They are not me

Today i learnt that people were not hard by nature

they were taught that being hard was the only choice they had to survive

“man up or be beat by others in life” 

“everything’s a competition”

“lose out once and you’d lose out in life”

something that played in every single thing they did

something that resonated with me in every single thing i did

“don’t try to be an overachiever” they told me

“you were never cut out for this” glaringly

but when my heart hardens

I hate the person I see

I learnt from that day on not to listen to what they have to say about me

because they fail to realize

that with good faith and hell lot of hard work

everything is possible when you believe

and nothing really matters

if they are not me 


xx cal


A place

There is a place where I go to when no one is home.

I sit by the steps of my building, counting down the minutes on my little clock face till someone comes home.

There is a place I go to when I feel sad.

I kickback my head in the wind as I feel like I’m flying back to my child like days. The motion of the swings take me away.

There is a place I go to when I am angry.

It is dark. No one knows me. I can’t even hear my own heavy breathing, my feet pounds the ground heavily as perspiration mercilessly flows down my brows.

There is a place I go to when someone I love passes on.

I sit by the benches of a park and watch the people whiz by. Laughing, talking and reminding me what it means to live. I know that the separation is only temporary, and life in itself is a gift that not all of us receive all the time.

There is a place I go to when It gets too overwhelming.

I run home and pull out all my clothes, only to re-fold and stack them back in my cupboard again. I then gear myself with a pencil and my planner to try to logically solve why I feel the way that I feel. The sunset and sounds of the tide residing reminds me of the hope of having another chance to make things right tomorrow.

There is no place I can go to when I am happy. It took me too long to realize we couldn’t make alcoves out of people.

That’s because happiness can’t stay in a place.

The 7% by Ssssome Girl

(Click here and follow her for more updates on facebook) 

I really enjoy reading her writings ever since we were 15. This post really resonated with me especially her thoughts on having the right mindset to happiness. Check it out!

Deciding which road to happiness to embark on is a lot easier than what we’d initially thought

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection lately about what I do and more importantly why I do what I do, so here I am to dish up my deep thoughts like the Dalai Lama of 20-something befuddlement. What’s really interesting for me is how my life has changed 180 degrees in the last year, for better or worse, in ways I could never have imagined. The more I sit down to try and ‘figure it out’ as I write this blog – which feels absurdly arrogant to me most of the time, because my life is just one constant troll and who the hell am I to help anyone, anyway? – the more I believe that regardless of what life gives anybody (lemons, philandering partners, odd jobs, old men, anemia) the possibility of a delicious chocolate cake is always on the table, if you want it. You either win (a chocolate cake) or you learn (how to bake a chocolate cake); nobody really loses.

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with my background and upbringing, I’d grown up under the impression that my life was a Disney movie and I would marry my childhood sweetheart in my early twenties and then devote the rest of my life to fussing over our five children. My grandmother had done it, my mother did it, and my sister is doing it. With this road to happiness as a (read: the one and only) reference point growing up, it seemed only natural that my life would play out in a similar fashion.

Believing that my raison d’être was to run a household and bring children into this world influenced my endeavors in career and love in ways that have led people to believe that I am a complete moron. While all of my peers progressed to university, there I was pursuing an interest in a field that was not at all lucrative, which nobody even bats an eyelash at. And while I should have been taking full advantage of my perky ass and extensive library of good puns, I winced at the thought of being on the market for too long and dated with the seriousness and focus of a deranged person with a ticking biological time bomb in her uterus. Something tells me that growing up in a home with siblings at least a decade older may have had a hand in all of this, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Then as life would have it, I experienced a seismic shift in my thinking. It dawned on me that my likelihood of befalling the same fate as the other women in my family was decreasing exponentially with each passing day. Considering that I’d been blessed with the privileges and opportunities to create my own destiny, on my own terms, I should’ve been out making waves. I was clearly short-changing myself here.

Everything I once thought to be true about the world and myself turned out to be false or – at best – wildly inaccurate. The sudden loss of purpose and direction petrified me at first. Had this realization hit me a few years ago I’d have been paralyzed with fear, but today this epiphany can only be described as exhilarating. If there’s just one thing I know to be true and accurate about life, it is that when one door closes, another door (and several other doors) open.

Not to toot my own horn here, but I am a master of envisioning alternate possibilities. I didn’t think anything of this because it’s something I’d been doing since I was a kid, but I’m learning now that some of us (just 7% of the population, if we are nitpicking) are more inclined to do this and at far greater intensities than others.

Where some people see dead people with their sixth sense, others see possibilities. I see them everywhere and get so obsessed with the what-could-be that I’m constantly forgetting the what-is. It’s intoxicating and it’s infuriating. Aside from being notorious for swimming upstream and my headstrong tendencies, family and friends have attributed fickleness and restlessness to my nature. And it drives them up the wall. To onlookers, my life echoes a sense of cluelessness and aimlessness. They’re exhausted by my stress and indecisiveness, particularly so about the people I date and employment prospects I flirt with.

Why do you fall head over heels for someone who is good to his mother one day, yet still fall head over heels for someone who is estranged from his mother the next?
Why do you experience euphoria with someone who means the world to you one day, yet still experience euphoria when that someone is dead to you the next?
Why is it that you feel fulfilled practicing yoga 10 hours one day, yet still feel fulfilled sketching shoes 10 hours the next?

Who even asks questions like these?! Christ.

To be fair, no family or friend has ever had the audacity to put me in the spotlight like that. Parents have come close, but never this direct. These as just some of the questions I ask myself when I’m not too busy re-watching The Mindy Project.

The subconscious reshuffling of my priorities over the last year finally set off an existential crisis a couple of weeks ago. (We all saw that one coming…) I’ve never earnestly considered a job for myself, but now dreamed of establishing a career. And where I was once desperate and most thrilled to lock it down, the idea of being committed to one person right now makes me shifty and uncomfortable.

I seem to have developed a new brand of independence and confidence I’d always admired in others but could never find within myself. It was momentarily discombobulating, because it made it hard for myself to recognize the person I had become, just for a second. And although this felt like an achievement on some level, it baffled me more than it delighted me.

I’ve always strived to walk in step with what I valued and believed to be right, by living my life as my true Self – whatever that means. Actually, all that means is ignoring what most people have to say and instead just going with your gut and responding to what makes you feel alive – it’s so straightforward and simple, you wonder why more people don’t do this. This would account for all the seemingly erratic, random, and brazenly contradictory pursuits I have chased in my lifetime.

Up until very recently, the road to happiness for me had involved settling down and starting a family at a young age. And the road to misery presumably involved working long hours and a preference to keep multiple superficial, intermittent, and stress-free relations.

Here’s the tricky part that I struggle with: it’s not always black or white. Neither of those options is the right or true or superior path – I’ve since tried both and found each of them to be equally satisfying in their own ways. Right today is not always right tomorrow. And right for you is not always right for me. And is it the Vatican or Hollywood or mum and dad who dictate what’s really ‘right’ anyway?

All I know is that for some of us (just 7% of the population), we can pick any person – obviously with the exclusion of serial killers and rapists – to be with and be happy. And we can pick nobody to be with and still be happy. And we can pick any career – considering we put our minds to it, commit the necessary hours and work to be great at it – and be happy. That’s reductive, of course, as in reality there are many rivers to cross and gaps to bridge between where we stand and Happiness.

But the gist is this: We can do anything and be happy. Whichever path we decide for ourselves, we are going to find a world of endless possibilities and a delicious chocolate cake because that’s how our brains are wired. The journey has never been the hard part. For us, it is the decision itself that is the hardest. But once it’s been made, our extroverted intuition jumps right back into play and makes damn sure that we are making the absolute most out of whatever option we’ve chosen.

So rest assured and stop mulling over the options already. We are going to find a way to be happy either way – at least 7% of us are.

The lesson of the past

At times I feel gutsy, willing for change. I realize seconds later that I’m terrified to make the same mistakes over and over again. I ponder for a few seconds, determined to understand myself, but I don’t. It is illogical.  Some few seconds pass in silence before I realize how selfish I am-to assume I am the only one feeling this way.

And then you say, “ See. You’re doing it again. Don’t let past experiences live in the present.

It was then that i realized, just as I have my own way of burrowing myself deep in voids and past mistakes,  you have your own way of finding me in that self depraved hole I created for myself, just to let me know that though it might not seem that way now, everything will be okay.

We just have to keep turning the page. And forget the rest.

On Cheating

A relationship: The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.

Growing up, this was not a new concept to me. I have watched marriages fail around me because someone was unfaithful. Greed, lust and money all played into the game as women and men clamored for attention to get to the top of that pyramid. In this day, nobody cares for principles, commitment,or vows. They craved for the rush of something new, a faster upbeat new model, or at least one that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Regardless the cost, or elimination of human relationships. Nothing stood in their way.

Idealism had kept me sheltered, intact with my blurred childhood. It came with the idea that cheating was often bound to mostly marriages, and with the concept that being in a cheating relationship probably didn’t hurt as much as being in a cheating marriage, which had the ties of relatives who talked, a purchased home with financial and legal obligations, children and so on. Media and movies over the years have also honed my stereotypes of men being led astray, prone to cheating because of their biological make up to procreate the earth, humanistic-ally to continue their line of genetic material.

As i grew up, i wondered where that happy ever after went to, considering all the Disney princesses always ended up in a beautiful gown with beady eyes, mesmerized at their prince charming, while the narrate went, “and they lived happily ever after“. It wasn’t till many thoughts and years later that it came to my attention that children had something in common with adults, and that is that they only see, and hear, what they want to.

Take for an instance, Grandma Willow who warned us subtly about life. Did we notice it? I sure didn’t.

She had it right, knocked hard. The right path is never the easiest one most of the time.

I guess if you were really hungry, or starving, you would eat that chocolate bar in the pantry because you knew the person should have known better than to forget to label it, right? Even if it was labelled, there were 12 other colleagues in the office at that time. Who could pinpoint you? No one would know, right? Yeah. Totally. Have a break, have a kit kat. Smeared on someone else’s wife. Or girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or husband. Whichever determined your line of what it meant to be a professional home wrecker.

But when you cheat, did you ever wonder what you’re really throwing away? The years built with that someone, the familiar feeling of that someone in your life, marking their days with yours, emotionally investing in you, selflessly. I wonder, honestly, do people ever realize the infinitely different sorts of pain and questions you put someone through when you cheat on them? If you knew me in real life, you’d know through my experiences of being a into a shell of a girl,confrontation is never my strong suit, avoidance being key in my personal relationships. But yet, when I think of cheating, I wonder- was it that hard to just break up with someone?

Was it that hard to be responsible enough to end your commitment, before you choose to take up another?

It’s like borrowing a library book. There’s a due date. You know there’s a due date. If you needed another book, you have to return the other, because there’s a limit of how many books you can borrow at the same time.

I’m sure we’re all law abiding citizens who return our library books on time, right?

We have to be realistic here. Forever only means forever when people do not change. But change is inevitable, and so are people. The only hope we can deal with in good foundations with strong relationships is if we embrace change and grow together, apart. Consistently coming back to realign the direction in which it means to be a ‘we’ than a ‘me’.

To break stereotypes and challenge them, I’ve had two male friends who had their hearts broken in the last two years by long term relationships with their ex-girlfriends. It came to me like a wave of confusion, shock and disbelief. Why are, more and more women cheating?

As I watched my friends share their horror stories, masking their pain for male pride, I pondered. As a woman, and a friend of these two- for years, I might add. I stopped to ponder how scary it would be if I in turn turned out to be just like these women. Always straying my eyes to a better future with a different man, always thinking of cheating without getting caught, and always hurting others than hurting myself, simply because I was only thinking of myself. My needs. My wants. My expectations.

I then decided, if I didn’t want any girl to do that to the people I loved so much in my life, I wouldn’t be that kind of girl.

To the people out there who blamed it on circumstance, on booze and on impulse-Cheating isn’t something that happens because of its confusion for feelings or being a spur of the moment. It is an active, conscious decision to cheat.

Cheating is a selfish act of self preservation of the human heart. Or wanting to find out what the grass was like on the seemingly greener side. Can I blame you for wanting more? No. But I then know that you have given me a green pass, to leave you behind without looking back, without the option of a second chance. My mother once said, “Once a cheater, always a cheater”.

Do you want her back?” I ask.

Before he could answer, the other man on the adjoining table said. “If you did that man, no offense but- I’d lose all respect for you.

Because you deserve better.

Getting hurt is part of life’s unruly way of imparting lessons.

It might suck now. But I guess only time will tell. And only time can heal.