Moving was second nature to me until I graduated from college in Massachusetts and was suddenly torn apart between multiple cities calling to my heart. New York where I was interning at the time and enjoying a bustling social life, Karachi where I grew up, and Amsterdam where the love of my life was. Ultimately settled in Amsterdam, I found my otherwise outgoing and independent personality struggling to adjust and adapt.

In the process of navigating challenges around packing my life of four years in college in two suitcases and moving to a familiar but distinct country and culture, I realized how often we choose the more difficult path to achieve our goals instead of the easy one. I was pushing myself to be perfect at a new job, develop the knowhow of a new city, learn Dutch, and build a social circle all under a strict deadline.

Instead of being gentle with myself and gradually working on each new aspect of my life in Amsterdam, I was letting ambition self-sabotage — something the more studious of us often do. While initially frustrated at my inability to be a super woman, I slowly discovered the power of a mindful and healthy lifestyle in helping overcome feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that can sneakily creep up during the more vulnerable phases of our lives. I discovered that everything does not have to be a battle, and not all battles have to be fought simultaneously. When I approached things with ease, things became easy.

And that revelation came off as a surprise because growing up, we are fed to compete at all times. Now with social media’s unprecedentedly strong influence, the pressure of being “perfect” is all the more so. Through My Quarter Life Surprise, I want to reach out to an audience that relates to this feeling of claustrophobia and is open to build each other up through practicing a healthy and mindful lifestyle.

At My Quarter Life Surprise, I hope to share my insight into wholesome living by chronicling my passion for my career, food, fitness, travel, books, movies and more.

My name is Komal, and I wholeheartedly welcome you to My Quarter Life Surprise.