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34 On 34

I stopped doing birthday posts a few years ago, although I don't recall why. Sub-consciously I had stopped writing life-updates or other personal stuff on the blog. It was mainly because people became too nosy and felt that they had a say in everything I do. It was also because my blog-posts were becoming coffee table conversations and were being discussed on whatsapp groups which I'm not a part of but got all the updates to (involuntarily, obviously!). Personally, I'm someone who hates gossip, let alone be the topic! With time, I realized that people will talk no matter what. Over the past few months, the blog has been becoming more about blog-hops and book reviews and was losing its personal touch. It all changes now.

This probably is the most cliched post on birthdays, but I have never done something like this. I turned 34 on Saturday (08/08) and had one of the best birthdays ever. As my husband and I were walking down memory lane discussing our past birthdays and the fact that we have celebrated so many birthdays together, we realized that how much we have evolved and matured with time. Together and individually. So, I wanted to jot down a few learnings or lessons that I have taught myself over the past 34 years. I have already spoken about how I grew up without a role model, and I learnt the best and the worst of lessons all by myself thanks to the people around and the situations that came my way. All these learnings have contributed in making me the person that I am today.

So, here are the 34 lessons, in no particular order, that have helped me sail through these brilliant 34 years of my life.

1. Always be yourself. Even if you can be Batman, stay true to yourself and be you.

2. Give life to your interests and passions. Never let them die.

3. Family is NOT the most important thing. If you come from a not so good family, you don't have to feel bad about not giving it the importance it clearly doesn't deserve.

4. Friends, colleagues, acquaintances who are always there for you without any selfish reasons can be considered family or something more important than that.

5. Unlearning is just as important as learning. During the course of life, I had to unlearn more than the things I had to learn.

6. Always trust your instincts and beliefs. No matter who says what.

7. Your body is your temple, take the best care of it. Eat healthy, work-out and focus on being strong and fit both physically and mentally.

8. It is NOT a sign of weakness to ask for help.

9. Never let the inner child in you die. 

10. Work smart. This will take you places when hardwork doesn't.

11. Always have something, one small thing for yourself. A job, a passion or something else that solely belongs to you and only you.

12. Money is NOT everything. While it might make you feel good for a while, it will end up leaving you feeling empty.

13. Relationships matter more than money and other materialistic things. Feel free to let go of people who think otherwise.

14. Toxic people NEED to be cut out from your life at the earliest. No matter how closely related or how close they have been to you.

15. Never apologize for speaking/writing the truth. If people are offended it is because they are living in denial or battling their own guilt. NOT your problem.

16. Never let anyone gaslight you. Even if it means that you stand alone.

17. Never hold on to grudges. Especially when it involves people who do not matter. If they want to keep adding fuel to the fire, admire their joblessness and stay away.

18. Love wholeheartedly. There is nothing in the world as beautiful as love.

19. Never stop believing in the goodness of people.

20. Appreciate colors, nature, poetry and art! These things make living worthwhile.

21. Social media can be a positive place if you follow/befriend the right people. Feel free to block/mute people if they drain your energy and time.

22. Nothing else matters more than your mental space. Absolutely nothing.

23. People who love food are always the best people. 

24. Be financially independent. No matter how big or small the income.

25. Make time for the people you love and for yourself.

26. Never apologize for wearing that short dress, red-lipstick or high heels! Be you, fashionably.

27. Travel as much as you can and as often as you can. 

28. Not everyone has to like you and that is totally OKAY.

29. Respect people for who they are and what they do, and NOT for their age.

30. Buy/Rent/Gift as many books as you want. Never feel guilty about that.

31. Choose people wisely. Especially the ones who add to your emotional well-being.

32. Do what you want. Whatever you want and the way you want. Just be ready to accept the repercussions. Good, bad or ugly.

33. Always have a plan B. C and D too, if possible.

34. If you aren't in a better place today, than yesterday, you need to rethink your priorities.

Birthdays always make me profound and nostalgic. While I've now learnt to embrace gratitude everyday, I do a tad bit more on birthdays. I'm thankful to the people who took out time to call/text me and send in gifts to make my day special. People like you, make me feel that the world is a beautiful place. 

These are a few lessons that I follow diligently and while there might be a bit more of them in my head, here are the vital ones. I hope you can relate to a few of them if not all. Also, do share your life lessons in the comments below. I'd love to read and add them to my list.


  1. Oh what a wonderful list Soumya - its such an insight into the kind of person you are. I love your attitude and am so happy to call you a friend. Hugs and love

    1. Thank you, Shalz! I am the way I am because of all this :)

  2. Belated birthday wishes once again! I am with you on so many of these lessons that I kept nodding all along. Reminded me of my 35 lessons at 35. But that's an old post now! :D

    You know, in you I found a good friend and I am glad we are friends. Much love and hugs.Always wishing the best for you <3

    1. Thank you, dear Paro! I'm so happy to have you as my friend too <3

  3. That was an incredible list Soumya! Good to hear you had a memorable birthday! I found myself agreeing to almost all your candid life lessons. The one about unlearning and standing by your own instincts ring so true! You could actually print this out! Cheers!

    1. I'm glad you could relate to most of it, Kala.

      Thank you!

  4. This is such a wonderful list, Soumya. I found myself nodding to so many of the points here. Be the way you are, Unapologetically you :)

    1. Thank you, Naba. I'm glad you could relate to it :)

  5. I just remembered the other day that I would have missed your birthday. It's been a bit of a roller coaster but you know I will always wish you well, dear Leo. <3 :)

    Have a supremely blessed life always.
    Much love. xoxo

  6. Those are some lovely lessons you've learnt. I think I did the same at 34 or 35. Birthdays are a nice time to reflect on things and also on what we want to become.


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