I’m sorry I let you down

If you’ve been on both the delivery and receiving end of these words, I’m sure this post is going to speak to you. img_9850

There are two kinds of people in this world, who think they let you down but actually didn’t while there’s a few who actually do and never realise. I’m going to take it from dismal to happy and I hope you enjoy this ride.

I recently ran a campaign where I needed all of my friends to support me and back me more than ever.  It was one of those moments where you see who’s actually there for you.It was a hard thing to plan, with 8 people to compete against so you can understand the tension and pressure. In that moment you need someone to comfort you, to tell you that you’re good enough and that it will all turn out okay. My housemate who I’ve been living with for almost three years now went with the exact opposite approach. Seeing me crumble under the mountain of stress and anxiety she told me that I should be okay with not winning. I should be okay with letting this dream go because it was highly unlikely that I’ll be able to realise it. I broke down completely, shocked by my closest friend’s disbelief in me and overshadowed by the dip in my self confidence. She let me down as a friend and didn’t even realise it.

On the other hand, a friend of mine running a similar campaign thought he let me down, without actually doing that. We went out to dinner before results and we promised each other that we’d give it our best shot and that we’d win together. This guy was my rock through the ups and downs of this campaign. He pulled me out of the dismay of all the abuse, racism and negativity that was thrown my way throughout the campaign. However, I won my category but he lost. That just baffles me. He came up to me and said, “I’m so sorry I let you down, I’ll never do that again in my life. I’m going to make sure that you’re proud of me”. I told him that I was and I always will be.

I smiled out of this realisation. This realisation of how someone so close to your heart is so distant from understanding you while someone not quite as close holds you so dear.

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a happy ending. I probably, maybe let you down.

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Carrying the world’s weight 

One of my friends wrote me a really long goodbye text as I was leaving for England. (I know you’re reading this :p) It opened with him asking me to stop carrying the world’s weight on my shoulders which launched me onto a weird thought trajectory and thus this post.
What exactly does it mean to carry the world’s weight? And what is actually weighing on you? These are some questions I seek answers to.
In our life, we face both ups and downs. We are taught to stay strong, on-edge and selfish. Yes, selfish. At my recent internship, my colleague told me, “Sometimes you need to put yourself first.” What most people fail to realise is that putting yourself first sometimes is transitioning into selfishness. Not just my colleague, my own mother said something similar to me. “If you give everyone time and attention, the world will walk all over you”. Such realisations really puzzle me as it leaves me having to choose between my time and someone’s happiness. Is it worth being selfish?
If I was to try and answer this question of the world’s burden, I’d say that listening to, and supporting someone through their struggles doesn’t mean you’re carrying the weight of the world. You form friendships, relationships even on the promise of reliability and if one can’t rely on you to help them overcome their struggles, you’re nothing but a facade of a friend.
Not just relationships, but we’ve also got expectations placed upon us. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this but in the culture I grew up in, a child has expectations set out for him/her from the moment they’re born. These may be behavioural, success-related or familial. They loom over every persona leaving them addicted to climbing this ladder of fulfilment, not for themselves but for others around them. As much as I’d hate to admit, I find myself in a similar chase. A chase to meet deadlines, standards and all expectations anyone/everyone could and would have of me. Sometimes these expectations don’t even exist, they’re just assumptions. Think about that. Doesn’t that make you feel stupid?
One can never tell what might be waiting for him/her just around the corner. Might be something good or something absolutely horrible.

I believe that the expectations or burden that you shoulder is what tells you who ultimately backs and supports you. This so called “weight of the world” is shared between you and those who love you. Not the cheesy sorts of love, but true affection and care. Think of these emotions and expectations as your own for there is someone out there who’s carrying the weight of your world.

Uhm…Could you please?

img_20160328_144933So here’s another one for you to introspect and retrospect.

When you find yourself in a situation where you think something is wrong, do you tell it as it is? Even when you do tell it for its truth, is your tone the right one?

Being at dinner with one of my friends triggered inspiration for this one. There was basically something wrong with his food and the staff completely denied any issues with the food. The situation then escalated to name calling, raised voices and anger. Things which could’ve been avoided with a simple change of tone. Think of any simple conversation, like asking someone to pass the salt. This can be said in a calm, soft tone or a loud, hasty one or even worse, with unintended underlying sarcasm. Each of those would have a varied impact on the conversation and the possible impression you may project.

So here, my friend went with the loud and hasty and the staff member chose to stick with underlying sarcasm. You know with that combination, the situation could’ve only gone into a downward spiral. These are people who are open to and are trained to deal with conflict. Imagine being in this situation as a person who avoids conflict at all costs and really being helpless in calming the hot-head your friend’s turned into.

If you’re anything like me in this scenario, you would rather talk things out, shy away from conflict and walk away before things escalate too much. The title itself shows how far I could and would take this situation, “Could you please change this portion?” or just “Could you please take this away?” That’s it but that’s just me. If you’re more like my friend, who needs to give it to people as it is, then the manager will be called and words will be had. This brings me to the question at the core of all this, how do you pick the right way to deal? Just with you mood? or with the place?  In my opinion, snapping in public works against you in every way, it pisses the staff off, makes you look like a stuck up snob and increases your chances of never being able to eat at that restaurant again 😛

So note to self, and to everyone else, think of the time and place you’re at, the people you’re with and think of the next hour when you’ll curse yourself for being the obnoxious customer who ruined the staff member’s day. Think, RE-think and then act, always.

 

Need.

 

What exactly does need mean for you? Especially with the period sign at the end of it. I NEED this or I NEED that has become a very common phrasing for something that we WANT, not something that we particularly NEED.

The interesting thing to consider is that these things that we “need” aren’t really what we want for ourselves, it is about this strive to fit into that niche of a utopian image of ourselves, often cut out by people around us. A simple example of that would be the excruciating summer diets. How many times have we heard the words, “Man, I really want that cookie/that piece of cake but I NEED to be a size 8 by the end of the month.” Clearly, you aren’t doing right by yourself.

There’s this little phenomena that I believe the world works with called ‘ The LaIMG_20151115_183643w of Attraction’. It works on the basic principle of ‘what you can see in your mind, you can hold in your reality’. So that thing  you NEED will come to you, if you can visualise what it would be like to already have it. Now people would be skeptical of it, tbh I was too. “How can eating cookies get me to a six-pack ? You must be crazy” But here’s the thing. The mistake that people make is that they try to push away the negative, they visualise ‘not being fat’ or ‘not being unhappy’ and so on. The universe however, does not register these ‘not’s so what you’re putting out there is what you wanted to push away, making the whole process out to be a waste. So again, think about what you actually want and not so much about what you NEED. For I believe that I’d rather die happy and content than live long in a life of sorrow and discontent.

Say what YOU want, do what YOU like (obviously, not in the selfish sense) cos you know your days are numbered and you want to make the most of them.

 

Unfamiliar family-arity

Getting used to living away from home having spent all your life in that protective arrangement becomes one hell of a change. For me however, it didn’t seem so. I settled in pretty quick and smoothly, surprisingly quick. I didn’t miss home, I could fend for myself and my heart never sank for going away ever. This easter break however, my heart sank, so hard. It was a short three-week break but it came at the right time. I was long overdue on a good night’s sleep haha.

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Being home this time felt like I had never left. I picked up right where I’d left off before university. I was the little kid again. Don’t know if it was the excessive love shower from my family, the lack of “omg-she-just-came-from-london!” attention or just the fact that I’d properly spent time with my best friend (yes, the same person my last post).

For the first time I realised that I’m not the only one keeping my problems from my family to save them the worry but they do the same. My mum was at the hospital the day before my arrival but no one told me. I didn’t know when I let her carry my backpack and I didn’t know till she handed me that plate of breakfast. This was familiar for I had always been treated like a child but unfamiliar as nothing was ever kept from me.

Similarly, somethings happened when my friend visited (which cannot be discussed on here) but being back home, seeing him almost everyday, talking to him on the phone every night was like going back to 2013. It felt similar but wasn’t exactly for I was completely different person compared to who I was back then.

This brings me to this aching question that keeps propping up, Am I really growing up? or just growing apart? Since my move to UK, the people I truly care about from back home can be counted on my fingers alone and if I can’t even care for them then what’s the point of me? I haven’t been able to answer this question and maybe I just can’t so in my creative-writing-escape style, here’s conclusion with poetry!

This time I spend with you, feels like it flies by. 

It’s happened a couple of times before, but never seemed to affect me so. 

My focus is a bit blurred, my mind’s all over the place.

It’s not the person I miss so much, but the warm embrace. 

Asking for you is like crying in the  rain, 

Only I see the tears falling, only I feel the gnawing pain. 

All washes away when I see you smile, 

tears, agony, pain, all worthwhile. 

At last there’s just this to say, 

my thoughts and love surround you , even if I’m thousands of miles away.

 

 

Blur.

The title here might make you think, “oh god. Another soppy post.” but NO. This one is about happiness and people that make your life worth living.

So, if you’ve read my previous posts, you might know that I’ve had to move away from home for my education. This is something I would suggest everyone to do, at least once in their lifetime. Living away from your home, your country gives you the experience of meeting new people, seeing new places and most of all, making new mistakes. Might sounds absolutely cliche but mistakes are a major part of who you are as a person.

cropped-img_8099.jpgMy best friend from back home recently came to visit. He’s been friends with me for years and it was amazing to have him come visit from thousands of miles away. Those four days,five nights brushed past. We spent almost every second of that time together. This might make me sound absolutely horrible but that just made me sick. Having him around 24 hours a day just showed me how much I’d changed and how he hadn’t. I won’t go into details but I can say with certainty that everyone who’s moved away will experience that at some point in time. It is nothing short of an out of body experience, looking at yourself in the present and comparing it to the past. You no longer fit into that niche of your past self, no matter how hard you try or pretend. However, this is nothing to fret about. The fact that you learn and grow trumps the comforts of home. The fact that your family treats you like an adult is worth much more than that car your dad might have gifted you. Anything and everything that was handed to you at home, becomes a jewel to earn for yourself when you move away.

This is the main gain that you get. You become yourself just through YOU, NO ONE BUT YOU. It’s your hard-work, your strife that creates a new niche for your better self. One that you explore through introspection and at the end of the day no one can take credit for your success.

The future becomes a vision just out of reach and the past is a mere blur. So take charge of the moment and grow, bigger, better and stronger.

 

 

Letting go

Have you ever felt that you’ve gotten used to things and people being and behaving a certain way? I for one have.

I moved away from home for university in September 2014 and since then I’ve lived with the same people and I won’t mind admitting that I’d grown habitual to it. At the end of my first year at uni, two of my housemates started dating, to begin with I was extremely happy. I was in fact, one of the people encouraging them to get together. As time changed, so did the circumstances. They gained each other as partners but I lost two of my friends to this relationship and I am yet to get them back.img_20160116_131935

The people in question, one of whom currently living with me had a birthday recently. In first year, we would’ve partied with as many people as possible and I wouldn’t have to give the ‘surprise!’ idea even a second thought but as I said, things have changed. This person didn’t want anything big, or anything at all to honest. They’re humble and everything but the relationship seems to have smothered the social, bubbly and exuberant side of my housemate. Now you might think,’Well, are you done with the ranting already?’ but I’d say, I’m just making a point. Things and people change and you need to change with them too. The fact that I didn’t plan anything, didn’t express my opinion or even make any suggestions signified the face that I’ve let go. Many times in life we hold on to our memory of people, we see them in a deceptive, retrospective light which doesn’t do anybody any good. The person, thing or relationship could mean the world to you but it’s not worth pondering over it if you don’t appeal to it. The universe works on the basic principle of ‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. If you don’t receive the admiration, love and respect that you offer then STOP, right in that moment. The laws of nature exist for a reason, or if not a reason, then an excuse. One that will allow you to escape from this downward spiral on unfettered, unreciprocated effort.

The intention of my thought isn’t to give up on people but to understand when the chasm widens and preventing yourself from falling into it. Love and respect yourself before anything else and remember, nothing/no one in life is irreplaceable. The clock goes round, the earth revolves and everyone moves on.

Catch and Release

First post of the new year and I’m already onto a stress rant. Life’s hard on everyone, or so I’ve been told. It’s not easy to flourish equally in all spheres of life and is particularly evident in the lives of those who’ve taken on maybe a bit too much.

Time is an incredibly important aspect of any and every person’s life. Be it spending time with someone, wasting time on something or making time for yourself. Most of us forget the ebb and flow of time thereby, not realising this sand slipping away from the hourglass. This is the point when it comes to making choices, picking your battles and cutting down. Focus on things that satisfy you, intellectually, physically and spiritually. This will allow you to focus on things and people that you truly love and uproot all (probable) causes of stress in a person’s life.

Recently, I’ve fallen under a mountain of work making me feel unorganised, lost and hassled to the point where I couldn’t eat, sleep or even think! Again, time comes into play here, I had to make the choice of how I want to spend my time, clear my mind of all the unnecessary rubbish that’s been bugging me. Every person knows exactly the kind of things they need to do to de-stress and regain composure. For me, that would be travelling, exploring and people. St Ives today gave me just that, no rain (thank god Britain!), bright day and the best people. Walking around the city, talking to people about things completely detached from work and just sitting by the seaside, listening to the waves build and crash gave me the clarity to think, rest and just be, peacefully. I finally felt the fatigue resting on my eyes but also lightness, almost like a burden lifted off my shoulders.

All such experiences entail important life lessons, the ones like this one particularly. This makes it evident how we’re actually free and privileged to have the kind of opportunities that we do. Another lesson being, give time and take time; allow time for things to fall into place and take time off as and when needed.

Keep your eyes open to catch but keep your mind open to release.

 

 

Wait

We’ve all experienced wait, be it waiting to meet someone special or waiting for something special to happen but one thing we do not know is that awaits us.

We wake up in the morning, with out schedules set in stone, ready to take on the day. It is however extremely likely that certain momentary changes might impact you drastically. A smile or a hug can make those mellow thoughts vanish while solitude, by choice or otherwise can loom one into the dark thoughts in one’s head.

That’s where the wait comes in, we wait for events, experiences and feelings but do they wait for us? To be an absolute cliche, I could go on and say don’t wait, take chances, carpe diem and all that jazz, but No, I will say WAIT. Wait for that friend, wait for that call or text, wait for that special dish on the menu, (even if it’s an hour late) because in the end it will add value to your life and your experience.

Impatience is the bane of human existence. If we could all slow down for a while, introspect and retrospect, we could fathom how amazing this life can be, how great the person you just walked past is and how we’re all in this together. Stop and Stare is not just an idea for the Imagist movement or a one republic song. It is the idea behind that childlike wonder, that ability to wait, for the rainbow after the muddy shower, for desert after the force-fed greens and for that moment of innate satisfaction when everything falls into place.

STOP. Stare. Watch and wait.

You’re in for something truly great.

Friendship

If one was put on a spot and asked, “What do you mean by friendship? What does the word signify for you?”, most people would say helping the person, caring for them, always being there for them etc.etc. but what people usually forget is that friendship entails much more. Conversation is great but friendship also involves hearing and perceiving what the person isn’t saying.

This brings me to eyes. Might sound awfully overused, but it’s true “eyes are the peephole to the mind”. You can look into someone’s eyes and you’ll see every emotion they’re going through, every sorrow, every joy, swims in the ocean of the eyes.

Last night, I was at a halloween party and it was also my friend’s birthday. We all know how we love feeling special on our birthdays, or at least I do. His eyes just didn’t have that spark, it was like he had no expectations.

Quite sad actually, cos three of his friends ditched him during the course of the night which left me and two guys with him, one of whom was staying just out of guilt for missing his birthday. Now, these people that were his ‘friends’ literally left him alone. He wouldn’t want that on his birthday would he?

So again, who exactly can you call your friend? What draws the line between friendship and acquaintance? Don’t think a lot of people can answer that question.