Zoya Nasir delivers these two sentences at the beginning of her TedTalk. Then follows it up with her life story thus far. In times of despair and hopelessness like these, watching the ted talk was quite inspirational. Something we needed to give us a sense of purpose and a bit of motivation.

Zoya is the youngest amongst her siblings. Often we hear that the youngest are the most spoilt. However, the flipside of it is that elders can also push their own choices and ideas on them. We are older than you, and we love you with all our hearts. Hence, we know what is best for you.

This can be supremely problematic as one has to learn from their own mistakes and experience life.

Initially, going to a conservative military school set Zoya back, and she was the odd one out. No one wanted to be her friend, because her father made movies and her mother ran a saloon. Those were the standards set in the school. That made her unsure of her self-worth.

So, she started compensating to please people around her. Zoya eloquently talks about how she took a life-changing decision like marriage at a young age, with indifference. To add to her problems, she had to start her new life in an alien country, UK. Simply because she didn’t want to upset her parents and her siblings.

Inevitably, the relationship didn’t last. But it dragged on for a period simply because she was afraid to call it off, because “log kya kahien gay.”

After that setback, she went back to the UK and started working. Soon she had done enough to start her own salon business. It progressed, and she was able to go to the US. However, mundanity is not what she desired now. Leaving everything behind, she came to Lahore and started working there.

Soon enough, she wanted to try something new. Zoya wanted to be an actress. She had built enough courage now to be a go-getter. Or so the thought, soon enough, her elder brother forbade her from acting. She was about to quit the industry even before starting, but then her sister pushed her. It turned out to be an excellent decision.

As Zoya stood on that stage, telling her story, many would have related to her struggle. In a society like ours, where even our loved ones can cause us so much pain, it is essential to have a voice of our own and know when to put down your foot. Self-esteem and worth are vital to achieving anything in life. You have to reinforce and show strength by making our own decisions. If you are passionate about something, take that leap of faith. That is how Zoya Nasir lives her life now!