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The Perfect Stranger

The Perfect Stranger

Just the other day, I met a guy. Very easy on the eye, well spoken, friendly and with a quick humor. His eyes were kind and his demeanor pleasant. A five minute conversation was all it took to get invested. The kind of people who feel like long time friends after a brief run in at the water cooler. Can’t help but wonder if I existed in another life, and they were part of it. Not just a part of it, but a pivotal part of it. Novels allude to this phenomena but we are prone to dismiss it as artistic license until it happens to you. Until you meet that perfect stranger and you are both in tune. Aware of the synergy of your beings as you keep up the small talk. And with a final glance you walk away secretly wishing for the chance to ‘bump’ into each other again.

It happens once in a while and more often than not, the second meeting does come. Then the third, and the fourth and countless others follow. As you both write your story, the ending entirely up to you. But, what if tomorrow never comes? What if the glance you shared as you walked away was the last you’d ever have? What if that perfect stranger will remain just that? Forever? What if fate never gave you the chance to make more memories?

Life is fleeting and time is a gift. A gift that we sometimes take for granted because we assume that we have tonnes of it left. While we are unwittingly close the end of road. Just one more step to the end. When young people our age die, why do we get so shocked? Why are we taken aback while we all know that death is our ultimate destination? Because we thought we have time. We have a time-bound existence and yet we crave eternity. The sand in the hour glass trickles down every fleeting moment and yet we choose to postpone most of our lives for a later day. An eventual moment in the future when we will finally do what we yearn or say what torments us.

So what of my perfect stranger? I just got the news of his demise. A road accident took him. Just like that. He was here and now he’s not. Like a trailer that never evolved into a movie. I think of what could have been and I become sad. The words that I wanted to say or the jokes I had already made up to share with him. When you meet a perfect stranger and never cross paths again, you secretly live with the hope of bumping into them. But if you learn that fate took them to a place that they can never feel again, you get crushed. I met him for 5 minutes so i feel that i don’t have the right to grieve. Yet I grieve. I grieve for his friends who loved him, for the family that lost him, for the roads he left untraveled, for the moments he left unexplored. I grieve for the lost of chance.

Don’t be afraid to say what you feel, to do what you will. Life is a rotating wheel so live it to the full before the momentum dies down and the wheel stops moving.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Philosophical me

 

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One Year No Dating Challenge: Month 4 and 5

One Year No Dating Challenge: Month 4 and 5

Well, its been a loud silence regarding my one year no dating challenge. Many people keep asking if im still at it and i have finally decided to write.

First, I am still at it. Admittedly, the past two months have been the hardest. Not only in terms of no dating but also in other aspects of my life. But before I go further, I would just like to let it be known that I thank myself for the day i decided to dedicate the year to improving myself. It opens your eyes to faults and weaknesses that you didn’t even realize you had, as well as opening your eyes to amazing talents that you didn’t realize were staring at you.

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Month 4 was an interesting blend of self discovery and intense temptation. Have you ever committed yourself to refrain from something and all of a sudden everyone around you wants to invite you to do exactly that? That was my 4th month. From old flings coming back full swing to taunt my newly acquired self control, to old crushes reappearing to confuse my emotions. I’m only human so it took every ounce of willpower i could muster to carry on with my 1 year voluntary pilgrimage. A few slip ups here and there but if I could move on, lets not dwell on that. As the month ended I realised that i never really knew them( the past men in my life). I was content with having someone to fill the gap that i didn’t bother to really know people. I missed out on the best side of them.

One of the things that has developed subconsciously during this challenge has been the ability to have meaningful conversations and to really connect with people. It was a skill I didn’t realize I lacked or  needed. I’m amazed at my newly acquired ease at conversing with people. Previously quite socially awkward, I sort of found my voice.  Sometimes we go through life unaware that we are listening to a voice that is not ours. We try to fashion our persona from a voice we think is “appropriate”. Never quite comfortable with the sound of our own voices. I’m not sure how many people can relate to this but if you do, then you can understand my elation at finally being comfortable with my own voice. Finally comfortable with my own opinions, with my own persona, with my own way of thinking, with my quirky personality. It is a continuous work in progress but i am well in and moving forward.

An interesting thing happens once you start really talking to people. They introduce you to an aspect of yourself that you did not realize you portrayed. Few realize that the way we see ourselves is hardly how others see us. You may be oblivious to the natural charm that you exude and send conflicting messages to an onlooker when you start doubting yourself and showcasing “closed” body language. I always thought i was an introvert, shy and socially awkward. What i have discovered in the past few months was that my supposed introverted shy persona was my romanticized description of my insecurities. Ever heard of an ambivert? That’s my personality. I have never felt so at home with a label as i did when i stumbled upon ambivert. An ambivert possesses both extrovert and introvert tendencies. Comfy and happy in social circles but also relishes alone time. Totally me.

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Month 5 was a defining moment career wise and mentality wise. I hit my lowest low and gathered myself from the floor from scratch. It is a month I never want to re-live in my life. Ever! But oh boy did i learn. First i had it laid to me in plain daylight that although im talented, i cannot achieve anything substantial if i work in an autopilot robotic manner. I appreciated that talk. Having the truth laid bare is not a privilege i or anyone should take lightly. Sometimes we walk through life with our heads stuck too far up our asses to realize the folly of our ways. That was me and after i had sense slapped into my system from life and a boss who decided to talk to me because he didn’t want to see such potential go to waste, I knew something had to give. Something had to change drastically. You never really know that you have a sense of entitlement until you do. It’s just that simple.

This post has turned out to be a little too long but those two months have been such an eye opener that i couldnt help it. One more thing happened. I had my heart broken. How does a person who is not dating get their heart broken? Simple. My hopes were dashed. Ever had that person you thought was prince charming disappoint you so heavily that its’ no longer sad but funny? Yea. That happened. Im glad it did. I was sort off making myself perfect so that i could have him after the year is over. Don’t look at me like that. We all do silly things in the name of love. I know better now. This girl is growing up fast.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in One-year dating challenge

 

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Life Lessons From A Movie

Life Lessons From A Movie

I’m not your average movie buff who’s on the heels of new Hollywood releases and always has an up to date movie library. Nope. I am that friend who comes for your movie collection and binge watches them on a weekend or on days that I would rather be indoors and chill. I’m the binge movie buff. The movie fanatic with no regard for release timelines. As long as it’s a great story, I don’t really care if the movie was produced by Flinstones.

During a recent binge, I watched the movie ‘Internship’. A movie where two sales men lose their jobs in an economic downturn and they have to look for a new career path. In their middle ages, the men’s skills are irrelevant and archaic in the technological age. One of them stumbles upon an internship call from Google and they get into the program after an incredibly entertaining Skype interview and a few convenient lies. They rise against insurmountable odds to become the winning team and eventually joining the amazing Google team. An incredulous mix of sugar, spice and great laughs, you ought to watch the movie if you already haven’t.

Sometimes life is like a car ride. It can be smooth and fast. But sometimes, you can be thrown out of the windshield and get a nice couple of stitches to remind you of the time your head almost split in two. But will that stop you from getting back on the wheel and driving on? Hell no. Life moves on. So If life moves on, what is the need of getting back on half-hearted, walking on egg-shells and walking half scared of your own shadow? If you got to do it, do it with all you got. Do it as if it’s the last thing you will ever do.

This was my take away lesson from the movie. It spoke to a part of me that has been receiving some major reality check in the past few days. Few people get the chance to have reality spelt out for them. Few people have the privilege of having their strengths pointed out and weakness highlighted. Most of us spend our heads buried in self-help books trying to right what we think is wrong with us. But the truth is that we are the worst judges of our own abilities. We many not think we have what it takes but sometimes, we are way more talented than we give ourselves credit for. Other times, you may also have your head stuck so far up in your skills that you do not notice a self-destructive pattern that always plays out. Perspective is all that matters.

Sometimes we are too in love with our own selves to realize the folly of our ways. Or at times we are too busy looking for the elusive pot of gold that we do not realize the treasure chest we always had inside us. It is the irony of life. The tragedy of a one-sided view. But when heaven is kind enough to send someone to talk some sense into you, swallow any ego or excuse that may start showing up and take in all you are being told. If you really listen, it will do you more good than a dozen self-help books.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Philosophical me

 

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Let me live

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Let me fall
Let me fall to the ground and roll
Let me know the pain of it all
Let my frozen heart thaw
Let me touch my very core
Let me rock to my soul’s flow

Let me cry till my eyes are sore
Let me be loved and so much more
Let me laugh that my hurts starts to thaw
Let me feel for it is the essence of my being

Let me breathe and take all the air I will
Let me sing to the chords that in my head ring
Let me dance to the rhythm of my chest that’s beating
Let me drift into the twists of life’s wheel

Just let me be
Let me see
Let me feel, and
Let me live.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Poetry

 

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The One Year No-Dating Challenge: Month 2 and 3 review

I was sitting at the back of a police land rover and the thought of writing occurred to me. It has been ages before I sat to write for me and it was about time. At the end of one of the longest days ever, I was spent and begging to get home. Therefore my unexpected ‘lift’ from the authorities bolstered me back to reality and out of the bubble I like to travel in.

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I did not write the review for the 2nd month of the one year no dating challenge simply because of my horrid habit of ceaseless postponement. I always had some work to do and kept postponing it to later. I would probably postpone my whole life if I could too. I tend to over think situations and never get to actually do them. The other reason was that I had buried my head deep into a sea of work that I hardly had any time to do my own grooming. The tragedy is that I was not really as busy as I acted but I worked in a haphazard manner that made me move around in a constant rush and I scurried everywhere I went. I was the embodiment of the so called busy-but-not-productive type of life. I can see that now in retrospect but at the time I was sure I was doing things correctly.

Once you engulf your life in work, you will notice something. All of your friends will suddenly see to drift away from you and you will increasingly feel alone and isolated, it may not be true but I sure felt it. I don’t know about you. Next, your whole life begins to revolve around work and you lose the ability to have a normal conversation as you are always busy rushing to nowhere. That is truly a sad existence and if that sounds like your life, the time for change needs to start now.

Over the past weekend, I was a volunteer at a musical festival organized by a certain cancer foundation. It was absolutely fun and I had the chance to meet awesome local celebrities who challenged me to be better and to set on my success story in motion sooner than later. There were artists with academic credentials up to the level of PHDs but they had followed their passions and dreams, which in turn brought them unprecedented fame. If someone can handle a full time corporate job and a side job as a Dj, who I’m I not to balance my daily tasks and deliver them on time? Listening to them was and both enlightening and humbling in one breathe.

I chose to write today, on one of the days where I feel like cow poop, because I cannot help but be blunt when faced with my own mortality and the truth about the condition of my life. This was when I realized that God had led me to the one year challenge for more than the main reason of growing into the type of woman my ideal man would want. God also wanted me to come to the point of spiritual brokenness to realize that he is all I need. That the condition of the heart determines the health of your whole being. That everyone needs some love and being a lone ranger is only cool in movies. As I sit on my bed and type this, a song plays in my head: “Jesus you’re all I need.” I love that song and I can’t help the tears from rolling down my cheeks. It’s the moment I realize a lot of things about my life. The absence of the pure warm hug, the close confidant I can run and cry with and the blatant absence of a clear plan for progress of my own life. You can get so caught up in life’s activities that you forget about yourself and what is really important.

After a long absence, I finally showed up at a certain group meeting I used to attend every Monday evening. When I was asked how I finally managed to show up, I said I did not have anything to do. But I lied. I was lonely, tired and felt down. I just wanted a friend and to see familiar faces. Did it work? Maybe. But it was sure nice to see my sister. At least I was sure someone there was happy to see me. I wish I could tell her that but I am not good at expressing my emotions so I write it down and hope that the wind blows it to her.

I do not wish to depress you but to merely share one of my lowest moments in the hope that someone will identify with it. Incidentally, in these two months that I have been surrounded by the most people, I have felt the loneliest. Your own insecurities can be your own worst enemy and your own mind has the ability to conjure horrific situation that will torment your soul with imaginary tragedies. I think I have learnt the importance of conscious thought and intentional action. Life will truly happen to you if you sit back and let the waves rock you. Emotions should never be a stumbling block but a catalyst for whatever you need to change.

Let yourself feel, let yourself cry, let yourself laugh and let yourself live.

 

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The One Year No-Dating Challenge- Month one review.

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One of the things I like about a new year is the hope it brings. The possibility of living life a new way, the promise of finer days and merry ways. Thus, January is probably the month that my mind is stuck in the clouds creating visions of the future, pouring my dreams to the wind and holding on to hope and anticipation that it is only a matter of time before they come true.

First, I’d like to apologize to the internet fraternity and that friend who put pressure on me to write (you know yourself :)). I had promised to update you all on the progress of my one year no dating challenge every fifth day of the month and I am clearly late. I can come up with quite a handful of appropriate excuses but I’m not doing those this year. At least the good news is that I have one month and 6 days down. There are plenty more to go so let’s not count lest I get depressed.

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Frankly, it’s been an emotional roller-coaster so far. I have felt a plethora of emotions I never knew I could. I have faced the past head on and it’s harder than I thought it would be. You know how it is said that you have to face the past before you can enjoy the present and anticipate the future? I agree fully. But the part they forgot to mention was the fact that facing the past will unearth dirt and ashes that you’d buried and it will hurt.

I’ve been repeatedly asked exactly how I planned to spend the year now that I have intentionally denied myself the company of the opposite gender. Weirdly enough, I actually don’t know. That fact bothered me for a while and I tried to form a plan. None of what I came up with made sense or it just seemed like it would make my life into a drudgery and horrid bore. I then read a quote that said that sometimes, those people who have it all figured out all the way to the next ten years are usually the ones who have no idea what they really want. I do believe in planning but I also believe in leaving enough wiggle room to absorb life’s unpredictability and take advantage of new unforeseen opportunities. So my plan is to grow myself in all aspects beside in dating. In my artistic side, work, emotions and relationship with God, friends and family.

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Thus in the bid to grow myself emotionally, I chose to reflect and look back at all the past relationships. In real sense, the choice to reflect was not voluntary but it was brought about by people from my past just popping up from nowhere. One thing I’ve always loved about my sister is her ability to tell you exactly what is in her mind without hesitation. I have always been the exact opposite. You may drive a knife right through my heart and if I could take it silently and walk away, I would. I might write an angry blog post one day about it but the most I will do is severe contact and give you silent treatment. Not the best of ways to deal with stuff but I turned out okay didn’t I? Okay. Let me stop justifying something I’m trying to change.

So, while exes kept popping up, I had to increasingly open doors to memories. Some painful and hurtful, others thrilling and exciting. The more I talked things over with them, the more I realized, things are not always what they seem. I had this one guy I loathed because he treated me like a trophy and only wanted to strut me around at his convenience. After a heart to heart, he was almost in tears. He didn’t know how much he had hurt me. The worst part about my tendencies is that coupled with the fact that I won’t mention when I’ve been hurt, I also do a good job of hiding my true emotions. I might smile with you today and tomorrow I absolutely ignore your calls.

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While some exes elicited pain from the past, other set forth a longing I didn’t even know I still had. I don’t know if it is just me but there is always that relationship that you wished would have worked out. That ex who you always think was the one that got away. In my case, he was the same one that split my heart into two and made me turn cold for two years afraid of getting hurt again. It was bittersweet reconnecting. I remembered exactly why I was enchanted by him but at the back of my mind I writhed from the memory of how we ended. It happened years ago but I still felt like I was re-living it. However, talking candidly brings a new perspective in everything. Most of all it brings understanding. Understanding someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with them but it brings cohesion. Knowing where they are coming from brings incredible insight.

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In addition to everything, I’ve had an unprecedented hard time with cravings that I’m not sure I should talk about here. Maybe I’m shy maybe I’m not. But ‘say it like it is’ is my new way to communicate so I shall be candid for those of you who won’t. Being accustomed to having someone by your side can shield you from the fact that it scares you silly to be alone. Even when I was single, I still had someone to cuddle with. Sort of a cheat boyfriend who isn’t exactly official but isn’t really just a friend. The perilous in-between has its thrills but when one party wants more, things get complicated. Since I started this challenge, staying away from those cheat things is the hardest bit. I’m still working my way around it and when I figure out a way to completely eliminate the tendency to want to cheat, I will let you know. Until then, I will deal with it, so help me God. Everyone struggles with that (or so I think) so if you’ve figured it out, let me know too.

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I expected to be able to list down things I have learnt each month but it’s harder than I thought. With every moment I learn things about myself and about other people. Thus with that knowledge I evolve to take advantage of my strengths and circumvent my weaknesses. I do not have a set of lessons I can jot down, but I am morphing into a better version of me. It seems that with his journey of the one year no-dating challenge, I will be documenting my metamorphosis. Success will be measured by the difference in perspective between the girl on December 5th 2013 and on December 5th 2014. Allowing yourself to feel is the only way you can move from the grey of life and start enjoying the colours of the rainbow.

 
 

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The pain that makes us

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Every tear moulds us,
Every sob forms us.
Each pain fortifies,
In distress we find our inner fortress.

Life is a bumpy road,
And sometimes the shocks fail.
You get a puncture,
In the heart of the wilderness,
With no spare tyre
Or sign of life in the horizon.
Left with only your soul for company,
You discover the depth of the inner hollow.
What defines us, is not what we own or do,
Neither who we know or are known to.
For events can turn in a blink
To sieve the friendly foes
From those ideally true.

When we are broken down to a pulp,
And we can still smile at the beauty of the sunrise,
Or dance to the rhythm of the wind,
We have found true peace.
Inner contentment that eludes many a soul.

For the essence of happiness is not
In the abundance of your bounty,
It is the steady step wrought of vision.
The deep soothing sleep availed by right dealings.
The loving embrace from those we take the time to treasure.
The very pain that breaks us is the very thing that makes us.
It reminds our being that when all is said and done,
The most important things are those that are not felt
Not those that are held.
The important things are not those that overflow in the store house
No. They are those that overwhelm the heart with warmth

Find that and you have found happiness,
For the pain that breaks us
Is the very thing that awakes us.
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Poetry

 

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