Everybody needs a friend

 

When we’re young friendship is easy….it’s who you share lunch with, who you share a seat with, who gave you a chocolate or their treats… it’s simple! We make friends easily and adapt easily. Our likes and dislikes are still being formed… we’re still learning who we are. And then we become teenagers and we seem to be more cliquish… we have more hates than likes but we still manage to find our own! Lost in a crowd of young adults all filled with angst, passion and hormones…we still manage to find people similar to us.

And then we grow up.

And making friends isn’t that easy anymore. People are hard and judgmental and focused on themselves and all they seem to do is disappoint.

And when you become a couple…that’s when it’s even harder. You must like them but then so must he… and isn’t it better to have couple friends? And what happens to those who were just your friends or just his… what’s the equation now?

What I’ve realised is… just don’t grow up… Keep your friends. Keep his friends and don’t be afraid to go up to someone new and say “Hi… I’m_______” From being a person who had a friend or maybe 2… I’ve learnt that just like a child in a play ground or a lost geek (which I was) in college – every one around is still trying to form relationships and friendships…we’re all looking for a connection. They don’t have to be your best friends overnight or become your closest confidantes but they can be people who you can just hang out with, grab a bite with or go to a movie with! Because just like in school when best friends changed as we grew older, some times the people you think will stay with you all along may drop off on the way and you might find you need to find another friend…so instead of trying to fill that gap when there’d be no one there-cultivate your friendships, let them breathe and grow and maybe you can have a best friend and then a best, best friend ! :)!

Advertisements

The face that I put on

So the writing has been irregular because i’ve just not felt well enough… With ‘The Verdict’ premiere just ’round the corner, it’s been rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal! But that’s not been what has kept me from writing….it’s just incredible and scary new life lessons I have had to learn.

  1. Everyone is an actor. Most people are 2, 3 or 4 faced…they say one thing to you, one to another and something else to a third! And it comes to them more naturally than it does for most trained actors! I was untrusting , as a person, before, but now I don’t even believe you when you give me your word or write it down!
  2. Class does not come from how much money you possess or what you wear… it’s ingrained in your value system, your thoughts and your beliefs. You can’t buy class- not even with all the money in the world.
  3. I care about myself! Every individual sole focus is themselves- NOT you! Your world might collapse…. but they will only worry if the ground under them move… else you are just extra noise…
  4. Just because I’m nice to you …doesn’t mean I’m your friend. It doesn’t even mean that i like you… People will say one thing and do exactly what they feel like. Most people can never more than acquaintances- passing breezes…!
  5. And last but not least- NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOUR FAMILY. When everything collapses around you, when you don’t have the will to get up and still fight to retain the ‘I don’t need help’ attitude- they are the ones who will help you when you push them away. They are the ones who make you stronger and they are the ones who make you believe in the power and strength of unconditional love.

And thru all the madness and all the ill health, I have smiled through pain and gritted teeth because of the strength my family gives to me. I didn’t ask for it. I pushed them away. I yelled at them for treating me like I was unwell and they smiled indulgently and bought me cake. When I had hours of work left, they took me kicking and screaming out to lunch. When I pulled an all-nighter and was continuing thru the day- they dragged me to bed.

The reason ‘The Verdict’ will be a success is thanks to my family.

They saw thru my smile. they saw thru my ‘I’m fine.’ They love me enough to take me tantrums and all and listen to my fears, put band-aids on the hurt and prop me up to make me the smiling person the world sees every day.

It is thanks to them- you can never tell the face that I put on.

 

stop hating. start loving.

Last week was important for 2 reasons. Last week was Valentine’s Day – and the one week I didn’t write!

In my Valentine’s Day- I see hearts, and heart shaped chocolates. I see flowers and balloons and gifts and romantic declarations…. and tho you will have the few who ‘do not believe in Valentines day’ ( huh!?) this year the numbers of those hating this day had increased a heck of a lot. Declarations of Anti-Valentines Day/ Wear Black against V-Day were being posted on Facebook and followers had increased. The number of people posting positive , love-filled messages were few and when a girl-friend of mine called me trying to discuss her valentines Day plans , she seemed so very grateful that I still enjoyed celebrating love! She’d called a friend to ask what they were doing for Valentines Day only to be told ‘who does that anymore?’

Who does that any more? Well….I do and it makes me happy!

What was I doing? I was Valentine-ing! I say this without shame and without fear that you will mock my silly rom-com life! I will celebrate love- loudly, unabashedly and I will love it! How is it silly to celebrate love? Most people spend a life time searching for it and when you do…you take it for granted and move on! I hate the people who self assuredly say ‘well, every day is a celebration of love, why should I restrict it to one!’ That’s just a cheap way of not buying gifts, flowers or taking your beautiful wife for dinner! And surely every day you should celebrate the fact that you have life and you were born but you probably still expect a special celebration on your birthday… though every day in fact should be a celebration of life!

To all the haters… take a day off! Celebrate love… celebrate the fact that you are still looking/ have found someone/ are in a new relationship/ single! Celebrate love. Gift yourself something special. Make a list of those you love in your life…. Make a list of qualities you’d like to find in the man / woman you want to meet! Be happy. Happy thoughts attract happy people. Love attracts love! Every day is filled with so many stresses, worries, petty fights, silly jealousies- for one day just go out, dress up and be happy that you CAN LOVE SOMEONE! You CAN fall in LOVE.

And if you are in love or have found someone special…the honeymoon period only ends when you let it end… so smile, dress up and fall in love all over again! Work can make our home go ’round but love makes our life go ’round and sure you may tell your better half you love them every day of the year , many, many times- but for one day- just pull out all the stops and bask in warmth of love!

Why didn’t I write ? Because I was on a journey to my roots with my handsome husband. We decided to combine our passion for exploring with Valentines Day… so it was travel, see, explore and Valentine…!I would document this later. Right then, I was too busy just living– and it was amazing!

Don’t waste hating love or Valentines Day- it doesn’t make you cool…. it just makes you lonely and sad. I celebrated Valentines Day when I was single too… and loved it! The one day you can buy heart holding teddy bears and ridiculously cute cards…!

Love is cool.

Being in love is very cool!

Stop hating. Start loving!

Relationship 201- What to do when the honeymoon period is over?

So you’ve met someone and the ‘honeymoon phase’ of the relationship is now kinda over. You disagree. You argue. He has an opinion (shocker) often different to yours (double shocker!). She stops dressing up. He’s not shaving that often. She’s stopped the heels… He’s stopped opening doors…And suddenly it seems like this isn’t going to work out any more…! I mean he/she seemed perfect till they stopped pretending and became who they are!

So how do you make it work?

How can it keep being fun/ fun-ish…?

How do you not become…(dreaded word here!) b-o-r-i-n-g!?

So as a self confessed commitment-phobe… yes I really HATED RELATIONSHIPS and most of my long ‘relationships’ lasted 3 days,4 days and one… an awful week…(I didn’t see him for 3 out of those days, so that helped!), these are my tips and tricks to keep your relationship in the ‘dating phase’ for a whole lot longer!

  1. Do a lunch date once a¬†week… Escape from the humdrum of work/ normal life and just meet up for an hour… Once near your place of work/home and once near his… This makes the week less mundane and gives you a welcome break to spend with your partner. Have a quick meal and linger over coffee and dessert and just chat…! Take turn making the plans so it gives you something to look forward to! You’ll have a better afternoon at work after that for sure too!
  2. Dress up for dinner and go out once a week… Dress up! This is important because you can’t take your partner for granted. Don’t just dress up for the parties and the social do’s – make an effort and dress up for your partner – heels, straightened hair et all…girls and men- shave, suit up and take your lady out! Enjoy the dinner. Talk. Ask questions. Make travel plans. Laugh.
  3. Hold hands….seemingly easy…actually very hard. Hold hands when you are together. Hold hands when you fall asleep. Re-establish intimacy. HOLD HANDS.
  4. Share a hobby or a sport…OUTSIDE HOME! Go for a run! Go join a language class… Go gym together- Get out. Get out TOGETHER!
  5. Fight and finish your fights. Don’t change who you are or what you believe in. Fight for who you are. Fight about the death penalty, Lance Armstrong… whatever…. argue and then listen to each other. You fell in love with someone not because they were a clone of you…You fell in love with their differences…So listen to them.
  6. Ask about each other’s day- once in the morning where you hear all the plans. Then make a quick phone call at lunch to check on your better half and then at the end of the day ask how the day went and share. Sharing makes the other person realise that you value their opinion and also they get to hear how much you do. Talk and share!
  7. Make a few big dates… for me it’s out First Date Anniversary, Valentines Day, Wedding Anniversary, My birthday and his… and make those days super special… Take time to plan them together and make a day of it! Spa days, dinners, flowers…make the day special!
  8. Surprise each other- flowers, favourite foods, a CD… gift a gift – a no occasion ‘just because I love you’ gift. You used to do that when you dated…so don’t stop!
  9. Travel together…but most importantly PLAN THE TRAVEL together…! That’s all the excitement and so much happiness… so PLAN TOGETHER!
  10. Watch TV together and go to the movies… you may not like all his choices and he may not love all your rom-coms but watching something together , holding hands and just being… that relaxes the stress of a relationship and allows you to have opinions as a couple on silly tv shows and forgettable movies!

These are just 10 tips… there are so many more… But all I’m saying if you’ve found the right one… Don’t give up on him/ her because you think the ‘romance is over’ just change your definition of romance… The honeymoon may end but the love starts then…. And that period can be way better than the honeymoon ever was!

Have a romantic week ahead!

Help me!

“Help me!” – two words that have got such a bad reputation in the English language! “Help me!”- shows weakness.”Help me!”- shows inability. “Help me!”- is pathetic, laughable, unmanly,namby-pamby and just downright sad!

Instead of asking for help , it seems to make more sense to commit suicide, kill others, kill ourselves, commit divorce, burn children,abuse and hurt pets-those are the more acceptable solutions!

And I am angry. Not a shocker for those who know me….But now I’m really mad.

I do not want you to find a counselor or a support group or a really good friend- I want you to get help and be UNAFRAID TO ASK FOR IT!

In India we have always perceived those who’d seek a counselor’s help a little bit nuts… I mean you have to be a little mad to seek help that your friends and family can’t give you. I mean our parents never needed counseling- why the hell should we?!

But today is a different generation. We are a generation who don’t finish work at 6 p.m., who have to reply an email at 11:30 p.m. at night because that’s what ‘Smartphones ‘ are for, who have heart attacks in our 30’s because we’re a generation of plenty- plenty of food, technology AND stress! We are a generation who create smart Status Updates despite being laid off work or stuck with typhoid! We are a generation who misuse the words- “I’m fine”- because we don’t need pity, help, sad eyes! We are a generation who are anything but fine!

Our parents went home to family. They stopped work. They shared stresses. They had friends- some real friends that didn’t judge based on appearances. They had stresses. But they had people around to help.

I am angry some days. I am scared, tired, alone, afraid,outraged, shocked, violent. Some days I want to break a plate or 25 plates, or hit a wall or curl up and hide. And this is okay. Because I am human and it’s normal to feel a range of emotions – sometimes all at once and sometimes all in one day.

But let’s make it acceptable to ask for help. Talk to someone- friend, confidant, counselor- work out the stresses, the stressers, the anger, the pain. And let’s start healing before we keep exploding.

And as a friend to someone today when you ask them how they are- really mean it and… DON’T ACCEPT THE ANSWER -“I’m fine!”

fine

We’re all still teenagers trying to grow up!

We’re all just teenagers trying to grow up… We’ve aged a bit, got a couple of grey strands or may be more. We’re married/ settled/ seeing someone/ broken it off/ still single! We have jobs and cars. We pay mortgages, pay off loans, go in and out of debt! We’re old enough to drink and vote and sometimes can’t figure out whether the drink or the politician is the lesser of two evils! We have our own money, make up our own minds(most of the time), have a job, a life… and yet we’re still teenagers trying to grow up!

We’re as insecure but we mask it better. We’re as scared but we’ve learnt to pretend to be confident. We’re as alone but we’ve learnt to surround ourselves with pretty things, fancy gadgets and fast cars and maybe even a trophy wife/husband/girl friend but we still hide our fears, our worries , our personal failings…

But teenagers are given a break. They are allowed to be irrational because- “well they are teens!” They are allowed to break down, cry, scream, yell, slam doors and all is forgotten and forgiven as they are young and going through life changes…!

Well give yourself a break… Life changes all the time and whereas we may be a little older and not a lot wiser- life is still changing for all of us! And it’s okay to want to bang doors sometimes, or yell at the top of your voice because you’re so mad, or just cry! It’s okay to feel scared,insecure and unsure…even when you’re supposed to know everything and every one and supposed to have it all under control- it’s okay to ask for help! I figure ‘Life’ as this person- wise, older, smarter than us and well…OLDER!(Yes I know I said that- I’m repeating…for effect!) so that being said… you’re always teenager in the eyes of ‘Life’… It has more experience and you are allowed to give yourself a break sometimes and stop being so hard on yourself! It’s all the fun of growing up !

So the next time you make a mistake…take a breath! There’ll be plenty more mistakes and plenty more heartaches but there’ll also be plenty more firsts and there are several more first times left…!

It’s okay not to be sure of where you’re going or who you want to be…that’s the fun of life… you can keep finding new things about yourself, find new talents, make new habits- it keeps you alive and keeps the excitement going!

Enjoy the adventure and NEVER GROW UP!

The only target that counts aka I am amazing!

And it’s that time of year again where you hang up the keds and say – “Well this is it! I did it!” You accept that a year has gone by and you’re not much wiser, but funnily enough a heck of lot older. You’re not much richer but still have lots of unpaid bills ! But you did it! You made it through an entire year with cuts and scrapes, a few mistakes, a broken bone or two and maybe a bruised ego which hurts more than the bones but YOU MADE IT!

We wake up. We work hard. We give our hearts away. We love. We sweat. We grumble but do it. We aren’t even asked but get things done. We go through every day , most without thanks, pause or even the smallest break. And then we sleep and start all over again! We are amazing!

Maybe we made some of our targets. Maybe we didn’t. Maybe along the way the targets were changed and we had to start all over again. But we tried! And that is amazing!

And the next year will bring us more hopes and dreams; more unfulfilled wants, harder to reach targets and we’ll keep trying! That too is amazing!

So on this Diwali instead of killing yourself over the thing you didn’t achieve and setting more ridiculous targets for next year- take a breath and relax! You’ve done it! Life is hard and YOU make life easier for someone , somewhere and that’s all that matters! Spend your Diwali with family and friends and if you have neither go out and make some…because in the end the only target that counts is making a difference to someone else’s life… ! So eat that uber sweet sweet and light those diyas and celebrate. You’re alive. You’re amazing. And YOU make a difference!

Happy Diwali!