EXCITEMENT

It is very similar to the exact opposite of itself!

Increased heart rate
High adrenaline level
A feeling of restlessness
A state of mental arousal
Heightened sense of awareness

It is a combination of all the above signs and symptoms that we use to explain what excitement does to us. It could be the little things that make us skip a beat or the prolonged moments that leave us with our hearts drumming in our ear. It is the sweating palms and shallower breaths of anticipation.
It is what one experiences when heading out for a crazy night of fun with friends, also when meeting someone who is a stranger with potential to be more that just an acquaintance.
It is exactly what I experience every time I’m boarding the flight for a trip that I’ve been planning and putting together for quite sometime, also when I sat smiling next to him for the first time with cameras and happy faces pointed at us.

With lack of context it is very easy to confuse these signs between excitement, nervousness and fear.
Ever realise that?
We go through the same set of physiological responses when experiencing excitement and fear, while they are such opposites!
If you try to think a bit longer and dwell deeper, it is easy to see that the root difference is based on the fundamental element of ‘known’ and ‘unknown’.

So the next time you’re scared of something and it is leaving you sleepless at nights and anxious during the day, spend some time and energy in getting to know more and more about it. Because the more you learn the more your brain is likely to make it into a pleasurable and exciting experience rather than a dreaded and feared one.

Here’s to getting to know more and being more excited each day!

RESULTS

How you define success has a lot more to do with your feeling of achievement than the result itself.

With a huge number of teenagers and early adults receiving their scores in the present month in the month of May, each summer carrier the potential of transporting me back to a time when I faced the same fate.
I stood on the edge for hours a together, waiting for the fruits of my labour to be announced. Pondering if I had made silly mistakes. Fretting if I had not given my cent percent. Pulling at my inability to vividly remember what had been asked and how well had I tackled each shot.
And just as the time grew closer I started listing down all the reasons why this was important for me. Everything that had been told to me with the intent of motivating me suddenly started feeling like an extra pound on weight on my shoulders. Slowly it stopped mattering whether I had done a good job, what made me more nervous was whether I had done a job better than my counterparts. Oh! What a badly timed downward spiral it was.

Today, after a decade of receiving my higher secondary results and looking back at how far I’ve come from that day I have understood one thing.
Its not the percentage or the grades that have made me who I am today. It is what I chose to do with myself inspite of the grades that make me the person I am.
By no means am I saying that it is okay to not do your best, but it is essential to push yourself to the limit and then a little more, then the results you achieve should be accepted with open arms. Because somewhere, only when you know you have given it all that you got is it possible to not feel let down by yourself.

There are young adults who brand themselves based on the scores and parents who differently treat their children through comparison with others and then there are educators who segregate kids based on their memorising power.
This remains beyond me.
I have been a top scorer who through sudden turn of events struggled through high school to just float through the rest of my school life. I cannot and will not lie- it was difficult and sometimes even traumatising.

How did I survive?
My parents were my story of inspiration and my heroes. Even though they kept pushing me to work harder, sometimes through more harsher ways than the others; they made sure that I knew that they meant well. They were sensitive enough in their pursuit to know when I was reaching my limit.
But the inspiration was the fact that, two individuals with limited means and even more limited education, have been successful in creating a happy family, wealthy relationships and a respectable living. Through my childhood to early adulthood I had witnessed a wavering graph but most of it was growth. I had grown up seeing their humility and acceptance of their shortcomings while working hard each day with honesty and happiness.
Somewhere, I had started to believe that in is my character certificate that holds more weightage in life than my school marks certificate. But I also knew that if I could not improve one then I would have to work double hard with the other as I would be pushing a cart on a single wheel rather than having the support of both.

Today when I talk to my younger cousins and other students, I tell them only one thing:
Everything is equally important, make sure to create a neat balance. But don’t worry if you are falling short in one area because there are other areas which are your points of strength and can be used to your help with a little bit of faith and some confidence in yourself and the world.
Just make sure that you know where you place your happiness and that you use the right parameters to measure it. Sometimes even the most expensive car cannot buy you the contentment that a cup of tea being shared with well wisher.

SERENDIPTY

A Fortunate Mistake

Understood as a ‘fortunate mistake’ or a very good coincidence that leads to something pretty awesome.

I’ve always felt this over-whelming feeling of joy when I catch the early morning dew drops trickling down a blade of grass, hear the synchronised singing of the birds, changing shades of the sky, the presence of the sun as well as the moon in the sky or just the crispness of the fresh air… all this while all I wanted to do is to get some running done.
And this feeling, I know, works for my mind the way a good jog works for my body. It makes me feel more awake and ready for whatever the day holds for me.
I also experience serendipity, when I bite into some foods that take me to a happy place with some happy people, not because they created it but because I’ve had the chance or fortune of eating it with them.
Like when I eat a softy or swirl ice cream, it transports me to my childhood where they held a special place (as rewards or/and celebrations). Though, the intention of having one now is to make the heat more bearable and not the transportation.

Odd, isn’t it?
I can think about a 100 such things that fall under this expression. They are all the little things which, if not to explain this beautiful word would have been taken for granted by me.

This word that is generally used to refer to luck and surprising findings, was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. He adopted the word from the title of a fairy tale ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’, in which the heroes are always making accidental discoveries.
Fun Fact: the old name of Sri Lanka is ‘Sarandip’. And it was voted as UK’s Favourite word in 2000, alongside being voted as one of the ten most difficult english words to translate.

The Comedy Of Normalcy

“At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvellously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you are always trying to be normal, you may never know how amazing you can be.”

-Maya Angelou

Each one of us is made of the most unique combination of cells, thoughts and personalities. I know I say it all the time, in different words but always the same meaning; and I am not scared of repeating myself because I truly believe so.
In light of this acknowledgement (or fact), it is only fair to say that we all have something that makes us stand out, in our own small and big ways, in this crowd of a 7.7 billion (and counting, literally!).
Lets proceed for once with the assumption, as the base, that you agree with my belief and believe in my thought too.

“I think every person has their own identity and beauty.
Everyone being different is what is really beautiful. If we were all the same, it would be boring.”

-Tila Tequila

With such uniqueness and distinctiveness, the world should be a ball of creativity, bursting with ideas; and yet there seems to be an increased need and pressure to be different and also difficulty in achieving the status of standing out from the rest.
Isn’t that intriguing? Isn’t that something worth being curious about?
There have been days I’ve had conversations at length, with myself or with the forces of this world and found myself increasingly lost rather than at peace.

E.E. Cummings once said that “To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting”.
Why do we have to struggle and battle for something that has been given to each one of us, so unconditionally?

Could it be that a select few, whom we know nothing of, have created a divide between crazy and acceptable?
We are usually so scared of accepting anything that isn’t what the majority follows that we label, shame and stereotype them. I’m not talking about the big taboos, I’m hinting at the smaller habits of everyday life, the hobbies one wishes to pursue, the things that one doesn’t like, the chores that the family divides, the way we address our kids or the things that we strongly say NO to without even a thought.

It’s funny how the normalcy that everyone wants to achieve is defined by someone we’ve never met and cannot quote. Its interesting how the world demands uniqueness and we are eager to judge the ones who are different and readily abandon them. And miraculously, we are coerced into being like everybody while still holding the volcanic potential of being somebody.
So, is normalcy what we achieve when we can’t achieve what we independently and personally want to achieve??
Isn’t it ironical?

Life’s no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe’s my own to fool with.”

-Murakami

Come on, I know we live in a society. And in order to survive we have to co-exist. And in order to co-exist we need harmony. And for harmony we need to co-ordinate or just be more alike.
But could it hurt so much to just replace our straight ‘No’ into a waited silence to hear them out??
After all, there is strength in diversity!

*The population estimate has been taken from World Population Clock