Love’s not love…

In our obsession to explain every thing under the sky, we’ve also defined our tendency of being unable to accept ours. Imposter’s syndrome is a clinical term that refers to one of the most fundamental emotions of humans.

‘I don’t think I deserve credit because I don’t feel like I did a good job.’ We all feel that sometimes. No one person is always satisfied with the yields of their efforts. That’s when we’re so guilt-ridden that we refuse to admit achievement.

We don’t realise, however, that anything that’s sloppy to us may seem exceptional to someone else. Ironic and though difficult, we must accept that. We all see the same thing in different ways — we have our own perspectives — and when someone declares how much we mean to them, not only is it decent to smile, acknowledge, and thank them, but it’s also a mark of self-help.

For only when we accept recognition from others can we appreciate our own self. We’re so hard on ourselves sometimes that we don’t love ourselves enough. How are we to love others if we can’t love ourselves first?

How we love others depends on how we love ourselves. When we’re unconditional towards our own self, and satisfy our self, we become happier from the inside out. That reflects when we interact with others, too. That’s why it’s almost impossible to enclose love in a dome. Love’s not only the love that young frivolous couples share, but love’s what we all share towards one another, living or otherwise. The more we love ourselves, the more we have to share. And the more we share, the more we receive.

It’s one infinite loop.

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So it seems

Assumes affection

insisting on persisting

the marriage mirage

Minimalising

Pete ignored the skeptical stares as he dropped off his fifth bag of trash. He’d no longer hold onto things he thought mattered.

For the first time since his nasty breakup four years ago, he realised he’d never been happy. He earned and travelled well devouring authenticity everywhere, yet something always held him back.

Wanting to simplify life, he cast out letters and cards, his journals, souvenirs, fancy linen now out of style, clothes he’s never worn — everything he’d acquired to fill the gap Sandra had left.

A minimal house had changed nothing. He still couldn’t let her go.

The basics of life

I don’t think there’s much to love about where I live. But I also think that we have a tendency to overlook the simple beauty around us while we’re busy gawking at sights elsewhere. Thinking about that, I browsed through my archives and found a photo that captures one of the most likeable traits of my hometown. It’s en route to the Yearcaud hills located in the southern part of India. I live about an hour away from the hills and the road leading up to it are a wonderful adventure for any road trip junkie. Not only is the way made up of eight steep hairpin bends, but the bends also guarantee stunning sunrises and sets. It’s not the most beautiful sunset I could’ve seen in my life, but I wouldn’t miss it either.

Yearcaud

What I learnt from social media about being social

I’ve grown more active than ever before on Twitter. And if there’s one thing that it’s taught me, it’s that reciprocation is everything.

When I first joined Twitter over six years ago, I looked up to celebrity accounts like every other novice. It amazed me how much the paparazzi buzzed after them and how even though they followed no one, their accounts boasted a massive following. I wanted to be like them. Shame on me, I now realise.

Because I tried so hard to be an influencer even before I understood the purpose and meaning of social media, I couldn’t get past a few tweets a week and a meagre following of friends who signed up for Twitter and forgot all about it. My account was at a sorry state and without trying too much I faltered, ignoring my account altogether. What I didn’t realise is that everyone who did well on social media were either channelling their success from offline or from other platforms. Industry specialists, cinema stars, subject matter experts—all of them were already established before they posted their first tweet.

I, on the other hand, was a scrawny 19-year-old drunk on Shakespeare, trying to be poetic in every line I said. Plus, I wouldn’t follow anyone. People should follow me for my genius—I thought every day as I logged into Twitter. I didn’t think about meeting new people, conversing, exchanging insights, or learning.

That’s why I couldn’t get the hang of social media.

It took me long enough, but I’m glad that I’ve come a long way since. After years of being a failed twitterer, I discovered how chats brought out the sociableness in me. I understood that we gain value from a network when we offer value in return. Social media isn’t about posting a fantastic message and the likes. It’s a community, instead, where we should be willing to follow other people’s train of thoughts, thank them in sincerity for their opinion, and reply only if and when appropriate.

I’ve been trying do that for a while now.

No, my followers count hasn’t peaked up overnight. And no, I don’t have paparazzi outside my window. But no, I don’t feel like a failure either.

I feel like an achievement. Because I now realise the likes and followers don’t matter as much as the ideas and their reach. Amazing how far a thought can go on social media. My old classmates (who I no longer speak to but are on my network) liking my posts doesn’t matter as much as a relevant person chatting over it—of course, retweeting and sharing helps, but it’s not what drives my worth anymore.

Every time I go on social media now, I know that I’m only a tiny speck in an ocean bigger than anything I’ve seen. The deeper I engage with people who share my interests, the more I learn that I have a lot to learn. Every day I come across people I want to probe, to ask questions from, and to discuss what I think.

Social is not one-way communication riddled with ego. It’s social—where everyone knows and accepts they’re a fool sometimes and a genius at other times.