Mistakes I could have avoided and lessons that could have learned sooner (from a 27-year-old)

Trusting the wrong people

I guess you never know when your friendship is real and your friend loyal and honest with you until she or he disappoints you and hurts your feelings. I know disappointments and hurt can go away one day (or not), you can talk this through, forgive and move on and be friends again. But not if she or he does not show any kind of remorse or just for a second until you take them back into your heart and then she or he continues to be the same dig again. I trusted someone who was very close to me for many years until one day she misused my trust and lied to me. We did talk and of course she apologised and I did not want to loose her in my life so I forgave her. Only to get hurt again. This was the moment when I realised it had been this way the entire time I only had not known or to be honest did not want this to be true and accept the fact that she was never a loyal and honest friend to me in the first place. This realisation is not play the blame game here but rather a tipping point for me when I realised: the people you do life with can make or break you. You give them this power. And you have the power to decide whom you want to give this power to in your life. A lesson I wished I learned sooner.

Loosing time in your career/ education

Time is valuable. You learn this in kindergarden. If you are late you do not get the seat, you do not get in, you miss out. Something that can be so minor in kindergarden can sometimes cost you your interview, your promotion or your dream house later. I lost time in my life. I did not set my priorities straight, I found excuses not work and do the things I needed to do. Few years later I found myself in the same place and making accusations to myself why I did not follow up with what I had to do. Being at the same place few years later sucks! Trust me. While everyone else moves on in their life, gets their promotion, pays their first mortgage for their dream house, you feel kinda isolated from the rest of the world. You feel stuck in your own little world. The excuses you make will not buy your more time or set the time back. Comparing will not change anything. You have to be your own cheerleader. You need to take things into your own hands. You only are responsible for your decision. Blaming will not solve how you feel years later. Stop looking around, stick to your plan, stick to your goals, stick to whatever you desire to be, to accomplish and do it! Do not waste your time. Time is valuable, it will not come back for you. You will thank me later.

Being indecisive

This is another bad trait of mine. I do not know whom to thank for. My mum is not like that, neither is my dad. But it found me. I am indecisive all the time. When I go to the restaurant, everyone had ordered and I am still reading the menu. If I get to choose between two things, I am dependant on other peoples opinion and mostly I am not content which the decision taken afterwards. This has let to many wrong decisions in my life! I know that not all the decisions you make will turn out to be the right one. But let me tell you, if you do not make your own decision, others will make them for you and it will not be always pretty! In my case, I then realise what I really want but it is not for me to decide anymore and I lose out. I do not want you to lose out in your life! Nobody wants, right? Take your chances, if you do not know now, do not wait too long. This will cost you something. Most of the time you cannot get it back and this will follow up with you and make you to be more unsure next time. Do not let this happen in your life. You want to live your life to the fullest and enjoy every bit of it along your journey. Make your own decision. You will have more freedom in your life, more space about the things you decided to do. You only will own it and eventually that will make you happier.

How much skin is too much skin?

pexels-photo-1024032.jpegThis question bothers me just as much as the question: ’Mum, what do we have for dinner today?‘. Before I continue, I have to tell you some things about me because simply one characteristic can change the whole layout of this question. So I am a girl, well woman whatever you wanna have it, 23 years old, unmarried, born in Germany to Tamil parents who immigrated from Sri Lanka in the 80s and 90s respectively. You will need this information to understand the following.

“Suppose you meet Chancellor Angela Merkel today, would you wear this? Will you go out with this clothes? No. But to church you dress up like this, huh? You want to worship the most holy God, the Lord of all lords with this ‘disgraceful’ outfit?” – mum, aunty, uncle… I hear this a lot – even today my mum is super strict when it comes to clothing. One of the few things I sometimes really hate about being born to “culturally-orientated” Tamil parents in post-modern Germany. Because we do not have the choice to choose our parents or our birth place there is not much left what we can do about the ongoing dilemma which becomes more severe as we get older. We learn from school how other children dress up, we come in touch with other ‘white’ Christians but most importantly with age we mature and start to question what is being preached or dictated to us by family, society and the world. So, here comes the inevitable question: How much skin, is too much skin then?

I personally do not think, there is a straightforward answer to this question which can be applied universally to each single situation in similiar outset. One has to decide for him- or herself what she thinks is appropriate for that given occasion. This difficult question is and will be as controversial as the debate about whether climate change is for real or not as long as human beings will be living on this planet. It is determined by some factors such as age, type of event, purpose of the function, type of guest/ audience, location, time and other variables.

I do want to make clear and point out, that as children we have to respect our parents and most of the time what they say is good for us or with well-meant intention. However, there are some exceptions especially when it comes to dressing up after a certain age when you feel mature enough to differentiate between what is “culturally derived intention” or what is “not culturally-influenced intention”. Sometimes both strays of intention collide and its hard to decide what is right or wrong in that particular moment – except for traditionally clothing, e.g. sarees. They tend to be more liberal when it comes to their familiar way of dressing up but even on this topic we have all sorts of critics. Double-standard, guys. 😉  Surprisingly, (I feel that) Tamil parents in Canada, England and some parts of India are more open-minded than in other parts of Europe. #lol. Nevertheless, most of the time I find that in regard to clothing our parents disapprove because of “culturally-orientated intention”. So this means, we have to critically decide for ourselves what is appropriate having in mind where we are going and who will be there.

There is no defined set of standards for women how to dress regardless of color, ethnicity or faith. I think there is no yes, you can wear that or no, you cannot wear that. I would suggest parents to raise their concern about something in a reasonable manner and then let their grown-up children decide for themselves what to do. In our culture, parents are fixed too much on what others say about you but they do not notice how this puts a strain in the relationship to their children and how this affects them negatively. They have to make peace with themselves and accept, that the way they were raised is not present time anymore. It is past time. We have 40 or 50 years of development, change and advancement since they were born. Sri Lanka today is not what it was tw decades ago when they left their country . People there have also moved on and adopted their way of living according to recent industrial progress.

So, this brings us back to the question what is then appropriate for today’s time? I pinned myself some basic rules:

  1. when I am around other Tamil people, especially when men are present I tend to were ‘more’ modest clothes,
  2. when I go out with friends or when I mingle with ‘white’ people, I feel more comfortable now to wear ‘less’ modest clothes,
  3. and when someone is mean enough to stalk me on social media and share my pictures (because their own life is too boring), I do not care anymore.

This has simple reasons: I figured out that Tamil people and most men from the east in general – even if they are ‘Christian’ (who said Christians do not have feelings?!) – often give you a second look which makes me feel uncomfortable. They are not used to see girls or women in tight leggings or sleeveless tops. So they like to look again (You cannot change the world – can you?!). For me, I can say I do not need this extra attention and because of that I have decided to cover myself a bit more when I am around people from different culturally upbringing and understanding and let loose when I know I will not be subject of wrong temptation.

Conclusion: Everyone has to decide for themselves what they think is too much skin. There is no defined set of standards of right or wrong dressing but sometimes listening to our parents will not harm us but on the other hand it does not imply  that everything they say is correct.

I am excited to hear your opinion on this highly anticipated topic. Feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks. 🙂 I look forward to hear from you, guys.