Who I Am

There is a lot of sayings going around about how we should be who we are and embrace our uniqueness and all that self-realization tosh! Honestly speaking, most days, days that are not today, I like those sayings and quotes and all. Today though I am in a mood to ask what is the use of them! Looking at the world around me all I see are self-obsessed, selfish people who go around preaching the mantra ‘can’t trust anyone’, ‘at the end of the day you have to look after yourself’.

So what have we created at the end of the day with all this “I am unique” and “Look after yourself first and then you can look after others” and every other self-indulgent phrase out there? I will tell you what! A bunch of selfish, uncaring individuals who have lost empathy, compassion and the will to care cause it has been taught them that they should think they are always right, always first, always deserving and always, always the ones who are being wronged!

I am sad to say I am one such individual as well. I am not happy about it. I am pissed off at it! Who I am is someone who I never used to be! I used to be caring, understanding, doing my best for everyone no matter who they are. I used to have a heart and mind that was capable of being more than who I am at this moment typing this out. I don’t like me! I can blame a lot of things, but at the end of the day I am someone who has always been full aware that no one is to blame, not truly for the person you become. The life that is handed to you is God’s gift to you, some days it does feel like a curse, but at the end of the day once a gift is given the ownership passes from the giver to the recipient. From that day you are responsible for your own life!

There is a saying:

“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”

Well I am not dead yet! So here’s to a quote I can live by!

Lessons From My Garden

This morning, like every other morning of late, I woke up feeling tired, exhausted and completely down and out. I stayed in bed, I fell asleep again and finally managed to wake myself up and get a move on.

I decided to check on my kittens, (well they are pretty grown up now but I still call them kittens) so I went out of my house to locate them. It’s a dark, gloomy day, no sun in sight. It’s cool outside which is a most welcome change from the constant humidity and the first thing I notice is a plant that grows near our front door, it’s branches tend to go all over the place and I noticed a flower. On closer inspection there were more buds waiting to bloom. Now you may ask what’s so special in that? Flowers bloom all the time. What’s special is that this plant struggles, it’s not the healthiest plant, it doesn’t have the best nutrition, it’s branches die, it’s leaves are brown, it’s afflicted by one thing or another and yet here it is – flowering!

It got me thinking how similar to that plant I am, we all are. None of us can claim to be whole, we all have our issues, our struggles, our ghosts, our karma, the regrets, the mistakes, the things that keep us up at night, the things that don’t allow us to sleep in. We all are afflicted by one thing or another, we all have demons we fight on a daily basis. What that flowering plant reminded me of was that, inspite of all that we can still bloom into a beautiful flower! We can put a smile on another’s face, we can still shine!

Life is not a guaranteed happy journey. We go searching for happiness so hard that we forget sadness is also a part and parcel of it all.  Accepting the “negative” feelings we feel as much as looking for those “positive” ones is important. The more we try to ignore the negative or change them, the more we make ourselves miserable. Living in denial, for that is what it is, isn’t life. It’s a constant running away from life.

Sometimes we can’t change things, and that is okay. We don’t always have to be in control, holding on so tight the blood stops flowing to your hands. Letting go is alright. It’s scary, it’s panic attack inducing for me but sometimes you have to. Sometimes that is all you can do!

Perfect Moments

What are perfect moments?

They are described in books, captured in photographs, acted out in movies, but what are they in reality? In the real world – the ‘non-magical’ place where life isn’t perfect – where are the perfect moments, the ones we’ll cherish and look back on one day?

You see, I realised there are no perfect moments; no “Oh this is going to be a perfect memory” will run through our heads. The moments we cherish, the ones we will look back on with a smile are not ones we’ll realise we are making, nothing that we planned will ever create that! No! Perfect memories are created not in our heads and then acted out on; they are created when we live.

When we live…what is that? Most of us (me included) live with our heads buried in our phones, chatting away, taking pictures, liking things, poking people, we don’t live! We have forgotten the meaning! We are a generation of capturing moments, very rarely making any meaningful ones.

I grew up in Africa, I am a 90s kid. Me and my sisters, we have perfect moments, we don’t have pictures of them, we don’t have videos, we don’t have evidence to show the world where we were or what we were doing, but we have the memories and every once in a while we look back and laugh at our childhood escapades and adventures. The fun, crazy, loud moments screaming and chasing each other to the quieter more relaxed moments of lying in bed and just talking while waiting to sleep. Those are the memories I will cherish!

What I now know is that, perfect moments are the ones that just happened, the ones we didn’t think twice about when they were happening. They were the “let’s have a picnic” and taking what we find in the kitchen and lying on a sheet under a Mullberry bush, staring at the sky and laughing out loud. They were the after fight moments when we apologise and in no time are talking as though nothing happened, never thinking “Oh isn’t this perfect?”. They were the arguing with the parrot who wouldn’t shut up, or chasing the cat who had the entire chicken in it’s mouth or just feeling all warm inside on a cold day after reading a good book.

The sad thing is, I don’t have a lot of perfect moments anymore. Nothing I can look back on and smile and say “Wasn’t that fun?”. Cause I honestly cannot remember. I was too busy looking through a lens or sharing the moments. My life has become one that is unfulfilled, one that is happy, but I had joy in the past. Happy is second best and no one wants to settle for second best. I have to make some major changes and it’s going to be difficult, but I am not a second best kinda girl, I will never be happy with half a life. I (we) only have one. I think I am doing myself a great dis-service if I don’t live it to the best…as are you, if you don’t live your life to the best.

New Year and a New Beginning

Another year has passed and a new one begun. I like the start of a new year. It symbolises new beginnings for me! And I like beginnings. Everything has a beginning and some really interesting things follow a good beginning! A bad one too!

Looking back at 2012 I can honestly say I entered that year with anger in my heart, dread and a bad attitude! I kept that attitude and mindset throughout the year and managed to have what I consider a very bad year in my life.  I made quite a few mistakes and learnt quite a few lessons! Overall, 2012 was not my favourite year!

In our culture and maybe in many others, it is considered a bad start to enter a new year with last year’s ‘baggage’! We believe that the way we begin a year sets the stage for the rest of the year. I don’t know whether this can be scientifically proven (most probably not) and maybe it’s just an old Sri Lanka superstition but it has some truth to it! How we start something, anything, does affect how it progresses! You start something with a bad attitude, a project, a job, even homework; you are hardly ever going to find you are enjoying it half way! Even if it is enjoyable we kind of miss out on it because of our existing bad attitude!

So this year, I have made up my mind to begin life in this country properly. I will not let the past and the things I cannot change hold me back from enjoying what could and most probably is a good chapter in my life. My bad attitude kind of made me forget that God is still in charge of my life and HE knows what HE’s doing!

So here’s to new beginnings and to whatever life brings my way! May I face it with a good attitude and never forget that though sometimes life does seem out of control and overwhelming God’s always in charge and HE knows what HE’s doing!

I hope and wish the same for you! May this year be one filled with success and joy! May all your dreams come true and may you be richly blessed!

Happy New Year!!!