Love yourself

There isn’t a lot of self love in the world. There aren’t a lot of people loving the way they already are. There aren’t a lot of people happy with the kind of person they are. We are taught to love and not hurt others. Why aren’t we taught to love ourselves as well?

I have struggled with my image to the self. I have felt inadequate and undeserving at the best of times. I still don’t deal fairly with compliments. It is an internal battle that rages at the worst of times. It hinders not only my efforts at getting ahead in life, but also eclipses the little bit of positive light and drags me to a dark bottomless pit of self doubt.

I don’t necessarily crave a comfort zone, but I have appreciated the lack of negative attention being a wallflower receives. At the very same time I have also longed for the rush of adrenaline a change or challenge brings. I want to feel good and positive and happy. And have hated myself for not having the courage to grab the opportunity with both hands (the threat of negativity and all). To get straight to the point, I have been afraid of judgement. To be fair to myself, I have been judged in the past. But to be honest, I am the one who has let it affect me the way it does.

Not plump enough.

Not beautiful enough.

Not fair enough.

Not intelligent enough.

In the past, when I received a negative comment, my mind would immediately go into defensive and then proceed to shut down. It was a reflex action, trying to lessen the impact of negativity and to protect myself from further harm. The more and frequently it happened with the said person, the farther away I drifted from them.

A simple comment like “you probably have darker skin than what suits that dress“, to my oversensitive ears sounded like “you don’t deserve to look pretty wearing that pretty dress, because you are dark skinned.”

I now recognise that it is more a fault with me, than with the others. People do it all the time. And there are all sorts of people. So expecting them to be nice and considerate of the possible insecurities I might harbour about myself is not fair.

Why I have gotten strong enough to make that recognition is because I have learnt to love myself. It isn’t a switch that switched on at a certain point in my life. It has been a very gradual process of introspection, retrospection, self evaluation that led to realisation. The hope to find a strength inside myself that I could pass on to my daughter. The hope to make my dreams come true. The hope to survive and thrive in this world that is sometimes too harsh than it needs to be. The hope to beat the odds and come out a winner. The hopes, dreams, aspirations and the ultimate decision of not giving a s**t to what anyone thought, collectively gave me the strength to be able to appreciate all I have and to love myself for who I am.

I have learnt to love my jiggly tummy marred decorated by trembly, silvery lines of stretch marks because they signify that I was once home to my beautiful, growing baby. I have learnt to love my crooked irregularly arranged teeth because I appreciate the fact that I have them in original, non-spoilt condition. I love my entire being, just because it is me, unlike anyone else that ever existed. At some point along the way, when I was looking for motivation, I discovered Nick Vujicic and I haven’t been the same. Initially I felt ashamed of having thought so little of my own self. And from there it has been a journey of internal healing and every day I try to be a little less hard on myself.

Loving myself hasn’t completely erased the fear of being judged. I still feel conscious when I go out or talk to someone outside of my comfort zone. I still have self doubt. I still feel insecure. But loving and accepting myself has laid out the course of healing, through which I can effectively deal with those demons. In the face of rejection, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough” I now think “I might not be good enough for them, but I’m still good enough for me and I’m willing to find out if I’m good enough for someone else“. I am willing to try, and try again and keep trying, despite the results. This is a reminder to myself to not stop loving myself, to not stop trying, no matter what.

There is a lesson in here for you, if you are looking for it. There is motivation. And most importantly there is lots of love from me to you, just for being you.

Repeat after me, because sometimes you just need to speak out loud to your inner self to wake up.

I will be strong in the face of adversity.

I will fight back when bogged down by insecurities.

I will stand up for my self worth

I will not give up on my dreams

I don’t care what anybody thinks

Because

I deserve to be happy

I deserve to be successful

I deserve all the good things in life

For

I am beautiful

I am strong

I am confident

I am unique

I am me

Mt Donna Buang – our first snow as a family

This is my first travel update from Australia and I’m excited to be writing again about travel. It is nothing huge but might give some information to (new?) local Melbournites who want to enjoy the winter and go out.

I was giddy with anticipation as I was seeing snow after a long time (last time it was in 2012). It might also have been the fact that I haven’t gone out in a long time as well. Melbourne winter makes it tough to even think of going out. That and my laziness.

We reached there around 2pm. The road was nice and clear of any ice or snow, thanks to the grader that had gone through sometime earlier. As the snow started appearing on roadsides, I was giddy all over again. And once there was snow all around us, it looked like we were driving through a wonderland. The first thing that…

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Disposing possum carcass

Just the post you were expecting, right? Oh, the joys of living. You never know when you wake up one day and see a possum first thing in the morning. In a dead state. More specifically, in a torn apart state.

My first thought as I saw it through the window, was denial. Couldn’t be a possum, could it? Looks like a big old tree bark to me. It was lying away from the window and I blame my non-existent eyesight. On closer inspection, though, it was confirmed that it was indeed a possum, just the half of it. And I was immediately overcome by grief.

This is the point, where I tell you about our connection. I have never met the possum in person. Never looked into its deep brown eyes to make a connection. But I sure had made a connection in my own way. I had gotten used to the loud thumps from the roof when it walked at night. I have fondly looked up from whatever I was doing and smiled. It was a part of our house. We are going to miss the noise at night. Rest in peace mate.

I spent the first part of my day speculating possible causes for its death. Looking at the mauling, there wasn’t a doubt that this was an attack. But what did it? May be a bigger possum or a cat?

As the day progressed (with not many chores done), very soon all my thoughts were replaced by “how the hell am I going to get it off my lawn and dispose it?”. I had no idea if I was supposed to call someone to pick it up.

Was it a biohazard? May be.

Could I let it to rot? May be not. The smell would be putrid and absolutely disgusting.

Was there a proper way to dispose dead animals that are not pets? May be.

Bury it? May be not. Rented property.

At times like this I turn to my trusted old friend for suggestions. Google didn’t disappoint. There were questions on the web for exactly this type of scenario. And answers varied from “eat it” to “chuck it to your neighbour’s yard” to “bin it”. After snorting for a bit (on the responses, not the dead animals),I decided to get serious and call up the council of Monash (as no details were available on their web site).

Guess what? They told me what I already knew from Google. Not to eat it or throw it to the neighbour, but to bin it. Looks like they get at least one phone call like mine in a week. It would be a good idea for them to include the information on their site.

Now, time for some action. I waited till my daughter’s nap time and sneaked out with my gathered supply of a pair of kitchen gloves, two garbage bags and a lot of junk mail catalogues/brochures. Knowing fresh clean air would soon become scarce, I took a deep breath and put my gloves (and big girl panties) on.

I started assessing various angles which would be best to gather the huge part in one go. Yes there were more than one parts. Like I said, sweet life.

I gritted my teeth, squatted and held its forelimbs by a junk mail catalogue and hauled it up a bit. Heavier than I thought. But in went a part of it into the bag. I pulled the rest of it in, by lifting the bag. Relief. By now I was shaking like a leaf.

After putting the bits and pieces that had spread around I finally tied the bag shut. Put it in another bag, threw in all the brochures and binned it. The gloves as well.

As I came in after washing my hands thoroughly (just short of scrubbing them raw), I saw that it was 1:30pm and my appetite had vanished. It was probably with the spirit of our dead possum.

A little high a little low – opening up

Life is unpredictable and we all know there will be highs and lows. But we still cry and struggle when we encounter the lows rather than preparing for them when we are in the highs. And that is because we don’t exactly know what kind of low we are going to get into. I knew what I might get into but I still didn’t prepare for it.

I always thought, by having almost 8 years of industry experience, my job hunt this time around wouldn’t be as devastating as the first time around. You see, the first time around, I took almost 7 months after graduation, to land my first offer. That was partly because of not being exposed to the tricks and tips of industry and job-hunting and partly because I was dumb enough to not try to know those things.

Now I know what the tech industry is all about and have worked for so long but a gap of almost 3 years is making it difficult this time around. It is like a sense of déjà vu. I am once again taken back in time where it becomes embarrassing to tell people that you have been looking for a job but still haven’t found one.

On one hand, I am terribly disappointed, but on the other, I found that concentrating on only one thing (job search) was exhausting me till the point where I could no longer concentrate. So I mixed things up a bit and diverted attention to my blog. That is when I started thinking of writing seriously. I find pleasure in blogging. I am trying my hand at a novel. I’m not sure if I’ll complete it, but I’m mighty impressed that I started. I’m getting back to writing short fiction. And I’m looking for ways to get paid for writing. I’m at home and living off of my husband’s money so I can do with a little bit of my own. However less it is. Content & ghost writing are options too. Right now I’m gathering as much information as I need to make the move. Hints and tips for finding freelance writing work are much needed and would be welcomed with open arms. Please leave a comment below in that case, or email me @ speakintangent at gmail dot com.

I have always been hesitant in taking the first step. Once I take it, there is usually no looking back. But the first one takes so bloody long that once again, I start second guessing myself and my decision. I really appreciate people who can be so sure of themselves they only need to decide once to start working on it and get results. I wish my life was that straight forward. I am ultra careful in my approach and think every little detail from hundreds of perspectives. I wish I wasn’t such a ‘picking-things-apart’ kind of person.

Through these extreme experiences I have learned something new. I need to keep distracting myself time and again to avoid exhaustion. You see keeping my attention on a single thing for a long time burns me out and I need to do something else that makes me happy to refuel. So looks like everything that I like doing will need to co-exist in my life. All I need to do now is find a way to juggle everything. As if looking after a kid and keeping a house wasn’t enough.

So right now is another low for me and I’m trying to motivate myself to come out of the rut and make something of myself. Writing has been helping but I haven’t stopped searching for a job. I’m right now going by the Bhagavadgita’s “Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana “. Which means “You have a right to perform your duty but not entitled to its fruits”. It might sound a little demotivating but I feel that disassociating with the result might give me the strength to deal with it.

Are you feeling stuck and exhausted of chasing your goal? Just take a break and do what you like. Try it. You might enjoy and get more motivated to restart your pursuit. And who says you have to pursue only one thing at a time?

Now for a quick dose of motivation.

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Selfless love

#differentkindoflove

I have yearned time and again, to give her the happiness, the life she deserves. But even though I have always been with her, I haven’t been able do any of that lately. It burns me like fire, when I see her cry every night, muffling her sobs in the pillow. I wander aimlessly just to avoid seeing her cry; hoping that if she escapes my eye, some of the pain would ease. Instead, I feel completely void and it hurts more if that is possible. My heart has probably shifted places, choosing her to me. Not something I could help. Hadn’t I always wanted it to belong to her? But I shouldn’t be so selfish. It isn’t fair to her.

Oh, how lovely she looked in those bright colour dresses. I could just look at her all day and still find something interesting in her every day. We were surrounded by such joy, I thought my chest would burst open at some point of time. I couldn’t believe the way she changed my perspective towards life, just by her mere presence. The crinkle of her eye, her beautiful smile, hearty giggles, everything about her captivated me. The time of the past, so lovely. And I treasure every moment of it. Because those are the only things I have now. I hold on to it like a drowning man holds on to a grassblade.

She doesn’t have to hold on to the past. She has a choice to move on and ahead and she doesn’t realize. I hadn’t thought someone would love her the way I do, until I saw him yesterday. He might not love her exactly like I do or as much as I do. But I have seen the way he looks at her, which says more than he does. He doesn’t expect her to talk to him or open up easily. But he finds ways to help her get on with life. That assures me she will be in safe hands.

Today my existence stands justified, or so I think, as I see the smile in her eyes through those thick transparent layers of fresh tears. She talked to him for the first time and cried her heart out, indicating that she trusts him enough to confide in him the pain and loss. She told him I had left her. Her words flew like thousand daggers at my heart. Did anybody give me a choice, to stay? Did that bloody moron ask me before he got drunk and drove over me? This is not my choice. Who chooses to leave their child alone in a cruel world? So I stayed, however I could.

Today as I stand looking at them leave my house to their house, hand in hand, some part of me knows things would be better. After all this is the man I had once loved. She turned back to have one last look at her mother’s house, searching for something. Was she looking for me? Knowing she would remember me gave me the peace that I was longing for. She exhaled a sigh, turned around and smiled at her father and I instinctively smiled, a hand reaching out to her. I know she will be happy. And this is something I wanted to see before I left, forever. I waved at the back of the van which moved away, and said a silent goodbye.

Note: Some of the old timers might remember this from my old blog. It is an old story that I wrote. I’m just editing and posting it as part of the love series that I have going right now.

Dangerous love

#differentkindoflove

Dirty boots thudded on the old wooden floorboards, leaving a trail of cakey mud in its wake. He sees her sitting in the drawing room with peeling wallpaper, looking out of the window, as if nothing could stir her concentration, not his incessant knocking on the door, not his kicking open the door, not his dirty boots thudding on the old wooden floorboards. From where he stood, facing her back, she looked like she was in a different world. And that made him angry.

“Are you f**king deaf woman? I’ve been knocking on that door for half an hour and you sit here, lost in your own world, looking out of that goddamn window facing a wall. I had to kick the door open. Now I have to pay the carpenter to mend the locks. All because you decided to suddenly go deaf today.”

Was she crying? Oh no, what now? Damn if he could understand women. He walked over to her and sat in front of her, on his knees, so their eyes were level.

“Okay, okay, now don’t start the water works on me. Its alright. I will carry a key from now. But seriously, what if we were being burgled and someone broke in? You should pay attention. Okay? I know you are mad at me for last night. But I promise I won’t lay a finger on you again. You hear that? I promise. You know I love you, don’t you? I love you very much. More than anything. Now lets have dinner, alright?”

He rolled the wheelchair to the dining table and started laying the table, telling her about his day. About that awful, blocked sewage pipe that he had to work on that morning. About how he almost broke a bloke’s nose because he wouldn’t stop talking.

“Can’t a man have his peace and quiet while he works? Jesus, people don’t understand at all. But I know you do my dear. And that is why I love you. Even though you were thinking of leaving me last night, I knew you never would. I wouldn’t have let you. You can’t leave me.”

He gently leaned in and kissed her forehead, while her unfocused eyes kept staring ahead and her lifeless heart failed to register the love that he was showing. A little too late.

 

 

 

Tedious love

#differentkindoflove

It is strange how a small thing can turn into something big in no time. Well, in actuality it took quite sometime. I am so deliriously happy right now. I got the proposal that I deserved, on bent knee no less. And the most beautiful diamond that I’ve had the opportunity to lay eyes on. Trust me I’ve seen quite a few in my life.

Now that I look back, it is no surprise that Jay did propose to me. It was inevitable. Though it all started on a sour note, what with the differences between the social circles we move in. It soon became pretty apparent that very soon we both would fall deeper than we ever thought we could. I just never had it in me to resist his boyish charm. And I know he could not take his eyes off me once he really saw me. It was only a matter of time.

We bumped into each other at a mall and neither of us thought much about it. He is a teacher. Not that I went digging, I just happened to identify him on a Facebook picture in my friend’s album. My friend is a teacher. Not that I would ever stalk someone on Facebook. Are you crazy?

Then we bumped into each other again at the community event that I was a special guest of. Guess who was in the organizing committee. He was attractive in his blond hair and tweed blazer. Not that I was attracted to him at that moment. Pfft. He had a date that night anyway. But in a turn of fate, we ended up sharing a cab, as his date never showed up and I happened to be dining at the same place. Serendipity. That night, in the cab, we talked a lot and we also spent a lot of time, well, doing something else with our mouths. I’ll keep the details to myself. They are most sacred to me.

That night changed our lives and entwined our futures together in an irreversible manner. Neither of us could and would back out. What then happened was a series of beautiful memories that I hold very close to my heart. The dates, the holding hands, the whispering of sweet nothings. I am proud of the fact that all my thoughts are dominated by Jay. My day begins and ends with Jay. I am drowning in the vast bottomless sea called Jay and there is no escape. I don’t need an escape. I’m happy to be trapped here, in my bubble of happiness.

Today, as we step into another phase in our lives, the happiness is boundless. I know it will be. It has to be. I’ve put so much into this. Jay is all I know now. He is all I think, feel and do. I know he thinks the same about me. He has to. He knows how much I’ve put into this.

Wish us luck and all the happiness as we take the big plunge into the holy matrimony, will you? Of course you will. Who wouldn’t be happy for a fairy-tale. It’s just, the bruises I caused my mother in law are yet to heal or she can’t be in the pictures. She deserved it, if you ask me. She threatened my marriage and did not approve of our relationship. And Jay is a mama’s boy. Oh what can I say, I think boys will always be mama’s boys. I think if I have a boy, he will be too. So, I had to take matters in my own hands. I’m not very proud of it. But you don’t think working a knife on your mother in law, a mean mother in law at that, would amount to sin, do you? Of course you don’t. Everyone is protective of what is theirs.

I am just sad that poor Lily won’t be able to be with us for the wedding. You know, the girl who Jay was supposed to go on a date with. She is the friend, through whose Facebook page I found him. She died the same night, in the very neighbourhood. I never meant for that to happen to her. It was pure protective instincts. I know you understand.