Day 52 – Be as you are

Attractive waist lines and skin tones. Melodious voices and wired brains. Good hair and sun- kissed smiles. Defined gender roles and ideal sexual orientation. What if, in an alternate universe, everything that we’re conditioned to thinking is wrong with us was right?

In a world telling you who to be, live your truth.

We are slapped with labels, stereotypes and expectations. We are told everything we’re not instead being celebrated for everything we are. Life will not always be comfortable and there will be good and bad days. What makes life easier is when you stop trying to be someone you’re not because the world appears to be nice to a certain kind of person. You will be happier when you start living your story as it is, as you want to tell it to the world. Life will be easier when your behaviour and attitude is a reflection of what you want and who you are beneath all those layers and labels for the world. Being comfortable in your own skin is a grace. Something I often struggle with but I am trying. If anything, I know that that accepting your flaws and mistakes only makes you stronger. It only makes you happier. It sets you apart in a way that cannot be broken to please the world. It cannot be replaced.

There are moments when you fall to the ground
But you are stronger than you feel you are now
You don’t always have to speak so loud, no
Just be as you are
Life is not always a comfortable ride
Everybody’s got scars that they hide
And everybody plays the fool sometimes, yeah
Just be as you are

Today’s tune: Be As You Are by Mike Posner.

Day 52 – 6 October 2017.
314 days to go.

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

Photo by Alessio Lin on Unsplash

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Day 49 – To my past demons…

…you don’t control me no more.

The past will always find a way to weave itself back into our lives. You will have dreams (or nightmares), conversations and occasional confrontations. You will be made to believe that you are wrong or at fault. You will be made to question every action and relationship. You will be pushed into having an existential crisis. You will lose faith. You will lose you.

From being naive and awkward in school to now being somewhat self-assured while pursuing a Master’s degree, what I learned is that your past will only hurt you for as long as you let it. Much like with your demons, face your past with strength and dignity. People in your present are not the demons from your past. Open your heart to possibilities and let go of the negativity. I know this is not easy because the past can be daunting – it could be school, a job, a person(s), an event, a taboo or a habit. It could be the journey from ignorance to awareness. It could be the process of denial to acceptance. I know this is not easy because it is easier said than done. I know this is not easy because history can always repeat itself. But would you rather live the rest of your life in fear of a disheartening past or in anticipation of a glorious future? Let go and seek your light.

Sunrise, sunset. Good vibes, beautiful human, good vibes only. 

Today’s tune: Glorious by Macklemore ft. Skylar Grey.

Day 49 – 3 October 2017.
317 days to go.

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

Photo by Nitish Meena 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 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

Day 34 – The fear of deadlines

Lately, I’ve been really struggling with my school work and assignments. Just the thought of a deadline feels like sword of pressure hanging over my head. Guidelines and Deadlines. For the most past, they seem overwhelming. They also feel stifling. It is no excuse to get away from things to be done. With school work, things that I could and would get done rather easily now seem daunting. A 3000-word essay once came easy to me. I would think and I would write. Now, I won’t write that first sentence because I worry I won’t make the mark. Now, I overthink. As a result, I have nothing but anxious and insomniac nights. Continue reading “Day 34 – The fear of deadlines”

Day 32 – I’m back (barely)

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When this project turned a month old, I promised myself to not worry about filters or what others thought. Let’s be honest, obviously that was an empty promise. I haven’t written since. Not because I didn’t want to but because this because this felt and became obligatory. This became something I was not. The same trickled down to my art too. I haven’t drawn in months and it hurts. You cannot imagine how much it hurts but I hate that what I love (used to anyway) seems like a task instead of a hobby.

These may seem like excuses but they’re really not. They are daily battles and I am at the losing end.

Just don’t give up
I’m workin’ it out

These past couple months have been draining in so many ways. My biggest source of exhaustion has been me, myself and I. Yet, despite the exhaustion I feel like I’ve gotten nowhere. Nowhere with work, nowhere with school, nowhere with life. This should scare right? It should at least worry me? Instead I’ve gotten comfortable with doing nothing. I have become complacent. I am tired most days and nights, and wake up with no will whatsoever. And while I’ve always loved my alone time, this time round, it isn’t as pleasant. Not at all.

Please don’t give in
I won’t let you down

Am I running away from responsibility and hiding beneath this whole pile of excuses? Am I using it as a defense mechanism against all expectations from self and others?

Having said that, a lot has happened in the last few months. I moved to a new home, I got a new job, I started a new semester at school. All this seems and sounds really overwhelming. And now, it feels really overwhelming too. The time that I get to myself, which is mostly nights wrapped in exhaustion and anxiety, is all I have. I have also started seeing a counsellor because I suddenly feel like I need to be diagnosed. It’s strange, this need for diagnosis, because you want to believe something is wrong with you irrespective of reality. I’m scared genes I thought were suppressed may suddenly take over my life.

It messed me up, need a second to breathe

I am sick and I am tired and I cannot wait for this phase to end. And like you’re going to tell me and like I already know, this won’t just end unless I do something about it. Here’s what I have been struggling with – how?

You will know how Chriselle, you just have to take that first step and be open to change. After all…you only live once, carpe damn diem, zindagi na milegi dobara, you’re the captain of your own ship, affirmation after affirmation, yada yada.

how???

Just keep coming around

Today’s tune: Whataya Want from Me by Adam Lambert.

Day 32 – 16 September 2017.
334 days to go.

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

Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

Day 28 – Alive

Heartbreak can be as liberating as it is painful. For the most part, I am okay because I have been distracted. It gets tough when I am alone and staring at silence storm its fist at me. It get though when my thought drift towards what could be and what isn’t. It is tough but for the most part I am okay. Continue reading “Day 28 – Alive”

Day 27 – I booked my first solo trip

My hands are still trembling from doing the exact opposite of what I intended to do. I booked my first solo trip for a week in Tasmania. OH-MY-GOD, YES, I DID! WHAT WAS I THINKING? Continue reading “Day 27 – I booked my first solo trip”

Day 26 – I just wanna feel real love

I am trying so hard to forget instead all I do is remember. I feel like I am surrounded by darkness because I am focusing too much on the light. I am staring at the problem but with no attention to the remedy. I am not coping well, I am trying to shape a fate that is already twisted and set in stone.

Help me move forward, help me let go. Help me get out of darkness and into the light. Help me feel light.

I just wanna feel real love
Feel the home that I live in
Cause I got too much life
Running through my veins
Going to waste

Today’s tune: Feel by Robbie Williams.

Day 26 – 29 May 2017.
340 days to go.

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