Day 35 – Serendipitous strangers…

… and small talk.

 

Somewhere past first introductions, being acquaintances and small talk, you find similarities and intimacy with strangers you didn’t imagine possible. Over those many texts and phone calls, the best part about these friendships is getting to know each other.

Whenever I’m in a room with new people, I’m always tongue tied and my gut always pulls back. There is this sudden need for boundaries from people you’ve met only moments ago. How much information is too much? How much is enough? Funny enough, this guard just drops when I see who I am with, and tongue tied who?

All these life-long friendships have grown from being serendipitous strangers to being friends like family. One such human of joy is Aakansha aka Keds aka Lover & Keeper of Fairy Lights. After months of texting each other and planning, Aakansha and I finally met at Pancake Parlour about a year ago. One thing led to another and the evening ended with me being at her house and hanging out like we were friends from some other life, in her backyard. We found ourselves sharing stories that were a lot more intimate than those you usually would in a first meet. Strangely enough when we have to share our story, we were introduced to each other by another common friend (shoutout to Rhuta). I remember one of us pointing out how easily we connected despite being just acquaintances the day before.

Getting to know someone for the first time is like diving into that delicious molten cake from your favourite Friday night restaurant. You start out with some vanilla ice-cream, move on to that warm layer of cake, and finally dive straight into that rich molten chocolate. Each element tells its own story while you’re unravelling all those flavours. A lot like new friendships and getting to know someone. It’s all in the details; in the stories.

Serendipitous strangers

Now that I’m reliving that moment, all it was was two serendipitous strangers sitting on the grass with their glasses of wine, talking about life instead of making small talk.

My daily affirmations are proof of the impact these beautiful strangers can have on your life…on you.

Get out. Stay out. Find your stranger(s).

Today’s tune: Perfect Strangers (Cover) by Grace Grundy.

Day 35 – 19 September 2017.
331 days to go.

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

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

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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.

Day 25 – Will I ever be in the now?

I am always inside my head, thinking about situations, people and places over and over. I shouldn’t be but I am. How will I ever truly live? How do I feel happiness and freedom?

Lately, I sense that I have been getting attached to the idea of something rather than the person or experience itself. I chalk out scenarios of how they should respond rather than allowing them to be and it is getting in way of me being my 100%. I put on masks to make myself feel something I won’t naturally feel. In reality, I am just trapped in my mind, unable to find the keyhole to the path to being free. Being trapped is the worst feeling. It is the worst because you are doing it to yourself. The mind is such a tricky place, one wrong move, and the switch could be flipped for life. How do you then cope? How do live in the now?

What now? I just can’t figure it out
What now? I guess I’ll just wait it out

Today’s tune: What Now by Rihanna.

Day 25 – 28 May 2017.
341 days to go.

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

Day 23 – Unforced errors

I have been trying too hard to make things work the way I imagine or expect them to be. I am not allowing them to take their own course. I am so used to control, it is making everything else spiral out of control. I must not force things, I will not force things, I no longer force things.

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind

What is meant to be will be — swim, float or drown, it will be, in its own time and course.

Today’s tune: Skinny Love by Birdy.

Day 23 – 26 May 2017.
343 days to go.

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

Day 19 – Soulful stories

We all have a rehearsed set of lines similar to our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn bios. These are usually simple yet exciting enough, witty but safe. It is the story you know people want to hear even if it is not yours to tell. It is a story of our past achievements, our future aspirations, our talents and outward appearances. It is a story meant for the file.

Are you your hobbies or your values?

This morning, mum and I were talking about people judging each other based on what they see or read on social media. It is most often the first point of contact, and if it doesn’t match one’s expectations, it could be the last. She suggested that maybe I should tone down my blog posts and not get too personal on such a public platform. That I was giving away too much information, the kind that may not be appreciated. A few years ago, I would worry. I would worry about who read what I wrote and filter my audience due of the fear of being judged. Today, I have grown to be comfortable with myself. Today, I want my story to be heard. So my argument back was why not let people know what makes me the person I am, rather than letting them see what they think they know. Or for those who didn’t know me, why ruin the first impression? I was confident of being true to my values and I see no wrong in sharing that with the world.

I guess our real stories are most pure and beautiful because they are uncensored and vulnerable. These are stories about our journey to what got us to this point. It is the story in which we bear our souls and talk about who we are beneath the layers on display. It is the story that extends beyond our comfort zone and leaves us raw and exposed. It is intense but it is honest, and it is out there for someone to love or leave you. So why isn’t it okay to share? Why are we wired to put out something we’re not?

I have heard some of the most inspiring stories from friends who might seem to have it all together but have struggled to get where they are today. It isn’t easy but they shared their stories with me anyway. They opened their doors and exposed their lives. Listening to them, in that moment, was magical and pure. It was when I fell in love with them because I got to know these friends for who they really were and not just what they wanted the rest of the world to see. It was magical because I could see myself in them. When I heard their honest soul-bearing stories, I knew that I had to have them in my life forever. How else do you know whether or not you might like someone?

This 365 project is my story and it is 365 shades of honesty. Occasionally, it is also my (many) shades of complication. What is your story?

Today’s tune: Fresh Eyes by Andy Grammer.

Day 19 – 22 May 2017.
347 days to go.

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

Day 17 – Flaws

All of your flaws and all of my flaws
They lie there hand in hand
Ones we’ve inherited, ones that we learned
They pass from man to man

If there were a dollar for all the times I grumbled about someone or something, I would have been a millionaire. It is my weakness and no matter how much I try, I can’t stop. My mother knows this, my friends know this, I know this. I am constantly drowning myself in the worst rather than cutting the world some slack.

What am I doing pointing out others’ flaws whilst being consumed by my own?

A friend recently pointed this out and said I should work on this. I don’t want to become my flaws. I don’t want to get rid of them either. I like my flaws because they make me who I am. They make me the person you like (or dislike). I can’t and won’t get rid of them but I am going to work on them.

We all could.

Today’s tune: Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn.

Day 17 – 20 May 2017.
349 days to go.

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

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”