Dear reader

Okay so this post is where I talk to you directly. I have seen people coming to this site even when the last post I’ve written was 2 months ago. So there are people who are finding things to read and are making use of this space.

This post is not about my explanation of why I haven’t written in so long, but a dialog between me and you.

So here is a question to all you lurkers and delurkers. What do you want me to write about? What posts have you enjoyed reading and what do you want to read more about? Okay so that’s two questions.

I want to write things that you are interested in reading and not just post gibberish to get it out of my head. Although, I might do that at times.

So go ahead and use up the comment space. If you are too shy, you can also leave me an email.

And don’t forget to like the blog page on Facebook so you can get notified when I do a post of your suggestion.

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Reflections 2016

Coffee Time Conversations Reflections

As a blogger, I am obliged to do a roundup post at the end of the year. Now it is already 5 days past the end of 2016 and time I got around to thinking of what to say. Was 2016 good to me? I don’t want to sound ungrateful and say that it wasn’t. But the real question is this. Was I good to 2016? Did I realise my potential and give my best to the year? Did I enjoy the days as much as I could? Did I take the opportunities I was given and/or create opportunities where possible? I’m sure you get the idea of what I am talking about.

Being true to oneself and coming out vulnerable but with true realisation is one hell of a difficult thing to do, when living in denial and false assurances is so easy. I am, right now, in the process of reflecting on the past year to not only recognise faults and failures but also to appreciate my small triumphs. I’ve come to think of retrospection as not only a way to improve myself but also an opportunity to pat myself on the back for things well done. However, in the end, what I take away from it is how I can do better in future.

So to round up 2016 in a post, which would be quite a feat in itself, to be honest, it didn’t go as well as I wanted it to. I didn’t post much, I didn’t accomplish much. To be honest, I didn’t reach my potential. On the other hand I was happy, well fed and rested. The baby grew up all of a sudden and so that was one less thing to worry about a little body getting hurt (she still does, it just affects me less).

I am truly grateful for all the good things in life (I already have). Doesn’t mean I can’t desire for more.

I am hoping 2017 will be a fantastic year to do all that I didn’t. So here’s me wishing myself a fabulous year ahead. I hope I meditate more, think more, listen more, act more, work more, create more, exercise more, enjoy more, love more and update the blog more.

I also wish all my readers an amazing 2017. Make your wishes come true. What did you wish for by the way?

 

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

Who is holding you back?

I’ve been thinking a lot and philosophizing every aspect and detail of my life. I’ve been trying to figure out what is going wrong when really everything seems to be okey dokey. You know what I mean. Life cannot be perfect when there is a heap of dirty dishes in the sink, two loads of laundry waiting to be done and a hyper active child wanting to play with every darn thing she can lay her hands on. Need I say more? The house looks like a war scene on good days and absolutely apocalyptic on others. I’m still trying not to do it all, all the time. So okey dokey works well for me right now.

I am someone who likes having a fair amount of control. Like planning-executing, staying on top of my to-do list and in general feeling like I’m doing most of what I want to. And more often than not, things don’t go as planned. And I feel like I’m not up to it. I hold myself to some sort of standard and when I don’t live up to it I feel like I’ve let myself down. Which then leads to downward spiral of things and me.

In a lot of ways, I feel like staying at home is holding me back. I didn’t want to put it in words, for fear of it feeling like I’m accusing the child, because of whom I’m staying at home. But it isn’t. Neither of them is true. I’m staying at home not because of the child but because of my indecision. And all this overthinking has led me to finally unravel that staying at home doesn’t have to hold me back from doing anything. But it is. To put it in better words, I’m letting it.

I have stopped feeling passionate about writing or anything else that I used to be pretty ‘gung ho’ about. I have been thinking of getting serious about writing and didn’t want to put my heart out there, fearing what people would think of me as a writer (hah!) if I unravel my vulnerable self. I finally realized that it has been too darn long and not writing about what I really want to write about has doused the flame in me. I’m now scared of failure, scared of trying new things because I’m scared of failure, scared of changes because I’m scared of the unknown. And I’m done with being scared. No really, I don’t want to be scared anymore.

Staying at home didn’t mean I had to live an unhealthy lifestyle. It didn’t mean I had to just pass my time doing nothing, just because I could. It didn’t mean I had to stop dreaming. It didn’t mean I had to give up my hobbies. It didn’t mean I had to stop living my life, trying to make my child’s life perfect.

While I was at it, I asked myself what I would do if I wasn’t afraid of anything. What new thing would I try? Where would I go? How would it feel? And I was surprised at the possibilities that were right in front of me, that I had closed my eyes to.

So are you feeling down today? Have you been feeling down for sometime now? Why? Have you thought about it? If not I highly recommend doing what software folks call a “root- cause analysis”, which is self explanatory.

 

Traveling through foggy road

The road ahead is still a little foggy. I can see a few feet ahead and around me. After that it is thick and cloudy. It is scary to think of what could be there lurking in the haze, hiding from me, waiting to pounce on me when I happen to cross it. Not knowing what lies ahead makes me anxious. Yes, surprises are exciting, at times. But I like knowing what I would be in for. But that was a while back. Now, I know that it is me who decides what gets to be ahead of me. But before I make that choice, I need to clear the fog which is as stubborn as myself. May be because it is I who created it?

Let me back up. I’m talking about what happens in my head. Well, if you have begun thinking that I have gone nuts talking about a road in my head, this is just a glimpse or a fragment of the whole thing. I will not even attempt elaborating, except for what I have started already.

So, lets get on with the foggy road now, eh?

You see, the road is life, in my head. I try and visualize it. Not every night before sleep or I’ll just end up an insomniac. Just every now and then, to get some direction. I see choices as intersections, each having its own destination or leading to another intersection. Each road comes with its own bumps, potholes and all things you get on the road. They might be the same, they might not, I cannot know for sure until I’ve taken the road. However, I try to gauge the weather and conditions of my travel – if I have enough with me to make the journey, to prepare for the troubles that might come along.

It has been there for a while, that fog on my road, that simply refuses to lift. I have a strong suspicion that it might have been caused by me. You see, I believe most things in life are our choices. When you don’t choose one path, you would’ve invariably chosen the other. So I have a feeling that the fog is my choice. Now that I have started paying attention and desperately want to have some visibility, I HAVE to do something. Especially because I don’t just want to be.

For those who still haven’t figured out the mystery talk yet, I’m talking about uncertainties. I am not sure about so many things in life that it has startled me awake from my state of uncomfortable complacency. I’m not okay with being in my comfort zone; but like most, I fall into that trap pretty easily. It is easy to just be, instead of picking yourself, the baggage, getting on that horse called life and reining it (another of my many metaphors for life).

If you are thinking that I can take a pit stop when I just need a break, let me tell you there is no break in life. Life doesn’t stop. Well, you already knew that, but it just sounds good to read. It is like having those roller skates on your legs that won’t come off. You will keep rolling forward whether you like it or not. You can either just go where the road takes you, stumbling and falling or learn to skate well and go where you want to go.

So you see, I have an extremely strong feeling that it is soon going to be decision time, where I sit myself down for a long chat and take stock of things. Get inside my own head to see how I can find ways to lift the fog and choose what I see behind it. I need a great deal of strength, conviction and belief to make that happen.

Until then I have to just have to toddle along, seeing that I won’t fall into a bottomless pit of perpetual stagnancy.

Promises… to myself

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Everyday I will strive to

  • be a little better than I was yesterday. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • work towards my GOAL. One step at a time.
  • do something that makes me happy.
  • do something that makes someone else happy.
  • be a little more patient than yesterday.
  • have more faith than I do.
  • trust, encourage and uplift myself.
  • make and record more memories.
  • smile more.
  • decrease internet usage.
  • increase personal interaction.
  • judge less.
  • become a person my older self would be proud of.

Well, it is 4th consecutive day of my workout schedule and I.am.proud. It is true, that the fire which comes from self, doesn’t extinguish in few days, like external ones do. I learnt that it is not the bits and pieces that I need to better about me. I need to be better from inside out, mentally and physically to make efforts to get myself to a happy place. I am just a little bit better and have been striving hard to get back my footing. I now promise myself that I will do all those things have been mentioned above.

Anything else you think of that I can add to this list? Drop a comment.

Contemplative

It is a dull grey day. The sky is overcast and it has rained a bit, early in the morning. I usually don’t find it gloomy. I find beautiful. I love the rain, the huge dark clouds, the chill in the air. It brings me joy. Whenever there is a cold drizzle, I just stand in front of the window, take a deep breath and smile. Today, I stood in front of the window and just stared at the sky, my mood pensive.

Yet again, I am at a stage where I am asking myself ‘what am I doing with my life?’. I am almost 32, with a demanding and rapidly growing child, no job, no future plans and no idea how to go about doing things I want to do. I feel like I have aged 10 years in the last two. What in the world do I want to do? What is my calling? How do I figure it out?

Time is slipping by, without me even realizing it. It is already an year since I moved here, to Melbourne and I still have no idea what I am going to do with myself or how I am going to change my life. Am I happy? I am not sure. Yes, I have a a good family life and a nice extended family with no drama. But I feel the lack of any kind of personal accomplishment. May be that is why I keep thinking about taking up challenges here, which tend to fall apart in the end. I feel like Julie from ‘Julie and Julia’ who can’t seem to be able to finish anything she starts.

I recently advised a much younger friend to follow her dreams and live the life she wants. She is deciding what to study. I think I have sufficiently motivated her to do what she loves. That, for some reason, got me feeling like a hypocrite. I limited myself at a time when ideas were freely flowing and my creative self was at peak. I chose the safe path, became a software engineer and got sucked into independence, having fun, living life etc. I don’t regret it one bit. In fact, I am thankful I did what I did, as it is because of that decision, I am where I am. But the need to do more, feel more, see more and live more is slowly building up.

My whole life, I’ve been trying to come out of the shell I seem to be hiding in. And it looks like even the shell keeps growing a bit, pulling me back again. I wonder how some people are so positive, motivated and optimistic all the time. I always let something stop me from doing things. Or I cannot figure out what to do in the first place. It is easy to say that we need to be happy with who we are. I am not. I mean, I am. But I want to be more. I want to set an example for my daughter. Well, you might say that I am doing my very best and that I am a good mother and wife. That staying home and doing chores is also work and that is important. I agree, but I am not someone who can be happy doing just that. And eventually it leads to times when I desperately search for motivation using a magnifying glass to get through the day. If that is not disappointing I don’t know what is. What would baby A think, a few years down, when she sees me like this? Would she think it is OK to feel sorry for yourself and not do anything about it? Or would she think I am a loser who couldn’t set her life straight and hence not worth paying attention to? Either way it is bad for her and my self respect and esteem.

But right now, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to go about it.

All I know is that I have to take it one day at a time.