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As a child, people’s choices played a substantial role in how I dressed myself. Thus if someone told me that I looked unpleasant in an outfit, I would change; no matter how much I loved it. How many times have you thought about what others would say if you wore a particular attire? How many times have you asked for others’ opinion for reassurance? I can count several instances where I’ve done so myself.

Yet, how often have you thought about yourself before anyone else? We end up spending most of our lives trying to impress the world— from dressing up to our career choices. As of now, it might not feel like a big deal, but all these choices add up. Before you realise, you’re doing everything to seek that approval.

I had given people so much power to walk over my decisions, that some days when I would put my point of view out there, nobody would take me seriously. What I said barely had any significance. My decisions were termed immature or improper. This made me furious. When the realisation did hit, I decided to do something about it. 

The first thing I did was to stop trying to satisfy them; I stopped working so hard to impress. Instead, I began to learn what I was contended with. Gradually, I understood what I expected from myself and worked to achieve those. 

Now that I finally do things for myself, I feel like I have an identity of my own. I no longer feel obliged to anyone but myself. I know it sounds poetic, but it’s true. The feeling of not being caught up in the game of expectations indeed feels like independence. When we are free from the norms set by our society, that’s when we can truly change them. 

A few of you might use this as an excuse to disagree with everything people tell you. There’s a difference between defying someone and making your own decisions. You don’t have to disobey to make a point. This is the most crucial part, you don’t have to rebel against everything. Resisting other’s for the sake of it would mean that you still care about their opinion; that you’re still living for the world. That’s precisely what they want from you. Instead of impressing the world, impress yourself. Hear the people around you but do what you feel is right. Utilise their thoughts to cater to your needs.

It’s similar to a canvas and paint. The empty canvas is your life, and you’re the artist, while the colour is the world. This canvas can only be transformed into a piece of art when you decide the placement and choice of your colours. What will happen if these colours randomly pour over your painting, and you are unable to stop it? You’ll end being dissatisfied with your work, something will always seem missing. 

Life is your blank canvas, and you are the only one who can decide your colours. Instead of living on other’s expectations, work on fulfilling yourself. Prove yourself to you and nobody else.

Sheen Gurkha

Manipal '21

I write till my heart fills with satisfaction.
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