Brave


“One day you are going to look at someone and say, “I survived.” There is great satisfaction in that. Even more if the person staring back comes from your mirror.”

– Courtney Peppernell

It’s been more than two months into the new year, the new decade and we can very well say that there is going to be little to no improvement in my irregular posting schedule; some things are just set in stone, my friends.

Anyway. Hello, there.

So, 2020 huh? I don’t know how I feel about it yet, but hopeful might be a nice place to start. So far, 2020 has restored my belief in the rewards of patience, and that things do happen when it’s their time. I’d like to withhold comment on this topic until later, thank you very much.

There were quite a few big actions that were due this year, planned well in advance, and yet, now that I have taken said actions and decisions, I do feel a little overwhelmed. I think this goes to show that you can map out your entire life on paper, down to the minutest of details, and still feel like you’re shooting arrows in the dark; uncertainty is inevitable, and the best way out, is through.

2020 is the year of changes, and from what I can say right now, those changes are big and, well, permanent. Even my childhood home is being remodeled, so yeah, my opinion on big changes being afoot stands firm for now.

Today, as I’m writing this post, it’s International Women’s Day. The last year was tough in ways that I’d never experienced before: sickness, sadness, heartbreak, and things just being difficult for no fair reason–but we made it through. I’ve realized that there are always going to be things that you have to survive on your own , and nobody can help you through it. You need to pick yourself up, dust off the dirt, and try putting one foot in front of the other, until you are in a better place.

You will lose some of the battles along the way, some people might leave or choose a different path than yours, but there will also be those who stay. There will be cold nights where nothing makes sense, but for each such night, there will be a new day that brings with it a chance to begin, again.

Be brave enough to face this one more thing. And when something else comes up, toughen up and beat that shit down, too. You made it this far, didn’t you?

My point is, there is no such thing as the right time, situations will never be just right; all that ‘time’ and ‘circumstance’ can ever be, are excuses if you want to get out of something, nothing more. If you want to do something, do it. If it’s not working out right now, then find another way.

It’s about time.

Love,

Snigdha

2019.


“Your plot twist is coming.” – Unknown

To be very honest, my feelings about this year are not pretty (or even decent) at all. It was one of the most difficult years I’ve ever lived through, and I can’t seem to find a silver lining here. There have been good days, sure, but they were so few and far in between, all I see when I look at 2019 is just one big unpleasant memory. But we made it through, so it’s time to revisit 2019, the year that was.

When it started, 2019 made me feel the happiest I’d been in a long, long time. For a while, I was constantly thinking ‘this is too good to be true’, and you know what? It was, indeed, too good to be true. Things I’d hoped would last, crumbled under the slightest of pressure, and let’s just say that there’s a large chunk of the year that’s missing in my memory because I’m a pro at repressing bad memories.

But it did teach me a bunch of lessons, sometimes in a good way, other times in a not-so-fun way. Ready for a recap? Let’s go:

1. January taught me to accept happiness as and when it comes, because there’s never enough of it.

2. February taught me to be brave and take chances, and to never, ever stop believing in what we feel is correct.

3. March taught me to love people while being true to myself, because I’m the only person I get to keep forever.

4. April was a tough one, and the biggest lesson it came with was that no matter how bad the days get, there was always a chance to turn it around.

5, 6, 7. These three months were the most difficult ones of the year, and of course, came with the most lessons. It’s mostly a tie between ‘keep going’ and ‘love triumphs over everything’.

8. August taught me to stay true to my dreams and go hard at them, because there’s nothing more satisfying than creating a reality that matches your dreams.

9. September taught me that all sacrifices, no matter how little or large, count for something.

10. October taught me how to turn losses into wins. And it made me another year older.

11. November taught me that we may not always get the closure and/or the happy ending that we’re looking for, but we have to move on, nonetheless.

12. December taught me that at the end of the day, what actually, really matters is the people we surround ourselves with, and the love that they give us so freely.

To be honest, I’m relieved that 2019 is done, because it’s been excessively exhausting. But we made it through, so yay!

Here’s to another 365 days, 12 months and a whole lot of new chances.

Happy new year, new decade, and a new chapter. Chapter 1 of 365. ♥️

Love,

Snigdha

Acquired Taste


If you would have told me a year ago that one day I would have friends who would stick by my side even (and especially) if it came at a great personal cost to them, or that I would be working toward a future of my own making, constructed as a result of my own choices, or that I would endure loss and heartache and true, pure happiness like never before, I would have laughed at you. Now, one year and a million lifetimes later, laughing doesn’t seem like the most appropriate response.

I don’t have any one particular reason as to why I’m writing this post; I have several thoughts bumping around in my mind that I figured were best preserved here than anywhere else. We’ve been doing this for 9 years now, why should today be any different?

Anyway.

2019 is on its way out, and almost everyone is reminiscing about what a year it’s been. The general consensus about that is that 2019 was a nightmare and a half (I read ‘2019 secretly destroyed all of us’ on Instagram, and boy do I agree). It’s 21 days to the new year, a whole new decade, and yes, we’re still on the this-year-went-by-too-fast train.

However, I realized that time almost always passes by when you’re not looking; the difference lies between how the time passes. 2018 was the same 365 days as 2019, but it was about taking my time and learning lessons at my own paces, where 2019 just jammed in life lessons every single day (sometimes multiple ones clubbed together).

The biggest one I’ve learned? Nobody can tell you what is valid or what is not unless you let them. In the end, it comes down to you. Funnily enough, I was watching IT: Chapter Two, and the climactic scene of the movie includes these two lines:

  • “How do we make him small?”
  • Make him believe that he is.”

So, you see, if you believe something to be true, it doesn’t matter who is saying the words. Nobody can make you feel inferior, unloved or unwanted if you don’t let them. I know, standing up for yourself and going with your gut is an acquired taste, but it’s one that the sooner you develop, the happier you’ll be.

Better get on the self-belief train before the year end; that’s the only way to get to where you want. ❤

Talk later.

Ephemeral


“In the end, though, maybe it’s not how you reach a place that matters. Just that you get there at all.”  – Sarah Dessen

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, how once you get to your destination, everything makes sense. Everything seems like it had value, some larger meaning that we missed the first time around.

It’s the last day of being 23. Tomorrow, I’ll be 24. That’s another year gone, another year older.

I’ve met so many people this year, and most of them aren’t in my life anymore, for myriad reasons. In all honesty, it was as much my fault as it was theirs, and there is no one person to pin the blame on for the unfortunate circumstances we now find ourselves in. It is what it is, and I don’t think I’d want to change anything. Would I want them back in my life? Sure, but not now. Time is the only one thing that actually changes people, and that’s the need of the hour.

You know, up until the first two years of college, I was the kind of person who believed every single thing I was told: I believed when people said that they would stay forever, I believed when I was promised honesty, at all times, and I believed when I was told I could trust someone. Those were simpler times, you know? Life was neatly segregated in black and white, and righteousness when applied to every situation, worked.

This was three years ago. Today, I know that instead of the black and white, shades of gray is where we spend most of our times. Righteousness is still my go-to method when going through the days, but I’ve learnt to be pragmatic in places, too. But the biggest change that has occurred over the last three years?

I don’t trust anymore. Even if I do, I fully expect people to break it; expect the worst to avoid disappointment, right? Wrong. Holding people away from you, and denying yourself love, it doesn’t make you stronger, in no shape, way or form. And not trusting people easily is being careful, but letting your guard down every once in a while to let someone in, that’s being brave. 

You know, I have been called so many things over the years, but brave was never one of them. Now, though, I think it was never about what names others thought were fitting of me; it was about what names I gave myself. In the end, I’m the only one I get to keep forever.

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23 has been painful, sometimes downright soul-sucking, but we made it through, so it’s not all bad, I believe. There was pain, but it didn’t last forever. There was love, too, and that too, didn’t last forever. The point I’m trying to make here is that things are temporary, and it doesn’t do you any good to attach yourself too strongly to anything at all; it’s all ephemeral.

See you on the other side, another year older, wiser and hopefully, happier.

Love,

Snigdha

23, Going On 24


“We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and the world lay spread before me.”

–  Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

It’s true what they say about teenagers feeling like they’re invincible; once your teens are over, you can’t seem to get a hold of that feeling anymore.

I’m 23, would turn 24 next Saturday. My teenage ended 5 years ago, and already I feel like I was so much braver back then than I am today. More than anything, I was tireless, unrelenting in the pursuit of whatever I wanted, no matter what it cost me.

If I were to describe the 23rd year of my existence in a single word, I’d say tough, because being 23 was just that. I can truthfully say I haven’t lived through such a difficult year for the entire time I’ve been alive. The closest to this I can recall is probably when I was 21, in 2016-17, when my body shut down and the whole weight loss thing happened. That was tough too, and reaped glorious results, so if that’s a pattern to be followed, I do expect that 23 would result into something good, too.

You know, in my head, the years I live through are not just 365 days, but a theme party. Each year has its own theme, and the entire time we’re in the party, we live with that theme, until it’s time for the theme to change, for me to grow another year older. For 23, the theme was ‘trip, stumble, fall, but stand up’. More than that though, this was the year where every single day was a test of sorts, and I can proudly say I flunked most of them. No, really. I did horrible.

But I’m here, still standing (bruised and fractured, but standing nonetheless), so that ought to count for something, right? I think so.

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What did I learn? Nothing. Except that ice creams taste better in the winters than they do in summers. And that while blasting music while driving is great, sometimes driving in silence is just as therapeutic.

What do I remember from being 23? This:

I remember being so insanely happy, that I had to remind myself to breathe.  There were moments where I was so happy that I got giddy with it. Good times.

I remember feeling accomplished, like I had made something of myself.  Moments of accomplishment were there, too, and they made my mother happy. Which, as we all agree, is the best damn feeling in the world, making your mother smile.

I remember feeling loved, surrounded by people who lived up to the words ‘I’ll be there for you’.  It’s a rare thing to have people promise you ‘forever’ and other such unestimable lengths of time, and then actually show up when you need them; but I had that this year. When people said that they’ll be there for me, they were.

I remember feeling anxious, like there was something slipping away from me.  This started around late February, early March, this feeling of unbriddled anxiety took over and blocked everything out. I tried to push it down, of course, but when has that ever worked? Yeah, never.

I remember not feeling anything, because I was too busy navigating everyday life with my destroyed state of mind.  You know what is worse than feeling sad or intensely upset? Not feeling anything at all. There’s so much time missing in my memory, more than two months of it, and it shakes me up when I realize how much time I spent not feeling anything, just going through the day for the sake of it.

I remember feeling hopeful.  Bad times don’t last long; they at least give you a little bit of a breather in between bouts of despair. I felt that, and after two months of nothing, I felt the relief of hope.

And lastly, I remember feeling overwhelmed. 23 was big on overwhelm; things were just never regular, you know? It was either extremely good, or really, really bad–no happy middle. Good days weren’t just good, they were phenomenal. Likewise, bad days weren’t just bad, they were hellish. It was one long roller-coaster ride this year, if I’m being completely honest; and we all know I love me some roller coasters. ‘Be careful what you wish for’ has never rung truer than it does now. 😛

Anyway, that was 23 for me; the party where there were disasters erupting every minute, but managed anyway. At least, it was a party to remember. It was a year of growth, learning and love, which was very closely accompanied by pain and hurt, but hey, can’t get the rainbow without a little rain, right?

Also, I realized that little things matter to me so, so much, way more than the big ones, the grand gestures. A simple ‘hello’ in the morning would make me happier than say, an extravagant present; the two categories aren’t interchangeable with each other. I am yet to come to a conclusion about whether this is a superpower, or my cross to bear for life, but it is what it is.

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E. E. Cummings once said, “it takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.”  In fact, it might just be the hardest things you would ever do in your life: staying true to yourself, always, even when it could cost you the things and people you don’t want to lose. The important thing to remember in such times is that if someone isn’t willing to accept you as you, scabs and scars and smiles included, it’s their loss, not yours.

23 drained me, but I believe it was more of a cleanse, for the year and the things to come. I haven’t had any expectations set for 24 yet, but I do have a feeling about it: it’s going to be life-changing, and I do hope it’s going to be good.

If it isn’t, we deal with it anyway, like always.

Here’s to another year that’s gone by, rife with memories and stories that shall always be remembered and cherished.

Here’s raising a glass (or coffee mug in my case) to the year that is yet to come, with promises of a better tomorrow.

Here’s to being alive. ❤

Love,

Snigdha