I Think I Want To Be A Therapist

I think I want to be a therapist. Because:

  1. I want to work with people, but in a way that I feel involved with their lives.giphy
  2. I want to have a personal relationship withmy clients.
  3. I want to work with them in a way that touches theirlives.

I remember when I was a really small kid, one of my aunts(Bebo Mausi) got diagnosed with schizophrenia. I had gone to Delhi for my internship and was staying with my aunt and uncle for the summer. They dropped me off at my relatives as they were going out of town for the weekend. Bebo Mausi was visiting these relatives at the time. I had seen a lot of her when I was younger, andschizophrenia-CARTOON-301863I remember what she was like before she got diagnosed. I was excited to see her and the others but I didn’t really know how to be around her.As we approached the house and kept ringing at the doorbell, we felt annoyed that no one was opening the door. After a couple of knocks, I see Bebo Mausi opening the wooden door on the inside but she wouldn’t open the front door. She kept peeking at us horrified. “Hi Mausi!” I said. “Kaise Ho?” (How are you? In Hindi). “Kaun hai?!” (Who is it?) she says. I look at her amused. She knows me. She’s met me. MULTIPLE times! I say “Shruti!”, she says “Chale jao! Mujhe nahi pata!” (“I don’t know you! Just leave.”)

Now, this was getting ridiculous. After a decade of playing Uno and chit chat, that is NOT the way to treat someone :/ “Are Kya hua! Darwaza Kholo Na!” (What happened? Open the door!). “Nahi! woh log mujhe chor ke chale jaye. Tum jao. Mujhe nahi kholna.” (I don’t want to open the door! They left me alone. Please leave!) Again, I looked a her annoyed at the absurdness. I hung around some more but my uncle had to leave. “Usko bolo jane ko!”(Ask him to leave) she kept yelling at him- which I found really rude and annoying because she’s known him practically all her life! “I think I should go,” sweet uncle says. “It’s okay, I’ll be fine” I reassured him.

Apparently, my relatives had to head out for a family event and had left my aunt behind because she gets angsty around a lot of people. group-therapy_o_4093561As I hung around, kicked at my suitcase and hummed songs, waiting for my relatives to come back and let me in, dear aunt and I got to chatting. It was funny to talk through the netted outer door to her, but I thought it was kinda fun. I started asking her what she was up to and she told me she had been watching her favorite series and making some coffee when the lights tripped temporarily. Now, given her condition, worry for us is full-blown paranoia for her. She was alone and scared and panicked really bad. She tried calling them multiple times but as they were in a function, they did not hear her frantic cries. She was thus really scared and annoyed and couldn’t bear to let anyone in. In that moment of manic, it was hard for her to recognize people and think. I melted slowly inside.

“What other series do you like?” I asked. She named a string of Hindi series that I had no idea about but I smiled and laughed at her descriptions and kept egging her on to talk about things she likes anyway. After a couple of minutes, she says, “you must be hungry right??”. “I kind of am…” I say. “Do you want to come in? I can make you a sandwich.” “Only if you’re okay with that! I would love to eat some sandwich”. She opens the door to let me in as I strut towards the living room with my luggage. She makes a dash to the kitchen, prepares a really nice cheese and vegetable sandwich and makes some of her famous coffee as well! We sit down at the dining table and chat like we used to while I eat. I smile at her fondly as she animatedly tells me about her life, wishing that she wouldn’t have to live with moments of terror and pain like she did. Even though so much has changed, I still love her I guess. She’s my aunt! You know? And she’s a wonderful person!

Two days later, when my uncle came to pick me up, he asked me how I’d managed to get in that day. Impressed, he says “you’re really good at this. you should do this for a living”. “Be a therapist?” I smirk, amused. “Think of all the people you’d help,” he says. I breathe slowly, wondering how I seem to be talented at everything apart from my engineering degree :/ ALthough, xdownload-3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.7hLXEWUJXbI have been in therapy for almost three years now, in the past few months I’ve experienced some shifts that have felt truly powerful. And for that, I’m grateful. It’s like a change in my lense, and now I can see better! Having had some immensely vulnerable sessions with my therapist, I have been grateful to experience the growth I did. People think you need to be ill to go to therapy. Cliche as it sounds, do you need to fall ill to go to the gym? No, right? They why wait for your emotional muscles to wither and strain before you decide that its time to take care of yourself? The mind and body are connected, more than we’d like to admit. In fact, emotional pain often hurts much more than physical pain. It’s a fact! Your psychological health alters your brain chemistry, which in turn is bound to impact your energy levels, sleep cycle, temperament, and much more.

It’s so sad to see that something so basic as emotional hygiene is not taught to us in school. We can learn integral and differential calculus, but nobody wants to help us to understand our emotions better.They’re there for a reason so that they can guide you towards being true to yourself. Dismissing them or suppressing them does not help. It only makes matters worse. In today’s day and age, there are so many engineers, doctors, writers, artists. But not enough mental health professionals. It makes me sad sometimes. The power of therapy is phenomenal. anigif_enhanced-11293-1449608655-9The healing power of our minds is commendable. Trust me, I know. I’m one of those people who was blessed with guidance and help at the right time. I love working on myself. I’m obsessed with it. My therapist calls me a ‘good student’, cause I study and make notes and hang on to every word of professional advice she shares. It has changed my life entirely. I feel a sense of health and vitality that I haven’t in years. And often in the light of day, when I’m writing or working on a mental health workbook or trying to convince a friend to go to therapy, I quietly wonder to my self:Could this really be my ‘calling’?

Who knows 簪\_()_/簪

We’ll find out I guess. All ‘I’ know is…

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Embarrassing Short Tell Tales

*And, oops, my heart went oops
It went into a spin of loop-di-loops
You must’ve thought me kin to nincompoops
The silly way I acted*Oops! by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong

Cute, but annoying friend at school:
“Dudeeee… Your fly is open!”
I look down, panic, and get up to run to the bathroom
“Dude! You don’t have a fly, man! :’)”
Me: *rolls eyes*

I’m sitting and daydreaming absentmindedly in the back seat of my Uber.
New passenger crosses the road and opens the door next to me to get into the car
Me: “hey can you please sit in the…”
New Passenger: “Holy mother of god, oooo shit!”
*slams door on my open-jawed face and rushes to the front seat next to the driver*
Me: “Dude! You just yelled ooo shit at my face! Am I THAT scary to look at?”
New Passenger refuses to acknowledge my presence and does not reply.
I continue to to throw dirty looks at him through out the ride.
A girl’s gotta maintain her reputation!

Cute, but annoying friend at school:
*Taps my ponytail to toss it and annoy me*
“Stop it!” I say.
*Taps it again*
“Stoooop”
*Again*
“DID I NOT JUST TELL YOU TO…”
“You’re looking really pretty today!”
Me: *blush. slowly melts inside*

Writing retreat ends. All paticipants make their way to their respective transports.
Our group of young bloggers comes together to exchange hugs and bid goodbye.
“Stay awesome” always quirky and ecstatic participant says.
“Stay corny,” I reply as I hug him. I turn to find everyone looking at me horrified.
“Stay horny?!” another participant whispers to me amused.
“Corny! I said CORNY!!!! @*$&”
Everyone bursts out laughing as I stomp off embarrassed.

Flash back to 8th grade when Avril Lavign was all the rage.
“Hey hey you you, I want to be your girlfriend! No way no way I know its not a secret! lalallalalala…” I strum along under my breath.
“Hey hey you you I want to be your boyfriend :p” guy friend next to me whispers.
*wink* *wink* *smile* *smile*

Got my hair colored in college and went to my uncles place.
“I don’t know what to say” he mutters.
“You can say it looks good!” I chime in.
*Shakes head and walk away slowly, leaving me confused*
*burn* :/

Writers retreat happening. Everyone is chilling around and socialising.
“You know! She’s just like my wife!” he talks about me to a participant chirpingly. “The way she giggles over the silly stuff and starts dancing around awkwardly! And she’s bubbly and sweet and…” trails off as the participant looks awkwardly at me and him.
“He’s my uncle” I explain. “He’s just very doting, is all.” I peck him on the cheek

“I’m so nervous! I feel like I might spill my coffee”.
Date laughs cutely as if challenging my ability.
Mid way through the date, I knock the coffee over as I animatedly try to explain something. Date looks at me startled.
“I promised. And I delivered” I smile.

Walking to the watercooler during my break in school.
Strong wind blows and and tries to lift my skirt up so that I flash people.
I dive to contain it, freaked out and cross my legs while trying to keep my skirt down. I end up having a Marilyn Monroe moment, only mine was more awkward and less cute!
Guy friend crossing by says: “Ooooh my!!” *wink* *wink*
I shy away and slowly die inside.

One of my closest friends from college is from Kenya.
As we sit in her room to study, I roll around on her floor comfortably.
“Shruti! Look out!” She yells.
I freak out and look all around me.
There’s a slimy slithery bug crawling on a dozen feet towards me.
I stand up and scream:
“Ewwwwww! Purityyyy! Look! It’s BLACK and it’s creeeeepyyyyy”
Stone cold silence follows my exclamation.
“Shruti!” she whispers. I look at her horrified realising what I’d said.
She burtsts out laughing at my horror and walks around telling everyone the racist story we now call ‘black n creepy’ B-)

Realisation dawns on my dads face as we’re sitting across each other talking.
“Your hair is red!” he exclaims.
“I know. I got it streaked in college” I calmly explain.
He looks confused and awkward, then smiles slowly and says:
“You should’ve gotten blue! You know how much I like blue. Lookin’ good though ;)”
*Pecks me on my cheek as I blush slowly and melt inside*

I rush to my collegemate’s room to get help with my wardrobe.
I decided to change in her room as someone else was using mine.
Me: *changing awkwardly*
Friend: “Hey Shruti, I had to ask you something!”
“Yeah?!” I ask spinning around innocently.
*click* she takes a pic and yells “Ooooo so hawt!!!”
I jump on top of her and punch the crap out of her till she deletes the pic.
She’s insane but I love her ;”)

Hotel Mumbai

I did not plan on writing this post. I’m not going to edit it. I’m not going to design it. I’m going to write because I need to- I’d hate myself if I didn’t. This is not a movie review. I do not write movie reviews. Please don’t read the post if you haven’t seen the movie as it may have spoilers. I’m writing this post because I need to get it out of my system. I’m mourning and I feel a wave of word vomit I can not control.

Almost ten years ago on the remorseful fay of 26/11 Mumbai was subject to a brutal terrorist attack that took a jab at all of our hearts in a way that still hurts. As the survivors and loved ones of the demised mourne and heal from their losses, it still feels like yesterday, what happened a decade ago. Watching the attacks reported live on television was one of the most horrific things I had experienced. Have spent a large part of my childhood in Mumbai, I remembered the busy city for its life and vibrance. Watching it subject to such assault was a painful experience. I exhale slowly as I remember it. My parents spent a large part of their life in Mumbai. We moved out when I was in middle school but still have close friends and family there that we visit yearly. I remember wondering when the CST station was bombed if my creche aunty was there. I was relieved to know that she wasn’t. My childhood friend – Nikita Dabale, who I’ve known my entire life- from the time we learned to walk and ran around in pampers, still lived in Mumbai for years after. Although Santacruz was not targetted, at the time the blasts were happening, nobody knew where the next target was going to be. I was so relieved to know that she was fine. People called their friends and family for assurance.

The movie Hotel Mumbai did a stunning job of showcasing the traumatically gripping events that occurred in the bombings. They concentrated on the three out of twelve coordinated shootings that happened across Mumbai which showed a series of interlinked events. They started with the CST bombing, onto Leopold Cafe and then Taj.

The scene where people rush from the station and cafe into Taj, beating at its doors and begging for entry was the start of a scared shudder. The hotel staff heroically let the people in to protect them and as the shootings proceed the staff tried to call all the guests to warn them to stay in their rooms. I thought this was a very important part to show how devoted the staff felt towards their guests. Since Taj is one of the most exorbitant hotels in India, a vast majority of guests were larger than life public figures, businessmen and international clients.

As the day proceeded, the terrorists moved from floor to floor, luring out guests and brutally mutilating them in the name of vengeance as the staff tried to sneak as many people out as they could. The scene where Anupam Kher, a famous Bollywood actor who plays head chef of the hotel in the movie, collects his staff and informs them of the security concerns, extending them the empathy of staying to help the guests or leave if they wanted instead was a very dignified way of showing compassion and vulnerability in the face of danger. The painful story of the Indian-American family who gets

separated because of the painful events also got the audience teary-eyed. Armand DouglasHammer, an American actor who played a lead role alongside British-Iranian actressNazanin Boniadiin this Indian-American pair stole hearts with his piercing blue eyes and passionate valor towards protecting his family. In the entire movie, he and his wife try to work their way out of the hotel with their friend who does her best to protect their baby boy Cameron. The scene where he gets shot right in front of Nazanin while she is screaming traumatically only to look at the shooter in the eye and recite prayers over his lifeless body was the most intense scene in the movie.

This scene with Nazanin and her husband’s shooter was particularly important because: Throughout the movie, they show the terrorist attack being planned by a group which sought vengeance in the name of religion. At this point when the shooter comes face to face with Nazanin, who is Indian and also Muslim, he is conflicted about whether he should shoot her not. In his fight for his religion, the terrorist does not find it in his conscience to shoot her as it would feel likea sin.mumbai-attack-story_647_030616044923But his mentor, the lead terrorist who has brainwashed the entire troop to believe that this attack has an ulterior holy motive, tries to coax him into shooting her because she is an abomination. In this moral conflict, the terrorist decides to listen to his inner conscience and leaves her alive; showing that he is only human. Another powerful scene when one of the terrorists calls his father in the midst of the bombing attacks to tell his family that he loves them and hopes that they have received the money the ‘lead terrorist’ has promised them shows that at the end of the day, they were the very flawed and misguided boys they were shown to be; They were brainwashed into going to unspeakable lengths for their religion and to provide for their families.

The courage exhibited by the hotel staff that stayed back to help the guests spoke volumes about the bravery and dedication these people had. Both central characters Anupam Kher and Dev Patel played a crucial role in helping the hostages out of the hotel. Anupam Kher is the head chef of the hotel and ensured safe refuge for the guests in the secret harbor. He sported nerves of steel in the face of mass hysteria and panic and consistently strived to keep the guests safe and protected from the attackers.1547091072-csfed He did so by taking them to a secret chamber and keeping their location hidden. Dev Patel, on the other hand, played a crucial role in supporting Anupam Kher by being his steady right hand through the crisis. He put his neck on the line to save injured victims and guide stranded hostages to the safe haven of the chambers. His devotion to the safety of the guests helped pacify the hostages and contain the panic. The sentiment with which he was ready to put his life on the line for his country and people really spoke volumes to the songs of Sikh valor we have heard about. It takes pure passion and patriotism to perform a feat so heroic.

As the movie went on through the second half I found myself covering my face to stop my self from gasping at the apathy within the shootings. I dug my nails into the back of my neck as I felt my self overwhelm and panic at the turn of events so that I don’t let out a terrified scream. As the climax comes around where they gather the hostages into one room I find my self slowing praying ‘Allah rehem’ (Lord have mercy) under my breath (which is odd because I’m agnostic and I’m not Muslim). I broke down sobbing into my friend’s mother’s arms as the hostages were shot down one by one and couldn’t contain myself from the trauma of the events that occurred until the credits rolled in.

Are You ‘The One’?

It starts in my soul, and I lose all control
When you kiss my nose, the feelin’ shows
‘Cause you make me smile, baby, just take your time now
Holdin’ me tight, wherever you go

– Bubbly, Colbie Caillat

All of us have grown up with the concept of the one- the one person we connect with and are meant to spend our lives with. The one person who walks into our lives like the spring we’ve been long waiting for. They send our heart fluttering and make our knees weak – every time they’re nearby the sun’s shining, the birds are chirping and we’re grinning like a fool at this miracle that has dawned upon us.

Sounds familiar?

I’d think so.

All of us have been there. Silly and stupid in love. Curled in bed with our eyes glued to our phones as we text this amazing guy or girl we met that made our toes curl That’s the fun of it, right? I love the feeling! heheheh… *butterflies*

Growing up with these expectations from romantic relationships I felt like I put a lot of pressure on them. Iused to walk into a date with a checklist. I’d concentrate on the fact that he’s well read instead of his body language or how he makes me feel. I pressured my self to be the funny one- cause it’s okay if it’s disappointing that he doesn’t have a sense of humor. I can make anybody laugh! Another defense mechanism. When I met someone I liked, I’d project all my desires and fantasies on them, as if they’re a demi-god that can fulfill everything I want. It’s SO MUCH better now to be able to get to know someone and enjoy their reality as opposed to trying to live in a mirage. It’s a happier and more sustainable relationship. People are wonderful and I think it’s exciting to try to understand them better the way they are.

I’ve been so heartbroken in the past over guys that have left me even when there wasn’t enough chemistry or content because I was so in love with the idea of being loved. I was brainwashed. And I wasn’t the only one! I’ve seen friends mold their partner’s personalities around their own expectations. The idea of what their ideal partner should be like is so deeply ingrained in their minds that they’re ready to torture the one they are with to avoid leaving them. If they just accepted their differences, they could grow through the pain and finding someone who fits better. And I don’t blame them; breakups hurt. All of us are kids inside who want to be loved and appreciated. And we deserve it! I have such a loving family, I can’t even begin to fathom how the child inside me would feel without them.

As we move from date to date and jump from relationship to relationship to find the perfect fit, we are on an endless conquest of the non-existent. Have you seen the movie called Isn’t It Romantic?A chubby girl with wonder-filled eyes grows up deprived of love while hearing constant jabs about her possibilities of a romantic life; She bumps her head and stumbles into an alternate universe where New York is clean and pretty and everyone is nice to her. Also, there’s a hunky billionaire who’s head over heels in love

 

with her and is persistent in showing his affection. She tries to do everything to get out of this absurd world. Tries to dress up, fall in love with the billionaire, swing to cheesy dance songs, everything she thinks the universe wants her to do to get out of the place! Only in the end does she realize that it was herself that she was meant to fall in love with. Because she alone is enough. Don’t get me wrong! All of us need loving and nurturing relationships. But how do we love someone else when we aren’t in love with ourselves? How do we lose ourselves in someone without getting lost if we don’t know ourselves? How do we accept love if we don’t truly believe we deserve it? It’s tough.

It’s so important in this day and age of booming technology and over communication to take a few steps back and be a little old school. Take it slow. It’s important to know that there is no ‘the one’. It’s a myth. There is no perfect person or perfect relationships. People are flawed. they come with their own insecurities and baggage and that’s okay. It’s okay to be imperfect; It’s beautiful even. Cheesy as it sounds, our imperfections are a part of us and our experiences do make us unique. A little empathy for the people we love would really take us a long way in our relationship. I smile as I remember my aunt telling me that.

Maybe we shouldn’t burden ourselves with the concept of the one.

There’s someone for everyone. And of course, it’s a matter of finding them- cause they’re not going to bust down your door and barge into your place.

But maybe it’s great to just find someone who fits, you know?
With whom you have chemistry
Someone you love laughing with
Someone who makes you feel warm inside
Someone you trust

And it’s definitely possible to find someonelike that! It’s possible to find MULTIPLE someones like that! Hell, there are 7 billion people on this planet!

Crazy Plant Lady!儭

Yes- I know the title doesn’t make sense.

No- I’m not going to make it any easier for you to understand :’)

An important thing that you should know about me is that I love decorating my room. I feel like it’s a representation of my personality and I love going creative with my space. I get attached to quirky things people give me and have a hard time throwing them away. That is why almost every decorative in my room has a story behind it. That’s for another time though.

As for the Crazy Plant Lady fiasco, It all started when I was in Little Five Points, Atlanta, walking around with friends. I was going from store to store to find cute decors for my room.In one of the stores, which was cute and creative, I saw a corner filled with small plants in tiny pots. There were all shapes and sizes of containers. Ranging from ones that looked like an elephant, a bucket, a rhino, a dolphin. My eyes fell on this rad looking flower pot. It was shaped like a black cat with piercing yellow eyes and was holding a tiny yellow plant. This cat looked so sassy- it was smirking at me as if it knew something about me that I didn’t. Having always had a thing for odd objects, I immediately made a dash for it and bought it without further ado.

Now, the next question was-How the hell do I carry this plant back to Jersey?!I shrugged and thought I’ll figure it out when I’m leaving for the airport.

*Two Days Later*

“UGHH! NAMINIIIII. I CAN’T FIT THIS STUPID PLANT ANYWHERE”.
“Areee, carry it. Big deal!” NJ rolls her eyes and says.
“Fine!” I frown. As I carry the plant through my cab ride to the airport and security, I notice random amused eyes glance at me. “Cool Plant!” A random person said. I smiled. “Why are you carrying this plant?”, another intrusive stranger asked. “I liked it, so I bought it and now I have to carry it back” I muttered. “Miss! you forgot your plant!” the Dunkin Doughnuts chick yelled. I scrambled back to pick up what felt like an extension of my arm by this point.

plant plant plant plant PLANT!! Ugh!

I kept trying to convince my self that my plant was pretty cool. I still couldn’t help turning an amusing color of crimson red every time someone asked me about it. To make matters worse, the security check took time and I reached the gate a little late. I showed my boarding ticket and the staff rushed me through the gate. I stumbled into my flight only to find it full. “Great!” I thought. Embarrassed I excuse-me-pleased my way to my seat. More amused eyes burned me with their constant staring. I swear, one chick lifted herself up from her seat to get a better look at me. If it weren’t for my plant, I’d feel flattered but I threw her an annoyed look instead.

As I frowned and sat down on my seat, this chill looking co-passenger smirked at me and said: “what’s the deal with your plant dude?!”. I let out an exhausted cry and said: “I liked it, so I bought it and now people won’t stop asking me about it!”. She sniggered and said “yup. you do look kinda odd carrying that around. The flight attendants have already thrown looks at you twice hahah”. I shake my head and say “I bet they all think I’m the crazy plant lady”. “I bet they do!”, she smiled. We laughed and started discussing ideas about how I could deflect people when they ask me about my plant. The uncle in front of me said: “Don’t you think it’s a bit odd that you’re carrying around a plant?!”. I looked to the girl, smiled and said “No Sir, I am a person with high anxiety and have a hard time managing myself on flights. I suffer from panic attacks and need constant support to keep my self calm. This flower pot is my support plant. It makes me feel like everything’s alright. Without it, I’m just an anxious and wailing 5-year-old in the body of a 25-year-old :)”. That’s it. From that moment till the time I reached home, I owned up to my new identity and became the crazy plant lady!

Twas fun

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My Trip To Atlanta

“You should come visit” -NJ
Me -“I’d love to but I’m so stressed right now. Plus I’m traveling to India!”

“You should totally come visit” -NJ (after a few weeks)
Me -“Uh, I don’t know.. I have end sems and I’m traveling to my parents for vacation :/”

“Dude! You need to come visit” – NJ (after a few more weeks)
Me -“Hm… I could I guess. I have a week of vacation in March for spring break.
NJ – “What?! Get your ridiculous self down here then! That’s it!
Me – “Okay!”

That is literally the amount of planning I did for this trip. And as you know, the lesser you plan the better it gets!

I have been in a crazy phase of impromptu trips over the past year, but honestly, this was the one I enjoyed most.

Atlanta is a gorgeous city in Georgia state. It is very serene and beautify and has a very peppy vibe. Between the quaint bistros, colorful galleries and vibrant parks, I was completely sold for the place.

 

Atlanta downtown, of course, has skyscrapers and is buzzing with activity. But the area that NJ lives in, called Smyrna, is a very laid back suburban area with comfy looking townhouses and a lot of greenery. It really is for nature enthusiastic professionals because of the balance it strikes between providing the benefits of being near a city and the relaxation of a laid back town. They also have art projects going on around the city. Tiny Doors ATL is an Atlanta-based art project bringing big wonder to tiny spaces. Tiny Doors ATL literally installs 7-inch tall doors in strategic places throughout the city. Each door is designed to look and feel like the surrounding neighborhood’s architecture and community spirit. Like the neighborhoods, no two doors are exactly the same! Collecting pictures of the Tiny Doors is an activity that most tourists do. Atlanta has a large and vibrant art scene that I thought was really cool!

One of the most interesting experiences that I had on this trip was going to the Hippie Sabotage Concert. I had never conscientiously put in an effort to listen to electronic dance music before. And because that’s practically what NJ listens to all day along with a wide array of other music that I don’t understand, I was pretty nervous about going to this concert.hippieBut once we entered, the ambiance was fabulous! They had an amazingly comfortable interior with a large and jazzy dance floor next to the bar. The stage was huge and well lit. Their light coordination with the music was mind-blowing. They also had two floors of seatings and a popsicle vending store, which was fabulous. That was more than enough to get NJ psyched about the concert. Never seen a person so excited like a puppy dog :’) Although, I hadn’t listened to a lot of their music, I heard a few songs before the concert to get myself familiar. I also kept googling up the lyrics with NJ’s help for any of the songs that I didn’t know. I was sorted! It was a loud night of lights, music and incoherent screaming- and I loved all of it! NJ was so glad that the night was a hit and I was super happy that I had a very exciting introduction to EDM music. The Hippie Sabotage may not be a well-known band, but they did a good job of keeping the audience entertained. I thought they were “Dope!”

Next, we went to this galleria called Little Five Points which was the most colorful and peppy galleria I’d ever seen. They had everything. EVERYTHING. From themed resto-bars to quaint bookshops, art boutiques and exclusive clothes stores, they had it all! I bought some amazingly adorable decorators for my room along with badges and piercings. It was wonderful.

 

I walked around the stores for a bit and did my rummaging around for good-vibe-things. We had dragged along NJ’s roommate Nicole and her fond boyfriend Wess for our shopping rage as well. We walked, chatted and they introduced me to an emo themed restaurant called The Vortex. The food was as impressive as the name was. With their large burgers and delicious beer they had us swooning at the table. Again, lots of laughter and games over food – this gorgeous gang of unicorns kinda made my day.

Apart from shopping and partying, we also did all the cozy things I enjoy most. NJ had recently gotten into watercolor art and would get snug with her roommate to paint every other day. img_2134So, we snuggled up in the living room and decided what we’d like to color. After much fretting and reservation, I finally agreed to paint a picture that I saw on Pinterest and liked.For more on my struggles with painting art, please read my last blog post,Pretty As A Picture. To my surprise, I came up with a really pretty and close replica of what I wanted to paint! It was super fun and relaxing. We played the latest season of Queer Eye on the side, got some delicious food and gossiped Another favorite activity of mine was spending time with Lucy. Lucy is a friends dog that NJ babysits whenever they go out. She’s the most enthusiastic dog I have ever met. She’s very young, loving and adorable and it was her morning routine to wake me up by trying to lick my face off. Honestly, I didn’t mind WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 7.35.37 PMI would hear Nicole, greet lucy every morning with lots of love! Like a mother reunited with her pup after an endless night of separation, gushing over her fondly. Lucy definitely pumped up the happiness quotient of the house by a couple of shots. That’s her on the right. She likes to pose and is very photogenic! Such a diva I also loved the long drives that NJ and I took. The city is so beautiful and green that driving around it at stopping for food at drinks at my every whims and fancy was pretty magical. It’s that kind of a place where travel gets you high. In a short span of three days, we tried all of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, American and Indian cuisines. It was fabulous. My taste buds haven’t stopped thanking NJ yet.On colder nights, I’d cozy up on NJ’s barcalounger with my laptop and food, creating content for what I’d write next. Sometimes Lucy would join me and we’d take a nap. It was NJ’s mission to stop at every fantastic food place and make me dance at every club we went to. Worked out well for me I guess! Walking along the art walkway into the sunset eating popsicles and talking about things that matter what my favorite part. I don’t know what perfect means but I’m pretty sure this was hella close to it :’)

Thanks, NJ, for dragging me away from my rut and giving me the vacation I deserved 歹

Stay beautiful, bruh.

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Pretty As A Picture

Do you know what it’s like to paint?

For most people it’s purely meditative.

I’d never had that experience before. I used to draw when I was a little kid- like most of us did. But after crossing middle school, it wasn’t something I took seriously. I wonder why.

My sister is a fabulous artist! That kid has an eye for the most intricate details. It amazes me how perceptive even a child can be. I think it shows that we absorb more than we think we do… She starting sketching with her Eiffel tower piece below. Me? I’m “different”.
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Have you ever had that feeling that you’re terribly bad at something? Like, significantly worse at it than others? Yeah, Me too.

I’m terrible at sketching. TERRIBLE.

My circles are ovals, my ovals are circular, I do not understand angles and my shading and sense of proportions is bizarre. It’s kind of funnyRelated image

I literally get nervous when I paint because I’m so convinced of how bad it’s going to be. Below are a few more samples that I really like from my sister’s collection.

 

Just like me,

Millions of adults around the world would break into a cold sweat if asked to draw a picture in front of a group of people. Theyd deny any artistic talent, make excuses, and do whatever it took to avoid being on the spot with a pencil in their hand.

But ask a couple of five-year-olds to do the same thing, and within seconds theyll be drawing, explaining, and creating artistic masterpieces for all to see.

After a terrifying past with my attempts with art, I slowly mustered the courage to try to stop being silly and try art again. It took a lot of convincing from Namini, my college roommate, who kept egging me on to give it a try.WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 1.01.34 AMShe has gotten into more ‘simplistic art’ recently where she uses watercolors to paint what she finds fascinating.And even though she keeps insisting that they’re nothing great, I think they’re quite deep and hence fantastic. This is a sample from her art collection on the right. She has an array of artwork but I really like this one best because I connect with it on a personal level. This piece symbolizes to me how the dolphin is appreciating the lonely starry night in its peace and calm. I find myself remembering times when I’ve been in the middle of nature during travels and have felt so deeply in love with myself and everything around me. It simmers on me a sense of calm and peace which is almost sedating in a way. Not that I’m trying to say I’m a dolphin, but you get the point.

So what happened between the age of 5 and 15 that makes me terrified to draw? What makes YOU afraid?

For many people, its when they first realize that their drawings look nothing like reality. They can SEE the obvious mistakes, but have no idea how to fix them; feeling that if they cant draw something perfectly, then they shouldnt draw it at all. I know I’ve felt that way.

Perhaps it came as a surprise when one of my classmates at school laughed at my art homework and said your family portrait looked like two giraffes and an alien.

Thats a tough critique for anybody to take, let alone a kid, but it doesnt mean I’m not an artist.

Most people think artists have some kind of gift, and I suppose that some artistsareborn with a talent for art. But, if we looked at the childhood drawings of 100 professional artists, Id bet youd find that 99 of them made the same type of scribbles and stick figures that all of us did as a kid.stick-figure-blue-shoes

The difference is that they never quit making scribbles, and at some point, they LEARNED to draw, whether from books, videos, teachers, or just on their own with lots of practice.

So why would it be any different for us? In fact, in order to not fall into a few of the potholes, we could be a little more diligent by making sure that we pick a reference before we draw or paint something. This is because drawing or painting something from memory can be pretty hard. Our memories get blurred and obstructed over time and when we draw based on something we vaguely remember, it often turns out to look horrible on paper. This is why many beginner artists get discouraged as well because they set a high expectation of drawing something very close to their imagination. Another reason is that people often have an expectation of picking up quicker and not realizing that it takes time and constant effort to improve this skill like any other. We immediately jump to wanting to draw a caricature of George Bush or a tropical sketch of the mountains forgetting that good art doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger.

The thing is, theres no need to keep thinking that you have to be born with some amazing talent to be an artist. All it really takes is for somebody to teach you, plus some time and effort on your part. And I think this applies to all form of creativity and skill, not just art.

So while we try to enhance our skillsets and upgrade ourselves or just nurture our talents and learn new perspectives, maybe we should also learn to go easy on ourselves.

Slowly and steadily, we’ll all get there someday 歹