All posts by simonkayar

My Slave, My Master

In our feudal society there is no dearth of examples for Master Slave relationships. We see people opening car doors for their masters, holding umbrellas for the chief, constables doing menial jobs for inspectors and their wives and maids made to work all day without holidays for paltry sums of money. We even have the time tested slave, a housewife, who does everything for her husband and kids, but gets not even get the respect they deserve.

Now, Imagine for a moment, that suddenly the roles get swapped- the master becomes the slave and the slave becomes the master. How would it be if the CEO opens the doors for the peon, or god forbid, if your mother washes dishes while your maid eats at the dining table, complaining about your mother. Funny isn’t it. “Can’t even happen in dreams”, you say. But it is happening everyday. We have a slave amidst us, whose job was to obey our orders and do what we say, but who, in turn, is commanding us around all day, at his will.

Who is this talented slave. Our mobile phone, of course! The device that was meant to give us more time by reducing our work has turned a traitor and is consuming all our time. It was meant to happen perhaps, given that most smart phones are smarter than their dumb masters. What is wrong in entertaining ourselves with some whatsapp, facebook, instagram or <Fill your favorite app here>. Aren’t we just changing with time and being cool. Well, yes, but is a lot more than that. With the new ‘Screen Time’ analysis of iPhones and Android phones, we see baffling numbers – several hours of screen time per day. What more, we spend those hours mostly staring at the screen not even aware that we are using them sub-consciously.

Even when we try to ignore this slave, it calls us with its mesmerizing notifications. We are bound to pick the phone immediately or end up with some nervous breakdown. The anxiety that we feel when we don’t have the phone nearby can only be better explained by regular users of drugs. Eventually, we have made a deal with the devil and are connected full time. In this strange world that we have built for ourselves, we can’t have a moment’s rest without the gadgets. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with, be it in the restroom, our hall with family, having food at the dining table, even with friends out in dinner, in a cinema hall, traveling somewhere, playing with kids. Aren’t we diluting the essense of some of these experiences by allowing our slave, sorry our master, to command us around.

May be we are like King Theoden who has let his servant Grima rule over him and his kingdom (Sorry non LOTR-fans). May be, like him, we also need a Gandalf, who can break the curse and save us from our own slave.

Expiry Date

Everything comes with an expiry date, including us. We all know that taking a medicine past its expiry date will do more harm than good. But, without giving it any thought, we are not only consuming but administering so many ‘medicines’, well past their expiry dates. These ‘medicines’ or rather ideas, notions, beliefs and practices, were once meant to cure a problem during a different age, in a different context. Those problems may not exist anymore or might need different solutions, but we are just stuck to the same old ideas.

They could be in different forms in different fields – Religion, Culture, Politics, Economics. Take Communism for example. What was once considered a perfect solution has long since proved ineffective and outdated, but so many among us still cling on to it and expect it to work today. What befell Communism could happen to Capitalism someday when it ceases to be relevant. Consider the economy. Debt, which was at some point in our history, considered a taboo and even a few decades back was not even an opttion, is everyone’s cup of tea today – though as bad as tea perhaps. These examples are staightforward to accept maybe. How about love, sex or compassion. Aren’t these supposed to be the reason the world is functioning. These have stood the test of time and will continue to be relevant in future too. Right?

Wrong! Though hard to believe they may have their expiry date as well. Imagine, Universe as a person and think of how long it had known love, sex, compassion or any other human emotion. The 13 billion years old universe, has known humans for a mere few lakh years, or roughly .0023% of its lifetime – not even a blink of an eye. To believe that these ‘man-made’ concepts would exist forever is heights of optimism – yes they would probably exist till you and I die, but forever – No.

When even our core values and notions are not indefinite, we have to scrutinize what has been drilled into our head by systematic upbringing, media and society. Clinging on to outdated idealogies inherited from our parents and dumped on to us by other, is not only dangerous for us but for others as well. Let’s open up our mind, the more we learn, the more we read and travel, the better we would be in understanding and accepting new and exciting aspects, concepts and ideas.

The Pressure to be Happy

Of late, I am seeing this funny thing where people are so stressed and pressurized to be happy or make others happy on an important day – say Birthday. If it were not for them being my close friends, I could almost enjoy it like a stand up comedy.

Often times the monotonocity and drama that surrounds the special day is in itself worth exploring. We have the Birthday Man or Woman (all grown up you see), who gets wished through all modes of communication possible (phones, whatsapp, in-person and even SMSes from Finance companies). Those who call on the phones are the most vulnerable. After wishing the usual “Many more happy returns of the day” or just plain “Happy Birthday” or even the newer “<Substitute religional translation of Happy Birthday>”, they end up in this awkward state where they have to speak something but don’t know what to say. They usually end with “So, what’s the plan?”

What would be the plan Bro? You tell me. What do you expect? Of course, it would be the mandatory cake cutting, which people go to lengths to keep a secret while you know what they are upto but have to act as if you don’t. It would also be the gift giving ceremony where the only happy person is one who bought shares in Amazon or Flipkart. There has never been a case of a surprise gift landing well. Mostly, the struggle is between hiding the disappointment creeping on the right side of your face after seeing the gift and the mental maths that your left side of the brain does to guess the price they paid to get you this damn thing.

There have been cases where the expectation of a surprise was so high that the person was dissappointed with the actual surprise they eventually got. Now, this whole businesss of surprises confuse the shit out of me. I don’t understand how it can be a surprise when the person is expecting it. I can imagine the person opening the wardrobe almost expecting some shining package, opening the car door and feeling sad that there is nothing in the driver’s seat, so on and so forth. So, by the end of the day I can assure you that they end up with more disappointing moments on the ‘special’ day compared to happy moments on any other ‘ordinary’ day.

Now, spare some thought for the planners. They want to make the day special for this overgrown birthday baby. They stress themselves out for days, if not weeks thinking of what to do, how best to surprise the already ‘surprise-greedy’ person and also keeping everything under wraps, lest this ‘amazing’ surprise be known before hand. I have seen friends fight it out just because someone spoiled the surprise. Really guys! Can’t we let go off this ‘surprise-planning-gifts’ headache and just have fun that day. Eat, drink and make merry – stop trying to be happy and for once, just be.

An Old Irrelevant Fool

As people age, there one thing that they fear the most. No, it is not health, not even wealth or that they will be missing their charming youth – It is becoming irrelevant. It is the thought that they would brushed aside and no one would even try to explain stuff to them as it would be deemed too much of an effort or worse unnecessary and useless. So, as people age, they try and do stuff that is like “See, I too know it”. That is why you see the posts of “Radiation tonight, switch off your moblies or you will be blown to oblivion” kind of posts from parents and grand parents. Well, this post is not intended to make fun of them. They still mean good but yes they are becoming irrelevant faster than their ancestors.

That brings us to today’s post. What is happening to our elders is also happening to our religion but as usual we choose not to accept it. Religion, which enjoyed so much respect and relevance in the past is fast loosing it. In really old times, religion did several important functionality. It was a “Completed Encyclopaedia of Science” – anything that required explanation from rainbows to thunder storms were documented in full detail. It had definite, beyond doubt convictions about birth, death and even after death. It had clear description of the process of creation and the eventuall end of universe too. It was also the one point “Legal Reference Section”. If you had any doubt how much needed to be paid to the owner of a slave girl, who you had mistreated, you can readily find the answer. List of Punishments (sometime laugable by today’s moral standards) were provided with clear conditions. It also helped the ones in power, including Kings to keep the masses in check and to provide them with a common purpose and meaning to their life. Above all, it brought in love and hope to the poor, suffering downtrodden masses as it promised something out of thin air – a hunger-free, melodious, peaceful retired after life.

Let us see where these stand now. Science has completely taken over and no one in their right minds believe we have a hell lurking beneath our feet now. We also know that we are not the centre of universe or creation but just another species which evolved from monkeys, living in just one of many planets in one of many star systems in one of many galaxies in our immensely large universe. Nothing revolves around us except just one pathetic moon. We know how rainbows and thunder storms happen. The Governments and Courtrooms have their own reference manuals now and religion has been stripped of all legal status except to take oath, now.

However, there is still one major role that religion plays, though it is clinging for dear life there. That is, giving hope of a better afterlife to millions of people who’s earth life is still miserable as they endure suffering, discrimination and oppression at the hands of the powerful. Even, for well off people, during times of personal grief and stress, religion offers a powerful alternate that can surpass all challenges and go beyond what mere mortals can hope to achieve. It also offers solace (It is definitely a pleasing thought to picture your departed loved ones, beaming with pride near your God as it is to think that those who wronged you on this earth will be brought to justice later, even after death). But time is running out for religion. The day when we overcome all health hazards including death, it will become extremely challenging for religion to stay relevant in its current form. However, if there is one big plus for religions, I think it is the ‘love’ that all religions invariably speak about and propogate and personally, I think if they stick to only that and be a religion without ‘laws’ but with lots of ‘love’, then they could be relevant for a long long time.

Manipulated Ignorance

They say “Ignorance is bliss”. If you have seen MIB, where agents work with extra terrerstrial life forms, at the end, when his memory is being wiped off, the senior agent says “I will be able to appreciate the beauty of the stars now” as he would be ignorant of aliens. Or, take “Matrix”, a movie where before revealing the truth that his mind is in a virtual reality while his body is in a heat producing farm, Neo is given a choice of “Being in happy ignorance” or “Entering the hard truth”. Actually there is a character in the same movie that wants to go back to this convoluted lie rather than suffer the bitter truth. Another movie “Truman Show” where an entire city is a set full of actors to keep one person ignorant of the fact and sell it as a reality show to the world. These are examples of alternate reality being setup on unsuspecting victims.

That brings us to today, where we are not victims anymore but architects of our own Matrix or Truman city. We carefully pick what we want to hear, see and perceive. We pick family, friends and associates that match our liking, we setup our home, car, office as we want them. But not everything is in our control, for that matter even the US president can’t control everything. So what do we do, we choose to ignore facts that contradict our views by setting up filters in our mind. Even when the naked truth is in front with eyes that bore into us, we manage to see through it and keep acting our part in this well orchestrated drama.

The funny thing is since everybody does this as a society, it becomes easier for a group play as we can collectively form a Matrix from which there is no escape. That not only makes us hypocrites of the first order, but also dangerous since for someone to escape from this well woven web is extremely difficult. Heck, it takes a lot of effort to know that the web exists in the first place. This has resulted in general, group indifference to news, people, occurrences and sufferings around us as our mind carefully chops it off. So we end up with no guilt and free of all moral bindings, to go on living our happy mundane life. We can get to the specifics but then, even when we read it, we would still be able to justify our case, giving an ‘innocent’ verdict to ourselves, better than even the lawyer who took the school plumber off the hook from the rape of a 7 year old.

The purpose of Life

So, as physicists always look for a single equation that can explain everything from relativity to quantum mechanics, we also look for a single meaning or purpose that can explain all of life itself.

On the outset, it feels very complicated to understand the purpose of life. What if life had NO purpose at all – what if, like the dog on the street we were all meant to life and die without any reason for living or dying. Not an encouraging start I know, but, what if. You might argue saying that they are people who have lived a meaningful life. How can we compare the various different meaningfulness?

Let’s take an example. For Abdul Kalam, the purpose of his life was probably inventing Misslies and conducting nuclear tests. Almost every Indian would bet his life that Kalam’s life has been meaningful and filled with purpose. Why so? What if a buddist in Malaysia thinks that it is meaningless to pursue warfare and anything that remotely supports it. By his interpretations, Kalam’s life not only lacks any meaning but was detriemental to others as well. So, purpose or meaning is derived from something which a person believes in.

In our family and friends we have some ardent followers of Christianity, if we set aside the fact that their family were pious hindus not too long ago. Even though they have a flawed theory of religion and sprituality, within their own fabric of reality, they experience life’s purpose life no one else can. Imagine this – you absolutely believe that you are doing good by converting people to your religion and you are 100% sure that you are doing it as part of a divine plan drafted by a God who is the creator of the universe. Now, can you compete with the depth of meaning that this setup would provide.

Finding your own meaning or purpose is very tricky, but there is at least one that is not going out of business any time soon – reducing the net suffering in the world by whatever means feasible to you.

Am ‘I’ doing What ‘I am’ doing

The title might remind you of the “Me talking to me” meme of Nithyananda. But really, when I look around people and myself sometimes, I see that we are a nothing but a bunch of zombies or for the elite among us – under Imperius Curse. No, no – I am not against technology or social media and am not propagating the idea that we should all go back and live in caves. But, next time you do something – anything, just stop a moment and think “Did I decide to do ‘this whatever’ I am doing”. Why and how did I happen to end up doing this.

Take a simple case of unlocking your phone. In a day, backed with statistical proof, I can safely assume that we unlock over 100 times, easily, even for a conservative user like me. It is probably double or more for others. So, I pick up the phone 100 times and do something with it. Now, of these 100 times, about 95+ times I have no idea why I picked up the phone till it is already unlocked and am staring at some stupid app.

So I decided to slow-mo or unwind this process and try and act with full intent and under complete consiousness. Like, if I have to do something, I need to first analyze and decide to do it. That is when I realized the immense difficulty of this seemingly benign process. For the first few days, I didn’t even last few minutes. As a random example, I would be in some Chrome Tab, browsing some website before it hit me that I never deliberately wanted to do it in the first place. Slowly I was making process and now I last a few hours with full control over my actions. I did it purely out of self interest and as a fun activity but it did throw up interesting results.

It helped me observe similar and stronger patterns in people around me. It also led me to think of the ‘Head Office’ inside us that was directing us to do things which consiously we were not aware. We can just term it as our subconsious self but the more I think about it the more interesting it seems to me that something can control us from within without our explicit approval. For a lack of a better analogy, this seems almost like a Computer Virus, an intelligent program that is capable of silently taking over the entire system, with or without malicious intent.

But then, Think about it for a moment. This same inner intelligence also does 100s of other important activities like pumping blood, heart beat, digestion and so on. So, we can’t term it as malicious but does it have its own agenda or goals that it is trying to fulfill through us – like the classic ghosts of Indian movies. Will ponder more on this . . . .

Time to ‘Switch’

Wii Time

I got the Wii in 2008 on a US/Korea trip. We had a blast with it. I vividly remember the countless hours spent on ‘Resident Evil 4’, a title that I had bought along with the Wii itself, 2 zeldas – ‘Twilight Princess’ and ‘Skyword Sword’, 2 mario galaxies and the best of all – ‘Super Mario bros’ (I guess we completed this 3+ times and even opened most of world 9). Even the occasional ‘Just Dance 4’ was enjoyable. I had fun hacking it and moving to hard disk based backups, some emulations that enabled me to play some old gems like Airplane game (River Raid), Tank Game (Battle City) etc. For a complete review of Wii read this

Wii U – Not for Mii

When Wii U came along, I thought it was going to be more of Wii – I genenuienly wanted to buy it but kept postponing it to the point where it was barely selling anymore. It was such a failure that I decided to wait for the next product knowing very well that I would be missing some of the best games. I tried an emulation software called cemu but it was not a happy story inspite of all the efforts

Along came the ‘Switch’

When Nintendo launched ‘Switch’ I had a feeling that it was probably not for me. I was never a fan of handheld gaming and never took a fancy to PSP or 3DS. However slowly I realized that it was getting some awesome games and all the brilliant games of Wii U are finding their home here. One of the best implementations of Zelda ever – “Breath of the Wild” was available on it – reason enough to buy it. But as usual I took my time (similar to Wii – an year). Then ‘fusee gelee’ also happened and I had to rush to get a unit before Nintendo started patching their units – a real boon – a hardware unfixable hack for homebrew. So I booked a ‘Switch’ from US and as usual it was shipping in about a month and costing upwards of 33k. Thankfully I found a local vendor in Amazon India who was selling the same for 27k. Unlike Wii, switch was ready for 220V right out of the box. So I cancelled the US order and booked one with this ‘Mobhystore’ prime shipped. Got it in a couple of days. For a more indepth happening around the time of purchase and accessories bought – read this

New Zelda fan

My daughter was always a decent gamer – starting when she was 4 with Dora on Wii and playing super mario bros with our energy. However the true gamer in her came out with Zelda. She too like us has spent 100+ hours exploring the hyrule terrain, fighting off moblins and lizafols with much greater ease, roaming every nook and corner of hyrule castle, finding all memories, cooking differrent meals each time. Our oldest zelda fan, Kanni, finished the game after the usual scoldings from family members for staring at the screen all day – he must have clocked 200+ hours. I am behind them, more because of the recent happenings than anything to do with interest. In fact I intend to finish all the 120 shrines 🙂

Handheld mode

It surprised me when I understood that I will probably end up playing Zelda in handheld mode most of the time. It feels natural and immersive – not to mention the added advantage of avoiding prying eyes looking for solutions to difficult shrines 🙂 But the comradire is there between the 3 gamers – we do exchange the odd tip – lend a helping hand when someone is overly stuck etc. We also had a blast with Mario Kart 8, but it seems like a long time ago as all of us are now deep in Zelda. I am eagerly waiting to buy ‘Mario odyssey’, Resident evil reveations, overcooked, Rayman legends to name a few. I am also sincerely hoping for the port of ‘New Super Mario bros Wii U’.  All in all Switch is one brilliant system and worth every rupee spent on it.

நல்லையல்லை

So, in a regular conversation I was asked the meaning of this tamil word in english as it comes  in a tamil song and I didn’t know. That prompted me to look for the meaning and I found that the lyricist Vairamuthu (one of the best) had taken it from Tamil literature and hence the difficulty. It means “This is not fair”. Like, I came looking for you in the skies and you went deep in the ocean and when I came there you went back to the high skies and made me search all around a forest of stars – this is not fair lady – not fair at all ….

Also it made me look at the complete lyrics of the song and wow what beautiful lyrics. No doubt Rahman, Vairamuthu and Maniratnam are at their best when together 🙂

வானில் தேடி நின்றேன் ஆயின் நீயடைந்தாய்     

ஆழி நான் விழுந்தால் வானில் எழுந்தாய்
என்னை நட்சத்திரக்காட்டில் அலையவிட்டாய்
நான் என்ற எண்ணம் கலையவிட்டாள்
நல்லையல்லை நல்லையல்லை நன்னிலவே நீ நல்லையல்லை
நல்லையல்லை நல்லையல்லை நல்லிரவே நீ நல்லையல்லை

ஒளிகளின் தேடல் என்பதெல்லாம் மௌனத்தில் முடிகின்றதே…
மௌனத்தின் தேடல் என்பதெல்லாம் ஞானத்தில் முடிகின்றதே…
நானுன்னைத்தேடும் வேலையிலே நீ மேகம் சூடி ஓடிவிட்டா…ய்      (நல்லை)

மும்பை மூழ்கும் முன் என்ற நிலைகளிலே
முகந்தொட காத்திருந்தே……ன்
மலர்கின்ற நிலைவிட்டுப் பூத்திருந்தால்
மனம் கொள்ள காத்திருந்தே……ன்
மகரந்தம் தேடி நகரும்முன்னே
வெய்யில் கா…ட்டில் வீழ்ந்துவிட்டாய்      (நல்லை)

And finally read this brilliantly written post to wrap up

Real Advice

27-year-old Australian Holly Butcher wrote a moving Facebook note that her family posted after she died of cancer last week

A bit of life advice from Hol:
It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts. That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands. I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit. I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days. Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.

You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling. Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more. I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise – Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.
I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it. Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.
Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more. Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people. It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives. Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.

Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.
This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.

Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water. Get amongst nature. Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else. Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females 🤔. Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises. Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best. Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that. Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay? Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not. Work to live, don’t live to work. Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy. Eat the cake. Zero guilt. Say no to things you really don’t want to do. Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay. Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have. Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it – in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.

Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind! Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple. Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.
..’Til we meet again.
Hol