Dreams, Rambles, Relationships

expectations management.

valentine’s is silly, silly day.

for someone with average intelligence, upper middle class upbringing, coming from a well educated family, an amazing support system, a job in the right industry (albeit underpaid) blessed with good health and oppurtunity: I felt like absolute shit at certain points of the day.

even after having an amazing day (no, really …I’m not just saying it) — I couldn’t help but pause & reflect during the night and feel a little empty inside even though it’s really no different from every other day. Every single blog post on the internet, every little instagram picture,  every little tweet, walking down the street and watching couples — it’s exhausting to go through the thought process roller coaster of reminding yourself that “Ritika, you have an amazing life.”

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I don’t want to sound angry and resentful, really — I just want to express my thoughts as an educated member of society of how utterly stupid this day is. It’s like christmas and halloween combined; holiday enterprises taken to an exponential level via capitalism with the major side effect of good people feeling like shit and having to do something eXciTiNG and thus, eating their feelings through cheesecake & chocolate & other forms of sugar.

my take away message (for myself mostly) is that I was raised through bollywood & disney movies & the internet, combined with observing the very real partnership of my parents for the last 23 years who made all those notions of  tRuE lOve a possible thing. I am torn by the juxtaposition of reality and the daydream I know can happen; the realization that I am very young and new to this arena. And, as a third culture kid with life experience and four different cities I call home — my perspective and roots is quite complex and confusing personally let alone conveying it to a third party. And lastly — the understanding that my current phase in life is one in which I work very hard and smart to reach bigger and better dreams.

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In the meantime, I should experience my happy, magical moments in a city that is breathtakingly beautiful. I should experience everything that life has to offer and then some, I should be kind to myself and to others. I should realize that love is not always romantic, and that platonic love should not be discounted. that feelings are complicated & intricate and simple in the way that they should be allowed to happen. that the platonic, long lasting friendships can be far more fulfilling, equally real and their nurturing and care should be celebrated. and most importantly, yes my post is getting sappier by the second — but to count my blessings and tell everyone I love how much they add meaning to my humble little life before it all passes and we’re nothing.

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Dreams, Rambles, Self-Development, Uncategorized

Believing in Extraordinary Happenings

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I never thought I’d be the one to say it’s funny how life is, but to be honest – that’s the best and only way to put recent developments. My year has been nothing but a roller coaster. I have never felt more out of control, more anxious; I simply did not buy a ticket to this growing up ride that I was practically thrown into.

And thus, I grudgingly made plans and started having some mild form of visions and long term agenda of what I wanted for myself; where I might contribute something to this world and have some minor impact instead of just “being”. My best laid plans didn’t work out the way I wanted them too, despite all my efforts and deep strategizing. I consumed myself to the point of livid drunkenness with passionate, illogical and almost blind vigour. I’m speaking in riddles and vagueness with intention;  the lessons I learnt this week will probably be applied and will reoccur many many times in my optimistically, long life. They will be learned and relearned and when I’m sixty I’ll have some decently exciting stories of that time I was 22 years old and lived in a studio apartment where I had a french press and felt like the most independent and self-sufficient Indian woman in a diverse, green, urban city and received treatment from a decently functioning healthcare system.

Khaled Hosseini wrote that we all want extraordinary things to happen to us; we all want our life to be the exception to what the natural trend of the population and state of affairs is. Obviously there is a lot of struggle and suffering to reaching whatever our goals and dreams are, but we always earnestly hope things will work out and we pray to all the gods we don’t believe in that they do. 

I realized that I’m not sensitive to people and their unneeded thoughts; my intense, overwhelming sensitivity comes from the daily happenings and experiences of my world. I crawl into a ball and ponder and reflect and agonize beyond anything considered healthy. But in a way, by experiencing such emotions so strongly, I am able to let it go and move the fuck on. I need to go through the entire spectrum of bullshit to feel relief; I need to reinvent the whole wheel to feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.  And therefore, I got into an ugly phase in my life where I waded continuously in this pool of frustrating want to be more. Brimmed to the top with self-loathing and doubt and lack of faith, and most importantly – a need for control. 

And I know that I love this repeated game of collapsing and overcoming. The game is exhausting and endless and tiresome but it is the only thing that makes me feel like a human being with a heart. This feeling of feeling everything too much. But, I’d rather play this exhausting game of life with the privileged card of hands I’ve been dealt with, then play no game with no cards. 

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Dreams

choose self-preservation.

Streets of NYC

Streets of NYC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

you have the kind of dreams that are so out of the box, you’d need to create a whole new universe for this ideal to be a concrete reality. you have the kind of dreams that are elaborate and detailed. for years, i went to bed thinking about a quiet anonymous life in a big city, where my work was my life because i loved it so much. i dreamt of having this big career that i would get excited to tell people about, that it was all i could about it. in the evenings, i would have quiet dinners with one or two individuals i really truly cared about. home cooked meals with a fine wine, sitting on an adult table, having adult conversations.

lately, it’s starting to feel like i have no plan. no grand vision. no path. no step a step b step c and then this that and that. it feels like i’m drifting along life, making decision after the other based on gut and intuition. empty promises to yourself that you’re doing the right thing. you can’t rush into your life. you make careful, deliberate life choices instead of quick ones where you’re stuck deeper into a hole you can’t get out of. you’ve narrowed it down somewhat. you’ll be doing graduate school later in your life. the time to start this working life is now.  the apartment, the quiet dinners can happen.

except, the city is not big enough. the career not vital enough. the day in the life not glamorous enough. your skills not as well developed as you’d like. the commute will be soul-sucking. the coworkers won’t be your best friends. you’ll lose your passion for the cause caught up in the mundane.

you feel unprepared, inadequate, small. you wish to take up less space, but the world demands you to expand and be. and deep down, you want to as well.

when did you become so indecisive?

when did you become so scared to make a mistake or two?

when did you start to feel the need to be still instead of just going for it without looking back?

when did you doubt your confident, your skill?

when did you need to be presented as perfect, absolutely flawlessly?

when did you stop wanting to be a human who feels things and cries and gets hurt?

when did it become so impossible to choose love when it came knocking at your door?

or perhaps, it’s the understanding of your limitations. you understand and respect that there are things in life you’re not prepared for, and understand that growth and preparedness will come a day at a time. that you’re in no rush to have your heart broken by life, by your parents, or by an individual, or by disappointment that can’t be changed. that you’ve always taken life too seriously to brush things of. that when something stabs deep down, you break a little bit, and even if those broken pieces can still be mended, you choose self self-preservation.

you do live in a world of carpe diem, and #YOLO and you believe in the power of it. but, having and respecting limitations isn’t a weakness. if anything, there’s a strength in acknowledging its presence in the room.

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Dreams, Rambles, Relationships, Uncategorized

Shitty writing, Any writing.

I haven’t been feeling myself lately.

Or rather, I haven’t been feeling the positive, happy me in a while. The one that does things and is motivated and likes being around people. The one who always can find something to write about.

So here goes, shitty writing is better than no writing because this is what I do to feel like a person. Some people play music, some people paint. But everyone does something or the other that makes them solely happy. And so, I may not write about happy things, but to be honest, I’m tired and exhausted. Tired and exhausted at trying to always put a smile on.

Anyway. I’ve been called “sheltered” and “privileged” this last week, by two people. I’ve felt this judgment from others who weren’t polite enough to say it. After being defensive and appalled, I realized that it was true. To an extent anyway. Why the fuck should I feel bad about being either? I didn’t choose to be either, I was born into a lucky family. And I thank the stars everyday for it. I’ve seen close kin who don’t have the oppurtunities I do.

I hear it from my parents, I feel it from my friends, my inner voice repeats it over and over every time I mess up. And that’s what it really is. Although there are numerous advantages like never having to worry about money, or being able to splurge, or being able to eat well…..there is also tremendous pressure to do well. After being given all these advantages, I have to make something of myself. I need to be ambitious and go after my hopes and dreams and all that sizzle. Because I was given everything on a platter, and I can’t throw it all away.

And sometimes, the pressure, whether explicitly said or not ….is too much. Sometimes, I want to do what the protagonist does – run away and leave everything behind. And thus, a beginning of adventures begin. So in a sense, I’m in a cage of sorts, but it’s the kind of cage that people dream about.

Besides, everyone is in some form of a cage. Even if the cage is self-built on simply ideals of what our life should be.

I guess the only thing I should take away form this is that I should make mistakes. Some mistakes. Mistakes that somewhat well thought out, somewhat not costly, somewhat recoverable. But I can’t make the mistake of making big mistakes. And hence, I may even have to let things go instead of act on them. I need to prioritize and be selfish.

Have I changed? In a sense, I feel like I haven’t changed since I was 10 years old at all. But sometimes I feel like I’m the much better version of who I used to be. And fortunately, there’s always a newer better version to work on.

So, to the people who have judgements about me, whether good, bad or false – you don’t know my story. And I don’t know yours. Which is why I watch what I say.

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