being ‘chill’

When I started university, there was one consistent pattern that emerged in my life: waking up early in the morning, rushing to catch the train, missing said train, followed by being severely disappointed in my lack of resolve regarding my time management skills.

One day, when I was sitting on the train seat and frantically trying to calculate the number of minutes I would walk in late to my first lecture, I had a realization. No matter how stressed out you allow yourself to get, no matter how much anxiety, disappointment, or sadness you feel, there are some things that you can just not change.

No matter how many times I looked at my phone to check the time, the train would just not go any faster. Time would not slow down for me to reach my lecture on time. However, the moments in between were still mine. I could choose what to do with them.

So I decided to accept my reality of being late, and shifted my focus to something much more pleasant: the beautiful sight of the rising sun, the feeling of the cool morning air, and strangely enough- even the experience of standing in a train car packed with strangers heading to work or university.

I have found the understanding of this concept to be helpful in many other areas of my life. Helpful for maintaining an inner sense of peace and contentment, which opens paths to still enjoy small moments of life despite some things not going your way.

“Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.”

Uncle Iroh

Control what you can control. Let the rest go.

The only thing that I could control was to manage my time more effectively, and that too, only for the next train ride. But on that train ride, I could control nothing other than my attitude and my perspective.

I have realized that adopting this kind of position takes some humility.

If my younger self read this, she’d probably ignore the idea of letting go while being hung up on the idea of only improving herself for the next time. Instead of being calm on the train and enjoying the ride, she’d reprimand herself and make more promises for doing better. And at another failure, would feel even worse.

I think that counter-intuitively, this feeling of humility, this acknowledgement of being an imperfect human being actually opens the door for genuine improvement. It relieves you of the negative emotions that keep burdening you for the cause of being better and striving for perfection all the time.

Lack of such a sense of humility can stop you from getting help for the things that are hurting you too. Maybe it’s a diagnostic label that you just can’t accept. You’ve been struggling with something for a long time, but if you don’t have the humility to accept your imperfections, that perfectionism, the desire to be fine and do fine all the time, will only hinder you from defining the problem and then tackling it well enough to actually get better over time.

Perhaps, a better approach is to emotionally detach yourself from the situation enough to be able to look at your “mistake” or “imperfection”, and smile. Allow yourself to be amused at the little human shortcomings. Acknowledge that it’s natural for things like this to happen. You don’t really learn to ride a bike successfully without falling down in the process many times. Then try again. And again. But don’t let any of those ‘pain points’ rob you from enjoying the warmth, and the wonderous view of the sunrise.

Relax. Control what you can control. Let go of the rest. And wait for the time and space where you can make your move again.

Life will continue passing by at its own pace, and there sure is a lot to miss.



  1. Ayesha Khalon says:

    Beautiful msg
    A lot to learn, we all can relate

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Faiza says:

      Thank you, Ayesha baji! 🙂


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