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

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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

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 21 – You could be nice

This morning, I was greeted by a rather rushed and grumpy bus driver. He lacked courtesy and respect. He drove like he was running out of time and almost hurt the only two passengers who got on the bus. I wouldn’t discredit the otherwise warm and welcoming bus drivers who make early morning rides bearable. Some days, their kindness even adds a bounce to your day subconsciously. This guy on the other hand, couldn’t care less about who he hurt with his road and world rage.

Maybe he had a bad morning or maybe he was a grumpy person. But days like these remind me how even strangers can affect you so deeply. It also got me thinking about how we all have this unsaid duty towards the world and people around us. Watching people have a good time, in love, being chatty or happy changes the way I feel. Often during my bus rides, I find myself randomly smiling at a stranger and it’s this fuzzy warm feeling that takes over me that I’ve grown to like. It’s just a way of people of everywhere sharing their stories and lives with you through their conversations or deeds. The kind you love and need too.

So maybe be nice because you could save someone from having a bad day?

Today’s tune: Bad Day by Daniel Powter.

Day 21 – 24 May 2017.
345 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 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 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”