The essential post.

Made new friends: check

Career problems: check

Vacations: one

Proposals: none

Pounds lost: minus one

Lessons learned: 46795

 “At the end of the day, life’s about realising one’s potential. I don’t know if I have realised mine, but I’ve certainly gone a long way towards realising some goals and some dreams”

                                                                                                                                         – Linton Kwesi Johnson

So here I’m, from failing to stand up for myself to being unfuckwithable! It is okay to be kind and compassionate and accommodating but it’s a whole other thing to be soft, yielding and fierce. Life is messy. It can be pretty overwhelming to fear of being perceived as imperfect. Give yourself the room to experiment, screw up and learn the hard way. Speaking of screwing up, I’m a pretty anxious person so I prefer having a lot of outlets. I hit the gym when I’m frazzled and cook when I’m sluggish. I write for venting out emotions. I know it sounds stupid, but it is my way of dealing with anxiety. I have a lot of worries (almost all the time unnecessary ones) and although I’m known to be a talkative person, I do not express much in my life. I’m at my best when doing something time constructive. Exercising releases all the endorphins in my body so I end up cheery and joyful. Cooking teaches me patience (one minute to make the cake batter, but 45 staring-at-the-clock minutes to bake it). And writing, well, this is a special one! It feels happy when people connect to one’s thoughts. It makes me feel like we are not alone in this world. All the people I’ve met this year either turned out to be a blessing or a lesson. And I’ve come to realise that there are those special ones who want nothing but the best for you.

Become aware of this: Life’s all about experiences and lessons. You are responsible for your success and failure. The sooner you realise and accept that, the better. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure. Life is about the choices you make. Nobody owes you anything. Some incidents occur repeatedly in life until we learn from it. If someone compliments you, don’t shrug it off trying to make it look like modesty; embrace it, say thank you and move on. Don’t indulge in notions that make you feel mediocre. Life can be unfair just as it is fair! For the millennials that we are, it is important to realise that life is much more the virtual world. I know it is not easy to live without tech savvy items, but push yourselves away from your phone/tab/laptop at least for an hour before hitting the bed. And it is understandable to juggle between ‘live your life and eat the damn dessert’ and ‘you are an adult, be sensible and workout’, but appreciate your body’s worth. Too much of anything is unhealthy. Extremes are easy, strive for balance. Life is all about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but don’t stop improving yourself!

An excellent year’s progress, if I may say. Even though I’m just 24 and I suck at driving!

What was your year like?

 

 

Lesson #1

Procrastination isn’t just about watching T.V. and eating all day. It is avoiding tasks that need to be accomplished. It is about delaying all the less pleasurable tasks for the more pleasurable ones. I’m a person who had my thoughts everywhere and all over the place. I might have had a lot of work for the day but I got lethargic sometimes. One minute I wanted to cook and the next minute, I might have wanted to watch some T.V. (when clearly I should have worked on sending emails, doing a site visit and talking to the contractors for my project). However, I ended up doing neither and sat surfing through every app this ‘tech world’ introduced me to. I’m still working on improving my attitude and making progress ever since I realised I was a procrastinator.

I have been trying to write this post since two weeks, examining all the possible means on this underlying unintentional habit.  I’m pretty sure it could have been my over cautious nature. And perfectionism- I had lots of that! I was always organising my thoughts and thinking too much before any task. I most definitely had unnecessary ideas about myself and what people would think if I fail. I had my impatience at its highest. I had a lack of self-control with the way I prioritised my intentions, in the sense that I gave more importance to what others would think of me. This affected me professionally and personally. I was easily distracted. I feared that I would fall short of the requisite talent or skills for a task or anything that I liked doing. I would rather be looked at for the lack of effort than the lack of ability: that was my go-to motto!  Clearly, I’ve now risen over that phase, slowly and gradually, taking one step at a time and realising that it was all ‘in the head’. I was unknowingly stuck with certain reasons in my head that supplied enough logic to tell me that I can put off anything or I cannot handle it or I wasn’t confident enough to fight through it. Recognising this was half the battle and fighting through it has taught me about myself!

                                       If there is anything I learned, it’s this: RESPECT TIME! Our time in this life is limited. How we make use of it shows our effort to fulfilment. Telling yourself you need a perfect time, space and equipment to achieve a task, waiting for the magic ingredients to appear is wrong. I kept telling myself I work best under pressure but I realised it was the only way I was used to getting things done. Time has that amazing power to give some sense of clarification. Time controls emotions and emotions are unreliable. I started focusing on the success I would achieve and the joy I would feel. I started meditating every morning and the result for it is nothing short than happiness. I started doing things I liked. I pushed myself to finish that one last chapter of the book. I pushed myself to turn off all the digital distractions. I pushed myself to stop being a people pleaser. I pushed myself to start saying “NO”. I drove myself away from anything negative: beliefs, people, habits, you name it! Remember:

Respect your time. Match your effort. Keep your word. Always be honest with yourself. Be consistent. 

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To the 3AMs of my life

When you read a great book, you might forget some of the more minor characters, but you’ll probably have one or more characters that you get hooked onto. Their vivid personality, the lines they say, the feelings they express will be etched in your mind long after you have turned the last page. Life is kind of similar this way. You might meet countless people and yet there are those few personalities that you can never tend to oversee. They might come in the form of best friends, family or maybe a random bystander. The words they say, the emotions they feel will affect you unconditionally. There are those few moments you share, few lines they say out of love, anger or concern which tend to have an emotional impact on you. You’ll never think or feel the same after that. They give you a new perspective. They make you introspect without making any extra effort.  Their thoughts will eventually be imprinted in your head and heart.

 

Those are the kind of people who you hold onto when life gets too much. Those are the kind of people who will possibly not judge you for the wrong things you did. Those are the kind of people who will stick by you to make you a better person. Those are the kind of people I call “best friends”. They’ve taught me to love without expectations and live with all the struggles, that being sensitive is a force of strength in one’s life. They’ve taught me to be resilient and patient during those unpleasant, unlikable phases.

“It’s okay to be sad”, my friend said, when I was going through a bad stage in life.

“You don’t have to be perfect all the time, just be good and true to yourself”, a friend said when I was trying too hard to please my dear ones.

“Stop getting defensive all the time, people will say what they have to say”, a friend said when I was attempting to justify every statement someone made about me.

“Time to move on! Even the dust from this should have no place in your life”, a friend said when I spent months brooding over certain situations.

They saw the darkness before I did. Heck, they probably know me more than I know myself! It’s because of them I’m where I’m and I’m who I’m. They have played an immeasurable role alongside my family and I don’t think words can ever complete the feeling I’ve had for them.

 

What else can I say but this!

Thank you for being there when I call you or need someone to talk to. No matter where we are in the world, I know you’ll always pick up.

Thank you for not judging my sometimes poor decision-making skills.

Thank you for being brutally honest with me when I’m being ridiculous.

Thank you for being so patient with my insane mind.

Thank you for pouring large glasses of wine.

Thank you for sticking by, even through all the hurdles and distance.

Thank you for being there when I have mistakenly chosen other significant people over you in obvious moments of weakness.

Thank you for every gushy, goofy text you send me when life gets crappy.

Thank you for completing my thoughts and sentences.

Thank you for caring too much, loving too much and yelling too much.

Thank you for loving the indestructible mess that I’m.

Thank you for those moments of silence, those silly I-know-what-you-are-thinking eye glances, those late night conversations and those inside jokes we have created.

Thank you for not leaving me when I made our lives ONLY about my problems.

Thank you for making me stay true to myself and thank you for continuing to be true to yourself as well because I think you rock.

But most of all, I want to thank you for the incredible, out of the world, phenomenal human being that you are!

 

P.S:  And thank you for pushing me to start this blog. It’s honestly done nothing but wonders for me!

 

 

 

 

Love on a plate!

My relationships in life have evolved over the last few years: from humans to mashed potatoes.

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I love mash and it loves me back!

I have an insatiable love for mashed potato. It is true that life’s problems do get solved with a bag of crisp fried potatoes, but it was much later I realised that this steamy, hot pot of taters was a better companion than any other junk food. It sat with me in my toughest times providing comfort during my college days crisis. I like to rely on the good stuff to seal the cracks and tears of my heart. So one fine day, my sister introduced me to this heavenly goodness. Taking that first bite put an end to all my waiting and dreaming. You know that click moment when you feel much more than what you are just physically consuming? It’s about eating the right thing at the right place at the right time. We all know this feeling: like it has happened for a reason. You relate to it with a trigger of smell or when you hear or think about the place or the time, even now. What I had experienced was “synaesthesia”!

Seeing a steamy pot of mashed potatoes, all creamy and buttery glistening in the mid-afternoon sunlight entices me to a heavenly pleasure. The soft, luscious, buttery, starchy goodness with just a hint of the fragrant garlic and a dash of thyme surprises you with its warmth and wholeheartedness. The billowy, fluffy mass when combined with drippin’ home-style gravy/meat sets the perfect environment for a chilly winter evening when all you crave for is a good couch, some T.V. and a hearty wholesome meal(and wine too, duh). Just talking about this makes my mouth water and stomach rumble!

Now the key to make the perfect mash lies in patience. It may be one of the simplest dishes BUT they’re also one of the easiest to screw up. Potatoes can be quite a show stealer. Who can blame them, right? Seasoned well or not, lathered in butter or not, I’ll happily eat them – after all, I was always a carbohydrate kid. Mashed potatoes can be forgiving, and with a good masher, hot potatoes and enough butter and salt, I can say, hands down, nothing beats the taste of this big, warm bowl of potato. So i spent hours in the kitchen trying to make the best mashed delight. However, like many a love story, my relationship with it was not entirely ‘lump-free’. But, what isn’t there to like about mashed potatoes? Lump or lump-free, doesn’t matter. The dish is warm, soft, and creamy in your mouth. Comfort food at its best and perfect for anyone!

With every attempt to cook, I discovered my love for the kitchen. I was 19 when I started cooking. Up until then, I just ate. The whipping, clanking of vessels, chopping, slicing and the aromatic, delectable scent of food got me excited and energised. My sister and I would cook almost every month, mash being the most loved and prepared. The more I kept cooking, the more i began to realise that food is an intimate experience. It creates good memories, forges friendships, and makes the heart grow fonder. I began to treat my kitchen as a stress buster. If it has taught me anything, it’s this:

  1. fat is flavour
  2. respect knives (they are unforgiving)
  3. some things cannot be undone (like over seasoning or over beating)
  4. most importantly, the key to a perfect mash: BUTTER!

 

The good old masher clanging against the pot of light fluffy potatoes still remains as one of the fondest memories of my early cooking days. I loved it so much that I would eat bowl after bowl and end up lying down, feeling sick and satisfied with my mashed potato baby.

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Food and cooking had/has/will always help me in my life. It ties me to places and people, it’s kept me breathing through tough times and it provided a creative outlet when other doors were shut in my face. Food is love on a plate.

As George Bernard Shaw said,

There is no sincerer love than the love of food”