8 Things No One Told Me About Being Married

Don’t ever stop dating your wife and don’t ever stop flirting with your husband.

“A successful marriage
requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.”

As I started to close in on my mid-twentites, I knew marriage was right around the corner. It was a definitive; just a matter of when, where and to whom. Not having have found a partner myself, it was certain that my family would find me a match, fortunately the decision would be mine.

I was, however, mentally prepared for it. Like I said, it was only a matter of when, where and to whom I’d me marrying. But I knew that it was going to happen and had made peace with my early adolescent spirit that had a skewed sense of feminism wrapped in a fairytale bubble (you can only imagine how messed up and confusing that can be) .

Right up until I got married and moved into my husband’s home with his family that was now becoming mine, I didn’t realise that all my education and exposure had not managed to protected me from having preconceived notions about what it means to be a married woman and a daughter-in-law… imagine my surprise!

Through household chatter, experiences of my family members, media and popular tales I had sub-consciously gathered and consolidated data on what it means to be a married woman. I had created a mood board of sorts which was painted by putting woman and their struggles on a pedestal and normalising the negativity that came with it. I knew I was suddenly going to be an adult with responsibilities and unspoken/ declared duties and expectations. I knew for myself that being a married woman there would be a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law angle, the Bermuda triangle between the mother son and myself, etcetera.

After being married for almost two years and starting a new journey along side with the on going pandemic here are the things I’ve come to experience and realise that I wish someone had told me but no one told me about being a married woman.

1. It begins at the end of “Happily Ever After”
..”Yes, I do”…. “Yes, I do”… And they lived happily ever after!
It is after this that a marriage truly begins. I do not know what I’ll feel in retrospect after having have lived my life, but I now know that the meaning is to make the most of it, the best of it and hope you can look back and say that “.. and then we lived happily ever after”. Marriage is like playing with lego, you imagine, aspire, create and hope you’ve gotten it right.

2. It helps you discover yourself
There is so much I’ve realised that I never knew about myself. There are times that I surprise myself. It could be about things that you are protective of and things that you are accommodating about. It could be your new found level of patience and ability to persevere. It could be about how accommodating you truly can be and the strength to stand up for yourself in ways you never thought you could. And sometimes it’s about finding out that being vulnerable and feeling safe at the same time is a possibility. I’ve had moments where I broke down for no reason at all and still knew that I’m loved and there was no judgement being thrown at me.

3. Finding your new family
The thing that sticks out to me the most is that my birth family is the family that I was born into, it has loved me since before I was born, I’ve had years to build my relationships there and create my own space. And I’ll always have a home in their hearts- which goes without saying.
But coming to my marital home- at first it felt like a house with people who occupy it. It is after all these months that I’ve realised that these are relationships that I have to nourish and build for them to mean anything in my life; because otherwise they will just remain my husband’s family.

4. I have two mothers
Here I speak for myself and I know I’ve lucked out. Marriage gave me two mothers- my birth mother will always be the one who got me into this world and taught me everything I know about life thus far. But it is my Mother-In-Law who held my hand when I stepped into a new territory and helped find my comfort zone. She is the one teaching me things going forward.
She helps me understand my partner better which in turn helps me nurture our partnership better as a wife. She asks for my opinion and shares how things have been done thus far- what better, right?

“Marriage is not a noun;
it’s a verb.
It isn’t something you get.
It’s something you do.
It’s the way you love your partner every day.”
– Barbara De Angelis

5. Marriage changes you
Many of our friends and cousins have complained that we’ve changed as individuals but I don’t say this as a bad thing.
We have both made upgrades to our behaviours and patterns in order to support each other better and stay in sync. from being two singles, we’ve gone onto becoming Mr. & Mrs- that entails changes in order to survive and grow as a unit.

6. It makes everything more serious
That’s true, suddenly the intensity of everything is heightened. Conversations about future, plans for the weekend or just as argument- everything is more serious than it has ever been before. It could also be because you know this is it- this person in front of you is it and you both want to get it right and do not want to just settle for average.

7. THERE ARE NO HIGHWAYS ANYMORE
The attitude of “it is may way or the highway” doesn’t apply anymore. I’ve realised that it is rarely about being right, but mostly about finding the best option available. I’ve found myself actively avoiding quick fixes and wanting to talk it over with partner to find a long term solution to issues.
I once read it somewhere that marriage is like weight. It is not like once you’ve achieved your ideal weight you can go about living your life, similarly once you’ve sorted something in your marriage that is not it. It has to become a lifestyle, where you constantly and proactively keep working on it.

8. IT IS THE NEXT LEVEL OF TEAM WORK
Marriage doesn’t just take work, it is hard AF.
It is an amalgamation of too many factors at once with no manual and one fits all solutions. A happy marriage is a symbiotic relationship where not only do we support one another but also become the foundation to our children and an assurance to all the others intimately connected to us.

“A husband and wife
may disagree on many things
but they must absolutely agree on this:
to never, ever give up.”

Tigers

From their stripes to their paws, they are worth being fascinated by and gaping at. They are elegance and power wrapped into one.

Do you know how a Tiger is raised?

On my recent trip to a Tiger Reserve and National Park, I had the opportunity to learn more about this beautiful creation of God. From their stripes to their paws, they are worth being fascinated by and gaping at. A tiger marks his territory and regularly patrols it and protects it from competitors. Each of these territories has three to four tigresses marking their own territories within. A tigress litters three to four times in her lifetime and each litter gives her anywhere from one to four cubs, usually. For the first three years of their lives these litters are under the protection of their mother who feeds them, nourishes them and educates them. She teaches them how to hunt and camouflage for safety, she teaches them to identify opportunity and strategise. If she identifies that there is a weakling amongst her litter, she terminates it for the safety of the others. It sounds rather heartless, but Darwin did say that the world functions on a ‘survival of the fittest’ model. And jeopardising the lives of the strong in order to continue supporting the weak is not something that favours life in a jungle.

Anyway, once the cubs are old and taught enough she releases them from her care and shelter. They are expected to work as individual units that moment forward. They are to explore the jungle, find a territory they’d like to call their own, challenge the one who calls the territory home at that moment and then the winner takes it all. A face off of this nature is purely based on strength; relationships being no bar. It is fairly common for a daughter to challenge her mother and a son his father, one among sisters and amidst brothers.

And hence the cycle continues…

In the wake of all this new information I realised that what a Tigress really does is that she season them for the best and the worst to come. She is accepting of the limitations of her children and doesn’t coddle her kids, instead pushes them to be better. She needs them to be better each day because she knows that her strength and glory will do nothing for their survival. While she is the legacy of someone, her litter is her legacy.

This made me think of gratification, the thin line between being pampered and spoilt, the difference between being comfortable and being unequipped. Just the mere realisation of this thought has had me viewing people, situations and stories in a very different light. I mean, I’ve begun to perceive the experiences I’ve had so far in a different light as well. It made me take a step back and analyse my stance on certain actions my parents took for me during my rebel years.. were they being strict or were they making sure that I had the qualities and skills to survive once I was out of their shelter.

What do you think?

A Pillion Ride

Walking through the crossroads amidst workday lunch traffic, actively blocking all the commotion around me. I made my way home after completing a long list of chores, on foot to avoid wasting time in vehicular humdrum, thinking of what is with all the rush, what is it with all the chaos, what is everyone chasing, if everyone is out on the streets then what about their homes??
Why is it that each day the crossroad near my house see’s the same rush; on weekdays its in blue and blacks while on weekends the same rush turns vibrant in colour, but its a chaos all the same.

Bickering to myself, trying to come up with reasons and then justifying them, and then looking for a better answer as that wasn’t satisfactory enough- I was stopped mid step. From the corner of my eyes I saw something, something that was out of place. My peripheral vision had been coloured neon and my hardwired and set-pattern expecting brain couldn’t understand why. While I was lost in a new confusion, me sense were flooded by a sound. The sound of a hearty laughter- the kind that just forms in your stomach, rolls up your throat and launches itself into the world like a contagious vibration. It made the hair on my neck stand, in a good way.

On turning back, I saw a child of 5 or 6. It was this child that was responsible for the disruption of a regular weekday afternoon. This child wore a neon coloured overall with the whitest of white shoes and held a pinwheels of fluorescent colours. The person responsible for this child rode a scooter, absolutely unaffected by this roar of a laughter. If he was struggling with navigating through the traffic, his face didn’t show it.

And just like that I realised that I had raised my free hand and was waving at the kid with a smile on my face. The child wasn’t just laughing but also waving at all the strangers that were passing by and had a chance to do so face-to-face as he sat with his back against his riders back. It was when the child and his rider were out of sight and out of my audible distance, I realised that his sound had gained out al the sounds that my surroundings were creating- the honking or motor vehicles, the sound of their engines, the telephone conversations, the barking of stray dogs.

Once again, bickering to myself, I entered my house wondering what the child was so happy about, how musical was his laughter and does looking at things in retrospect really make them easier to laugh about?

Things of 2020

Completing a year is like coming a full circle. Celebrating its end is expected and accepted.

We’re getting closer to the end of this landmark year. This year we have all been part of something larger than us and are all in it together.
As a year end trend, many people are soon going to start talking posting and tweeting about their achievements and experiences from this year. Some will talk about gainful investments, career advancements, academic brilliance and other such verticals of growth and prosperity.

Completing a year is like coming a full circle. Celebrating its end is expected and accepted.

Here’s what I want to tell each one of you out there; whether you’ve made progress or just floated, whether you have large gains to boast about or your budgets have shrunk like never before. Go ahead and do this:

Pat yourself on the back because you’ve made it through the year!
A year that was nothing sort of a global frenzy. A year which no one had predicted to begin with and thus we weren’t prepared. But you survived. each one of you is a warrior who survived, with big and small battle scars. Battle scars nonetheless.

This year has taught each one of us to nurture and cater to out health before everything else.
It has created a paradigm shift for a lot of us. From employers working on their conscience rather than business acumen, governments going over and above for its pupil, all family members pitching in at home, teachers becoming students overnight to embrace the digitalisation in order to continue educating our futures, neighbours supporting each other, societies become more aware and responsible towards consumer decisions.

Finally local, cottage and small, industries became the heroes.
A lot of large houses lost their shine as necessity and minimalistic behaviour started to seem in. Sustainability and eco-friendly became the new norm. And you played your role in making this shift happen.

To sum it up, all I want to say is that we need to appreciate all the big and small adjustments and improvements that we have made in our own lives. We need to start looking at the quality of work that has happened and all the skill development that took place in each of our lives. We reconnected with our families and truly spent time with them and ourselves. We learned to appreciate all the footwork that goes into getting things done and the people who get the footwork done for us.
Appreciate the house help, the paper boys and the milkmen. Appreciate all those who chose to adapt to change for our convenience, even at the cost of their own inconvenience. Appreciate all those who stuck it out with you even when you were of the edge and continue to hold you close. To all those health and fitness practitioners that got workout to your homes so you didn’t neglect yourself. The colleagues, subordinates and superiors who supported you and continue to do so.

And that for me is a great cause for celebration!

Congratulations on being such wonderful survivors!

20 Habits For Your 20s, For A Financially Secure Future

It is an unstated yet well understood fact that we need to earn, save and create funds for a secured and comfortable future.
In this article, let me tell you some habits to pick in your 20s to build a financially secure future. Do not miss the opportunities in your 20s so that you can enjoy a very happy retirement.
So, start today with new hope and a new plan to overhaul your financial picture. Start practicing these habits, become a new person, and walk towards financial security.
Little Drops of Water Make a Mighty Ocean. So, start from the small steps, repeat regularly, rather than doing it in one single giant leap.

Avoid Credit Card Debt
Today, almost all financial institutions have attracted youth towards various credit card offers. Being pulled by curiosity, many youngsters get unknowingly trapped. Eventually struggling through debt. So my best suggestion that you practice as a habit to pick in your 20s for a secured future is to avoid credit cards. If you are buying anything, or shopping, or paying bills, make a point that you should have money in your account.
Credit cards have 45 days no interest period, but even though many people are not able to pay on-time. If you failed, you are charged with a high-interest for the outstanding amount. It can ruin your finances over time.

Pay Attention To Your Credit Score
In the previous topic, I told you to avoid credit cards and credit card debts, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore credit cards. Having a good credit score will help you in many different ways, such as you can avail loans at a better rate of interest than others. If your credit score is more than 800, you will get a loan at the fairly low interest rate.
A good credit score also determines your retirement insurance rates and other types of financial deposit plans. So, if you get a credit card, play a safe game, and maintain that you should not fall into the trap. So a better way to use a credit card to build your credit profile is to get a credit card and use it a few times in a month. Buy something or pay a few bills and repay the credit card bill in full before the no-interest period expires. Try not to carry a balance to the next month.

Tackle Your Debt
The accumulation of a debt ca also be understood as wasting your potential future savings. Avoid unnecessary debt by properly planning your purchases and distinguishing between your various needs. I am not saying all debts are bad. Borrowing for education or mortgages is theoretically worth the cost. A credit card debt is classified as a bad example of debt or called a bad debt. So list all your debts and start paying off by following SnowBall Method. It means to start paying off the debt with the smallest balance first. But do not stop paying other debts (rather than pay smaller). Once you complete full payment to that smaller debt, you can start using that money to pay off your larger debt. Keep this as a practice until all your debt got paid and cleared. Do not unnecessarily buy things and shop online that is having no or less value for your living now using your credit or borrowing money. Follow this habit very strictly in your 20s to build a secure financial future.

Set up an Emergency Fund
In our life, we never know when we could be in need of that extra. It could be a lay off, medical emergency or family emergency- they usually come unannounced. It’s not fair, and it’s not even funny, but it may happen. The best thing to be prepared is creating an emergency fund.
As you see, the world stalled, and nearly millions of people lost their job due to Corona aka COVD-19. Many companies have stopped their operations and laid off their employees or have had severe pay cuts. It is in such cases that an emergency fund helps one sustain.
Like investing in other assets, insurance policies, retirement planning, invest some money for emergency needs as well. You can determine the size of your emergency fund based on your other expenses.

Create a Budget
Easy to say, difficult to do and even more difficult to follow.
Budgeting is one of the hardest parts for many. They spend all their earned money in a more uncontrolled way, and at the end of the month, they’re left with lose to nothing. Many people in their 20s are not learning how important it is to manage money. So first, how do you create and manage your budget? There are lots of ways to follow and at first separate into categories: Savings, Needs, and Wants.
After you have earned your paycheck, create your budget, and split your money for the above categories. First, prepare for your savings like retirement plans, life insurance premium, Fixed deposit, Investments like trading, bonds, etc. Then comes the Needs, which are the things that cannot be postponed or avoided. Like, your home rent, which you cannot avoid every month.
Finally, Wants, if your guess is correct, wants are different from needs. Yes, for example, you need to need, but it’s not necessary to go to a big hotel to eat. You can cook for yourself at home. Another example, do you really need to buy new clothes this month. Not if you can postpone to next month.
So, create your clean table of Savings, Needs, and Wants every month so that you can create a perfect budget. There are so many online budgeting apps are available that can help you track all your spendings using your debit cards, credit cards, and bank account.

Create Short-Term Goals
After you completed your college degree, your first short-term goal is to bag a job in a good company for decent pay. A Goal can be either a short-term goal or a long-term goal. But do not set long-term goals, as we do not know what life is having for us tomorrow. So, planning a long-term goal is a daunting task for young people.
Also, setting one short-term goal isn’t enough. Like after completing a college degree, get placed in a Good Company for Good Pay. Set a series of short-term goals to achieve your long-term goals. For example, the first goal is getting a good job. The second goal is paying off your education loan in a span of 12 months. The third goal is opening a savings account and retirement account as soon as possible in the next few months.
Keep creating more series of short-term goals and put effort to achieve them one by one. Constant setting and achieving will ensure your steady growth both in terms of your financial career and in your life.

Modest LifeStyle
After the massive boom in the IT industry, many students are joining computer-related courses in their college. After you complete your college degree, you can join an IT company based on your skill and your academic qualification. The starting salary of these companies is also higher than what our parents earned in their young-age. So, this makes the graduates in the first few years of their employment, spend excess money on unnecessary things. Stop performing these stupid spending habits, quiet use the money in other useful ways.
You can use the money to invest in returning assets or paying off your debts, or add and increase your savings. As you advance in your employment, your salary will also grow.
So, you should focus on creating a healthy budget according to Savings, Needs, and Wants. A general formula that if your lifestyle lags your income, you are well in your financials. It’s possible to begin a normal lifestyle by completing the basic needs. So, start practicing to live a modest lifestyle as a habit to pick in your 20s for building a secure financial future.

Open a Savings Account
When are you above 18 (or) any legal age of your country, first open a savings account in any reliable bank in your country? Search for a high-returning account that offers more interest on the money that you keep in your account. Create a habit of adding a few dollars a week or multiple times a week to your savings account. Never mind if it is one-cent or two-cent, deposit in your savings account.

Education Loan (Borrow What You Require)
Today many students are studying through education loans as their parents can’t afford high tuition fees. The government also passed many laws to ease the loan process. But you borrow only for your tuition fees, exam fees, and lab fees. Do not include other expenses and make your loan bigger. The smaller the loan, the easier to repay.
After completing your studies, approach your banking partner and ask for a repayment schedule to repay the loans. I can see many students caught up in loan consolidation scams and merely wasting large sums of money spent on student loan debt.

Buy a Suitable Life Insurance
Life insurance is not only for working people or adults, but you should plan to buy on in your 20s. It is not the subject of the aged people, but you need to plan in your 20s to secure your future. Because when a 35years old opts for an insurance they pay more premium for the same maturity value than the one in their 20s.
It is a bitter truth, but you should make this a habit to pick in your 20s for building a secure financial future. If you are planning for a marriage in the coming years or so, having life insurance will secure your financial protection of your family. Start finding a suitable insurance plan at 20 and choose your premium duration as well.

Find a Reliable Financial Planner
A financial planner is a qualified person who is responsible for preparing financial plans for the people. S/he helps individuals and corporations to meet their long-term financial goals by planning multiple short-term goals. It often includes investment, trading, tax planning, asset allocation, insurance planning, etc. But you can ask, I am just 20, and why should I need one as i don’t have any assets to manage or budget to hire a financial planner? You need to hire one after you starting earning your first penny so you don’t lose out on any opportunities- big and small.

Develop Your Skills
Today many people have achieved great heights even though they aren’t academically proficient. Yes, it’s not necessary to complete a college degree to get a job. However, you can identify your skills and groom them. List down all the skills you think you have. Filter the best ones that you think you fit yourself with and develop the skills that are in demand. There are many certification courses you can join to land a good job. For example, digital marketing is the trending job in the current decade. So, if you are able to develop your digital marketing skills, you can find a lot of online jobs from home.

Start a Reliable Side Hustle
Today a majority of people are pursuing part-time jobs in their free time. Having a side hustle can diversify your income and ensure continuous money flow in your bank accounts. Identify your skills and develop your skills to get a reliable side income. There are so many jobs available online such as Virtual Assistants, Micro Workers, Freelance Web Designers, Digital Marketers, etc. Having a side-hustle not only makes you earn more but also helps you groom your skills.
An additional income makes you free from relying too heavily on a single source of income. try making this a habit in your 20s for building a secure financial future.

Practice Investing
It is the age to keep learning new things and gain more knowledge about work and life. So, always spend some time to learn about investing. The best example is Warren Buffet, who is a great investor. He is also a role model for many entrepreneurs. This man is all about money management and recognising opportunities to invest and grow.
So get help from your financial advisor or use the internet to learn various ways to invest your money so that it can get you good returns. You can invest in instruments like Fixed Deposits, Bonds and Securities, Stock Market, Forex Market Trading, Invest in start- ups, etc. But you need to earn money before-hand to get into this part (which is money makes money).

Create a Habit of Saving Money For Big Purchases
Start saving money for big purchases right from your 20s. It is the right time to start saving for various wishes and needs like world tour, marriage, that dream car, etc. It is always better to buy things from your savings rather than buying from the credit that will sometimes end up in long-term debt. If you are planning to buy a car that isa luxury, do not buy on loans. Instead, work more to save more money, you can end up buying the same car after a year or two than planned. There won’t be any happier moment than buying your dream car in full payment rather than buying through a loan.

Open Retirement Account
Like savings accounts, when you are at your 20, open a Retirement account as soon as you start earning money. Do not wait until 30 or more to open an account. Because when you start investing in your 20s, you can save more. As soon as you receive your first paycheck, open a retirement account with your company. Else you can open an IRA account where an earning person can contribute to an IRA.

Pay Bills On Time
When you grow over your 20s, you become responsible for yourself and more. It becomes necessary that you pay your own bills. Your parents aren’t/ shouldn’t be responsible for them. Do not miss any utility payments, phone bills, internet bills, or other items. Because delaying payments or missing payments can harm your credit score for years. Yes, this will affect your eligibility when you apply for that home loan in the future.

Build Your Network
You are just coming out of your nest to see the outside world. On completion of your basic education, take advantage of internships, free jobs, community jobs, and other opportunities where you can garner and share your expertise and gain on field experience. Always search to meet new people and build new relationships, which will give you more opportunities for your future.

Give to Others
Healthy finance means helping others in need. Give some part of your earned money to churches, charity, or volunteer in organizing camps, events, etc. Give your time, money, and effort. This habit can give results in other ways and makes you explore new opportunities, thus helps to build a secured financial future.

Learn to Cook
This could sound absurd, but when you calculate your average monthly spending on food, it will account for a large part of your earnings. Yes, not every student will get a job in their hometown. Sometimes, we might need to re-locate for our job. When you learn to cook food for yourself, you can save a lot of money (& who knows this could be your little side hustle). Eating unhealthy foods and fast foods can lead to various health problems, which in turn can drain your money. So, learn to cook for yourself and save money from unwanted expenses and hospital bills. You will be healthier, more active when you eat healthy food. So, you can put more effort and simultaneously earn more money in your 20s.

Bonus Points
Everyone’s life including mine starts at the age of 20, before this we are coddled and comforted. We need to be more cautious in taking every step forward towards a financially secure future. If not now, then when?
So, follow the above advice and start practicing the habits to pick in your 20s for building a secure financial future.
You cannot work over-time in your 40. You can’t spend time with your family in your 30 if you forgot to shape your future ever since your 20s.
Think Wise, Act Wiser. Think about what you value and its importance to you. Spend more time on priorities instead of wasting money on things that wouldn’t matter in the near future.

Frogs and The Pot

The world seemed to have tuned out of its murmur allowing a stillness to blanket it. The leaves stopped to rustle, the winds did not whistle, the owls seemed to sleep through the night, the bats lost their flight and the market place was barren during the day. All souls, both two and four legged, seemed to have taken comfort in their warm hideouts. 
Why wouldn’t they? After all, the darkest of homes seemed to have more light than the world. The world which was now all things grey. The gravel, the walls, the air, the trees. The winter had coloured the town GREY!

All the noses were left senseless and the human lips reached for amber and became accommodating of all breathing beings by sharing their fire with almost everyone. As the merciless winter of this year unleashed its last wrath by transforming water into glass like solid objects, it was the croaking ones left to fend for themselves. 
With an instinct for survival they all jumped into pots that were left on fire by some saintly souls… maybe for themselves or as a welcome post for these jumpers, who knew?
Either way it worked. They were likely to survive the night.

As the blood began to flow in their bodies again and they regained control of their senses did they stop the panic start to doze off… 

As the water in the pots began to reach a temperature that favoured their little frog bodies and made them feel at home did one of them start to croak incessantly; as if sending out alarm signals for all.
As they all lazily woke up in a frenzy to understand this maniacal urgency when they had just found solace did the alarm raiser say, “We need to hop away from the pots. They are going to be the death of us! We need to leave.” 
While most called it crazy, the older lot called it an immature specimen of youth, some thought of him as the one who was up to some kind of fickle game for more space and the rest followed sheepishly. Feeling dejected and rejected on being thrown out as an outcast, it hopped on with a conscience as clear as air and heart as heavy as boulders. Continuing on its need for survival, it hopped all night to keep warm.

It was only at the break of dawn did he return to its clan. Its body giving up due to over-working. The need for re-energizing was soon becoming of utmost importance- even higher than self-respect and pride; the alarm raiser decided to trace back its path that led him to the clan of majority. No sooner did he reach the heard than he found out that he was the last one standing. The old, the adults, the kids, none had made it through to watch the dawn break and see the glass like encasing of their pond melt away.

Now it shall never know whether it was immature or wise? Whether it was fickle or foresighted. All it knew that it was the only one to survive the storm before the calm. It only knew that it has believed in itself and walked away when things became too comfortable. It knew that anything that could warm up the freezing water to comfort them could also heat it up enough to kill them. And it had been the only one to survive, to breed a new generation.


Sometimes it is all about your gut instinct and believing in what you know. If you are sure that you know better and are being judged for it… think of it as a crazy stormy night and endure until you’re either proven right or have been taught better. But being rejected or feeling like an outcast is no reason to go adapt to things that aren’t better than what you already know. Suck it in, hold on a little while and float. Because baby if you don’t like what you have you need to take charge and show that the change you’re proposing is a good idea- and that’s something you need to do alone sometimes.

Beauty Is …

BEAUTY IS NO LONGER IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER. BEAUTY IS LOOKING LIKE YOURSELF.

Hi guys!
Hope you’re all doing well.
I recently came across something that Alok V Menon shared on his social media account. And, oh boy! I think every soul walking, breathing and living on this planet needs to read it. And read it over and over again.

BEAUTY IS NO LONGER IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER. BEAUTY IS LOOKING LIKE YOURSELF

One of the life’s paradoxes is that we are encouraged to “be ourselves” but are often punished when we do.
When I first told my grandmother I was transgender se responded, “How could you do this to me?” In her eyes my journey was about hurting her, not about healing myself. She eventually passed on without ever seeing me as myself. At her funeral I had to dress as the man she wanted me ti be. I wept:for her, and for me.
Despite constant invalidation, so many transgender people transition because we know there is a quiet and fierce dignity to being able to look at yourself and say “this is who I am.”
Marginalised people learn from an early age that beauty is often about power. We see the fair, thin and gender-conforming among us called “beautiful”, while the rest of us are meant to spend or entire lives aspiring to be like them.
It’s time for a new beauty paradigm.
Beauty is about looking like yourself, even in the face of social and cultural repression. Accessing this beauty can feel impossible in a system that rewards conformity over creativity. But, in my experience, a commitment to honest self-actualisation yields unparalleled peace and conviction.
As a visibly gender non-conforming person, I often receive unsolicited advise about my appearance. One time a complete stranger came up to me on the street and said, “You’d look ore convincing if you just shaved. Let me buy you a razor.” The sight of me walking with my head high- brown, bearded, a dn in a bold red lip- was too much for them. Like so many, this person mistook their insecurity as my own.
In moments like these I think about how dangerous beauty can be.
Why do engrained beauty standards so often require some of us to become invisible in order to make other people feel more comfortable? Beauty has a way of justifying violation in the name of benevolence. It gives legitimacy to the way that we police and restrict one another’s appearance. “I’m just doing this to help.” The presumption is always, “Why wouldn’t anyone want to be beautiful?”
But whose standards of beauty are we required to adhere to?
Normative beauty is insecure. if it was universal and just, it would not need to be constantly proven. Different ways of looking wold not be seen as a treat, just another way of being.
For so long I lived my life within society’s constraints of who I was supposed to be. it didn’t work, I yearned for a way of being that was more consistent with what I felt, not what I had been told.
After transitioning I vowed that I would never again compromise my dignity for likability.
Although I am constantly harassed for it, i am able to keep going because I know who I am…

Alok V Menon

Irrespective of which box we check under the gender section,
Irrespective of which skin tone we identify with,
Irrespective of what our hight weight and talent is,
Irrespective of our nationality and age,
Irrespective of every other scale that is created to measure us against,
Irrespective of everything… we are all wired in such a twisted manner to compare ourselves to the prescribed standard of beauty. Beauty of the physique, beauty of the character and appearance, beauty of what’s right and wrong, beauty of your diet…
I mean if I am created unique then how come my beauty has to abide with the narrative dictated by a handful?

There are nights I’ve lost sleep over my dark circles. Only to be treated to a warm cup of tea and a reminder “you earned them because you weren’t afraid to burn the night oil to go after what you wanted.” Then why feel bad about them? Shouldn’t I just be proud of them just like a soldier os proud of my scars; they are proof of his fights and victory. Then the bags under my eyes are proof of my hardworking and willingness.

I’ve fretted the few extra kilos and that muffin top I always sport. But hey, how can I forget that I savour food. I’m well with the normal BMI for my body and I am a healthy functioning adult- isn’t that something to be grateful for?

There is always something. The short ones wish for height and the tall ones wish for a day of no back pain. The anorexic ones wish for good health and the healthy ones are always counting calories. The ones that lack melanin are so easily sun-burnt while the melanin rich have a complex. The ones with flowy straight hair wish for curls and the ones with waves are busy blowdrying and straightening.

Can we please stop feeling that we are not enough. Because if you aren’t then nothing and no one can make you enough.

Making The Extra Buck From Home!

You could be leaving some money on the table, it is about time you cashed it in!

Hey!
Hope you’ve all had the time to recognise, ponder and address your levels of exhaustion and create a custom kit to help you deal with it.
Today, I’m about to address another elephant in the room.

That’s right!
It isn’t a unique fact that the pandemic has tightened our pockets a little and has made us reconsider our grocery lists and momentary splurges. Over the last month I’ve been spending time researching ways in which we could all make that shrinking inner lining a little more accommodating and make room for a little more change.
While I cannot take full credit for this thought, it was Shop101 that had me thinking about it.

Here’s my list of mediums through we can all cash in a little extra.

  • GOOGLE ADSENSE
    I’m sure you’ve been on websites and seen Google advertisements. They are all there for a good reason and purposefully.
    Not only are they easy to set up, but can help you earn too in accordance with the traffic that your website experiences.
    You just have to signup with Google Adsense (for free). They will give you a unique code which you have to paste onto your website. And the you just wait to get paid. They payments roll in through pay-per-click (PPC) system.
  • AFFILIATE MARKETING
    Don’t let the term intimidate you.
    Affiliate marketing is like running a retail store. You sign up with retailers like Amazon, Flipkart and Ajio, and promote your favourite products on your website or social media and add your link.
    Everytime someone shops by clicking onto your link, you earn a commissioned income.
    This doesn’t necessarily require you to have a website, just a good amount of traffic on social media should be enough.
    Here are some popular affiliate networks that work in India.
  • ONLINE PAID SURVEYS
    Who could have thought that we can get paid for our opinion!
    You just have to find some genuine platforms and set up an account. It’s pretty much as simple as that. This method requires you to share your banking details for the transfer of credits; so please do your research before starting off!
    Here are some of my favourite survey sites Panel Place, MOBROG, YouGov India, SwagBucks
    The benefit of these is that you get to be your own boss with flexible timing and it isn’t always time consuming. But at the same time it could get a bit boring and there could be lack of availability of surveys and the SCAMMY SITES are the biggest turn downs.
  • FREELANCING
    If there is a skill that you are equipped with, then make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table. Go through professional websites and be on the lookout for freelance jobs. You could be good at Writing, Tally and Data Entry, Social Media Management, Graphic Designing, Care Taking (for toddlers and elderly), Content Development, Typing.
    Just about anything. Any skill that you are confident about and are will to find a job for, you could earn from it.
    Just hop onto job portals and stay on the lookout for Freelance Jobs!
  • START AN ONLINE COURSE
    If you are good at something then creating a course is the way to go.
    You could be teaching anything from Meditation to Water Colour Painting or creating modules on Parenting and Positivity. You could be a great Cook or someone with a knack for Car Care or Stitching.
    Create a community and spread the word.
    You could just make videos of yourself explaining and guiding others through the process or advertise for one-on-one video call lessons.

Final Takeaway, today all you need is a smartphone, confidence in yourself and willingness to not leave money on the table. Set up a PayPal, GPay or PayTM account and start exploring your options.
There is always the need to see if your are becoming a part of something scammy but beyond that I like to believe that
“either we earn or we learn and both are equally valuable”
Also, if you know another way to start making that extra buck at home then share. your suggestions with us. Hurry Up!!

Since a lot of the options that we explore might require a website. So don’t step back, in todays day and age making a website is quite simple and for free. Try WordPress !

Roadmap to making money online

Are We Exhausted?

Emotional Exhaustion is real and we need to learn to identify it.

Hey!
And I’m back after a short break from writing (read it as lack of motivation)… It sounds pretty bad, I agree. But here’s the thing, you ought to blame the Pandemic.
I mean the kind of uncertainty and prolonged doom that this has caused and is continuing to; that’s taxing.

While I was away liking my sorrows and venting away I realised that I’m constantly exhausted. The physical exhaustion has been pretty easy. If I feel tired, I plan my day in such a way that I can get away with a power nap or a stress relieving soak.
What’s been difficult is when you’ve to adequate sleep and nutrition with not a very intense day and yet you feel worn out by the end of each day.
I mean, c’mon!
How does that even make sense??

Post a whole lot of speculation, agitated evenings, grumpy mornings and un-willing days I realised it was nothing but my emotions that were tired of keeping up with the surroundings.
Then came the BIG QUESTION: As a psychologist how could i have missed the signs myself??

Just knowing the cause of my discomfort seemed to have eased most of my nerves and filled me with an excitement to find a checklist that would help me avoid all the helplessness that had enveloped me these last few weeks.

17 SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL EXHAUSTION :

  • You find yourself focusing on the negatives
  • You put people away (isolate)
  • Your every action feels like a sacrifice
  • You feel driven by obligations not values
  • You don’t feel fulfilled
  • You don’t feel connected with who you are
  • You have a hard time controlling your behaviour
  • You feel overwhelmed and anxious
  • You have a hard time maintaining or setting boundaries
  • You often feel irritated and irrationally angry
  • You feel hopeless
  • You feel numb or apathetic
  • You lack motivation or purpose
  • Your self-identify as a failure
  • You often feel tired
  • You find it difficult to concentrate or pay attention
  • You find yourself forgetting things

This list was given by Sara Kuburic (MA, CCC).

Once I found this list I decided to make a list of ways in which I could recover from this exhaustion. While I’m sharing mine, I request you to make your own on a sunny day so that rainy days aren’t as grey!

  • Sit down with myself and acknowledge how I’m feeling (you don’t have to justify your feelings; just acknowledge them)
  • Make a quick list of 5 things that you are grateful for and feel lucky about
  • Have a list of people who always lift you up and connect with them
  • Reconnect with yourself- the things that you value and the principles that you hold closest
  • Make a list of activities that you could practice for yourself and enjoy it (cook, garden, paint, practice yoga, dance, listen to music, read a book, etc)
  • Focus on your physical well-being; adequate amount of sleep, having your meals at appropriate times, consuming unto 3 litres of water
  • Distance yourself from social media for minimum 3 days
  • Consider a massage or long bath or a session of meditation

Magical Words

A compilation of words, thoughts and teachings that have strengthen, supported and confronted me as and when I needed them.

Hello, you lovely soul!!
What I’ve put together this time is more like a compilation.
A compilation of words, thoughts and teachings that have strengthen, supported and confronted me as and when I needed them. They have contributed to my moral fabric from time to time. And trust me, each time I’ve felt myself become a better person in that moment.
As a sucker for words, these were never said by me or to me unfortunately, but nonetheless they have held my hand and taught me to smile and lightened those stiff shoulders!

“I LOVE YOU means I accept you for the person that you are and that I don’t wish to change you into someone else. It means that I don’t expect perfection from you, just as you don’t expect it from me.
I Love You means that I will Love You and stand by you even through the worst of times.
It means loving you when you are in a bad mood or too tired to do the things that I want to do.
It means loving you when you are down, not just when you are fun to be with.”

Deanne Laura Gilbert

Be Brave. Take Risks.
Nothing can substitute experience.

Paulo Coelho

I’m slowly learning that even if I react, it won’t change anything, it won’t make people love and respect me, it won’t magically change their minds. Sometimes it’s better to just let things be, let people go, don’t expect answers, don’t fight for closure, don’t chase answers and don’t expect people to understand where you’re coming from. I’m slowly learning that life is better lived when you don’t centre it on what’s happening around you and centre it on what’s happening inside you instead. Work on yourself and your inner peace.

Unknown Author

I cannot fix on an hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It was too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.

Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Save money every week! It doesn’t matter how much. Just Save.
Listen to your parents’ advice… at the end of the day they are only ones who want the best for you.
Choose your friends wisely as you are a product of your environment.
Learn to be alone. It’s a skill few master.
Educate yourself- Read. Read. Read.
Be healthy and look after your body.
Don’t wait for someone to love you; learn to love yourself.
You’ll be okay!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You are on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…

Dr. Seuss (Oh! The Places You’ll Go)

We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.

Arianna Huffington

Leaving the place you grew up can change your life. Don’t think you’re leaving your family and friends behind; you’re not. You’re just letting yourself grow and move forward, and that is okay. You are allowed to grow and become a new version of you.

Sylvester McNutt III

Women are not rehabilitation centres for badly raised men. It is not your job to fix him, change him, parent him or raise him. You want a Partner not a Project.

Julia Roberts

But who can say what’s best?
That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get two or three such chances in a lifetime, and if we let them go, we regret it for he rest of our lives.

Haruki Murakami

FOOTNOTE: I can’t get over the fact that we are TWO!!
Thank you for all the love and response. Thank you for always coming back and choosing to spend your time here!