Hello again?

I feel like I am typing out my first blog because it’s been that long! Honestly I have completely fell out of touch WordPress. It gets me disappointed in myself because I started out my blog with the hope and ambition to post once every week at least but as you all know, life happened.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, I know. How can an unemployed graduate give an excuse such as this?!?!? Well let me explain. My distraction with youtube, social media (to an extent) and tv shows got the better of me. Maybe that point wasn’t a good one to begin my ‘excuse’ list but hey-ho, I suck at lying. Second reason, I have been on journey. A journey of self healing. Sounds quite philosophical doesn’t it? Well it is what it is.

I am tenacious to heal my mind, body and soul. This past year has taken a toll on me and I finally realised what is it like to keep yourself motivated.It’s not a walk in the park, that’s what that is. After this year’s damage, I have finally realised the value of the mind and keeping sanity. Being a career driven woman is still a priority, don’t get me wrong but I need to fill in the bullet holes that has destroyed my positivity and self-esteem. I have this weird sense of ‘don’t care’ attitude growing in me. The scares and liberates me at the same time.

Having no official obligation throughout the day gets you start wasting a day not thinking much of it. Soon that day becomes week which turns into a month. Next thing you know, you have spent 3 month being unproductive. Keeping yourself motivated with no deadlines, supervision or a third party exception is a real struggle. It tests you to the core. Leads you learning ample about your self through the small victories and failures. Ultimately it boils down to you. Whether you want to finish what you started or not. OR whether you want to give up or not. It really is what you choose.

I have been attempting to lie out a daily routine which will invoke a pretend sense of purpose in me which hopefully will turn into reality soon. Hence I have been reading, meditating, working out, drinking loads of water and trying to maintain a schedule. Schedule! Oh how I miss having one now. If the 16 year old me read this, the young Deb would have a heart attack.

I have been trying to adapting a healthy life style. This is extremely crucial when you want to remain motivated and keep towards your goal. I will soon post my morning routine once I have nailed waking up at 07:30. At the moment it’s 08:45 but I am exhausted of telling myself ‘what’s the point of starting my day early’. Enough of that now! need to get my life back on track. So yes I will posting a morning routines then hopefully before that I will get around to posting my work out at home routine.

I am also tempted to write about my battle with acne. I have been fighting this battle since 17 years old and I am left with a few scars from it. I have tried a million ways to get rid of it and failed but the battle yet continue. This also led to me to alter my diet which I yet have to conclude. Dang you acne, drilling a hole in my energy system and my pocket!

I am rather excited to post about these things but for now it’s time to hit the hay and aim for that 07:30 wake up call.

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Quarter – Century

Not that anybody will read this because I have such little traffic on my blog, I am back after 23 days odd to vomit document my latest pondering.

I will be hitting the quarter century mark after 3 days, 26th August. Being a 25 year old to the 10 year old Deb is a milestone. The 15 year old me, looked forward to being 25 because I was naive and assumed I would be a career driven woman, financially independent, living in a great apartment in a city with a lively night life and probably in a committed relationship. Needless to say, I had great expectations, revered into the endless possibilities .

Fast forwarding 10 years – don’t have a single dollar to my name, living with my parents, single and unemployed. Completely opposite of what I had visioned years back. I am definitely not hitting the quarter century in M.S Dhoni style. However I count my blessings every morning.

I graduated in September 2016, when I had recently turned 24. Basically my entire 24th year on this planet has gone without earning a single penny. Before I could smack myself with the options of the possibilities for a new graduate, life beat me to it smacking me right across my face. I moved out from two different countries and settled in a country I recognise myself from but never lived (rarely visited either).

The disadvantage of living in a new country after you leave university is that you don’t know whether you are unhappy failing struggling because you are in a new country or you just suck at #adulting.

The first 23 odd years of life you are in a safe haven following the norm of the society. It is all structured and planned – Primary school, Secondary school, High school and finally university. You don’t need to need decide what are your next steps, it’s all been planned out and all you have to do is show up and work hard. The words ‘Shaping your life’ does not hold any value.

I thought I had life figured out when I was 22. Graduated from uni with a masters and I acquired an internship position from Airbus. What could go wrong? In reality EVERYTHING that could go wrong did. I was punished for my ego, it prevented me from being humble and seeing the alternatives. I consider this to be my life’s biggest mistake. My egoistic naive inexperience prevented me from having a back up plan.

Not all was tragic during my 24th year. I assisted my parents move to India and into their new home. For those who are not aware, in India you buy a plot or two in an apartment building. When you buy this property there are no doors, walls aren’t painted, the bathroom/toilet is just like any other room with no commodities fixed. Same goes for the kitchen. Of course you have the option of buying those properties which ‘refurnished’ just like the ones in the UK, UAE or the in the States. But my parents being, well my parents, went for the more complicated option because it gave them the complete freedom of designing their retirement house from scratch. With the freedom came stress and expenses.

My assistance hasn’t been through finance but instead it’s been by moving boxes that weigh over 50Kgs and a phycological support. My mother told me a couple of times that is it wasn’t for my help they still wouldn’t have moved into house yet. That provides me with tad satisfaction and comfort, I always wanted to help them in some way to show my gratitude towards their love and sacrifice showered upon me.

It forced  gave me the opportunity to live in within a new culture, people and exposed to the diversity of India which I only read in books. My travel around South India, concreted this. I was awed, it felt like I was in a different country. Despite visiting Indian cities, the locals communicated in an entire language that was inscrutable and had an entire different cuisine to feast on. Even though I don’t agree with numerous Indian society rules, I was proud and happy. In a country with 22 languages and 5 different religions, Indians lived together in harmony reflecting tolerance and acceptance.

As far as I can remember I have always juggled my school work with some other curricular activities like hockey, basketball, swimming, piano, guitar, band, MUN and prefect/Deputy Head Girl duties. I never looked after myself in the process, specifically during my university years. After 23 years, I am finally able to concentrate on myself  (well of course job apps are always lurking above my head but there aren’t vacancies to apply for every single day). I have been working out, eating well, drinking plenty of the go’ol H2O, reading books, starting a blog and watching documentaries. In the midst of this I have had the opportunity to truly think how what I want to do in life and how can I shape it the way I want to. I have looked in PhD, other courses, starting a business, etc. I realised there are so many other things I can do and the one thing I have been focusing on.

I have friends who are already on their path towards their goal. My social media used to be filled with their happy faces with their spouses or pets. Venturing into the South East Asia for soul searching and swearing they haven’t returned home the same. Mates posting pictures with their new acquaintances during their camping sessions in Scotland. All hashtag-ed with SiberianLife or JobPerks or ChillingAfterALongWeek. Heck I even have a pal who is in his second job, while I am struggling to get my first one.  It envies me, after all I am only a human. When I see someone else living the life that I can only dream of it’s bound to make me tad upset even though they deserve it and it’s the fruit of their hard work.

In all honesty, I still haven’t figured it out. If an opportunity sounds good it’s usually instantly knocked out due financial funding or my citizenship. I am still lost, the moment I get my head out of the water gasping for air, the boulder tied to my ankles pulls me down almost instantly leaving me fighting and longing to be back at the surface again. Surviving. Filling my lungs with air.

even with my latest cribbing and loosing my will to live, I look back my 24 years, and it’s been well decent. I have a few close knitted friends, have had some really great experiences, travelled quite a bit, have fallen a million times, witnessed the power of faith, lived in three different countries and laughed till my stomach hurt. Overall it’s been a true rollercoaster ride. With it’s ups and downs and sudden turns. Some of the downs have been a big hard falls. I am truly blessed. I hope when I come out this current turbulence, I am proud and satisfied with myself.

So here is me wishing myself, Happy Birthday because I am a dork that way and raising my imaginary glass to 25 years filled with life lessons. May this year be full of full of surprises and not a boring one. Oh please not a boring one.

 

Voices in your head

When you fail to hear your breathing. You close your ears in an attempt of blocking all sounds but it is futile. For the voices are in your head does not give you the right to do so.

In a silent crowd you want to scream on top of your lungs, for a moment of serenity. While everyone going about their business, unaware of the voices in your head.

As the world gets quieter with the hour of night, the voices in your head gets louder.

Having a conversation and looking past your old friend because the voices in your head is screaming and throwing a tantrum demanding your attention.

You turn up the volume on your iPod shuffle, to deafen the voices in your head only to aggravate it.

Voices of echoing past you wish to bury and assumptions are pointless. It does you no good. It gets you to feel unpleasant feelings like anger, restlessness, frustration, depression, low self-esteem and anxiety.

The voices in your head has the power of destruction. Resembling a tsunami. Where an enormous wave washes over life and leaves tragedy behind.

It makes you want to break things, harm yourself and go crouch in one corner howling like a wounded wolf.

The voices in your head gets you to believe there is no hope for the future.

The real victor over life, is the one who has shut the voices in the head. Smiling in a crowd because they get to enjoy the voices around while there is pure silence within them.

 

My late night pondering – Happiness

As I lay tossing and turning, trying to catch a good night’s slumber. ‘Everyone’s definition of happiness is different, stick with yours’ gets me  to reverie, breaking my lips into a smile whilst my eyes still shut closed. Tricking my brain into sleeping. However my trials being futile, I get up with a jerk, grab my laptop. I got to pour out my thoughts if I want to sleep tonight, I thought to myself during the process.

So here I am at 1 am, typing away on my Mac.

What is my definition of happiness? It’s feeling of being secured, for the foreseeable future. When you are satisfied with the people and your financial situation. When you have no other expectations from life. It is then you have the courage to fill the room with your laughter, dance and music. Knowing that you are sorted and nothing to worry about. You can enjoy this very moment! Happiness is not a goal it’s a by-product.

Try thinking of a happy thought. Go on! 99.8% chance you will catch your self grinning like a folly. Happiness is wonderfully powerful. It’s weapon to create and destroy. It gives you a taste of what it’s like, then leaving you craving for more.

The moments of joys and laughter are cherished forever. They are most valued when life is battering you down. As a human being you need to hold onto something in order to survive. To wait patiently till you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you cling on to those moments because they give your life meaning. It thirsts you for the future, not wanting to surrender.

If only you can freeze time, to stay in those feelings forever. Alas that, dear is impossible.

Recently I have been cautions with my happiness. I don’t know whether it’s a right thing to do or not. Gratefulness I have in abundance, unfortunately that does not imply to my happiness.

When the feeling of joy overcomes my soul, I feel it with a slight sense of guilt and fear. This can be taken away from me in any moment – I remind myself. Just like how it was in the past. So it’s best if I don’t experience this moment. Doing this I shirk the tears and agony I will face in the future. Because I wouldn’t know the difference between sad and happy right? At least I try to convince myself of this thought.

There are times when I ridicule that thought and remorsefully have a hearty laugh. But the fear of pain and disappointment wavers over me almost instantly.

We humans learn to value when it seizes to exist. Sadness taught me to appreciate happiness, It also frightened me loosing something valuable. My joyous moments are teaching me to be humble. I am starting to see happiness as a currency. I am reluctant to spend it all in one go. You earn your happiness, save and spend it wisely.

Call me naive but I wonder if it’s better to never be happy so you will never know what you have lost, so life will be perpetual or better to be happy so you have something to cherish when you are going through the rough phase of your life.

Ps: Considering the fact, I am posting this blog in July. Bang in the middle of the summer. I would like to blame the hour of the night for the picture of Pooh and Piglet in winter attire as my featured image.

Dedicating this post to all those late night thinkers, pondering over life tossing and turning. 

 

A Tuesday’s thought on a Thursday


“If you hold back on emotions. If you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them. You can never get to detach, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing. yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely” – Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


 

Learning life from stumbling and falling

I have been around the sun 24 times that is significantly less than 60, so this post might be tad rich coming from a person of my age. There are people out there who have been through much more and lived through to tell the tale. However I have had my fair shares of hurdles and not jumping every one of them with ease.

Here are some of the things I learnt during my many crash landings while I was operating the aircraft so called Life.

Allowing myself to feel: Often we are taught to suppress our emotions and get ourselves together. That dagger through the heart feeling is what makes us believe we are alive. If you are in agony, acknowledge it and express it. Don’t hold back those tears and confide with someone you trust. There is a social stigma relating pain to weakness, rather suppressing emotions should be a shame. It’s very unhealthy and the feeling will come back to haunt you, only this time, 10 times worse.

numb

Saying NO and learning to walk away: Identify the negative vibes in your life and then discard it. This can come in many forms such as people, relationships, places, social media and some of the activities you do on a daily basis. Nothing is worth that much if it weighs you down and affects your productivity preventing you to achieve your goal.

I elaborated about it on my previous post, Toxic People

Expand your knowledge: NEVER STOP LEARNING. The second I did this, I lost my will live. The feeling of negligence towards life drove me to pick up a book of genre out of my comfort zone and watching documentaries. Having the will to learn gives you the drive to move ahead.

Acceptance and forgiveness: Our dear pal, Life’s hobby is to throw obstacles towards us therefore our hang outs hardly ever goes according to plan. If something on the agenda wasn’t carried out and you gave it your best, forgiving yourself and accepting of the existence of a force greater than us. Hands down, one of the hardest challenge I have come across in this game. I have the uttermost respect for those who do it without any hesitation.

This also includes forgiving others who has done you wrong because…..

forgive

 

Smells like teen spirit

Ah man holding on is so hard. But the pain you feel is worse than the one you give up. When you look back in 5 years time, don’t let yourself be dismayed with all the what ifs and shattered dreams. Don’t loose the spark of innocence in you.

 

First time loner at a Restaurant

Words such, Starbucks, Cafe Nero or Costa – form an image in our mind of individuals alone with their books or laptops, sipping their beverage at a regular interval. A story of a restaurant is other wise.

Both my parents were out of town and I had the cravings for chicken steamed momo and stir fry.

So I walked into the restaurant quite confident. I was only going there to eat right? and I have enough money for the bill too so what can go wrong? No other thoughts ran through the mind of the 17 year old me.

‘Table for how many ma’am?’ asked the manager.

‘For one please’ I replied confidently.

His facial expression shifted from a smiley welcoming one to a mixed confusion and doubt, this was enough to break my confidence and doubt my decision instantly. Am I doing something wrong? why does it seem like he is he judging me?. However without breaking his professional etiquette he lead me to a table ‘for two’.

Midst the bustling of the vibrant restaurant I was quite happy with my spot which was aloof from the groups of friends and family. I took a quick glance of my surrounding before taking a seat that faced the rest of the eatery. Being handed my menu by a friendly waitress who nodded her head with a smile, walked away to a table of four to take their order.

The restaurant’s decor was simple yet elegant with Chinese paper lantern hanging from the ceiling, plant creepers hugging the wall and muzak music.

Once left alone, I realised how uncomfortable I was. I wanted to take my bag and walk out of the restaurant however as one of the double doors of the kitchen opened, the sizzling sound of the food cooking and it’s waft convinced me to stay.

The ambience of the place was satisfying in the sense the lightening wasn’t too bright. ‘Perfect’ I thought to myself. No one would be able to see my face. I caught myself silently praying not to bump into someone familiar.

I had the feeling of everyone’s eyes on me and whispering amongst themselves of the possible reasons why a 17 year old girl would be by herself?

‘bet they are thinking I have been stood up’ I whispered to myself and let out a tiny smile while studying the menu, hunting for the items I have been craving for the past two days.

The whole experience from when I came in to now was just weirdly different. I had no one to discuss with about the food and pretend to care about why they would or wouldn’t order certain dishes. It was all me! Like whatever I wanted I could have without justifying it. Forgetting my uncomfortableness momentarily, I grinned wide with the realisation of treating myself to a lovely dinner.

So with a shaky voice I gave my order to the waitress and sipped on my water, preparing myself to look up.

When I look back now, I realise how out of place I felt. It’s the society norm to go to a restaurant at least with one other person. Whether that is your best friend or a family member BUT here I was all by self at a table right by the window assuming the entire restaurant had nothing else to do but to talk about my circumstance.

When I finally looked up and observed the people around me, *drumroll* NO ONE CARED!

A mother was busy hushing the cries of her baby, a group of friends were taking selfies, a couple seemed to be in a deep serious conversation, a man struggling with his chopsticks and someone dropped their cutlery taking a quick a glance around embarrassed by the sound it created.

Shaking my head slowly, I realised how silly I had been this evening. Instead of enjoying this first-time-eating out-by myself experience, I was busy feeling out of place and reluctant about the possible thoughts of the restaurantees.

Enjoying every second of observing the passers on the road outside and those around me. It was a serene meal in the middle of the waiters hustle and bustle and the public’s chatter and laughter.

A friend asked me not so long ago ‘Wanna go out for a meal, don’t wanna go alone, it’ll be weird’. My reply with a smile – ‘Mate, if you haven’t done it yet then do it. It’s a simple experience that no one should miss out on’.

My year as an unemployed graduate

For a fresh graduate who does not have a job lined up, the only stable thing in their life is home. I lost that too the day I wrote my last ever exam paper in my life. My life was all of a sudden unstable and filled with uncertainty.

I have had nights where I hoped, of not waking up the next day and mornings where I didn’t want to leave my bed. Some days I will howl like a wounded wolf alone whilst others I will try figuring out where I am going wrong.

The feeling of suffocation is strong even when I am out on the balcony in a cool breezy evening. I don’t know if I am a victim of depression but I am afraid to find out otherwise.

Loosing my self esteem and feeling worthless has been on a rise with a constant positive gradient ever since. The hardest part has been holding onto to my dreams and aspirations. Some days the determination is strong, other days I feel it slipping away.

No matter how much I travel and do new things to ‘spice’ up life, the little voice in the back of head keeps nagging me about making myself useful again. Thousand of miles away from home, I went to university. Worked hard for 5 years, gathered the necessary work experience, all this for what? to be unemployed?

I have revised my Cover Letter and CV numerous times. I can recite my latest version blindfolded. No idea if it is pathetic or something to take pride in. I have a folder with over 90 rejections saved on my computer but still I don’t give up. Did not realise I was this stubborn! Clearly I intend to do what I have always wanted to.

There are many voices in my head – hope, anger, frustration, unhappiness and frightened. It all gets rather overwhelming and I hate it. The image of being like this for the rest of my life sends a shiver down my spine. It is a scary thought, a thought I never imagined I would have. No one warns you about the unpleasant life surprises, we are only fed with beautiful and unicorn farting rainbow expectations.

‘It’ll be fine’, ‘everything happens for a reason’, ‘work is overrated anyways’, ‘don’t give up, be strong’ and ‘hang in there, something will pop up’, words that comforted me once have become poison to my ears. Not that I am grateful for the concern and care but I have been listening to this year now and the feeling of being dependant on your parents again makes you bitter.

Your friends know your answer to ‘How’s life?’ eventually they stop asking OR they will text you see if you’ve found anything yet, you realise the energy required to answer to their message isn’t worth it. So you start ignoring them. You are of tired feeling left behind in the ‘life race’ so you disconnect yourself from social media to avoid rubbing salt on the wound.

I wish I could end this post with ‘But I did not give up and was persistent to achieve my dream and look at me now, I am happy and enjoying life. Don’t give up on your dreams!’ but alas that is not possible, at least for now………

Home, where art thou?

What’s home for you? Where do you find yourself to be home? Is it just where you are living at the moment or where your loved ones are? These are the questions that’s been running through my mind for the past five months.

Having mentioned this in Hello Blogging! I am going to repeat myself, I was born in India, bought up in the UAE, spent the crucial years where you transact from a teenager to a mature adult in the UK  and recently moved to India with my folks. In result of all these moves I have loved ones scattered here and there. So where do I belong or more importantly where is my home?

I love Abu Dhabi, lived there for 18 solid years. I have many amazing memories associated with that city. Those cravings for Baskin Robins which was just across my street, coming home from my hockey practice, late night strolls at the corniche, those hang outs at the food court in Marina Mall, smell of shawarmas, taste of Za’atr every Friday morning, spontaneous orders of kebabs, the sight of Emirates Palace during our late night drive to the Breakwater, casually spotting a Ferrari at the red light, the glistening skyline of the city and of course the breathtaking view of a desert. Memories and tears came flooding as I typed that.

It’s just so beautiful! The city is just so familiar to me. I felt safe and confident when I would venture out on my own. All the aimless wandering around at 1 in the morning vouches for that.

UK will always be dear to me. It’s the country I lived in when I moved out of home. Oh the hospitality I received was immense! I got thrown into the deep end at the age of 18 and it’s then I learnt what life is. The night my father flew back to Abu Dhabi, there were there mixed emotions and it hit me I was here on my own, with no family or friends. I was forced to grow up overnight. It was amazing! If I had the opportunity of re-living that, I would.

I was exposed to a new culture, cuisine, sports, drinks, accents and various people from different parts of the country. I think the biggest culture shock to me was seeing the alcohol aisle in the supermarkets and accents vary from north to the south! It was overwhelming when I first moved to Hertfordshire. Taught myself how to cook, did my grocery shopping, managed all that money and the biggest challenge of all was getting used to the weather, yes Britain’s weather is no honky dory but boy do I miss playing hockey in the snow.

It was the phase of raw truth, I was transforming into an adult with the help of many friends I had made. It was a period where the harsh truth of life and the beauty of being independent slapped me across of face. I understood the beauty of letting go and I am so grateful for that. It’s the place that made me love and respect myself. The learning curve was steep. The United Kingdom made me the person I am today and I couldn’t be happier how that turned out to be.

In present I am living in India where my loving and caring parents resides too.

All my years I thought Abu Dhabi was my home but now I that I left it I am not sure. I was hoping to find the answer to my question towards the end of this post but I still yet have to. Think I need to experience life a little bit more before I figure this out.

Reading this, what do you think should define home for me? Where should I consider home? What defines home for you?