Happy New Month

Dear Ami,

It’s the start of a new month; the month of February. A month labelled as the ‘month of love’, which is also the shortest month of the year by the number of days(28 in common years and 29 in leap years which comes every 4 years—the last was 2020, so the next will be 2024). You know I have a friend whose birthday is on the 29th of February and I always enjoy trolling her that she ages every 4(four) years and that she was going to live forever 🤣🤣.

Well… that said. Let’s get to the heart of today’s letter. There’s something you should know my dear, the people who have your back through thick and thin; inspire and cheer you on and make you believe you have a chance at life don’t always have it all together, but still, they try to be there for you. They smile not because they have a lot to smile about sometimes, shine their light and not because they’re having the best life with no challenges. They have struggles too, but they’ve over time learned not to allow their circumstances to determine the outcome of their life.

So, my dear, while you draw strength and inspiration from them, remember to sometimes lend them your strength too and give them reasons to smile.

Yours always,

Shazzy.

Mistakes

Dear Ami,

The greatest mistake you’ll make in life is to continually fear you will make one because being afraid of making mistakes is a mistake in itself. Nobody has life all figured out; we are all walking mistakes.

However, if we dwell on our mistakes or avoid making them, like invincible chains they will bind and imprison us forever and stop us from forging forward or taking new initiatives. But if we approach them as an opportunity to learn, we can break them and set ourselves free. And, the result will be rewarding.

Yours always,

Shazzy.

Weaknesses

Dear Ami,

It is important in life for one to be aware of both strengths and weaknesses so that one can take measures to further enhance strengths as well as manage weaknesses. However, too many of us overestimate our strengths and undermine our weaknesses and in the end, land ourselves in trouble. I was guilty of that.

“We don’t tolerate weaknesses; we build on strengths” is mostly the watchword in today’s world. But what is light without darkness and darkness without light? How do we show empathy without weaknesses? If we only show strength then the world will be nothing but a bubble. So, my dear, embrace your weaknesses and master them in the same way you enhance and master your strengths.

Yours always,
Shazzy.

The Beauty Of Success

Success is elegant; It is attractive. And, like a blazing light, it sets a fire in the heart of those who behold it and create a deep desire within them.— Shazzy

Dear Ami,

Have you ever held a piece of genuine gold jewellery and thought about the process it went through for refinement to be as attractive as it is? My guess is, no! That is exactly what we mostly feel when we see those who are “successful”. We don’t see their struggles or the time they put into attaining that height. We are caught up in their present reality and nothing else. And, that’s a result of the elegance of success—a refined gold shining in its full glory.

As a result of our perception, even when those who by our standard have attained the height of success start to tell stories of their struggles, we tend not to believe them because we can’t conceive the thought of them going through the process they claim. Why? “They don’t look like what they’ve been through.”

In the end, we end up undermining our struggles and little wins because our eyes are fixed on the light shining from the other person’s success. So, be mindful, my dear. Do not despise your little wins or the potholes on your path to success. Keep at it and soon enough, you too, won’t look like what you’ve been through.

You’re always,
Shazzy.

This Too, Will Pass

This too, will pass.
It will pass in no time.
It will fade into memory lane.

Tis no use drowning in the shallow waters of momentary turmoil, lurking in the shadows and cold embrace of fear and uncertainty.

It is what it is—
a phase in life, an hour in time, a day in weeks, a year in decades. It will pass.

-Shazzy

Projection

Dear Ami,

I’m claustrophobic. I always feel the wall closing in on me like a group of lionesses closing in on their prey; slowly covering the gap to box it in. So is my phobia—an ever-watchful eye. I could be in the open field with the soft breeze blowing through my face and still literally gasp for air at the thought of being trapped. Believe me, trapped is where I don’t want to be.
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I know it may appear like I’m well acquainted with myself but believe me when I tell you; there are places in my shell I haven’t been. But, the good thing is I’m unravelling and trying to understand myself better every day, so I can better relate with the world and people around me. Why is this important, my dear? It’s because we humans project. It is a mental process by which we attribute to others what is in our minds. However, projection can be both negative or positive depending on the understanding ones self.

So, what are you projecting unto others? Where are the root of your misunderstanding with others and the world around you sprouting from? Write me.

Yours always,
Shazzy.

Work Is Work!

Dear Ami,

In reply to your letter…

A friend shared a story of how he felt disappointed at himself for talking out of term while he went golfing with his dad.

While they were busy playing golf, the Caddie was an old man probably in his sixties; so my friend thought the man had wasted his life because of his job as a Caddie, and even wondered how he took care of his family(if he had any). At some point he turned to his dad and air out his thoughts: “Dad, I feel lucky that you did well with your life and gave us the very best, I can’t imagine how we would’ve survived if you were a Caddie like this man.”

His dad looked at him and said don’t think less of that man because of the kind of job he works, you should respect him. No matter how “demeaning” you think his job is, he is not stealing from anyone but honestly working for his wage. Son, work is work—from the trash truck driver to the maid who cleans our house…so long as it’s legit and they get paid for their labour. It is honourable!

My friend was angry at himself because he thought his father must’ve thought he had raised a clueless son.

Don’t be clueless like my friend, my dear Ami—work is work. I look forward to your reply.

Yours always,
Shazzy.

Refining

Dear Ami,

Sigh! I know it’s been forever since I last wrote to you. I’ve been busy trying to make sense of my life; how I got to the point I am right at this moment. I’ve hit the ground so badly and the lamentation of David rightly describes my situation… “how are the mighty fallen.”

I find myself constantly envious of the ‘peace of mind’ I think others enjoy and the sad reality that seems to be far-fetched from me. Like I don’t even care to know the scars underneath their clothing or the battles they are fighting within, all I know is that so long as they appear to be having the time of their lives, they are better off than me.

I pat myself on the back now and then with hopes that in time everything will be better. “Don’t give up! You’ll make it through. Tough times don’t last forever.” Puffs…oh well, I’m still here and things aren’t getting better. But guess what? I got better! I realised that I was hell-bent on wanting things to change and in the process, I lost myself. But now, I’m learning to change how I see things, living more in the moment than lamenting over the passed. I hope this letter brings you clarity and comfort and helps you start the new year with a positive attitude towards life.

Yours always,
Shazzy.

Not As It Appears

Dear Ami,

I’ll go straight to the point: desperation blinds. It sways one away from the part of focus and reason. It induces depression which will often lead to a mental break down when the desired result aren’t forthcoming. It presents a mirage as reality; making every open door appear as a golden opportunity, but you and I know that not all that glitters isn’t gold, right? So what’s with the rush? You need to unwind, stop your pursuit of immediate success, your need to get hitched all because you’re counting numbers, your desire to be a person of influence and all the other things going on in your mind. You can’t outrun life and that’s the truth. It’s not a sci-fi movie where you immediately teleport or arrive at your desired future in an instant; life is a process and that process is the making of you.

Therefore, my dear, live one day at a time. Be diligent in your endeavours and be grateful for the little things working for you, with time they’ll be big. You can’t be the best version of yourself when the state of your mind is a stampede. So take a chill!
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Yours always,
La Joya. 

Giving

Dear Ami,

You’ve been concerned about me, why I’ve been acting up lately and keeping to myself.  Well, I needed a break from the craziness around me to maintain my sanity and my perception of life. From the mail you sent me, it seems you are in a similar situation as I was a few months ago and I’d like to share this with you.

It is true that giving is pure happiness and that kindness knows no shame, but what happens when you are shamed for being kind and defamed for giving? Like…you strive to do good, give your all to people, give your last meal to them without them knowing, and still have them badmouth you; labelling you wicked and inconsiderate! I was thrown into a depressed state where I felt bitter and hurt for being humane. The hurt was so excruciating that I came to a decision not to lend a hand nor stick my neck out for others anymore. But then I realised I would be losing myself and the thing I love most.

I realised giving isn’t just people asking and me giving, but it’s something that lifts me; something that whenever I do it, I feel extremely good even if I don’t have enough left—it feels fulfilling! It’s not just an act but an expression of my innermost self. Thus, I made up my mind that I won’t allow anyone to change me from who I am and neither should you, my dear.

Be good and live your life.

Yours always,
Tosan Orits.