starts to expand and you begin to enjoy the company of relatively older people—handling emergency situations and most important of all, managing to take out time for your family.

With a growing trend towards moving out of parents’ houses in search of better jobs, readers would certainly find this book helpful and entertaining (and even if it doesn’t help you much, it would make you feel better that you’re not the only one struggling).

One of the drawbacks of the book that I came across while reading was the fact that since it has been written from the perspective of a woman (Kelly Williams herself), it is more catered to the needs of women (or girls as you might want to put it)—especially in fashion trends, clothes choice, etc.

Nevertheless, ‘Adulting: How to Become a Grown up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps’ is a fun read and would get you out of your stressed state if you’re just out of college.

Average rating: 3.5/5