Remember to Live

“It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”

– J.K. Rowling

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Gems

I had a really great conversation with my roommate last night and I just thought that I would share it here:

Last night I got pretty sentimental and nostalgic with the spring semester of my sophomore year ending in a couple weeks, bringing me closer to being in DC for the summer. I had some time to really reflect on a lot of different parts of my life so far that have led me ultimately to the person I am in the present moment. I have long accepted the fact that I have gone through a lot of hardships, whether it concerned living my own life or most of all, my family. I have long accepted the fact that a lot of people have come and gone out of my life on both positive and negative terms. And most of all, I have long accepted the fact that I will always be working harder to fulfill my own crazy ambitions.

But amidst all those facts above that I have long accepted, I had not taken the time to count all the gems in my life. What do I mean by that? Well gems for me could be memories, milestones, people, relationships, friendships, and a plethora of other things in my life. And those gems are things that can never be destroyed even if they become lost or decide to part with me in the future. Last night specifically, the gems I reminisced on and came to acknowledge were the absolutely amazing friends and people that have come into my life and those who have stayed in my life. My roommate Eveleen has definitely proved to be another gem of a human being in my life. My most treasured friend Meghana has been a gem for a long time and I hope will continue to be in this lifetime. And last but definitely not least, the people in my life right now who I hope are on their way to becoming gems in my life that I can embed in the happy crevices of my brain along with the others.

Despite all the bad times, unfortunate events, and difficulties I have faced and continue to face for the rest of this life, I am so blessed and utterly gracious for the gems in my life. I always find myself in a moment or time of bliss at random and different times of my life and that makes everything worth it.All the positive and negative things become worth it and just another important part of my life and growth. I don’t know if anyone that is mentioned in this post will ever read this but if by chance you do, thank you from the deepest depths of my heart and soul. I cannot say that enough and so I will never stop saying it or ever forget.

To all the people who follow this blog and read  it, my wish from now and until the end of your lifetime is that you continue to collect gems in your life and have happiness continue to grace your life. Remember, things are always how you make them out to be.

Choice

Today, I was discussing with a friend of mine the concept of influence. How much of our lives are influenced by others? And how much of that influence goes unnoticed and unacknowledged? When thinking of even the simplest things such as drinking water or even waking up early in the morning, there is so many aspects of our lives that are influenced by others. For example, drinking water. We drink water because our parents tell us it is healthy and good for us. Our parents tell us that water is healthy because scientists proved and urged people that we as humans cannot live without water and that it is essential to our survival. I never thought about that process in that manner, but my friend brought it to light.

But where did this discussion even spark from? You are probably wondering why it even matters to us at all. Well, it all started with the hijab. If you don’t know what a hijab is, it is a veil that covers the head and chest of women and is generally worn by Muslim women. We were talking about whether it is really an individual Muslim woman’s choice to wear or not to wear the hijab. Using the water example as a foundation, wouldn’t the choice be influenced from the woman’s parents (more specifically the mother)? And wouldn’t the parents be influenced by the culture? So in the end, who really made the choice? Why wear the hijab? Is it because of culture or your parent’s persistence? Or is it really the woman’s choice solely?

Of course, I am not a Muslim woman, so I don’t know about all the aspects behind wearing the hijab, but the point I’m trying to make is the idea of choice. Do we really have a choice in all the decisions we make everyday? Just thinking of the water example above, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of influences that float around and exist in our lives, and unknowingly, we come to be vulnerable to them and follow them. Of course, this idea of influence is usually applied to much bigger issues such as cults or even politics. But I think we easily forget how even the little decisions in our life involve influences that we may not know the roots of and more importantly, how much of our choices may not actually be solely our own.

Inner Awareness

“We all want to live a happy life and have a right to do so, whether through work or spiritual practice. I’m subject to destructive emotions like anger and jealousy the same as you, but we all have potential for good too. However, our existing education system is oriented towards material development; neglecting inner values. Consequently we lack a clear awareness of the inner values that are the basis of a happy life.”

– Dalai Lama