Tag Archives: Life lessons

The Comforting Discomfort of The Truth

I don’t quite know how it happened.  I wouldn’t even be able to pinpoint the moment at which it happened.  My penchant  for complete honesty.  I have struggled with it and do so ever so often. Less often now. Actually I have very few memories of honesty being a challenge ever. I don’t know but of many of my vices, dishonesty has never been of them. 

I have lost friends and almost relationships over it. People who couldn’t handle the truth. Either mine or their own. In retrospect, I don’t know what ever gave me the right to tell them the truth but I did.  In the eyes of many it might have been cruel. In my eyes it was pulling the band aid off in one go and that to me is kinder than letting misery fester in some delusion. One would imagine it would make me friendless like I have always been warned. I have been accused of being naive and not knowing how the world works. But guess what? Life has been kind and I have earned some gems on the way. My miracles. My magic beans. Makes me believe in the innate goodness of humanity. Everyone struggles with the truth.  So do I. And I have watched loved ones struggle with their own truths but they have braved themselves through those struggles.  Navigating through life, relationships, questioning priorities,  identities and making irrevocable sacrifices sometimes. For the truth. Sometimes no mostly some dark uncomfortable truth. I admire it this unwillingness to give up on the truth. The relentless pursuit, sometimes intentionally and at others instinctively. It is admirable. 

But of late I have been struggling with something. There is a certain roughness, a cruelty even. A lack of compassion. There is a certain brutality to the truth don’t you think? 

A very recent conversation with an old,  exceptionally dear friend,  whose relationships  became a casualty to honesty.  Well one of the reasons I suppose because breakups are never that binary.  Made both of us think about the virtue of honesty and the rules of exercising complete honesty within a relationship. I often struggle with the question of whether you would save a relationship with a lie or just suffer it’s loss with the truth?  Opinions differ on this.  If I wasn’t able to be honest with a partner or was at the receiving end of dishonesty, it makes me question the very foundation of the relationship.  It shows a disrespect for the individual at very fundamental level. I have never understood the statement – ‘I lied to you to protect you.’  There is nothing selfless about lying.  There is the inherent presumption that the partner is too weak to handle the truth or is unimportant to deserve it. Both very valid reasons not to be in a relationship to begin with. And no a**holes who think being honest about their escapades gives them a free pass. If someone is getting hurt for the wrong reasons you are still a jerk…

Yes, there is a possibility that the partner may not be ready for the truth.  The relationship may not being prepared for the onus of the truth.  Sometimes the truth is something unhealed.  And that in itself should never be something to bring to a relationship.  But when you truly care about someone, they should feel trusted and trust that you will share your truth with them eventually but surely. 

Maybe discretion or withholding the truth might save the relationship. For some time.  For the sake of appearance only.  But it would inevitably make it weaker implicitly. The inability to confide is when the turning away begins and true communication erodes. So does the relationship. 

What I have also come to realise is that while yes honesty is a cornerstone of every relationship,  it is the equal responsibility of both partners.  But with honesty, each partner,  the truth sharer and receiver always need to approach the conversation with empathy.  And this applies to a platonic equation as well. A relationship at its core should be a safe place where honesty can be shared freely without judgement and with empathy and respect and received with empathy and understanding and appreciation of the show of trust the sharing implies. We give it to our dearest friends.  Why is it so hard to give it to the one you love? Honesty is the truest act of courage you can show for your relationships. 

It is utopic,  this view,  I do realise that. Especially in a generation of cynics,  naysayers,  scoffed and sarcastic pricks(yours truly included).  But isn’t this what we all ultimately want? Isn’t it the whole point? Isn’t this what we wanted and believed in? Before the teenage boy broke your heart or the girl you couldnt keep or the time when you were too scared to be honest yourself in a past equation? Before things broke us?  Before unhealthy relationship patterns screwed us over? That person lives in us, within us,  the one who believes in this utopia and has the audacity to hope,  hidden under layers of denial, cynicism and sarcastic humor.  That person who desperately wants to be saved and to be in a healthy relationship, the one who is frustrated and yet wants to believe. 

What I can only say is that if you are going to  be selfish for after all who isn’t,  be selfish for the right reasons and do that suppressed forgotten part of yourself a favor and let it live again.  Take a chance at being intentionally authentic. Godspeed!

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Bartender! Pour me a shot of drama…

Every now and then, someone’s casual remark sets off a thought in your head. Well that happened to me recently. A colleague often casually accuses me of “loving drama” although I haven’t liked to be associated with the word for the longest time because of my myopic understanding of the word. But one evening, it triggered off a bout of introspection.

In my limited world view, I had put drama as a negative connotation. The dictionary defines it as an interesting or intense conflict of forces leading to interesting situations. Blame it on some childhood trauma and an unhealthy, emotional roller coaster ride of a teenage relationship, my aversion to drama and conflict had become overpowering. I had evolved into this person who had started to slowly slot “feeling” into drama, constantly over-rationalizing everything into logical conclusion. Read emotionally stunted.

I spent years watching couples fight, throw things at each other, stay up at night fighting, heard of a woman who burnt her cheating boyfriend’s crotch (he had it coming), abusive relationships – all the time rolling my eyes at the drama. I had become short sighted to not include the drama that brought a smile to someone’s face at the most random moment, the drama that kept two souls up at night sharing memories, dreams and laughter. I had missed the drama in the ecstatic joy felt in both giving and receiving a surprise from a loved one, I had missed the drama in the tears shed when you get separated from a loved one. I had missed the drama in feeling butterflies in my stomach. I had successfully locked myself away into a completely left brained existence. I had stopped feeling. And I had been stupid enough to take pride in that. How can you “over-think” “feeling”? Don’t ask me how but I did it and I applauded it not realizing how handicapped I was making myself.

A writer’s soul was the universe’s gift to me, the pure torture of detached attachment to everything and nothing. People have intrigued me always, what makes them, what breaks them, what makes them tick and what makes them want to rise again. I have fancied myself free-spirited, adventurous and fun-loving. But I would carefully drop the “dramatic” tag, even when I was. Avoidant much?

I had gone from hopeless romantic to the gloomy cynic under a façade of sardonic humor. But one can never defy one’s true nature. The universe makes sure of that. In retrospect, even at my most cynical moments, I have always attracted drama, in the friends I have made, the people I have wanted, the people who have wanted me. The bunch I truly call friends in my life are a passionate, spontaneous, adventurous, authentic and dramatic bunch – each in his or her own way. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, quite a handful as they may be, they are magnificent. While I have hidden behind rational practicality for the longest time, when I look back I have been the happiest when I have done something spontaneous, made a “dramatic” gesture or such like because it made me feel something. I have been the truest to my real nature in those moments far and few as they may have been.

But of late, everyone has become a stickler about playing it cool and being chill in friendships and relationships or you are doing it wrong. In a day and age where the one who cares less is winning, who is doing the loving? Where is the real overwhelming passion that moves mountains? What follows is a soul less generation of degenerate debauchery, swiping on a screen, wanting to be held and touched by a stranger who they feel no connection to because hey who wants the drama of having someone who actually gives a f***out of fear of being hurt. And loneliness they can’t seem to shake off. But they will be too cool to admit it as well. I tried to play that game which grew old quickly. I got B-O-R-E-D.

And then it dawned on me. In a time, where we are all grasping at straws to maintain a semblance of sanity by withdrawing into fearful loneliness, projecting facades, pretending to fit in, it is revolutionary to be honest with the world and yourself, to be authentic enough to embrace one’s own demons is dramatic, genuine caring and effort without expectation from another is dramatic. Being real is dramatic. Being real is acceptance, an ability to balance the emotional with the rational, to feel. Finding genuine connection and investing in that no holds barred is dramatic.

I am done trying to fit in. I am done denying my true nature. I want the happiness I feel with spontaneity, adventure, the passion and the ecstasy and I don’t want mellow and boring. If it comes with a little hurt, hell one shouldn’t sell oneself short, survived so far didn’t I? As long as no one is getting literally get burnt or being emotionally manipulated, am with the drama. I am all for the drama, unapologetically. Because if one doesn’t allow oneself to get hurt, one won’t allow oneself to truly love and be truly loved in return as a friend, as a sister, a daughter and a lover.

It’s worth taking a chance for and all that drama. I never did fit in anyway. Also nothing feeds the writer’s soul like a dose of drama. That’s what the dramatic ones tell me anyway! 😉

Embrace the chaos. Embrace the authenticity. Embrace the madness. Embrace the Drama.

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Listicles and what nots

As I inch closer to my 28th birthday, a decade away from home, figuring out my way through this thing called life, I look back at the mistakes I have made, the awesome things I have achieved, the struggles that I have lived through and the realities I deal with every day. I may not be perfect but I am slowly making my peace with that. I have way too many people to thank, some old, some brand new, some who are not a part of my story anymore and some I hope never again will be.  My friends make fun of my love of listicles but hell I made my own!

  1. Honesty might be tough but honesty guarantees peace of mind
  2. Family is of two kinds – one you are born into and the other is the one you choose
  3. Family comes before work and everything else. If your people are not on your priority list, either they are the wrong people or you are doing something wrong.
  4. Confidence is innate and one’s issues need to be acknowledged and addressed to gain true confidence that no one can touch or break.
  5. It is rare to have parents who can treat you like an independent adult and it is a blessing to be able to share an honest friendship with them
  6. Work. Have a career. Have a hobby. Have a passion to pursue. Nothing defines you better and makes you happier than being productive and having a purpose.
  7. Find something you are good that you love and then name your price.
  8. It is a very thin line between ego and self-respect and it takes discipline to exercise the difference
  9. If you care about people you have to show them no matter hard it is. It might not come out the way you planned it to but it is not a bad deal. I am learning this. I hope to get there.
  10. You cannot claim to care about a person when you are only interested in what they can get you in return
  11. The world is full of broken, self-absorbed people. Everyone is hurting but some put up a facade of hurt for attention. The ones who have actual life experience will be the kindest ones trying to do it right and be kind
  12. A sense of gratitude for everything you have ups your chance at happiness
  13. I love people who can make me laugh. I love lame jokes. I love intelligent jokes. I dig sarcasm.
  14. I will always find it easier to write it down than to say things. But conversations are important. Especially the ones that keep you up through the night. They are the best kinds  🙂
  15. I am the party girl living it up on the dance floor, who knows the bartender by name, not giving a damn about anything but a good time. But I am also the girl who likes to sit in her corner with nothing but a book to read or struggling with writer pangs or overthinking about some boy I like or hating people in general. I like that about me.
  16. Genuine people and genuine connections are rare. If it is mutually shared they are totally worth the investment and the work. Anything less is a waste of time.
  17. Life surprises you every now and then. You surprise yourself too. I know I do. Just when I think I have myself all figured out and in a box, I go do something totally different
  18. On that note, boxes and labels- I am quickly losing my need for both. As long as I belong and am happy and appreciated, I am staying
  19. Unrequited love hurts like a motherf***er but hell makes the best inspiration for art, music and literature. The creative ones who can pour it out to create something beautiful of it are the luckiest. They might never feel that way though
  20. Forgiveness is liberating as is the truth. Start with yourself.
  21. Rational living with just the left brain is brilliant because you feel nothing and get shit done. It is terribly stunted and defective and unhealthy for the very same reasons
  22. I hate the hookup culture where everyone is scared to actually know another person. People are losing their depth and substance. Because superficial talk is easy and sex even more so. And it grows old so quickly
  23. I would rather be honest and speak my mind than stew in resentment just to be “cool”. It takes courage and that is kinda cool
  24. People who care about you will never make you feel like any less of a priority because they make time for you and reassure you that you matter when they can’t. Life gets crazy with work commitments, family commitments, social obligations, errands and workouts.. But priorities stick.
  25. When a person makes time for you appreciate it. When a person doesn’t make you feel of consequence, the person isn’t a person you need. Please note I said person. Nobody deserves to be treated as less than a priority
  26. The idea of conflict makes us nervous, the possibility of not being understood is worrisome and sometimes, we even convince ourselves that how we feel doesn’t actually matter. And I am trying to change that
  27. I might like drama after all. It’s scary but it’s like adrenaline. Raw and uninhibited is powerful, feisty and alive and crazy but it takes real courage. I need to embrace that. But I do know too much of it is bad.
  28. I have been irrationally rational. I have been rationally emotional. It is time I learned how to get that right. Let’s hope someone will be able to and willing to teach me how to work on things together
  29. There will be different kinds of love and I am learning that is a good thing
  30. If there is chemistry and connection – physical or mental or emotional. It deserves to be addressed.
  31. Sex is easy. Intimacy not so much. Both combined make things explosive. I want that. I want a man who likes and respects me and is able to treat me as a sexual being as well without a hiccup
  32. You might really like someone but sometimes it is not going to work, because you will be too much of something for them, they might be broken, they might not be ready, you are not what they need right now, they might decide they don’t need you. You will survive that and bounce back
  33. If you like food, we will be thick. If you can cook. Even more so. Foodies are the best people. Also if you love dogs.
  34. If you are smart and hot, great! But if you are funny, compassionate, considerate and generous and attracted to me and unafraid to say it and you keep your word, you are golden!
  35. Clarity of intention would make a lot of shrinks poorer.
  36. It surprises me when someone doesn’t want to be someone’s priority. When that scares them that they can’t return it. You only do accept the love you think you deserve. I have run away too. I know. But it is flattering
  37. If you feel unwanted or underappreciated, walk. But sometimes try to understand what it is you might be doing wrong
  38. I might not want the fairytale romance, the ball and chain yet but I want something real that tests my limits, makes me want to be uncomfortable, someone cares enough to call me out on my crap and have the willingness to go the mile for as long as it is with respect. And then I want to do all kinds of things with and for such a person for as long as it makes us happy
  39. Even the almost ones matter
  40. You can be a partner or a repairman to someone. You can’t be both
  41. I respect friendships. But I think the “friendzone” is a whole lot of shit.
  42. Sometimes you would rather be just friends with someone because you don’t trust yourself to not f*** it up and you can’t bear to not have them in your life. But then you are not friends anyway.
  43. I have always laughed cliches off till that became a cliche. Don’t write cliches off. They exist for a reason
  44. Children get it. Things are simple. Adults complicate everything. I hate that about growing old.
  45. Introspect. Like a personal performance review. Your goals. Your needs. Your wants. Your purpose. They change. Everything is fluid. Question everything. Even yourself every now and then
  46. Commit to being your best self. Find someone with the same goals. Be with someone who pushes you to be better and build something together
  47. You should never feel guilty about how you feel or for wanting more. You deserve it and if someone won’t give it you deserve another
  48. Life and people deserve celebration every now and then because giving and receiving surprises is the best thing! It is awesome to make someone happy!
  49. Karaoke is soul food. So is travel. Do both.
  50. Take charge of your happiness and responsibility of your actions, you will be fine. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a practice.

A little wise. A little foolish. Forever a child. But slowly a woman. To more years. To being present. To letting go. And to taking it all in.

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Resolutions we should be making this year…

Something I have never understood is why it always takes the turn of a year for people to make resolutions. The problem with resolutions is that we don’t look beyond January. Who are we kidding? Sometimes we don’t last a week. And if you know the drill, it usually involves losing weight, kicking a bad habit or saving more money. But there is more beyond that. How about you resolve to be committed to a happier, healthier, more interesting life this 2014? Here are a few things you could do…

  1. Be honest: A little life lesson I learned on the way. Honesty solves everything in the long run. Nothing un-complicates life like a healthy dose of honesty. Maybe try infusing some honesty to your relationships, work and yourself and facing your shortcomings and commit to being a happier more honest person!
  2. Be kind: The world could use some kindness. There is a lot of misery and in the day to day stressful lives that we live, we forget to be kind. All it sometimes takes is a smile or a small gesture, a phone call or a kind word to make someone’s day. Everyone is fighting their own battles. Offer a helping hand to that colleague who is overloaded with work or give your doggy bag to that beggar at your closest traffic light. Feed that stray puppy some biscuits. Help a stranger. Make someone’s day.  And what you send out to the world will come back to you with rich dividends. Believe me you will feel better for it.
  3. Take responsibility of your actions: I totally belong to the school of thought of ‘live like there is no tomorrow’, ‘live life to the fullest’, ‘carpe diem’ and all such cool things. Don’t get me wrong. I think and live by those ideals but guess what makes you the coolest? Taking responsibility of actions- good or bad. It earns you respect- willing or begrudging. And believe me nothing is a better ego boost than genuine respect. Also if you don’t hold yourself accountable than how are you planning to stick to this list anyway?
  4. Learn something new: I must confess my biggest fear is boredom and I always try to evade it as much as possible. Do it not to show on your resume (that’s a perk obviously) but do it for yourself. It is important never to stagnate and stop growing. Read a new book, make a new friend, see a new place, take a class or get a new hobby. But grow constantly and learn something new. Take my word for it, nothing feels better than a thirst for knowledge. Try it!
  5. Embrace your emotions: I think we tend to live in denial caught up in the mundane on most days. We choose to hide behind a façade of ‘I am fine or cool (insert cool adjective here)”. DON’T. Self- awareness and acceptance is most liberating.  We spend our days being afraid of being happy, denying ourselves the space to feel hurt, repressing anger, refusing to acknowledge our feelings of jealousy and other similar emotions. Own up to your feelings at least to yourself. Embrace them- positive and negative. Deal with the negative ones and resolve your issues and celebrate the positive ones. We are human, be humane. Allow yourself to feel what you do. Emotional suppression does not a happy person make.
  6. Communicate: Just like we suppress our emotions, we lack the ability on most days to communicate honestly with our loved ones. And no one is happier for it. How about you resolve to communicate with your parents, your sibling, your friend, your colleague and your partner beginning now? Relationships depend on communication- written or spoken. Actions are even better. Appreciate the people around you. Make peace, show gratitude, express affection now for you are not alone. You are who you are because of the people around you. So tell them or show them that you know that. 
  7. Forgive: Nothing is more liberating than actually forgiving someone who you resent. Why hold on to hard feelings and grudges that are not giving you any benefit? Sometimes it helps make peace. Sometimes if it doesn’t make sense let the person go. But forgive them for their peace of mind because everyone has their own journey. Forgive them because it will liberate you of negativity. Most of all, forgive them because you can.
  8. Be grateful: We often forget to count our blessings. We often take things and our loved ones for granted. We often project a sense of entitlement to what we have. We forget that there is someone out there who might not have similar privileges. Don’t forget. Thank your lucky stars because you never know how the tide might turn!
  9. Travel: Yes, travel more. See something new. Nothing is better education than travel. Nothing is more fun either! Travel because you are young. Travel if you are old. Travel cheap or travel in luxury. Get out and get moving. Commit to seeing a new place every year. You can do it more than once too. 😉 But do it! Make a list, find a friend, stop making excuses, pack your bags and hit the road for the time of your life.
  10. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey: The ‘lose the weight, save the money and lose the bad habit’ school of thought should not be left behind. These things should be on your list. Do them over time. Cut them down to small chunks and work in that direction. Look around and smell the roses. Smile more, laugh more, appreciate your loved ones, and improve your life. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

 Have a great 2014 guys! Stay blessed! 🙂

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