It’s amazing to see what wonders a little experience can do for perspective.
Last night I hung out with a friend of mine who, like me, has had his share of life’s experiences. That interaction has been glued to my mind since. As we were chatting, having our heart to heart, he nonchalantly asked me a question regarding my opinion on a matter whose long answer from any one else’s perspective would have brought judgement… but he asked it so sincerely and with so much innate understanding that I noticed! Oh my gosh! I’m sitting in the presence of someone who GETS it!
10 years ago admittedly I’d have judged myself for my answer to this question. Heck, maybe even he would have! Because back then 100% the world was black and white and right or wrong was dictated ONLY by society’s standards. Now, for me, they’re dictated by experience. What happens and whether it is justified or not is based on why it happened.
This friend got that… and it had to be the growth from his own life’s experiences. It has to be because in contrast, recently, someone I once used to consider a safe safe close friend was faced with engaging in the same question. That person’s reactions, needless to say, were the complete opposite. Judgmental, disrespectful, two dimensional.
Last night gave me tremendous perspective… and truly I am always so blessed and excited in the face of such epiphanies.
I realized, there is no sense in building close bonds and wasting time on two dimensional thinkers because they simply will never understand what lies behind doors they have never unlocked. So of course, they are right in their place and I certainly cannot judge them for what they do not know. But being someone who has been enlightened beyond those two dimensions… I now must exclusively seek the close company of multidimensional thinkers.
For they know and understand the things that I know. And that sort of synergy only grows.
“Tu phukat hastes!” (You laugh so easily!) someone I used to know once told me. I didn’t know whether to be offended or not. “No I don’t!” I had exclaimed back but that person wasn’t convinced… and then a few weeks ago my friend who lives in Canada, Saurabh Pendse, told me the exact same thing as we played ping pong in Virtual Reality. I mean really that’s all we were doing, playing table tennis, and yet I too had noticed that the two of us were having fits of giggles here and there. Pretty sure he had started it but of course he had blamed it on me. I’m pretty sure I was only laughing when something funny happened… but then again… I could be wrong, it easily could have actually been me because then I remembered those words from a few years ago… “tu phukat hastes”.
It’s funny because this image that both of these people have of me is so seemingly different than how I thought I saw myself. Brooding perhaps? Internally struggling? I’m that trauma survivor, the “strong” woman who managed to pick herself up but is still afflicted with the PTSD. But you know… come to think of it that comes with a certain type of vibe. I remember the vibe I used to put out when I was going through the so called ‘dark ages’ and it’s nothing like the vibe I feel today which is identical to the vibe I had before.
Perhaps these young men were right. Perhaps I do laugh easily. Perhaps at my core, the essence of Sayli Natu is to be happy. To take enjoyment… pleasure… happiness from the smallest things in life. “Small happinesses” as I call them. To love, to care, to be present in the moment with the friend, family, or acquaintance whose company I’m enjoying at that moment. I’ve noticed even during those so called “dark years” when physically away from what was inflicting my trauma, I was still always smiling and the smile admittedly had come naturally.
So perhaps I do laugh easily. It makes me feel good. Laughing makes everyone feel good… doesn’t it? And I’ve especially noticed that when I start laughing (usually over something others don’t even find funny) – others start laughing too! But just before they do, I always observe their eyes light up in joyful amusement… and then their faces… and then what?
The most beautiful goofy grins spread across their faces before evolving into fits of laughter.
Then… I’m happy. You’re happy. Everyone is happy.
And if that’s the case… then so be it!
Laughter is the best medicine, after all… so we should all engage in it! And we should all engage in it easily ❤
(For non Marathi speakers -Tai translates to “older sister” in English, but it’s often customary to call any older girl (or woman) “Tai” out of respect.)
To be a role model. What does it truly entail?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been “Sayli Tai” to many. Whether they’ve actually gone so far as to calling me ‘Tai’ or not – the weight of that role and the responsibility it holds has always been on the forefront of my mind.
About 15 years ago, a friend of mine (also an older sibling) and I were talking about our younger siblings and discussing what it means to be a “Tai”. At that time she put it beautifully – “You’re not their parent so they can confide in you like a friend, but you’re not their friend so you can guide them like a parent”.
That conversation has stuck with me for life, not only to be applied to my biological little but every little that has come my way for any sort of confiding or guidance. And I believe that is the essence of what it means to be a role model. Then of course everything else follows, i.e. practice what you preach, lead by example… etc.
Last year I had a very sweet young lady reach out to me, initially finding me through dance, but eventually more so because of her curiosity revolving around my blogs and life. Soon thereafter, her questions started to flow in asking for life advice. “Sayli! What did you do when….” or, “Sayli what would you do if…”
So much life advice requested. And so much life advice given. So many stories shared. She grew on me and I found her questions and curiosity endearing. Over time, I started seeing her like a younger sister.
And then one day as we were talking a rather funny image struck my mind. I imagined someone who had lived a full life sitting under a tree in a chair, and a young pigtailed girl laying on the grass head propped up on her hands, elbows to the ground, as she asked questions about life experiences and the elderly woman patiently replied.
Anyway, as time went on, there were many advices I gave her based on my own experiences, many fun snippets of my life that I shared with her – the ups and the downs, and some guidances I gave her – either for or against whatever it was that she wanted to do.
What I did realize from these encounters was that she wasn’t the only person processing and learning from our interactions. The more we interacted, the more I started checking myself because I didn’t want to be that person who didn’t practice what I preached.
One night she said to me, “Sayli, when you’re telling someone ‘no’ you explain ‘why’ so well that we get convinced”. This statement took me back to my 15 year old conversation – “not a parent, but not a friend”.
So then what does it mean to be a role model? I would guess exactly that – To be someone who can be confided in without fear, someone who has an understanding of the world, has experiences of the world, leading by example or from experience while ALSO being able to explain why… not just what.
Not a parent but not a friend… like a parent and like a friend.
And I said to her, “One day I’ll have kids who will be old enough to face various forks in life… and that day perhaps you’ll be able to give them the type of guidance that I am now giving you”
We’ve always been taught to strive for the best. To work hard. To stare every one of life’s challenges square in the face. We’ve been told to keep getting back up every time life knocks us down. To keep going. We’ve been told to accept everything bad that happens because… hey! Maybe it’s karma! Maybe we did something in a yester-life that resulted in today’s punishment… or maybe it’s a lesson… a challenge to help us grow!
Sometimes, YES we do grow. We do learn. We do advance a level as a human.
But not always. Sometimes, it is too much.
Over this lifetime, we’ve heard so many comments on “oh karma, from a past life” or “Don’t worry, God is watching, god will take care of you” or “God is testing you” etc etc.
Eventually hearing this on repeat gets exhausting. First of all, How many times do you have to keep getting back up before life stops knocking you down?
Secondly, the concept of Karma across lifetimes is completely senseless. If the whole purpose of life (religiously or spiritually speaking) is to attain spiritual perfection then how does being punished for something you don’t even remember doing make sense? We learn and grow when we learn from or are punished for our mistakes… but when we are constantly “punished” and don’t know why… it tends to push us away from walking a so called ‘straight line’.
Sure, the downs are just as important as the ups… but there’s a limit to how much a person can handle. After all, we are only human.
Everything(one) needs polishing. But over polishing can also lead to mishandling causing something or someone to break.
How many and how strenuous of tests must a human go through in life in the pursuit of perfection… before they finally break?
Three years ago when I moved to the bay I took part in a local poetry slam (A poetry competition where you recited poems you have written). It was in a dingy diner in some odd part of town… and it was exactly how we see artsy people hanging out on TV and in movies. Guess that’s one thing they would naturally get right. It was a very different, but amazing experience to say the least. I ended up placing that night, but while it was my second round poem that secured me the prize it was what happened after my first round poem that has forever been etched into my mind.
My first round poem according to me was better than the second, it’s a dialogue between a disheartened individual and their reflection, attempting to remind the individual of who they really are. It was a poem I wrote about the moment that turned my life around when I was at my lowest. Amongst the three judges that night, two liked the poem, the third was completely lost (poem was pretty obvious so I’m quite surprised). But it didn’t matter I was just excited to be able to read.
After the first round ended and just before they were going to announce the finalists who would proceed to the second and final round, a girl approached me through the crowd and suddenly threw her arms around me. I was taken aback initially since I don’t usually hug strangers, but then she started to speak. “Thank you for writing that poem” she started, “regardless of what happens next, I want you to know that it meant SO MUCH to me, I felt it!”. I remember suddenly feeling tears well in my eyes. Not because someone understood my poem, but because my poem had understood HER. Here was someone who was potentially going through something hard, and something I had written had touched her. As a poet and writer, I cannot describe the feeling we get when someone not only understands what we’ve written, but actually FEELS it!
In that moment I reached around her and gave her a tight hug back. Because I figured she probably needed one. Because hugs truly are the most healing thing in the WORLD.
Finally, pulling away she looked me straight in the eyes with an emotion I cannot describe. “Thank you” she said squeezing my hands… before disappearing back into the crowd.
I don’t need anyone. No really I don’t. I am here for everyone, to solve everyone’s problems if they want to confide in me… but me? I’m fine! I’m super strong. I can tackle every single thing on my own.
No really. I’m not lying. I can tackle every single thing on my own. And if there are people involved in anything I’m trying to do and they let me down… it’s okay! Because I can just cut them out emotionally on a moment’s notice and I’m fine!
I started noting this behavior of mine… early on in life but it really accelerated the past few years. I started coming up with plan B’s for every single scenario. I imagine the worst possible scenario for every event and have a plan in case it comes true. And even if it’s not coming true ever, I just assume it’s true anyway and enact plan b.
I started noticing it more recently but didn’t know what it was… and then I came across an article about hyper independence.
And how it’s a response to trauma. (If you know you know. If you don’t know feel free to ask just don’t make assumptions)
It’s often mistaken for extreme strength. “You’re so so strong! The strongest person I know!” Everyone says. And I am. I really am the strongest person I know too… because now my emotions don’t rely on anyone else. I have zero expectations from anyone else. Actually that’s not true – I expect everyone to eventually dump me from their lives.
Because I don’t trust anyone.
I believe everyone will come to me when they want something, good times will be temporary, and they will go away when they don’t need me anymore. When they get what they came for.
I minimize myself to an object to be used, strong enough to maintain the look of being brand new even after being used. I’m no longer a human in my own eyes.
And so I expect everyone to come, and then go. And I protect myself with my hyper independence. Because I don’t need anyone. Apparently. Because at some point I assume everyone in my life is just going to do what their predecessors did. Use and throw. In whatever way that may be.
So I only rely on myself. Even I only see the strong woman who puts a smile on every day and tackles the world doing amazing things. Even I don’t see the small girl curled up into the corner of my heart, scared, sad, wanting, desiring…
Strength. I am strong! I kept telling myself..
Until I came across this article detailing my every ultra strong behavior, taking apart my psychology. Until I realized that I’m not strong at all, I’ve just managed to survive the worst things in life. And so… I’ve grown a tough skin with a stone cold heart.
At 31, or possible much before this time, I have started wondering this. Have any of you in the same age group or past this age ever felt the same?
I know who I am, what I’m capable of, and what I put into this world. But the fact of the matter is these days – the things I’m capable of – I’m not putting into the world… and the things I put into the world I’m not getting back.
I’ve always been an artistic being. An avid reader and writer, a passionate dancer and performer. I spent my 20s putting these things out into the world. I thrived and enjoyed myself greatly with each class of Kathak, or each stage performance/Natak. I put my heart and soul into it and for the levels I was at, I excelled. And then all of a sudden, about 2 years ago I ran out of gas. Completely. I found it impossible to stay motivated. Impossible to be creative. Life urges me to do more and I just can’t. And it scares me. Is it just a function of age and/or changing priorities? I feel my happiness diminish as I feel these things start slipping out of my desires. I want more, but I don’t have the energy to even try.
For the things I put into the world – I have always, ALWAYS, prioritized being a good person. Doing the right thing. Putting others and their needs ahead of my own. Caring deeply about even the worst of people who didn’t hesitate to hurt me. Even after they hurt me. Always trying my best to treat people the way I would want to be treated in any given scenario. How many people can genuinely say they’ve been a shoulder to lean on for a complete stranger? I can. That’s who I am, and of course I have no expectations from strangers. But what of non-strangers? Do I have the right to have expectations? I realized with time that the world doesn’t care for all that. There is nothing to get back.
Lately I’ve found myself silently begging. For attention. For love. For time. For people to put the same energy into me that I put into them… not saying anything however when nothing comes of it.
Strong shoulders to lean on are returned with blank stares and generic responses.
Genuine concern is returned with irritation
Unlimited access to my time and energy is returned with… well nothing.
Quite literally I find myself sitting around waiting until someone needs me for something. What kind of life is that?
Some may say I shouldn’t have expectations but why shouldn’t I damn it? Truth is I don’t from everyone, but I do from some! Does being the bigger person mean that you just keep giving and expect nothing in return from everybody?? I’m only human?
Then I realize that there isn’t a lack of people that want to treat me the way I want to be treated. I’m just not giving them the importance that I should. We sit around waiting for someone to give us the attention we crave while ignoring the people that crave our attention. Sad part being every time I come to this conclusion and refocus my attentions, the blame of pulling away is put on me. Conveniently, it’s no one else’s fault.
And then I’m back to square 1.
I wonder if I’m wasting my life. Perhaps I am. Actually, I am. I literally am. Perhaps it is time to re-prioritize my activities, goals, and heck even people in a way isn’t followed by a back peddle.
To see the tears from your own eyes roll down someone else’s face. It’s a pain that hurts the most.
You feel the pain so deeply but have ran out of tears for something that once nearly brought you to an end. You simply don’t care for that thing, but you care for those tears, misspent.
You feel helpless because you so want to do and say the right thing to help but have no idea what to say cause you know how it once felt. You’ve walked a million miles in those shoes before handing them down to the face that now has your tears. You know that no matter what you say it’s not going to make a difference because only time and a change in mindset and perspective will heal what broke.
You feel angry because you see someone shutting down like you almost once did. When shutting down would have been the biggest mistake of your life. Shutting down will be the biggest mistake of their life.
And in that moment you suddenly feel your face and voice go emotionless. Blank. Blank because your mind quickly locks away the memory of how it felt to be broken by something that had no right to break someone as strong as you. Blocks the emotion that could destroy you.
Why me? I didn’t deserve this.
No you don’t. So don’t do that to yourself.
If I could do it, I know so can you.
I rose from the ashes, and you will too.
असाही एक काळ होता जेव्हा माझ्यात झेप घेण्याची हिम्मत नव्हती पण मी (झेप) घेतली आणि उंच उडाले,
Here’s to the annual ‘how did this year’ go post as we transition into a new year.
Honestly the answer is “in the blink of an eye”. The thing is, this year was very different from the years in the past decade. Previously, there was a lot of learning, a lot of growing, a lot of changes both externally and internally happening depending on what year it was and what was happening. This year was all about stability.
This year was different in the sense that I reached a place of zen in my life. For once, nothing was different. Except for a few health based hiccups that resolved with time… The year just ended. I’m happier. I’ve become one with whatever wisdom I’ve gained in prior years.
I’m genuinely happy. Yes the people around me have helped, but my happiness for once isn’t dependent on anyone else but myself.
Covid is still going on? – no big deal… it is what it is just keep doing what I can to obstruct it
Life didn’t go as planned? There’s plenty of timeand if I run out of time to do whatever, then I’lljust find a better way to replace that time.
People, close ones, who have been given way too many chances just can’t seem to treat me with love, care, respect? It’s okay, can’t force love on someone anyway, I know I’m a good person. I’m happy. I’m thriving. I’m not the problem so I’m not going to entertain the people who don’t deserve to be entertained anymore.
Instead I chose to focus on all the love this year brought has brought me.
A closer relationship with my in laws who believe it or not behave more like blood family than even blood family itself for which I am so blessed.
A husband who plays multiple roles in my life to ensure my safety, security, and stability.
An entire huge long lost branch of my family that we finally reconnected with thanks to genetic testing!
Friends old and new who continue to make me SO happy. I got closer to friends I hadn’t seen in so long. And with all friends, work friends, old work friends, America friends, India friends, kids 10 years younger than me, uncles and aunties 20 years older than me – every interaction felt so much more personal and close. Late night convos, smiles plastered onto our faces because the convos are just too funny. Just too warm. Intimate. Happy. These are the amazing people who fill all the gaps that family and spouses naturally can’t – so guys we have to give more credit to friends than Indian culture usually does. Friends are not outsiders. They are the family we choose with our hearts! It’s the family that is always growing because the heart has an unlimited amount of space!
Basically all in all, except for very few transient things, it was a very normal year (which is abnormal in itself). The only thing that changed is that I finally distanced myself from all things toxic for my health by officially breaking ties with anyone or anything that threatened my sanity, and only allowed the love in my heart to grow.
On this last day on 2021, though the world is still up in flames thanks to COVID, I am finally at peace. It’s a year I’m thankful for 🙏🏼
Have you ever met a person with whom you felt a strange almost magnetic pull towards in the very first moment you met them?
We meet new people all the time. Some of them go on to become our best friends, some even lovers or spouses. But the type of person I’m talking about here doesn’t necessarily fall into any of these categories. This person may or may not be an important part of our lives. Heck, they may not even hold any sort of special title in our lives. No, this bond is unnamed, and yet it has a stronger pull than magnets.
What to call such a bond? It could happen with anyone really, outside the boundaries of age or gender. It could be the sweet grandmotherly woman you helped out on the street, or it could be the toddler boy who grabbed your leg for a second thinking you were his mother. It could be that random person with piercing soulful eyes at the wedding party whose aura shined brighter than anyone else’s in the room, or… it could also be the young man halfway across the world who you’ll never see again selling you a product from his shop.
I’m never sure what to do with people like these when I meet them. A temporary interaction feels wrong, it should be more permanent. Denying this stranger a close bond under any circumstances feels unnatural. Giving the unknown so much importance is considered wrong in our society, but that wrong feels right. Why is there such soulful depth to these existent non-existent relationships? Is it because the universe meant for that bond to exist and therefore we must respect it? No matter how much we try to forget it or separate from it, it is something we have no control over.
What gives the feeling of, “I feel like I’ve known you forever” when it’s only been a few minutes? What gives the feeling of, “I can’t stay away even if I want to, even if I should”. The feeling of, “I care about your wellbeing even though I don’t really know you”. Is it proof that we’ve had past lives wherein said person held an incredibly powerful position? Or maybe they didn’t, but we happened to know them in another lifetime so their aura calls to us and gives us the feeling of home? It’s kind of like meeting that Aunty who has a similar personality to your mom, so you are naturally drawn to sticking around her at social events – but across several lifetimes.
Quite literally speaking, when two magnets are stuck together and you try to pull them apart, they fight all opposing forces to try and stay together. Sure, we can pull them apart if our force outpowers theirs, but regardless of our strength and the high potential for their failure – the force pulling them together never ceases to exist. Put in close enough proximity to one another, they’ll snap right back together as though they were never separated. In fact, they’ll snap tightly together even if they’ve never “seen” each other before.
The magnetic pull between two souls feels the same way. As much as you try to minimize their importance, their existence, their pull – you just can’t. You don’t necessarily have to have any emotions towards that person, or care for them in anyway even – but nevertheless their presence pulls you closer to them. Their soul makes you feel like you’re finally in the right place.
This is what the pull between two magnetic souls feels like. And blessed are those of us who have experienced the nonverbal tug, the nonverbal closeness of it at least once in our lives.
The past few weeks I’ve been having intense convos with multiple people about “self-love” so today I want to start writing a multi part series about it. While it’s a long journey, I personally have reached a place of self-content thanks to the amazing support system I’ve had, but I realized that there are people around me who now need the push I once got.
This isn’t just my story. It’s many of ours.
Life is beautiful. Life also sucks. Amazing things happen in life – like making new friends, achieving goals, falling in love. Horrible things happen too – the people who are supposed to love us, don’t. We are unsuccessful at meeting goals. The people we trust cheat us. The lists could go on…
Over the years I’ve noticed that we all tie a lot of our self worth to the actions of other people. She didn’t love me, I must not be worthy of being loved. He cheated me, I must have deserved it. They didn’t protect me, I must be disposable. I must have no value.
I don’t deserve to be happy.
I. Don’t. Deserve. To. Be. Happy.
And slowly but steadily, this one small thought, put in our minds by the actions of others, becomes a belief we stick to more strongly that religious fanatics stick to their religions.
Why do we give other people so much importance that we allow their behavior towards us to dictate how we perceive ourselves?? If no one knows me better than myself, then why don’t I trust myself over others??
After the immense trauma I went through a few years ago it’s been a long long journey towards healing, but I can’t blame it all on those few very scary years. The truth is that the seeds of self doubt had been planted at a much younger age. Was it not being Indian/American enough? Was it being born a girl? Was it being too skinny? Was it not being tall enough. Not fair enough, pretty enough, smart enough? A different race? A different religion? What was it??
No matter how “enough” I wasn’t, the fact is that I was always still a human. I was always still deserving of love and protection and care! We all are… but unfortunately, the world is sadistic, existing to bog us down.
It didn’t take long for the uncontrollable horrible truths of the world to slap me in the face and in no time I started believing – I deserve to be unhappy. It was after that point that the self sabotage started. If I was happy I would find a way to minimize myself. I would create worst case scenarios in my head and let myself physically feel the pain of them because all of a sudden pain was the state of mind that I felt the most comfortable in because that’s what I deserved.
Or so I thought.
Inflicting pain on oneself is unnatural. Imagine the duration of and the degree of mental manipulation that had occurred to get me to this space. I had successfully allowed people who didn’t care about me to dictate what my identity was.
Pain. Rejection. Disposability.
Then one day, I woke up. And thank goodness that I did. One day as I was wallowing in my misery, I thought to myself:
I’m a good person. I care about people from deep within.
I’m an empath.
I am successful.
The world is full of 8 billion people. Sure there are people triggering my self doubt… but there are a lot more people who love me (like my husband! And my best friends!). There are people who admire me. Want me in their lives. Who care for me, who fight for me. Who do have my back!
I am worth it.
Why had I spent so many years giving importance to the people who constantly broke my resolve while conveniently ignoring the people who wanted to help build me up?
In fact, forget people, both the good and the bad. Why didn’t I pay attention to myself??
As I said above, no one on this planet knows me better than myself. No one loves me more than I do. Then why wasn’t I taking care of myself? Why wasn’t I focusing on all the amazing things about me? Why wasn’t I tying my self worth to my own knowledge of me!
I’m strong. I’m independent. I’m capable.
I love myself. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be surrounded with love. I am indispensable.
Truth is, it took half a decade and counting for me to even start believing these words. It has by far been the hardest journey I have ever taken. Harder than any form of neglect or abuse I have ever endured. But no matter how hard it is, fact is that self love is the most important thing every person must ensure they have in their lives.
It’s not easy but we all have to start somewhere. For those of you who have never had to take this journey, good for you. For those of you who have been in my old shoes – let today be the day you start telling yourself the right positive things about yourself.
It may seem like a lie today, but I promise that eventually you’ll start believing. Eventually you’ll start loving yourself. Eventually, you’ll start trusting your own version of you.
These simple words spoken to my MIL by my friend Ashwini touched my soul so deeply in that moment! What was so exciting about hearing something so common?
To give a little background – we were in India and I was actually going to be leaving for America later that night. I had already seen my friends the night before for dinner, and that same morning I had seen Ashwini and her husband Mrugank again at the COVID testing lab. After our tests, I had said my goodbyes to Mrugank since he had to go to work after. Ashwini had mentioned she would stop by later, but somehow in that moment the way she did it, took me back to a younger time!
The last time someone came knocking to ask a parental figure if I was at home and/or free was when I was 9 years old and my friends wanted me to come out and play. That way of checking in person to see if a friend was in was so sweet! In recent times, it’s usually a text or a call announcing that someone plans to head over followed by a long wait until they finally arrive. Of course, that’s always more convenient but there are emotions tied to old memories okay! Ashwini’s arrival and hearing her voice ask my MIL the question before I could see her took me back to that childhood memory.
I had a similar feeling earlier that day as well. As I was sitting in the balcony chatting with my cousin who I hadn’t seen in years, our other friends (Abhinav and Neha) pulled up on their bike downstairs. I was filled with delight seeing the two as my husband asked them what they were up to. “We’re stopping by to say bye to Sayli!”. Once again I was caught by surprise because people were showing up places in India… looking for me!
Of course our friend’s actions were completely natural and even expected perhaps! But the fact is, I think our life and social practices in America are so different that these things don’t really happen. I wasn’t expecting anyone to come in person and say goodbye, maybe shoot a text, but certainly not stop by! The truth is I’m that weird person who attaches an emotion to everyone’s actions, and notices every small little nice thing people do for me. Heck, I’m that weird person that becomes delightfully sentimental about everything!
But in this case why shouldn’t I be?
It may have taken 31 years… but for the first time, these people, these friends… my extended family…. Made me feel truly at home on the opposite side of the world ❤️
I got up in my newly bought Indian nightgown (that only moms wear but I was SO HOT and needed some air 🤣). I opened the door not knowing that yet another pivotal life moment was about to occur, you know, the kind that occurs every time you meet someone you’ll shortly connect with on a more than just an acquaintances level.
Two brothers stood on the other side of the door. “Pull the door behind you” I said as I welcomed these soon not to be strangers in. They both stared at me for a second cause I sounded weird (weird American accent and all).
The rest is history.
In all honesty, over the course of this India trip preparing for my Sister in law’s wedding, I came across many people I connected with on a much deeper level than just the generic acquaintance I won’t remember tomorrow.
Whether it was dance practices, or getting our nails done, or decorating for the mehndi party – I was blessed to meet the sweetest people that I would have befriended independently of an intermediary had our paths crossed organically. There was no boundary of gender, no boundary of age as I am pretty sure some of the girls were a good 10 years younger than me, or aunties were old enough to be my mom. I connected with each of them the exact same!
The day I left, I had tears in my eyes for the first time ever leaving India… trust me when I say I *never* cry leaving India because I’m just so excited to get back home. But that day, I did. I could have done with 3-4 days more to get the full closure I needed with all the friends and family I would soon leave behind. In the hustle and bustle of the wedding, I needed just a few more post wedding hours with each person or group to feel content with going home. *I’m going to write more in depth separately about my already existing friends in a separate blog*
I kept telling people the feeling I felt was bittersweet because that’s what I usually feel. But now that I’m hardly an hour from touching down SFO, I realize the feeling was just bitter.
I met so many new people, each one changing my life for the better, but the best part of this trip was that I got to know my in laws better. When my sister in law left (albeit very briefly) I felt extremely lost in the house. I couldn’t do without her presence! I had long chats with my mother in law, and jokes with my Father in law. During your own wedding you’re so busy you don’t get a chance to really bond, especially as a foreigner, but this time we finally got to do that! I also got to know my SIL’s family closely, and they too turned out to be such wonderful warm people! Her MIL kept me in mind and gave me two packs of my favorite “chiwda” before I left!
Anyhow, I’ll surely miss each and every person I met, or bonded further with, and will carry those memories with me till next time!
To be continued next time… (not via Pune Darshan 😉)
Today I had the good fortune to be reunited with two very dear friends from the past. It had been a while. A very very long while.
Of course I was intermittently in touch with them throughout the years, but I mean these people were a constant in my daily life 17-15 years ago. Way before college. Before everyone gained their independence and subsequently lost their innocence.
I was 15 when we all formed a group. It was basically a huge chunk of all the Indian kids in Sacramento uniting into a big old friend circle. This circle would last for another two three years before some, and eventually all, would go their separate ways to their respective colleges, each forming new circles of their own. Eventually most of us lost touch, some only intermittently catching up. Sadly today our group no longer exists in the way that it did back then which is crazy because back then, on a daily basis, they meant the world to me! And for the sake of memories, today I realized they still do.
Today my friend circle consists mainly of people who have only known me for the past 2-3 years, maybe 5-6 years at that. The point being that they all know me as I am today, post all my traumas, post all the ups and downs of my life. They don’t know me. They don’t know what made me who I am today. They didn’t live through those time with me. And I too became so involved in my present day life that even I forgot who I used to be a mere 15 years ago.
15 years. Shit.
I was the complete opposite of who I am today. A baby. A baby with plans and so many barriers and expectations that would come to crush me in the following years. Of course I didn’t know that then.
But I don’t mean for that to sound dark. No, the truth is, I LOVED that version of myself. I was confident. Maybe too much, but that confidence was so important! I knew what I wanted, what I believed, my self worth… and most importantly I was never confused. My whole life still laid out ahead of me and whatever I wanted was mine to have if I just reached for it! Innocent, young, fresh, and with a zeal for life. So much potential… that was me! I smile now, envious of my past self, at how carefree that time was. Before the sadistic cruel universe exposed itself to me, like it does to us all. Of course, eventually I grew up, stood up, dusted my behind off and bounced back….
… But talking to these old friends today took me back. It had been so long but suddenly it was as though we had travelled back in time. Regardless of who we are today, I only remembered that version of them… and they only remembered that version of me.
It was like hitting a reset button to function better. To remember.
It was so nice to remember that there was a version of me that was light before the darkness. Innocent before the experience. Here were the people who knew me for who I truly am/was before the world jaded me.
It gave me hope. Because I know that girl is still me. She’s still in there. She still has the world laid out ahead of her!
And as brief as it may have been, always is, it’s nothing short of magic. Sometimes when we need a break from our mundane busy adult lives … it’s nice to be able to grab that friend from an era you want to remember and just travel back to that time with them ✨
To life long friendships, to the people who knew the original version of me… cheers 🍻
When an Indian reaches the age of 23-24… definitely 25, the trend has been for Indian parents to start passing comments on how said “Indian Child” needs to get married. As the years pass, the pressure builds up to find a spouse IMMEDIATELY. As if rapport doesn’t matter between two people so long as some day (soon) said “Indian Child” gets married.
I’m married. I’m happy to be married, and I’m having a great time being married. But as I observe my age group more closely a thought started creeping into my mind. A few years ago I found myself in a pretty bad predicament. If you know you know. Mentally at an all time low, living alone in the beautiful city of San Diego – I had started doubting whether I wanted to be married at all, ever. With the best of intentions at heart, my parents did the only thing they knew how to do. They freaked out. They were positive I was going to ruin my life if I stayed single for the rest of it. At my age 18, the same parents who didn’t want me to even make eye contact with males, at age 27 were horrified I didn’t even want to anymore. Okay, so then I got married. And they were finally at peace. Their duty was done.
But what the heck kind of duty was this?? If I was so self-reliant, self sufficient – why was getting me married SUCH an important hurdle that had to be crossed??
This sequence of events along with listening to various stories from unmarried and seeking people about their parents’ behaviors on this topic made me start wondering on why it was so important to get married. Of course it’s one thing if a person wants to get married and is actively seeking. Don’t get me wrong, I understand companionship and do love mine, but the way that the older generations go about it slowly but surely started rubbing me the wrong way.
It almost seemed like the thought was that a person is only 50% until they are married. As if life isn’t fulfilling until you’re married. As if you need to be married to live a successful life. As if without a spouse, you will perish and die in misery, childless (topic for another day). Which is odd because I’m pretty sure getting married significantly increases the degree of stress in both parties since beyond the love and attachment part people spend so much time annoying each other (see marriage jokes – they had to have some basis).
The other day, in convo with a friend, I had an epiphany. Should be obvious but it’s really not. To anyone. The fact of the matter is that I was not 50% before I married Sagar. I was 100%! I was ALWAYS complete. And so was my husband before me. I was able to take care of myself, financially provide for myself, anything I needed or wanted to do – I could! Anything I couldn’t, I could always hire someone to do it! I didn’t need a man in my life romantically to do anything because I could literally do it ALL (or get it ALL done one way or another). If I chose to have a partner, it was because I wanted one, not because I needed one!
So when will we finally shift this thought process from “needing” someone to “wanting someone”. I don’t NEED anyone. So if someone is in my life – that is a privilege for them which they need to appreciate and maintain. Same goes vice versa, if I am in someone’s life, it shouldn’t be because they NEED ME (not trying to get used for the benefits, or on the flip side build up my own ego) but rather because it is my privilege to be loved by them. I think when we start shifting our understanding of why someone is in our lives (or we theirs) – we will start appreciating being in a relationship more. At the same time we will also learn to preserve our self-reliance which is an extremely important thing to never lose.
I’m already in a relationship with, engaged and married to my husband. But today I spent some time proposing to myself. The truth is, I am my own soulmate. I am fully capable of (and actually am!) my own provider. I love myself more than anyone else in this world loves me, and I am the only person who 100% has my own best interests at heart. No one is going to go out of their way for me the way I would go out of my way for myself, and no one is going to prioritize me and my happiness the way I prioritize them. So why not give myself some credit for being the best soulmate to myself that I could ever have?
I am 100% complete. I always was 100% complete. We all (mostly) are 100% complete when we don’t need someone to fulfill our basic needs. And we should be proud of that independence. All other relationships, are a bonus. So no we are not 50/50 only to be made whole by marrying just about anyone because “we’re getting too old”. The privilege to be loved by the person you love is given and taken, to be appreciated and cherished – never to be taken for granted.
Because when someone is 100% complete to begin with, it’s you who is lucky to have them. And hopefully… that understanding goes both ways.
Something the newer generation only knows about when it comes to work or school.
Today I was exchanging emails with a friend about music. Ok fine we’re coworkers but he’s more so my friend and the topic of discussion being Hindustani vs Western music, had nothing to do with work. But sending emails back and forth suddenly brought back memories of middle and highschool and subsequently made me smile!
In the age of texting, obviously email for casual convos has become outdated. But as I got ready to go to bed, I did my last check. Texts – cleared. Social media? Cleared. WhatsApp – cleared. Email – one unread message from “Timmy Weeps”.
And suddenly at 31 I literally got that same feeling of excitement we used to get as kids seeing an email from a friend in your inbox! Whether it was the girl my age I had befriended touring Northern India, or the dude who I saw every single day in highschool cause he was literally my best friend… seeing a new email in my inbox has always been exciting! To read what someone has taken the time to write and then to respond to it has always been so meaningful to me! Truth be told I haven’t deleted a single email from a friend in my life, and sometimes when I stumble across them again – they always make me smile.
I guess to put it into perspective, it’s also the same feeling I get when someone sends me a letter in the post mail once in a blue moon. I’d argue that excitement is even greater. Literally be it friends from Sac, from San Diego, or my parents… heck if my husband ever considered leaving me notes even just around the house (which he never does but if he did) that would possibly make my life 🤣 – literally more so than anything materialistic he could ever give me – his words would be priceless.
I guess being a writer I’m a sucker for words so also a sucker for friends and family taking the time to write something and send it to me. In addition to words, there’s also the point that someone spent their valuable time on and for me! I would be so over the moon if a friend (even if it was someone I haven’t talked to in years) randomly decided to email me one day instead of texting me… how silly of a thing to find pleasure in right? But I guess that’s just me…
Texts – they’re just too casual. Too easy. Emails and Letters – if you can do that, you’ve got me hooked as a friend for life 🙏🏼
About 4-5 years ago, my life came to a screeching halt as my world shattered around me. Since I was a little girl, I had been taught to walk on only one path… and that was the only path I knew. As I got older, at one point despite realizing that something was wrong with the path I was taking, I kept trying to walk it. Every time I turned to elders or other loved ones, they gave me the best and only advice they knew – keep walking.
Keep walking. On a path that I knew was a dead end. A dead end. But it was the only path I knew. The only path I could see. The normal way to do things.
And as my world fell apart with each realization that this path was the wrong one, I was so scared to accept it because I didn’t think I had any other way to go. I didn’t want to disrespect or bring shame by deviating so I kept walking… until I hit that dead end.
I had two options. Stop here and wallow, or disobey everything I’d ever known and walk off the path. I eventually chose to disobey. And trust me that was the best decision I’ve ever made. I chose to pave my own path. I decided that walking away from a shattered life with courage was better than just stopping where the shards lay. I didn’t know what to expect but it didn’t matter. There came a point where the situation became SO apparent that it didn’t matter anymore if my friends supported me, if my family supported me, if my parents agreed.
Yes, of course there has to be a degree of respect for elders and loved ones. But as an adult, we also need to know where the boundary is betweenrespecting them and ruining your own life following instructions from people who haven’t been there or done that! Instead, tell them where you’re going, why, and ask them to support you.
There comes a point where, with all due respect, you have to look out for yourself and do what’s good for you. See the thing is, after a certain age no one is going to know what is right or wrong for you, except for you. As an adult (and I’m not talking legally, I’m talking about when your brain is considered fully developed – so think “25”), you have to make that call. You have to have the strength to support yourself. You must learn acceptance, you must learn how to digest, and then you MUST pursue your own happiness.
People know your name, not your story. They’ve heard what you’ve done, but don’t understand what you’ve been through. So take their opinions of you with a grain of salt. In the end it’s not what others think, but what you think of yourself that counts. Sometimes you have to do what’s right for you, and sometimes that may not be what everyone else thinks is right.
I chose to deviate with the full understanding and acceptance that I may not have a normal life after that point. But regardless, I told myself that I would damn well still achieve ALL the things I had originally set out to.
But the truth is that as I grow into myself, I realize that who I am does vary greatly from who I am. Yeah yeah, I know it sounds confusing. What is this crazy girl rambling about. Why is she rambling when she isn’t even going to go into specifics.
Let me explain it simply. I’m starting to realize, who I am (like at the core, deep down inside) isn’t all that identical to who I am as a person.
There are times I feel like who I am, what I believe in, how I choose to live my life are heavily influenced by the morals and values instilled in me by my upbringing and my environment.
Who I am, however, has been heavily influenced by my experiences. It’s been heavily influenced by my experiences challenging what used to be my understanding of my/the world.
I’ll occasionally find myself wanting to do something (don’t worry, nothing horrible), feeling it’s 100% justified in my newer understanding of the world… but I won’t do it because it heavily contradicts the beliefs I have that I was brought up with.
Yeah it’s vastly confusing. Maybe even at this point most of you have no idea what I’m rambling about. But for the few of you that do – I’d love to hear your thoughts 1:1 🙏🏼
It’s crazy how we can close our eyes and so vividly slip into memories. We can bring back people who have passed away… hear their voices. We can create an interaction with them as if it really happened.
We can close our eyes and remember memories with old flames who today live the lives of strangers.
We remember good times with old friends we have lost touch with.
We can slip into the bodies of our younger selves… and relive moments as clearly as the day they happened…
What’s crazier are the emotional responses these memories trigger.
Yesterday I posted about my Aaji (grandmother) and a childhood friend from India commented. Suddenly I was drawn back to the annual trips to India staying at Aaji’s place. Drawn back to always going next door to that friend’s place to play. Climbing into the windows which had bars so we wouldn’t fall. One summer I was introduced to the concept of playing on the gacchi (terrace) with a group of friends. It was the summer of my first kiddy crush – I just didn’t know it. I smile fondly. It was the best India trip ever. I’m still in awe that it’s been 20 years since.
And that window with bars – I remember my frail old grandmother’s silhouette as she waved goodbye to us from it every time it was time to come back to America. Of course, the tears even today make their appearance.
On another note, a dream yesterday triggered a memory of an acquaintance, social media friend at best. I knew her back in my college days… I’d say by association. Friend of an old flame’s we can say but that’s insignificant in this story. I always did like her very much, but never really made much of an effort back then. I remember the first time learning about her because old flame had reacted so funnily to my answer on a question he had asked me about her. I literally woke up feeling regret for not making more of an effort to befriend her. So random considering it’s been a decade and I definitely don’t spend time thinking about her. We talk now and then – just making polite small talk or reacting to stories – so I wondered if it would be super weird to overshare these very random feelings to someone who is almost a stranger today. I guessed it would be, so ultimately I didn’t say anything at all.
Closing my eyes, sometimes I can still remember who I was at 7, who I was at 15…. Who I was at 23… the naive girl I was before I grew up, evolving into the person I am today. I remember the person I was before I had baggage and I wonder if she was better… or if I am better off today.
I’ve been writing about memories lately because I’ve been stuck in them. Moreso because of how vividly they come. Damn and praise these memories simultaneously because…
I now understand why the camera’s flash once startled my grandmother.
About a decade ago, a few years before my dear paternal grandmother passed away, I had asked her to teach me how to drape a traditional nauvari sari from scratch. She was a very old woman who hailed from the times when it was a woman’s daily attire so yes, she draped one daily till her last breath.
She pulled out a navy blue sari to teach me (one she left specifically for me to have after she had passed away). Once I had managed to master the art I wanted someone to take a picture but unfortunately the only person around at that moment was her. I say unfortunately because she was lingering upon 90 years of age and likely had no idea how to use a camera.
Now let me humor you if you’re my age, and be serious for the present and future generations that may or may not read – “Back in those days” (lol) we had digital cameras (and before that we had to drop rolls of film off at Costco but I digress). I handed my grandmother the camera but not before wrapping its string around her wrist. I told her where to look and where to click to take a photo. I posed, and her slightly trembling frail hands positioned themselves to take a picture of me.
She clicked. It flashed. She dropped the camera in fright and stumbled two steps backwards.
Luckily the string was still around her wrist but even otherwise I clearly remember that moment. I remember feeling so much love for the poor old woman in her moment of fright and immediately explained to her what had happened so she wouldn’t be afraid.
Why am I telling you this story? Hah… cause I realized that no matter how “cool” and “in” we are today, there will come a day when technology will go beyond our understanding. For my grandmother it was a digital camera. For me…
It’s tiktok 🤣
(And the more recent social media trends and updates)
It’s really true, your 20s pass by in the blink of an eye. More likely than not, it’s the best decade of a person’s life no matter what their experiences are (I say this despite being someone who had a partially horrible 20s).
This morning I woke up having just dreamt of a UOP SASA (the Indian club during college) reunion. Because it was a private collage, the Indian community was relatively “small” so everyone knew each other regardless of what year they were. Every year we had two major parties – Diwali and an end of the year Banquet. Let me tell you – for a private college and a small community… we knew how to party hard and had a BLAST.
This dream threw me back 10-13 years and nostalgia kicked in. I’m not sure if having good memories is a good thing (because I know I lived those happy moments), or a bad thing (because my heart yearns for them). Anyhow, I promptly went to Facebook and revisited the UOP SASA page (which I hadn’t even thought of in years!). Lo and behold, scrolling back enough, all posts and photos were still there and a smile crept onto my almost tearing face.
College was such a good time, I’m not sure why I had spent so much of it so stressed out about life instead of just enjoying myself (more). I definitely took that time for granted because I didn’t know any better. The only worry I should have had was ensuring I got good grades (which I did… but so why did I bother caring about anything else?)
The rest of my 20s… minus the one big bad blotch that I figure we may as well conveniently forget, were also amazing. My life in San Diego – Natak practices and shows, friends all living a bachelor and pseudo bachelor life… hanging out every single day on a moment’s notice…
THOSE were the days.
Sometimes I squeeze my eyes shut and beg the universe to let me go back to 18 so that I can redo it all over again. But hey, hindsight is 20/20 and the cruel reality is that we can’t actually redo anything.
Is my life good now? Yes frankly it’s amazing… but that youthful and exciting sense of having the world’s choices in front of me doesn’t exist anymore and truthfully sometimes I yearn for it. Now it’s all work, grown up responsibilities, the stress of needing to buy a house we can’t afford in the ridiculously expensive Bay Area, the stress of having to have a baby because the bioclock is ticking even though mentally we still need one last hurrah (thanks/no thanks COVID for pushing that back another 2 years).
I’m still “young” but it’s starting… that feeling that my body is aging. We can’t physically time travel… but I guess the Universe did give us a substitute/alternate pseudo-method…
Never before have I ran over an animal while driving. Anytime I’ve ended up in that situation, I’ve managed to swerve around it or slam the brakes.
Today, I’d like to think I dodged it… but I’m not sure. And it’s been on my mind since. Why run across the street when cars are zooming by?? Why cross the street at all?? What is across the street that you can’t get on the side of the street that you’re on??
Ok I know there must be a reason why the squirrel wanted to cross the street… but in that moment I found myself wondering… what was so important for this little guy that he had to cross?? I didn’t feel my car go over anything, and in that flash of a moment I thought I saw it stop, away from my car… perhaps turn around and run back. Horrified I looked looked at my rear view mirror to see if there was any roadkill. I don’t think I saw anything at all…. then again I was also driving at 40mph and had to pay attention to the busy road ahead of me… so I only got a glance.
Then another squirrel crossed my path. Damn it I thought. No I didn’t hit it, I watched it safely cross. I don’t think I hit the first one either… but it got me thinking. Just like us they have intention, they have a thought process.
Just like us, sometimes they want or need to cross the street! Just like us…
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”
This quote stuck with me the second I read it a few years ago. How true is it that often times we spend so much time thinking about our futures and how to secure them. We think, “What do I need to doNOW to be happy and comfortable later?!”
We plan and we plan… and then nothing goes accordingly. Shit happens! Life changes, decisions change at the spur of a second. Sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise.
I guess considering the uncertainty of things it’s better to just make non-specific plans and just focus on pursuing your own happiness instead. That’s what life has taught me!
My entire childhood I was a staunch planner. Everything had a deadline to be met. For example growing up my plan was “Finish my education early, work, be happily married early, finish having kids by 30”.
My actual life: sure finished education early, but now taking classes at UCLA in a completely different field (❌), had a tumultuous life through my ENTIRE 20s (❌), happily married, but at 29.5 (❌), start thinking about kids AFTER 31 (❌).
But now, I’ve been better off since the day I stopped planning and started focusing on just being happy. I made plans but didn’t put deadlines on them… and I learned to be more flexible and stress less. Now shit can happen all it wants to… but it doesn’t matter.
I’ll still find a way to be at peace, and be happy ✌🏼
When I was in pharmacy school, I had done a stint of tutoring to make a little extra cash on the side. As most of you know, I went to school in Stockton, California which isn’t the most upscale city (at all). During that time, I had the privilege to tutor an innocent little boy, hardly 8 years old in math and science. The poor kid was failing almost every class due to poor home and social circumstances. Broken family, a not very educated single mother, crowded/distracting living condition, and two younger siblings to help look after. Environment didn’t help either. He was in a poorly functioning school, and his peer company was not motivating.
His mother didn’t have the most privileged background, and she was well aware of that fact. However, the one thing she was, was loving. She didn’t want her son to live the same life that she did so as fate would have it – she found me and asked me to tutor her son.
Fast forward a couple months of tutoring, during which I saw the young boy flourish intellectually – I suddenly got a call one day from the tearful mother about how she had been called in for a parent-admin meeting at school. Her son had gotten his first A on an exam (I thought – “Yay! Tutoring paid off!)…
…..and now admin was going to suspend him for cheating (my mind – WHAT?!).
The little boy had come to trust me as another safe adult figure in his life, so when I saw him that evening, I asked him to tell me the truth, “did you cheat?”
“NO! I swear! I really do know the material!!” he cried back.
“I know you do,” I responded, “And I’m going to come with your mom to that parent admin meeting tomorrow”.
The next day after my own classes had ended, I went to the meeting. I defended my little student explaining to admin that he had been tutored. He had really learned the material. If they thought he had cheated they could give him a new test, right now in that very room. No. No. And No. They refused to believe him. His mom. Me. They only wanted to believe that he cheated – without any proof mind you – so that’s what they made “fact”. Instead of listening to even me , they chose to take the following cheap route instead of a more intellectual argument: “You’re not the boy’s mother, please leave now this isn’t your business”.
Of course they would kick me out – the adult on the boy’s side with enough of an education and background to put up a good fight. The doctorate candidate. The mother was frightened by default, and more so when they made me leave. She didn’t have voice of her own, and when I left, she had lost the only voice she had (as she later told me). The little boy was finally starting to grow wings and learn how to fly… but before he could – they clipped them.
The boy was suspended for getting an A. Imagine that.
A week later the mother texted me, “we’re going to discontinue tutoring”.
“I’m sorry to hear that” I replied with a heavy heart. I knew why, and the response came as expected.
“We’re extremely grateful for all your help, but it’s better he fail out of school than get in trouble… people like us… we like to lay low.. you know? Stay off the radar”.
To this day those words haunt me. I have no idea where this little boy is today, of course no longer a little boy but a young man. An adult. Sometimes I wonder where he is, what he’s doing. Did he find a way out of that world… or did he get caught up in it? If didn’t get out… how would his world have been different if those hateful, undeserving to be called so “educators” had…..
“Shouldn’t you be careful about getting into cars with strangers? What if I kidnap you?” He said.
She laughed as she got into the passenger seat of his white sedan. He was mimicking her. She had said the exact same thing to him a year ago, a whopping 36 hours and two random but very brief encounters after they’d first met. He had shot back with, “What’s 5ft you gonna do to 6ft me?”.
He had truly been a stranger then. In some sense… even now he was. A year ago, working graveyard hours (overnight), they had ran into each other by chance in the huge maze of a Hospital they both worked at. Specifically, around the stressful circumstance of a mutual patient’s flip coin chance of living… or dying.
The first time, they had exchanged a few formalities and then had gone their separate ways. Their professions usually didn’t make an effort to get to know one another. 24 hours later, they had ran into each other by chance again. This time randomly in a dimly lit, seemingly deserted hallway. They were going the same way, so they had walked together. Just a few hours later, these chance encounters and a connection over a mutually stressful life had led to him getting into her car. She had then asked the now humorous question out of semi-concern but mostly amusement. He was, after all, a freshly graduated doctor to her 6 years of being a practicing inpatient pharmacist. 5 years younger than her, she had felt responsible. He had trusted her so easily. But then again, she had too, hadn’t she? Before they knew it they had talked about everything over a 4 hour breakfast. A spontaneous move, completely contrary to her personality.
Then, they never really spoke ever again. Irrelevant to one another’s lives.
Two nights ago – again on graveyards – as chance would have it they unexpectedly had ran into one another again. Again, under the same circumstance – a patient’s emergency resuscitation. The next 48 hours were a blur. Then, this morning as the sun rose partially hidden behind rainy clouds, this time she found herself getting into his car to drive exactly 2 minutes across campus for a 15 min de-stress walk.
As they started walking, he noticed that she was extremely tense. Was it because of the young patient who had as expected passed away? No. Not exactly. It dawned upon him that it was more so because she had broken her routine. Sleep. Work. Go home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Would her sleep loving husband wake up early today? Would they do something together before she had to go to bed? Husband this, husband that. Husband. Husband. Husband. Of course, there was nothing wrong with that! But somewhere in revolving her life around him, she had put her own independence to the side.
Now, suddenly she had broken her routine life/thought cycle to take a 15 min walk. He had pushed her to let loose, to be spontaneous… and because of it she was now on the verge of a meltdown.
Why though? She wasn’t doing anything wrong. He knew she was happy in her marriage. Loved her husband. The two of them were purely platonic stranger friends. Her husband wasn’t expecting her to report to him every morning. Half the time he didn’t even know she had come home! Her husband had a healthy independent life of his own too, exclusive of her. So why was SHE so tense?!
She too noticed, and rather, was shocked by the realization. She questioned herself, how habitual had her mundane daily routine become during this pandemic that breaking it was able to cause so much anxiety? Here she was finally breathing in outdoor fresh air instead of indoor stale air and yet all she could think about was going home. Shower, eat, watch tv, sleep. Husband.
“I really need to go home!” She exclaimed. They had walked for approximately 5 seconds. “It’s only for 15 more minutes, come on, you can do it!”. Her shoulders tensed. She looked at the rose gold Apple watch strapped onto her rather small left wrist. 10:16. Tension. What?! Where had the past hour gone?!
“Stop” he said. They had found themselves in an isolated courtyard, with a single dry bench under the walkway bridge that stretched above them connecting two sides of the u-shaped building they now stood between. “Sit”. She sat. “What do you see?” She looked around herself and noticed the beautiful vivid dark yellow color of the leaves that had gently landed on the ground, surrounding the now naked trees they had once lived on. Even through her mask, she could smell the recognizable damp wet smell the rain had left behind. The cold breeze was harsh against her anxiety wrecked body… precisely why at this moment it seemed to be calming instead of delivering its usual stinging, intolerable bite.
Truthfully, in all her routine breaking anxiety, she had failed to noticed the beautiful scene that now lay in front of her eyes. Actually, when was the last time she had smelled the rain? The smell brought back memories of her highschool soccer playing days. The women’s season was always in the early spring. Her childhood, a pleasant, stress-free time. She smiled, lost in her thoughts. He cracked a medical joke. She laughed.
“You’re such a nerd!” She exclaimed between a fit of giggles.
“And you’re relaxed!” He said with a smile.
She was. Just like she was a year ago, at the end of their spontaneous breakfast.
He had reminded her of the importance of spontaneity. That structure was good, but too much structure wasn’t. He had reintroduced her to the peaceful comfort that could only be found in nature. He had helped her understand how necessary it was to break routines once in a while to avoid losing one’s sanity.
“Thanks Doc” she said, the doc part jokingly. She knew he hated being called that. He feigned a scowl. “For what?” He grunted.
They had met barely 2 times in their lives. He was, in that sense, just a stranger. A stranger who had somehow managed to ensure that at least today she wouldn’t waste these early morning hours she loved so much! A stranger who was such a great friend! A stranger who had twice now come along unexpectedly whenever she needed a reminder to actually live her life to the fullest. Mind you, always running into her in the presence of a third person who was actively trying not to die. Like a reminder. She wondered on what occasions in the future she would unexpectedly run into him again.
She smiled at him, “well it appears that…” she started as her light brown eyes lit up and she realized that the tension in her muscles and the frowning eyebrows on her face had completely disappeared… he looked at her quizzically.
These past few days at work have been the weirdest. Ten hours in a mask, which never seems to bother me… suddenly I find myself short of breath. My heart racing, my head going numb. I find myself extremely restless. I can’t focus on anything extra except for my work. They want us to do some training modules… I can’t focus. We were told this morning that we might be the first in the dept to get vaccinated for covid… I said I need time to read the vaccine trials. They told me I had until next week.
So soon?? My brain freaked out a little. But not a big deal. Not the cause of why I’ve been feeling so on edge the past few days.
I dig and dig for an answer. Why am I needlessly on the verge of tears? Everything seems to be fine. Besides the pandemic of course.
Have we inadvertently burnt out from only going to and fro from work and home? From no vacations? From not physically seeing friends besides the ones that live in the immediate vicinity? We’ve adapted quite well, almost like robots, to the social distancing protocols.
On the contrary I guess we haven’t adapted that well. What we’ve done is found a way to survive and deny our emotions but the soul knows. The mind knows. And now the body is showing it. If there was light at the end of the tunnel it would be easy to be patient but… where is the goddamn light???!!
We are silently screaming in our minds. Screaming so loudly, yet deaf to that sound.
The past few days at work have been the weirdest. Ten hours in a mask, which never seems to bother me… suddenly I find myself short of breath. My heart racing, my head going numb. I find myself extremely restless. I thought I had reached my wits end months ago.
And now it’s nearly December. A year of our lives gone in the blink of an eye. Someone lost their job. Someone else has to go in to work everyday. Some have to face the storm head on, others face a horrific storm at home. Heck some have neither external storm to weather so they weather a different storm altogether. A storm from within, the storm of extreme loneliness. Then of course there’s the storm of loss. The storm of never getting to say goodbye.
We have special cases who don’t care because it hasn’t affected them personally yet. Out of sight, out of mind… so it must not exist. Wearing masks is apparently the mandate of the Devil.
What else did I expect?? I mean, of course it’s brimming…
I want to preface by saying I know some very loving, accepting, good Christians, but unfortunately your fellow Christians have let you down. And the following does mention the unfortunate impression it has left on anyone who does not come from your faith.
As Judge Amy Coney Barrett gets sworn into the Supreme Court, and as the election inches closer… the same thoughts keep swimming around in my mind. The more I read, the more I know, the more questions I ask, unfortunately I’ve come to one conclusion over 30 years.
Christianity and similar faiths are extremely self-centered. They just spread discrimination and hatred against anyone who doesn’t follow them. There I’ve said it. If I’m wrong, show me I’m wrong – and I would gladly love to be shown that I’m wrong because I want to see good in all religions. But on the basis of what I’ve experienced, I cannot say with confidence that most Christians respect anyone else. Only their own agenda. I know this statement is going to offend so many people, but enough is enough. From imposing their views on people, to telling people that there is only one way to go to heaven. Good behavior doesn’t matter because Jesus has died for your sins, but as long as you’re Christian and accept only the Christian God, you will go to heaven. Otherwise, you can be a really good human being in society with upstanding morals and values – but if you’re not Christian… you’re going to hell. What?!? I finally, officially believe that anyone who believes that there is “only one way” has completely missed the point and intention of religion. And I mean this for anyone of any religion. I mean this thought is completely selfish, and self centered. The major point being missed by radicals, is that being tolerant of other peoples choices does not mean you have to agree with them. You do YOU. Live life by your beliefs and morals and values. No one is stopping you from doing so. But other people should equally be allowed to do what they need to do.
Recently I saw several posts from several fellow members of society in which they wrote “Our foundation must be in Christ”. Lol hello! This is America, separation of church and state. Disregarded. Instead they believe that they must shove their religion down everyone else’s throats. If I wrote “our foundation must be in Krishna” or in Allah, or in Buddha, or in any other religious body, hell would break loose. Wouldn’t it? Making any statement like the above is downright disrespectful of people’s ability to decide for themselves what religion or moral code they want to follow for their own moral upliftment. Keep in mind, everyone doesn’t speak the same language right? How many times do we see instructions written in multiple languages? Same message, multiple languages – people read the language they understand. That is the SAME concept with religion. But I could beat this point till it’s in the ground and stubborn, self centered folks still wouldn’t get it.
Recently I read that Judge Coney Barrett’s swearing in is a major win for Conservative Christians. This is scary for America. I mean it’s scary for anyone to make that statement in America. I did read that she doesn’t feel that personal religious beliefs should impact professional decisions… which does give me a small sigh of relief … but truthfully I’m not sure what direction she will actually go. The reason I’m writing this rather long blog today is to make a point that dawned on me last week. Abortion cannot be banned based on personal Christian religious beliefs because it will be unconstitutional. It will also go against other religious beliefs. Hear me out.
For the sake of argument (and I don’t think any Hindu has ever made this argument, but if we want to get technical) – Banning abortions is against my religion. “What?? Hinduism is blasphemy!!” No, no it’s not. Hindus believe in a Karmic cycle, your karma dictates your future benefits as well as punishments. Thus, I quickly tell you a story told in our religion (like your Adam and Eve) but I’ll super summarize it:
Once upon a time a well to do, good King met and fell in love with the god(dess) reincarnate Ganga (today known as the river), proposing marriage to her immediately. Ganga said she would marry him on the condition that he, nor anyone, could question any of her actions, otherwise she would leave him. The King agreed and the two married, living many happy years together, deeply in love. Then one day Ganga became pregnant and the King was overjoyed. Ganga reminded the king of his promise. When the baby was born, to the Kings dismay, she took the baby and put him in the Ganga river (yes effectively killing it). This occurred 7 times to the Kings horror. (And perhaps yours too, but read on). Finally the 8th time, as Ganga took the baby to the river the king finally stopped her and asked the question he said he never would. He said, “No more can I allow you to murder this child. Moreover I should like to put a pertinent question to you. Are you human or a devil incarnate?” Ganga gave a sad smile and replied, “Know me to be the Goddess Ganga adored by the heavenly beings as well as the humans at large. I had to accept this apparently cruel mission paradoxically on compassionate grounds.”
Bewildered the king demanded to know the entire story. Long story short, these 8 babies in a prior life were immortal noble men living in heaven who ended up sinning greatly at the forced requests of their wives (forcefully taking a holy Saint’s cow and cows baby, and a whole slew of drama). Subsequently, they were cursed to live horrible mortal lives from there on. Upon hearing their punishment, they profusely apologized and asked for forgiveness. The Saint reconsidered seeing their plight and gave them the following adjustment to the curse – they would still have to go Earth as mortals, but it would be only for one time (not recurrent). The loophole, since they were otherwise good men, was that instead of living an entire life in misery, they would be born to Ganga and killed immediately after birth, restoring their places as Noble men in heaven. The 8th child however, was a reincarnate of the nobleman who took the initiative in the cow abduction, so he was not completely pardoned and was cursed to live out the entire life. Thus was born Bhishma, a very important character in the Dharmic War, the Mahabharat. But that’s a story for another day.
Anyhow, I’ll now come to the point. Hindus believe that what happens to you in this life, is a result of pending Karma from prior lives. Therefore, by making abortion illegal, you’re possibly stopping a human from paying their karmic dues. Which statistically as we see, most children who would be born in those situations, would end up living a life either severely debilitated, in a broken or dangerous home, without a mother (death by childbirth), or as a ward of the state. Not all, yes, but statistically most. So what’s stopping a Hindu from asking – is this the life they’re living because they’re paying their karmic dues from a past life, and would abortion have been the greater Mercy, by quickly repaying their dues without much suffering? Is forcing a child to be born under the above circumstances actually an act of cruelty?
It seems silly, I’m sure to most of you, but don’t forget that things you believe may seem silly to others as well. My point is 1.) banning abortions, on the basis of separation of church and state, would be unconstitutional if decisions were made based on religious beliefs and 2.) they would actually be forcing people of karmic faiths to behave contradictory to their beliefs. Which again, goes against the entire foundation on which this country was built. I don’t care that the founding fathers were Christian, if they wanted to make this a Christian nation they would have, but they DIDN’T.
So tell me this – if we do base decisions on religion, why not base it off of mine? What makes your religion more important than mine? Oh you don’t want my religion shoved down your throat? Okay, then you keep your beliefs and your Christ to yourself. You live your life the way you see fit. If that means you’d never be okay with your children having an abortion, so be it. If you cannot agree with the homosexual life, then don’t engage in it, yourself. List could go on. I can respect your decisions being made for yourself. But don’t push them on others. Stop spreading intolerance and hate in the name of religion. I’m surprised Christ isn’t flabbergasted by the fact that his teachings are being interpreted in such a way. Because if you really want to argue the rest of us can find enough flaws in your religion too. Hell, there are so many factions to your religion because you guys can’t even come to a common understanding. Other religions have been around for centuries longer and don’t have that issue. Maybe instead take the time to understand what religion is actually supposed to mean, and actually supposed to accomplish. If this blog stings, if it’s offensive, then it’s time to reconsider YOUR views and YOUR actions. Because quite frankly, this is how you treat everyone else, but no one else has had the guts to finally just tell or show you how they feel. So here it is. The way you feel after reading this blog is literally how you extremists make everyone else feel.
All of the above being said, I think I’ve figured out what the problem is. Blindly following a religion, and believing everything preached to be true without understanding the meaning behind it is the problem. This goes for all religions, including mine. As a Hindu, I’ll be the first to tell you (for example) that the story of Adam and Eve is a beautiful story with SO much meaning and SO much to learn/take away. And yet sadly every Christian I’ve asked has told me that all they know about Adam and Eve is that “it’s true, it’s how we originated, and that Adam sinned”. Dear Christians, if you’d like to actually talk about the beautiful message it gives, and the moral take away behind Adam and Eve, let’s talk. If you haven’t thought about the “why is this story in existence” and only believe it to be fact and nothing else – you have sadly missed a very beautiful message. It’s time to ask yourself –
I am about 2 seconds from falling into a very deep sleep so I apologize in advance for the random ramblings, the spelling errors, and the grammatical ones too. Just had a thought I really wanted to put out there!
I sleep these days, about 8-9 hours… about a 3rd of my day. But in reality, it feels more like half my day… half my day I’m sleeping, half my day I’m at work lol.
During covid we’ve all been stuck at home… and the longer this goes on, the crazier it feels. Like we’ve been holding our breath for a really long time. Like we are stuck in this reality and that reality is a nightmare. As I held my breath, I suddenly thought about all those discussions on existence. The questions asking about “do we really exist?” and, “What’s the proof?”
I think, therefore, I am?
My mind started doing that thing where it goes on a tangent, and I realized there are two equally real realms in which we exist. The first being this so called “reality”… and the second being the dream realm. In our dreams the “Covid reality” doesn’t exist. Life is usually normal, sometimes weird, but normal in its own way. Especially when we’re having a positive dream!
Last night I dreamt that I was able to see and hang out with my best friend, Anna! I haven’t been able to do that very frequently at all this year and it’s been rough to do the year without seeing her every few months! It was calming. In my dream I also went on a vacation with my husband, Sagar… and that FELT amazing. It felt so real… each emotion I felt, each thought I thought, was so realistically induced. What’s to say I didn’t also exist in a different, alternate reality?
Perhaps allowing our dreams to become our reality, and our reality to become just a dream (a nightmare) is how we will survive this grim period. After all… they do feel pretty darn similar!
I’m sure you read the title and terror ensued within each cell of your body. And for that I’m offended. Thanks Hitler. You were possibly the worst man on the planet.
I’ve sat on this topic for years but it’s high time we open it. Controversial, only because the entire Western Hemisphere is as ignorant as ignorant gets.
Note I said “Swastik” not the butchered “Swaastika” that everyone in the Western Hemisphere has come to hate. It’s Swastik. And I’m sick and tired of being judged for why it pops up in so many Asian and Indian videos, photos, and ceremonies. I’m sure all Buddhists and Hindus are. I’m tired of it being affiliated only with the Nazis, when it wasn’t their thing to take to begin with because they stole it, and it’s so deeply and personally hurtful that this is ALL the rest of the world knows.
First and foremost, I mean no disrespect to the Jewish people. What happened to your ancestors I take very very seriously and I am mentally and emotionally distraught whenever I watch a documentary or hear a story from that era. I have studied the Holocaust thoroughly. I’m not Jewish, but my personality doesn’t allow me to be emotionally ignorant about what happened. My discussion today is not to minimize what happened thanks to Hitler… but rather to uncover yet another chunk of the world Hitler also destroyed (in addition to all of the horrific things he did) that no one seems to know about. To help the world understand who else Hitler destroyed in addition to the Jewsish, admittedly in a different way… of course physically in a much lesser way, when he stole an entire identity and redefined it to symbolize hate. Forever.
Imagine what would happen if someone, a non believer of the Christian like religions, took the cross tomorrow and used it to discriminate and hate and KILL an entire race of people for no good reason. Imagine if an Indian, for example if we flipped the scenario, took the cross and convinced the world that it was the sign of hatred, and murder. Imagine if because of this the rest of the world decided to hate the cross, or any other religious symbol without making an effort to understand its origins. What it really means. That’s what Hitler did. A disgusting European white man STOLE an extremely important Hindu, Buddhist, similar religions symbol (the swastik) and used it to spread hate. Without asking for any permission. He destroyed and killed the Jewish people, and along with them, he destroyed the reputation of an entire ancient and sacred religion – to no fault of our own. And it’s VERY annoying.
In Hindu ceremonies, you literally cannot complete some rituals without the Swastik. I’m going to defend my culture and say it’s not fair to ask us to change or alter rituals that have existed for thousands of years (literally longer than most religions and races have even existed) just because this idiot 100 years ago decided to abuse it. However, I’d love to come to an understanding about how we can have it back without hurting sentiments. Not that thing we let the white people borrow, no… I’m talking about that thing the white people stole. Ironically, I’m nicely asking how we can have our stolen symbol back.
On a global level… it has been accepted again and returned to the rightful owners. But unfortunately, no one has been informed of this… no one has been educated on this. So I decided to blog about it today to at least start the convo, plant the seed, hope you start looking into what it actually means and what it actually is. I wrote the blog in hopes that people won’t take it the wrong way, but instead will take a moment to think about what I’m saying.
In the meanwhile, I want to know how can we have our extremely religious symbol back while still respecting the Jewish community?
I also want to know, how the hell do we get these idiotic NEO-Nazi idiots to STOP FREAKING USING OUR RELIGIOUS SYMBOL ALREADY TO CONTINUE SPREADING HATE.
IT IS NOT YOUR SYMBOL TO USE!
America – you HATE cultural appropriation and yet you believe in, and encourage the worst possible appropriation EVER. An appropriation where a cultures identity (Aryans, Swastik) was taken, and used for the worst!
I’m not going to sit here and explain what the Swastik is because I’m hoping this blog will encourage you to do your own research and then get back to me with answers. But yes, I and my fellow Hindus, Buddhists, and similars, are SICK and TIRED of Europeans and Americans abusing something so important to us, and then deciding how the world should feel about it. Sickened because I feel for the Jewish sentiment, but at the same time feel punched in the gut because it was my symbol used against my will to make someone else feel so horrifically miserable. Not just feel, but they were treated, absolutely treated, in the most inhumane and disgusting way.
But for the record when you start researching, you’ll realize that the Swastika is the most ancient symbol symbolizing positivity, growth, and well-being in the world, it exists in almost every Asian country, and even so far back as to the Norse. It existed in Native American culture, in Japanese culture (manji), Ancient Greeks, Celts, and even ancient Eastern Europeans. It is the ONLY symbol that has had the exact same meaning across all these ancient cultures that supposedly didn’t even know of one another’s existence. It was literally carved into the walls of caves from when humans lived in Cave. Yes that’s how ancient it is.
Now please, look it up. Please look it up and see this previously hidden part of the Damage Hitler caused. The part that finally needed to be uncovered, be known by the world because us Indians/Asians are sick and tired of just tolerating being shit on and saying nothing about it… this just being ONE example.
There’s two kinds of people – metaphorically speaking, those who like to play house… and those who know when to play house.
In any given situation… there’s a rushed way to do things vs a particular time to do things. I’ll preface this by saying, there isn’t always a right time to do things – but there is a wrong time to do them.
As I grow up, I realize this more and more in my own life as well as the lives of those around me. There are some people who choose to do certain things when they don’t have the means to do them… diving head first without considering the consequences… and there are people who evaluate their means first…
Then of course, metaphorically speaking, there are people who are too cautious to play house at all. But what fun is not playing at all…
So then I guess there are actually THREE kinds of people 😂
I mean sure we all have things to say when we’re bothered by something… but I’m sure we all know those people who are CONSTANTLY complaining about other people. CONSTANTLY looking for things to hate about someone else. If they can’t find anything noteworthy they’ll make up things to complain about. And if they really can’t find something they’ll attack a person’s personality or physical appearance. The weirdest part is when the same group of people have something nasty to say about each other, the subject just changes depending on who isn’t present!
Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it when we find ourselves on the receiving end of that. Recently I found myself in the presence of an acquaintance (3 days in a row) who walked in the door complaining about other people. Their decision making skills. Their strand of hair that was still on the chair. Their personality. I mean I don’t even think person A has seen person B in well over a week or two but I couldn’t believe how much person B was getting figuratively assassinated just because. I realized that the same must be happening to me when I’m not around.
I think when we find out someone had something negative to say about us we take it personally and feel bad about it… furthermore when it’s something that’s not in our hands – such as our appearance or personality. Even more so, when we genuinely try to be a kind loving humane person, and get nothing but crude harsh judgement in return. So I made a list of things I need to realize if I ever find myself in this situation. You should too… or you can use my list and tweak it as you see fit to apply to your life!
I’m happy with who I am
I know I’m a good person
I know I try my hardest, even if I’m not always perfect
I know I’m good at what I do regardless of your standards
I’ve fixed your mistakes too, or noticed plenty of flaws in you too… I just don’t feel the need to point them out to you every time, or micro-analyze them.
You’re actually just creating a bad impression in MY mind
I now think of you as negative energy/vibes
I have an amazing family that loves me (so I couldn’t care less about your views)
I have amazing friends that love me (so I couldn’t care less about your views)
I have an amazing husband who loves me so much he spoils me, and is the only person whose opinion about my personality and appearance at this stage in life REALLY matters. (I am not trying to befriend you, date or impress YOU, so I don’t actually care about what you think)
Since we’re being shallow, before you judge me, have you looked in the mirror? When was the last time you – washed/combed/brushed your hair, took a shower, didn’t have your hair shed, got a haircut, ironed your clothes, went to the gym, had good posture, etc
Before you comment on how much I talk and like to have conversations, have you looked at how much you complain – or how judgmental you are? I think my desire to have a conversation is a sign of my intellect, empathetic nature, friendliness, and desire to connect with my fellow human beings.
I don’t judge you for your lack of ability to have a conversation (at least not consciously, and not out loud), but if I did, I’d judge you to be shallow, robotic and depending on the situation, I’d think you were incapable of having an intellectual conversation all together.
I’d also judge you for lacking humanity, empathy, and the ability to connect with other people (unless they, like you, just like to spend their time complaining)
I personally have gone through so much worse… I’ve danced with death and came back from the edge. I’m strong. If I survived that… what could you possibly do to make a dent my emotions? You’re literally a nobody in front of some of the folks and actions I’ve had to deal with.
So basically if I ever find myself on the receiving end of such a person’s negativity (knowingly) – yes I’ll probably feel bad… but then I’ll remember that such a person wasn’t around to wipe my tears or chase my fears… so they don’t get to cause fears and tears either. I’ll remember the 10 points above and realize…
I just don’t care! Because such people just don’t matter 🤷🏻♀️
Let’s just be honest. Unnecessary commentsabout one’s appearance are a totally normal part of Indian culture. I don’t know why. And before someone gets defensive… yeah yeah Americans have their flaws too which I call out all the time… but that’s not the topic of discussion at the moment. The following is a scenario near and dear to my heart.
“You got more food?! My gosh you eat so much!”Some time later… “Are you done yet?? You ate so much food! You’re so fat! You need to eat less!You’re eating too much, there’s too much on your plate”
**Let me remove some of the food even though you probably want to eat it**
Said the mom, aunty, elder family member, elder sibling, or generally any Indian person who is not a child.
Sound familiar? No it doesn’t?! It’s rude…and you’re horrified?! I mean it should sound familiar because it’s what people do to “skinny” people who don’t “eat much”.
“That’s it? You barely ate anything! How are you done already?! You’re so skinny! You’re just skin and bones! You need to eat more!”
**Let me just put more food on your plate even though you said you were full and didn’t want anymore!**
Why do these statements towards a “skinny” person seem normal but the further above don’t? What makes it okay to say these things but not the other? It’s embarrassing and unnecessary. Especially when speaking to an adult. Not to mention, forceful and uncomfortable.
Also, notice that above I put “skinny” in quotes. Because the people who are “skinny” actually are usually at a healthy weight. Most of the people making those comments, are not. So all I can say is the following:
“Yes, I do eat less (than YOU!)… but I eat the right amount to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Or at the very least to maintain my own happiness. So maybe we should reassess who is saying what to whom!
Bottom line, it is uncomfortable and rude. If it’s not your business, just stay out of it. Especially when talking to an adult… whatever end of whatever spectrum…. just let people do their thing.
We will never forget. Some of us for more reasons than just that one.
19 years ago at around 6 am I woke up to get ready for school- 6th grade – like I always did. A few minutes later, I made my way out to the living room where my father’s face was glued to the television in horror. I turned around to face the tv, just in time to see a plane crash into a very tall building, and watched in horror as it came crashing down. I silently joined my father on the sofa, stricken, not sure of what I was seeing… only that something horrible had happened to my beloved country. My heart broke, even at such a tender age, my heart sank at the number of people who must have died. My heart felt anger towards the people who had done this… to my beloved country. To my beloved people.
With a heavy heart I went to school. I figured we were all in this together. Till that day I had only seen nationality. Only acknowledged ethnicity… this very interaction between different ethnicities, a melting pot, that made us all American. I figured we would all mourn together.
As I took my seat, the white girl in front of me looked at me in disgust. I brushed it off, not sure if she meant it towards me. She was probably sad just like everyone else. A few seconds later I heard a voice, seething with a hatred that could kill, “Your people did this, you should just GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY”. I was shocked. Wasn’t this my country?! It was the only country I knew as home. I too, like her, was a born and raised American! So what did “my people” have to do with this?! And at 11 years old I thought to myself, that even if she was talking about Indians, about Hindus… WHAT HAD “MY PEOPLE” – by any definition – DONE?! That was the first time I realized there was a distinct difference between “you” and “the rest of us”. That was the moment I was rudely awakened and forced to understand the white man’s superiority complex… how many of them (yes, I know not all, but yes MANY) think. Perhaps living in California had saved me from reaching this realization earlier.
My heart also broke – with my first terrifying realization about 9/11 – for my American Muslim brothers and sisters. If I was facing this… I couldn’t even begin to imagine what they were going to face in the upcoming days… and my fear materialized with every brown person, Muslim or not, who was pursued and murdered for no reason.
And just like that… 9/11/2001… I grew up. I feel deeply by nature. In this case, even more so. I wept for the people who died, I wept for the people who lost their lives saving lives. I felt anger towards those who hurt us. I also felt confused and hurt for the way I was being treated inside my own country… a country I loved very much, just as much as those self-proclaimed “real Americans” did. But somehow because they said so, my love for my country didn’t mean anything … and theirs did.
And unfortunately – instead of focusing on the tragedy that had happened to ALL of us… This became about the “Them” vs everyone else. This became the new face of 9/11 (an insult to all who lost their lives). This became the new America – only for me to later realize…
Have you ever noticed that? We are so good at giving advice to other people. Sometimes when they ask, and sometimes just cause we want to [randomly lecture others]. Yeah But the question is, why don’t we take that advice ourselves?
As a teenager or younger adult, I always noticed that when a friend was heartbroken we told him or her exactly what he or she need to do, but when it was our turn we wasted a lot of time, energy, and tears doing exactly what we told our friend not to.
“Grown ups” give their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. all sorts of advice. How to study. How to get somewhere in life. How to be a good person. Morals. Ethics. And then if you actually observe their lives you shockingly realize how off track most of them have been over the course of their own life! Doesn’t make anyone a bad person of course, we all fall in this boat. But it’s just funny to notice how fast people are to tell others what to do (with the best of intentions) while not doing it themselves…
So my entire life I’ve always tried to live a life led by example. Not just by talking. I’ve most definitely failed several times but I’d like to think that I have an open enough mind to where I can call myself out for those moments.
But I really do believe more people should try it out in at least the most basic things… leading by example, and not just preaching to sound like a high, mighty, and pious person.
If nothing else at least the words coming out of a persons mouth would be credible 🙏🏻
I’ve touched the topic over the years but I’ll come out and just say it. The following is very personal, and as much as I regret to say it – I have a great deal of anxiety sharing this openly even though I know I shouldn’t. Anxiety not because I am ashamed, but because I know how the world pretends to care but actually perceives mental health.
I am someone who has struggled with mental health – depression, anxiety, and PTSD (all diagnosed) over the better part of the past decade. To some degree it was inbuilt, and worsened by various experiences. And yes. It got to the point where I now need to take a daily medication to be okay. Just like diabetics do. Just like high BP folks do. Hypo/hyperthyroid. List could go on. And just like their medications control their disease. Mine controls mine. And it’s made a world of a difference. It’s not a forever thing, and likely temporary… for now… but I know a lot of people, especially older Indian folks will hee and haw about this. Am I putting my families to shame by being so vocal about this? If you think yes… Why?
The truth is I don’t think a lot of people realize just how real mental illness is. They’ll talk about it, especially when someone dies due to suicide, but they’ll also turn right around and gossip about someone’s illness when it’s someone they know. If that’s you, I am talking about you. Shame on you.
Yesterday a Bollywood actor sadly died of suicide. Now there are a lot of people mourning, and saying “speak up! I’d rather hear your story than attend your funeral”. Yes, that’s a really important message to spread. The problem is that when someone is actually struggling, most people are SO DAMN UNAPPROACHABLE. They spew insensitive comments. Gossip. A complete lack of desire to actually understand and be there. I think our generation is a little better and more accepting than our parent’s… but I want to actually call attention to that fact.
Truth is a LOT of people struggle with mental health. Especially anxiety and depression. A lot more than you realize. But they’re too scared to do anything about it. I’ve had so many people reach out to me and say they were struggling but too scared to tell their parents. A lot of people reaching out for help to their parents and their parents getting mad and blowing them off as if their child is overreacting, being a drama queen. Spouses angry at their spouses for struggling instead of being there for them. (I’m one of the few lucky ones who has an amazingly supportive spouse!) People with mental health, who have its taboos so engrained into their own heads that they refuse to accept they are struggling! This is so toxic. On the other hand we also have a lot of people actively signaling for help but those signs just go unnoticed.
And then someone hurts themselves and people say “oh we didn’t know, we wish you would have spoken up”. In a lot of cases people who struggle do a really good job of pretending to be ok. They fool the public very well. That was me for a good 3-4 years. But a lot of times, people who struggle also say speak up only to be blown off. Or have some sort of silly remark made, “you’ll be fine!”, “just don’t think about it!”, “it’s all just in your head!”. Lol. I’ve been there. And it sucked to have everyone from family to friends saying these things. Telling me indirectly that my feelings didn’t matter.
As I said above, news has been making its rounds of a Bollywood star who sadly died of suicide. People are mourning. They’ll spend 2-3 days writing “please speak up if you’re suffering!” And then forgetting all about it. And that’s okay, I don’t expect everyone to be a mental health activist 24/7. But I think the most we can ask in that case is that once in a while when a situation arises in your personal life, someone you know, don’t be that person who just gossips and shames a person for having mental illness. Educate yourself on what you need to do to actually be there for them.
Truth is I’m writing this blog without asking for permission first. I’m scared but I think I need to post it. I’ve had at least 3 people in the past week ask me about my struggle and if medications have actually helped. Thinking they need help too, but too scared to get it because of the taboos associated with it. Shame. I’m speaking up because this tells me that there are a lot of people out there silently suffering. Struggling.
So whether you know me well, or don’t know me at all, I would like to open myself up as a resource, and a listening ear to anyone who needs to talk to someone who not only has struggled herself, but also as someone who is a healthcare provider, educated in psych medical therapy. Please speak up if you’re struggling. This is a safe space.
Scrolling through my Instagram, I came across the profile of someone I knew over a decade ago… not super well, but a friendly acquaintance I’d say. To be honest he has truly had the most fascinating life…. that diverged from the norm from the start.
I think I come across such profiles from time to time… some people from school days, some from extracurricular activities… some from college. I’m fascinated by their history and the time that has lapsed since I last knew them. As we all do, shamelessly, I too end up doing a little bit of social media stalking to see what these old acquaintances have been up to since they last popped up on my feed…
I think I talk to a total of maybe 10-20 people on a regular basis and know maybe another 100 well… but my Facebook claims I have over 1,000 friends. I’d say these acquaintances fall outside the 100 that I actively know, so for all intents and purposes they’re strangers today. For most, it’s been over a decade since I last spoke to them. Some I have to actually stop and think back, “When and where did I meet this person? Did we ever really interact?”. To be honest sometimes I don’t even remember.
I realized there are so many people for whom I truthfully can’t remember where I met them, or if I have ever actually said more than two words to them… and yet I’m all caught up on their lives and what they’ve been up to. That was a weird feeling… though completely normal in the age of social media I guess. But I mean… do they even remember who I am? How many of them have wondered and encountered the same realization about me in reverse?
My guess is the experience or realization is relatively universal… right?
It was a journey I didn’t really want to travel. Mostly travelled as slowly as I could. Tried to breathe in the fresh air, admire the blue skies. I met many people along the way and had many good times.
On this journey, I tried to extend the duration of my travel by trying to deny the reasons behind why I was unwillingly making this journey to begin with.
Crime, immorality, selfishness, death surrounded me. “Ignore it” people said. I tried, but it didn’t seem right. Anxiety, depression, neglect amidst many a personal battles – I countered with denial. The stifling feeling of constantly being alone, misunderstood or taken advantage of lurked in the mind, propelling me forward… yet everything appeared to be at a standstill as I met everything and everyone with a casual demeanor and a bright smile.
Try as I did to stay put… inch by inch, my journey still continued.
On this journey I had a huge water jug. It was always perfectly maintained, filled to the brim but without a drop falling out. I had stopped my journey for a second, stepping to the side of the road to empty some of that water. As I did, I contemplated turning around and heading back to where I had just come from. A small place called Sanity. I closed my eyes to feel the warm sun on my skin, the breeze nudging my hair. It felt like a perfect day.
And just as I was starting to enjoy the sun, a rumbling black cloud rumbled across the sky bringing in a violent storm that was out of my control, the whole world’s control. The storm overfilled the jug and it’s blow knocked it over.
Its funny how many films were made about the “future”. A future that typically was depicted to be some time around now. Putting fiction aside… there were so many predictions about what 2020 would look like. How advanced technology would be, how much longer life expectancy would be, which country would be on top. It was all predictions of progress. This year was supposed to be popping.
Personally I had a lot of things I was looking to accomplish before making major life changes. This was supposed to be the year my husband and I travelled the world before settling down and shifting our focus to “family”. The last hurrah as we know it.
Just a few weeks before this whole thing blew up, superficially speaking, I was supposed to get my nails done, get a haircut, get a massage… go to Cheesecake Factory to use a gift card my best friend gifted me. We kept putting it off until later cause in the moment life was so busy.
Who would have guessed that everything would come to such a sudden halt? We would have all the time in the world to go do things but couldn’t go do them. No one guessed that 2020 would be the year everything stopped for a very long minute.
The golden year 2020 of the future, where everything was supposed to be hustling and bustling – silenced.
As the wrath of coronavirus descends upon us, I can’t help but think about people in the military and what they go through on a daily basis. I don’t necessarily want to compare myself to them, because I have too much respect for what they do, but at this time, I’m starting to understand some fraction of what they must be going through – especially during times of active combat.
They chose to enlist. It was their choice. Just like it was mine to become a healthcare provider. They’re brave and put their lives on the line, just like we are now. I think everyone has respect and is thankful… but truthfully before now, while I always “knew”, I never really took the time to think about what must be going on in their minds – emotionally speaking.
I wouldn’t be surprised if deep down inside they felt some ounce of fear. Fear for their lives, fear for if they’ll ever see their loved ones again… or what will happen to their loved ones. But they put on their brave face and carry on. Respect.
We are scared too. We wish we could join the masses in their work from home isolation but we can’t. We don’t want to get sick. We don’t want to potentially bring it home to our loved ones. But we put on a brave face and carry on.
Maybe it’s only a fraction of understanding what they go through – but while before my immense respect for them was based on what I knew, today I have an additional perspective. My respect has grown multi-fold because I now also know with my feelings.
I often write about my own feelings and emotions revolving around a certain topic. The other day I wrote about rejection and so many people reached out with a Virtual Hug. You guys are amazing and thank you for the love ❤️ I appreciate you all
Last night I noticed my husband was a little fussy… not towards me but in general inwardly. It’s when I noticed that all of this isn’t easy on him either… he’s silently been sacrificing a lot without even signing up for it… and I have to take note of that
My husband is an engineer – he works 9-5 M-F. That’s what he signed up for. A normal life. Then he met me. Sure we can say the moment he married me he signed up for my life patterns but I’m pretty sure he was busier focusing on who I am as a person.
This man silently accepted that every other week for 7 days straight he wouldn’t see me… he would be at work when I was asleep, and I’d be at work when he was. That means no partner for comfort cuddles at night. He accepted that he won’t be able to make normal plans for 50% of the weekends in a year because I would be working. He started planning his life around my work schedule without a peep.
He accepted, perhaps with a heavy heart, that not just during this coronavirus pandemic, but every night his wife will march into a war zone of some contagious disease or another and has the potential to get sick. Bigger yet – he accepted that HE might get sick.
During this pandemic he has accepted that as much as he wants to be near me, hug me, comfort me… he can’t. And it seemed unfair. As I went to sleep in our bed and he went to sleep in the guest bedroom his fussiness grew. I noticed it. And I felt horrible for him. He didn’t sign up for this… only I did.
That’s what spouses of healthcare providers do – they accept that something might go wrong, silently, while actively supporting their partner. He knew what he was getting into by the time we got married… but that doesn’t mean I can’t give him the appreciation he deserves. I can only take care of people because he takes care of me.
Kind of want to narrate a funny side effect of everything that’s been going on. Yes I’ve been around sick people. Clearly strangers know that too as soon as they see me in scrubs. On my way home today I happened to be walking by some folks and they all seemed to avoid me, walk the long way around, as if I was a stray rabid dog.
At home my husband maintains a distance. Of course, I want him to… I wanted him to leave last week before I plunged into this whole thing and go stay with my parents two hours away. He didn’t, but that’s a different story. I know he should keep his distance, but the fact that I can sense that he’s doing it on his own hurts. It’s illogical and I shouldn’t feel bad cause he makes sure to tell me he loves me and hates the physical distance verbally every second of every minute we’re together. I know some people have moved out, sleep in the garage, have sent their kids away… so I’m lucky my husband is still in front of me – but it still feels yucky. Feels worse cause I’ve been coughing the past few days and now I also feel guilty.
We’re all mentally exhausted from dealing with all of this. It feels like a bad dream that we are just not waking up from. But at least you guys can cuddle with your loved ones. Hug your mom, see you’re dad.
Sucks that we are feeling down too, just like everyone else… but for us, at a time when we could really use a hug… we absolutely cannot have one. Seems trivial but it’s actually a really big deal.
Guess that’s one of the sacrifices all healthcare providers are making to keep providing. For now I have to cry by myself. Feel the anxiety alone. And all I get is some words of comfort from a long long distance. Text. Phone. Husband sitting at a decent distance. I can’t cuddle up next to him or cry my anxiety into his shoulder.
I can’t go near my husband. I can’t see my parents or my brother. I can’t have my loved ones near me to comfort me and for me to comfort them. They try hard to comfort me with words but it almost feels like I’m starting to experience a little bit of touch starvation after a week.
Just have to sit here and literally feel like a rabid dog while I help save lives. How ironic is that? Loll
I’ve been super agitated lately. Just in general not just cause of coronavirus but yeah it’s exacerbated it. I want to talk about why I get mad.
Except no one in the field is making decisions that are right for us. We’re treating COVID19 patients without much protection, putting ourselves and the people we love in harms way.
And in return People do and say really shitty things. This virus is no joke, the data is out in front of us. It’s a scary time right now. But yet people are not understanding and taking it seriously… STILL. Another thing that’s pissing me off is how people are just spreading wrong information without realizing the repercussions of it. And when I get mad, people don’t get WHY I’m mad. Heck why the entire MEDICAL community is pissed.
So let me put it this way. To be blunt, while people are sitting at home, wasting time at home, working from home… or not really working… MEDICAL STAFF is putting themselves in harms way. We are the ones going to work day in and day out. We are the ones KNOWINGLY entering infected patients rooms, KNOWING that we can potentially get sick… and die from it. Not people. We are. We are knowingly doing all this, knowing that we might bring it home and kill a loved one. Is that blunt enough for you?
So ya when I see people spreading false information or just hanging out and not taking this seriously it makes me feel like I’m INTENTIONALLY putting myself and my family in harms way for people who don’t actually deserve it.
How about instead then WE sit at home, and you people go to the hospital and use your so called misinformation to cure these patients. Why don’t YOU make it a social gathering while you’re at it.
Guess when that’s all over the population of the planet will be significantly different and we will all be safe to come out of our homes again.
But obviously that’s not going to happen, so until then… I’m going to have to be the one in a dangerous situation… not you. Those nurses doctors and respiratory therapists? They’re the ones who have to work with those infected lungs – NOT YOU. When things get bad, WE have to watch people be REALLY sick and die at the same time. YOU don’t. MEDICAL STAFF has to cry with the family while YOU are completely oblivious to what’s been going on.
So the least YOU can do, is cooperate, understand WHY we get mad, and help us in stopping all this bullshit instead of blowing our desperate and sincere requests off as “overreacting”.
Cause you know what? You wouldn’t call it overreacting if your eyes saw what ours have, and felt the fear we have felt.
Ps. Everyone is working hard. But I especially have to applaud the most hands on people – nurses, respiratory therapists, followed by doctors. You guys are the heroes of heroes.
Amidst all the craziness that has been surrounding us… all the negativity, all the fear that has been engulfing us… a black cat crossed my path tonight on my way to work.
“Greaaaat” I thought to myself, “Just great!”
No, I’m not too superstitious otherwise, but I found myself really annoyed by the timing.
More than this cat crossing my path however, it was how it went down that stuck with me. This cat – not a kitten but not fully grown either, with velvety dark as night fur – was utterly flustered. If it had just stayed put it would have been fine… but instead it started running erratically out of fear.
I guess it thought it had a split second to decide… Right?? Left?? And then suddenly (of course) it ran left… directly out in front of my car before suddenly coming to a deer in headlights stop. I was watching it all along so luckily I wasn’t really moving as I waited for it to figure it’s situation out. In that moment, shining in my cars headlights, I could see turmoil and fear mixed in its eyes. It was the chilling look of staring death in the eyes, terrified. It’s life was probably flashing before it’s eyes, it’s heart was probably racing. I honked at it twice – once to unfreeze it, once get it to move. In the process, it crossed my path before disappearing into the night.
Made me think of us humans in this time. We too are so unsure of what we’re supposed to be doing. There’s so much confusion, turmoil, fear… and rightfully so. We’re social creatures but trapped within the 4 walls of our homes… and the 4 walls of our mind. It seems like we’re battling a pandemic but many are also trying to keep mental health decline at bay. One internal struggle… one external.
Hopefully we won’t lose our minds along the way. Hopefully we make a conscious effort to stay sane and stay put… because not doing so will truly be a dangerous thing. This cat within those few seconds symbolized that understanding… or even the lack thereof … to me.
The most important thing to remember however is that this cat’s moment passed within a couple seconds. I’m just hoping ours will too… sooner than later… with this just becoming a distant memory.
I wore a short outfit. It was not that short… but short enough for some people to comment on it, disapprovingly. And it gave me anxiety – for a second. It also looked shorter than it really was in photos but that’s besides the point.
I wore it while in Vegas and while with my husband. It was approved and passed by husband level of comfort (whether I needed it or not is besides the point – I’m an independent woman, but I still respect my marriage enough to avoid doing things that make my husband uncomfortable).
Some background – I spend 99.9% of my life looking like a slob. I LOVE what I do and I’d pick it all over again a million times – but to make a point – I work graveyards, in a hospital, doing some really stressful work. I wear non-shape conforming scrubs, my hair is usually just thrown up in a mess, and my face doesn’t have an ounce of make up – or anything – on it. Nothing to cover up the dark circles, the baggy eyes, the horrible skin secondary to degree of stress and horrible sleep and eating patterns.
I spend 99.9% of my life feeling and being unattractive. And it doesn’t bother me because what I do holds so much meaning. I save lives every single day. But somewhere that 99.9% being unattractive has rooted itself somewhere in my subconscious. And it’s not a good feeling. I also wasn’t raised to wear risqué clothing – so I don’t. And even this time, I didn’t.
But as a nearly 30 year old married woman, I’d want the world to allow me to draw my own boundaries. If my husband is ok with something, then I should be able to do whatever I need to do within those boundaries.
Women lose themselves in family life, in societal pressure. Women conform to expectations and fear gossip – then participate in gossip – and most spend their entire life forgetting to take care of themselves.
I’m not saying go out there and be a 110% skank (whatever that’s means). I’m not saying cross limits that your family is uncomfortable with. But alongside respecting your partner’s comfort level, and he (or other appropriate pronoun) respecting your need to do what you gotta do, find a middle ground wherein you can find time to feel good about yourself.
Is this blog superficial upon first glance? Yes. But so many people don’t realize how much mental effort goes behind accepting ones body during periods of change. Aging (losing ones youth). Pregnancy. Diseases. Medication. The list goes on. We should be confident in who we are – but that’s easier said than done. Truth is we are all vain, and while we might not show it, the thoughts of losing the body/image we are most confident in do engrain themselves in our subconscious, and negatively affect us.
I’m no different.
So yeah. I did wear a sort of short black outfit. Location was appropriate, and it was husband approved.
And for one night in a blue moon – I felt damn good strutting in it.
Ever been in an interaction with another human where it feels like you’re the only one making an effort? Doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship… I mean literally any relationship.
Ok honestly of course you have, everyone has… though either you’re the do-er or the non-do-er.
Basically, it sucks. That feeling, where you feel like you’re always the one making an effort, initiating things, and the other person just goes along with it for the sake of doing so, but never initiated themselves. It makes you wonder what would happen if you stopped. Would they notice and start initiating? Or would any bit of interaction between you two just cease to exist?
For me, pretty much every time I’ve tested this out, I’ve noticed that interactions completely ceased to exist. It made me realize that I don’t mean as much, or that specific action with a given person meant much more to me than it did to him or her. Be it family. Be it friends. Be it relationships. Be it acquaintances.
I guess it is what it is but it isn’t a good feeling. It’s a worse feeling when you give up and decide to then have that interaction with someone else… only to end up as the “bad guy” for finding an alternative.
The Friendships we have in our lives are like an onion. Which layer someone exists in is of course determined by their importance to you, but more so your importance to them.
The past few days I’ve especially been noticing, who I prioritize… and who prioritizes me. I’ve also noticed that the key element in whether a person is an “inner core” or not is also determined by their friendship work ethic.
What’s that? Well how one functions in their day to day relationships really… I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way… but I think there’s a “my way” and a “not my way” for all of us. The people whose ways mimic “my way” are inner core, while the people whose don’t are slightly further out. They’re still good friends… but maybe sit on the second or third layer rather than smack dab in the middle.
I think we are closest to the people who interact with their world similar to how we interact with ours. I realize, we might call some subset of people our best friends because of one reason or another… but sometimes speak to someone completely out of that circle more intimately. Isn’t that weird?
I think what it really comes down to is reliability transparency, and follow through. If I feel like I can trust someone with my time, and they always follow through by either telling me “yes I can do it”, “honestly no I can’t do it” or “I can’t now but here’s the potential timeline” … those are the people that sit at my core. Also the people who put in as much effort as I do.
From the core we work our way out, best friends who we may not always have time for (or vice versa), good friends who are always there but not someone frequently involved, all the way out to acquaintances. I guess the outer most layer the flakey one is just strangers or people we don’t care about 😅
Either way – friendships and their degree of closeness are like onions. And upon re-evaluation I was surprised to realize that some people hold a lot more importance to me than I realized ❤️
It’s a thing we do when someone dies. We’ve all seen it… someone passes away and people have memorials to remember them by.
Or have you ever seen a recently passed’s Facebook page? Hundreds of posts pouring in, memories pouring in, making the deceased sound like he or she was the most incredible and loving person alive. Loved by everyone. Great personality, amazing talents, a spectacular being that everyone was in awe of.
And yet most of us live our lives being insignificant nobodies. Mediocre at best, even on a good day! Most of us just live the daily grind day in and day out till one day we croak.
A lot of us are bullied at some point or another. A lot of us also live this life feeling stressed out, depressed, unimportant, and/or undervalued.
How can that be? How can we all claim to live this seemingly mediocre life if after we die, everyone acts like they loved us as much our parents, partners, and children did?
The other day while reading such comments on a strangers’s Facebook – (God knows how I got there) I had to wonder – what would people write or say about me when I die? And how unfortunate that I couldn’t connect with those people on that level while still alive.
What’s worse is – being dead it wouldn’t matter and I wouldn’t care what people had to say. It wouldn’t make me feel anything. But it would matter so much right now – it would impact how I lived my day to day life. It would be uplifting!
I do genuinely think that when a person feels loved and noticed, he or she does automatically lead his or her life with more positivity.
It is a weird thought, I know. But really… why don’t we spend more time saying nice things about people to their faces while they’re still alive? Maybe not every single day… but maybe put down some raw emotion every once in a while? I guarantee it would have made a difference if the dead knew what people had to say about them when they were still alive.
Disclaimer: While my life is completely on track today I see so many people suffering at the hands of others. And I feel angry about that. I feel angry for others even though their problems aren’t my problems… empathy is it’s own kind of monster… but I thought I’d put a voice behind those thoughts
Dearest person who has wronged me,
I want to ask you from where you derive all of your confidence. You have gone out of your way to hurt another soul. You’ve gone out of your way to cause significant harm, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally and mentally. You’ve blindsided me, you’ve tricked me with your fraudulent ways. You pretended to love me, to be someone near and dear.
You made me trust you just so that you can go about doing your dirty deeds behind my back. You went about performing injustice after injustice. You have so much bad karma, and yet you are so confident.
You’re so confident that you’re invincible. There are so many gaping holes in your story and yet you tell it without flinching. There is so much evidence against you, and yet… there isn’t a glimmer of fear in your eyes.
From where do you get such confidence to do the things you do to people?
How do you feel no shame?
I’ve been wronged, I’ve been hurt, and yet it’s me who sits here considering the worst case scenarios. All the evidence is on my side and yet I tremble in fear every time a situation arises where I have to deal with you again. What if despite everything, you get away with your behavior – reaping the benefits of selfishly hurting someone else.
Good things are supposed to happen to good people, but from your confidence it seems like you don’t fear karma at all. Good things happen to people who take what they want, regardless of positive or negative effect.
I didn’t fight hard… I did what I could to get away from you as quickly as possible… so you didn’t get the punishments you deserved. Everyone who’s been in my shoes, maybe only 10% have fought for justice.
I didn’t get justice. I didn’t seek it because I don’t have the confidence you do. Most people I know didn’t get justice.
I can’t go back in time and fix what’s passed. But I can try to help others fight for justice. Now, regardless of my own safety, regardless of my own fears, regardless of the PTSD it triggers in me… someone must get justice.
If even one person gets justice – then it’ll feel like so did the rest of us.
But for that we need your confidence. If you can be so confident in being wrong, why can’t we be confident in being right?
So again I ask you, from where do you derive all your confidence?
I saw this post this morning – and I felt it to the core. Today I want to take a moment to reach out to all those people experiencing heartbreak secondary to a failed relationship. All around me lately I’ve been seeing people from teenagers to married individuals go through this process of breaking. Most of us know from first hand experience – that this process feels like the end of the world… but it’s not.
During this process there is always one phase that occurs without fail… and that’s begging for love. You cry, you fight, you ask your partner to treat you right, or you ask them to spend more time with you, to prioritize you, to not neglect you. You feel pathetic. But yet they still don’t listen. And it hurts. Somehow it’s your fault for asking to be treated right.
You start to question yourself and wonder if you aren’t good enough. If your partner leaves, you question if love is real, and worst of all you question your morals. Some people let their morals go, let them go for a person who didn’t respect them to begin with. For someone who wasn’t worthy to begin with. If you leave your partner because you were being mistreated, your feelings get in the way and you wonder if it was better to be the scum under their shoes as long as they were still with you.
Don’t do that. Because a person who doesn’t know your Worth isn’t worth your efforts, feelings, or tears. They belong in the trash. And in the past. I firmly believe that there is always someone (or maybe many someone’s) out there who would respect you, and your presence in their life. They would notice the things you do for them, and love you for it. They wouldn’t play games with your feelings or be utterly inconsiderate towards them.
I speak from experience. And let’s be honest… I think most of us have “been there, done that”. In hindsight it feels silly to have given someone so much importance when they just didn’t care.
Truth is when I met Sagar… we had both been through our respective share of hurt emotions… only to realize that no one else ever really mattered in life but us. He fulfilled my prayers (what my soul needed from a partner) and I fulfilled his.
If you are going through something right now, feel sad, go through the motions – but don’t let yourself go. Don’t question yourself. Most importantly, don’t beg for love. The second you have to do that your partner isn’t worthy of you anymore. You’ll find someone who is worthy of your time, and worthy of your love.
Because in a real relationship – you don’t have to beg for love.
It’s incredible how ones mental state of mind can severely affect their physical ability to do anything.
It really doesn’t even matter if you got plenty of rest.
The past few weeks I’ve found myself pretty beyond stressed out over one thing or another.
Today I stood up to practice dance – and within 3 seconds I was gasping for breath, exhausted, and sat back down.
A healthy girl who dances on a daily basis should not be this physically drained or feel so mentally aloof.
At first I couldn’t understand why I was so tired taking into consideration the fact that I had probably close to 18 hours of sleep over the past 24 hours lol. You can thank flipping from graveyards for that.
Then I realized I have to work on my mental health every day before I work on my physical activities.
I think we all have to.
Because if we are not feeling well up there, then we are using up ALL the energy we have just to function at a baseline normal.
If I’m using up all my energy just to be normal… where am I going to have energy to do any physical activity?!
The big take away here? You have to be happy and relaxed before you can successfully and efficiently complete whatever tasks have been set in front of you.
The past few days have been eye opening. As the decade came to a close, I realized I had been through so much this decade (for better or for worse) and came out a much stronger person.
I also realized, as I was scrolling through my Facebook memories this morning, that we paint our own narrative. And boy is mine sulky.
Yes there will always be people out there who want to hurt us and they will go out of their ways to make life hell when they can. This is life, nasty people exist. Things out of our control happen. But we have to paint our own narratives by taking control of our own lives.
I spent much of the 2010s allowing myself to blame people for my miserable moments. To be fair, I genuinely tried to be a good friend, partner, family member, but when it was not reciprocated I blamed others for the way I felt.
This morning I realized that blame game needs to stop, because ultimately it’s my own fault. If I took charge of my own life, I wouldn’t allow myself to be in circumstances that made me uncomfortable.
It doesn’t really matter what other people want.
Ultimately this is my life to live and everyone else just goes home and goes to bed. They don’t care if I’m losing sleep over something that they did or said.
So the 2020s – I think will be the decade I stop living for other people, and start living for myself. It’ll be the decade where I figure out who genuinely has my best interests at heart, before committing to having an interaction. It’s the decade where I start being a healthy selfish.
It’s the decade where I stop blaming people for what I allow them to do to me.
We all need to stop blaming people for the things we allow them to do to us. If a situation is negative, step out of it. Nothing is physically preventing us from pursuing our own happiness.
Time to paint a positive narrative. Time to be happy.
Only took 3 decades of developing maturity to figure that one out.
I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think about what family means to me. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. In the following blog.
My whole life people have talked about blood = family. And I agree, biologically. But family are the people who have your best interests at heart, who love you unconditionally, and prioritize you over themselves. So how can being related by blood be the criteria for defining family? Many times, blood doesn’t even prioritize you over themselves, many times love is conditional – which can be as simple as “If am your sibling or parent, then I have to do xyz things for you”. See how that’s transactional and not from the heart? What if an individual was a horrible sibling or a horrible child? Or even if the individual is an amazing person – if blood “family” just does the “basics” aka food, shelter, education, discipline… that’s no different than what a caretaker would have done anyway.
Family goes one step further. Family has an emotional bond. Family tries to go out of their way to sustain a relationship by emotionally being there for one another, at the expense of their own needs. Family listens. Family understands when someone is looking out for them and is appreciative of it. Even if it doesn’t align with their own desires. Family understands. It doesn’t take long for true family to know a person inside and out. If an individual been alive for 25 years, and despite being blood “family” you’ve decided to create your own impression of that person rather than truly getting to know them – then no you’re not family.
Often times this pseudo “blood family” will try to be controlling, and when an individual tries to find real family – they try to control by saying things like “only we are here for you, all your friends are just outsiders”. When they say these things – they further isolate you emotionally. They’re not there for you, and they don’t allow you to feel comfortable with an “outsider” either. Which by the way is really toxic for emotional health. Feeling alone can lead to depression, suicidal behavior, or anger, frustration, and more aggressive behaviors.
It’s really not fair.
The truth is, sometimes friends are just as much family if not more. In my own life – friends have sacrificed their sleep to be with me during my lows. They sacrificed going to work (when they could) to sit with me, they driven long distances to be there with me. Amongst many things. And I’ve done the same for them. Blood related family may (if you’re lucky) always be there for you – but contrary to common belief, true friends can often match them step for step.
My husband (from since when he was “just” a boyfriend) – he has listened and heard me. He has (time and time again) understood what I needed without needing much help. It only took him less than 2 years to understand what makes me tick, and how to tackle it (albeit the same is true vice versa).
My best friend has cried with, and for me. She has been mad at people despite not even knowing them, because I was mad at them. She has felt my emotions when I was feeling them. This girl has had my back 200% because she understand the definition of loyalty. And honestly I’ve never experienced loyalty like that before. Only given it.
None of these people are blood – but they don’t have to be. They’re bound to me by the heart. So how can anyone say they are lesser family than blood family?
The 2010s have helped me realize this. Blood family is always there for the most part, at least for most people (however, keep in mind when interacting with people, this may not be true for all). But friends, and spouse are equally a part of our hearts. They cannot be excluded. Not all friends of course, but you know when someone has crossed that threshold of just friend vs family.
Cheers to friends, and cheers to my husband for also helping mold me during my 20s. For keeping my emotionally and mentally healthy when things could have easily gone the other way.
You are also, 100% my family. And anyone who says otherwise – is wrong.
I can’t speak for all brides because a lot of them do go from their parent’s home to their husband’s directly – so yes they do have a reason to get all sentimental. And let’s not forget arranged marriages, which can be a little nerve wracking for the bride.
But the funny thing is, I cried too. And I couldn’t understand why.
I’ve lived away from home for the past 11 years. 11 years. Been there, done that. I basically got married for the legality of it all, but literally nothing changed. Not my living situation, not my job, not my name. Nothing. If anything I moved even closer to my parents home.
So naturally, I couldn’t figure out why I was crying, and being the cancerian I am – I had to sit and overthink about it.
I came to the conclusion it was all psychological. I wasn’t physically leaving my parents, but mentally/emotionally it meant I had to leave being a carefree child behind – and had to do “big people stuff”. Not just bills and rent, but like – actually think about taking on the responsibility of kids, being more patient, and cooking every meal (that was light humor in case you missed it).
Secondly, it meant my independence was legally gone. Yes it’s supposed to feel wonderful to be with this one man (and it does feel wonderful cause he’s my best friend) but there’s still a realization. Legally understanding that I’m bound to this man and there’s no going back – even if he were ever to wrong me, there is only going forward. Again this is funny cause we’ve been together for years and he’s awesome… so in the real time plane, nothing has changed… it’s all psychological.
Lastly – it was a major identity crisis. I’m Sayli Natu, always have been, and always will be. When I look in the mirror that’s who I see. How does one suddenly start responding to another name? How is it that the name I identify with, affiliated with the man who made me who I am today over the past 30 years, is to be scrapped for the name of a man who just met me? Perhaps every girl goes through this. I think if I ever changed my name, it would purely be for love, or for kids – but my identity – I’d have to build a new one affiliated with that name… and in today’s day and age – I’m too old to do that now. I’d rather grow my current one to include the “new” one.
Anyhow this last point is also psychological because at this time I’m not changing my name, and the hubs doesn’t necessarily want me to either. But that everyone keeps talking about me no longer being a Natu is little tough. Actually no – it’s bittersweet. It’s nice to be accepted wholeheartedly (sweet) and bitter in respect to identity.
Here’s a fun fact – every time I started crying I looked at Sagar’s smiling face – and the tears disappeared. That’s the degree of comfort and assurance I get from him.
Anyhow, now that I have dissected my feelings – I suppose I can put them to the side since nothing has actually changed. I can go on my merry way, back to the daily grind – and yes, I am enjoying my married life thanks to my best friend (hubs).
With all due respect to people individual beliefs – please keep following your customs, but I felt the need to speak up before you impose your views on others without having a strong supporting argument or proof.
Yep. I’m going to openly talk about periods in a public forum where 50% of my readers are male.
If you’re immature, or backwards… please close this page now as you will not be able to handle the topic and will be greatly embarrassed that you have subjected your eyes to reading about periods. You will also likely judge me for being shameless… so before getting into that… please do not read further.
Today I briefly want to discuss periods and our take on it in the Hindu culture.
Growing up I was often told I couldn’t pray, or participate in any God related activities during my period – because “That’s what it says in our religion” I used to follow them and feel ashamed of my cycle because of it. Unfortunately, I still am told to abide by such rules today. I abide by them out of respect for others. But in some cases… it’s impossible to abide by these baseless rules.
Fortunately, now that I’m grown up, and have actually taken the time to STUDY my religion – I’d like to ask “Where?”.
Where does it say we are “impure” and “‘not allowed” to do things during menstruation?
Yes it’s uncomfortable and I prefer to do nothing during my period (pray, eat, work, talk to other humans) but no I’m not restricted religiously from doing anything.
Not a single Veda, not the Gita, no scripture says anything about being impure during periods… and if one took the time to actually study real Hinduism instead of blindly following a corrupted version of Hinduism that is man made… he or she would know the vedas actually discourage discriminating against a woman for her bodily functions.
So where did all of this begin? Women in ancient culture used to pray/visit the temple on a daily basis. However, during the monthly cycle – often times women feel weak, sick, and are constantly cramping. Therefore, women were told that God would be understanding if they took those days off from praying due to their hardship. This was a way to give women a break during an uncomfortable period. This was NOT an indication that God found women impure. I’d argue that periods are in fact the most pure thing – as they are what ensure that our human race will continue (and hence Gods work for religious folks). When periods stop… so do reproductive capabilities. Basically, if I get my period it’s a problem, and if I don’t get my period it’s ALSO a problem. What’s up with that?! God is literally the being that made it so. Why would he shame his own creation??
However, over time, as everything else with Hinduism… the lack of education and the lack of ability to think has corrupted people’s understanding of this originally amazingly open minded religion. Additionally, when someone tries to apply logic and think about why something is the way it is… elders immediately shame their kids for being blasphemous under the name of God. Incapable of thinking, we basically end up with the blind leading the blind, and no one thinking or applying logic. Telling a woman she cannot pray while having a period to me is equivalent to questioning God’s creation of the menstrual cycle. Is that not more blasphemous?!
So ok fine, we don’t want to think for ourselves right? How about picking up one of the Vedas… (or all 4, or 5 for those of you who believe in the extra one) and read it for yourself. Take a class. Someone sat down hundreds and thousands of years ago and did the thinking for you! Instead of subjecting some man made myths on others… start studying the original source. Yes there are stories and myths that may imply one thing or another but those are myths… again, not the original sources.
Start studying. Start thinking. Start applying logic. Start understanding the history behind an action.
Stop following a corrupted version of Hinduism.
50% of the worlds population bleeds. Deal with it.
I like things to be highly organized and intelligently handled.
I do not like interacting with people who lack common sense intellect.
No you don’t have to be well educated to have common sense. My grandmother only studied till 4th grade and she was the most intelligent person. You just have to know how to think.
Which apparently many people don’t (know how to think).
So here I am just trying to live my life – and frankly everything in my life is sorted! But for the people I love – something or another is always off… and I literally am losing hair over it. Taking their problems into my own hands, fixing them.
All this while I’ve been there for the people closest to me getting things done. And they don’t worry… cause they know I’ll take care of it. What they don’t realize is that in a family where folks have black hair till 75+…. my hair started turning white at 23. My hair started falling out from the stress, and my face shows it. As I get older I realized my body can’t take the constant stress and it’s going to end me the way most type As go
And then I had an epiphany. Like a sense of calmness.
No literally… who cares?? All these people I stress out for, they’re adults! I’m not stressed out about anything in my own life. So why am I allowing my physical appearance to degrade for people who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves??
My goal is for me to survive. If something happens to someone else, it’s a result of their own actions or inability for them to survive. That’s not my problem. I have to detach myself from people’s problems. Yes I am emotionally attached to these people but I have to realize there’s only so much I can do.
And when I decided to stop taking all these burdens on my head it felt weird… but for once my hair follicles felt like they’d allow my hair to stay upon my head.
To stress or not to stress? I think not… cause everything gets resolved eventually… some way or another!
Today, browsing through Instagram I saw that one of my now acquaintances recently got married. I haven’t talked to him in maybe… 15+ years and truthfully we were just on smile hi/bye terms throughout the school days.
But why I bring him up is because it triggered a memory from elementary school. The first decade of life… where everything is so innocent. (At least it used to be in the ’90s).
I’d like to share a silly but cute incident with all of you.
Back in the 5th grade, 9 or 10 years old… I had the honor of being appointed the class paper monitor. That meant whenever someone wanted paper they’d have to ask me and I’d go and get it for them. One sheet at a time. One day, this so called now acquaintance… then classmate… mustered up all the courage he could in his little 4’7″ body to ask me for paper… and while I was getting it for him he whispered something to me that caught me completely off guard.
“I have a crush on you” he had said just as the teacher announced it was time for recess.
Of course it was a kiddy crush and meant nothing at that age… but our reactions are what make me laugh.
I pretended like I didn’t hear him… AT ALL while simultaneously turning as red as possible, eyes wide.
He, too scared to reply to my big “HUH?!?!”, turned around and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him… as far away from me as possible (for all of 15 minutes).
And we never spoke of it again.
Makes me laugh because here we are today getting married… and possibly having been through our fair share of real relationships respectively over the past decade. Maturing with each interaction we’ve had with the opposite gender. Learning how to talk to the other gender… learning how to confess our feelings or turn down someone else’s feelings. Gaining confidence, understanding heartbreak, understanding love, bit by bit losing our innocence as the years creeped by.
But in that moment – we were running on zero experience. It’s captured in my mind clearly. Not the literal events but the innocence of the moment. Of a crush that meant nothing but yet had the most childlike of reactions.
That was my first encounter. Do you remember your first kiddy, pre teenage hormones, innocent crush incident?
So they say. And truly, it does. We all want to have fun, enjoy life and the journey that it is.
It’s nice that time flies when you’re having fun.
It also sucks.
The days preceding marrying your loved one go by in anticipation but when you see them everyday – before you know it, it’s time… to seal the deal!
And then you’re having such a blast all of a sudden you’re 80, celebrating your 50 anniversary with grandkids.
Maybe my views are a bit morbid working in a hospital – so while I want all that (80 with grandkids) I just wish I could freeze the first year or two of marriage while continuing to have high intensity fun. Traveling with my best friend, spending time doing so many things besides just work and home(work).
Each day becomes a routine and before we know it life passes us by.
Truthfully it’s a horrible thing that most Asian / Indian families live by. They work so hard they forget to have fun. They’re so invested in their kids they forget to be a couple. (This is actually why it’s so important that your partner is your best friend and not someone who makes your life hell). They’re so invested in saving they don’t actually do anything with the money they’ve saved.
It’s important to use that hard earned money to enjoy life. Don’t just work hard but actually play hard. This life isn’t worth the small stresses and as long as you can put a shelter over your head, food on the table, and education in your kids heads… it really doesn’t matter how much money is in the bank in excess of that.
I realize the importance of participating in memory creating activities. And most importantly doing it with my best friend. And whatever little best friends may be a result of our best friendship ☺️
I say that last part because people say you can’t have fun after kids. And yes maybe it’s hard, but I don’t want to submit to that mindset. I’d like to think my parents had a blast showing us the world, and I’d like to do that going forward as well.
Now perhaps I sound a bit privileged talking about “spend that money” and I realize that not everyone has the funds to travel or spend lots of money. (Truthfully I don’t either). But that doesn’t mean you can’t make memories. Vivid memories that can last you a lifetime… for free, in your own home. What matters is how you spend that time and with whom.
Time flies when you’re having fun. You can’t freeze time. But you can definitely absorb and savor every moment of it. The more vivid it is in your memory the better you can replay each moment in your head – and that replay… in essence is time traveling – and perhaps that’s how you freeze time.
I read the above meme the other day. I felt like it especially addresses many Asian cultures. And so I wanted to address it.
That’s right. I literally see it so much around me. As I grow up more and more cases spring up. Maybe they were always there, but I was too young to know.
Today I have so many people approaching me about “what to do” (even though I don’t have kids I’d my own) but I have to say… Parents – show love. And minimize the negative interactions in front of your children or grandchildren. Your interaction and unhappiness shapes your child’s idea of a relationship. It teaches kids that marriage is a horrible place to be. And it really isn’t! It shouldn’t be! You think your kids don’t see it but they are professionals at picking up vibes.
If you have a son it teaches him either how to negatively treat his partner or how to be ok with being abused.
If you have a daughter, it teaches her either how to negatively abuse her partner OR how to be ok with being abused.
You don’t want that for your kids do you? No? Ok so if your relationship is so toxic beyond repair… get out. Because this isn’t about you anymore it’s about your child. You’re hurting them more than helping them. This is something our culture will put me on blast for encouraging but it’s true. We have on avg 75-100 years on this planet. That’s a long time to suffocate… and one limited life to waste.
Is your relationship fixable? (You’ll know the difference deep down inside – as to whether it’s fixable or not). Try every method to see if something wrong can be fixed, maybe love still exists but needs a therapist to work it out…
That’s why I never could stay in an environment that was toxic… whether that’s romantic or blood, doesn’t matter. Small fights – learn to patch them up…. but if you’re in a manipulative or abusive or toxic situation…. You have to break the cycle somewhere.
It’s hard. At first it’s exceptionally hard but believe me when I say that hard phase lasts maybe 1-2 years. Then it blows over. 1-2 years of difficulty is nothing in the face of 50 years of suffocation.
If I could do it. You can too. Please, for the sake of future generations.
After multiple incidents today And multiple points – I have to speak up.
1.) Progressivism vs Decency
The world we live in today. Where in the name of progressivism we have given up decency.
Being progressive doesn’t mean we forget how to be decent. True progressives find that balance between decency and progressive. Progressive means we should be able to talk about all topics. Progressive decency means we accept everything exists, we talk about everything openly – but don’t need to literally and intentionally put it on display in the name of being “progressive”.
For example I should be able to talk about the woman’s monthly menstrual cycle educationally, or openly without being ashamed. But I don’t need to show everyone someone’s bloody sanitary napkin or tampon to make my point. Did that paragraph make you uncomfortable? You can connect the rest of the dots yourself (in regards to what I’m saying).
2.) Offensive vs Funny
Secondly – the issue of being offended over every little thing.
All I have to say guys is that toning matters. Whether a statement is offensive or not has to do with 1.) who are you saying it to 2.) what is the tone you’re carrying behind it (pun? satire? Gossip? Complaining? Angry? Stand up comedy? Light comedy? Sarcasm?) 3.) what is the background of that statement? (History, someone’s personal experience, etc)
We live in a decade where everyone is so offended by ever little thing that’s is a wonder we haven’t all just decided to take a vow of silence. No one should say anything. No one should express anything. And especially lo and behold, if you crack a joke.
3.) Open-minded vs Close-minded
Thirdly – close mindedness. In this world of people trying to have a global open mind, we are the most closed minded we’ve ever been as a species.
We have gone so far open minded that we went full circle and are just close minded again.
Previously – drugs, sex, alcohol – shame shame.
Then came the era of “don’t slut shame” “try everything once but don’t get hooked” and “alcohol isn’t that bad”
And today – people are humiliated for being virgins before marriage (prudes), and for not drinking or trying drugs (Borings).
In today world being a Virgin past the age of 18 is shameful and mocked in every single teenage tv show and movie. We live in a world where we encourage, push, an activity but can’t deal with the consequences of that activity. And if anyone refrains from said activity they are humiliated beyond reason even though – it’s quite a responsible decision.
What the hell?? So what’s the difference between “shame shame” and today?? In either case you’re not giving a human respect for their own decisions!
They’re both equally close minded.
I hail from a progressive open minded family… but I refuse to be blind to the extremism even if it is liberal (despite being a liberal). Today in America, the left is equally as extreme and disrespectful as the right.
Once upon a brief time we had it right. We had a good balance between progressive and decent, offensive and comedy, open minded and close minded.
Once upon a time. Not today. Not 50 years ago. Somewhere in between.
My hands didn’t shake. Not one bit. The old man who was joking with me just the night before… now lay dying in front of me. CPR, epi, bicarb, calcium… we tried it all.
But while pulling up and/or assembling each medication – my hands didn’t shake at all. My co-pharmacist’s hands were trembling. She forgot to take the cap off the Epi syringe at one point, her hands shaking so badly.
She felt something. She understood the gravity of the situation.
So did I… as in I knew the gravity of the situation.
But I felt nothing. So I offered to assemble the meds, with my ridiculously stable hands.
And I wondered why a sense of numbing calmness always spreads through my body in such situations. Especially when I cried my heart out all the way home the first time I ever saw someone die. And the second time. And the twelfth time. And time and time again until – well I don’t know really when the crying stopped.
But since whenever that was… that numbing calmness continues to spread through my body whenever these situations come knocking on anyone’s door. Apparently including mine.
Today some asshole driving exceptionally recklessly on the freeway didn’t allow me to merge even though my merge lane was long finished. I was already on the freeway. He, going 100mph+ ran me off onto the shoulder while almost side swiping me from behind which had there been a collision would have sent my car flipping.
And yet I was calm. I was annoyed and honked a million times. But that scared feeling – it just wasn’t there.
Before I came into the chaotic inpatient setting – this situation would have scared the daylights out of me. Every minuscule part of my body would have been tingling with fear. But no, today I was calm… as if it had never happened.
For those who have known me I’m the feelingest feeler on the planet. I feel emotion over everything to the point where it eats me alive.
These situations once upon a time would have torn me to shreds… tears pouring out of my eyes.
When did I become so insensitive, indifferent? Or is the question – “am I really insensitive/indifferent?”
Or did I just find ways to put up walls around my feelings, my heart every time harm or death came knocking at someone or another’s door? Do I force myself to not feel so that I can continue functioning on my job? In my life?
How does the biggest emotional feeler (like myself), the “I cry when others cry” person that I am – learn how to be so stone hearted? So decidedly unaffected?
Does anyone else in the medical field feel this way?
Two years ago I had written about second fiddles and how no one should be ok with it. I have literally seen so many people accept their place as a second fiddle and I just can’t wrap my head around it.
I also wondered – “do we choose to be in the company of people who treat us like a second fiddle instead of spending time with the people for whom we are a primary?”
See what sucks about growing up is that when we were young, we gave up everything that was genuinely ours… to explore the unknown world. To explore the “greener grasses”. We left our homes, our childhood friends, our families, our relationships to see what else was out there…
… and when we get older we end up having no option but to be a second fiddler. Why? Because everyone’s already done their “primaries” which have etched a memory in their brains and set a bar therefore making it hard to penetrate that barrier and be primary in their minds.
Take for example, when we all started highschool (or college)… everyone was new so it was easy to make new friends and be comfortable – because everyone was growing together. But transferring junior year (like I did in HS) made it SO hard to gel. Everyone already had their cliques and I was so out of place. I missed my old school so much at that point. The few friends I made would never have the place in their hearts for me that my friends at my old school had. Luckily I already had some friends at my new HS before I transferred there so I was somewhat ok.
Or take for example first love. We all have our first hormone inflicted crushes and loves as teenagers. And if that relationship lasts for a while, that “ex” permanently engrains themselves into our minds no matter how big a bitch or asshole he or she may have been. Now some of us are able to put the past in the past… and prioritize every current relationship we are in. But not everyone can. For those who are still stuck on their exes despite being in a wonderful relationship in the present (years after the old one ended) – these are the people who treat their current partners like second fiddles. The poor second fiddler just cannot break that barrier and be of any importance to their significant other.
So what does one do? When they’re in a new place with no friends they can call at the drop of a hat. When they’re at a new job, have a new relationship, transfer midway to a new school…basically find themselves in a position where their previously existing importance has suddenly diminished in the light of a new situation?
What do you do? And the answer is not “learn to accept it”
Because once a winner, always a winner.
And no one has to exist in another’s shadow. Because for there to be a shadow there must be light.
So yesterday a few things happened. Really putting things in perspective.
1.) a random dude I’ve never met before approached me to tell me he thought I was very pretty.
2.) a best friend who has known me for half my life cheered me on and told me “I still had it”
3.) another old friend who had known me since we were basically toddlers, told me I look the exact same as I always have. <– this friend has the biggest perspective.
So anyway in conversation this morning with friend #2 above, the convo went as follows after he told me “I still got it”:
I told him how not even three years ago I was at the lowest point in my life. There was nothing more I wanted to do but disappear from this life. Life had taken me to a point where I felt so incredibly unattractive because of everything that was happening to me, my self confidence was at an all time low. I felt like trash… like no one would ever want me.
To that he responded “and look at where you are now”
But the truth is I am nowhere now… at least nowhere on that scale of attractiveness. Nowhere that I wasn’t already. The up and down had only happened in my own mind. Keep in mind friend #3 with the biggest perspective’s words “You have always looked the EXACT same”. But yet that up and down in my own mind did have a real effect in the real world!
So what would make a person appear so unattractive before but attractive now – shouldn’t degree of attractiveness have stayed constant if there hasn’t actually been any physical change?
Suddenly at 10:44 this morning I realized… all along it wasn’t my physical appearance but the vibe I put out and the way I looked at myself that affected everyone else’s approach towards me.
And I learned a life lesson.
Even when something really bad happens to you don’t let people define how you see yourself. You have to define yourself, and only then can you define how people see you. What defines my degree of attractiveness is how I look at myself. How confident I am in my own self. It has everything to do with the vibe I put out and that vibe depends only on how I feel about myself.
Physical appearance – that’s all subjective and out of our control. But what we think about ourselves and how we carry ourselves… now that’s the true impact.
It’s almost 4am. I should have been asleep hours ago but I can’t get my legs to walk me into the bedroom and sleep.
I keep waiting for you to come home, even though I know you’re on a special vacation. I keep thinking any moment now you’ll walk through the door and we can do our wrap up for the night routine. Talk, watch tv, play a game on our phone together. Give each other massages cause we are getting old and need them.
I know you’re not going to walk through that door but my body refuses to de-condition for just a night or two.
I need sleep so badly. But it’s so hard when I keep missing you. How did I spend 5 years in an empty apartment??
The silence is deafening. I’ve actually never felt this sadness before… which is truly a good thing.
Obviously there’s love in this relationship… but that would be there regardless.
What it actually means is that despite any mistakes you have made in your life… you are still a good man.
I feel what I feel because you’re a good man, and I would say that feeling the way I feel tonight, as sad as I feel… is a blessing.
I am loved and cared for, finally, in the way that I always wished to be. So the lack there of while you’re away…. is what induces this feeling.
For this feeling, as sucky as it is, I actually want to say…. thank you.
Whoever thinks the following is a self-centered piece is part of the problem. Because it’s written at the expense of sounding self consumed – But I assure you I am not.
———- Begin ———-
There was a time that I sat down and taught myself how to play a relatively complicated piece on the piano and I had posted a clip of it on my social media account.
“You look so pretty!” A boy texted me.
“Ok,” *eye roll* was my response.
There was a time I had solved a really difficult puzzle and was really proud of myself for doing so. Posted a picture about it.
“You look so pretty!” A boy exclaimed.
“Ugh,” was my response.
There was a time I painted a picture, I wrote a poem, I directed a play, I composed a poem, I made a delicious meal, I saved a life at work…
… and yet every single time a comment was made about my physical appearance.
I’m not ungrateful – Dear God, thank you. But besides Sagar saying so,
ITS SO DAMN ANNOYING when that’s all people see.
If a woman participates in a beauty contest, then sure comment on her appearance. If she posts glamour shots on Instagram… yes, for God’s sake tell her about how great she looks. In general… complimenting a woman on her looks is a good thing and a feel good thing for us…
When she has done something artistic or intellectual, it is SO beyond annoying that the skill is completely overlooked.
A skill is shared with the world because we want to showcase it, sure maybe even brag about it…. not because we want to showcase our faces which are only just that. Faces. Superficial.
Dear boy – most of us… We are more than just a pleasant face. We are creative intelligent creatures who crave intellectual stimulation and thrive off of intellectual or artistic discussion. Yes we like to feel attractive, no doubt. But we like our intelligence and our artistic abilities more!
So next time we do something amazing, how about complimenting that first… it’ll really motivate and stimulate us and give you + points in our eyes.
And if you insist on also telling us we are physically attractive – thank you… feel free to mention it as an after thought.
(Except for male significant others. Y’all better be telling your girl she’s smart AND beautiful every moment of every day 😁😉)
The other day I was telling a friend about the concept of changing a woman’s first name as part of a ritual in a Marathi wedding. I told her that no one really does it anymore, so I was surprised to find that an acquaintance our age had done it recently.
Regardless, she was appalled. “Your culture… doesn’t have much for women does it!” She exclaimed.
I was taken aback for a second… because that’s totally not true. I tried to put myself in her shoes for a second and sort of saw it from her angle… but then I balanced with her.
I said, “You’re appalled at the thought of a husband changing a woman’s first name, because it’s not standard practice in American society. But you’re ok with changing the last name because it’s norm and we blindly follow it,” ….. “when you think about it… what’s the difference?” I asked.
“Ohhh… that’s true!” She exclaimed coming to the sudden realization that changing either name then technically should be wronging a woman. You can’t be ok with one and not ok with the other.
Now there’s a reason for changing the last name… to identify a family… but for the sake of this argument, I’ll argue that changing a woman’s — or for that matter… any person’s — last name is WORSE than changing their first.
What’s in a name? Identity.
The first name is what we identify with the most because it is unique to us within our family classification. But really it just tells us what name our parents were in love with the moment we were born. That’s it.
The last name however tells us so much about ourselves. It gives us our entire lineage. From a last name you can track down an entire ancestry, it tells you what region of the world your family come from. As an Indian – my surname tells everyone what specific part of India my ancestors were from. Essentially, our last names tell us everything we need to know about our backgrounds. So I’d argue that our last names are what truly define us from heritage to family… and even down to genetics. Defining which part of the world you’re from also helps identify which genetic conditions you’re predisposed to.
“Basically,” I told her, “if you take all of this into consideration… changing your first name really isn’t as bad as changing your last name… because when you change your last name you’re wiping out your entire history… and taking on your husband’s. However, a husband’s history is not your history… down to the genetics… so essentially taking on someone else’s last name is equivalent to lying about who you are… because it masks everything that makes you, you!”
So what is in a name? Well first name, there’s some “identity” … but a last name?
That’s your entire coding… your entire history.
Side note: I’ll probably still change my last name eventually after marriage… but for argument’s sake… when passing judgement about another culture we should all probably take a look at our own culture, or the world’s culture, and see if it’s equivalent if not worse. We tend to blindly follow norms without thinking about what they mean and we tend to pass judgement without realizing that we may be doing the same.
You know, it’s incredible how many people will try to buy expensive things but can hardly afford their own life.
Straight up – I don’t get this “show off” mentality. I don’t want the bling-est bling if there is something more worthy that I can buy with that same money.
I’m not trying to buy the most expensive branded clothes, have the latest phone, the newest car, or the shiniest jewelry – if it’s not worth the money.
If I was living hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck – or if I was incapable of truly affording a particular object without a loan or having to make payments – I wouldn’t be walking around judging other people’s property and laughing at how small, old, or boring it is.
Of course, people can decide if they want to go into debt, or borrow money from their parents and then somehow think they’re successful because of their materialistic possessions. But don’t judge me for how I choose to live.
At least I’m paying for everything in my life all by myself, 110%.
That’s my final conclusion and it scares me because I FOMO quite a bit.
For those of you who don’t know, FOMO = fear of missing out.
For me I FOMO a lot because I (like many people perhaps) feel like I’m always at work. I’m not, but it feels like it. Additionally I work evenings, I work weekends, I go on 7-8 day stretches… I’m not complaining, truthfully – I’ve long accepted that it’s just the nature of my job. Anyway, when I finally get home so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open – all I want to do is force myself to stay awake so I can watch some tv, or spend time with Sagar, or do some activity that makes me feel like I do exist outside of work.
I’m guessing many of you do too… compromise sleep in order to keep participating in hobbies, life, or simply to finish binging that new Netflix show!
Unfortunately, we all know that lack of sleep is directly related to an increase in cardiovascular (heart) disease.
And in this day and age – age is just a number. How many people in their 30s do I see having strokes and heart attacks. How many in their 20s? You don’t want to know the answer to that.
To tie it all together essentially what I’m trying to say is that we all compromise sleep, and a stressless life trading them in to participate in an activity that requires one to be awake, and to avoid FOMO. And that can have detrimental effects.
Maybe it’s time to find a better balance … and heck…. just get more sleep!
I’ve been ok… for maybe 2 years now more or less. Everything is good, life is good, job is good, love life is good, hobbies are doing well…
And yet suddenly a wave of anxiety hits me out of the blue. For I guess no reason. I often write to help reduce the anxiety so perhaps that’s why I’m writing now…
As I sit here with my body numb, shallow breaths, racing mind, and an overall sense of being misplaced… I sit and wonder why is it that I feel this when when everything is good?
I think I can narrow it down to my biggest insecurity – feeling alone. Am I alone? Of course not, I have family and friends and a wonderful to be… but yet at moments when the uninvited anxiety hits I can’t help but feel utterly lost and alone.
Perhaps this stems from the fact that I really go out of my way for people, and so I have some unrealistic expectation that I must mean something for them too.
Have you ever had that moment when you give someone your hand, and they repay you by stepping on your back?
Can’t say that it’s necessarily what is happening to me right now… but it’s definitely been the definition of my life.
And somehow I find myself at the bottom of every priority list. Each and every single one… like you’d think there would be at least one person on this planet who could prioritize me but no. Do I feel this way because of my previous trauma? Or are my feelings justified? That’s when the insecurity hits, that’s when the anxiety follows.
Does anyone else suffer from this random insecurity driven anxiety that shows up at your doorstep uninvited? That sudden feeling like you don’t matter enough to anyone?
Why do these feelings come up, especially when everything is fine? Why are they so overwhelming? No matter how strong of a person I think I am I can’t help but drown and suffocate within these waves….
Being a woman, it hurts my gender self respect to write this post… but it’s been a long time coming because I’ve seen the same situation occur repeatedly. I’m going to write about the following image:
Because it’s so true.
So what do these pencils have to do with wives?? I’ll preface by saying I’m not talking about working women, or women who have chosen to not have a job because they have to stay at home and watch their children. I’m also not talking about the women who have a disability or some issue that prevents them from having a job or the women who can’t work given their visa / legal status. Finally, I’m not even talking about the woman who chooses to stays at home for no reason but can at least be a loving supportive spouse to her spouse.
I’m talking about the rich daddy’s girls who have never had to raise a finger in their life. These same daddy’s girls then get married and think that equality must apply everywhere in a marriage except when it applies to them. They fight tooth and nail over this hypocritical “equality”. I’m calling out the women who don’t have the desire to get a job despite being perfectly capable of getting one. The ones who refuse to contribute anything to the household (if not monetary, then at least a loving, nurturing home?!). The ones that embellish themselves with all the latest bling and demand newest / latest technology – all provided by the husband… and when the husband has had enough – then off they go running to daddy. I mean how shameful that “daddy” paid for an expensive education only to have these girls still be a (frankly) financial burden for their parents between the ages of (and yes I’ve literally seen it) 26-33. I mean these ladies LITERALLY sit at home and do nothing – a majority of them childless…. so really I genuinely wonder what they’re doing with their time!
I’m especially calling out the “wives” who leech off of their husbands (for free) and then when things don’t work out, leave their husbands – but continue to demand money (alimony) because marriage is nothing more than a business to them. As if they have a right to their husband’s hard earned money after the marriage has been terminated, and they’ve been nothing more than a burden during the course of the marriage.
I call it Marriage Prostitution.
Especially in India where the law often supports the woman, any lawyer will tell you that marriage and subsequent divorces are the #1 way for women to make free money… literally ruining it for the women who are ACTUALLY struggling or in trouble. Trivializing the struggle of women who have actually suffered domestic violence or an abusive married life.
These are the same ladies who do petty things claiming to do it in the name of “self-respect”. I have one question for them – where is your self respect now? When you are so incapable of earning a single penny that you have to live off of your ex-husband’s money?
It is so easy to look cool when you have done nothing. You can walk around wearing all the bling you want… but you’ll never be able to wear respect.
(Oh, and because it’s a common trend – Shame on these ladies mothers for being horrible role models and influences.)
I am all about feminism and women’s rights, equality and empowerment. But I also feel that to better society you have to call out what’s wrong. Because regardless of my immense support of my gender, what’s wrong is wrong. And I see it.
You didn’t birth me, or give me a second life.
You’re not my mother, and I’m not your wife!
You’re not my doctor, lawyer, or teacher.
I don’t even follow you, you’re not my preacher!
You didn’t pick me up when I fell hard,
You didn’t wipe the tears that caught me off guard
You didn’t even hold my hand whenever I was down
Every time I tried to speak, you made me feel like a clown!
So why would I negotiate my worth with you?
Why would I give you so much importance, out of the blue??
This life has given me successes and let me be loved and free
So why would I throw away everything this life has given to me??
It would be foolish to let you take all of that away
I’d rather focus on loving myself every single day
Why would I let you control me and what I would do…
*Skip to the second half to get straight to the point.*
I used to be very mediocre.
I guess I can say I still am… not trying to sound like some sort of huge achiever… but I want to tell a story of how I lived the life of a normal kid.
Today I look around me at the younger generations and I see kids driven into the ground. Everyone’s parents forcing them to have 4.5 GPAs, a bazillion extra curricular activities, perfect SAT scores and most of those kids look stressed out beyond their years. No longer does a kid do an activity because they enjoy it, but more so because “it will look good on college applications”. So you have hoards of kids learning dance, singing songs, playing soccer – all because they should have something to put on their application.
They’re already going to grow up and have to go to work every single day and be stressed out, why are we starting that experience from such a young age??
Now in no way am I promoting being an underachiever. I do understand that the basic concept of doing things is important – but damn parents, stop driving your kids into the ground! Give them time to do a few less things and more time to be a kid! How competitive it’s gotten is so toxic and ridiculous!
I’m a Stanford Inpatient Clinical pharmacist today. Stanford – you know that college everyone would love their kids to go to? Yeah that one. And I’m damn good at what I do. I was also a mostly A but also sometimes a B and once in a blue moon C student. I didn’t have a 4.5 gpa or a perfect SAT score. But I had competitive enough grades and a competitive enough score. I played soccer because I LOVED the sport, and I loved it so much I worked hard and was MVP sophomore year despite fracturing my ankle in different places multiple times throughout the years. I wasn’t forced to play against my will, only to buff up my applications. I learned to sing to fulfill my fathers dream and make him proud. Not to buff up my applications. And I limited my activities to that.
I didn’t even apply to Berkeley (the most competitive UC at that time) because I knew there was no point. Instead I considered my options.
I focused when it mattered and excelled… and before I knew it I was 23 and graduated with a doctorate. Me, the average joe (or Jane) kid with a couple C’s and two extra curricular had graduated with a doctorate at an age when most of her peers were just finishing up undergrad and trying to figure out what to do next.
Now I don’t want to put anyone else’s course down, because yes if your kid goes to an IVY league or Berkeley – that’s truly fantastic. On the flip side that’s ok too because everyone gets to their end point when they’re supposed to – life is not a race.
I just want to really emphasize though that I got a chance to be a normal kid, doing the things I love, not aging a million years under the stress of being an overachiever. And despite that I was able to still be successful today.
Parents, yes encourage your kids to try their hardest and work hard and accomplish as much as they can, but don’t drive them into the ground. There’s nothing wrong with going to a community college first or a state or even a UC (which I was shocked to hear “isn’t good enough for some”).
Remember to allow your kids to be kids. They don’t constantly have to be on the go.
A frankly very successful inpatient clinical pharmacist who started off as a mediocre child.
P.S this is not referring to lazy kids – if your kid is lazy push them to get up and do something.
P.P.S Not everyone has to be a doctor or an engineer. Let you kid explore themselves. Please.
Recently my fiancé auditioned for a role using a piece written by me. Needless to say I was really touched by this and really excited that someone was using something I wrote. So I decided to do some monologue pieces. I mean, Why not? We never know when they’ll come in handy!
That being said I want to really stress that if I write a monologue it’s for artistic purposes. It’s not necessary that it portrays my views – unlike my blog posts which are all 100% my opinions, or my poetry which are all 100% my emotions.
So follows my first monologue : does not express my true views. But a fun piece none the less written by me
She looked at me with a heart full of repulsion, so I asked her to let me explain.
There was a time I followed God. A time before so called blasphemy infiltrated my mind. People say faith keeps them going, I say faith tied me down. It suffocated me. I didn’t breathe till the moment I finally broke free. Every time I did something that didn’t follow my faith, I felt guilty, and that guilt tore me apart. I didn’t like feeling that way every single time I just wanted to pursue my own happiness.
Religion told me I had to marry someone who followed my same faith. And if they didn’t, they had to convert. It just didn’t feel right to make someone pretend to follow my beliefs just so I could be with them. How could I say I loved him if I wanted to change him?? So I left him. I left our love behind… and that’s when I understood heartbreak.
In my school days I remember people of my faith ridiculing others, and their gods, and I thought to myself – as long as everyone is a good human, why does god care so much about what his name is.
As time went on I realized the biggest truth of my life. God is a god damn narcissist… And a hypocrite. I mean here’s a man who preaches love and yet causes wars in his name by telling everyone a different thing, creating confusion. He tells Christians about his friend Jesus but he tells Muslims about his friend Mohammad.
I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t blindly put my trust in someone who made me feel so guilty and so confused…
So I decided to pursue my happiness. I decided to be myself. I figured as long as I was a good person it wouldn’t matter. I freed myself of all those chains that kept me tied down for so long.
And that’s when the devil came for me. Trying to sway me to his side. (Laughs)
But then… he actually met me.
“You see,” I told her, “in the moment he met me, the devil was in awe of me. I had managed to break away. To breathe. All he was able to do was oppose god, and in doing so he lost himself. Ironically, in a sense, he became god’s mirror image. Still tied to him. Still obsessed with him. Opposite, but still the same none the less.”
I was different from the both of them. Not consumed by myself, and living my life on my own terms. I am everything the devil wanted to be. I’m everything the devil wishes he could be.
I think all humans (well minus some suffering from certain mental health issues) have the ability to feel emotions strongly. Compassion, love, anger – etc.
They say when someone goes through something bad – that person gets stronger. The more someone goes through the stronger they become.
But lately I’ve started wondering – is it because that person has become stronger? Or is it more so because they’ve lost their ability to feel? The way organs will become fibrotic with constant abuse or trauma- do emotions do the same?
Are people stronger because their emotions became “fibrotic”, and hence they lost the ability to feel hurt by the same bad thing happening again?
The strongest people externally are the weakest on the inside. But for those few who are exceptionally strong inside and out… there will always come a breaking point. Just because something or someone is strong doesn’t mean everyone else should keep testing its/their strength.
Just because something or someone can bare weight, doesn’t mean that they want to.
Why push people to their limits, and then call them crazy when they finally snap?? They’re not crazy. They just couldn’t hold anymore BS weight.
Point: Complacency. A lack of motivation to right the wrongs of life.
We all have shortcomings, and we have all failed at something or another in life. Some more than others, but that’s irrelevant to what I want to say.
The point is we have all failed in some way at some point or another. The difference between a winner and a loser however isn’t that failure, but rather the lack of motivation to acknowledge the failure and try to find a way to reverse it.
The most unattractive person would be the one who allowed his or her failure to turn into quicksand. Once they start sinking, they just continue to sink.
Yes, life gets hard sometimes. I would be one of those people who really knows what that means. Often times a hard life is accompanied by severe depression. I know this based on first hand experience as well! Sometimes life doesn’t give us the tools to get back up. But that’s when you have to go and find them. If you have the tools and just choose to ignore them… well then shame.
Introspect, assess the situation, and find the right people to guide you out of the darkness. It’s not ok to be complacent. It’s not ok to just be “ok” with failure. It’s important to tackle the issue head on. Set aside your ego, ask for help. ASK FOR HELP. But make sure you ask the right people for help. Your gut intuition will cue you in on that.
The solution to this loser-dom is simple. It doesn’t mean you’ll be successful, it just means keep trying. If you fall down, pick yourself up and keep trying.
Which is pretty much why everyone should at least try to refrain from achieving it.
Her: No. I said no. For the millionth time no I’m not interested.
Him: but why is there a problem??
Her: No! You’re a great friend I just don’t see yo–
Him: I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WON’T GO OUT WITH ME! YOU DON’T REALIZE…I COULD GET ANY GIRL I WANT TO, I HAVE GOTTEN ANY GIRL I’VE EVER WANTED… I CAN’T EVEN COUNT HOW MANY GIRLS I’VE BEEN WITH. BUT I DIDN’T CARE ABOUT ALL THOSE GIRLS… YOU SHOULD FEEL LUCKY YOU’RE LIKE THE ONLY GIRL I’VE GONE THIS OUT OF MY WAY FOR AND SHOWN THIS MUCH RESPECT TO OTHERWISE ITS NOT HARD TO JUST HAVE MY WAY WITH ANY OTHER CHICK.
Her: excuse me? Ego much? And why would I ever want to be with a boy who has only ever respected me but doesn’t care about respecting the rest of my gender?
Him: come on we are still young, and- and I was just being a guy… w–
Her: you were just being a guy?? Is that supposed to be some sort of excuse for your belligerently disrespectful behavior towards women? Consensual or not?
…. or did your parents just not teach you how to be a good decent human being… regardless of gender?
If you have brain…You were given the ability to think and make decisions. “I was just being a boy” cannot be your excuse. Gender should not matter when it comes to being a good person?
Sudden changes potentially looming in my very near future. I sit snug, comfortable in the life I have now… the life I’ve been living the past 6 years. Yet I’m choosing to potentially leap, intentionally… from the known into the unknown.
I don’t know where I stand. I don’t know at this moment what the future holds and it scares me. Will I like it? Will it be the right decision? Will I regret it and miss the past? Or will it be the best decision ever?
I find myself overwhelmed. There are just so many things to do. On the Career, extracurricular, and home fronts… suddenly life has become majorly multitasking.
Can I handle it? Yes of course. I was practically born to field multiple things at once. But when there isn’t stability in even one sector of life… in the moment it’s overwhelming. Now that could be a good thing… or bad… who knows
A couple months ago I had this conversation with a girl… just starting off her 20s… about accepting our partners for who they are. As I had been observing her behavior over the course of that weekend, I realized how lost we all are as humans.
So let me tie all the above statements together.
First and foremost no, I do not believe we should accept our partners or the people we want to be with for who they are…
You read correctly – if there is a factor that goes against our beliefs, there is absolutely no reason to accept that factor in a partner. And if that person is happy with that particular aspect of their life, then sure respect that, no judgement… but then it might be time to find a new partner.
I do believe that it is important to digest and accept a person’s past – because the past cannot be changed. If a person is willing to make changes for the better, then the past is just that… a fact… but just the past all the same. But accepting behavioral patterns in someone just because you like them… is not a good idea.
Why? Cause love and lust frankly don’t make the world go round. Cause when the love and lust are done and you’re looking to start a family and responsibilities get involved… you have to weigh the consequences of that behavioral pattern… and ensure that it won’t lead to conflict. It also many times results in one partner feeling taken for granted. And secondly, as I’ve said before, Love is a privilege… not a right.
Finally… it’s “my” life. Why should I force myself to just “be okay” with someone because I “like” them. How long is that “like” going to last everytime I have to internally roll my eyes when what I perceive to be a flawed action occurs?? It may not be a flawed action to other people, but if it is something I can’t digest once all the love and lust is done… then “accepting your partner for who they are” is actually just a disservice to you both.
That being said… I don’t think it’s approriate to impose your views onto someone else. I think it’s ok to present them… with logic and hope that your partner will see your point… but that’s about as much as we can do… after all the partner is an adult too…
Now speaking from the partners perspective… I genuinely believe that we are all lost… in one way or another, whether we know it or not… all of us are trying to find our way… we are all writing our own stories… and our life stories are, afterall, a journey. So when we meet someone who “let’s us be as we are” we find ourselves slipping into complacency… and for most… that actually gets really boring. I think we are all looking for perspective… looking for motivation, looking for someone to make this journey much more fulfilling without making it feel like a chore. That doesn’t mean I want someone to hound me into doing random things… but again, just having multiple point of views… learning new things and being englightened, these are things I do think we all secretly want. Having a motivational spark ignited should feel fun… not like a task mom is forcing you to complete… or an obligation against one’s will…
I genuinely believe, perhaps from my own experiences… that when this occurs (and especially when it occurs two directionally)… that’s when a partner – with whom the option of spending forever is possible – has finally been found. “The chosen one” should never be one who leads us to a state of complacency. He or she should be someone who motivates us to be the best version of ourselves. Who motivates us to get up and do things for someone other than just ourselves.
I spent it discovering the unknown… and though there were some really strong lows… it was mostly a “highs” year… cause good trumps evil and happiness finds it’s way 😄
With that being said I want to touch on one thing that I learned/discovered this year… and that is my own strength. Not as a bragging point but truly as something I discovered because I genuinely didn’t know I had it. As I reflect back on my past year… and what I have overcome… I am shocked by it because I never knew I had the ability to overcome such hurdles. But somehow I managed to persist. I learned how to overcome my fears and step into unknown territory… I learned that I was self reliant and that having a partner is a choice that needs to be respected by both parties… having a partner should not be a need or a cultural/societal demand. I took steps to fix and better my own life… and I realized that was the biggest lesson. Other people, not friends… not family… and not mom and dad… no one, no one is going to fix life for you. If something isn’t working… you have to do it yourself. You have to stop moping around and pick yourself up. You have to figure out what’s wrong and eliminate it. And then you need to improve it by replacing what was eliminated by what you need. No matter how scary that may seem.
With that I also found the meaning or feeling of love this year. Not just infatuation. Yes there are butterflies and those infatuation based emotions, and love and etc… but I also learned how it feels when someone else is willing to oversee your every flaw and put his or her love towards you first. Despite any disagreements or fights… he still always wants to end each day with love. And with me. I now know what it feels like when someone can’t live a day without you and God knows that’s an amazing feeling 🤗.
With the bad filtered out… I’m hoping for 2019 to be the year of good things. But let’s see (cause I don’t want to jinx myself).
Happy New Year y’all!
p.s. as I scroll through my newsfeed on fb I see everyone’s posts about what they learned this year as well… and those are really nice to read ☺️
I came across this post shared by a friend and it truly touched me.
I think if you see me on a day to day basis… and if you don’t know my personal story, you’d never know anything was wrong. But for those who do know, a few times I’ve gotten the question “I never knew you were having such a hard time – how did you do it [get through it]”
As I reflect on what 2018 has brought to me… I would say the #1 thing is strength. I got the strength to stand up for myself and pull myself out of a really bad situation. But how did I stay standing all these years through all of it? I weathered lies, I weathered theft of sorts – my name being used (illegally) without my knowledge to obtain things that actually belonged to me, I weathered a lot of emotional abuse… and what most don’t know… I weathered physical abuse as well. I weathered fear, and being alone, and not having complete support from those closest to me when I needed them the most. I weathered fear of rejection from society. I weathered having to come to work every single day and smile. And save lives. When I could barely muster up the desire to save my own.
So how did I get through it? I don’t know…
Iwasn’t given a choice.
But through it all God knows I gained a world of strength and a no-nonsense tolerance.
I know everyone is fighting a fight that perhaps others don’t know about. We aren’t given a choice… and it’s when we are in this position that we find a way to survive. So all I can say is #keepfighting #therewillbelight #decenttimeswillcome #eventually
Recently I’ve come across so many examples of parents who truthfully do not deserve to be parents. There, I said it.
Just because God gave them a fertile set of anatomical parts they procreated. And it’s sad.
That being said I want to distinguish today, the difference between parents and caretakers. Parents can be caretakers… but caretakers cannot be parents.
If we really break it down, those who give birth are usually considered “parents” but let’s be honest – that’s just biological. Being a parent… the connotation associated with the words “mom” and “dad” are much deeper than popping a human out. There’s an emotional component to it. There’s a financial component to it. There’s a selfless component to it.
Parents are empathetic. They feel their children’s ups downs and needs. Caretakers can at most sympathize only. You don’t have to be a CPS involved abusive parent to be a bad parent. Neglecting your child’s emotional needs, or constantly making them feel like a burden – including financially – creates invisible bruises.
If you have children because “it was time to have one per society” or “you’ve been married for x number of years” or “you want someone to take care of you in old age” then these are selfish reasons to have a child.
If after having a child you take care of it because it is your moral obligation to do so… then you’re not a parent. You’re a caretaker. You’re doing something because it’s your job to do so… not because you emotionally feel invested in that human being that you do things for it without any expectations.
If you complain about the financial responsibity of having to pay for your own child’s needs, education, special events in life… then you are not a parent. You were just a caretaker who ensured that person didn’t die. Otherwise, that person has had to fend for themselves and find their path alone. Even poor people who have no money will go to sleep on an empty stomach so long as their child is fed. That’s a parent.
If you feel like spending money on your child is taking away from securing your own financial future. Or if you feel like your child took away your “free” time or “fun” time… then you’re not a parent and you’re a horrible person for birthing a human only to make them feel like a burden.
It takes a conscious decision to get pregnant… and it takes 9 months for a baby to be born. Even after birth there are adoption centers (where there are caretakers just like you!) to raise your offspring. My point is… there are many ways to NOT have to deal with this so called burden. If you cannot love your child and prioritize them over all else, if you don’t feel the drive to do for your child, and if you feel like your child is a burden then you don’t deserve to be a parent. You should have never given birth… but unfortunately now that you have let’s get one thing straight:
You don’t deserve to be called “mom” or dad” cause ultimately you’ve been nothing more than a caretaker who complained the entire time you were doing your job.
And sadly you have no idea what kind of mental impact that would have on your child because you were too busy worrying about yourself.
As we celebrate Diwali and even over the past few months, various Indian holidays… a few things have been coming to mind. Especially since a lot of times many Indians (peers as well as parents) constantly question my understanding of what’s going on, often times assuming I don’t know anything… and many times assuming that it must have been hard for my parents to maintain the Indian culture. However when I look around me… I find myself to be very Indian… sometimes more “Indian” than some Indians around me. That’s when I realized… that either my idea of “preserving culture” is wrong… or theirs is.
So then I have to ask… what does preserving culture actually mean? What is Indian culture anyway?
(The following may be offensive to Indians unless they sit and think about what I’m asking before reacting. But after being on the receiving end of several offensive generalizations I feel like I have to respond on behalf of myself and my fellowABCDs.)
Does preserving culture mean knowing how to celebrate each and every major or minor holiday and festival that comes along? Does it mean speaking the mother-tounge perfectly? Just because a person grew up in India… does that automatically mean they’re “cultured” and any POI/ABCD is automatically not?
Let me ask this next. When it’s not Ganesh Chaturthi, or Diwali… or even a birthday… how many “cultured” folk actually go to a temple just because? Not to ask for anything but just because they are grateful for whatever God has blessed them with. How many understand the concept of leading a God-centric, or if not religious, then a spiritually-centric life as opposed to a self-centric life?
Religiously speaking – How many have actually studied or at least read the Gita or upanishads or vedas?
Lifewise speaking – How many have actually refrained from smoking, drugs, alcohol, or premarital or promiscuous behaviors mommy and daddy tell you not to engage in?
How many have sat with their parents and uncles and aunties and participated in full blown discussion from a young age when guests were over instead of just sitting up in their bedroom… or choosing to just go out and stay out with friends?
Ch16 v. 21 of Gita states “Tri-vidham narakasyedham dvaaram naashanam aatmanah kaamah krodhastatha lobhas thasmaad etat trayam tyajet“
So how many behave selflessly… act for the greater good? Refrain from greed, lust, jealousy, and other vices?
How many are faithful (physically or emotionally) to their marriage? Are you doing anything that would make your spouse or partner uncomfortable?
How many people think about how they behave or what they say to their spouse… And how those things may affect the relationship or their spouses feelings?
“dharmam chara” – How many people at least attempt to follow the ‘right thing to do’ as opposed to the ‘easy thing to do’?
I could keep asking a lot of questions but that’s not the point.
I’m not perfect by any means. I’m not super Indian by any means though I try. I’ve made many, and I mean innumerable, mistakes. And honestly, I didn’t grow up in India so yes – there is a lot I also don’t know… and a lot of Indian culture (life wise) learned by living in India… is something I won’t ever have. But I’ve always tried to live and improve my life by self study and introspection. How many people truly understand the meaning of the Sanskrit word “swa-adhya” (self-study). Of thinking, understanding, and accepting their mistakes and learning from them?
Many people state that I’m very opinionated – and it’s true… it’s because I sit down and think about the concepts and meanings behind things in life. I don’t just mindlessly act without knowing why or why not I’m doing something. And therefore – I have an answer to my own question and I know (right or wrong) what preserving culture means to me.
I think whether someone is preserving a culture or not depends on how they choose to live their every day life. On a daily basis – Not only when festivals roll around.
So before pointing fingers at me or insulting my parents attempts to actually preserve Indian culture by raising me to behave a certain way on a dailybasis – pay attention to your own daily behavior. Or your kid’s.
Cause honestly there’s an actual way and a superficial way to preserve your culture.
Amidst some pretty stressful times for many people, including myself on all points in life… I just wanted to address that you don’t always know what’s going on with another person… things may not be as they seem. Life may seem perfect for an individual but that doesn’t mean it’s that way on the inside… even with the most loving and supportive people around you… sometimes your mind really is your worst enemy. Especially when you struggle with depression (either genetically or environmentally triggered) – environmental stress factors can eventually become really difficult to deal with. You don’t know what each person is hiding behind their smile.
Be kind to others because everyone is fighting their own private battle…
Just because someone is strong doesn’t mean they are unaffected or not struggling
My hero is the personification of kindness. Of having a big heart. My hero loves with the passion and intensity that justifies the emotion. My hero cares about the things that matter to me. My hero protects me, stands up for me, shields me against the world. My hero is strong yet simultaneously gentle. My hero literally saved my life (cause my life is innately such a movie). He opened his heart to me amidst a difficult situation. He gave me the chance I deserved, without judgement. He saw me for who I was. He saw my soul, not my baggage. Most importantly… He fearlessly plunged into the swamp of fear, uncertainty, distrust and bitterness and retrieved the lively, bubbly, talkative, and vivacious version of me that existed 4 years prior.
He listened. He loved. He protected. He saved.
He gave me back myself.
And he didn’t stop there. He worked on giving me the ability to trust again. He worked hard to coax me out from the darkness and into the sunlight.
Even his imperfections played a heroic role giving me the ability to finally exercise my own feminine nature – of nurturing, loving, caring, and guiding.
Maybe he’s just being normal… cause that’s what normal people do when they love someone. But to me he is extraordinary. He’s done all of these things that weren’t easy and crossed each obstacle… always victorious, always standing tall.
Always standing behind me with unwavering support.
How else do I describe a hero? I couldn’t until now… but now I have: He’s the person who leaves a constant smile on my face.
So now, especially now, I have to say that when you suspect someone of playing games, or being shady… your hunch is almost always right.
Therefore always investigate further.
No matter how much the other person complains and tries to make you the bad person for being “annoying”… always investigate why you suddenly have a bad feeling.
Who knows… your story’s antagonist may be committing an illegal crime against you right behind your back. And while all bad acts eventually get caught… wouldn’t it be nice if they could get caught sooner than later?
So yeah… life tip #739927373: investigate all doubts and (bad) hunches
In this new phase of life (for me) – filled with happiness, laughter, no-reason smiles, and an overjoyed heart… I’ve actually had a lot of time to think about how I feel… and why I feel the way I feel. What makes present day so… content? So happy?
Well for one I purged my life of all negativity and filth. But that’s not enough to bring random unintentional smiles to one’s lips.
I realized that I mindlessly smile a lot these days because I chose to also only surround myself with people who truly want me to be happy, who thrive off of my happiness… not my tears, and not off of what they can benefit from me. From negative relatives to leech-like friendships, from “going out of my way” favors to being a resource for people who don’t respect or deserve it… I cut all of this out… leaving only the inner most layer of relationships that matter.
But the most important thing that has made a world of a difference is that I am in the company of an amazing, vivacious, dedicated and loving person who chooses to focus all of his attention, emotion on me… only me… and in turn automatically causes me to focus all of mine on him. And it is such a breath of fresh air! Suddenly no one else, nothing else matters. Suddenly “love” makes sense. Suddenly I realize what this “no one else matters” really means… what it feels like.
Comparing this interaction to what I see around our little bubble… I realize what is key is respectingboundaries. The two of us… we respect boundaries. We respect each other… and because of that we learn and know what line is not ever ok to cross.
With this Dear Partner, I am so so grateful for you 🙏🏻
Now comes the Vent that actually has nothing to do with me (other than making merealize how good I have it… lol) —
Recently, I realized half the population doesn’t know how to respect those boundaries rightfully set in place by a relationship. These disgusting people, men and women alike, infest the earth, trying to infiltrate someone else’s “good thing”. Literally… between acquaintance’s Facebook statuses and people I personally know/know of… I’m shocked by how easy it is to be in a perfectly healthy relationship and still try to catch the eye of another. Try to flirt with another, an ex, or cheat with a stranger… physically or emotionally.
Yes, no relationship is perfect… but as long as it isn’t toxic, or abusive… as long as your spouse respects you and puts in the effort… how can one be so blatantly disrespectful of boundaries. How can relationships be such free for all’s? Why even get into a relationship if you want everyone’s eyes and hands on you? You wanna have fun? Do it! Just not at the cost of someone else’s trust and happiness. Cause let’s be honest… if a relationship was really that nasty then you’d just get out of it instead of working on it. And yes… trust me… I know and do believe in special cases where a person is so unhappy… stuff happens…things go wrong… but those are not the situations I’m discussing. I’m talking about the unforgivable ones.
I’ve truly come across cases where a person is perfectly comfortable in their marriage even… wants to be with their spouse but also wants attention from several other people simultaneously. And I truthfully do not get that. At all. Leaving your partner in the dark while you engage in all kinds of sick behavior behind their back… simultaneously lying to your partner making them feel like they’re all that matters. Playing games.
I’ve said this before – being loved by someone is a privilege. It’s not a right. So when a privileged person chooses to simultaneously engage in such behavior it’s called cheating. They’re cheaters. It’s utterly disrespectful to the person who loves you. It’s a complete lack of respect for boundaries.
Bottom line – It is disgusting. Cut it out. Or I genuinely hope your partner/spouse finds out.
Everyone tells me that I look like I’m still in high school. Definitely a compliment as I approach 30 in just the next year and a half. Ugh that just sounds weird. But as I was looking at some old pictures from a decade ago… I realized that while I look exactly the same… something about me definitely looks different. I started wondering… what is it that’s making me look aged despite looking the exact same… On this “I have nothing better to do” Friday afternoon… I then start stalking pictures of my parents and my friends and noticed the same thing about their photos! And I wondered…
What makes us appear aged…
Is it maturity showing upon our face?
Is it the bags under our eyes…
Or is it this life’s fast pace?
Is it that our experiences
Have worn us down…
Or our loss of innocence
(Which makes us frown)
Each new line,
Heck… all the creases…
Split our face
Into several different pieces
We lose our baby fat
And our youthful skin…
Replaced with a roughness…
You just can’t win
The exhaustion shows…
And you can’t go back…
The insecurity grows…
And trust me it’s wack
But I guess it’s best
Not to compare to the past…
Because how I look today
Also isn’t going to last
I guess I shouldn’t call
My present look dirty…
Because 10 years from now
I’ll probably wish I looked 30
Often times we talk about trusting people, and the impact of losing trust in people. Not today! What I want to poke at today is losing trust in being carefree, in being able to believe… in the normal workflow of life.
Today, given life experiences paired with… well… growing up… I often find myself at various forks along the path of life. One path requires me to trust that everything will just automatically be okay, while the other path is the path of caution, doubt. And I can say that while before I took the first path, now I pretty much only take the latter. Do a majority of adults feel this way? It’s almost like being grown up is the most confusing thing in the world!
I find myself wanting various things so badly… but if those things involve any kind of commitment, then there’s like a million questions that pop up into my head first. Alternate options, how to cover any loopholes, safety plans built into the plan in case mission needs to be aborted, and escape plans in case things don’t work out… even though I know 110% things are going to be fine… I find myself creating “what if we did this instead” schemes that deviate from the normal flow of how things normally work in life.
In addition to trying to trust what’s going on… I also find myself having trust issues with myself. “Will I be able to cope if things don’t work out?” Or “Will I be able to cope with the same situation if it happens again?” Or “Will I be able to cope with a different situation that leaves me equally devastated?”.
Truthfully, most of the time I’m fine… because being surrounded by wonderful people, and having distracting activities… I’ve learned how to put a bandaid over the wound so that I can’t see it. Problem is, I haven’t figured out how to heal the wound itself. While on the outside I can function like a normal person… on the inside I find myself SO fearful of, SO doubtful of the most WONDERFUL and fail proof things and people in my life. And I know I’m doing it, and I know I shouldn’t… but how does one control those thoughts?? The more you push them out the more they push themselves in. And before where I might have spoken up, now each little conflict makes me want to lock myself up and cut off interaction with the world. Which of course I don’t do because I have to behave like a mature adult… but if I didn’t …
I mean I’m guessing everyone who has to be an adult has to felt this way at least once. But especially for any of you who’ve been in a situation where life throws the most unexpected curveballs… be it deception, be it a terrible illness… when do the above mentioned feelings stop?? When do we get to feel and think normally again? What helps??
It’s this phrase that’s near and dear to my heart.
Before life got…. complicated… I think I took a lot of things for granted. Not purposely… but I think pretty much everyone takes day to day things for granted. And it’s not wrong persay… it just happens.
But after experiencing rock bottom… I think I personally started noticing small trivial things and they started meaning a lot more to me… More than all the big amazing things that I obviously am also (knowingly) thankful for.
Every “I love you” and “I miss you” from family and friends … every small gesture that is literally so trivial and unnecessary but performed anyway because it would make my life better in ways I wouldn’t have noticed till it happened… like pushing the toothpaste to the top of an 80% finished tube… or being patient with my OCD as I check if I locked the door exactly 7 times or as I lock the car with exactly 6 beeps.
Tonight’s small happiness was a phone call made by someone currently on the east coast. 23:30 my time, meaning it was 2:30 there… I got a completely unexpected call just so that that person could say “I miss you!” before they went to bed. It wasn’t necessary and my life certainly wouldn’t have been worse off without the call… I wouldn’t have known what I was missing had the call not came. But because it did… it brought a smile and a few tears.
Small happinesses is where it’s at. Those unnecessary efforts taken anyway that touch the heart ❤️
Tonight, at nearly 9pm on a random Thursday night, I find myself sitting alone in my car in a parking lot watching places around me start to close for the night.
I just took myself out on a dinner date. I do that often these days… dinner dates, ice cream dates… and for the most part I’m happy. Actually no… I’m completely happy. I do me. I do what makes me happy… and I keep myself busy.
But I still know the journey… the road I took to get here… and truthfully never in a million years did I imagine this would be how my life would play out. At 18 I had a definite plan. And there was really no reason for life to stray from the path I had planned for myself. All around me there was so much normalness… I never expected my life to be the outlier.
In some sense, as I sit here alone… as the blanket of darkness settles on to us… I have a lot of feelings inside of me. I realize first and foremost… that I am alone. I still feel some sadness, but I feel a lot more relief. I feel wisdom. I feel a little bit confused, I feel some panic and uncertainty.
They say, “want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans”
Truthfully today, a decade later, at 28 I have no plan. I have no idea what to do next. And somehow that’s exacrly when everything is starting to make sense… to be right.
Life is so beyond confusing… with age came the realization that making a plan is a fools job… life is all about the unexpected…
It’s funny cause as we grow up we have to be more and more mature. Any slight deviation from mature behavior and suddenly it’s judgement central.
But I’m going to be honest for all of us. There are days where you’re so mentally strained, exhausted – sometimes due to work, sometimes due to your children or family – whatever may be the cause, that you too want to just sit down and cry for absolutely no reason other than it just feels good. Sometimes we all are so overworked and at the edge that we want someone to hold us, to rock us like our moms used to when we were babies as we weep into their shoulder.
Is something wrong? Nope. Life is good. But that doesn’t mean we don’t all reach that spot from time to time where we just need a mommy like really warm motherly hug. Especially when you’re living alone hundreds of miles away from family… trust me… it can definitely be exhausting to never have someone to lean on 😰
…and yet we lock all that inside and proceed through life with a feigned smile on our faces… now that’s hard work!
So if you’re lucky enough to live with mom, dad, siblings, friends, or significant others… love each other, hug each other for no reason often… definitely think it will subconsciously lower life stress levels… don’t you?
Ok so everyone who knows me knows I’m a chatterbox. I love to talk, I love to be inclusive, and I am open to talk to literally anyone about anything. Elderly grandparents, young children, parents, friends … there’s no barrier. Sometimes even strangers assuming a safe setting.
Its funny how many people have something to say about people who talk a lot. But you know what? If speaking from my own internal mind experience, I speak for all of us… I’m going to say that those people who make conversation and like to talk are also the most friendly, inviting, loving, and most times honest. Things just fly out of our mouths before we’ve had time to filter them. You won’t ever feel that snooty aire of a superiority complex when interacting with us. No matter who you are you’ll get love and respect… and honesty. There really are no secrets or wondering what is going on in our minds.
But sometimes when I’m chatting away, or texting… (and yes sometimes my texts get long when I’m really excited about something I’ve thought of)…. the other person doesn’t really reply. Sometimes it’s just their personality – they’re not texters and that’s fine. But sometimes it just gets kind of embarrassing. Cause then the self doubt immediately begins… did I just talk a lot? Is that person judging me or laughing at me or annoyed of me?
And then it makes me not want to talk much in general at all. I mentally smack myself and say, “Sayli why do you talk so much every single time?”. Kinda gives me an inferiority complex which really shouldn’t be happening. But then what? I mean if I stopped talking then I’d be silencing my own voice… changing my personality…. not being me…
“Hello,” I said, “I am me!”
“Yes” she said, “I am too… you see…”
I laughed because that was hard to believe
She looked absolutely nothing like me
“If you were me you’d be standing up, strong!”
“But that is exactly where you are wrong…”
“But your face is all splotchy, wet, eyes red!”
“Well what do you expect when I feel hollow and dead…”
“Then you’re definitely not me, I’m happy and free!”
“Pardon me,” she said “I’m going to disagree…”
“I don’t mean to be rude or mean or blunt…”
“But perhaps your carefreeness is just a front…”
Irritation overcame me, “How dare you!” I cried
My eyes were now fiery – enraged and wide,
“You’re meant to copy me, nothing more!”
“You’re to mimic my actions, down to the core!”
As I stood towering over her I began to yell,
Whether she’d listen or not, I couldn’t yet tell…
“Get off the ground, you get up now!”
“How do I do that?” she begged, “Tell me how…!”
“Wipe those tears and and stand up tall!”
“I won’t tolerate this sitting and curling up into a ball!”
Amidst all the arguing, refusing to accept her as my own…
I suddenly became aware – I was sitting on the ground alone.
Sayli Natu 4/24/18
*inspired by an interesting conversation I had yesterday with an apparently equally philosophical new friend. Does a mirror reflect only whats physical? Or does it in fact reflect what’s on the inside, accurately, though you may not realize it till you look… only noticing any changes when you fail to recognize the person looking back at you?
As I sit here contemplating on my place in my community… my world – I have to say that generally, I’ve tried my best to continue being a good person, and keep spreading love despite all the things that have weighed me down. Pleasantly, over the past few months I’ve noticed something that I failed to see before.
Previously, I kept focusing on one person, and that person’s negative impact on my life. I failed to notice all the wonderful people around me who were making a positive impact. I failed to notice that I had a home in the hearts of so many of the people around me.
Frankly, I don’t know where I will be in a year. But in several discussions I was surprised to see how many people were affected, saddened, or upset at the mention of me hypothetically leaving this home. Many said “don’t even think about it”, one went so far as to slap me on the wrist for “saying absurd things”.
At work, I’ve received hugs from my coworkers, simply cause they hadn’t seen me in a week. I have wonderful techs that leave chocolates or coffee on my desk when I didn’t even ask for them. Apparently the way I treat them was impactful enough that the behavior was reciprocated.
I noticed that people loved me too. Through it all, where I had come to believe that my self confidence had shattered and I was better off in my shell – I had somehow managed to remain someone worthy of being loved by the people around me.
This life has by no means been an easy one. And there was a point where I felt so dejected and horrified by the demons of the world that I just didn’t want to be in the same world where they existed. I didn’t want to breathe the same air. But lately, since I’ve been focusing on all the love that is around me, I realized that good still exists, love still exists… and this world is totally still worth living in.
The only thing that needed to change was my perspective. I had to change who and what situations I was focusing on. I had to change who and what I gave importance to. And when I did that, I found myself much happier.
Needless to say, existing and spreading love is the only way to be one more person making a difference in the world.
As women we face so many hardships just EXISTING. Seriously it’s like the universe hates women. Whether it’s our own bodies traumatizing us on a monthly basis or dealing with the male dominated world… we persevere… we manage to keep surviving, staying strong, and getting through each day seemingly effortlessly. Being a female is NOT easy… so what makes it worse is when people think they can sit around making this difficult existence even MORE difficult.
Lets take gender out of the equation for a second and just focus on the fact that we are all just human. Some people have gone through WAY more hardships than we can even begin to imagine. Loss, abuse, hurt, neglect… don’t even begin to fill the list. Dealing with such situations, overcoming them… and trying to get on with life is a HUGE achievement… so anyone who likes to be silly and poke fun… and sure this happens in friendship… but know your limits. Every person is sensitive… just because you’re privileged and haven’t had to deal with these things doesn’t mean you get to be insensitive. Know what is too much… know what jokes go too far… you never know when your seemingly harmless words are going to push another person to the edge. When someone says stop… STOP. It’s not funny.
Dealing with anxiety and mental health issues is the most traumatic thing a person can go through. It’s so abstract you can’t put some ointment on it and cover it with a bandaid. It creeps up on you, the more you try to distract yourself the more it pushes its way into your thoughts, your brain. If someone got hit by a car with multiple broken bones, profusely bleeding… would you walk up to them and then start beating them up even more? Spitting on them? Kicking them? NO! You’d call 911 or help! So it’s not okay to verbally beat up someone who has mentally been through hell and back. What kind of barbaric person would do that??
Now back to females and males. If you’re a male and claim to “stand by women” and support women and praise women’s strength on a public platform… you better be doing so in private as well. Being one thing to the world and then turning around and privately making inappropriate/hurtful/harmful/vulgar comments is SO not cool. If you’re gonna stand by someone publicly… you better stand by them privately as well.
As a woman I say, if you’re gonna stand by me… do it completely… if you’re a hypocrite… don’t stand by me at all. Peace ✌️
What is that feeling exactly? I don’t really know if there’s a spelled out definition… but I do know in a nutshell how it should feel.
Love shouldn’t hurt. Ever. It should never feel suffocating, it should never feel like something you want to run away from. It should never feel like a repetitive cycle of negativity. Everything related to love should feel good. Or rather amazing. When Love is around… there should never be even a moment of doubt regarding whether you want it or not.
Love should be where your preference lies. It’s what you’ll choose in your sleep every single time. Even when something bad happens… a fight, negativity…. your temperament might temporarily get affected but love will never get affected.
Love (not infatuation) should really feel like a high. It does feel like a natural high. It should leave you flustered and blushed. And despite the ups and downs… you continue to feel in love… continue to fall in love every day… time and time again just like you did the first time.
Love gives you butterflies… every single time… regardless of whether it’s been a week, a month, 5 months, or many years. Yes, butterflies are real. And they’re not temporary.
Love makes you want to sacrifice for another, love makes you want to compromise, it makes you want to support and take care of another. Love is the only power in the world that gives one the ability to shed their identity and accept a new identity, to become the new identity despite having the old identity for decades.
Love is a real thing. It ALWAYS feels good. Even in a blah situation… it feels comfortable… it feels good. If it doesn’t feel good… it’s not love.
So make sure it feels good. It feels healthy. It makes you thrive and doesn’t kill you.
Privilege. Something someone has… something that could be taken away.
Being loved by someone is a privilege. And so many people take it for granted. Being loved, feeling loved, just knowing that there is someone out there who wants to be with you, wants to hug you, take care of you, wants to be taken care of by you. There’s someone out there whose world revolves around you… who is in awe of you… adores you, admires you… who would stand up for you… and hold your hand in the toughest of times. Knowing there’s someone out there for whom you are not replaceable… cause trust me you’re replaceable to most rest of the world. There’s someone out there to whom your words and actions mean something. And knowing no matter how you behave they still love you, still want to be there for you, still would give an arm and a leg for you. So many people just assume they’re entitled to love when they’re getting it.
I’m sorry but does anyone actually realize that there are people out there who would be grateful to experience even 1% of the love mentioned above? There are people out there who have had to beg for love, love that they deserved…and still never got. People out there who are so depressed from neglect, hurt, and emotional abuse that they literally cry alone and have NO ONE to comfort them. To help them feel better. Has anyone actually sat down and thought about how that would feel?? One loving gesture means the world to someone who has experienced neglect.
Neglect. That feeling is so hurtful I don’t wish it on anyone. I don’t think any neglected person could describe the feeling even if they wanted to. It’s a feeling that can’t be described… and only those who have suffered it would understand how it feels.
So be grateful if someone loves you. Because while maybe you wouldn’t understand the feeling… trust me, Love is a privilege. Something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Everyone has their ups and downs in life. Some more so than others. In the cases where life keeps kicking someone while they’re already down… it becomes difficult to keep trudging on. Someone could be the strongest person on the planet but after getting kicked around for so long sometimes people just lose their shit. Is that really so wrong? Is that really their fault? Isn’t that person actually REALLY strong considering how much they managed to survive, how many years upon years they managed to survive before they finally broke down?
Often times I see people labeling these folks as “crazy”. These folks can’t cry cause then they’re crybabies. They can’t be angry cause then they’re bitchy. They can’t talk about it cause no one has time (or care) to listen. Who do they turn to? Who do they talk to? So they bottle it up fearing judgement. Pretending like everything is ok. Pretending to be happy. When the bottle explodes they’re crazy. When they hurt themselves… “what normal person would do that?”. Bullshit. No one knows what degree of thinking, what degree of reasoning, what degree of courage, and what degree of helplessness someone reached before something happened. No one knows (sometimes) what degree of abuse someone tolerated until something happened. Suddenly this person becomes someone no one wants to deal with. Society gossips. Society doesn’t help.
It’s ironic… all it would take is some love and supportiveness to turn said “freak” back into a “normal functioning human”. I know… cause someone held my hand. Continues to hold my hand. But for those who don’t have help… pushing these people away, judging them, labeling them just pushes them deeper into that hole. Is it really that hard to just be there for someone? Someone that once was an extremely strong and wonderful person. Someone with whom life wasn’t fair. Someone who wasn’t privileged enough? Labeling people creates anxiety. It stops people from reaching their true potentials. Stops them from being happy, which in turn stops them from progressing, excelling.
And even when someone is lucky enough to be healing there are good days and bad days. They don’t disappear overnight. You can’t erase what someone went through with a flick of the wrist. Sometimes it’s hormonal. Sometimes it’s Post Traumatic Stress. Sometimes both. Sometimes it’s something else.
There’s nothing wrong with these people. Maybe it’s the world that is wrong. Maybe it’s time the world learned how to be supportive and loving. It’s hard to heal when a cry for help falls on deaf ears. I was lucky. Most are not.
Maybe it’s time the world changed the way mental health is perceived.
It was one of those days that I literally just wanted to jump off of a cliff.
So many things to do. Being an independent human is no joke.
For the longest time I’ve been running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off… errands, work, hobbies, doctor’s appointments just things I need to get done. I’ve been hustling from one place to another, one thing to another, barely remembering to breathe. I don’t have time for breaks right now. But it’s been okay cause I’ve been able to manage.
Tonight however just as I got into my car to get to the next thing I had to do… it just wouldn’t turn on. The battery was fine, but the engine just wouldn’t start. It’s like my car thought it was being broken into, and just killed the engine. I called everyone from friends, to family, to dealership to try and get help… but no one could help me, either they didn’t know what to do or didn’t have the time. That’s when I realized that no matter how independent and capable I am… what I really am is helpless. I realized, as a female,… the importance of having someone there with you. Men just don’t react the way women do no matter the pressure. We balance each other out. When it really comes down to it… I don’t have a single soul here to help me out. I’m in a city far from home… alone.
As I sat in my car bewildered by the situation… all the emotions I had been suppressing within myself, denying, just hit me all at once. As tears rolled down my face, that feeling and fear of being alone, of being scared, of being… helpless came over me. That feeling of being alone, scared, helpless, and not having a comforting hand to console me and to fix the damn situation left me feeling more frustrated than ever before. I realized how small and insignificant I felt facing this much bigger world… face to face.
I can only thank God that I was at home and didn’t end up stranded in some random parking lot.
Given the ups and downs of life… a recent down has left me very broken, feeling alone, and thinking.
Today, (yes at 3am while this mind can’t fall asleep) I want to think briefly about second fiddling.
Second fiddlers are those who are almost the best, but they’re not the best. They are secondary. They are a second choice. A back up plan, in case the first choice doesn’t work out. They’re important, cause they’re the safety net. The “next best thing”. In a profession sure – Second Fiddling is great! But what about in life?
I’m not sure about others, but I don’t believe I was born to second fiddle. So why is it that I often find myself in situations where I am doing precisely that? What is lacking in me that causes me to be a second fiddler? I don’t think I lack the confidence necessary to be primary… so then is second fiddling… my choice? Is it that I choose to engage with people for whom I am secondary instead of focusing on those for whom I am primary?
Perhaps some people are okay with second fiddling in life. But I guess I’m not. It’s suffocating. Call me a diva… but take it or leave it, or better yet, I’ll leave it. And that’s precisely what I’ve done and plan on doing further. Though every time I do so… it takes a piece of my soul with it. I am a stand alone piece, and I do not hide in anyone’s shadows in any way. And if you put me in someone else’s shadow… then I guess I may as well move into the sunlight… elsewhere.
Feeling sad or depressed isn’t something that people wish to feel. When bad things happen to us, they really affect us in ways that we would have never imagined. We end up doing things we never thought we could do, completely out of character, to relieve the pain… even if it only provides temporary relief and a lifetime of regret.
People turn to drugs (legal or illegal) or irrational impulsive behaviors to help numb the pain, drive the sadness away… but obviously that has it’s own slew of collateral damage. What people don’t realize is the power of having someone to talk to. Bottling things up, and holding a regret inside is probably the worst feeling ever. Being able to be honest and open up to someone about depression and your actions without fear of labeling is possibly the most therapeutic thing ever.
But the fear is truly of judgement. If I tell someone about my sadness, or my actions – what if they think that this defines me? It’s not who I am, it was a momentary lapse in judgement due to the situation at that time, but suddenly what if this falsely becomes my identity? I’m not a crazy woman, something really bad has happened to me. But if I talk about it… suddenly I feel like I’m just drama. Why?
It’s not easy to deal with someone who has gone through an immense amount of mental trauma. The fear, the outbursts, the tears, the distrust, the constant waiting for the other shoe to drop. A broken limb takes months to heal… in a cast. You cannot physically cast something so abstract as the mind, or a broken heart… all you can do is listen, try to empathize with a person’s situation, continue caring, continue loving….and not judge.
The world isn’t black and white. It’s easy to jump to conclusions when life has been easy. Walk a mile in my shoes, and then tell me if you still think I’m crazy.
You know, as I look around me… I’m starting to really feel that marriages are becoming a joke. Coming from a highly conservative individual like myself – me saying this may come as a surprise to everyone.
In an arranged marriage, parents look to match a boy and a girl on paper… but considering that people can’t be held accountable for their actions these days… it may be more important to match personalities, ideals, goals, and morals. Not morals of the family, but morals of the individual themselves… and yes there is a difference. For example, I knew of someone’s M-I-L who thought that bribing, threatening, and putting her D-I-L’s life in danger in addition to being a liar and cheating the system was perfectly okay to do so long as her goals were completed. The son didn’t think these actions were okay (but he also didn’t have the ability to think for himself).
In love marriages, the amount of time spent together, getting to know one another DOES make a difference. A couple months of togetherness before jumping into marriage is more likely than not a disaster waiting to happen… mostly when you don’t know what the other person’s intentions are towards you. Again I don’t think this was always a problem… I think it’s because over time people don’t feel the need to be held accountable for their actions anymore. When they do something wrong, they find a way to play victim.
A lot of people jump into marriage, (yes, I may also be guilty of this), without getting to know the other person, or their family well before doing so. There are basic assumptions made regarding the responsibilities of a husband and a wife in a marriage… and usually I’ll even go so far as to say for the most part they’re fulfilled… but where before – my parents, arranged, are living a blissful 30+ years together after 2 months of knowing each other – today people lie about who they are to score the spouse, and then end up being a completely different person all together, with completely different motives for the marriage.
As time passes, I’ve noticed around me – whether arranged marriage or love marriage (where boy and girl haven’t been together long) – there is an alarmingly increasing rate of individuals who feel that “marriage is forever” just because a contract is signed. This mentality is SO wrong. Marriage isn’t just a contract that once signed, you don’t have to make any efforts. Marriage is a contract that comes with terms and conditions – these terms and conditions are called Vows. Promises that a bride and groom make to one another on their wedding day – in a nutshell to love, protect, and provide for each other. And that love and responsibility needs to come from the heart – not just because a piece of paper was signed. Sure, an individual can make the promise to be faithful, and to take care of the needs of their spouse… but when the other spouse fails to care, return any love, and simply becomes a heavy burden – essentially does not uphold their end of the bargain – hasn’t the marriage contract also been broken? I see more pathetic women making this mistake, but there are still a handful of pathetic men as well. Marriages are not forever unless efforts are taken to make them LAST. Lying, cheating, and abuse aren’t the ONLY ways to break one’s vows (though they are very big reasons). Refusing to love your spouse, refusing to care for them, refusing to be there for them when they need you emotionally and mentally, creating problems and difficult situations for your spouse, prioritizing yourself to such an extent over your spouse that it puts your spouse in difficult positions, leeching financially off your spouse but refusing to contribute in any way (maybe not financially, but whatever way you can contribute in), wanting money but not wanting your spouse… these are all ways as well for your contract to be broken.
Marriages come with vows, not just of faithfulness, and honesty… but also with vows of partnership, a promise that you will make an equal effort to uphold the love in your marriage. No marriage is perfect, and there will always be conflict… but it’ll be okay so long as you both understand the bigger picture. The second you decide that you’re above the marriage law, and that you can sit on your fat ass and take your spouse for granted, watching them be your darling servant who makes all the efforts… don’t be surprised when you learn that they’re 1.) done with you 2.) have moved on. Neglect is also abuse, and abuse in any form is only tolerated for so long. If you can’t uphold your end of the bargain… there’s no reason for your spouse to.
“Nazar” as they call it – the evil eye. I do believe in it. Not sure what Karma-ic implications this has for those who pass it on to others – but truly, it’s a horrible thing. They say when someone is jealous of you, or something pertaining to you, it’ll affect you badly – and result in their evil eye harming you. It’s sad really… I guess another word for it could be negative vibes.
What do you get out of being so jealous you wish ill of someone else’s good fate. Why is it so difficult to just be happy for someone else in their happiness – even if it doesn’t mix with your happiness? The sad part is once you selfishly pass off those negative vibes onto someone’s life they’re stuck with them forever while you will forget about that negativity a few years down the line and go right back to enjoying your own life.
Yes you may have wanted something from the bottom of your heart – but when you don’t get it – why not just let it go? Let the other person live in peace. You win some you lose some. Why ruin someone’s entire life over a fleeting moment of jealousy?