Wardrobe Woes

Today, the rented flat we stay in got a huge wardrobe makeover.

Just like the owner and the tenants staying in it, the apartment too was a unique and weird one. Unlike other flats, it has good interior view towards the park and greenery, two extra balconies (which remains largely unused considering that they were one of the reasons which tempted me to get this one out of the million other reasons, the others being good lighting and decent interior furnishing and not the bright pink and weird designs), two huge single piece mirror as wardrobe sliding doors (which caused enough financial damage to the owner and some of the mental peace of the tenants) which is finally being replaced to accommodate modern style wardrobe boxes.

The bedroom is full of dust, which I would have to clean in the evening after they leave the room, considering that my allergies would have a feast in the night otherwise. The color is pristine white which gives me another set of anxiety issues considering how punctual and energetic I am in maintaining cleanliness but nevertheless I am in one piece having enormous mental peace as the task is put to action after coaxing the owner and the other half for months and maybe years.

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Silicon Valley hangover

It’s amazing how I missed the Silicon Valley web series considering how I am always on lookout for tech related things. Except for the cursing and crass jokes which gave out a angsty teen vibe, the series is good to peep into the actual going on of software companies. For an outsider who struggles with fomo, this series was like a window peak to the struggles faced in IT companies.

It reminded how I am completely noob at the actual geeky coding part. I don’t think I could ever stay all night doing the coding things nor I have the vision of “make the world a better place”, but I could relate to the social anxiety and other emotional patterns. I could understand the thrill of doing something exciting together. The livestream of a person in distress was more important than the actual distress situation because you only think of the surviving the tech part alone. The problem solving aspect of engineering is kinda addictive. I could understand how and why Gavin Belson wants to be at the top forever.

The series equally reminded me why the business side is boring and at the same time also dangerous enough to kill the whole thing. There is no camaraderie and whatever seems to be there among relationships is just for the time being or for the sake of work. We rarely think of creating friendships outside of work. “Money can easily pervert our minds”. That was a golden dialogue among many others.

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Back with Books

Books are usually an escape from reality. Today I could say, they bring us back to reality too: by helping us to see the trees among the woods.

A book which I finished recently, The Midnight Library by Matt Heig gave me hope. I saw a tweet about this book with the #hope that lured me to this book. Maybe I was searching for hope, and universe gave me the book as an answer.

The main character of the book, Nora is too depressed and has lost all hope to live. Though the circumstances are different, I know why I could relate to the main protagonist. I am grateful and hasn’t lost hope, but mind keeps wandering about the other choices I could have made. The book talks about the “Book of Regrets” and I thought I had a heavy book. But I forget most of the time, that my other choices need not make me more happier. Or I couldn’t imagine which changes would have made me more happier. Since I have not experienced those lives where I make a different choice, this truth has not been imprinted deep in my mind. My mind gets distracted of the million possibilities and the lives I could live, every second. Or try to incorporate those good things which I desire to bring to this life too. And that’s what the book makes you think about. “What would you change in your current life, if you had the chance?”

The book has kindled in me another question of what I am running behind whether really is what I want? Do I really want to go back to work and miss out being on the teenage years with the kid, even though I may have to face the rebellious moments which would make me feel stranded? Or is it a creative outlet I am seeking to make my mind alive? For appreciation and worthiness, I may just need to share my existing skills like writing, or photography or maybe singing? Not as a compelling challenge, but as a way to showcase my skills. Or I may just have to appreciate myself for sharing and bringing some entertainment to other people. Will that make me content? What is it that makes me happy and at peace?

Rich dad poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki was the first book I started this year with. Finances creeped up higher in the priority list when thoughts of “return to work” surfaced again. The asset creation is debatable as people with traditional mindset favor real estate. The author talks about real estate like how I buy things from amazon sale! Not a favorite subject still, but on my list to delve into more. Have checked out all the cool apps – the finance startup apps.

Quiet by Susan Cain is the book written for RK, not for me. It established my findings of me being more ambivert than extrovert or introvert. It explains the spectrum of these three categories and differentiates them between shyness. Though I had high expectations from this book, which was there for so long on my pending book reads, it did give me confidence to waive off my self doubt and make deal with who I am.

2022 was a tough one to begin with, as not much changes has happened in my life these past few months to look forward to. Yet the resolution of reading more stays valid as in any other year. I found one workaround which worked for me very well this year. Use a timer. Keep it for 10 mins or upto 30 mins. The ticking of the clock will force you to make read because its just another task for the brain. And maybe not read too much, after the timer goes off. You would soon feel burnt out to pick up the streak next day.

You could add me up in goodreads to track my reading journey. More books have been completed as I type this, but not sure whether they are worth reviewing much…

How is your new year going?

The What’s up truth!

Hi. What’s up. How are you doing?

I too ask these questions to others and I get asked the same in return. The small talk we all hear every now and then. Why is it that we cover ourselves in the safe space of “ all is well” and “as usual” etc. How hard it is to reply that “not feeling good“, or “ in too much stress”, or “feeling depressed because of all the things going around”, “working on myself and my mood swings this week”. Why can’t we share our fears and failures without the fear of judgement. The answer maybe that we dread the questions that come afterwards. Or the pain and struggle to explain ourselves again and again.. it’s a deadlock. Unless we explain no one is able to understand as they are not some therapists either. I attribute some of these situations to the societal conditioning of disapproving people who voice their opinions honestly. Or live their lives truthful to themselves.

The pandemic has made it worse. Initially there was all sort of activities to make use of time as if that’s what we were born to do. Earlier there was accusations that we are wasting time and have to keep doing “productive work” all the time. And trapped inside the house too, people are expected to do some DIY, cooking or learn new skills. Does it mean animals plants and other living beings are worthless and that they don’t contribute to the world environment. Yes we may be intelligent than other living beings, but shouldn’t we use that intelligence to live better and not take stress or tension and undergoing anxiety treatments. Unless my therapist explained this to me, I think we all took this fact for granted. That we are worthful even if we don’t achieve anything. Even if we just live and do nothing. Maybe it’s time to explore the nothingness. Being okay with doing nothing. Or for not having a job, or a child or a relation, or good health or slim waist or money. It’s okay.

The second thing that follows is the blatant advice which we don’t need; it’s as if no one listens. At times merely allowing to share and take it as they mean i, is so hard. And when things go dont well, it’s mostly because they don’t know themselves, or maybe they know but not able to. And at that stage what can advice do. More of compassion and empathy is needed. We all want to be seen, heard, appreciated, loved etc. and if the first two happens the rest follows. The main advice I get is to go out and walk or do exercise. If I were able to do that why would I even be writing this here!

The problem comes when we start comparison. It’s difficult indeed to not think of comparing, though we may brush it off under the carpet when we are confronted about it. Like what are you lacking? Look at others who doesn’t have money or food or shelter. Look at the afghans women! How do you explain that I don’t want to be compared or that I have the right to feel low even if I am the luckiest person alive in this planet! The problem of letting others be as they want to be.!

The only good thing I hope to come out of this is that more and more people are getting frustrated of the pandemic and the lockdowns and are able to identify how the reality and depressing news is bringing us all down mentally. Just like traffic has come down, pollution has come down, families have come together and other positives that came out of last year, I hope “I’m not okay” would also be “normalised” as a positive outcome. A sigh of relief for the future generation if that happens and I wish I could soon be as transparent to others as I am with the kid. Children understand mood swings way better than adults! And what more, they are clever enough to approach or leave you alone as you want it!

So now honestly, how are you today?

Game of life or Snake and ladders

The shining sun outside doesn’t reflect the state of mind. The bright sunrays passing through the window is reaching out to me and I almost feel like getting up and catching the dust particles visible through the rays. I realise slowly, my mind is garbled enough not to feel anything. I get up to the mundane routine, and soon feels exhausted. After lunch I lie down for a nap. I slither about at times but the photograph remains the same. Messy bedsheets, curtains pulled wide apart and the messy me.

Life is a jigsaw puzzle

As days go by, I rise and shine some days, write the scribbling that I do, ponder over about it, the fundamentals of human truth as they say in the weekly motivating forwards I receive in email. I close them up and eagerly watch the butterflies and bees that hover around the mealy infected plants of my balcony garden. Do they think too? Do they have emotions? After a while, it pains to think. I close up the laptop and pour myself coffee, and munch on the loaded cream biscuits. It was meant for the kid, but its the inner kid in me that’s relishing them. 

She comes to me to play word games or mind games, and I deny at times, except for the snake and ladders game. That was easy to play. A game based on pure luck with no thinking involved. I wonder now, whether why the game is so popular. We need to free our mind maybe? To rely on “luck” or whatever it is. It’s interesting to see what comes up and put our hopes onto it, when the changes resulting from the same gambling can pull us down and we fight it down resisting. If its a ladder we climb easily, but we see snakes we desist. We cringe. We cry in fear. We runaway. We hide. Yet we slide down unwillingly. Some rise up and look forward to climb the next ladder. Some dont want to climb complaining about their knees. Or we topple the whole game board and we resign. We say we will play ludo instead.

All games are same, no? Or is it my crazy mind showing me unrealistic dreams. The day dreams seem so short after a while, as the sun falls down, and its my time again to sleep. Or wander into dreams.  

A moment of remembrance

cheerful mother and daughter with dog in autumnal park

I woke up before the morning alarm. With David out of town for work, its been Mia and me in the house with our new dog, Rosie. The timing couldn’t be more unfortunate. Last night Mia brought her new boyfriend and seeing them kissing got me panicked. Anger was something I always hid behind when I cannot face my fears. David says I am too strict with her for someone in high school. I know it’s true. 

***

As I woke up, I saw the photo next to me. I think I slept with the photo in my hand. A headshot of Rocky. Being the only child, he was my brother, childhood friend and everything. I wonder how it was easy for mom to bring another dog when Rocky passed away. Rosie is perfect for her, quiet and broody unlike my Rocky who was so cheerful and playful all the time. Justin understood my pain. He too had lost his cat but never got another one. The phone next to me rang. It was Justin.

***

I started whipping the batter in the kitchen. The house is too silent today. Did Mia wake up? I went over to her room and knocked on the door.
“Mia, are you awake? You will be late for your classes.” No response.

After few minutes, I move back to kitchen through the hallway. The walls are adorned with the family photos of her childhood. I see it all the time but today, I noticed Mia’s laugh again in one of them with our first dog, Rocky. His licks always made her giggle. That’s what she was doing yesterday too, albeit in a different way. After breakfast maybe I could have a chit chat before she go. 

Mia opened her room in a hurry and walked towards the door. 
“Hey where you going? I am making breakfast.”

“After what happened yesterday, I don’t feel like having anything today. I will rather have something from the canteen. In PEACE !”. Mia replied.

Then she stormed out of the door closing the door with a bang. I stood there in the midst of the house. Rosie kept barking.

***

We had not talked much for these last three months. Ever since I introduced her to Justin, mom is behaving so differently. 
“Did your mom say anything after I left?” Justin asked. 

“Not much. It’s been a long time we had a peaceful conversation.” 

“Maybe she doesn’t like us.”

 I sighed a deep sigh. As if to say “I don’t know what to say”.

“You hungry?”

“Yeah. Can we have peanut butter sandwiches. And maybe some smoothies?”“Your wish is my command, Princess Mia!”.

I smiled. Justin always try to make me smile.

Rocky loved peanut butter. As I relished my breakfast, I remembered making peanut butter cookies for him. A moment of remembrance.

***
Mia loved pancakes. As I had my breakfast in silence later, I remembered how she used to have them with extra syrup on top. A moment of remembrance.