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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manipal chapter.

Nowadays, words rarely mean what one thinks they mean. Nothing is taken or said literally anymore. So much time goes by in figuring out what someone actually wants to say, that by the time you have it figured out, it’s too late to fix what you’ve understood. The simplest things like communication, that humans create to avoid chaos, are becoming harder.

The sad part is that I see these changes with myself. Shouldn’t growing up and acquiring more knowledge make me more confident and secure about myself? Rather, somehow the more I know about the world, the more I seem to question myself. I remember being able to speak my heart out; tell everyone what I liked and what I didn’t. Now I feel my opinions would just make things worse or that they might be stepped upon and walked over.

I remember multiple suggestions when I was younger that I should choose my career according to what I felt was right. Soon the time to pick a career came around and, to my shock, the people who suggested that I follow my heart, were now the same people who had something else to say. They felt I should pick my career according to what they felt was right for me. Somehow, they suddenly became the better judges of which career path was meant for me. It didn’t really seem to matter what I felt. I did not understand what had changed their point of view suddenly, and hence, I decided to ask them. According to them, they didn’t actually think I should follow my heart. Instead they felt that I should do what everyone else did because it seemed more promising. I know it sounds contradictory but that’s what people said; and even worse, that’s what they believed.

As I grew older and met more people, I saw that not meaning what you say was a common trait. People didn’t mean it when they said they were okay with watching a movie, people didn’t mean it when they said they cared about something, people didn’t even mean it when they said they loved someone. I never knew what they really meant and it was so confusing and tiring to keep trying to figure it out. I didn’t quite understand why they wouldn’t just be honest, but it sure did affect me.

Soon, I began doing the same thing too. My honesty began to be looked down upon and I didn’t want that. Perhaps one could say that I was negatively influenced and made the wrong choice. Thankfully, I did realize my mistake; not soon, but I did. Things began to become more and more chaotic and that’s when I decided I would no longer continue with this nonsense. It had only led to fights, misunderstandings, trust issues, and sleepless nights. I couldn’t handle any more of that, which is primarily why I took the decision of being honest, which is the path I’ve been on since then.

I’m not going to lie; this road gets tougher than the previous road some days. I end up making a lot of people angry. Some even curse me, but internally I am doing so much better. Yes, it is no doubt frustrating when I have to make others see things as they are. It’s difficult some days, yet I personally feel that it’s better than never telling people the truth. Honest communication helps keep conversations clean and transparent; that further helps keep relationships real. If I can’t have anything real, what’s the point of even having it? Saying what I truly mean does not only sound genuine, it feels genuine as well. I feel more honest with myself. I have finally realized that Communication is the key to everything! Have an issue? Communicate. Someone’s effort caught your eye? Communicate. Just put it out there. You never know how you might end up making things much simpler.

Sheen Gurkha

Manipal '21

I write till my heart fills with satisfaction.