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 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 14 – Motherhood V

There is no right time or right age. Motherhood sometimes is the beautiful after you experience because you’re in the right place at the right time with the person you can call your own. There are no ties, bloodlines or obligations, you’re simply brought together by fate to complete each other. In our case, I thank my stars and your gut. Continue reading “Day 14 – Motherhood V”

Day 11 – Motherhood II

Today, I kept looking at everyone share so many beautiful thoughts and messages for their mums. Some in spirit and some in the flesh. My heart has been filled with so much love and gratitude. I haven’t felt this happy in a while. Reading every post only made me realise how much unconditional love still exists in the world. There is no love like that of a mother’s. Yet, it felt like I didn’t have the right words to express how I felt.

Part II: Mama Correia aka Supermom aka Best Friend

After my father died, my mother chose to continue living, and with strength and love. She didn’t want to, she didn’t have to, but she chose to. My mother chose my brother and me over grieving and losing her all. Some would say motherhood is a struggle, but I’ve watched my mother embrace it as a privilege. My brother and I could only be ever so lucky − we are the privileged ones.

We celebrated Easter a few weeks ago. A feast where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and his sacrifice so we can live. The priest spoke about Jesus’ suffering, and how he became divine so we could be human. He talked about his unconditional and everlasting love for us. Through the Holy Week services, I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to actually meet Jesus and experience that kind of love in person. To embrace it in the flesh. The kind of love that is patient, kind, forgiving and powerful. What I didn’t realise then and felt today was that I have had that kind of love with me all along.

My mother is patient, kind, powerful. Her love never fails.

My mother is my faith in the world and everything it holds. She is my strength, grace and guiding force through the good and bad times. She is my good times. She is my mum and my dad. She is my everything. She is my best best friend. Her love is mine and nothing compares.

Happy Mother’s Day mum. Thank you for doing your best.

Your love is like the wildest ocean
Oh nothing else compares
Your love never fails

Today’s tune(s):
Love So Great by Hillsong Worship
Broken Vessels by Hillsong Worship

You’re My Best Friend by Queen

Day 11 – 14 May 2017.
355 days to go.

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

 

Day 10 – Motherhood I

Tomorrow we all celebrate Mother’s Day to honour that constant force that has been with us since our first heartbeat. What is motherhood to you? For me, motherhood isn’t just a relationship between a mother and her child. It is a way of life, sometimes beyond bloodlines.

This is a series to honour the women that have been an influence in my life. To the women that have taught me how to live, love and laugh.

Part I: Nana Noronha aka Peggy

Mother of six (and two dogs), grandmother of eleven. She was a woman of steel. As the eldest granddaughter, I was lucky to have spent my childhood with her.

Her day always started with mass and a walk around the block. Followed by a trip to the local market, negotiating with the fisher mongers and showering the stray dogs with love (and Parle-G). She powdered daily and wore her dresses without a crease. Her shoulders always sharp and straight, she was always full of energy. She loved to cook but loved to feed us even more. She made a mean Eggflip and her Goan curries were to die for. Her Christmas cake was a family tradition that started months before with the ingredients soaked in rum and ready to be relished come December. She loved her late night Hindi soap operas, and cried for the actors like they were her own. Feni on the rocks was her poison. Her grandkids’ chubby cheeks her pride.

She was one of a kind.

Nana Noronha was strong, through the ups and downs of life. And she had many. She was a self-made woman and taught us all to be no different. No matter the storm, she taught her children to hold on to their faith and fight. Today, I see a little of her in all of them. I see her in and with us. The Noronha siblings are like all five fingers, each different but together form one solid fist.

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Motherhood, for me, is my grandmother.

Hi Peggy,

Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for raising such amazing children. They miss you, I do too. We know you are with us and are always watching over us. You must feel so proud so see how well we all are doing, and how we all take after our grandmother.

Until we meet again.

You’re once
Twice
Three times a lady
And I love you

Today’s tune – Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie.

Day 10 – 13 May 2017.
356 days to go.

Day 9 – Passengers

This morning, I was looking at pictures from my school days. We were a group of girls, inseparable and making life-long promises to each other. Nine years later, we’re all in different parts of the world, doing different things. Some of us stuck to our paths, some of us chose new ones. It’s funny how something that once meant everything now means nothing. But is it that? Nothing?

Not every relationship can be permanent and that’s okay.

Every person we meet has a role to play in our lives. Some to teach us who we are, and some to teach us who we’re not. This one is to all those friends whose lives crossed paths with mine. We may not still be friends but you’ve made a difference in mine, and I hope I did the same for you.

Just because one relationship falls apart, our worlds shouldn’t. We’re lucky to have temporary passengers, giving us memorable experiences and lessons.

Hold on to them, relive them, learn from them.

PS. Shoutout to the girl I shared my first flight to Melbourne with. Once a passenger, now engraved on my heart and life. Happy birthday Rhuta. Thank you for crossing paths.

Today’s tune – Mama by Jonas Blue & William Singe.

Day 9 – 12 May 2017.
357 days to go.

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

Day 7 – Being Alone

Does doing things on your own make you a strange pea? Does that mean you’re lonely?

Back home, I always had company to do the things I wanted. Whether it was grabbing a coffee, a movie, dinner or drinks, a walk…there was always a friend for comfort and joy. Being alone in a restaurant made me nervous. I had this nagging feeling that I was being watched and that it was awkward.

Who walks in alone to the movies?

This always made me nervous. I was never one to eat out alone or watch a movie that I really wanted to without company. I had voices in my head telling me I was lonely and strange to go out on my own. This post is not about ‘me time’ or being self-sufficient. It is about doing what you want to, with or without someone because it makes you happy.

Last year, around this time I booked tickets to my first ever Australian concert. This was before I had even moved here. My mother was furious, my friends were excited, I was in awe. I booked a ticket to a concert alone. It was either doing something I had on my bucket list or missing out on an opportunity that might not present itself again. Today, I am really glad I did because it turned out to be one of the most memorable nights of my life. I danced with strangers and cried with them too. We made our memories, shared them and put them in our own treasure boxes.

Spending time alone is underrated. 

Spending time alone allows you to introspect and learn. More importantly, it changes you and allows you to change yourself. About a year ago, I was a socially awkward person who wouldn’t get out of her comfort zone (with or without others). Today, I am (more) comfortable with myself in a crowd.

You’re not expected to have fun, you choose to have fun. You’re not expected to walk down iconic streets and statues, you design your own map to follow. You’re not expected to blend, you stand out.

I (you) wander with wonder.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and the company but I’ve also grown to love my own company (some might say too much). You always have to travel to new places or countries. My travel experience in the last year has mostly been to undiscovered places in my own life, body and mind. I have learnt what I like and what I don’t. I’m sure there’s more.

Being alone hasn’t freed my soul in the way books and movies make it out to be. I’m probably still waiting on that Eat Pray Love moment, I don’t know. Do I want that moment? Maybe. Do I need that moment? No. There are days I get lost in city loops (no thanks to Google) and am left anxious. I chase pavements and fight the winds. I run in circles and walk 2 minute routes for 20 minutes but find my way to the destination. And after everything, I find my way back home. That is my moment.

Doing things on your own is uncomfortable and hard work (for the body and mind). And it definitely is not the romantic picture people paint out for you. It is simple, and the truth is you’re alone. Some days, it is me at a coffee shop ordering the wrong coffee and reading my book. At times, it is me at a four-hour concert down two beers and needing to pee right when my favourite song plays. Sometimes, it is me ordering two types of burgers to decide which one I like more. Other times, it is me at new places asking strangers to take photos of me to send my mother hoping they won’t run away with my phone (love you mammma). It is one day at a time towards avoiding all those ‘what if’ moments in your life when you’re 60 and in that rocking chair with your cup of tea.

Most days, it is me a lot less distracted from what I’m supposed to do for validation because I am too busy doing what I want to do for myself.

Being alone doesn’t always have to be a liberating experience. It just needs to be an experience. It needs to be your story to tell, whether big or small. It is your story to tell, failed or successful. We’re all tiny dancers on the world stage, telling our stories through our experiences. I have found my strengths and weaknesses in moments like these. Not everyone enjoys being alone. But if you ever choose to be, know that even in our lonely adventures, we are together.

I know, we’re gonna get it, get it together and float
We’re gonna get it, get it together and go
Up, and up, and up.

Get out to remember, not to forget!

PS. One year later, I am booking tickets to another concert in Australia with some great friends that came to be (in many ways) because of that one concert I chose to do on my own all those months before. Happiest memories, Nicola and Aakansha.

Today’s tune – Up&Up by Coldplay.

Day 7 – 10 May 2017.
359 days to go.

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

Day 4 – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Today was about a group of (Indian raised) brown girls sitting in a white people’s café, enjoying their freedom of speech and life. Continue reading “Day 4 – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

Day 3 – Survivors

Seasons are changing and rather inconsistently so. In the last few weeks, we’ve had a mix of really cold days with spikes of random warm days. My body obviously doesn’t react to the weather in the way my mind does. I am on the verge of a flu, and my shoulders and neck are strained. I feel frustrated and not in control. Also, early sunsets are not my favourite thing. Continue reading “Day 3 – Survivors”

Day 2 – 10 months

Today I complete 10 months in Melbourne. Where did time fly?

I still remember crossing the airport security gates, and thinking, “What am I getting myself into?”, “Do I really want to be alone and start from scratch at 23?”, “What about ‘the one’?“. I was excited but sad. Looking forward to a new adventure in the unknown while leaving behind comfort and familiarity. Excitement is great but the moment you feel sad about something, what is it worth? Change is a tough battle I’m still finding my way around. Sometimes you give in, other times you resist, hard. Continue reading “Day 2 – 10 months”