Day 46 – I need rest

I should’ve been on a caravan in the middle of nowhere in the country side, resting this mind and body, away from all the things that distract me. Instead I’m here staring at my screen with a sore neck and shoulders with too many things on my mind.

This has been a good but tiring week. Some nights with no sleep and some with too much. It’s ridiculous how drained you feel with the lack of any physical activity, let alone a strenuous day. You would think two coffees could fix this virtual fatigue but my eyes are giving way, so maybe I really should retire into the comfort of this bed cum study spot.

To sweet dreams and some rest. Hope you get some too.

Today’s tune: How Does A Moment Last Forever by Céline Dion.

Day 46 – 30 September 2017.
320 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash

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Day 45 – You’ve got a friend

Three months to being in the comfort of home and within the embrace of my family and friends in Bombay. I cannot wait.

That said, I’ve had that comfort of home all those miles away too. Friends are the family you choose, and this couldn’t be truer with how I feel about my home away from home in Melbourne. I’m on my way to a party with these people I call home. No thoughts to share, just some lyrics to leave you with and a wish for you to find love like this. The kind that says…

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, running, yeah, yeah, yeah, to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend

Today’s tune: You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King.

Day 45 – 29 September 2017.
321 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Leon Christopher on Unsplash

Day 44 – Bitter or sweet love?

Love is not meant to hurt. It is not supposed to make you feel sad or cry. Love is not meant to make you second-guess yourself or wreck your life. Love is supposed to make you feel joyful and at home. It meant to be glorious and beautifulWhat if in all this time, it wasn’t love but an infatuation with the idea of love?

Whether it is new or old, when it comes to love, you give each other everything you have. There is no shame in where you come from or where you aspire to be. With love, there is no room for a third wheel – be it doubt, misunderstandings or another person. With love, you give it your all in or nothing.

As millennials, we find ourselves at crossroads because we’re told or seem to believe that love is hard and impossible. Sure, it involves compromise and is a work-in-progress. But when you think about the person you share this love with, it meant to feel and be beautiful. It is the people you share this love with that often make it bittersweet. If you or they didn’t find to make it last, maybe it wasn’t love. It may have been something good, just not love. So don’t give up on love and don’t give up on yourself.

Someday, someday, maybe.

Today’s tune: Someday by Michael Learns To Rock.

Day 44 – 28 September 2017.
322 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Day 43: Is grief a new-age fad – what do I know?

Food for thought from one of my favourite humans, “Why does figuring and coming up with what’s wrong in our lives or even creating situations that make our lives seem bad come more easily to humans?”

I don’t know. It just does.

Lately, I have become more cynical about everything and everyone around me. My recent posts have even urged people to worry for my well-being. There’s the occasional “I think you are depressed”, or the “don’t do anything stupid”, or “why do you need a counsellor, things can’t be that bad”, or “calm and be positive” and so on.

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s to do with being human and our unsaid attachment and love for pain. We’ve got a million things to be grateful for. I know I do. Yet, beneath that surface, there is always that one thing that upsets you. And as much as we crave for happiness, pain stings and stays a lot longer with us (with me). One thing I’ve realised is that most of this pain stems from comparison. With oneself, with others. It inevitably sets this foundation to set ourselves up for disappointment no matter the good.

Coming back to the question. Are we really unhappy or is grief the new rage? Does our generation succumb to peer pressure when it comes to feeling sad?

Yes it is in everyone’s faces at all times. Insta stories are canvases for our woes, and Facebook an excuse to vent. Snap filters a reflection of our emotions every now and then and captions a gateway to the daily dilemmas. As you read this, you’re aiding my path to sadness. Or maybe, this has to do with the content we read or the conversations we have. We tell ourselves to be grateful for life as we know it to shelve other emotions. Are we being grateful because we truly are or is it because we want to avoid feeling like shit instead?

What do I know?

I bought a gratitude journal a few months ago and I haven’t written a word in it. Not because I don’t have things to be grateful for. I do. The list doesn’t end as they flash before me right now (including “urgent” texts from my mother at this very moment and through the day; hi Ma). It’s because it comes more naturally to me when I wake up every morning or when I’m about to call it a day. Growing up in a Catholic family, we prayed before getting out of bed and before tucking ourselves to sleep. Short prayers thanking God for everything that happened and was meant to happen. The concept of prayer was a conversation in our home (it still is), and again I have my parents to be grateful for for the liberty of practicing my faith in a way that has only strengthened it over the years. That book is blank because my gratitude journal is my daily conversations with God every morning and night. Shorts prayers of gratefulness and affirmation.

It is better to be happy than to be sad. No doubt there. Be happy for those around you and be happy for yourself. And I am. But writing about things that bother me also makes me happy in a strange and twisted way. My recently pointed out that I should write about happier things. She seems to think I’m using my words (and talent) in a dark place and I know she means well. I seem to think that my words resonate with others in my place. This isn’t talent or love for literature, it’s pure honesty.

For over seven years now, my blog has been the bonfire I burn my secrets, confessions, struggles and joys in. During one of my confessions in church, the priest suggested I write things that still hurt me and burn it in flames. This blog and you are those flames.

“Why does figuring and coming up with what’s wrong in our lives or even creating situations that make our lives seem bad come more easily to humans?”

I don’t think it is about making our lives seem bad. I think it about voicing out what upsets us because, whether we like it or not, pain is more powerful joy. Pain can be motivational. Occasionally, it can be aspirational. Pain is what draws us together. I think it is about seeking out voices of assurance that we are not alone and that life’s obstacles, no matter how big or small are common to all. I think it is because it is easier to complain about the rocky road ahead than it is to accept the bed of flowers. Maybe grief is the new-age fad, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s an escape or maybe it’s comforting. Maybe it’s easier to feel insecure than it is to feel confident. Maybe it’s is easy to be a victim than to wear a cape.

What do I know?

I also don’t think my opinion should have a bearing over anyone else’s. I think it is great to be grateful and happy or to share our lives in all its greatness with the world. I also think it’s okay to cry over the smallest fears. Some days we’re wrong, some days we’re right. Either way, most days, we’re getting through because we have each other. We always will.

You and me, and my soulful (WhatsApp) groups. You know who you are.

Today’s tune: What Do I Know by Ed Sheeran.

Day 43 – 27 September 2017.
323 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven on Unsplash

Day 42 – Send my love to your lover

I convince myself that I have moved on from the pain and heartbreak caused by a certain relationship and person in my life. That’s all it is, me convincing myself of something that isn’t true.

Not yet. I’ll try.

I don’t blame you for where we are today. Not for all of it anyway. I do blame you for not letting me go when I so pleadingly asked. I do blame you for wanting more than one love in your life when you couldn’t give me half of what I needed. I do blame you for giving me hope during my darkest days until you constantly had to remind me that I knew better from the start. I do blame you for ever telling me that you loved me. I blame you for your heart. I blame you for you. I blame you for me.

Telling yourself or your friends something over and over doesn’t make it real. You have to choose and decide to let go. You choose your happiness, don’t let your circumstances decide for you. Maybe someday I will choose mine. Until then, I will curse you (and my poor judgments) as I try falling asleep and bury my face in damp pillowtalk.

I’m giving you up
You set me free-ee

Today’s tune: Send My Love (To Your New Lover) by Adele.

Day 42 – 26 September 2017.
324 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by elizabeth lies on Unsplash

Day 41 – What is self care?

Sometimes self care is exercise and eating right. Sometimes it’s spending time with loved ones or taking a nap. And sometimes it’s watching an entire season of television in one weekend while you lounge around in your pyjamas. Whatever soothes your soul. — Nanea Hoffman

Sometimes self care is writing or drawing. Sometimes it is fighting for what is right for you. Sometimes it is saying no. It could also be travelling to a new city alone. Sometimes it is doing absolutely nothing. Self care is also telling yourself it’s okay to make mistakes; it’s okay to not know. Sometimes it is letting people see you for who you are. It is also not being ashamed of being weak. It is also accepting that you are strong.

I often feel the need to be what others need me to be. This at the cost of being exhausted – mentally, physically but mostly, emotionally. I’ve always been fine when asked, irrespective of the reality of the situation. I don’t know if I say this to make myself believe it or just to be what others need me to be. Either way, I’m fine.

Here’s what I didn’t see before – being in the now with how you feel instead of ignoring your emotions can go a long way with feeling good. You’re not always fine and that’s okay to. You will be.

Taking time to yourself to do simple things and just being is as important as fulfilling your daily basic needs. Last weekend, I read a book, binge-watched movies and tv shows, slept during the day, and read some more. As this week began, I felt a lot healthier than I have in the past few weeks. I felt like I was finally in tandem with my emotions. I woke up with no alarms or deadline pressures. I simply took the day as it was and bloomed.

For most friends who’ve struggled with any personal conflict, I’ve always told them to put themselves first. Even then, my biggest struggle has been to practice what I preach; to put myself first. Now…no more.

Here’s to doing what you need to do for yourself. Big or small, do it. Do it for you.

Today’s tune: Reflecting Light by Sam Philips.

Day 41 – 25 September 2017.
325 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Tom Ezzatkhah on Unsplash

Day 40 – No shame

Someone very close to me recently suggested that going to a counsellor meant being dependent on a form of medication, and that it wasn’t healthy. That counsellors were mere voices to our thoughts rather than the solution to our problem or conflict. That we could identify the problem ourselves and talk to friends and family. Someone else seemed more concerned with me going to sessions because it meant something was wrong with me.

Yes and no.

Counsellors are voices to our conflicts or internal battles but they’re also the starting point and your support system to being and feeling healthy. Often, we need people in our lives that don’t sugarcoat our struggles or points of view in a matter. We also need people helping us identify what might be bothering us. No doubt we need our friends and family to help us in the process. We also need unbiased professional help that guides you find what you’re looking for. Problems aren’t meant to be suppressed and they can’t always be resolved. But they most certainly shouldn’t be ignored. You won’t always have the answers, nor will your psychologist. Together, however, you may be able to find what it is you’re looking for.

Seek help.

Eventually, you will find that you are the means and the end. You and only you can enable your path to feeling healthy again – mentally, emotionally, physically. However, during that process, there is no shame in seeking help in any and every form. There is no shame in going to therapy. There is no shame in saying that you might be sick or that you simply don’t know. And there most certainly is no shame in putting you and your health first.

There will always be people telling you they know better. There will always be people finding shame in your struggles and achievements. There will also always be you who matters most. There will always be voices of self doubt. There will always be cheers for self love. On good and bad days, there will always be love for you, from your family, friends and strangers alike.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental illness or facing any form of conflict, visit a psychologist/counsellor/therapist/psychiatrist, and prepare that road to health, life, light and laughter.

There is no shame.

Today’s tune: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel.

Day 40 – 24 September 2017.
326 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

Days 39 – Good or bad, time will tell

I thought I always knew better. I thought laying out all those options and opinions meant picking out what was best for me. Maybe not.

Maybe I don’t know better. I’m constantly comparing myself to fellow friends and acquaintances, and all their achievements. A relative term by the way. Who decides what an achievement is? You? Me? Some people know who they’re meant to be at 19, some are still figuring it out at 40. I’m at a stage where I know whatever I will be, I will be passionate. I try.

We’re constantly laying out plans and dates for ourselves. I know I have and with only a few months to 25, and I’m way off the timeline I set for myself 10 years ago. What if life as we know it is meant to be incidental? I don’t know if what I do today is good or bad. This Master’s degree, cross-country adventures, my career, my relationships.

Good or bad? Time will tell.

Sometimes, you just wait it out to find out. This is isn’t about latching on the possibility of a bigger and better future. What is bigger and better? Another relative idea really. Everything happens for a reason. The people I’ve known have led me to become the person I am. The homes I left, led to the home I’m now making. It took me a while but I now understand that every step we take is just a piece of the puzzle laid out for us by God, for the bigger picture. And it is so easy to lose sight of that big picture when you’re rushing to get things done. When you’re rushing to hang your “achievements” across that white picket fence you always dreamed of.

Don’t. Don’t rush.

We are not running out of time. Our journeys will pan out as they must eventually anyway. So it is okay not knowing once in a way. It’s okay to keep putting your building blocks together, bit by bit. It’s okay to feel confused. It’s okay to feel frustrated. It’s okay to feel everything all at once.

It’s okay!

Today’s tune: Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong Worship.

Day 39 – 23 September 2017.
327 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash

Day 38 – Sleep, is it me you’re looking for?

I am losing sleep over dreams I can’t remember. I have been for the last five years now. Our conscience is a strange place. Mostly unresolved, and clouded with memories from an estranged past and a familiar future. Some days, I wake up more tired than the day before. Some nights, I wake up sore from sleeping a little too well. Why can’t our minds and bodies work in sync? People suggest meditation and walks in parks, and more. I’ve tried versions of these, yet I find myself tossing and turning from 9 to 9.

Maybe sleep is my kryptonite. What’s yours?

Today’s tune: Hello by Lionel Richie.

Day 38 – 22 September 2017.
328 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Sarah Ball on Unsplash