Monday, December 28, 2015

2015, Get Lost Now.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 28, 2015 9 comments Links to this post

2015 is coming to an end. I have never been a huge fan of counting down the final days of a year as I don't care about New Year's eve or celebrating it. My obligation towards the new year is limited to a mandatory blog post and that's that. But what is it about 2015 that makes me want to hold on to it dearly? What is it about 2015 that I'll remember for years? And what is it about 2015 that will always put a smile on my face? I could not list out everything, but here are a few:


1. 2015 has been largely confusing for a lot of reasons. I won't dwell over them, but I'll tell you this. No matter how bad things seem today, they'll slowly fade in time. The people you try to forget, the incidents that bring tears, and the issues that torment you--they'll all fade.


2. People constantly tell me that I am lucky to be doing a job that I love. Touchwood! Two years ago, I never imagined I'd be able to break free, stand up for my dream and take up an actual, real-time writing job. Now that I am, it feels like a million bucks. Probably, nothing feels better than doing something you are passionate about.


3. I have loved and I have lost. It might not be a great story, but it sure made me write some. It was fun while it lasted though its aftertaste was bitter.


4. Goodreads tells me that I've read 59 books this year. I've read and re-read some great books this year. I breathed into the words of Murakami, cried into the pages of Jamie Tworkowski, traveled along with Italo Calvino and Ruskin Bond, and more importantly, I have found lost courage through the beautiful world that Elizabeth Gilbert created.


I cannot thank these writers enough for their lovely creations.


5. My unhealthy obsession with letters dates back to the 90s. I have written some and received some this year.


As we talk, I've used FutureMe.org to send a letter to my future self. I think this is an immensely important activity that we must all indulge in. Go ahead, and write yourself one! I am sure your future self will be pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from past.


6. I have been turning into a reclusive person with every passing year. I am not complaining, though. I think I began enjoying my company so much that I don't feel lonely anymore. I itch for solitude.


I have cut ties with unhealthy friendships and I am glad that they are no longer in my life.


In a sad way, some relationships with my friends and family are a little strained. I am not even putting in an effort to repair them. Maybe it's time I do.


7. Not all families are perfect. No family is as nice as it seems. Some families are broken beyond repair, and some are held together by a really thin string. I am glad that I have a family and that I go home to them. This year certainly made me realize that it's hard work to keep your family together. I've learned it the hard way.


8. A few years ago, I've never imagined that I'd be buying a vehicle by 24. I have and every time I look at it in my parking area, I brim with joy.


I am learning how to drive and I am loving it.


9. I have openly discussed my emotions and issues this year. I have used several mediums for it -- my blog, one on one conversations, talking, writing, and above everything, by standing up for it.


I've said this earlier and I'll say it again. There is nothing wrong in seeking help, there is nothing small in admitting you are not okay. You are human and on odd days, your heart aches. Sometimes, longer. Be assured that there are a lot of people like you who feel what you feel. All you need to do is reach out.


10. My unhealthy eating and sleeping habits have taken a toll over me. Over the last two months, I have tried controlling them. I am hoping 2016 would prove to be a healthier year.


***


There is something about having your closest friends in town, even if you barely meet them. Two of my friends have left to the USA this year, and it hit me that I'll miss them only when I saw them walking away on our last meetings. I've never been great at goodbyes. They are hard, and I am pretty sure I'll never be okay with them. I've endured some excruciatingly painful moments yet incredibly lovely moments this year. I've made friends at my workplace and at unusual of places, and I am okay with doing that now.


In many ways, 2015 has been a year of unexpected surprises, separations, rediscovering friendships, self-discovery (almost), and of course, more writing.


To everyone who has been nice to me, gotten me cupcakes and were there for me, thank you. And to everyone who haven't done that, well, you have a happy New Year too.

P.S. The long followed tradition of falling asleep at 10:30 PM on 31st December shall be followed this year too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fabulous, New, and Broken.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 23, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

The thing about bad days is that, like memories, even they keep you on your toes. In a bad way, of course.


Last night, I was on my way home from work, and a bus driver rammed into my car, which spoiled my almost good day. No matter how many times you see the advertisements (along with lots of educational videos and news on TV) warning not to drink and drive, people still do that. I bought my car just three weeks ago and it hurt to see an enormous dent on it. Sure, I could get it repaired. Sure, I could claim insurance and move on as if nothing really happened. But obviously, I cannot forget the way people react to a thing like this. The driver who was at fault apologized profusely, and I was pretty annoyed at him. But, the bus belonged to banking and financial services company, and a few employees were supporting their driver. It made me realize how much people do not care. I mean, as long as nothing happens to them, as long as no damage is done to them, they just wanted to wrap this up, and get on their bus and go home to watch goddamn Pretty Little Liars or Breaking Bad. And one cannot expect empathy when apathy has crept into their minds already.


I don't understand this. People in our country, can either help or contribute towards solving an issue, or just mind their own work. Instead of being silent spectators and ruining the issue further. It made me ask myself if I have ever behaved this crazily in any stranger's issue. I haven't, and I definitely had no reasons to put up with a bunch of foolhardy strangers doing that to me.


You know that feeling, when you love something dearly and you see it being damaged right in front of your eyes, and you can do nothing about it? You feel so helpless, that you wish you never put so many emotions, effort and love into it. That's exactly how I felt. Ever since I was a child, I had a habit of holding on to the things and people I love. As tears streamed across my face while examining the collateral damage, it felt just the way when someone I loved tore me apart. It was like a heartbreak, a feeling I detested. What happens when something you adore, treat as the center of your world gets broken? You love it more, don't you? So did I. In my case, I couldn't sleep well the entire night and walked into the balcony umpteen times to ensure no more broken parts are running afloat.


This morning, when I dropped it at the showroom, the concerned guy assured me that he would make it look all new. Ironically, it is still all new.


P.S. Thanks to two awesome people (friends from work) who helped me out. You both deserve donuts.


And about the guys from the bus, I wish I could meet them again. I would love to punch them. Jerks!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

O John Cusack, Where Art Thou?

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, December 22, 2015 0 comments Links to this post
Source: Sixteen Candles
I was having a conversation with one of my friends at work last week. When I announced that I was bored with my life, he asked me to join Tinder. Although my boredom was nowhere related to the lack of a certain someone in my life, I am quite sure that Tinder is something I would never use even if that was the reason. Call me old fashioned, but I do not believe in finding love on an app.


For instance, here's a boring story. I have a really good friend. Let's call her 'S' and S joined Tinder a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure about this fact, but I was told that it matches you with people according to your interests. My friend too found a match. Let's call him 'A'. And A  turned out to be a creep. Ironically, 'S' and 'A' went to the same school, and 'S' harboured hatred for him throughout the high school. As their schoolmate, I happen to know how utterly ridiculous 'A' was (and still is) and I was quite surprised that their profiles matched. If A is the sort of love S found on Tinder, she'd rather stay single. Sure, this could be an isolated tale, but I could tell you more such stories. I don't want this to turn into a rant. But my opinion is just that you cannot find love on an app.


People who know me well also know that I like to keep my roots closer to the kind of love that prevailed in the 80s. Sure, it hasn't ever happened to me, but a girl can hope, isn't it? Talking about the 80s, I must admit, I am largely influenced by the 80s movies. There is certainly something charming about them. Always a sucker for romantic movies, I have painted an unrealistic form of love in my mind. And why not? We all watch great movies. We all read great books. We all talk about the people who live great lives. But we all refuse to live one.


I don't know about you, but I know that the innocent yet slightly awkward love from Sixteen Candles exists in the real world and that there is no fun in love if the man you fall in love doesn't raise his fist in the air like John does in The Breakfast Club. I know you'll tell me that our lives aren't directed by John Hughes, but is it too much to ask for? Is it too much to ask for a John Cusack standing with a boom box under my balcony?


Maybe it is too much to ask for. Maybe in the world where love has become a matter of convenience, it is slightly selfish to hope we'd find love like that.


But, I would rather be disappointed than look for it on Tinder. Yeah, call me old-fashioned by but that's that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Morning.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 14, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

This Universe functions strangely. Every time I think I can fly and say hello from up in the sky, it just has to remind me that I am clumsy. It is like the Universe is trying to break my sexy dream where I am a unicorn. The reality is that I trip and fall even on flat roads. Sometimes.


My day began at the RTA office, which was so crowded that I wanted to run away and hide behind a tree. Crowded places are so scary and they get me frustrated for no reason whatsoever, but thank goodness I got my Learner's License soon, as I reached the place even before it opened. On my way to work, I had to go to the bank to run an errand. I strutted into the bank all easy breezy, but the universe had to play a foul game, right? So, I stepped on my foot and almost fell while getting into the elevator. Sure, it was embarrassing, but nothing was more embarrassing than the lift man advising me on how to walk with my eyes wide open and that my high heels were a major reason for mishaps like this. Maybe that wouldn't have been so embarrassing if there weren't five others surrounding me, who tried hard to suppress their chuckle. Mentally, I made a note to watch out while getting into the elevator again, or to simply climb down the four floors to avoid the lift man. So, there! What a terribly awkward start of the week.


I have never spent a lot of time at a bank. Today, I did, and in my head, I always imagined it must be totally cool to work at a bank, always surrounded with currency and groovy security that escorts suspicious hanky-panky people out. Turns out I watched a lot of movies and romanticized everything! Right from my childhood, I have been fed on fantasies that depicted banks as a fairyland. Or maybe as a child, I felt so because banks get tons of holidays. Now that I realize they work on some Saturdays too, my bubble of imagination has collapsed. The fifteen minutes I spent over there seemed ridiculously long; everything was happening in a slow motion and I could vividly hear the water leaking from the AC. I thanked my stars for my awesome job and walked out from it, and this time, watched my steps before getting into the elevator.


P.S. I still think my bank is sweet.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Me and My Odd Plans.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 07, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

I have always had a habit of deriving inspiration and life lessons from cartoons or things around me. As I grew up, that habit evolved from cartoons to TV series. Even if it is a show like Gossip Girl, I try to learn something from it. Sure experience is the greatest teacher of all times, but sometimes you cannot rely on experiences alone. You need more. Especially for a person like me who is easily distracted even at the slightest changes in life, I need things that remind me of my goals constantly. Yes, constantly, like at least five times a day.

Here's what happened this morning. I learned something from my new car today. Oh, by the way, if my happiness hasn't made it evident enough, I bought a new car and I must confess it is the love of my life. Anyway, I have always believed that changes in your life do not come announced. They come unannounced and they make their presence felt. What I did not realize while getting the car was that I would turn responsible. It does not matter even it is something as mundane as cleaning it, something as tiny as ensuring it is well maintained, which would ensure longevity. My mother has been persistently reminding me on how well I am taking care of it, but that I should not stop doing it. Just the way we stop caring about our goals mid-way. And just the way we take care of the things we own, we have the responsibility to take care of our dreams and our ideas. We cannot let them go astray or let the dust settle on them. Nope, not happening!

After this realization dawned on me, I fished out my notebook and wrote down a few mini goals (because I need to reach my mini-goals to reach the bigger ones) and assigned some timelines to them. The two out of the many goals with the closest timelines are:

1. To be able to drive, if not like a pro, like a rookie by February.
2. To be able to write the set of short stories I have been meaning to write by January mid-week.

This time, I am not fussing over finishing things. But on learning something.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sunday Ramblings.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, December 06, 2015 1 comments Links to this post

I am having a horrible Sunday. There are so many things that are running through my head as I type this. I wonder if I am the only person who hates weekends. I wonder if I will ever be able to love the sunsets and Thursdays again. I wonder if I will ever be able to buy something and not feel guilty about over-spending. I wonder if I will ever be able to feel not so broken again. I wonder if I ever stop crying over songs that remind me of lost love, forgotten childhood, or memories that haunt me in the night. Things around me are changing. I am changing too. I really want someone to tell me that things, for better or worse, will transform into something amazing. I want to keep moving forward. I want the man I love to write me letters and read out his favourite poem to me. I want him to run his hands into my hair and tell me that things will be normal again. I want to be able to wake up in the midnight and write Haikus like before. I want to read every waking moment of my life. I want to pack my suit-case and visit places and leave something behind as I leave each place. I want to come home with souvenirs from every place. I want to cry when I want to, and not in the loo, trying to hide and mask my vulnerabilities. I want to be able to laugh when I find something really funny.


What I really want right now, on this rather sordid Sunday, is to eat ice-cream, read something amazing, count the stars and fall under the boundless sky full of hope. Tomorrow is going to be better.


I am going to make it better.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

It's Okay to Screw Up.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, December 01, 2015 2 comments Links to this post

There are days in my life when I set ridiculously high expectations from myself. When that doesn't happen, I tend to whine, think too much, and sulk into the wee hours of the night. When I was in school, I had a filthy habit of punishing myself when I did not meet the expectations. Right from starving to depriving myself of human company, I reckon I've done it all. I know, I know, that was quite a mean thing to do, nevertheless, I succumbed to those measures. Here's a confession, though. One day, I was absolutely upset about securing a second position instead of the first in a science fair, and I punished myself by putting my right arm in the deep freezer. I fell sick, no surprises there. Now that I think about it, I think I was crazy to do so.


As I grew older, I stopped resorting to self-harm. I learned to take pride in doing whatever I was doing, and to not chide myself for the things I was not meant to do. We had an event at work today where I goofed up a lot of times. I was nervous. I stammered. And to my horror, at the end of the talk, I announced 'THAT'S IT' like a fool. I was slightly..actually, scratch that..largely disappointed with the way I handled things. In fact, I whined about it constantly, without taking a pause. I kept questioning myself on what went wrong, and why I spoke like an imbecile by forgetting things that were easy to remember.


But, what the hell? I don't think it mattered. And I don't think people remembered it at the end of the day. The event went well and people had bigger issues on hand than worry about my goof-up. No one came up to me and announced that I closed my eyes while talking, nor did they say I kept fidgeting. Sure, my friends made fun of me, but even that didn't matter because they make fun of me every day.


So, here's the moral of the day: Nothing good comes out of whining (the current me) or self-harm (the old me). No one keeps a count of your mistakes. We all set ridiculously high standards about the things we do. That is alright! Honestly, it is perfectly alright. What matters is how you take things in your stride when you don't meet those expectations. If you're an over-thinker, over-analyzer, over-sulker like me, just chill. Everything gets better in the end.

P.S. Have you ever noticed how you have bad hair and a pimple on your face only on important days?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Imaginary Friends.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, November 21, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

When I was a child, I was popular for having imaginary friends, or as sane people would put, popular for not making any real friends. As a child who transferred seven schools throughout school, I had a trouble making friends and relied on the imaginary friends I had in my mind. It was quite comforting, though!

My mother tells me that I had my first imaginary friend when I was two. Yes, that's right. It was a spirit, that was as amicable and adorable as Casper. I had this friend till I was in the second standard, and in those years, he would help me with my homework, walk me to the school, and gulp down the orange juice my mother would give me every evening. I distinctly remember writing and narrating stories about this imaginary friend to my parents, cousins, grandparents, and anyone who would  lend me an ear. My conversations and inside jokes with my friend would go on and on, and I made it a habit to break down my daily events into funny stories while narrating them to him. Like some friendships that break at a certain point, ours did too. I was heartbroken and took to writing a journal after that.

In the years that followed, I have made a bunch of imaginary (fictional) friends, I have had an imaginary pet, and an imaginary library too. As children, we tend to be utterly sensitive, we can never completely comprehend why we cannot make friends at a new school or a new place that we move to, we cannot entirely understand why we are treated as an outcast at places we are unfamiliar with. We fail to decipher why there are a lot of regional disparities.  It was totally normal to face issues while making friends at a new place, but it was even tough to make and maintain friendships when you transferred from one school to another in two years. We did not even have the internet in the 90s, and by the time it arrived, it was a hassle using it.

I took a lot of time and effort to make real friends, and after I did, I never had to look back. I kept on making friends, I kept on making memories, and I kept on cherishing the time I'd spend with them. I have realized that unlike imaginary friends, real friends respond, they are concerned, and they tell you about things that you wouldn't know otherwise. Real friends stay up late in the night talking you, they bunk work to come meet you when you are down, and they accompany you on your shopping trips. Unlike imaginary friends, some real friends that you make might prove to be unhealthy for you and you are driven to a point where you push them out of your life. Real friends are cooler. But sometimes, I do think, what if I never made real friends? Would I still have relied on the solace my imaginary friends offered?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Melancholia.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, November 17, 2015 2 comments Links to this post

One of the most mundane attempts to get over boredom is to browse through Facebook aimlessly. At 24, I think it is a crime though I am guilty of doing it. As it turned out, I opened Facebook today when it welcomed me with 'What's on your mind?' For starters, a lot. An unimaginable amount of incorrigibly ridiculous nonsense. I wished it asked me 'What's not on your mind?' That would have been an easy question to answer.


I am a slave to my emotions. Sometimes, I arrive at a point where I think I am an emotional masochist. While I definitely do know that I am not one, I also know that I am an insanely sensitive person. It doesn't take much to make me weep. I weep even a TV series ends, even when it is not Friends. I cried when Entourage ended. Who in the world cries for Entourage? I do.


Let's talk about what's on my mind for the day. I was having a conversation with one of my friends who has been complaining that I am being constantly absent from her life. I apologize to all the friends who are experiencing my sudden disappearance, but you'll see a lot more of my absence. So my friend was asking me why most of my writings are centered around sadness. I failed to answer her question then, mostly, because I wanted to get back to reading but here's the thing about sadness. It gets to us, and not even the strongest and the mightiest of us are not spared. Talking or writing about sadness is not showing your vulnerabilities. If anything, I believe it's all a part of acceptance. The irony about sadness is that it transforms us in a way that happiness doesn't. I am not saying happiness is a bad thing. It is an end goal of EVERYTHING we do in our life.


A person I knew once told me that some of the best, world famous works by musicians, artists, writers, painters have been produced out of melancholy. And some of the lesser known works too, of course. When someone asks us, why sadness? Why choose that? We have to tell them that there is nothing disdainful about it. It is an emotion everyone goes through. Some choose to talk about it and put it in the open, some don't. It's alright, however, one deals with it, but the definition of sadness is never altered.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

My Rain.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, November 04, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

You were my rain. Maybe you still are.


I know I met you in the Summer, but you were never my Summer. It was on a rainy Saturday morning that we watched our first movie together and it was the first rainy Saturday evening when you held me close to your heart. I've lost the count of the number of hot cups of coffee we had every time it rained or the amount of my pictures that kept occupying the nooks and corners of your phone. It was also during the rainy season when we made tall promises to each other, breaking each of them in the following season.


Maybe it's true. I can never picture you against the background of another season. It's only on a rainy day, you walk into my thoughts, in your warm, black jacket, holding the cup of coffee with both your arms and laughing at my rather silly jokes.


You were always, and will always be my rain. Just like the rain, you were always mine, but never really mine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Curious Case of Sadness.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, October 28, 2015 4 comments Links to this post
It was 6 AM. The sun rays were playfully dancing on the contours of her face. She cupped her face and turned her back towards the window. She did not want to get out of the bed. She did not want to face the world. She wanted to stay still in the comfort of her room. She felt the pain filling up at the pit of her stomach and anxiety creeping up her spine. She dolefully wiped the stray tear on her left cheek. She dragged herself across the room to sit in front of the mirror to notice the bags under her eyes, her otherwise big brown eyes.
"A long indulging bath would help," she murmured, "it helped yesterday. The day before. And for months." She took turns to run lukewarm water and cold water on her. She loved how the hot water soothed her after the cold water. That's how life is, she mused to herself. The warmth always saunters after the piercing cold leaves.
She looked at her reflection in the mirror flattening her hair. She took her sweet time to apply her favourite mousse to her hair and dressed in black pants and bright red top. The red lipstick did a great job at lightening up her face, and on the outside she looked like someone who was not broken. She twirled a little, hid her pain behind her kohl-lined eyes and walked out of her room.
Maybe she was feeling better. Maybe she was not. But she was not giving up.
***
If you are reading this and can relate with it, do know that there are people struggling to get better like you. If you are reading this and cannot relate with it, please understand that in this real world, there are people who make a gigantic amount of effort to walk out from their bed to the outside of their room. Each day. Every morning. Sadness, void, depression are real, as real as you and I. If you think happiness is real, the opposites of it are real too. And they fight with each other to claim larger spaces of you.
Depression(or sadness) is that cynical dude who seduces you into a dark place. Remember the cynical dudes we found hot during high school but deep inside, they are good for nothing. Yes, that! Happiness is that geeky dude you ignore in the beginning but take the time to understand how amazing he is. In a way, you need to fight your way to end up with that geeky dude, you need to make efforts to accommodate him in your life. But here's the deal. The cynical dude and geeky dude will walk along with you. As the cynical dude is sardonic and the geeky dude is shy by nature, you need to make the first move. Even when you choose the geek, the cynic will lurk around you, and many a times, he will lure you into his darkness. You'll have to be firm with him. You'll have to tell him that he doesn't get to make the choices in your life. He is free to make himself comfortable in your life, but all he gets to do is see you waltz with the geeky dude. Unfortunately, you need to meet the cynic to value the geek.
In the end, it all falls into place, though.
P.S. You don’t have to build a fort for insecurities, sadness, depression, fear, anxiety. They can look after themselves. I know you cannot demolish the fort overnight, it takes time to ruin something too. However, wake up every morning and show up. Create something each day and happiness will build a fort for you. That’s the catch!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dear You!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 25, 2015 4 comments Links to this post

Dear you,

Today was a difficult day and more is yet to come. You feel the darkness engulfing around you. You feel sad. You feel the pain at the pit of your stomach. Your heart is broken and you cannot gather the broken pieces. You are too tired to mend it. You do not love sunsets any more.

You want to read books and not think about him. You want to go to your favourite coffee shop and not miss his presence. You know you have lost your favourite corner, your safe haven, but you also know that you have not lost yourself. You have stopped taking pleasure even at the beauty of butterflies. You stare endlessly at the wall and question yourself. Everything goes in vain. You know that, don't you? You want to watch a movie and savour pizza even if he is not around. You know he won't be but that you will be around yourself. Your world should be filled with you.

You stay up late one night to finish an assignment, but all you do is weep your guts out. You cry for the lost moments, you cry for what's not yours any longer, you cry for the song that reminds you of him. There is still time to get better but for now let me just lie in the darkness and the shadows, you tell yourself. You chant 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.' Unconvincingly. You stop noticing the little things and you stop fighting for fine mornings. You just be and you ask people to let you be. People around you pass on the unsolicited piece of advice, they force you to go back to how you were. Funnily, you will never go back to be how you were. You will never be the same person again.

You try to smile. You sign up for bizarre things, you try to do more. You know that he was just a terrible chapter in your wonderful story, but your story is not over yet. You start believing in yourself. You begin to understand the importance of you. You walk the streets and do not crave for his arm in yours. You start loving your morning coffee in a coffee shop that you went along him. There will still be songs that remind you of him. But now you have a new playlist that talks about the person you are.

You learn new things. Your heart was broken for a reason, to make space for more beauty in your life. You can feel yourself healing, the physical pain at the pit of your stomach has vanished for good. You see the sunshine creeping through the windows into your room. You smile at your reflection in the mirror. You start loving the sunsets and you notice the flowers in your garden again. 

The essence of the beauty in your life was never meant to be lost. You were never meant to be lost. You were meant to reach here, but you just embraced a thorny path to reach here.

Your story is all about you now.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Promises.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, October 23, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

Broken promises. Forgotten promises. Abandoned promises.

We lament about them, but they are all lost in time.

But what about the promises that we make to ourselves?

The ones that we break ruthlessly.

Will they be lost in time too?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mondays Like Today.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, October 19, 2015 1 comments Links to this post

We all have one of those days when we do nothing but we still get tired. I am having one of those days today. I left work earlier than usual only to save myself from the trauma of the ever famous Monday traffic. Also, because I had to finish an important writing assignment and I could not find myself in the right mood to accomplish that task at work. I got lucky and submitted it on time. But I don't want to talk about it for the moment.

I did a little shopping today. It felt like an eternity. I don’t know when was the last time I went shopping in an actual store. It must have been June. Woah! You know what I mean? I have been a compulsive shopper, and I am known to shop all around the clock. I do not know where those days have gone.

One of my worst habits happen to be buying anything. Sometimes, I buy things I would never wear. There are things in my closet that remain untouched with their price tags still on. Today, I bought just one thing. One thing that I fell in love with the moment I spotted it. One thing that made me plan to go out. I was tired, sure, but I was also happy to just have a normal day.

I think some days are simple like today. I am glad some Mondays are all about listening to some 80s music and reading. And a little shopping.

P.S. I love shopping on Mondays. The stores and their trail rooms are absolutely empty.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Writing Our Stories.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 18, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

In my last post, I've said that I've read two amazing books last week and that I would write about them.

I’ve read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski. The overly sensitive person that I am, I ended up shedding a tear or two while reading both the books. The books were so truthful that I could not help talking about them all the week. Every person I met and everywhere I went, I talked about these books.

I love Elizabeth Gilbert. Call it serendipity or my idea to feel better, I have always read her when I was hitting rock bottom. I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love when I was in college, but it was just a good book. A book that I liked and that was all about it. But the first time I ever had a major breakdown, I picked Eat, Pray, Love again. This time it wasn't just a good book, it was a voice that was talking to me, reminding me that there is hope. I read it once. Twice. I felt better. I watched her TED talks and I read more though I still haven't finished reading The Signature of All Things. When I got to know about Big Magic, I knew I had to read it. Funnily, I read it when I was going through another breakdown, and this time, it was liberating. I read it on my way to work, and I read it before I fell asleep. I read it during breaks, and I read it at every opportunity I could find. I understood it. Loved it. Talked about it. And secretly, I found my lost courage from it.

You know there are instances when you find mentors just around you. And sometimes you don't. Sometimes they are in your city. Sometimes you meet them every day. In my case, it is different. In spite of the miles of distance between Hyderabad and New Jersey, Elizabeth is my mentor, though she is absolutely unaware of existence.

Thank you for writing this book, Elizabeth! I needed it. Just the way I needed Eat, Pray, Love. I've learned so much from it and I know there is so much more to learn. I will live my life with stubborn gladness and it is a promise I've made to myself this year.

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Jamie Tworkowski's If You Feel Too Much has made me realize that there are people like me. That there are people who waltz their way through pain and emerge stronger. That there are people who never give up despite what happens to them. That people struggle and fight.

I have been following 'To Write Love on Her Arms' for a quite bit of time now and I honestly believe that what Jamie has been doing for people is wonderful. When someone told me that Jamie wrote a book and that I must read it, I was a little apprehensive. I thought I did not need a book that would make me sad. Funnily again, this book was anything but sad. It has beautiful stories and every story teaches you something.

Jamie has always been a strong advocate of urging people to not to give up on their story. And this is amazing because we are all carrying so many stories inside us but we either give up or never talk about them. It is time we do. It is time we write our own stories. Live our own stories.

P.S. Elizabeth Gilbert, you rock my world.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Week of Epiphanies

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, October 16, 2015 0 comments Links to this post

I am glad I could call it the week of epiphanies.


I have accomplished quite a bit this week and met most of my deadlines. I am happy. I have read two amazing books (I promise to write about them in the next post) this week and I feel so liberated. I love books like these - books that me cry, books that keep me up in the night, books that break my heart, books that make me ponder. I think only good books and sunsets can have that effect on me.


This evening, as I sat down to write a post on the multiple epiphanies, I figured I would only pick two of them and announce it to the world. Why? Because why the hell not!


1. My idea about the love of my life has always been slightly distorted. I fell in love for the first time even when it was an age forbidden to be in love. It was not with some guy, though. It was with Literature. It was with the world of books. Of stories. Right from my childhood, I have cultivated a habit of reading before I sleep every night. Even if my options were limited to Tinkle. I put myself in the picture often by writing silly poems and stories that my mother pretended to enjoy for the sake of her child.


I will be honest, though. I took my writing for granted. I abandoned it, stopped having conversations with it. I stopped nurturing it. Even worse, accepting it. But it did not leave me. It was by my side on the days when I was self-absorbed. And on the days when I was drowning in darkness. It did not break my heart like a certain boy did. Nor did it stop reminding me about its purpose in my life. That's how cool it is!


It probably, and will always be the only love of my life. As long as it wants to be. I am delightful for discovering our mutual love.


2. Like I already said, I could be a little self-absorbed sometimes. On the days when I am, I think the world revolves around me. It is days like those that force me to assume I am the only person who goes through pain. For the longest time, I thought all the first world problems were happening in my courtyard only and that it was the most intriguing part about me. I was making a huge deal about the pain I go through.


Well, it looks like every second person goes through pain. There is nothing sensational about the kind I was facing or whining about, but what really is my forte is the ability to write (It doesn't matter even if it is cringe worthy) even while enduring the pain. And that, definitely, and has to be the most intriguing part about my personality. I am not letting something like pain, fear, anguish signify my personality. We all have intriguing personalities. Mine is this, yours could be something else. But even the most intriguing part about us vanishes if we succumb to the chaos in our life.


I would not let mine vanish. Not in this lifetime.


P.S. What is the matter with the radio channels in Hyderabad? Have they stopped playing music or what? I waited for thirty minutes for a decent song but all that was played were advertisements. Sigh!


Anyway, you all have a great weekend.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Demons In Our Head.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 11, 2015 2 comments Links to this post

Often there are demons in our head we have to fight battles with.


These demons cripple us. They begin living with us. It does not matter how much we try to push them out. They stay. They hover. They make our head their home.


One such demon I fight is love. People who read my blog or know me well enough know how much I think about love, or how happy I am when two people in love have a really happy ending. I derive so much happiness from the little stories my friends or family tell me about it. But in this post, I am not referring to the romantic love alone. I am not even talking about the platonic one. I am talking about the love that comes in various forms. In the form of friends, family, coworkers, strangers we meet every day.


It is strange that over the past few days, weeks, months. Wait, you know what? I actually lost the count of it. I have come to believe that love is a bad space to be in. And this is coming from a person who weeps every time a romantic comedy ends. Not a cool thing.

I began to believe that love is a lie. That when someone loves me and then stops loving me, I have done something utterly terrible for them to stop loving me overnight. That when I attract unhealthy friends who convince me to do things I hate, I blame my love for them. Never did I blame my poor judgment of choice. Or when some random relative gives me advice or forces me into things I hate, I forget to stand up for myself. I blame love for it. In fact, I blame it for every bad thing that happens in my life.


That is the thing about the most of us. We forget that our problems with the people we love are the problems we have with them. Not with love. The problems we claim to be problems are because we stop fighting for them, we stop talking about them. We stop communicating. We avoid them. And what happens when we avoid them? We make space for sadness and demons.


I have this wonderful, a little special friend who said something a few days ago. Confront your devils before they take your soul for ransom. I don't know what he meant when he said that, or in what context he updated that status, but I knew that I have to really deal with my demons (or devils) first. Little by little, probably, but I won't let them stay in my mind for things I blame myself for.

I hope you all fight the demons in your head (We all have different ones. Yours and mine might be different) and help the people around you to fight theirs. There will be no end to our struggles if we aren't in this together.


P.S. I hope you all had a great Sunday. I look forward to nothing but Monday. Gosh, I am such a Monday person.

 

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