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!

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Warning- Personal Baggage!

We all have it. We all keep adding to it. And we don’t spring clean it every Diwali or in the new year- Personal Baggage is here to stay and we are not only a sum of our experiences; we are also a sum of all our personal baggage!

Last week I found myself missing a friend. We had grown up together, made mistakes together, got in to trouble together. She’d seen me at my best and at my stupidest and I just found myself missing her. As we grow older, though the baggage on our backs increase- our insecurities increase , our work pressures, aspirations and our ambitions sore- we seem to be less forgiving of other people’s personal baggage.

‘They’re so cheap,’ we complain not understanding that they have just got out of debt or may still be in debt. ‘ They’re so unambitious,’ we state; not realising that they’ve just suffered major setbacks or are not confident enough to branch out on their own.

Our judgements come quickly and we don’t look at our baggage- but we readily judge theirs!

Look at your old friends and your close friends. In most cases, we don’t judge their baggage and they don’t judge ours. They help out when we’re scared. They cover our insecurities and they make the world a better place because when we are down , they know just which buttons to push to make it all perfect again.

So to make any new , lasting relationships or friendships- maybe before judging how much and how heavy everyone else’s baggage is- maybe we can lend a hand, lighten their load without judgement or complaint. Maybe they’ll help out with ours as well! 🙂

Take a Chance on Change!

To start over…something must end. To say hello… sometimes we have to say goodbye.To laugh again…sometimes we need to have cried!

Divya Palat 

It’s so hard when things are over when we just keep holding on! I realised this when I produced my first set of shows and the run was complete and as everyone was about to go on stage , I was bawling in the bathroom not willing to let go. Since then ,it’s been 10 years and it’s still hard; but the public display of tears has significantly reduced and I’m learning to let go of incredible shows, amazing experiences and new found family to make way for even more incredible moments!

A lot of my girl friends are the same with relationships. Trapped with bad boyfriends, terrible husbands, abusive relationships- they aren’t even having a great time- but they’re scared of letting go- what if there’s nothing amazing in store for them next? What if this is as good as it gets? A friend of mine stayed with his cheating boy friend just because she was too afraid to actually go out and find someone again. “It’s too hard,” she told me ..”to start over!”

But even if we’re unwilling to change, scared to let go and holding on with all we’ve got- Life is way faster, smarter and trickier than all of us! Sometimes despite all our ‘clingy’ efforts , we’re going to have to change, have to let go, have to start over! And maybe the new is scary but may be it’s what we needed all along.

A perfect planner, I hated to lose control till I got sick and then paralysed and then suddenly had to allow nurses, doctors and family control of my choices, my life, my body! Suddenly in a moment, all that I was clinging to- my ridiculous plans, my naive thoughts on my career progress and my life ambitions had to be re-thought, re assessed and restarted overnight! And when you stop fearing the future and embrace the change then suddenly Life is an adventure and you can be part of an incredible journey. Had I resisted change, Balancing Act Productions (my company) would not be in it’s tenth year , I would not be married to my soulmate and best friend, and I’d never have walked again.

Sometimes Change makes all the right choices you were just too scared to make! Sometimes Change gets it right!

Trust!

Grand Ol’ Naples

Courtesy -: Travel With Divya.com

We arrived to Naples via the 45 minute hydrofoil (thankfully on calm seas) on a glorious sunny afternoon and checked into the exquisite, beautiful and fabulously historic Grand Hotel Vesuvio!As a Leaders Club member we were shown up to our suite immediately! The suite with its luxurious living room, oversize King bed and views of the Bay of Naples from all its rooms was a real treat! Built in 1882 the grandeur of the hotel was visible in it’s beautiful staircases, charming lifts and wonderfully large suites. There are also some remarkable photographs of Humphrey Bogart and Grace Kelley, Woody Allen and Luciano Pavarotti to name a few that grace  the walls of this charming hotel.The hotel is on the sea front as a no-car zone unless of course you are a guest and need to get dropped or picked up from the hotel. At all other times and most specially in the evenings the huge road in front of the hotel and in front of the bay is filled with children, balloons, bicycles and joggers. There are small cafes across from the hotel and they are frequented by young couples holding hands , gazing soulfully into each others eyes. But then again , living among such beauty it’s easy to fall in love again!

The reason why I am talking so fondly about this hotel because it really reaffirmed a membership that I had recently acquired. Aditya and I travel alot and we decided to spend on purchasing a Leaders Club Membership from the Leading Hotels of the World. Now for all those who travel, and enjoy pampering and luxury as much as I do- this is a membership you MUST GET! The hotels are each unique, as we have found but they all have the quiet luxury, the understated opulence and the  finest service. Grand Hotel Vesuvio was once again a gem that we may have missed had we not been part of the Leader’s Program.

We checked in and as much as I wanted to just collapse and enjoy my fabulous room and all its wonderful amenities , it was off on the road again for the both of us. We had decided to drive to Sorrento and were both very excited!

We had been warned about bad driving in Naples but what we hadn’t been warned about was cobbled roads which made the ride a tad more bumpy than it should have been! Coming from India, we didn’t really feel the driving was that bad- maybe we just drive a lot worse! 🙂

Driving the coastal roads to reach Sorrento is just beautiful. Relax, carry a duo of coffee and some munchies- stop on the way, photograph, take in Italy at its finest and enjoy the ride!It takes a little over an hour and it is one of the nicest drives ever! Once you reach Sorrento, look for parking! Parking is a major problem but there are parking structures hidden in the small lanes , so quickly find one and then enjoy this beautiful quaint town!

We did coffee and dessert in Sorrento. Lively, bright, full of life and even more full of tourists, Sorrento is filled with cafes and bookstores, shops and restaurants. Walk and get lost in the hustle and bustle of vacationing folk enjoying their vacation! Sorrento is a perfect break on your perfect Naples vacation!

Would I have spent more time in Sorrento?Well maybe lunch and the afternoon and then coffee and apertivo but would I spend the night there? Probably not. It was a lovely quaint town but it was easy to experience and to see in a few hours. If I had come to Italy just to relax , then sure I’d have spent a night but I came on a quest to see, experience and feel and i was able to take in the best of Sorrento in just a few hours and it was perfect- leaving me wanting just a bit more!

Before we knew it the sun was setting and it was time for more photographs and time to get back ‘home’ and luxuriate in our jacuzzi bath tub before our tour of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvious…!

More on that next week…!

Till then let me reminisce on the gorgeousness of Naples and the sunshine-smile of Sorrento!

Price Factor-: 250- 1000 Dollars a night …Naples has affordable luxury- but book smartly and book in advance!

Best times to travel-: End May-September.