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?

 

Toxic People

‘The people in your life should be a source of reducing stress, not causing more of it’ Recently, my life mantra

Since childhood, I have been taught to be kind, humble, respect my elders and never to hurt anyone. The lessons of saying ‘No’ or refusing something was hardly ever mentioned in the household. Now, I am not saying this is wrong, if a child is not taught the value of help, love and respect the world would have been an awful place to live in. But how many will raise their hands if I asked ‘Who here has learned to say no and walking away because of an incident or two that occurred in their life?’ I bet 99% of people in the room will.

People can be cruel, uncaring, selfish and jealous. They project a negative vibe which you feel during the first meet but you think about giving them a second chance. Your gut tells you something is wrong and this person can cause you harm but you shrug the feeling off , thinking it’s silly. People will use you in many ways, one of the most innocent ways of doing so is comparing themselves to you to make them feel better. Ever had a ‘friend’ who just contacted to see how you are doing and once you reply to their message they disappear not bothering to continue the conversation? They will seem very keen to know if you have a corporate job or in a relationship or bought that house you always wanted. Of course they will disappear after your reply, they got what they wanted. They know how you are doing and they are done comparing themselves to you with a smug look on their faces. Satisfied cause their life is better than yours at that very moment.

I have to admit I have wasted my energy behind people who did not deserve it at all. I would make the effort to keep in contact, plan hang outs and be there for them when they were down. While I got nothing in return from them. It took me 20 years to realise they are just not worth it and I if I choose to walk away, I can!

There is the catch though, it’s easier said than done. Learning how to walk away from an abusive relationship and not valued friendships you need to be in that situation more than once. Yes more than once!!! You do it when it has finally driven you mental or when you look in the mirror and have no self esteem left. You have allowed people to walk over you so many times that you have lost count. The situation has gone out of your hands and you just can’t take it anymore. It’s then you have the courage to say NO and strong enough to stand up for yourself. If someone reading this can relate, then I am so proud of you. It takes strength, character, experiences and maturity to respect yourself.

‘My biggest regret in life are being nice to people, apologising when I didn’t do anything wrong and making unworthy people a priority in my life’

I have always thought toxic people are the ones who have bad intentions BUT not all toxic people are uncaring, selfish or rude. Some of them are very nice, humble and have good intentions. So how can they be toxic? having experiencing this very recently I can elaborate. Most people can be toxic by just having you making compromises on your happiness. They bring you down by preventing you from reaching your goal or by just casually discouraging what you are aiming for. They are not bad people, they just aren’t right for you. Life is hard as it is, you deserve to be around people who support you and don’t expect you to make a compromise on your mental peace. As hard as it is, you got to let them go! No one is worth that much that you destroy yourself, your wellbeing should be your priority. Letting go is one of the hardest lessons life teaches but it’s the one that makes you feel lighter and sets you free.

“Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self worth” – Gautam Buddha 

Understand, learn, inhale and exhale this. Never forget you are worth more than what people define you to be. Stop pleasing people and wasting you valuable time and energy for those who don’t care about you. Invest it on those who stood by you when you had nothing, depressed and were there when you were weeping you eyes out. Those are the people you should appreciate and never let go. They have seen the dark side of you and yet they stuck around. This is probably the most valuable lesson I have learnt from life. The more I respect myself, the more I love the sound of me walking away.

It took me 24 years to understand the meaning of this. Picture courtesy of quotesndnotes.
It took me 24 years to truly understand the meaning of this. My circle of friends is very small but I prefer it that way. Picture courtesy of quoyesndnotes.

‘….it’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight….’

Heart pounding, pulse beating, sweat rolling, heavy breathing, blood rushing, calories burning, arms swinging and legs hurting. All of this going on while I have Survior’s Eye of the Tiger blasting in my ears through my headphones, feeling the heat and the wind from the sea. That’s right, I am talking about my everyday run in the Corniche (picture above, curtsey of Google). In midst of all these painful sensations I remember a friend telling me ‘What? you ENJOY running? What’s wrong with you?’ and I let out a tiny smile, while I wipe the sweat off my brow.

Honestly, what’s there not to enjoy about it? The heart pounding and pulse beating makes me feel alive, the sweat rolling and legs hurting reminds me to appreciate hard work and gets me realising the meaning of ‘no pain, no gain’. Running for me is more than just burning calories and getting my legs toned, although that is definitely a bonus. It’s the time of the day where I am disconnected with the world and I am left alone with my thoughts. It’s a way for me to recharge my battery and face the world again the next day. It’s a community you get yourself into unknowingly, ever had a runner by pass you with you a smile or a wave? I have had that and it feels great! It feels you are a part of something and encourages me to go through that last mile.

During my many runs, I thought I would be okay if I stopped a little but boy was I wrong. Stopping just made it harder for me to start again, running taught me that it’s okay to slow down once in a while but never to stop. It gives a sense of accomplishment, even if it’s a little one – for example you ran a mile extra or you conquered that steep gradient you avoid every time you go for a run. I would be lying if I said I have always looked forward to a run, I have had days where I just didn’t have the energy to do so. On those days I thought of the weird sense of satisfaction I get after I go running. Trust me that feeling is way better than the feeling to skip.

I have discovered a lot about my own city just by running. You will be amazed of the places you find when you change your route frequently. When I moved to Filton in 2013 for a year, I would take a few unknown turns and give myself the quest to find my way back home, I know it might be confusing for some people to think what was the point of this BUT for a person like me who is awful with direction and gets lost easy, this mini challenge was fun and gave a tiny amount of confidence boost. For me it’s a tool to get know a new place better, you tend to see more when you on foot.

There are cons to running, the obvious one is it gets boring after a while but something only looses it’s charm when we fail to bring something new to it.  Spice up your running routine by changing the music on your shuffle or running with someone or simply take a break from it coming back to it later Motivating yourself for a run on a day when you really don’t want to do requires determination and character.

Running is a metaphor of life to me, it’s gotten me through days I imagined I never could. It taught me not give up on goals just because it’s getting hard. I thank the day I was really bored and decided to go for a run to kill time. Little did I know then that an act carried forward to get over my boredom would do wonders for me in the future.