We human beings are goal-driven creatures.

We always need something else to strive for, something else to look forward to, something else to distract ourselves with. We all find ourselves caught up, by default, in a futile search for perfection, but in actuality, our lives follow the law of universal balance: we will always be happy and sad in equal measure. We will have good days, and we will have bad days.

On our bad days, we may feel inadequate or insignificant- like oddities, or even mistakes. Sometimes the tunnel is so dark that it seems almost impossible that there might be a source of light at the end. But do not lose hope: this world is still a beautiful place- the same beautiful place that you knew as a child.

We are such miniscule beings- mere specks existing against all odds, within fleeting time restraints, on an ever-expanding, glorious universe of a canvas. Everything and everyone is so small, yet so important- our lives are so certain and cemented, and yet so fluid.

People seem to be so hell-bent on defining themselves and others, but humans are complex creatures. We cannot be concisely defined by our circumstances or experiences. Your dark days, the opinions of people who don’t understand you, your circumstances (mental or physical)- none of this defines you. The basis of self-autonomy is the most powerful weapon in your individual arsenal: the power to define yourself. Accepting yourself will be a lengthy battle- perhaps the hardest one you will ever fight- but it will be worth it. Loving yourself is the most profound form of revolution, but only you are capable of instigating it.

Embrace who you are fortunate enough to be; be the best version of yourself. Embrace your idiosyncrasies, flaws, feelings, your place in this world, and be kind. No act of kindness is ever carried out in vain.

It is almost inevitable that people will dislike you. Your existence will make many people uncomfortable, and your happiness will drive them insane. But if you lived in accordance with your critics’ expectations, you would lose the dimensions of your personality. You simply cannot please everyone.

Be yourself, and have your own fun. Your personality might not be compatible with everyone else’s, but rarity does not diminish your worth. You matter just as much as anybody else; there is no such thing as a hierarchy of worth, and any positive phenomenon that you deem others worthy of- well, you deserve the same. We are all made of pain and flaws and beauty, tied up with good intentions, and we are all equally deserving of happiness.

Every tear that falls from your eyes, every moment of frustration at your current state of being, every dark day, and every incoherent thought will exist in parallel with days of uncontrollable laughter, sheer joy, and copious amounts of love. Have faith, and remember that you are not weak or strange or an abnormality:

you are as real as it gets.

Sadia Ahmed, 2017

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