Unfiltered

Bishakha Tambi, Class 8, DAV International School, Makarba, Ahmedabad

I’m 13. I want to share a short story about me. I know, I haven’t lived enough; I’m inexperienced and even foolish. Well, I’m not here to preach. I don’t have to be wise. I’m here to share and for that, I just need a story. Everyone who finishes the smallest of tasks, even just doing the dishes, has a journey of doing it. You don’t just think you want to do something and it happens; you think you want to do something and you do it! I want to share something I learned from my journey. Considering I’m 13, it’s probably a short one, so don’t go just yet. Keep reading.

I have seen Hollywood movies; I know every grown-up at some point in life has self-doubt. “I’m not a good parent,” “I can’t do it,” “I’m bad at my job,” etc. Kids are innocent and stupid, but believe it or not, every kid has self-doubt too, sometimes for a small period of time but at other times, for long ones. I am surrounded by people who love me and support me, but there are always people who pressurise us too, no matter how hard we try to keep them out of our lives. There is pressure and competition everywhere, and honestly, you don’t even need someone to pressurise you; you, yourself can do the very deed just as well.

Sometimes you want to blend in or be better than others; for something you want, or for someone you want, you change yourself. I want to repeat something Selena Gomez once said, “I don’t know how to be anything but myself.” I shouldn’t change. I accept myself for who I am, flaws and all, and I want others to accept me as I am too. If they can’t do that, then they don’t deserve to be in my life. Obviously, my well-wishers will guide me, but not to change me, but to make me the best version of myself. Those are the people who truly love me. I want to be successful and famous and everything else every kid wants to be. But my first and foremost principle will always be to be true to myself about who I am.

Stereotypes will always be there; people will be racist and sexist, and there’ll always be that aunty who’ll pass sly comments on the phone while staring at you from her balcony. There’ll always be people who will tell you what to do, what to wear, if you look good, who to be etc. They are not worth paying attention to, they’re not worth wasting time on and they’re not worth thinking about. The truest version of me is the best version of me. Filters are fine as long as they are limited to Snapchat, but anyone or anything you have to change yourself for is not worth it.

One day I trust that you and I will do something that in the world’s view might or might not be an achievement, but if it makes us happy, it’ll seem like a miracle. But you know what the best part is—it’s not, it’s not a miracle, it’s just you. Happiness is a fluctuating emotion, being content is a choice. Everyone makes mistakes, and they learn from that too. I lost track of myself and that’s okay, because when I found myself, it was a better version of me.

You can call me ugly or fat, but it doesn’t matter. I know I’m not the prettiest person in the world, not the smartest person in the world, and not the best person in the world. I don’t have to be. I also know that I’m beautiful and smart in my own way. I’m human. No matter who says so, I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to be me. Don’t regret the mistakes, just cherish the learning. I believe it is truly important to think before doing and saying something but every once in a while, there’ll be a time when you have a feeling in the gut, a feeling that says you have to be honest, be blunt, be true. This is one of those times for me. Everything you read right now was a fragment of my unfiltered thoughts. My journey, as I said, is obviously not over yet. But until I find out more, let’s leave this at a, “to be continued…”

REFLECTION: Learning from Your Mistakes

In what way can a mistake be seen as a blessing in disguise? Have you ever made a mistake that you ended up benefiting from?

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