Self-esteem

How fragile can self-esteem be. I have been fighting all my life to build my self-esteem, be happy with who I am and have the confidence to live my life the way I want to. It is always an ongoing struggle. Just a small thoughtless comment from someone who is not even important in my life can make me question myself.

I grew up in a large joint family, there were so many of us, my mom, though she tried really hard could not give us individual attention. Everything was done for the collective good.  I looked a little different from others, I was born darker, with unruly curly  hair and was also the plump one. Things like being called “Kali” (the dark one) and “Moti” (the fat one) unknowingly worked in  eroding my self confidence. No one realized how it would affect my life, not even me. There was a time during my teenage year when I hardly took any pictures, I always thought I was ugly. The only way I believed I would be accepted was if I did well in school and was the obedient one. So I worked really hard, which did help in life.  It’s not that I didn’t have a great childhood, we had so much fun, we traveled and my parents are just great. They loved us unconditionally and always encouraged  us to be independent. But sometimes  your mind does get screwed even in the  best environment.

I have been practicing mindfulness  to help me deal with my issues. I focus on positive thinking and  try to be satisfied with I have.  This post is my way of just getting it off my chest and dealing with it.  I know life is beautiful, I know I am loved, I know I am enough and I love myself. I just have to keep reminding myself.

 

 

 

 

 

Goals

A few days ago, I attended a session by a career coach and one thing that resonated with me was  the importance of setting goals. I realised that I have never actually set goals for myself, I have just gone with the flow, sometimes even taking steps without thinking through.  Does that make me less ambitious or just a run of the mill individual? So I got back home and decided to think of  a short term goal and a long term goal  that I could set for myself. One of my short term goal is to update my blog regularly, so that I can have a journal of my life events and thoughts. The long term goals are more difficult, I  still have no idea of what I want and where I want to be in 5 years time. Should I continue the way I am, it has worked so far. I have had my highs and lows but generally I have been happy. Isn’t that the most important thing, its all so confusing. Maybe I will give it some more thought and have a long term goal written down by next week.

Where did all this fat come from

A piece of cheese cake, those yummy chicken nuggets, the cake I just learnt to bake and those creamy coffees, so tempting , so avoidable and now I am left with love handles that I don’t actually love. Like the Kellogs advert says “98% of women have I hate my body moment”, I am going through mine. How I wish I had said no to that cheesy burger and creamy Haagen Dazs. I have aches all over, every muscle hurts trying to emulate those super fit YouTube bloggers. They make doing 40 sec of jumping jacks so easy but I’m left heaving after 10. But perseverance they say is rewarded, don’t ask me who they are, so I will keep looking at those awesome YouTube videos and keep dreaming I will get there some day.

 

Upheavals

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.” Heraclitus Changes are necessary, changes are important, but they also leave upheavals behind. Even positive changes can result in a feeling of fear. Am I doing the right thing? Is this good for me in the long run? So many questions but no answers, only time will tell. But we have to move on, have to embrace the changes, because that is what is expected. that is what life is. Am I ready for the changes, I seriously don’t know, but I am accepting it, embracing it.

The mirror lies ….

My sister and I look at the same mirror everyday, what she sees is a girl who is gaining weight and what I see is someone who looks ok. The mirror lies to both of us. My sister is 5’4″ and slender, every time she looks into the mirror she whines she has gained weight, which irritates the hell out of me, because according to me its not true. She is her same slender self.

Now when I look into the mirror I see myself as someone normal, I mean I am not thin, have never been, neither  am I fat.  Even when the world is telling me I have started gaining weight, the mirror keeps telling me I look OK.

I think it is a deep psychological thing. I was a very healthy child, the golu molu type not very tall and then suddenly I gained in height and lost weight , my mum associated the weight loss  to the sudden spurt of growth. But it was actually a chronic health condition which made me very ill for a long time. So for me weight loss is associated with being ill.  When I look into the mirror I don’t want to see someone thin, nor do I want to see someone who is fat as I was teased for being one when I was a kid.  So is the mirror lying to me… no it is just showing what  I want to see.

For the love of tiramisu

What will you  do to get a spoonful  of your favourite dessert? I coaxed, bribed and emotionally blackmailed my brother to get it for me over a distance of almost 2400 km.

I first tasted Tiramisu two year ago when I was in Edinburgh and was instantly hooked to it, even the mass produced supermarket variety. Living in Gangtok, I am as far away from tiramisu as possible, but I just could not stop talking about it. When I was visiting Kolkata with my cousin, she insisted  on tasting  it,  I had been talking about it for ages. So we went to Flurys because it has a reputation of being  one of the best confectionary. I was deeply disappointed by what they served as tiramisu,  it did not even come close to how it was supposed to be. I was also embarrassed, as I had being going gaga over my favourite dessert, and when my cousin finally tasted it, she was dismayed, it turned out to be a dud.  I had to do something to salvage my reputation, so when my brother said he is coming home for a few days, I asked him to get tiramisu from Theobroma in Mumbai. It was not as easy as just asking him to get it, I did have to  use underhand tactics, what clinched the deal was my explanation of how bad the tiramisu we had in Kolkata was.  Being a foodie himself he understood, how it was criminal to let my cousin have such a negative view of our favourite dessert.  So after a long flight of many hours, being manhandled by the baggage crew ,  road trip of 4 hours , I finally got to have my spoonful of tiramisu, it was ambrosial.  And I did share it with my cousin, she loved it too.

Steve Jobs : The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson ; a review

When I heard of the movie Jobs staring Ashton Kutcher, I knew that I had to read the biography  before watching the movie. Though I confess I don’t watch Ashton Kutcher’s movies, find him to be a bad actor. Since this was about Jobs, I thought I will watch it(not done it yet).

I ordered a copy of  Steve Jobs : The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson , thank god for online purchase I even got a discount.  It is a thick book, 656 pages, now I don’t read biographies much, so here I was thinking, how long will it take for me to complete the book. I read it in 2 days. It is a well researched book, a very interesting read, I liked the style of writing and Isaacson has written about the good , the bad and  the weird Jobs.

I am an  Apple fangirl ( I am using a MacBook Pro to write this), so I wanted to know, the brains behind such amazing products, and I was not disappointed. I was specially fascinated with the story of iPod, a computer manufacturing company revolutionising  how we heard music. Steve Jobs saw an opportunity where others didn’t.  It changed the way the music industry did business.

We have a lot to thank Steve Jobs for, not just with computers, but the way we watch animation movies, they way we use our phone, read books and hear music. I remember when iPad was launched , there were so many negative reviews , right from its name to the fact that the tablet market was non existence. Now we see almost every manufacturer making tablets.

Some of my friends  who have never used an Apple product hate it and can’t stop criticising Apple as a company and Steve Jobs as a person, that is the kind of strong feeling he generated, even among people who did not know him and had never used any of his product.

Steve Jobs was a complicated man, a visionary, a pioneer, he could be a real b******, but he did give us some of the most amazing products in history.

Read this book if you are looking for a balanced  view on Steve Jobs life.

 

Self help books : who are they actually helping….

Go to any bookshop, you will find a large section dedicated to self help books. Books that are supposed to help you become rich, lead a better life, be spiritual etc, etc ,etc.

To be honest I did read a few of them in my early 20’s, but now I stay away from them. I would rather read a good biography.

The other day I was discussing books with my brother, when he said he does not read self-help books. It got me thinking, do the self help books actually help.  Who are they helping ? First and foremost they are helping the author. They make loads of money and generally have a happy life. I am ok with books that talk about making money, at least they are trying to help others make money while they make their own.

I have my grievance against authors who talk about how to become  spiritual and better human and how to give back. While asking us to give back to society or give up our worldly goods they are collecting all the royalties from the book. Do they give up too? Its like some of  the old devotional songs sung by a certain singer, where he sings about giving up worldly possession to get to God, but is charging money to sing the same songs. Isn’t it hypocricy at its best.

There are many people in this world who take great positives  from such books. If it was not so,  they would not be  bestsellers. Sometimes we read that it changes peoples lives.  To each his own, I am happy when I get to read such positive stories. But personally I feel everything is right inside us. If we really want to help ourself we need to think deep and contemplate . The answers are right in front of us. Saying that, I am at  a very delicate  juncture of my life, so I hope I will be able to dig deep within, and come out stronger without any help from books.

Anyone who has some positive stories to relate connected to self-help books I would welcome your comments, and also comments of people who do not agree with me.

 

 

Life in UoE

Group assignments can be really tricky , you never know  whom you’ll end up with in the team. I have a team of 7  for one of the assignments, 3 Chinese , 1 American, 2 Indian and a Lithuanian, its a crazy mix , with only one native speaker of English. Getting the point across is  so difficult,  sometimes the meeting gets so wild with everyone trying to  say their point  without realising that they are trying to say the same thing. But its fun too, when you’re not trying to argue , you get to know so much about  some other country and their culture.  Sharing XLL pizza and  discussing things other than the coursework.