Me myself & I

Hope from 2016

Like I said earlier, I am not making any resolutions this year. But there are a couple of things I have in mind that I hope to work towards and achieve. Calling something a resolution gives it an inflexible quality in my head, and it’s this sort of inflexibility that I am hoping to eliminate from my life this year.

So, here are a few things I want to achieve, and the only reason to pen them down is to have a list I can go back to in case I forget.

  1. Get into the scientific study of nutrition and health. I love all things diet and nutrition: reading about it, cooking holistically, trying different grains and millets, veggies, oils, salts, what have you…, understanding various eating philosophies, understanding what food does and doesn’t do to our bodies. I read about everything related to eating well and living a wellness-inspired lifestyle, that I might as well look for some distance courses to boost up my mere interest.
  2. Eliminate a constant feeling of insecurity and anxiety. I really hope to grow on a personal level into a balanced and well rounded person. A part of that would include living in the moment and not stressing about what the future outcome of a current undesirable situation might be. I have plenty of inspiration at hand to look up to. Dad, sis and husband are classic examples. Mum is also a deeply content person who doesn’t get affected by things like status anxiety.
  3. Focus more on fitness. I already do regular exercise,  but I want to strive towards having a more active lifestyle rather than just doing bursts of intense physical activity 4-5 times a week.
  4. Read more and diversity reading topics. I mostly read fiction and that too of a specific kind. This year I want to diversify that and pick up books without prejudice and judgment.
  5. Find ways to connect with people. I pretty much constantly oscillate between feelings of superiority and inferiority complexes, which compromises my ability to be friends with people who are not like me. Which brings me to the next point.
  6. Be accepting of people who are not exactly like me. I realized that as much as I like to think I am not judgmental, I am bitterly so in case of people who are not what I deem rational and progressive. While I think that rationality and progressiveness is what all societies should consistently drive towards, it’s really wrong to discard people who don’t fit the bill. Because let’s face it, I am a result of my social setup and conditioning which by a stroke of unbelievable good luck was the best one could get. So, while I can’t force myself to like people or agree with their views, I can definitely make an attempt to be civil and calm when I deal with them. Which brings me to the next point again.
  7. Listen more, speak less. Need I say anymore?
  8. Work towards de-addicting from all kinds of social media and compulsive dependence on the internet. Again, this brings to my next point.
  9. Cultivate more patience. I have never been an example of calm demeanor and patience. But the internet and easy availability of just about anything has made me more impatient. I noticed that the moment I find myself in the middle of a conversation that is either boring or related to subjects I don’t care about, I start scrolling the net for interesting stuff to read. This easy access and flipping from one activity to another definitely adds up in making your patience takes a back seat.
  10. Work on relationships. I used to think that I don’t like people and prefer to be on my own all the time. This is partly true. But it’s not that I don’t like people in general, just that I like very specific kind of people. I am consciously going to work on fostering relations I care about and make an attempt to reach out to people, even if that doesn’t come naturally to me. It doesn’t even have to be new people. Just people I love dearly but take for granted…like my grandparents.
  11. Not overthink stuff. I have decided to give less fucks about stuff that doesn’t really matter. I have a tendency to over analyze every little detail about stuff and then end up feeling guilty about it for hours. I am going to develop a rational attitude towards not dwelling on things in the past that have already happened and can’t be changed, but will focus more on not repeating the same mistakes or errors in judgment again.
  12. Accept reality and things that are beyond my control. I have always had problems accepting the status quo and stressing myself crazy asking why and how. But since it’s easier to accept the situation to deal with it better, I am going to develop a coping mechanism to deal with unpleasant truths and realities that I can do very little to change, or for which I have no inclination to spend enough time to bring about any change.

There. I have made a list of what I think is important, no essential, to be a better version of myself. Here’s hoping that I find the positivity to inculcate this and make micro-level changes in myself.

Dear readers, is there anything you hope to change in yourself or in your life this year? What are you looking forward to?

 

 

Ants in my Pants

It was a Friday like any other. Just another day of the week, only the best day of the work week because there is two days of nothingness to look forward to, owing to which I was in a more positive mood than usual. I was in the office transport van, sitting on the front seat, looking out the window, when I had the uncomfortable realization that there was definitely an ant in my pants. Possibly two even.

I tried very hard not to visibly squirm, although all my energy was going into not getting up suddenly, not violently scratching, or just putting my hand inside my jeans to get the damn thing out. I could even feel the ant make lethargic circles on my butt. I tried to look at the guy sitting next to me from the corner of my eye, just to check and see if my body language was attracting attention in anyway. No movement there, so I was in good control.

I kept wondering and imagining the worse. What if the ant went ahead and bit in so badly that I just absolutely had to pull my pants down. I tried to wiggle my bum a little, only to lead the ant into a far worse direction. I instinctively tried the kegel to ensure it didn’t travel any further. I noticed that I was clenching my palms and teeth. On one hand I was imagining the worse, and on the other, I found it incredibly hilarious and couldn’t wait to tell the husband. It was exactly the kind of thing he finds funny and believes can only happen to me.

I don’t know for how long this episode lasted. But as usual, the stream of consciousness took over and the ant was only at the starting point of it, it disappeared somewhere along the way. ūüôā

Notes to Self #2

I have clearly forgotten all the really helpful notes to self I had written for myself sometime last year. Because I am back to square one: brooding about asinine but practically insignificant comments people made, unacceptable friendship behavior (to me), analyzing why people do what they do and trying to give them the benefit of doubt, thinking too much about a royal ignore a colleague who actually I don’t care about one bit gave. I am falling into the unfruitful, dangerous tunnel of thinking in the same loop over and over again about the same insufferable people. Which is why a second dose of some pep-talk and some sound knocking sense into self becomes inevitable. No. Mandatory.

So I am not good at dealing with petty behavior. All you really need to do in such cases is give it the exact amount of importance it deserves: petty. But no, I have to go down the memory lane trying to replay events in my head to evaluate. So the first note to self is STOP and then focus on the following.

Can’t make everyone happy all the time

and shouldn’t even try. Because if it hasn’t worked thus far, chances are at no point in my life will every single person I interact with even briefly will be happy with me. Also, realize that I don’t really want to make people happy as a goal in itself, but it’s what I think will serve my ultimate goal of personal peace and happiness. But trying to please other people is the wrong method for that. Learning to ignore people is more likely to help me succeed in my ultimate goal.

Don’t overshare

Had included this in some form or the other in previous notes as well, but it’s really important to someone like me. Contain over enthusiasm, at least in the first few weeks/months of knowing a person. Don’t act like a hungry dog when you think you finally found someone you can get along with. Wait it out till the honeymoon period is over and the other person has had ample opportunity to show their true colors. Sometimes, this comes really really late. So it’s perhaps best to wait till you experience at least one alarming incident and then take a call on whether you’re going to be fine with it.

Be comfortable with the uncomfortable

I have realized my phobia about being in uncomfortable situations, mostly at work really. It’s probably from here that I don’t make my positions of things clear, and try not to tell much about my real thoughts. However, people are generally not shy of expressing shamefully regressive and downright ridiculous thoughts just about anywhere. And they probably assume that I must feel the same because most people around them do, they just make horrifyingly narrow-minded blanket statements on things that are too nuanced for that. So I should start to at least voice my discontent if not get into an argument. And once I do, I need to be fine with the idea that people’s opinion of me might change. Because frankly, people with such opinions and principles that are so opposed to mine would anyway never be my friends. I am very open to points of view other than my own, but I expect them to be well balanced and logical at the very least. I can never be fine with people saying things like women should stay at home, and I’ll never accept or respect this as another point of view.

So go sum it up, it’s okay if people don’t smile back or don’t do small talk. Actually, even better. Because I hate small talk.

Don’t let people get too comfortable with you

This is specifically for workplaces. I believe that the best way to be at a workplace is polite and cordial, but non committal. People don’t need to know anything about your personal life, choices, how good/bad your marriage is, how close you are to your family. But I don’t mean that you altogether kill the idea of ever finding a friend at work. Just that tread lightly. Observe, try to make sense of the dynamic. Basically, be patient before dolling out huge friendly smiles to everyone.

This is very important, else people are generally more than happy to give free advice. So if you have been slightly aloof, nobody can really say that your reaction for unsolicited advice was uncalled for.

Don’t try to change yourself too much

I think we all keep readjusting our personalities to our surroundings. We don’t really really make fundamental changes to our sense of being, but little things, or new habits really that help us belong to a new place. But I have realized that I actually need to be a little more inflexible in this area. I tend to be too accommodating at times, and end up feeling bad if that is not reciprocated.¬†This also makes me have a low opinion of myself. Not anymore. I have decided to be more upfront about what I really want. It’s okay to say no. And I need to start doing this more often. I tend to say no easily to people I really care about, like my family. And for some odd reason reserve the Yes Man attitude for people I don’t even care about. Immediate need for reversal of that.

I think that’s it for now. I don’t want to overburden myself with too many things to watch out for.

28

I turned today. Had a very demented start to the day. A friend called and said hello in a very enthusiastic tone and I replied by saying “Happy Birthday” with equal enthusiasm, like Happy Birthday is a common greeting. And no, it’s not her birthday. Husband gave me a very weird look.

Then spent 45 minutes discussing where we could go for breakfast, but didn’t come to a definitive conclusion, and finally just landed up in Cafe Max rather listlessly.¬†But before that, I spent a good 5 mins looking at my face in the mirror. I had a bleaching tragedy recently. I have a lot of facial hair, and had a pack of bleach lying with me for a good 7-8 months. So put it on last week, and must have done something wrong, because when¬†you look at me from close distance, it looks like I have golden fur. I can totally compete with a Spaniel now. Somehow my facial hair seem a lot more when they are golden. Aarrrrggghhh!

Oh, and the sis had sent a lovely hand made card with a beautiful message, and also joked about how I’m almost 30 now. I didn’t feel sorry. 35 is my most sough-after¬†age. For some reason, I find 35 and early forties extremely exciting ages to be.

I went to Levitate. GM had told me about this place. I had been wanting to get a silver nose pin since forever. I got one that I really liked. I also ended up buying a pretty brass earring, and a brass ring. So I totally stuck to the plan I made yesterday. Plus, I realized that this store has a LOT of the collection similar to a hand-made jewelry brand, JUNK,  I like. But they are overpriced and charge some additional Rs. 200 to ship stuff from Kolkata. When I saw the same designs at at least Rs. 300 less, I realized that JUNK might not be all that exceptional after all. And if a boutique on 100Ft. Road charges less than them, then they are REALLY over priced.

On the way back I threw a horrible tantrum for no reason. I thought the husband was speeding (he wasn’t), and the traffic was horrible. I blamed him for not being able to buy litchis on the roadside stall¬†because he sped. He patiently turned the bike around to go to the stall(the stall was barely 100 metres from home), but I started yelling saying now I didn’t want it. I realized how unreasonable and stupid I was being in the next 5 minutes, and felt bad. Especially since you are supposed to show some sign of growing up on your Birthday at least. Massive failure.

Then came home and took selfies with every thing I got from the store and sent it to various people. Then made some vodka mojitos. As usual, head started aching after one drink (aarrgghhhh!), then slept for a good 2 hours.

Woke up, made Tamarind¬†chutney for Ragada Patties tomorrow. Completed most prep for Thai Chicken noodle soup. This soup is my soul food. It’s light, delicious, and aromatic.

That’s really it. Now here I am blogging ¬†about my day, which could just be any other day really. So my Birthday is almost over, except that technically, 28 years back, I wasn’t yet born. Was only on the way. :). Previously smiley cancel, because I realized that birthdays are mostly also the days when our mothers had gone¬†through a LOT of pain to deliver us. Sob. ūüė¶

 

 

 

This very moment

I’m at work and doing everything else but work. And since I like to make lists, I thought of listing things I am doing/thinking right now.

  1. Just got coffee from the machine, coz you know you need a break after reading blogs non-stop for one whole hour.
  2. Reading up on old, almost ancient posts from a blog I really really love. In fact, I have been doing this since yesterday. Systematically pulling out posts from March 2007 of the said blogger. I am doing this with utmost sincerity.
  3. Thinking about what I want to do tomorrow: Want to buy stuff to make Thai chicken noodle soup, get black necklace chord to string in some of the lovely, unused pendants I have, add soil to some of my plants, re-pot by lovely basil in bigger pots, May be buy a plant (that can be a good birthday custom to begin), buy a nose pin, eat one meal outside, although can’t decide which.
  4. Thinking about a packet I’m told I received from my sis after I left home this morning.
  5. Thinking about working out the first thing after reaching home. I realized that as I am sitting in a horrible, bent-down posture, my tummy is almost touching the top of my thigh. Disappointed because it had become flat after returning from Bhutan.
  6. Just realize how this is an extremely self-obsessed post, though decide to continue anyway, since I don’t want to delete what I already wrote.
  7. Also realize that this post is sounding a bit (or lot?) like the blogging style of the blog I have been greedily reading since yesterday. But this also be because the said blogger also does a lot of lists.
  8. wondering whether this is what stream of consciousness is like? The thing is I seemed to understand the concept perfectly when I was a student, but don’t think I understood it much at all ever. May be just pretended to self. A bit like communism.
  9. Drinking coffee while making faces because I actually hate this coffee, and still ave 2-3 cups because I am bored, and then invariably complain of acidity every single day.
  10. Staring blankly at screen unable to decide whether I should end the post or think of something else, just to be able to add to this post.
  11. Decide to quit at this point before I feel guilty of too much self indulgence.

So, bye!

Edited to add: Since GM guessed the blog anyway, and a couple other readers happen to love the bride too, I might as well go ahead, tag thebride and let her in on the fandom. :D.

Movie with a soundtrack

Life! That’s what I am talking about. Does it ever happen to you that you are listening to some music and you suddenly realize that you are looking at yourself and your life like a third person would.

This happens to me very often. I am not a very musical person. But when I do listen to music, it’s mostly non-vocal tracks. And I sort of get the feeling that it’s the background music to some part of my life that I’m currently living. It’s very strange and even fun actually because while I like to think it’s just a background score, it invariably also has an impact on my current mood. I am listening to Gustavo Santaolla’s tracks right now and I actually feel like I am part of a movie with slight sepia colour-tone, like the one you see in Babel or Vicky Christina Barcelona.

I really do hope that other people find this fun too, else i’ll just think i’m hallucinating. ūüėČ

New Beginnings

I quit my job yesterday. I had been dissatisfied for a long long time. Pretty much since I moved to here. I was disillusioned by my job, the  limited learning opportunity it offered, the same people, an overall sense of lethargy and negativity and the absolute disinterest in welcoming any change. And yet there some great things as well like a steady pay, security, the option to work from home and a lot of liberty in terms of work times and the way you want to finish your own work. There was hardly anyone breathing down my neck, and yet something was missing. Finally, something I had been in discussion about came through and I just decided to go with it.

I was always interested in this new company and the interaction I had with them left with with no doubts that this would be good for me. Plus, I believe that when you feel stuck, it’s good to embrace change, in whatever way possible. I am quite excited about the new job but also mighty scared because I don’t have any technical background. But the people have been great and they were particularly looking for someone with a non-technical background. Things just fell into place and it feel right.

A lot of things are going to be different. For the first time in my professional life, I will not have a door-to-door pick and drop facility. But the good thing is that this place is close to home. No work from home either, but I don’t want that to limit my options from such a young age. The people seem very considerate, decent and hard-working. it is going to be challenging, but that’s probably what I need at this point. Something to yank me out of my comfort zone

. This time I had hardly spoken to anyone about the whole thing till it was final. This is quite new to me. I am an open book and there are very few secrets about me. But I categorically decided to not involve too many people until everything was final, especially since I keep dwelling on things and discuss it with people I confide in over and over again. I also suffer from acute anxiety and telling few people helped me think about it less. Doesn’t mean that I wasn’t anxious. I was extremely anxious till everything was final. To the point that I had acute pains in my nerves. Not to worry, I am super used to this experience by now. The worst part was telling it to my manager. But after it was done, I realised that I worried myself crazy for no reason. People quit all the time and you don’t have to feel guilty of leaving the team without a resource. I firmly believe that nobody is indispensable and yet I can’t seem to practise calmness in real life.

Anyway, I feel a lot lighter now that I have informed the relevant people. I did have some second thoughts after I was told that my promotion was in process, but then, my decision is final. It’s not just about promotion and money, it’s also about change and newer experiences. I don’t know what the future holds for me. But I also strongly feel that when you do take a step towards change, the next few months are very rewarding irrespective of what you may feel in the long run. And that is worth everything. So here I am, at an interesting juncture, serving my notice period, after quitting my first job…and I feel good. Let’s see what it looks like a few months down the line. But for now, I am all set to embrace the change and let things take their course.