Tag Archives: Society

28: When I Fell Into The Pit Of Overthinking, Again!

28 Jan

Disclaimer: This is me talking to myself, yet again, after tripping into the trap of overthinking, again! :)

Whenever I’m caught in a situation that demands diplomacy, a certain amount of restraint which is considered and associated as being graceful, and one that requires me to not freely speak my mind; it doesn’t take long for all my faculties to fall apart and for me to fail a 100% in seeing that situation through. To simply put it, I cannot handle social circumstances without massive amounts of awkwardness, loathing, and without failing at them. I tend to wear my feelings on my face, especially when they’re at their extremes. You will not see me laughing when I’m angry, and you will not see me stonefaced when I’m joyous. I lack that skill, and sometimes I’m thankful that I do. Of course my honesty has never made me the popular choice, and neither does it make me socially approachable at all. It’s a win-lose situation depending upon my luck and my ability to be poker-faced.

Today when I was brooding over something that has long overstayed its welcome in my mind, a makeshift eureka moment chanced upon me. It is quite simple, to be honest. But most obvious things are frightfully and brutally simple; it’s a wonder how I end up missing their point. And it was precisely this:

if you are at the receiving end of a certain kind of treatment, whether expected or unexpected, pleasant or unpleasant, warranted or unwarranted; take a moment to step on to the other side, take cognizance of said response/treatment, acknowledge it, and move on. 

See, I told you it was so obviously simple and something you probably already knew all along anyway.

Every single peace-loving part of me cannot fathom conflict, dissent or ill-treatment, especially when the concept of accountability is paramount to me. I obsess over not stepping on others’ toes, wherever I may choose to tread, and so it beats me when I do not get the treatment I imagine deserving. Normal people would take this with a pinch of salt, and proceed walking on without looking back. I? I rue. I overthink. I obsess. I question myself a thousand times; just so maybe an answer can emerge; sometimes like a false confession, to make things feel normal again.

However, this luminescent thought today made me realise that it’s okay to proceed. That not everyone is normal, lol! That it’s absolutely, perfectly fine to not be loved, liked, or even be acknowledged by all and sundry. That the ideals you grew up watching, may not be that idealistic anymore after all. That people will be people, and when did people have a spotless track record anyway? That maybe I’m not going to be everyone’s favourite; not everyone is mine. That, most importantly, my life does not begin and end with/at this.

It’s easier said than done, especially when you’re someone who is your worst critic. But the thing that’s becoming evidently clear is that not everyone’s going to love you, like you, respond to you, understand you, or even just know you; even if they’re family. It’s a hard line to draw, but sometimes boundaries do have their purpose and benefits. Knowing when to make them, is essential. I guess this is how society runs. You put on that smile and show up even if that’s the last place you’d rather be, right? Oh well, sometimes. :)

Note to self: see the rubbish that thinking and overthinking can lead to – such a waste of time, energy, and brain traffic. The best things lie in moving on. Haha!

And with that, let’s all have a lovely weekend filled with zero thinking and a 100% living! Cheers!

15: Fortunate Fifteen

15 Jan

Ooooh yeah baby, I’m so glad to be here, and to have made it to the halfway mark of this month. Speaking of which, I think it took incredibly long to get here, no? Maybe I’m still hungover from the speed of 2016, to settle in to the pace of 2017, which seems to be going slower somehow. However, I’m thankful that my mind and will held it together and didn’t fall apart at the beginning, like most journeys towards goals end up in. To those of you who are new here, I’m referring to this goal I’m working towards with some amount of earnestness and a lot of excitement. :) Irrespective of the abysmal lack of viewer/reader participation, which I’m trying not to be affected by, it’s been a rewarding 15 days so far…”write for yourself, and your goal”, is what I tell myself when I see zero comments haha! But there are some precious readers who do take the time out from their busy days to come and read, and that makes every single difference to me. Thank you, dear reader. :) Blogging becomes even more fruitful when you know you’re being read, it truly does.

I honestly didn’t have a plan or structure about this post; only that I came back after a break from writing the 14th post because I needed to soak in some much needed sun, which wasn’t going to wait for me (it really is quite cold, and sitting in the sun has been lifesaving). Nevertheless, as I began writing this post, I found what I wanted to do with it, so yay! :) Here are fifteen things; observations, learnings, insights, and thoughts; that I’ve decided to mark on my 15th post of 2017.

Kindly note: I talk/write in third person not to preach or sound preachy, but because I automatically seem to talk to my own self when I’m writing. :) You’re free to sponge this gyaan if it makes sense to you.

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A lot of my 2016 was spent in a zone of conflict. Owing, but not limited to, my experiences as a child, a considerable part of me always took the middle path; the safer one, to be precise. I always wanted to be safe and secure, maintain peace and harmony, and steer clear of dissension and disagreement as far as could. It did come at a huge cost, which I realised much later in the day. I didn’t rebel or question, disregard or break rules as a child through to adulthood. Being in the good books of authority figures gave me the validation I dearly needed; because adults know best, right? Except, when it was time to stand on my own feet, and make decisions that only I had to make, I found myself floundering…because which adult/authority was I to please, how would I get my validation if I even dared disagree with the people I’d looked up to all my life, what would I do if people were not happy with my choices? It was a trap I’d fallen into and one I still am in; and one that people know how to take advantage of. I don’t promote mindless rebellion or conflict, but steering clear from learning to agree to disagree was a mistake I’d made too many times. As a result of which, I didn’t have healthy boundaries, comprehensions, and the perception to think for myself. I’m still caught in the tangles of that web, a situation I don’t see my generation of the family facing at all, and it takes a lot of effort, grit, and thick-skinned-ness to achieve. Standing up for myself and my choices has come at the cost of isolation, judgement, and slammed doors that were shut in my face for defying the authorities that I did. But I’m beginning to feel strong about this, and very aware that my validation comes from my acts and not from pleasing people, so it only means good stuff, right?

This was a long point, and the first because I’ve been in the throes of it for sometime now. I hope the next fourteen are going to be as succinct as many of my relationships ought to be. Haha!

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Be kind to yourself. Yesterday, while sunbathing, the girlfriends and I indulged in a little conversation that ranged from cigarettes to boys, marriage to society, housework to cooking. Yes, I think we women really know how to get down to things, quickly. It was then that this concept of our core came up. Someone considered their core to be their parents and siblings; after all they’re the ones who really stand by you through hell and back. I agree with her. But to me, and I mentioned it there as well, I believe our core includes us first. Like ma says, you can only take care of things and people, if you take care of yourself first. What a lady of wisdom (and drama), this motherly of mine is. So yes, be kind to yourself. Give thanks to yourself. And love yourself.

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Take life ahead one day at a time. Maybe you knew this, and maybe I had a hint of this, but I never put it in practice because it was so obvious I thought I was doing it. Except, I wasn’t. So one day at a time is a mantra I chant before I panic.

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What your parents say isn’t and may not always be your bible. Learn to think for yourself, and act according to the situation.

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FUCK SOCIETY, baseless relationships, and whatever it is that does not work for you. Stop swimming trying to find treasures in this dead peoples’ society.

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Stop thinking, start feeling. Heart, over head. Moments, over analysis. Feels (in today’s urban jargon), over thoughts. Haha!

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Overthinking does not pay even if you’re an ace at it. Tell your mind to stfu whenever you can.

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Breathe. Deep breathe. And spoon out that junk from your system with each breath you take. Also, don’t forget to say good riddance, while you’re at it.

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Cooking has made me a calmer person, when it’s not a chore. Don’t ask me what I am when it decides to become a chore. :P

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Letting go is as easy to do, as it is to say. Just stop giving a shit about so many people, situations, and things. They really don’t know you’re giving so much of a shit about them, and I highly doubt they even care.

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Happiness is my steaming hot bath in the morning, my cup of tea peppered with titbits from the newspaper, and sunbathing, off late.

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Peace is especially overrated if it’s coming from someone else’s mouth. Find what works for you, make it happen for you, and relish it when it sweeps over you.

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Don’t fight when you’re hungry. Also, don’t go hungry when in a fight. It’s the most destructive and unnecessary ego battle. Besides, didn’t fire need fuel in the first place?

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Tandoori chicken, leftover pizzas straight from the fridge, teacakes, soups and dals, and coconut chutney are my true loves. They make me happy like spinach makes Popeye sing, literally.

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Lastly, love resides a lot in the unexpected and lesser in the expected, more in the unsaid and less in the said, more in what you might overlook and less in all that you search for it to be in. True ya. Basically, I’m learning that ruination lies in expectation. :P

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Best of the day to you! :)

The Precipice

3 Sep

It wasn’t long ago when I wrote a post about being completely oblivious of my age and my so called aging process. It was here that I spoke about how my friends and I feel like we’re not a day older than 20 because of just how randomly we’re flitting through our life one day at a time without realizing how the years have passed us by – I mean that’s how oblivious aging is to us. I’m not quite sure we’re oblivious about the number game though. The big 3 oh has us making mental checks and notes and most importantly, making us feel O.L.D.

But while we’re floating around in our happy bubbles thinking we’ve got life and time by our side (haha, I can hear the reality of it all just scoff in my face), I think we’re just about finally reaching this crazy precipice I like to call “the realisation of growing up”.

First of all, I have no idea what “growing up” entails. Does it mean having a job, paying your bills, getting your shit together and all that jazz? Or does it mean being getting all existential, deep, self-aware, mature and what not? Or does it mean striking off these developmental milestones in neat little, scheduled ticks and feeling very comfortable, “done” (if you know what I mean), relaxed, secure and not to mention sheep-mentalised? I’m sure you know of the lines “beta, get married…this is the right time. 8 months later is too late. you will become old and no one will want to marry you” or the “you must have babies now. 8 months later is too late. you will become old and you won’t want to bring up babies when you’re old” or the “beta, buy gold, buy land, buy a house, buy a fridge magnet, buy this, buy that” so many of us are privileged of hearing. No? Hahaha. *thank you mom for never giving us this “privilege”* So yes, I’m not sure what “growing up” really means.

Except maybe now we’re getting sure shot hints of it.

Like when you realize you just cannot, for the life of you, take stupidity in any form, like you could before. You can now spot stupidity from a mile away and you want to run as far away from it as you can. Except sometimes murphy ensures it lands right in your keep-your-crap-away-from-me lap. Don’t you feel your tolerance of annoyance in the form of people slacking, being cheeky, being brazen, silly, too-“clever”-for-their-own-good, idiotic, stupid and a host of things more, decreasing at alarming levels? It makes you suddenly feel like all those aunties who once had a problem with everything you did (because no generation will ever admit to being annoying or bad or rude – “we weren’t like the kids of today, look at how kids of today are” is a standard everyone has had thrown at them and given in return to people as well).

Or when you look all around you and wonder if it’s just you or if most young people now all look the same. Like really young people who ought not to care about the things they care so much about; some fine examples being red lipstick, poker-straight hair, RayBans, thigh gaps and the worst of all – the belief that pouting in every frame is cool. Jesus. Now I really do sound old. Maybe the ways of evolution are changing at such a rapid pace where kids need to focus on things people my age are just about thinking of focusing on. Let’s leave thigh gaps out of this one though – my generation has perhaps tried and long given up, I think. It’s beyond our wildest capabilities and we love food too much, I presume.

But the most glaring thing that does stand out today is the constant need to be glued to a screen. It’s alarming how every moment must be captured and be made into something extraordinary. For someone who does have a problem disconnecting from her phone, it is difficult to imagine just which stage we’re at and how deep in this muck we’re lodged in. I do click pictures too, especially when I think they ought to be clicked. But when I do look back at the funnest times I’ve had or am having, it’s heart-warming to see a sparse, if not an empty gallery. Of course we could have so many debates about this which would last an eternity and beyond. But it’s no rocket science to guess when your memories of a time were the best and at their clearest, most refined state – when you were busy capturing picture after picture or when you were completely engaged with/in those moments and completely disconnected from your device. It’s no rocket science.

The only thing more glaring of our growing old than the previous point is just how easy it is to pile on the kilos and how herculean it is to get even a fraction of it off. Now that is just mean.

Also, it feels like a precipice I’m now standing at because most of us at some point firmly believe that we will be forever young, if not in looks, then by knowledge and social ways. It feels empowering to be on the same level, if not far behind, from the world’s new ways. Of course that’s life now calling a bluff on us because look at me feeling appalled more than I thought assessing generational gaps would make me feel. And I wasn’t even out there to actively assess these gaps. They’ve just become glaring now. It is scary sometimes. But you’ve got to take that leap off this cliff and soar towards places that are meant for you to thrive in. Evolution and growing up, they call it. Oh well.

7-birthday-wish

And Then Some

10 Mar

I’m happy I made no promises to write regularly because it would throw me into that pit of disappointment which creates itself when expectations aren’t met. There is, as usual, a lot to write about and there is also, as usual, a lot of work that’s taking up 89349% of my hours in front of the laptop, which as usual, doesn’t give me the warm fuzzy feeling to stare at the laptop screen any more than I necessarily have to. Of course, I’m here at this moment because whilst work beckons, I figured I’d take that extra time off and just write…because there’s so much to write…because there’s so much going on…and because I was more irked than anything else which, I guess, was the final push. I realize that it takes a strongish feeling off-late to come here and just let go.

And so, before I begin, I find the need to be explicit when I say that today’s post expresses my thoughts and opinions and should it stir feelings in you that you don’t wish to feel, then please do feel free to close this window and do whatever it is that makes you happier.

I’ve been having my tug-of-war with social media, primarily Facebook (since that’s what I use most), for a while now. Those who know me, do also know of my so called disappearing sprees, becauseohmygodthey’reablessing. I haven’t figured out what it is about social media yet that’s taken over the entirety of our species but somehow, as annoying and horrible and homogenized and sheep-mentality-esque as it is, we’re still on it and still using it. That’s the part I haven’t figured out because I loathe it but need it and I cannot, for the life of me, understand exactly fucking why. It feels liberating to use fuck in your writing once in a while. I digress by saying so, but yeah, I had to say it because it breaks the rules of writing I have inside my head but I couldn’t care about rules today.

It’s this nasty ability for a medium to take over the way we think and feel and express and have eventually become that is so, so frustrating, annoying, destructive, saddening and scary all in one. Because we wake up with a phenomenon one fine day and it takes over our lives and how we ought to think, feel and express ourselves for that period of time, without which, our so called progressive species, cannot really function. Or so it really does look like. Because said phenomenon elicits reactions and counter-reactions and arguments and opinions and what have you. Because really, I believe we’re slowly unable to think for ourselves anymore. Because we follow the rut of talking about what’s being talked about and surely feeling what’s being felt about.

I happened to go on to Facebook a while back only to chance upon this latest scoop (as I’m sure the news channel would see it as), where the boy present with the girl India calls Nirbhaya, supposedly labels the documentary as fake. Keeping aside the (obvious) fact that the said news channel scooped this up and out for the world to see, it was just a matter of time before this came out. And I’m glad it did. While I haven’t watched the documentary yet and haven’t really felt inclined to so far, I did watch the panel discussion held by another news channel which had the film maker and other female panelists present. I did see snippets of the defence lawyers’ clips and I did watch the parents speak. I did watch Kiran Bedi try and salvage her failed electoral standpoint with bitter gusto and I did watch the women panelists bring up some rather interesting points that steered the discussion every which way. I did. But the documentary…there’s something off-putting about the name itself. And I say this with no disrespect to the seriousness of the casualty or to those affected directly. I just believe that what we saw was, in perhaps all actuality, the tip of the iceberg in a society that has some very deep-rooted issues, to put it mildly.

All that keeps oscillating in my mind is the motive behind this movie and its creation, because really, I don’t doubt that our country was not shaken up or that every single person in this country doesn’t live in at least a little fear for their safety. All that comes to my mind is the ignition of hardcore anger and hatred multiplied by the phenomenon brought about by the power of social media. All I see is pure white anger. How that has helped understand us as a society that perpetrates this in-bred mentality of inequality is something I don’t know. Where that has led us since the documentary came out, I leave for you to figure. How have we changed the way we look at each other and respect each other is unknown. Of course I’m not delusional to think one documentary by a foreigner who fast-tracked her way into our judicial, societal, emotional and psychological window as a third person would change our system and/or thinking. All I’m saying is that it takes much, much more than that to come here, sensationalize (for the lack of a better word) a horrific event and label someone as India’s Daughter. It goes deeper than being an outsider giving an insider’s perspective; it goes further than telling a story that wasn’t yours to tell, and expecting a change in mindsets. Because really, where does all this hate and anger lead people to? Do we begin to see the opposite sex as we ought to or have we just put yet another roadblock into understanding why we have become the way we have?

I’m not here to armchair-philosophize. Perhaps this is just a rant. But when you’re here to talk about something as disturbing as the inability to respect a person’s space, thinking, beliefs and even the person themselves, I find it difficult to watch just one country being targeted. And it almost feels like a mockery because we Indians are at our own throats, provoked by an outsider, as always. Because rather than thinking about and working at larger issues such as dealing with our problems at hand, we wait for the world to come and tell us something we should’ve seen all along, because we live in it, cultivate it and spread it. And that’s what I find hard and sad to digest. Because we needed someone else to come and spread anger and hate rather than for us to use our own faculties and start even at the smallest level; to begin by simply respecting ourselves and each other, or at least trying to. Because that’s where it really, really begins. And matters.

The Extraordinary Ordinary

7 Nov

In-keeping with trying to be good, disciplined and all that, apart from the fact that I really did feel like randomly writing about random things, another bit of life happened just when I thought the clouds of sporadic, crappy writing were clearing up. The internal adapter of my laptop refused to connect to the wifi inasmuch as a big red sign splayed quite boldly across the 5 bars that ought to actually have been white, the 5 bars that really are the fix for the addict in me. I needed them to be alive but the stubborn red cross took over and whilst I tried everything, including becoming aware of this frothy but urgent need to want to hit my (office) laptop against the wall, I was reminded of a time earlier when something exactly like this had happened. Remembering that time gave me some hope because the tech-slow me actually managed to fix the situation and really, when there’s even the slightest trace of the possibility of a fix, rainbows blossom. Apart from the fact that I am quite so addicted and that when I need the internet, I need it no holds barred, I managed to fix the problem. Small victories come a long way. I could feel like the Hercules of network troubleshooting and fixing but I think I needed to be online more.

Moving on to more exciting things, I, as expected, jumped on the Humans of New York initiative/project/program much later than it had already trended online and all that. And given its brilliance in every single way, I’m not surprised that it still is trending like it ought to. I did come across it in bits and pieces in the form of shares that friends posted on their walls, once I rejoined Facebook (yet again), but never really paid as much attention as I should have.

There is something so innately beautiful about it. I love how such simple things really mean the most. It’s overwhelming how the normalcy of peoples’ everyday lives seem so awe-inspiring and extraordinary. I guess that really is the beauty in our everyday ordinary and what we choose to do with it. It is intriguing how everybody has a story, a page they’re writing or are stuck at; how each and every one of us, consciously and unconsciously, are writing our own story, which even though so ordinary in our own mind, becomes larger than life to so many others.

Imagine the number of stories out there? I’ve never felt so much emotion from a Facebook page before. It’s such a hit, I presume, because this world is so starved of meaning, relevance, purpose that for once, something as brilliant as this initiative makes us feel, erm, normal, or the people our reality has made us become. It’s not about fairy tales or harbouring false expectations or dreams we’d hope so hard to come true. It’s about life, living and just being yourself, so much so that you become inspirational to so many. It’s crazy how this looks in my head because who knew a presumably homeless man’s proudest moment of feeding pigeons and rats with whatever extra food he’s left with, would make you reassess your concept of giving, taking and sharing? Or the way the old couple who met in 1944 have traveled and worked in over 60 countries and consciously decided to not have kids makes you wish you wouldn’t care so much about “society”? Or the marine officer who became a cop but really always wanted to act and became an actor at long last makes you think about striving, believing and not giving up? Really. Ordinary, every day stories of very ordinary people who are living the life we’ve all been given the choice to live who make me feel so much. It’s magic. You should check this page out when you can, if you haven’t.

This reminds me of the times my brother returns from his travels or even his random regular days, brimming with stories of meeting strangers and exchanging tidbits that will only enrich his life. There are CEOs, assistants, paanwalas, street vendors, beggars, media folk and so many more we hear about. It makes me wonder why staying in bubbles is as appealing because when I listen to him, I feel like he really is living the life we should try and live from time to time. I use the definitive word ‘should’ not because I have the secret to the ‘shoulds’ of a good, enriching life but because when I listen to these stories that happen so ordinarily in his life, I know his book of life’s already gotten that much more extraordinary.

It’s one of those days that makes me feel hopeful and optimistic. It’s a big deal. I always feel that we’re so preoccupied with unhappiness and things that make us unhappy that it becomes hard to just be happy for happy’s sake. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but this is what I find around me, every time, everyday, everywhere. I have no idea why we seek it so much and have sought it so much that the ordinary has become extraordinary.

Well, at least it’s heartening to know that there’s meaning in the ordinariness of things and life; that there are so many thousands, if not millions out there (me included) who get their shot of happy from things other than food, photographs and the existence of Benedict Cumberbatch.

PS, just to be clear, Mr. Cumberbatch will always give me that shot (and many more) of happy (and much more) forever (and more). And for him, I am grateful. Thank you, you universe, for plopping the perfect British man during this lifetime of mine. Best!

4.5 Or Even 2.

1 May

I think I had an epiphany which is why I left what I was doing and have come here to write. That’s the thing with mid-week holidays… it’s a holiday but whilst it’s so close to the weekend, it doesn’t feel like we’re there yet because there’s so much work to get done. So while I was in the middle of finishing off some stuff, I came here because that light bulb came on.

Call it the wave of inspiration or something cooler, if you want to, but I think I’m surfing that wave because I continue to feel inspired at the most random times. It’s an amazing feeling really. It’s such an instant pick-me-up from the actual shambles my life could possibly be that it makes me not care. And while riding this wave, it hit me that I feel so good about my self and my capabilities and life, in general, because I’m surrounded by people who make me feel this way. There is absolutely no ambiguity in the way I feel and the causes to my feeling so, so good.

And when I tried digging deeper into what this existential adrenaline shot was, I almost instantly figured it was the people I chose to watch, listen to, be around who made me feel what I still do. Is that an eye-opener or is that an eye-opener? Have I been surrounding myself with the wrong kind of people all this while?

I do not mean to say that these inspirational people have spot on lives that click magically like clockwork. We’re, in fact, all in the same boat. But there is a difference. Also, this does not automatically imply that the people I’ve been surrounded by aren’t worth it. It’s just that I guess we need to have different people in our life at the times we do. It really needs to happen. There’s a reason we ought to move out of the nest and do our own thing. There’s a reason why these phases of our lives have been written down in the pages of time and apply to each and every generation that walks the walk of life. There’s a reason why theories of human development have become classical theories of development; because they really do apply to us all at so many levels. I do believe, like how these theorists believe, that every phase needs its resolution before a new one comes by. The fact that I’m still living so many phases unresolved aside, I think there’s a time for everything. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it.

Talking about feeling inspired, I don’t know if there’s a particular feeling one’s supposed to feel or a certain set of things one is supposed to do. All I do know right now is that maybe this sense of moving forward (or wherever) stems from taking a step away from where I’m standing at present. Because given everything that’s going on and how I ought to do xyz at this phase of my life, I’m slowly but quite surely beginning to not care. I wouldn’t term it as rebellion because I’m not doing this in order to get something from somebody else. I’m beginning to not care because I need to not care anymore and I need to not care to move in whichever direction I please.

While not caring can sound childish or even immature, I think given the baggage we automatically carry and are bestowed to carry, it just means having to let go and not be enmeshed anymore. Because we’re all more tied down to so, so many things and people and shoulds and musts, that we’re living the needs of others. Think about it. Maybe we’re obligated by good reason. But really, are we? What’s a good reason to be enmeshed with somebody else, so much so that you’re stuck at every step you take because of the way somebody else feels about that step you choose to take?

Somewhere along the way, I’ve begun to stop caring as much and not feel guilty for not caring. I feel less apologetic, guilty and tied down because I needn’t have to. I needn’t have to comply. I needn’t have to go the way somebody wants me to. I just needn’t. And the thought of it is liberating enough. It’s overwhelming to think how bound we really, really are, and subconsciously so. It’s tough to break free of that and I wonder if we ever will be completely free except that’s a wonder too large to accommodate and deal with.

Therefore, the inspiration I guess. Because really, those people who stand out there doing their own thing and living their dream for themselves are quite often the ones who are standing alone unless you’re bloody blessed. It’s a tough call. But it’s inspiring to know that that even if we don’t (get to) go the whole nine yards, that we have the option to go 4.5. Or even 2. And that’s the thought I’m holding on to. Have a lovely week, folks!

Twisted

7 Apr

I don’t know why I am as distracted as I am. Being a Monday and being normal, it’s only safe to assume that I do, in fact, have work lined up, all of which does have an expected completion timeline that really isn’t far away. But I’m finding it a tad hard to focus this rather normal Monday morning, or noon, as it were.

No, I’ve not had an overly mind-blowing weekend that’s left me hanging in the doldrums today. It was a rather decent week followed by a decent weekend that was just apt. And no, I have no tangible distractions that are contributing to this state of mind. There are no occupationally hazardously good looking/smelling men around, there is no good food, nothing. I’m seeking the help of my trance playlists to help pull me up and out and get that momentum going because none of us likes panic, do we? I’m sure we’d like to seal this day (and every other day) the way we would like to.

What has been on my mind off-late is, or could be, rather innocuous. It’s just the “normalcy” (I’m sorry if I say it ever so lightly) of being a girl that’s been playing on my mind this entire weekend. I haven’t suddenly woken up to realize my reality. It’s something that has been dawning upon me for a while now. Of course, I’m no feminist. Neither do I engage with or acknowledge chauvinists. I find the need to reiterate this every time because sometimes my views come across more strongly than they should. Given that I am as opinionated as I am, it doesn’t help to have the world be misunderstood by what I am or think. Because that’s my playground to play in.

It has dawned upon me that I really cannot just be what I want to be or do. I mean, I can. But I can’t. I have been brought up in and continue to live in an environment that gives me the freedom to be just who I want to be; that gives me the space to discover my individual self. And I feel blessed because, while this subject is so far removed from education or even class, I see so many who really never have a choice. Never. And so, I say, quite humbly, that I do feel blessed to have the choice to find my own path.

But do you also feel like every path you walk on also has invisible threads that pull you in all directions? That you really aren’t as free as you thought you were; that there are always some darned strings attached somewhere? I’ve been feeling this conflict off-late. While I have blogged about this earlier and wrote about it manifesting in rebellious, teenage-like behaviour, I do seem to see more and more of this feature becoming visible in not just the small things in my life but also the rather deeper things in life I thought I had somewhat figured out. Of course, there isn’t a standard set of rules I follow or a book I refer to. But it does get quite disconcerting when what you think and what you see and what you hear about don’t quite match.

For example, we’re told that it’s your right to go ahead and do exactly what you want to, that you have just one life and that you’ve to go grab every opportunity that comes your way, yada yada. But then when you set out to do exactly those things, there are those tiny but rather strong factors that do make you think twice and question yourself, if not hold you back completely. There’s so much of a discrepancy between what you should be, what you want to be and what your reality allows you to be. It’s frustrating. I’m not here to crib because that certainly has got us places. It’s just annoying to have your space but not really.

Living a conflicted amalgamation of what is okay and what isn’t okay by your standards and the standards of those who matter to you is tiring. Some people do it effortlessly because you compromise along the way. We’re not here to please everybody, but it’s important to know whom to drop along the way. When we openly and brazenly talk about not giving an eff, do we really, really not give an eff? Really?

How easy is that path to walk down? And if it isn’t easy, or hasn’t been, then why? That’s my question. That’s my conflict. Where do you draw the line and how soon?

You may wonder what this has to do with being a girl/woman. I say it because a) I am one and not the other, and b) because I’m at that stage of my life right now where I find it harder when compared to the opposite sex, only by comparison and not experience of course. What is okay for me isn’t okay for the other. And what is okay for the other is absolutely ridiculous to me. And I realize that there has to be compromise to reach that common ground which only seems either non-existent or so far out of reach.

I realize that if I truly do not want to give an eff, I need to stop and see what I’m truly deciding not to give an eff about. Because if I were to be ignorant and walk my own path, my own way, I doubt I’d ever get what I’ve truly envisioned for myself. They’re right when they say you’ve got to give to get. First give, at that. And if I’m to use my deductive faculties correctly, that means I need to give an eff first to not give an eff.

Oh, twisted, twisted life and its paths. You really never know what lies around the bend, do you? And is it that easy for a girl to break-off and really not give an eff? I’m in that super distracting moment, now. There’s no wonder.

 

PS, apologies (or not) on the random twistedness of it all. Thank you for listening, if you’ve been patient enough. :)

Bandwagons

8 Mar

I’ve been craving to sit down with my laptop ever since my workday ended yesterday, just so I could write. It’s been a rather hectic week and I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. It’s good in a way because it’s been so busy that there’s been no time to breathe, or have lunch, as it were. Clearly, I hold breathing and eating at the same level of importance. Some things will never really change. I got back home to have my lunch of maggi in the evening; not that that makes me happy or that skipping lunch does, but it’s been a while since I’ve had an alternate escape plan. Being too busy to breathe or eat lunch is quite the escape route. I’m an escapist. And if given the chance, I’ll run out that door. And so, I’ve been running. Yes, clearly my education (I’m a counseling psychologist by education) hasn’t or isn’t being used to its best. Come what may, the fact that there’s an escape route/option always thrills me.

Cutting the long story short, I came back home to find that my laptop was out of charge and that the charger I had wasn’t working. I just figured that my brother’s laptop charger thankfully works, and so here I am. I’m also most thrilled. The withdrawals were getting to me. And so I’ll move on to the post I really came here to write. Thank you for listening to my sob story so far. Moving on…

Disclaimer: I foresee an infinite use of the word I, because I will be referencing and voicing my views about my self and my thoughts. If the thought of it is unbearable, I don’t/won’t blame you. Thank you.

My laptop screen is dusty having been here on my desk for a grand total of just a few hours. While I feel compelled to go get a wipe and clean it, I’m staying put because I really want to sit here right now and write. My hair is oily and sticky and I’m awaiting that languorous bath though I wish I really didn’t have to. I feel most ungroomed (?) and I’m going to regret not going to the salon sooner. The pain is such a bitch. But here I am. I’m not very happy or at peace or at liberty. But I’m here on this, sort of lazy, Saturday afternoon with no agenda in mind, in my boxers that are really actually meant for men, contemplating what to make for lunch. Will I have a book for lunch or a snack that’s not meant to see its time so soon? Will I sleep with a nap or will I waltz with a walk, that’s just for the lazy clouds, sun and trees to tell me. But I’m here. By the way, these men’s boxers are just the best thing to ever have. Ever. Best home wear.

I’ve never kept track of days. I never know when it’s what international day. I never know when to treat my mom right or when to say my daddy strongest or that HIV sucks or that AIDS is rotten or that good health is a must or that peace is supposed to start from within or that the earth is what you owe your everything to. I never really know and I doubt I’ll ever know. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman or a man or a tree or a pet. I don’t know and therefore I can’t say. I can’t say you’re supposed to be this way or that. I do belong somewhere, but I haven’t figured out where. I know nothing except what it is to be me or an individual living in the generation that she is from and in (there’s a difference, all of a sudden, but I saw it coming) given all the variables that life generally ladles out to every single person and being that exists, and chooses to live, consequently.

I don’t know anything else or what it feels like to be anyone else because I’ve never really been anyone/anything else. I do know what I am, I do know a little bit of the tip of the iceberg that I’m made up of. And I believe I’m one of those people who gets on every single bandwagon pretty much after everyone else is two bandwagons away. I’m sure of it. It’s no wonder I feel like I’m living my teenage years now. I certainly feel like it. I’m not fighting it. I guess it’s a bandwagon I have to travel on before I move forward. It’s not a sad excuse, but a realization that some of us really do blossom way after so many flowers have already bloomed once, if not more.

I cannot think of any other reason why there is so much rebellion, so much angst and so much conflict. I cannot think of why the ways of society are (supposedly) absolute or why we have to behave and act in a certain way. I’ve just begun discovering what it means to enter the conflict zone, of doing what I’m supposed to do versus what I would ideally like to do and what having to choose between the two makes you feel like. It happens when you’re that latecomer. It happens when you’ve been blindly following the path that “has been etched out for you”. It happens when you concede, blindly. It happens when you read without understanding.

I believe in science, in biology, in logic, in that things need to happen at a particular time for one to proceed forward. I don’t believe that skipping steps to getting somewhere, helps. Therefore, I do know that there’s a time and place for everything. That you ought to do certain things at certain times not because someone said so but because there’s that something in us that needs us to. Some of us call it time, some call it the bio clock while some call it maturity. There’s always a time. And if I were to look back, there’s so much I ought to have done, which I haven’t.

Therefore it isn’t strange that I don’t know what each day stands for, in an international celebratory context. I cannot connect those dots. Here’s a tiny little me, living her life, trying to figure out what now, next and so on. It doesn’t matter what I’m “supposed” to do or be like because I’m still trying to figure how I’d like to be for myself; that I’d be satisfied with the person I see when I look into a mirror; a person whose eyes speak of things she loves being a part of. This really isn’t even about rebellion as much as it is about exploration. I’m on that journey. It’s always about that journey. It’s always about what you see when you’re on the journey and what you let become a part of you. Every single day holds the promise of discovery. And that’s what’s heartening because I’m here, doing what I have to do because my mind, body and soul need me to. There are no flat lines, just jagged reminders that we’re so alive.

To live is the chance we’ve been given. To be alive is that choice we make, that journey we decide to take. To move on is to know there’s nothing left behind, that there really is no looking back.  And I speak for myself when I say, that I’m almost always trying, if not hard. I’m running, even if I’m two bandwagons behind.

Into the Wild

1 Mar

We’re all about wanting that space, that freedom, that independence. We’re all about ideas, newness and novelties. We’re all about that sense of freespiritedness (I just made that word up). We’re all about getting away and going to places unknown. We’re all about discovery. We’re all about peace, chi and shanti. We’re all about thoughts, ideals and dreams. We’re all about desires that partner with rebellion most often. We’re all about the here and now. We’re all about finding that zone, that space, that one thing we can call our own from the very start; the one thing we get to on our own merit and by our own being. And if there’s struggle involved in the process, the manifestations of that goal just taste sweeter. It’s all about that journey and getting to where we eventually want to even if it never featured in our constellation of dreams. It’s always about the journey, isn’t it? We’re always going places, every single moment of time itself.

And yet, while we’re all moving in a mass, thinking and believing that we’re all on different paths, we’re all often running the same race. It’s just that handful of us who really, really stand out. There are no judgment calls or days. There’s just that blind urgency to get to where your destination is at and what your goal is all about. It’s just those few who ultimately stand out. The rest of us are, well, just mediocre, or regular, for the lack of better words. That doesn’t make us sad people. It’s natural. It’s normal. That’s what statistics, science and the theory of probability is all about. The bell curve, they call it. Norms are built based on the regular. The exceptional, well, they’re who inspire us and give us the ideas we sometimes merge into our ideals. They stand out for a reason. Because they’re just that, they’re mind blowing, they’re exceptional. And I’m more convinced about this not because I’m a weirdo who sits and thinks beyond measure (which I am and which I do), but because I was urged to watch a certain movie I’m here to talk about and I did.

Have you watched the brilliance that is the movie called ‘Into the Wild‘? Well, I’m always the last one to jump on to the bandwagon, but what the heck, I watched it today. I think movies, books and music (and people) happen to you when they’re supposed to. I think it’s one of those bigger things the universe has a hand in. I do believe this movie came to me at a time that I needed it. I’m not going to give you a movie review because I’ve linked it to the best source possible and you’re sure to get your best reviews when you click the link. I’m here because I’m just another person in this massive universe the movie left gobsmacked. Watch it if you haven’t already. Watch it if you’ve already watched it. I think stories like this need to be told more often.

We’re a deprived lot. We’re a lot that’s stuck in such a deep-rooted falsehood ranging from the principles of education to society to relationships to life itself. I doubt we know what it means to really live life for what it has to offer. I doubt we know what we’re born with. I doubt we realize that our life is just a bunch of reactions we display; that we seldom live beyond that. I doubt we know what freedom feels like or smells like. I doubt we’re aware or educated or skilled.

We talk about, wish for, dream about, desire for, crave for a sense of being, a sense of identity, a sense of oneness with that which will make us one. And yet that looks like such a distant aspiration, such a fickle flame that’s subject to the winds of change. It makes me question everything we’ve been “taught”. It makes me want to reason why we do what we do and where our purpose lies. Are we somebody? And who are we?

While this movie makes me look back at my life and feel like there’s not much I’d bookmark, I’m glad it came to me at the time it did because I think it’s important to have that reassurance, that affirmation that our questions and rebellion aren’t just a wisp in the air but that they’re real. That they’re the fabric of the stories we want to weave and spread across our life. That they’re more than just mere thoughts and voices that pop out of nowhere, that they’re not existential quotes we come across on social media every other day. That they really do have the power to change lives, especially ours to begin with.

We all have the power to dream. I wish I had the power to follow through. And this movie gives me the faith to do so. The movie gives me the strength I need to question education, society, norms and the ways of life we’re “supposed” to live by. I may do not have the courage to be Christopher McCandless, and may the world give us so many more people like him, but I do know that the path I’m on isn’t futile, isn’t garbage, isn’t worthless.

If you want inspiration, if you want to get a taste of what life can really be like, if you’re the kind who lives outside the box, if you need a lift, if you’re low on courage and belief, if you’re scared and alone, if you’re stuck in the rut of it all, if you’re out of options, if you’re a rebel, if you dislike society and/or have parent issues, if you think materialism is bullshit, if you think relationships go beyond finding a girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband, if your slate’s overcrowded or can be rewritten, if your life means more than just 9-5, if your heart, soul, mind and body are the crazies that make you believe you’re worthy of it all and so, so much more, then watch this movie.

And if you’re none of these or want none of this and think this is all below you or that you’ve a better life to lead, you really need to watch this movie. Really.

Here’s some of the magic, apart from the movie in its entirety, that took my breath away. Here’s leaving you with some of it because, in Christopher’s words, “happiness (is) real only when shared.” I hope this movie is a constant reminder to all us rebels. Let there not be a flat line. Let there be life.

Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.”

I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong… to measure yourself at least once.”

You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.”

This one goes down as one of my all time favourite lines to have ever been written or spoken.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

I hope this has been convincing enough. :)

Publicly Private

13 Feb

There’s always been this tussle between boundaries. I’ve always wondered how much of myself and my life to put into this blog. Looking at things realistically, we know privacy is either a thing of the past or the latest form of social regression, so to speak. I say that because today, the word private has different meanings, connotations and consequences. While it’s amazing to be able to keep a portion of our goings on behind closed doors and between those who really, really do matter, being that private in today’s world is almost impossible and is viewed as being socially non-evolutionary. In a world that prides itself in being so outwardly social through every possible medium, it’s quite astonishingly ironic how asocial we feel and can be. Some of us use the term introversion very loosely and relatively to sort of categorize and justify being the way we see ourselves to be: asocial or antisocial or not as social as the world wants us to be/requires us to be (if you are to keep up to its standards, as it were).

Therefore, in light of the current social trends we find ourselves inadvertently caught in, it’s one more thing for all of us who have public profiles/pages and spaces to think about. Conflicts do arise because these “public” spaces make one really think about what’s public enough and what’s not. I believe most of us are sorted or have figured a majority of that stuff out. While the reader out there has all the liberty and space to get a glimpse of what’s going on, there’s always going to be only that much one will ever know. It’s imperative, for safety reasons of course. And one’s sanity, if you believe in its sobriety. ;)

I’ve been meaning to write about this because I’ve been in the throes of this conflict for a while. It has come to a point where I’ve found myself being unable to write as freely as I would like to. While I do get a fair idea of this blog’s geographic reach, that’s just about all I know/choose to look into. Statistics and hitting blog targets are certainly (and evidently) not a priority, but it does bother me to notice unnatural spikes in viewership given the (abysmal) writing trend this blog has. This blog has been receiving unnaturally high hits from a particular country, which, on any occasion would make a blogger feel great about their blog. However, this seems to be beyond just a casual visit. And that worries me because neither are stalking or copying content my cup of tea.

I’m at a loss at how to work on this issue. Making this blog private and password protected has crossed my mind, but that isn’t necessarily the route I’m comfortable taking. And I don’t like having to be so restrictive or conscious or less free about the things I’d like to write about. I’m worried about what the content of this blog is being used for and while this blog is so seriously far from gold, I still do care about it. If you, the reader, know of ways to overcome this, I’d love to hear from you.

And dear reader (whoever you are), don’t create a creepy stalker image of Maldives. I still really do love your country.

Peace.