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

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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

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 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

Day 36 – (not so) small wonders

I hate that I sound like a nag on loop but bear with me. I can’t remember the last time I slept without worrying about the next day or the day before. Or since I walked out with no map or agenda for the day. It has been a while since I really laughed. It’s really been a while!

Despite this and being away from the comfort of home, for all the days that I’ve felt worn and torn, I am grateful for all those calls, hugs and affirmations. All the days that I didn’t want to get out of bed or dragged myself from work to school and home, I am grateful for those companions who’ve shown so much love and understanding. Thank you for bearing with my lack of enthusiasm and poor communication.

It has been a while since I’ve had some good things going. More to do with how I feel mentally than the physical evidence of things going well. Yes, there is a lot to be grateful for but it’s difficult when you mind gives up on you. It’s difficult when you often see the darkness of the tunnel instead of the ray of light at the end of it. Tonight, however, does feel good knowing that I’m surrounded by the kind of family that isn’t bound by blood alone but by choice too.

Oh life, thank you for your small wonders.

Today’s tune: Sham – Aisha Soundtrack.

Day 36 – 20 September 2017.
330 days to go.

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

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Day 32 – I’m back (barely)

ryan-moreno-99464

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 30 – Turn the page

It’s been a month since my 365 project with 11 more to go. It has been bittersweet so far for so many reasons. What is mostly liberating can also sometimes limit you. I hoped that this would help me grow, and it has. But some days, like today, it feels like an obligation. It feels like something I have to do rather than what I want to do. I don’t want it to become that.

As if the Universe heard and felt me ready to back down, these lyrics spoke to me in the background of my ride back home.

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

So, in the months to come, I won’t think hard. I will share what’s in my heart and mind, and be transparent with you. I will make it a reflection after my own. Bear and be with me?

Today’s tune: Brave by Sara Bareilles.

Day 30 – 2 June 2017.
336 days to go.

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

Day 29 – I’m yelling Tinder

I get rebellious every now and then, and download Tinder. I suppose it’s my way to getting back to the person who hurt me and letting them know that I could move on too. Who am I kidding? (but that’s besides the point)

The last two times I used Tinder, I was surprised with a few matches but none that ever led to a conversation. A lot of these guys seemed really good but not hearing from them crushes the little self-confidence you have left in you. Worse still, most of my other friends who used Tinder seemed to find dates, even if not a companion, and move on. What was happening here? Was I not good enough? I had my brave moments and even messaged some but I was left staring at my own message over and over (World 1 Chriselle 0). I would feel pathetic, and cry and complain over never hearing back from people. Being rejected by strangers suddenly felt so much worse. What do they know? Eventually it made me feel more bitter. I deleted Tinder and swore never to download it again, that was until the next time I felt alone and vulnerable and wanted a partner to talk to.

Distractions, Anagha said, you need distractions.

It is my lunch break at work and my mind keeps drifting to the boy. I open Google Play Store and at the risk of facing more rejection, I download Tinder again. I think it couldn’t get any worse than I already feel. And this anger might be better than the way I’m pining for someone I can’t have. So I set up my profile, and paste this description I had previously written and we’re ready go. I pick out pictures that I’m told look nice; not too much but just enough. I pick out my Spotify anthem and John Mayer is strumming the strings on his guitar in my ears, and I’m thinking, “Let’s go to wonderland“.

Swipe left.
Swipe left.
Swipe left.
Swipe right.

This goes on for a while and suddenly there’s a flame flashing in my notification bar. I got super liked (Heart 1 World 0). And it happened again. And for the first time in my otherwise failed attempts on Tinder, there is a message and I am beyond excited. Suddenly, all is forgotten because I feel confident and liked? I’m not sure why but I feel validated. I felt better the next day because I started swiping yes for people I thought were out of my league (something I never did before), and I was matched yes again (self-esteem 8503804803843, anxiety 0).

My close guy friends always mocked me being on Tinder because it isn’t meant to be an app for something other than a hookup. But I know of friends who have found love. Sure, the chances are one in a million or two, but it’s possible. Right? When I first joined Tinder, it was a distraction and to fill a void. That makes me a horrible person but I have to honest – that’s what it was. So imagine my excitement when someone is actually interested in having a conversation about me and about him, and the things that matter. It shifted something in me. I don’t see us turning into something just yet but knowing that I could have a conversation with someone other than boys from my past that I have been holding on to for years made me feel really really good.

There will always be a guy like you out there. Today, maybe not, but maybe someday you will find your match. On Tinder or not, just believe.

I don’t want to be just an option for people to swipe yes or no to. But being wanted felt bloody damn good, and no, it’s not the solution but it feels like a step towards finding one.

You want love?
We’ll make it
Swim in a deep sea
Of blankets

Today’s tune: Your Body Is A Wonderland by John Mayer.

Day 29 – 1 June 2017.
337 days to go.

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