Saturday, November 15, 2014

27

27. 

I often repeat it over and over to myself. Trying perhaps to get myself to believe that I am actually this *old*. 

Such a nondescript number, 27. No one ever asks you what you did on your 27th birthday. Seven months since I turned 27 and I'm still reluctant to answer the question of how old I am. 

Perhaps it's because 27-year-olds are meant to have their lives sorted by now. Maybe I still haven't perfected that easy response to the investable question. 

At 27, I thought life would be different. I thought by now I'd have the man of my dreams by my side and we'd be living and building our forever right now. That I'd have the person I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. There have been boys - lovely, kind, interesting, handsome boys, but not THE ONE. Boys I've loved plenty, but not enough to walk off into the sunset with. 

Compromise? Don't comprise? Or that most favourite of Indian words, 'Adjust'. Should I? Why should I? What if I don't? 

Are my expectations of life too much? I have a job I love (mostly), friends I adore and I'm lucky to have, where our love and support for each other surmounts out frequent outbursts of temper. Okay fine: MY frequent outbursts of temper. People who will fight with me if they feel I am not fighting enough for myself. 

I've travelled so much this year. More than I dreamed of in my wildest dreams. To Ireland, London, Australia and New York and Washington. I've crossed much more of my bucket list this year than I ever have before.

And for all of that perhaps I should be grateful? So instead of whining, perhaps I should just focus on the sunshine and ignore the clouds. That what has to happen, will. 

27. The year where I learn I cannot have it all. 


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The year that was

Ah, 2013.

Where do I begin, but I think I can safely say that I am rather glad to see the back of you.

You've been a tough year. To borrow a phrase, from the Queen, my "annus horribilis." It was the year of self-introspection when I realised several rather discomfiting facts about myself, that were hard to take and even more difficult to accept and understand. But more on that later.

In my work life though, 2013 has been a mixed bag. I left a job I adored for another very similar one, only to realise how different organisations can be. From the first moment to the last of those miserable seven months I spent there, I can't say that I ever truly felt happy or free. So I did what family and friends told me was foolhardy in the extreme, I upped and quit and refused to put myself through that rigmarole for another day.

One month of unemployment later, I found a new job. One that entailed me making a switch from journalism to marketing. It gave me the clarity to know that I'm okay with leaving journalism but not the tourism industry and that made it all much simpler.

The new job has been easy and it's been very very hard, to leave something I knew I could do competently to something where I sometimes feel completely out of depth and have to duck my head under and take a deep breath. But I know that I can do this,  I just have to work harder and keep at it and when I go home at night, I exhale and know that I enjoy this and what more could I ask out of any job than this?

That month of unemployment though was crippled with gut-wrenching anxiety and waves of panic that would surface before I went to bed and crush me down when I opened my eyes in the morning. And no matter how much, well-meaning friends and family told me to breathe, that I wouldn't be jobless forever, that something would come along and even if it didn't, I had plenty of fallback options, that I have a roof over my head and three meals on the table and that I should just 'RELAX, GODDAMMIT!' I still couldn't let go. I couldn't ease up on myself and it was only when I had a firm offer for a job that I could feel the tight knot inside of me unwind slowly.

But with it, came the realisation that I had somewhere along the line evolved from being the most laid-back person my friends have ever claimed to meet to a control freak! And as I cam to terms with this uncomfortable home truth, I realised it is also in my personal life that I'm unwilling to let go and trust to the fates that what has to happen will.

So of all the things, I have planned for 2014. Of all my resolutions both big and small, this is perhaps my most important one of them all that I release myself from the pressures I put myself under. To stop analysing and over-thinking and weighing the pros and cons before I do anything. That sometimes it's a good thing to take that leap of faith, stare down the barrel of the gun, pee into the wind...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kindles...

*Image off Pinterest

just don't have the same magic.

“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.” - Stephen Fry

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013

For the first time in years, I've spent New Year's Eve at home and despite what many around me seem to think I've actually had a pretty good evening with my books and some television. And if how your feeling at the stroke of midnight is any indication for how the rest of the year will turn out, hopefully I'll be as content and as at peace through 2013 as I was this evening.

The New Year is a time for resolutions. To make pacts and to promise yourself however foolishly that this time your going to stick to your vows and not abandon them halfway through and I've been thinking about my resolutions for the New Year ever since November and I think I at least have my basic goals and aspirations for the year ahead firmly in place now. And they are as below in random order.






a) Lose Weight:
I've never been hung up on the way I look. I don't hate myself but neither do I love myself and at the best of times, I think I'm thoroughly average-looking. But lately I've not been very happy with myself. And a lot of this has been down to my recent weight gain. I don't feel confident and fit, my stamina levels are way down as well and that has upset me more than anything and I need to recapture that.

b) Read Books:

My family and friends think I read entirely too much. I, on the other hand, think I don't read enough and I think I've read less than I ever have before this year.  So, in 2013, I'm leaning on lists such as this and this to get myself back on track once again. It's not that I won't be reading any books outside of these, but I'm going to try and read everyone on them as my own personal task for this year.





c) House Work: I love my house, but I'm also very lazy when it comes to actually making it a better place to live in and I want to work on changing that in the coming year. I want to paint and hang up more pictures and twirl more fairy lights around pretty glass jars and make it my dream home. I want to learn how to cook. Properly. And how to bake. And not just rely on my superior Maggi and sandwich making skills to get by.





d) Family Matters: While I'm exactly short-tempered, I am hot-tempered and very often, I go up in smoke and snap, only to deeply regret it ten minutes later and then find that the damage is done. So I solemnly swear that in 2013 I'll try harder to keep a guard on my temper, to hold my tongue, to walk away, to not be snappy, to count to ten before I explode.





e) Friendship stuff:  I'm essentially an anti-social person. I have few friends but I'm not someone who opens up about stuff that is personal to me. And in recent years, this mean that I've made fewer friends than previously because I'm less outgoing now. So in 2012, I've made friends and lost friends. I've realised who is important to me and who isn't. I have a better understanding of where I've gone wrong and I'm willing to work on it. But I'm also not as ready to have my tolerance see me kicked in the arse. So, all in all, I'm going to try harder and aim to be a better friend in 2013 and hold on tight to the ones who are worth it.




f) Self-improvement: While this has been a good year, both in terms of work and my personal life, I definitely haven't done enough to enrich myself and this year I plan to take up the Spanish language courses I've been postponing for ages, as well as the dance classes. Hopefully, I'll end 2013 having learned something new.

g) Travel tales: As I once told a colleague, the entire world is like an apple that I want to take a bite out of and I want to travel everywhere. So I hope this year is better than the last in terms of travelling. And let's face it, 2012 was EPIC! I'm hoping I get to travel for work but beyond that I'm already planning my own trips to Tarkali in Maharashtra, Ladakh up north and to Spain, Turkey and Canada. So I'm going to do my best to ensure it all happens!




Besides these, I have some other resolutions that are just as if not more important, but more private and much more personal for me to talk about on here. So let's keep our fingers crossed that I reach my goals for the year ahead.

And equally, I hope that 2013 sees more good than bad, more happiness than grief, more desire than despair and much more sunshine than clouds.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Work-Life Balance

The other day as I made my way home from work, a friend called and asked what I would be doing that evening, at which point I explained that I would be showering and heading out again to meet some other friends. At which point, she jumped in with a "I don't know how you do it. I couldn't go out again after a full day at work, I'd be too exhausted."

Now to be perfectly honest here, I was exhausted and I could have easily chosen not to go out once again but when I quit my last job, I promised myself in the new place that offers me better timings, I would maintain a better work-life balance.

And often, this is something I stick to it, even if it kills me to do it. Now, at this point, I know some of my friends are going to point out how I'm lucky enough to live bang in the centre of Bombay and that I have a mere 30 minute commute to work everyday. Sure, I have a job that has a 10 to 6 timing, but there's much more to it then that, I often have meetings, conferences and events that go on at all times of the day in different parts of the city and require me to hightail it from one end to the other.  But as I mentioned, some time in my previous job when I went through the rigours of a life on shifts, I felt I was losing some of my sparkle. I was tired and constantly cranky and all I wanted to do on the solitary day off that I had was spend it at home doing nothing. Which is not to say, that I don't have my off days now, where I beg off all social obligations and instead stay at home doing nothing but reading trashy magazines and watching television. But I often push myself hardest not to fall into that rut of work-home-dinner-bed. I travel and meet friends, or I spend much time in book stores buying more bags of books than I can afford, walking along Marine Drive or people-watching at coffee shops. None of which are earth-shattering things to do, but they're all important and they all define and enrich me in small ways.

Also, this means more often than not, that I am often declining work because I don't want it to take over my life. Now there are people here who will stand up and point out that the concept of work-life balance is bullshit and that work is a part of life. But I can only speak for myself here and my four and a half years of building a career for myself in a city as challenging and demanding as Bombay is that it is all too easy to allow work to take over everything else.



I think it was The Mad Momma who once pointed out her surprise when plans were made only for a Saturday night and I couldn't help but agree, considering how often it is I ask friends to meet up for coffee or a drink, only to have them put it off for the weekend. Now, I'm not speaking for parents here, but 90% of my friends are unmarried and don't have children, and still live with their parents so I can't really understand it. When did we become so rigid and inflexible? These are choices that we all have to make sooner or later, but I find myself breathing easier now that I know that I have time for family and friends and myself.

At 25, I might be worrying about this too early, but I'd rather have my priorities clear now and do what I believe in, then find myself floundering in uncharted waters later on, wondering whether all those hours I've suffered through work have been worth it.