Would I be any different?

“There is no paycheck that can equal the feeling of contentment that comes from being the person you are meant to be.”

-Oprah Winfrey

I’ve had a tough childhood and have always considered this as a good excuse for all of my failures in life. For the longest time, I have blamed my father for not giving the rest of our family the means to do well in life. I still do this at times when I feel frustrated or stressed for not having things under my control. There is a nagging thought I have every single day and that’s my lack of efforts in living life to my full potential.

I always believed that my childhood experiences have shaped my personality, the good, bad and ugly. While I’m proud of all of my accomplishments, I’m fairly unsatisfied with the importance of career in my life. While growing up my family faced a lot of financial crunch, I took up my current profession and job to give a comfortable life to my family. I never wanted to experience financial trouble ever in my life. That was my sole motivation to earn a degree and look out for a job. As soon as I achieved this purpose, my life felt empty and directionless. I started hating my profession, job and everything related to one of the biggest aspect every human’s life, my career.

I have spent a lot of time blaming my father, my childhood, our family circumstances for not being able to achieve better things in life. I have also conveniently BELIEVED that my life would have been a lot different if I had the privilege of experiencing a comfortable childhood. That was far more easy for me than taking responsibility for my life.

Come to think of it, I don’t think my life would have been any different with a better childhood. I would still be the same person, with the same level of motivation and ambition in life, maybe even less as I wouldn’t have a solid purpose to dream big. I probably would have ended up doing nothing great in my career and led a comfortable life handed over to me by my wealthy father. WOW! This realization just hit me hard! My inability to achieve my full potential cannot be attributed to my childhood! It’s because of my half hearted attempts, my laziness to plan and chase my goals, it’s all ME!

Now that I know this well, I want to know what I’m truly capable of. I want to realize my full potential. I want to be the BEST in what I do and keep learning new things in life till the end of my existence on this planet. I’m truly pumped up and excited to start this new chapter in my life. I will share my journey, learning experiences and achievements here. Eagerly looking forward to see how life looks like on the other side of regrets, self sabotaging thoughts and all things that bog me down. I promise to utilize every ounce of my strength to fight the demons of my mind.

Life goes on

“Life goes on, let’s live on”

-BTS

My mental health was in shambles right before BTS’s last release “Dynamite” on August 21st this year. I remember having listened to the song on loop for hours on end during my bus travel to and fro from office as it was one of the very few things that gave me comfort during that time. The song felt like a tight hug and helped pick the broken pieces of my soul together to heal it. Exactly 3 months later, I’m not feeling my best self again. I had vowed last time when I felt disoriented to keep finding happiness in the small things that make up life and focus on keeping myself sane. Currently, I’m struggling to consistently do it yet fighting hard against the demons of my mind to not give up.

Right when I need it, BTS have dropped their new album “BE” today. I’m in office again, away from social media as I wait to get back home and watch the music video with my sister. I don’t have to go through an excruciatingly long bus ride this time, my travel time has eased up. I’m extremely excited to listen to the song, I’m sure it’s exactly what I need at the moment to get back on track. BTS’s existence in my life and listening to their songs have unfailingly been a rock solid source of my happiness. You can imagine from this description how special each one of their album comebacks is. I’m glad BTS have come at the right time as my knights in shining armour to save me from falling into the dark hole of negativity.

Less than 3 hrs to go for me to reach home and I can’t contain my excitement. I’m sure all of us must have that one thing that acts as their constant source of happiness. Hold it tight and keep coming back to it to keep the negative emotions at bay. For all the BTS armies out there, a new era has begun!

Under the weather

“The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.”

William James

Last few days have been very difficult, mentally. I’ve been experiencing bouts of anxiety, sadness and despair. I’m trying to fight it with regular exercise and consistent meditation. These habits are a life savior as I’ve mentioned many times before yet I’m struggling to stay sane and happy these days.

The reason behind my anxiety can’t be pointed to one single event. I’m anxious about a lot of things mostly related to my future and the society’s expectations from it. My father is a super hyper and anxious stress taker and that doesn’t help. My mother is trying her level best to fight the naysayers and not let it trouble me but I know for a fact that it affects her badly. My existence has suddenly become a source of burden for my family as far as my age and marriage prospects are concerned. I really don’t know who decided to set an age benchmark to gauge the successes and failures in life. Whoever did it, their thoughts are redundant in the current day and age but very few people understand this. I don’t know what I should do to stop being a cause of concern to my family. Marriage is indeed a big event for everyone except the one who is required to do it without being mentally prepared for it. In the midst of this, I lost out on a good job opportunity and that just made the situation worse.

Trying to meditate, workout and journal my way out of this. I wish to document this as much as possible so that I feel an immense sense of gratitude when this difficult phase ends. Our human mind is quiet resilient, it tends to hide the traumatic experiences of life in a vault at the most remote corner of our brain to quicken the recovery process. But I would like to come back to these journals so that I know that I have to ability to deal with such situations in future too!

I wish for all of you to have an unlimited supply of happiness and inner peace!

Am I losing control?

“Control what you can control. Don’t lose sleep worrying about things that you don’t have control over because, at the end of the day, you still won’t have any control over them”

Cam Newton

I’m back after a brief hiatus. The last time I posted here about a week back, I had undergone my RT-PCR test for detection of corona virus and was awaiting it’s results. Thankfully, I tested negative and could carry on with my normal life. My parents heaved a sigh of relief as they were a million times more worried and scared than me. Over the weekend, I got the opportunity (blessed as I got tested negative right before it) to go on a short getaway with my friends. This was a long awaited trip and we enjoyed every bit of it.

Back home, I was forced to dive straight into reality. Going on vacations rejuvenates me yet I’m never pumped up to get back to my normal routine after the end of the trip. On the other hand I’m left with an intense feeling of doom and gloom which takes a while to get over with.

In the past week, I underwent a roller coaster of emotions. It started off from feeling extremely happy about myself and the results of my fitness routine to pitying my existence. I get extremely worked up even at the mention of my marriage at home. It is something my mother is really looking forward to, but this might be one of the most difficult things I have to undergo in life. I truly believe now that I had a slight bit of control over all my earlier problems in life.

I read a TV actor’s love confession on Instagram yesterday, she said that every person deserves a partner who understands us, believes in us, inspires us, helps us grow and truly cares for us. These are simple personality traits of a decent human being yet it feels like an impossible task to find such a person. An unmarried girl who has crossed the age of 30 is directly or indirectly made to feel like a burden in the eyes of the society. Even though she is completely happy and content with the manner in which she has led her life, all of her achievements fall short before the mention of her unmarried status. My relatives and most of the people who are dearly concerned about my marriage today were missing when my family led a difficult life throughout my childhood. No one offered to help us with the expenses on our education yet these people are willing to pay money (huge sum to the tune of Rs.35,000) to a marriage broker to find a prospective groom for me. Few of the marriage broker’s requirements were a pictures of me in traditional attire and answers to questions such as, “Does the girl know how to cook food?” or rather “Is the girl comfortable in cooking food for the family after coming back from work?“. While cooking is a necessary life skill which I wish to posses, my male counterparts are never asked such questions even when they lead the exact same life as us!!!

In the midst of this I gave an interview for a job which I couldn’t prepare for, owing to my own carelessness and blamed it on my anxiety. I never felt this before but after I gave a shoddy attempt at this interview, I realized that I suppress myself. I deliberately sabotage my attempts to excel at my work for reasons unknown to me. I know I am capable of doing much better at my workplace and my career yet I never try my best. There is something that holds me back and I will try to find out what it is to the best of my ability. As of now, this realization is a great starting point to work on improving myself in this extremely important aspect of life.

Pouring my thoughts and feelings here have made me feel better already. Here’s to finding those tiny little things that help us cope with the inconsistencies in life, a little better each day!

A close call

Today has been adventurous to another level. I travelled all the way to my office in the morning hoping to have a normal work day today. When I reached office, I had to go through the normal workplace protocol of showing my identity proof and the status on a government based mobile app (Aarogya Setu) which tracks the coronavirus infection of users who have downloaded the app on their phone. This app collects details of infection of everyone who uses it makes it easy to conduct contact tracing process. When I checked the status today, it showed I had a “high risk” of infection as I had come in contact with an infected person about a week back. I was surprisingly calm throughout as I had experienced no symptoms till then. I was asked to go back home and check with the helpline on the app for further process.

Once I reached home and told my parents about it, they freaked out. My parents are complete opposites of each other and their reaction to this news was also poles apart. My mother was very scared but kept it within herself and showed a brave front. My father called a friend, brought me medicines which I had no clue about and asked me 10000 questions within a span of 10 seconds. Mind you, they went through all this stress only with the news of me coming in contact with an infected person. I hadn’t even tested positive by this time. After talking to my friends and contemplating on the situation for a long time, I decided to get myself tested. I went to a diagnostic center near my house and my swabs samples were taken for the tests. Let me give a heads up here, the process of taking the nasal swab samples is extremely creepy and weird. The swab is inserted deep inside the nose and for a moment I felt that it had reached my brain!!

Then came the somewhat long wait. The antigen test results are quiet rapid and come out within a span of 15 mins. The results for the antigen test are inaccurate at times and hence I got myself swabbed for the RT-PCR test as well which is the most accurately used testing method. Within few minutes of taking my swab samples, my antigen test results were out. Fortunately it was “Negative“. The RT-PCR test results will be out tomorrow. My life changed within a span of few minutes after I came to know about the status on my Aarogya Setu app. Most of the times the stress of the actual situation is more troublesome and frustrating than the situation itself.

I’m glad I decided to take test after all and find out about my condition today itself. My initial plan was to self quarantine for a week or so before getting tested. I am extremely grateful for my meditation habit which helped me be calm in this situation. I’m really glad that I worked on making it a habit and spent 20 mins everyday on healing my mental health. It came a lot handy in today’s situation.

Fingers crossed for my RT-PCR test results tomorrow!

Small wins

Do you have a bad habit which you’ve been trying to quit since a long time without any success? For me, it has been my addiction to sugar. I’ve been heavily dependent on sugar for my constant source of happiness ever since I was a kid. I didn’t understand the repercussions of having such a dangerous addiction back then. More than the health hazards, I wanted to quit sugar to gain more control over my decisions. I have a tendency to indulge in sugar and sugary foods whenever I am sad or low in life. The cravings I get during such phases are massive and I have absolutely no control over the amount of sugary food I dump inside my body. I ate (rather gobbled up) sweet food for the sake of it, sometimes to feel better, many a times to punish myself for not working hard enough.

I spent many months and years into controlling my sugar cravings. Initially I restricted myself which backfired as I ended consuming double the quantity later on. As restricting completely didn’t work I decided to allow myself a cheat day. This also was counter productive as I consumed large portions even during my cheat days. Then I started learning about the ill effects of sugar consumption. The facts connected to this topic blew my mind yet it wasn’t enough to gain control back from sugar which wholly controlled my cravings. What I didn’t know was that all my efforts were getting counted even if the visible progress seemed slow. I would call “meditation” a breakthrough in my struggle to quit my sugar addiction. I gained more clarity and have been feeling a slight decrease in my sugar cravings.

26 days of continued mediation streak later, I finally had my eureka moment today. I ordered a bunch of sugary foods as I was feeling a bit dejected due to my office work. I picked up one pastry with the intention of eating another one after it. Halfway through eating the cake I realized I found it too sweet for my liking and couldn’t finish. This has never happened before. I could never control my mind when it comes to sugary food but I did it today and it felt extremely empowering. I will test few more times to be completely sure of it. As of now I am celebrating as this incident made me extremely happy!

If you believe something, you can make it happen. That’s all you need.  

Franklin A. Ohiozebau

Shit happens!

Image source : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/282037995391689852/

Today was sort of an important day. I had an important professional commitment call in the evening that I had been mentally preparing for a while now. Needless to say, I had to be in my element for it. But my body and the universe had another plans. Aunt Flo decided to strike today at the most unwanted time. I was in pain throughout the day, the cramps were somewhat severe (according to my threshold).

Coming to the professional commitment, I’m really glad that it’s over! I don’t know how I performed as I was unsure of the other person’s reaction. I felt like I did the best I could yet my reviewer seemed unimpressed. I leave it to the Universe to decide, if it’s meant to be it’ll happen. For now, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. It feels so good, my mind is in a celebration mode. I want to read a book, watch a movie, eat good food and do absolutely nothing all at the same time. It feels so good to be anxiety free. I wish I can work hard to have better control over my anxiety in future. When I look at extremely confident people, I have complete admiration and respect for them. It is unimaginable for me to be bold and confident at occasions that demand the best out of me. I feel jittery and nervous to the extent of giving up. There are people who live up to the challenge and do really well under stress and I’m in awe of such individuals. They are the real rockstars.

All I can do is try till the time I can imbibe at least some portion of such confidence. I am in a much better phase now compared to my teenage and young adult years. There has been a noticeable change in my personality and I would love to grow further even if it’s at a snail pace. Some change is better than no change after all!

Be Fit : Milestone 3

The third milestone is here and I feel pretty happy with my efforts made for fitness in October. I managed to stick to a daily meditation and gratitude journaling routine which is something I had been struggling with a long time. I’m not focusing on the results from this routine at the moment. I am focusing on doing it consistently to make it a habit so that I can reap it’s benefits in the long term. My running schedule took a hit this month, I was pretty lazy. I have slept through the alarms each week and was pretty disappointed with myself. I tried to make up for it last weekend and was extremely happy to push my limits for a 7.7 km run on Saturday followed up by a 10 km run on Sunday. My goal is to be consistent with my running schedule in November.

Here are my achievements for this month :-

Weight :-

Starting weight (10th August) : 62.9 kgs

Milestone 1 (31st August) : 62.5 kgs (Lost 0.4 kgs)

Milestone 2 (1st October) : 61.4 kgs (Lost 1.1 kgs)

Milestone 3 (2nd November) : 60.5 kgs (Lost 0.9 kgs)

Workouts :-

I have been regular with my HIIT workouts/skipping routine during the weekdays however slacked off during the weekends.

Meditation :-

I tweaked up my meditation routine to do it first thing after I wake up in the morning. This has worked wonders for me as I haven’t skipped it even once for the past 25 days. I currently have a 25 day streak on Headspace and that makes me very happy.

Food :-

Although I ordered takeaways on many occasions, I am pretty satisfied with my food habits this month. Ever since I started meditation, I’ve noticed a slight decline in my food cravings and mindless eating habits which is great! My water intake has been up to the mark as well.

Key achievements :

  • Ran twice outdoors, 7.68 kms in 52.38 mins on 31st October and 10.14 kms in 1.11.46 hrs on 1st November.

Goals for Milestone 4 (30th November):-

  • Workout everyday
  • No refined sugar
  • Limited cheat meals (Fried, processed food)
  • Rope skip every evening at least 200 times
  • Attempt 10 push ups
  • Run 5 kms on Saturday, 10 kms on Sunday every week
  • Improve my running pace, 5 kms under 30 mins and 10 kms under 65 mins

See you until the next milestone!!

The one with the hundredth

100/100

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” 

-Bernice Johnson Reagon

WOW! My emotions are all over the place today. I feel emotional, elated, proud and ecstatic at the same time!! I DID IT!! I completed my challenge of posting an article daily for 100 days. This feels surreal. To be honest, I was very scared of leaving this goal unaccomplished during the initial days of this challenge. I do have the tendency to set huge goals for myself and realize later on that I don’t have the ability or willpower to accomplish it. But this was different. Writing an article on my blog never felt like a task, it was something that helped clear my mind everyday. My day felt incomplete without posting on my blog. Maybe that’s the reason I was able to conquer my irrational fears about this challenge and reached the shore without having to experience any sort of turbulence on the way.

The impact of this challenge on my life

When I started out, I had zero confidence in my writing skills. This challenge forced me to think beyond my limitations and pour my heart out every single day on this blog. I have a long way to go in the field of blogging and accomplishing this challenge is a step in the right direction for me as it helped clear a lot of mental blocks such as :-

  • I was worried that I would run out of topics to write about for 100 days. Turns out as long as we are alive in the Universe, we will always have something to share to the world.
  • It is not as difficult as my mind made it seem like in the beginning. I started taking each day as it comes and broke down the 100 days into 1 article each day and concentrated only on that day’s article. Thinking of the challenge as a whole can be quite overwhelming, breaking it down into smaller, more achievable goals is less intimidating to our mind.
  • I don’t know if my there has been any improvement in my writing skills, but I sure am much quicker and better at putting my thoughts into words now. That’s a big win for me!
  • Whether you do something or not, time passes by anyways. It’s better to utilize time to the best of our ability and do everything that our mind can dream of.
  • You don’t need to have a particular skillset or extraordinary talent to do something you like. If you are truly passionate about it, you will grow along the way and become better with each attempt. Don’t let the fear of societal judgement hold you back from your dreams.
  • You can never know what you are capable of unless you attempt it.

Gratitude to the readers and my blogger friends

I started from square on with about 6 followers and now I have about 160+ of you following my blog. This is the biggest level of appreciation for me and motivates me to continue doing what I love. Thank you for your amazing comments, likes, support and feedback, I cherish them dearly and it fills me up with gratitude and love!! All the bloggers on this platform are superstars in their own right and have the most amazing writing style. I get to learn something new from each one of you. Keep up the great work, you guys are INCREDIBLE!!!

What next?

The challenge has come to an end but this isn’t the end of my blogging journey. I’ll continue to post articles (hopefully daily) for as long as I can think of till I find my niche and a fixed schedule to follow. A heartfelt thank you for all the support and amazing friends I have made here. I am truly overwhelmed!