Most of my friends go on holidays with their families to different international destinations. I haven’t travelled abroad ever and my family can’t really afford a trip either. My parents take us to different places in India and we have a good time but I still feel very out of place when my friends talk about their experiences. How should I deal with this? I don’t feel ashamed, just feel slightly alienated.
Thank you for writing in and sharing your concerns with me. I am sorry that you feel slightly alienated because you don’t share the same experiences as your friends. It can be tough being the odd one out. However, the odd ones out are usually the ones meant to stand out and shine. The way I see it, you have so much to be thankful for. You may not have everything, but you definitely have something and that is a lot. It doesn’t matter where you go, sometimes it is all about who you go with, the experiences you share and the memories you create and bring back with you.
You really seem to enjoy your family holidays so far and the only setback you face is that the place is in India. Ironically, a place is often best enjoyed when you share it with people you love. India has so many beautiful places to visit and the more you discover, the less you’ll want to travel abroad. So whether you cross a border or not, is really of little importance at times.
Be grateful that your family makes the time and takes the effort to do things together. There are many other families who just struggle to survive.
Remember that when your friends share their travel or holiday experiences, the more varied the experiences in a group, the more there is to share. Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back, and realise they were the big things. Enjoy the journey. Take memories and leave only footprints.
I am in class 8 and have a boyfriend who is in class 9. We recently kissed and got slightly intimate with each other. After that, I feel like things between us have changed a little. He tends to ignore me sometimes and has shared everything that happened between us with his friends. Everyone around is talking about it and asking me if it’s true. Many students from my school and tuitions also talk about it. I feel so embarrassed. I never thought it would become public knowledge. When I asked my boyfriend about it, he said he only told his best friends and doesn’t know how everyone else got to know. I feel really horrible.
Thank you for sharing this with me. I can’t imagine the mixed bag of feelings you must be carrying around at the moment. The worst feeling in the world is knowing you have been used and lied to by someone you trusted. I am sorry that you had to go through such a painful experience.
I can’t help but wonder if it’s wiser to wait till you’re older to be sexually active, not only because it is illegal but also because you will be able to make more mature decisions. Being sexually active at this age, will only increase the number of distractions around you as well as interfere with your self-esteem and reputation.
I understand that it does become very tough to wait till you are older, as we are constantly bombarded with so much sexual content through advertisements, social media, movies and songs. However, waiting till you are mature and you’ve reached the legal age, will only make the entire experience more meaningful and special.
Let what happened in the past stay in the past. Your past does not define you, it prepares you. The lesson learnt in the past should now be applied in your future. With regards to your boyfriend, be good enough to forgive and smart enough not to trust the same person again. Some people are best left in the past along with your mistakes and regrets. Move on and look forward to the wonderful things that await you. All the best.
It is not happy people who are thankful, but thankful people who are happy. If you can’t be kind, be quiet.
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Until next time, be thankful for everything.
(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)