2017 at a Glance

There’s always a first and no matter how exhilarating or painful that first experience is, you’ve just started cracking open the shells to usher in the beams of a better world; a world of heightened senses and worldly knowledge. So keep going, oh brave heart, keep going!

2017 has been a great many things to me, as I’m sure it has been for you. It was an unexpected U-turn, a heartbreaker, a wise fool who reminded me just how transient everything is and a devil who missed not one chance to fill my head with doubts. But amidst all that, my self-love and the desire to be true to myself is the one thing that was of supreme importance. This year was also testament to my innate nature of biting more than I can chew. I piled up so much work on myself and although I was able to accomplish a majority of them, it was a stretch. Perhaps the next year, I’ll learn how to pace it out. But who am I kidding? I’ll probably still be up at 4am trying to finish an article or a book for review.

Like everybody else, this year has attempted to bowl me over with certain happenings. And had I allowed it to devastate me, I wouldn’t have realized some very important lessons. The key is to never lose faith in yourself. Then, you’ll be just fine. The tips, tricks and cheat codes lie within you. So look there, and you’ll find that you have everything that you need to conquer each day.

In terms of getting tattoos and reading books, I’m not as pleased as I wanted to be. I had planned to get a couple more inks and read atleast 50 more books, but somehow, I just didn’t. Falling short of ticking off those goals has made me all pumped up to race into the next year with a great start. What I am exceptionally proud of is sticking to my Bullet Journaling. It has enabled me to keep track of my daily habits, goals and to-do lists in a very creative manner. For that I commend myself. Finally, on the education front, I’m so glad to say that I got my first level Korean Language certificate. Now, my inner thoughts are as much in Korean as they are in English. Tons more to go before I’m entirely proficient, but this is one of my most cherished milestone of 2017.

Lastly, I’m gradually becoming more attuned to what’s happening around the world. While it’s all very alarming, I still have hope for us humans. And I wish to actively bring about a change in whatever way I can. Note to self – create content for awareness and positive change!

I hope 2018 is filled with as many ups and downs as 2017 has been. I hope that in between tears and laughter, I continue to recognize the privilege I enjoy. And I hope that I’m able to spread the love to others, that I have been fortunate enough to receive.

Wishing all of you a SPLENDID 2018…

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It’s Not Your Fault

A friend of mine once said, “Being close to somebody is about how they make you feel.” This couldn’t be more true. We cling to the people who make us feel strong, special and worthy of good things. We gravitate towards those who can give us what we’re looking for from life – be it fame, money or just a social circle to fall back on. But what happens when, as time passes, they’re no longer the person you used to identify with? Maybe you feel the need to justify their changed behavior and you are wont to accepting them nevertheless. But there’s also a fair chance that you just can’t “go with the flow”. And that’s okay.

Like me, you may be standing at that point in life where your only human interactions are with your family (if you’re an adult living with your folks, that is) and/or select friends via social media. You may be wondering what happened to all those hour long conversations with your bestfriend(s) from school or college. You may be seeing them in a new light. In between all that, you may also be questioning yourself as to “What went wrong?” The answer is nothing. It’s not up to you or me to prevent someone from being who they wish to be. Neither are we obliged to deal with a relation that has grown toxic.

All of my experiences has taught me one important thing, amongst others. If you appreciate or value somebody, make sure they know it. Cause there will come a time when engaging in small talk with said person would be a strain. We’re all caught in the throes of keeping up with today. And so it’s only likely that we would grow and flourish in the way we know how to. It’s only likely that people will grow apart for a hundred different reasons. A shuffle in priorities, conflict of interests, distance and on goes the list. But you can’t possibly hold it against them for choosing to walk away or yourself. In a world of no-strings-attached, guarded conversations and rising number of online “followers”, you ought to consider yourself lucky for having enjoyed something meaningful, even if for a short while.

Sometimes, bestfriends become strangers and families get estranged. That’s how it is.

This is something I should have understood a long time back. Perhaps, it’s something you’d like to hear now.

Anyhow, the festive season is here and I truly wish y’all a fantastic end to this year!

xx

Book Review — How To Be A Bawse by Lilly Singh

Image Courtesy – Goodreads.

Summary – Lilly Singh’s How To Be A Bawse is as much an honest representation of the star as it is a well guided recipe to cure oneself of the blues. Her words of wisdom, courage and understanding fill us to the brim with the zeal needed to pick ourselves up and keep going. Split into 50 chapters and other sections, this book takes us on a journey of revelation as to how she rose to power and popularity – none of which came easy. As consumers of media, our perception of celebrities can be deficient if not entirely skewed. Lilly opens our eyes to the gritty truth of it all. Through the course of this book, she sets us on the path towards becoming change-makers, influencers and sculptors of a better world. Glossy pages, bouncy colors and a great sense of humor make this tome much superior in comparison to other self-help books. If you wish to conquer every aspect of your life, you’ll find a whole lot of inspiration and motivation here.

Review – Ever since I discovered her YouTube channel, I have been devouring any content that she put forth. So it was but natural that I would get a copy of her book for myself. At first glance, this book appears to have been manufactured by Skittles. No, really. There are four sections, each of which are done in a particular color. Within each of these chapters contained in these sections, there are page length photos of her as well as quote prints, and chapter-end tasks. This makes it a delightful reading experience because you’re able to apply the lessons to your life actively. Her undeniable sass and wit, which we are familiar with through her videos, translates perfectly into the narration. The writing style is colloquial, emphatic and humorous. What makes this book endearing is the inclusion of personal anecdotes in plenty. In fact those were my favourite parts!

I’m super lazy and I procrastinate a great deal. Reading this book has made me less of that person. And every chapter I re-read chisels away a bit more of the lethargy. The content is so inspiring, that I no longer think of my role in this world as a minuscule one. I know for a fact that I, too, can bring about a great change. Recurring themes of this book include positivity, self-control, hustling, being grounded etc. Some of her guidance overlaps across chapters, so occasionally you find yourself reading the same thing again. But that’s actually quite necessary to drive home the point. People are familiar with iiSuperwomanii who has done great deeds, but only few know of her insecurities and concerns. It is very evident that she has poured her heart and soul into this book, to encourage other’s to not give up on themselves. The chapters speak to people suffering from lack of self-esteem, depression, despondence and heartbreak. The lessons she has learned on her journey would be useful to anyone, regardless of their stature. That being said, I didn’t agree with some points in the book. But to each their own. I would absolutely recommend How To Be A Bawse to every one. I’m going to re-read this book again and again in the future. Lilly, you’re a gift to humanity.

What do you get out of it? Unicorn kisses. Haha, just kidding! HTBAB has a feel-good factor in it that convinces you of your greater potential in life. It makes you want to dream big and then act on it. And it shows you exactly how to do it.

Ratings – 4 out of 5 stars.

Oh, the quandary!

All this thinking.
This relentless reasoning
And persistent pondering
Leads nowhere.
Not now.

The wonted adjustments
And clinging to the familiar.
The dreams of new
And varied days.
They don’t meet.

A thousand words
Walk down every alley.
As i holler songs about
Being young & me.
They don’t rhyme.

The wishing well,
The magic mirror,
The cryptic crystals,
Doze negligently.

Perhaps the planning
Is destructive.
Perhaps days are meant
To be lived as unorganized
As our pasts in the attic.

Beginnings are like that.
Lost & found.
Gainful & compromising.
Dull & thrilling.

Someday, these cobwebs
Will elicit laughter.
But tonight,
Everything’s a pickle.

– Meera

I’m Different Now & I Don’t Mind.

You grow up. You hope to be the person that you are now. But along the way you pick up new ways and drop irrelevant ones. Looking back, this may bother you. Sometimes, I wonder what I would be like, had I done things differently. But you have to know, there is no constant to be found in being the same. Anything that is out there, existing as an entity, is subject to change and so are we. Then why do we seek only that which guarantees stability? Why look for a future, a friend or a hobby that will for the longest time give you a pillar to lean on. I think life has a lot to offer, if only you look for it. There is no reason we must hold onto a single thing and build our image around it. I have dabbled in five different fields and mastered maybe none. But that is fine, because during each of those phases, I was happy doing it to my best. And I don’t expect it to stay with me forever.

photo (1)

Picture Credit – Nikhita Menon.

I hope, as  I leave my teens behind and grow “older”, I don’t remain this way. I  hope for a better change – one that takes me by surprise but fits undoubtedly like a snug pair of shorts. I have been submissive, strong, emotional, indifferent and tons of other binary pairs (precisely, each part of the pair) but I haven’t been only that way for long. Whether its a matter of growing up/changing/evolving into a more personalized sense of self – it is in my disposition to accept it all. I don’t fear the change, rather, I await it. I find it thrilling. Having moved from place to place all my life, the probability that a “new me” may surface is just as exhilarating as meeting new people or discovering new places. No, I don’t have multiple personality disorder. This is more of finding new character traits I never thought I’d have.

My inability to stick to one thing has irked not only others, but sometimes me too. However come to think of it, when our language is so vast, our options so abundant and our limits so mere, why must I stick to one thing? My drive to be content ought to be the only stable factor in life. I think different and perhaps behave that way too. A little out of the box, a little in the box. But I don’t have a problem with it. And I’m happy. So..

Happy 20th to me!

– Meera