This one is written by a 21 year old friend of mine. We met 2 years ago in a workshop for youth that I was running. Since then we meet at least once in three months and I look forward to her warm, excited and girly (the ones where you hold each other and sway left to right) hugs! She went through a period of being low. She got out of it but still hadn’t found joy. That is why I was super excited when a few weeks ago she wrote this piece and sent it to me. I just had to share it here for everyone who reads this blog to discover!

Read on....

Hey, I'm Nidhi. I'm a student, studying physiotherapy in D Y patil college of physiotherapy.

Well yeah that's who I am. But is that really who I am? For some people, yes, for some, no. We have always been taught to introduce ourselves like this. They say, tell us about yourself. And this is exactly what we say. But is that enough?

We are brought up in a society where we are taught to define ourselves by telling others our name, age, what we do, etc. But that's not it. There's more. There's so much more. We tell our names so that they get to know us. But do we know ourselves?

It may sound completely and utterly crazy when I say this- "I dont know myself!". And, I'm 21 years old!

Honestly, a few months ago, I thought, "I know myself better than anyone else". Then what changed? I realized that I hardly spent time with myself. Heck, I didn't even think about myself. Here's what happened.

Last year, I was in a ditch, emotionally and physically. I was surrounded by nothing but darkness. I asked for help but no one came. But one day, someone did. Believe or not, it was me! That was the day that I realized that I'm the one who's going to help me out. No one else is going to come to my rescue. Then, I heard a song. It said, "love yourself". No matter how you are, who you are, your gender identity - just love yourself.

It was quite difficult for me to digest that concept. But as i heard that song over and over again, I started working on myself, spending time with myself and eventually, loving myself.

Being a 21yr old in this century has actually enabled me to understand the current state of today's youth. We are so influenced by social media, friends, and trends that we are driven into following a particular life style, dress up in a particular way, and heck, even speak in a particular way. This is because of course we want to look ‘cool’, and in that hassle, we lose the essence of who we really are.

We are so into seeking love from others but have we ever stopped for a second and thought about loving ourselves first? If we don't love ourselves, how will someone else?

We cry when relationships break and we lose our partners, but have you ever thought that you may sometimes lose yourself? I feel like this is the biggest challenge our generation faces - learning to love ourselves.

I won't say that I completely love myself even now. Its a process, and everyday, I love myself just a little bit more and i am happy and extremely greatful to be a part of this beautiful process.

SO SAY YOUR NAME!
SCREAM OUT YOUR NAME!
Tell them who you really are!
AND BE PROUD OF IT!

And like one of my favourite songs says -
"The me of yesterday, the me of today, and the me of tomorrow, will still be me"
I'm learning how to love myself!