It’s like an end of an era!

Anyone who is a big fan of FRIENDS would have understood this reference. While Jennifer Anniston is my favorite actress, I really did not like the character of Rachel per say. I loved how Jennifer acted and could watch her scenes on repeat but Rachel? Nah. I think that is the reason when Monica decided to move in with Chandler and she tells Rachel about it which ends at this sentence “It’s like an end of an era!”, I did not really feel anything.

I was like, they are still going to hang together. She was not even moving anywhere far. But now, when I am stepping into something new I am very scared that I will fade out. Very very scared. I love my friends, A LOT! While I know adulting involves more and more responsibilities, changes are bound to happen. However, I don’t want anything to impact my friendship with them. So, I will be moving a little far from them physically and I naturally am scared that this would push me away emotionally too. Frankly, I have not been great at long distance relationships. Whether those were friendships or love affairs. It is not like I have lost those people, no. It is just not the same. While the distance is really not that much, COVID has just made it worse. I know I am always going to try my best to be as involved (or even more) as I am but there is something about change that nags at the back of my mind. It scares me that I have no idea how things will unfold.

I have always been scared of change to be honest, not in the way that I don’t like it but in the way that I don’t want to lose myself in that change. And well, I could never be complete without the presence of my loved ones. So it is really selfish if you think about it, I don’t want to lose them so that I can preserve myself!

Let me end on a quote by Joey, “There is no such thing as a Selfless Good Deed”. Do you agree with him? Do tell!

Aiming for hope!

Last three days have been crazy busy. I have either been planning my activities for next week or worrying that nothing will work out. Crazy!!!! I really have no clue where this post will take me but I just want to talk about what happens when you procrastinate and it is not because of yourself!!!

I am a person who likes things planned and in place well in advance. My advance is a bit too much, I agree but it harms no one. Call me proactive, call me weirdo or call me a monster, I need things planned. When I was thinking more on why do I like that, I was also confused if we can call this behavior as “being a control freak”. Control freak? I hope not. My need for having things planned is to calm my nerves and anxiety that something could go wrong. It sucks, living like this. I can plan things which are in my control, which don’t involve someone else. How do I do this for an activity that involves other people? Not everyone feels the same way, some people decide it right at last moment, some a little in advance (i am jealous of the balance this group has) and some just don’t decide. How do I work around that? It sucks. Sadly, the trouble does not end there. I am also skeptical about thinking too much or discussing too much about it. Even that makes me nervous. So is there anything left which does not make me nervous? Penning this is making me realize I am a freak-show (hehe).

So, I had stopped penning down at that point and I am resuming again after some hours. I read it again and my view on myself (lol) is that I am this anxious because the things I am planning for mean too much to me and have the power to hurt me a lot. My anxiety is peaked because this matters the most. I need it to be right. Nervousness is bound to happen right? However, I need to do my best and then hope that things will fall in place. All this worrying sucks and makes me a wrecking ball. I want to have a clear head where I am enjoying the process rather than worrying about it. Starting now, I will try to make everything I do fun and a turn it into a good memory. Too many people I love care about this as much as me and they wish the best for me, I will remember this when I worry next.

PS: If you know someone who likes planning things in advance, please help them in every way you can. It means the world to them (and me).

Tragic leads to Trial

Starting by saying that I have a headache because I cried myself silly this evening and penning this is hard. Guess I want to accept that somedays you can feel how I felt today and then it is okay. As someone rightly said to me, it is temporary. I am already a bit better and the only reminder of that bad feeling is this headache.

While I accept how I felt, I also need to accept why I felt it. One of the biggest things I am insecure about is the way I shop. I am not good at it, I am lazy and also very concious about what I choose. I am lucky to have a partner who likes to shop and helps me with it. However, today I went shopping for something big with my mom. My mom loves me in everything so I wanted my friends to come with me but it was too last minute and it just did not work out. Anyway, I wanted their yes for what I was shopping before finalizing. I sent them the pictures and wrapped up in my insecurity I forgot that they can be held up and busy too. When I did not get the validation I was seeking to calm my insecurity, I felt let down. Now, I am happy I conveyed this to them and it was sorted out but not proud of how quickly my brain reacted to their absence. I have realized how I could have communicated in a much kinder way and also been kind to myself by not jumping to conclusions. I cried for hours only to realize how silly and baseless my thoughts were.

When we are insecure, we forget to apply one basic rule, “you are loved”. You know how Dumbledore says “if only one remembers to turn on the light”, that’s what we need the most. While I am saying it so easily, hoping for this light when wrapped in that gnawing and nagging feeling is the hardest thing. But then, the most human thing to do is to try and I shall try!

Two cents on being judged!

So, I was having a very pleasant day today after a harrowing and mentally exhausting Friday evening. I was looking forward to the day, it went much better than I anticipated and I was super proud of myself for getting through it making everyone happy. It was a day of mini milestones and a lot of “firsts”. Yay to all those.

As a part of the plan, me, my would be husband and his father went to get some bookings done for our wedding. We want to have a small wedding, considering the circumstances and so we were just trying to convey the same. Everything was going good except one thing. Me (29) and my boyfriend (31) were asked about our age thrice by the same person. Each time the question that followed was “Is this your first marriage then?” We patiently answered each time as “yes”. It really does not bother me that as per him we are marrying “late”. What does bother me is that he thinks he has the right to judge us? What entitlement! My mind is blown. Oh and it did not end there. We were asked to fill a form and we reached a section which said “income”. My bf asked what are we suppose to specify there and he told him “please write your annual income” and told me “you can leave it blank as you must not be earning”. So not only did I disappoint the guy by marrying late but also by being someone who is financially independent. What a bummer! He must be having such a hard day, since I failed him at so many levels? Hah!

I agree we stay in a society, the purpose of which is to help each other grow and support people. Much opposite to that, all it has become is a tool dragging people down and tainting them for something that is completely irrelevant and baseless. Marrying before 28 is okay and so is marrying after it. Being a housewife is okay and so is doing a job. Someone wanting kids early is okay and someone not wanting them at all is too. Every decision an individual takes is subjective, it does not HAVE to be in a particular way, just because some people decided what is good and bad for all. Even if you do believe you know what is good and bad for all, how about you let people do “bad” if they wish to? No lives are lost, no one is getting robbed because I am marrying “late”. Let people be, live and let live!

What’s also disappointing is that I am probably the only one who noticed and cared. Being subjected to judgements since forever now, my bullshit radar is high and I can spot some from a mile away. However, this was right in our faces and people still didn’t catch it, somehow I feel that’s one reason bullshit spreads too.

Stating the obvious!

I keep saying this out in the universe, what are we going to do about men? We need to do something and we need to do it as soon as possible. The entire MANkind overall is pretty lame and the issues they cause are pretty irritating. I am not even talking about the grave ones right now. The little petty things like unwanted advise, entitlement without cause and just evident patronizing are downright annoying.

What I am particularly stating in this post is how men think whatever women do is for them. How self consumed can one be? Women have literally moved on from pleasing men, and talking about those who were doing so earlier. There are many women who have never cared and are yet told by men how something they have done or not done is bothering them. Oh and how they can do it better. A man who has never held a brush before telling a woman who earns by doing makeup that “she is over doing it”. A man who has never worn a saree telling a woman who does fashion that “this saree is not correctly draped”. I just want to ask men, do you know how utterly foolish you seem when you are “blessing” women with these comments? If you guys do it thinking you are teaching women something, then situation is far worse than I’d like and the only way you guys can save some dignity is by shutting up. Consider it, just don’t opine until asked.

Look now, amongst us women we have bad apples too but easy to ignore one or two. How to ignore men in such huge numbers? The worse thing to have happened is internet being given to men who have an opinion on things they have no clue about.

Lastly, Dear Men, you don’t run the world, women don’t do things for you and we don’t need you to survive. Thank you.

Walk The Talk!

As someone who has started and failed a lot at getting fit, I am very happy to announce that I AM TRYING AGAIN! I am a bit ashamed at my earlier attempts but I am excited that I am still trying!!! Okay maybe let’s not say I have failed at earlier attempts but I have definitely slacked. When we could go outside (who even remembers how that feels) and I used to commute for my job, I did not need to conciously work on keeping my body active. I guess this is the same story for majority of us. Lockdown and my feeble attempts have made one thing clear though, I WANT TO STAY FIT. My definition of fit might be timid but ya I want to be fit as per me.

So, for this attempt, I am planning to start slow. I will start by walking and my initial 3 day target is 3k steps a day. I gradually plan to take this to 10k a day and then include some more small exercises. Exercising without a standard goal that I can see visibly being achieved has not worked for me, so I have decided to use Google Fit and track my work. I was so ecstatic when I realized my target for today has been achieved and it was genuinely very easy. Like I was not tired, infact I wanted to do more. Maybe because I was motivated? Whatever the reason, I am very happy. It drastically made my day better. But then, we are in lockdown and I know that I could be a mental mess tomorrow and not do anything. That is the reason I am posting this, to remind myself that I have made a commitment and I need to keep it. Here’s to hoping I do keep it.

Just thought of something that seems funny to me, I always keep the commitments I make to others and not when I have made a commitment to myself. Guess I got to change that.

Also, let me know if there is a better app to track this? Also, what more can I include which is not overwhelming but still helps?

A bad apple!

“Hi doctor”.

“Hi, so what’s the issue”.

“This is my regular check up. No issues per say. Although my periods are delayed but that is because of hormonal disorder for which I am already being treated”

“Late hua hai period? Are you sexually active?”

“Yes and yes (beetroot red)”

“Are you married?”

“No”

“Pregnancy ho gayi toh kya karogi? Test kia hai? Shaadi kab hai?” (All this after I have mentioned that I have been diagnosed for hormonal disorder)

“I–” (I was too stumped at the questions so literally dumbed out for a min)

“TEST KAR LO BETTER HAI. Now, anyway, let’s do your regular checkup”

I awkwardly stared at the other girl (probably a nurse) to leave before my check up starts.

“Wahan pant and panties utar kar let jao” (yep that was her sentence).

I highlighted that the door is not locked, upon which the nurse went and shut it. I am till date thankful to that girl who was nursing there as she made sure I had (whatever little) privacy I could get. I went to the farthest corner, undid my pants and laid down for check up (this was obviously my first time with this doctor and I was scared to death)

She came, checked my clit very roughly and started taking out medical instruments which looked very scary and when I said “give me a min to process and tell me what you are doing” she said and I quote “sex kia hai na and iss se issue horaha hai”. She went on to do the checkup without pausing.

Post which she just went to clean her hands and asked me to get dressed. She simultaneously called for next patient, while I was still on the stretcher, half naked. Nonetheless, I dashed for my clothes and out of the room once I wore them within seconds.

It was not hurtful, physically I mean. Just scary and traumatizing. Just. Till this date, I have no idea whether I can say with assurity that I was violated. I felt violated, that is for sure. But was I violated? I don’t know. Why am I unsure? Let’s see, so she was a woman, a doctor and the last person I should have to lie to or hide facts from. Yet, I felt that I was judged, manhandled, humiliated and insulted. What deductions do I make? The only thing which seem to have rubbed her the wrong way was me having sex before marriage.

Now, hear me out. I am a girl, judgement and bias is nothing new for me. People have been biased AGAINST me a lot of times. I have expected it and handled it. Maybe even given it back to them then and there, whenever situation allowed me. So yeah, I am not timid. I know how orthodox mentality works. Still, I could not tell her how wrong she is. Because her stature caused me to doubt myself. What shook me and has me still shook is that she is educated, knowledgeable and her job is to treat me WITHOUT bias or judgement. The same is the condition with a lot gynaecologists in india and if being at such responsible job cannot make them understand, with what hope do I expect the ‘mohole wali’ aunty to be non judgemental?

I want to be hopeful and I want to understand where her judgments come from but my empathy is failing me here and I am not sure what to do about that.

Where is my discount?

This post is about something I have learned only sometime ago (probably thanks to the man I am dating) and want to share it, as it might help others.

When we shop, we look for great deals, amazing discounts, bulk offers etc etc. A sale makes me as happy as the next person. But even otherwise, when you shop from a brand and there is no available discount you either buy the product as is or don’t. You don’t insist on a discount. Why? It’s a “brand” and that is not how it works. Meaning, we pay them as much as they demand. All of our bargaining and discount skills are instead used when we shop from small local vendors or in vegetable market. We demand price be reduced from people who probably earn less than us, all the while paying in full (very happily) to people who are already rich. Do you see the error in our ways? I am in no way suggesting that those small stores are not putting a huge margin, they expect us to bargain and they have the cost added up to it. We all know that. However, we also know the fair cost and sometimes (just for the kick) we argue for a further reduction. I, personally, am guilty of insisting on getting a better deal on an already nice offer. What’s worse? All this with people who barely make minimum wage, I did not know better and I do now. I believe it is okay to pay 100-200 bucks more to people. It mighy make a huge difference to them, even when the product is not actually worth that much. Be kind, the feeling makes up for the small cost.

The last part of this post will be something which is very obvious, this is not a personal learning but just a mention that this should not be done. There are many small business who are literally a team of two or three and sometimes even one person who is putting in all the efforts, to help you with end product of your choice. This could be a retail product or service that they provide. Their work needs appreciation as it is very tiring and self made. When you are considering dealing with such businesses, do not ghost them. You don’t want it, you must communicate and leave. It makes no sense to give them the notion of being interested and then ghosting them. Evil!

Be kind, tip big, don’t bargain to the point where it is silly and communicate your intentions. It is not that difficult.

Don’t should on yourself!

When someone is anxious, in distress, worried or just down, our first instinct is to want to help them. While the intention is noble, if we do it in the wrong way we might just be ruining it further. I am someone who is still learning how exactly can we help others or even ourselves in the correct way when having a bad mental health day or a week, because it is not the same for all. The entire internet is filled with slogans, videos, tweets telling you what you SHOULD do to fix what you feel. Even writing that sentence seemed wrong on so many levels. I could understand placing a “should” when you are talking of a black and white situation. Mental health is not black and white. It is big blob of grey or maybe blue (haha, get it?). Not all humans react to mental health help in same way, which is why we have professionals. These professionals have said we don’t know everything about our brain yet and mental health is evolving everyday. Yet, there are some people around us who will say “snap yourself out of it”. I suggest you snap them out of your life, for sometime atleast. While snapping out might have worked for some, it might not work on others. Nothing ever has to be “SHOULD”, even more so when you are not at your full capacity. Making it compulsory by adding a should we might just be adding to the stress. Hence, the title. I heard it on a random podcast and it is now my favorite line ever!!

Our body and mind don’t have to work the same way daily, ask yourself what you are capable of doing, on such days especially, and do not push it. Your mind is asking for a day off, allow it. It’s that time you need to show yourself some love. Do what works for you, whether it is as lame as watching garbage tv or as profound as journaling.

You do you!

PS: Watching garbage tv is the best! 10/10 I recommend.

Let’s talk screentime!

I have recently watched “the social dilemma” on netflix and I am shook. If you have not seen it yet, please let it be what you watch next. You won’t regret it. We all know we are addicted to our phone, literal slaves to it but to learn how we got to this point is really something that stunned me. Personally, I am addicted to twitter more than any other social app. I am not on facebook, the other two apps I use a lot are Whatsapp and Instagram. Even with just these, my screen time is scary.

As funny as the meme comparing instagram to refrigerator is, it is but the truth and a harsh one at that. The constant need to check phone for notifications every 20 minutes or for some even sooner is downright addiction. One could understand if this was when you are awaiting a reply, however most of the times we are checking our phones for no reason and somehow yet, we always have a notification! Now, why we have a notification everytime we check is something the movie explains. I am clearly not telling anything we don’t already know, the real deal is what can we do about this? I have conciously cut down my time on instagram and my daily average still shows at 58minutes which seems like a lot to me. However, with no where to go (thanks covid) I guess that is the best average I can hope for. But this was my struggle with just one app. I have notifications on for twitter and I am checking tweets every hour, I am on whatsapp a lot more than what we call as ideal time and now I have a new friend called YouTube which is hard to resist.

How exactly are we suppose to go “notification off” suddenly? The need to stay updated and know what is going on supercedes everything else. How to resist this temptation and not be a “user”? I am really open to suggestions here, every little thing might help. Personally this is what I have been following for sometime now as opposed to keeping the notifications off:

• Keep phone on silent without the vibration mode except for calls

• Keep phone at a distance where every notification pop up is not visible

• Subscribe to news letters which carry daily news updates and read those instead of having notifications on for every single tweet

• Explore activities which do not involve looking at screen, example some of these for me are painting, cooking, dancing and reading.

These might sound very basic and I am yet to know if it helps but I am looking forward to getting more suggestions, if any?

Leaving you with a quote from Elon Musk which I find very interesting, “AI doesn’t have to be evil to destroy humanity – if AI has a goal and humanity just happens to come in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it, no hard feelings”