Birthday stresses (and no it’s not about just getting old!)

So the birthday rolled around and this one was unlike any other! I’m the quintessential Gemini about birthdays even though I’m a Taurus-Gemini cusp! I plan for the next birthday the evening of the previous one- so I’m that kinda psycho birthday maniac,

But this birthday I was a bit more introspective and stressed out- had this year counted for anything? Had anything changed ? Did my life thus far mean anything to anyone? Yup I was being a bit more fatalistic than usual. What had I acheived?

And so this time I stressed out before the birthday! And started (like the OCD maniac I am) listing down any positive learnings I have had or impacts I had made. Here’s what I found!

  1. I have become closer to family now than I ever was and that’s a win!
  2. I have more friends now and they accept me -flaws and all! I’ve reconnected with a few who knew me and they seem prouder of who I am today -so there must be growth and that’s awesome!
  3. More importantly I accept me- flaws and all and now can be honest with who I am , especially to me!
  4. I have taught people and they remember that fondly and I continue to teach the people who work with me and that’s amazing.
  5. I have started learning all over again! Online learning allows me to find knowledge in areas that I’ve always wanted to discover and that’s hugely positive for me.
  6. I’ve traveled and I’ve seen and learned more about cultures and places and put into perspective how magnificent the world is and how much more we can do and then gone ahead and tried to imbibe all that I have seen into making a positive impact.
  7. I have cared for animals and loved and looked after so many and got so much love in return.
  8. I have become kinder, more compassionate and learned to love more! I have become more grateful to the God, the Universe and to people.
  9. I have learned that the more positive you are , the more positivity comes your way!

And the list went on and I realised that not only had the years rolled on, the learnings had added up to and just the fact that I had so many blessings in my life, was definitely worth candles on the cake – even if there were more candles now, than cake !

P.s. (Palat says)-: Whenever you are down, look around you and make a list- when you see how much you have and how many love you; you’ll realise that the stress just disappears! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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You don’t define me

How do we stop others from defining who we are? In a large part, what we think of ourselves comes from what others think of us. This starts when we’re much younger. “Oh you’re so clever,” a teacher might say. Or “she’s so pretty,” a mother might say. And these adjectives then become in a large part who we think we are. It’s like these opinions are our mirror and we see ourselves through other people’s eyes.

What happens then when a boss says “he/ she is more driven than you” Or a friend says “you’re not built to do xyz.” There are 2 ways to deal- 1. Roll over and let whoever that is , with their limited vision define you. Or, 2. Go ahead and do whatever you believe you can achieve. Sure, 2 sounds amazing in theory- but it’s hard and there will be millions of moments where you’ll let yourself down, where you’ll start believing the nay-sayers, where you will doubt all that you believe in… but if you push through you can break their distorted mirror of you and make a cleaner more perfect one for yourself.

No one knows this more than I do. I went into hospital on Friday 2005,May something or the other. Between Friday and Monday- I remember nothing. I do believe I had a few MRI’s and I do remember people trying to keep me awake and then there is just darkness.

When I awoke on Monday, I was on a bed in Breach Candy hospital with a strange man looking over me. “I am sorry,” he said ,”you came in too late. Your brain has been compromised and you are left side paralysed and will not be able to move again. There’s nothing more we can do.” When I stared at this man disbelievingly, he challenged me – “Don’t believe me- try and make a fist with your left hand… go on now… try!” And as he goaded me I tried to earnestly to make a fist, to prove him wrong. He was right. I couldn’t and so my right hand held my left hand and closed it into a fist. He nodded as if to say I told you so. And then he left.

We can let others decide who we will be or we can get up and live the life we think we deserve to live. It won’t be easy and it may take years to get to where some people take minutes to go. But who is to define our lives except for us? We get one life. Why should we allow other to get their own lives and ours? Shouldn’t we take ownership of that ourself?

P.s. (Palat says)-: Our personal mirrors may not be rose tinted or even clean, but we can create our being in the way we’d like to see ourselves. Let’s stop blaming others for defining us and let’s define ourself.

The Imperfect Fit

I was never part of any clique (group)- popular or unpopular – I just didn’t belong.

I’ve never been the perfect fit anywhere I think. I’ve always been the one who is a bit too loud, a bit too ambitious, a bit ott romantic. I produced theatre for 18 years but was never arty enough. I won awards globally but then I was far too artsy. I topped school but wasn’t nerdy enough. I did ads but was never a model, acted in films but was never a film actor, never a girly girl or a tomboy. I just didn’t fit in.

And on most days, I’ve been okay about standing out… even proclaimed (bravely) that I relished being a loner… but this was one of the days where I just felt like a school girl who nobody wanted to sit with. It wasn’t even a major deal but in the company of my husband – a popular kid and a former head boy and just a person who fits perfectly everywhere and my puppy- another absolutely stellar creature who makes friends in seconds and is an absolute must at any social event 🙂 I felt like the broken training wheel of a perfect bicycle.

And so sadly I went up to my (much) better half (yes, I was in one of those self sacrificing, sad moods) and asked him how we worked; he seemed bewildered by the question. In his eyes, I am the ‘don’t care a damn’ fighter chick, who’ll take on any person/challenge head on and win! I’m the person who loves with all my heart, will fight with all my soul and will never shy away from any thing or any one. In his eyes, where everyone works so hard at trying to fit in, to be loved , to be heard– he loved that I was an honest perfect fit. “With you,” he said “everyone knows who they’ve got! There’s no pretence just truth” He also , and I say this knowing he’ll read my blog and go the perfect shade of tomato; said, he wanted to be more like me sometimes!

That got me thinking, were we all worried we didn’t fit in perfectly, and was fit that important? I mean just because we didn’t fit within our own idea of what the perfect fit was… did that really make a difference? I mean in my oddball, weird way, I seem to fit perfectly with my more popular family members. In fact I was more often than not the head of this enviable clique! And wasn’t that the point of cliques anyway- to find a place for you to belong? And if I do belong with my peeps… did I really need more cliques?

Satisfied that I was indeed with the best group created ever, I looked around. We’re all trying to fit in and find place for ourselves in this crazy, mad, over filled world. But if we just stop for a moment and ensure that who we are fits perfectly with how we feel and what we believe and then find people who like us for our honest selves- then we’ve actually beat the system and we’ve actually found our perfect ‘fits.’

P.s. (Palat says)-: Look for the work or friend groups that let you be exactly who you are ;that way you’ll never be out of fit or out of style!

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I was never good at making friends. As gregarious and out going that I seem, most of it is a facade and those who know me know I am actually quite conscious of how I am viewed, worried about being judged by you and fiercely private about my thoughts and fears. Trust doesn’t come easily to me.

I started working at 16 and then became even more wary of ‘friends.’ They became transactional relationships. FRIENDS was a great concept on TV but for me that was it- fictional and a comedy- something that could not truly exist..

And then I changed.

Over the last few years I have started seeing people as different versions of me- each flawed, insecure, with their own set of fears, but just trying like I am to make the best of each day. And as I started seeing people for more than their Facebook profile/ status – I learnt that people could become more than humans who wandered in an out of your life- they could in fact become friends.

Now I’d love to give myself full credit for this realisation but in the spirit of honesty I must credit the husband , ever so little, for looking at my many flaws and loving them. When he peeled the many onion layers I had protecting me, and showed me that flaws aren’t all bad… I realised I could do the same for others.

Of course every so often you get a rotten , smelly onion- but I guess that’s the risk you take when you try to connect.

And in a world where we have more Facebook and Insta connections than real friends, I think you owe it to yourself to look for actual connections. Hate someone, love someone- but have some emotion for them!

P.s.. (Palat says)-: Connect. Offline.

Life’s not fair

Life’s not fair- a complaint that plagues even the most optimistic of us. And you’re right. It’s the friend who you thought would pick up the phone when you needed them or the pitch that was stolen by the lazy incompetent colleague who pretended the idea was his or just being surrounded by sloth, carelessness and general apathy when you give all that you have for a person , an idea or a moment.

I have realised that you can’t control others and their attitude. All you can control is how you choose to deal with them. I have often been heartbroken when I care about someone- (friend or colleague) deeply and they let me down by not caring the same amount or believing in us the way I do. And now over the years I slowly am getting over it.

I have always been the one giving 100% to relationships – work or personal that I care about. But that too is my choice. Much like waves, some of the water stays and some it goes back- people often come in to our life for a reason. When the reason is fulfilled , most will go away. Those that you are left with are those that have more to give you and more to learn from you and those that leave have served their purpose and you theirs.

You can’t stop caring, turning up or giving your cent percent to life because every so often you will get the opportunity you’ve been dreaming of, meet the person you were destined to meet and live the life you absolutely deserve. The bumps on the way only make you realise how good the goods are and appreciate those moments so much more.

My grandfather always said life was full of ups and downs – how boring life would be if it were one straight line. Compare that to a heart monitor and you realise that he’s right… the ups and downs make the journey. Without that, using the same example, we’re quite literally dead !

P.s. (Palat says)-: Pitching season is the longest, toughest, hardest and most exhilarating season! On one hand Mondays are the best and most exciting – on the other TGIF!

Will you Be My Valentine?

I love love. I love being loved. I love the whole feeling of love and I love to love! If there’s one day that means the world to me – it’s Valentines Day!

Over the years I have heard the cynics say ‘well love can happen on any day.’ And here’s the thing I agree. But if it can happen on any day the why can’t it happen on Valentines Day too!

By that notion- each of us could celebrate the new year on any day and several religions do and yet December 31st is celebrated as the New Year’s Eve and we wish each other and party and enjoy the happiness that envelops us as the new year approaches!

So on Valentines , it’s cupcakes in the office and a few more for those I love. It’s flowers and more everywhere I look and I always try to have a few surprises for my embarrassed better (?) half. This year I had a serenader serenade the husband in the middle of the office, as he blushed a shot shade of pink! The serenader sang well. The pink looked perfect for the occasion !

And I get that one day isn’t enough to show you care or that this may be a Hallmark holiday but I think if I can make a lil more effort on one day it’s better than not making any effort at all or just sliding along by saying that we don’t need to show we care.

Life has to be full of moments and days like these allow you to think those moments through a little more.

In a world of hate, and I say this having read about the horrific , cowardly attack in Kashmir; is it so bad to try and fill others’ lives with love?

In a world of anger, stress, hunger and sadness- even if you don’t have your lobster-can’t you spread love to a person around you? A friend, a relative, a loved one, a colleague or just someone you feel needs it?

And if there’s one day that can glorify a powerful positive feeling like love- shouldn’t we all enjoy it!

If I were given my way- there’d be a Valentines Day every month!

P.s. (Palat says)-: A long week of pitching some incredible characters in beautiful stories …On wards to next week and let’s make Magic!

Don’t just Turn Up!

The last week was a medley of emotions for me… At first I had the Low- MS Lows are a little tough for me not because of Multiple sclerosis but because I find it difficult to get out of the funk. Add to that the miserable diet and crazy exercise routine continued. But what really got me is the fact that in life- most people just turned up for life and let it happen. They didn’t actually SHOW UP!

Now here’s the difference- turning up is what we do. We turn up to school, turn up to our job, turn up to parties or social engagements- but showing up- that’s totally different! Showing up is recognising you are there and going on and making a difference! It’s about making sure the day is better than when you came in… It’s about challenging yourself to do more, be more and really and truly enjoying and being present in the moment!

Sure, we can get through most of life on autopilot by just turning up. But who wants to go through moments, years and decades not having actually been or tried to have been the best version of themselves.

My chat at work was all about that- I have a team that I hope I can inspire, lead and learn from that I hope will all be able to look back at each day and feel that they made a difference or that they achieved something- anything. I hope that they enjoy each day for the uniqueness it brings and remember that every day brings opportunity and is a gift that they cannot get back—ever.

Once I started spring cleaning those who just were turning up as opposed to showing up- my mood changed cos you can’t allow the drifters to dictate your mood; you have to allow those that are present to. They deserve that and you deserve that too! The husband thinks that sometimes I expect too much from those in my life- but I believe that it’s my life and surely I can work to make it the best version of my life it can be! And so I will be there and present for this who are there and present for me.

We can’t ‘Groundhog Day’ our life. And to truly enjoy the every moment – surround yourself with people who also choose to be present- not just there but to be active and present in your life!

P.s. (Palat says)-:Don’t let people speed date your life- they must be present in your life and you in theirs. Don’t look at a day as something that must end- look at it as something you must be present for.