And as you get older, you start living your life in reverse

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Hyderabad: 19 sep 2022: And as you get older, you start living your life in reverse. You spend your Saturdays in bed, wrapped in blankets, watching a foreign cinema that you have never watched before instead of partying with your friends. You take out the trash everyday, you change your sheets every three days. You put a coaster on the table before placing your coffee mug, you switch to salads and broccoli instead of fries and cupcakes. You don't always have to be the first person in line. Traffic doesn't bother you. You put your favorite songs in your car and take the long route home. It feels a little like your own personal concert. You don't need another person to go to the movies with you, you order for one in a cafe and sit beside the glass window watching the roads and people and the way winds blow and the branches of trees. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that you have finally learnt to live all by yourself.
You miss winter nights, but the ones from 7 years ago in your hometown where your father and you lit a bonfire outside your garden and sat for hours talking about stars and planets. You remember your college friends and sometimes, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and sometimes, it makes you laugh in the middle of a restaurant where you are eating with a blind date and when he asks you about it, you say nothing but you make a mental note of checking up on them online. You realize that you aren't afraid of heartbreaks and rejections anymore. It's all part of life anyway. You watch a lot of youtube makeup tutorials at 1 AM on a Friday night when you have nothing else to do. You experiment more with yourself. You wear all the clothes that you weren't so sure about. You put green, lavender, blue eyeshadows and draw an arrow or butterfly liner across your lash line instead of doing a plain smoky eye. You save up for the trips that you were dreaming to take, you meet your friends over Sunday brunches, you wear more colour than just dressing in boring monochrome. You buy a lot of plants, and think about getting a cat. You listen to a lot of artists and you finally find the one that you can listen to at night.
You never forget to carry sunscreen, though you forget to put it on. There's a reminder set in your phone for paying bills on the 5th of every month. You leave parties early with an excuse that you have an early day tomorrow, but instead you come home and dance to some techno song while you make pasta and sit on your balcony. You try to quit smoking, and pass with flying colours for the first time. You learn the things that you wanted to learn as a kid— french lessons, keyboard, horse riding and cooking. You go to the gym every other day, and run for an hour in the morning. You dab your mouth with a tissue every time you eat, and you always keep a pen in your handbag. You put a note copy on your coffee table, and you change your shampoo every other month until you find the one that suits you. You invest in funds, and you think of buying a house and it doesn't feel like a grown up thing anymore. It just feels right. Or maybe you invest that money in travelling around the world. You don't overthink or hyperventilate so often because you have accepted that life has always been uncertain and that is the only certain thing about it.
You stop kissing people you didn't like much, or date out of convenience. You think of being with someone kind instead of finding the ones with pretty mouths and kisses like tornadoes. You choose your mental peace over chaos. You do not worry about your social media followers, you like the silence of a Sunday morning. You take trips on your own, you pack your picnic baskets and read books the same way you did when you were little. You love your body more and you accept people for who they are. You learn to cut off your friends who gossip behind your back, you learn to prioritize yourself over others.
And when you feel lonely, you don't run away from yourself and your feelings. You finally understand what it means to accept the truth of mortality that is loneliness. You understand that only when you will have acceptance, you will let people love you in the way they can and you will love them, too, in the way you can. You know that there are things you cannot control so you will try to live your best in every way you can. You take more pictures of the skies, and mountains, your friends and yourself and when you find something extremely beautiful, you try to absorb it with your eyes rather than your lens because you know that some things are better kept in your memories than your phone gallery. And when your friends ask you about your love life, you won't be so bothered because you had made a lot of mistakes when you were young, and you had hurt yourself and ruined your heart for the ones who didn't deserve you. You smile and say that you are okay and you really really mean it because all your lives you have sought validations from others but this is the first time in a long time when you have begun to see yourself as someone important, too. All the love that you were searching for elsewhere, you have finally started to look for it within.

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