If I had to list the biggest goal of my life, it would have to be self-improvement (apart from scientifically finding a way to speed up my metabolism). I self-reflect with a passion and am often comparing how I used to be with who I am today, the bits I like about myself, the ones I don’t like, etc, etc. Just a few days ago, I saw some very old pictures of mine and I was instantly taken back to that time. Pictures have always been very powerful for me, you see so much in them; how different I used to look, my choice in clothes, the people I used to hang out with. In some, I can even see changes in body language.
So I looked at those pictures and did some quiet contemplation on my own but also thought about some fun /irrelevant things that have changed over the last fifteen years. Naturally, I’ll be taking you with me. So here’s where I was exactly at this time in 2005, 2010 and now in 2015.
Age (through some very hard calculations)
2005: Lahore at my parents’ place, had just graduated and was preparing to move to Karachi for work.
2010: In Karachi all by myself. I’d always had flatmates moving in and out with me over the entire time I was in the city, but in 2010 I was entirely on my own (like my first year in Karachi) and totally loved it.
2015: In Dubai sharing an apartment with a guy I’m legally bound to and there appears to be no way out (just kidding, honey).
(Every five years, I’ve been living in a different city. Makes me wonder where I’ll be in 2020? I do have an idea, *wink*).
2005: Single, single, single. Did not know was about to meet N in about a year. Exciting.
2010: N and I had just officially introduced our families to lock down the wedding. On the day of their first meeting, no one actually talked about the wedding though and only exchanged small talk over stuff like the weather and dhobi ruining your clothes. Anyone watching from the side would have thought our families were friends catching up over drinks. N and I later talked wedding dates and told them to show up. Hashtag no shit.
2015: Married and harassing N on a regular basis.
2005: Had just graduated and was beginning work at a really great company in a new city.
2010: Was riding high on a really great corporate career, very happy at work with no idea that I’d do a complete 180 degree switch in a couple of years.
2015: Running my own business and loving every second of it. Interestingly, my career switch did not just impact my professional life but also indirectly did lots of good stuff for me mentally, and believe it or not, spiritually.
2010: I’d managed to find great friends in Karachi. A few people who I loved to hang out with and a couple that became my platonic soulmates. I was also discovering what it was to be a good friend myself and it was all really thrilling.
2015: Found the exact friends I wanted and needed. I love them to bits and cannot imagine life without them. I’m never, ever busy for the ones I genuinely want to be close with, the rest are on casual mode. Also, have entirely weeded out the ones that were adding grief to my life and it’s all super sexy now.
2010: Had become much more confident. Was still an introvert but didn’t die over having to perform social interactions. Was beginning to understand myself. Was quite hot-tempered and working in a high-stress environment had only helped in making me more aggressive (I sound amazing, don’t I).
2015: Feel self-assured, understand exactly what I want from life. Very much an introvert but comfortable with it and won’t die if exposed to human contact. Conquered my temper, mentally zen. Don’t overthink anything and live in the moment. At the peak of my procrastination potential, never been this bad.
2005: Have always been a foodie but living at home mostly had home cooked food and was pretty decent on the health scale.
2010: Mostly on a diet of McDonalds and KFC. Had long work hours so ordered in every.single.night. Didn’t enjoy cooking so never tried to learn it. Brainfcked my metabolism.
2015: Tried to start eating healthy. Still struggling, but so much better than before. Long way to go.
2005: Super boring. Mostly used to wear the same old, same old prints. Owned about 2 pairs of shoes and bags each. Hardly ever shopped.
2010: Moved to more solid colors versus prints. Still owned the same number of shoes and bags. Would update my bag once a year? Those were the days.
2015: Still consider my style very average but super comfortable with it. I proudly call it the lazy girl’s style and have no aspiration to be decked all the time or own lots of things. Purchase about 3 pairs of shoes and a couple of bags every year now.
2005: Kajal was my friend. Always had kohled eyes. Owned about just one lipstick, always neutral. Used to color hair all kinds of embarrassing shades. Was never a long nails person but used to have some length, was mostly nailpolish free. Eyebrows plucked into oblivion.
2010: Had moved to owning about 3 neutral lipsticks. Felt mature (LOL). Did not know anything about anything else. Red was my favorite hair color and I’d spontaneously do it out of a box every few months.
2015: Love liquid eyeliner. Know how to do my basic face now too; understand foundation and mascara. Love red and orange lipcolors with a passion. Don’t color my hair at all; knowing that I’m in my 30s I understand that coloring hair on a regular basis is something that exists in my near future so my hair is on a break until that happens. Nails are always chopped, blunt, short. Can’t live without nailpolish.
State of mind
2005: Excited (new city)
2010: Happy (making lots of money that was helping me do so many things for myself and my loved ones – handling wedding preps, college loans, family support)
2015: Free (don’t feel tied to material things, love life)
That’s about it. Would you do this for yourself? Yes? No? Maybe? Never? Here, have a cookie.