Fear

I think my biggest fear is the fear of wasting time.  To the point where it inhibits my normal, humanoid functioning activities.  I think I’ve always known this, but recently I became acutely aware of it.  I don’t even go out and explore new things for fear that I would have wasted my time if I don’t like it.  Which is crazy because…well…when I put it like that it just sounds insane.  It’s insane that I have commoditized time to such a degree that I won’t even go out and enjoy life.  Not to say I don’t enjoy my life, but I think sometimes when you don’t think about something, or do it consciously, it just happens.  Because I was thinking about what I do- I do the SAME things every time I get some free time.  And after a point, it starts to get old.  I guess it’s almost like a free time rut.  (Is that a thing? I’m making it one now).  Not that I get a ton of free time, but when I do, I want it to be fulfilling.

Here’s a novel thought- maybe the fact that I think I HAVE to do something in my free time is the problem. Maybe the whole problem is that I think I need to be “productive” or “accomplish something” or… “do something” or “be fulfilled”.  Maybe this is the crux of the entire issue. Putting pressure on yourself to deliver something at the end of free time, maybe defeats the whole purpose of free time?

Maybe I should just try doing…nothing. OH GOD.  Even writing that down made me start hyperventilating.  Ok, now I know this is the problem.  Yup, I feel my throat constricting.  My hands are shaking a bit.  This is my big fear.

Ok.  Now I have to figure out how to work on it.

Ok I need to stop  writing now because I seriously can’t breathe it’s so terrifying.

(The sad part is I’m not joking).

 

 

 

Relationships

And not necessarily of the romantic kind.  Actually, I’m not talking about the romantic kind at all.  I mean just the normal ones.  Friends.  Co Workers. Family. Etc.  And the relationship you have with yourself. Your passions. Your hobbies.  Whatever it may be.  The thing is, all relationships take time.  If you don’t put time into them, things don’t really work out.  In fact, you really get out what you put in.

Which is kind of crazy because I think before, they just..happened.  You’d co-habitate a space with people and automatically relationships would develop without even really trying.  Or giving it thought. And I think that tends to keep happening. Unless you travel a ridiculous amount, and you’re never really in one place for extended periods of time. Then most things just kind of pause.  And don’t go anywhere.  Which, when you think about it, is really weird.  Probably the closest thing we have to pausing time.  Unfortunately the problem is that even if the relationship is paused, both parties continue to grow and change and it’s just more surprising when you meet again.  Not bad or good. Just different.

It’s crazy to think I’ve been in India for over 3 years now. Which means that I’ve known some people for over 3 years.  That sounds like such a long amount of time, when really, it’s less about the time as a unit of measure and more about…I don’t even know what it’s about to be honest.

I guess all I know is that you have to make an effort.  Especially with things/people that don’t have years and years of accumulated..stuff.  I don’t have a better word for stuff.  Years and years of..history? Yeah, history is a good word.  History can be both good and bad.  But that’s what it is.  Moving to a phase in life where the people that you are surrounded by don’t know you for years and years and years.  Maybe only 3. Tops.  And ultimately, if putting work into the relationship is not something you really want to be doing, or look forward to, then maybe you should question that relationship entirely.

Crazy.

Chasing Happy

It’s really funny, I have always thought happiness was a moving target, but I suppose that means I think it’s a destination.  Like if I GET there, everything will be ok.  But that’s sort of like saying you believe in magic. Or at least magic bullets. Which doesn’t really make sense because if there is anything I’ve learned, there are no magic bullet solutions for anything.

So maybe we are thinking about this the wrong way.  Maybe the point isn’t to strive for perfection.  Or ok maybe it is, but maybe the point is that all the things you learn along the way are the important bits.  The stress. The pain. The trials. The tribulations.  It’s sort of like that sadistic pleasure you get when you are sore after a workout (ok maybe I’m the only insane one that gets really happy when I’m sore after I workout- it means things are HAPPENING).

I think what I need to learn is that magic doesn’t exist because somehow I have enough cash to pay my bills for the next month (yes, that was something I used to do- not look and pray that I would have enough- somehow it worked out), or magically the one thing that I want to buy… I win somewhere (yes, that happens sometimes- I swear I’m super lucky), or I randomly get…I don’t know, something else awesome.  I can’t bank on that for my dose of magic.  That’s just called stupidity.  It’s like trying to get a hit off something that really isn’t reliable and doesn’t always exist.

I have a feeling it lies in the small details that I never pay attention to.  Like…have you really thought about all the things that go into creating tiny humans (besides the whole sperm meeting egg bit, I think we all know the mechanics of that by now).  But my friend is pregnant and she was telling me all the things happening to the baby over the past few months- it’s INSANE.  HOW DOES THE HUMAN BODY DO THIS STUFF?!  And the whole…nature thing.  I never really paid attention to it, but it’s kind of crazy how all that works out.  And music.  Again, never really paid attention to it until I recently met a musician on the subway in New York and she was describing the history of music creation (and how MP3’s and digital music was killing actual live music/music appreciation). CRAZY STUFF.  Sports was always something I loved, but haven’t got around to in a bit.  But stuff like that.  I think that’s where the real magic is.

I don’t know. Just random thoughts.

Tilt

Does anyone else get incredibly frustrated at the fact that they aren’t perfect yet? Because I sure do.  I know I know, it’s supposed to be about the journey, but sometimes, it just gets frustrating.  I was reading this book (from a new genre: startup fiction- yes that IS a thing now) and it talked about entrepreneurs being in “tilt”. Tilt, as they defined it, was when you are basically downward spiraling.  It’s a completely normal thing that happens all the time, you just have to recognize when you are in it, and course correct.  It’s almost like you’re a doctor, diagnosing yourself (i.e. WebMD but for your own neuroses and ticks).  It recommends figuring out what you do when you are spiraling downward, recognize it and overcompensate the other way so that your business doesn’t suffer.

Which is awesome if you are a robot, which clearly, the startup world is trying to make us all into.  Just kidding, but sometimes it feels that way.  I don’t know how they do that- just ignore all the pent up frustration and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s the part they don’t talk about how to deal with.  And it’s crazy because it’s the little things that get to you, because you think you can ignore them, and then they add up to very big things (or at least in your head they are very big things).

Schedules are so tight that if one thing goes off, the whole day is in tilt.  And I haven’t scheduled any room for..I don’t know, fixing the mess. It’s sad (or maybe good, I don’t really know), but somehow work always gets done.  It’s all the other things in my life that suffer. I need to figure out how to fix that. Sometimes, the things that get me into tilt just amaze me though.

So I got bitten by a stray dog, which bit through my only pair of workout pants I have.  So now I own no workout pants.  I haven’t made time to go buy any, because I just figure it’s ok because I only really need pants if I don’t go to the salon enough (which I promised myself I would!)  EXCEPT I was talking at this college in Tamil Nadu this weekend, and I was supposed to come back on Sunday (to run errands which included going to the salon) and of course the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu HAD to be convicted and sentenced to jail  the ONE day I was there, and they started rioting and burning buses and ish so I couldn’t come back to Bangalore because I might DIE.  For real. So we had to wait until the next day, but of course all the tickets were hella expensive to get out of Tamil Nadu and back to Bangalore, so the only reasonable ticket we could get was to fly into Chennai from Trichy at 2pm and leave from Chennai to Bangalore at 10pm.  Which means I got back home at midnight and spent all of Sunday at the airport.  Which was not so bad, except I went to bed late and then got up late,  so of course I was late for my first meeting (and didn’t eat breakfast), and didn’t get to catch up until 3pm today.  I finally got everything done at 8pm, but then I had to choose between salon and the gym and man I hadn’t worked out in a few days (again, the whole riots and burning buses and not getting back in time thing) so I picked the gym.  But because I hadn’t made time for the whole buying pants thing, I had to go with sprouty legs, which, I mean, I guess I’m not supposed to care about, but I totally do (so sue me) and I felt weird the entire time.  And it’s frustrating because I mean if a) I didn’t get bitten by that stray dog OR b) riots did not break out the EXACT time I was in that one city (I swear I was supposed to be there less than 24 hours!) I would have been fine.

They seem extreme but I feel like there’s always some sort of random act of whatever that throws a wrench in my perfect plans.

But I guess that’s the point.  I need to get over the fact that there will be no perfect plans, and I really just gotta roll with it.

Stray dog bites, rioting, and king cobras in your house and all (wait, did I mention there was a king cobra in my house and I had to call a snake catcher and all that jazz? Yeah, that happened).

I guess all I can do is keep calm and carry on.

 

The Inland Empire (Vol II)

I’m home randomly for the weekend before I go to New York City- TED Talk! Excited.  But you know what’s also exciting? The Inland Empire.  Taking a page from my roommate’s talks (yes I am a fangirl of Alicia Souza), I started noticing things.  Within 3 hours I saw:

  • 3 advertisements for “Bare n Legal Showgirls”- apparently that’s a big thing now. Regular ones weren’t enough, The IE likes the Barely Legal kind.
  • A drug deal go down- that’s what they use bus stops for now! Multitasking
  • An Amish family- I swear to God my parents and I were out eating lunch and there was an Amish family in the restaurant! It makes no sense to me either but that’s what I saw.  OR a family going out to a really weird costume party at 12 noon…
  • A new store called “IMPLANTS”
  • Lots of weird children running around the restaurant which…actually..seemed a lot like me and my brother when we were little. Oh god. Karma.

I’ve also been watching lots of glorious trashy TV (because my roommate judges me when I watch it in the apartment).  Man, America knows how to get real trashy.  Jersey Shore was nothing compared to My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.  Just sayin.

It’s home, what can I say.  Gotta love it.

 

Rabies

Only in India can you legitimately call your aunt and say oh hey, I don’t think I can come visit you in Chennai this weekend because guess what, as I was walking back from my yoga class yesterday morning, this rando stray dog decided to take a bite out of my leg, and now because we have no idea if this crazy dog was actually rabid (because I mean, I wasn’t exactly paying attention to his features, I was more just trying to get my upper calf muscles the hell away from his teeth) I have to stay back since the second course of my 5 shot rabies vaccination is on Saturday.  And only in India would she not even blink and say, oh yeah that happens. No problem.

 

The other funny thing about potentially having rabies is trying to figure out if you actually have symptoms for rabies.  It was incredibly sad, because as the doctor was reading off all the symptoms, it really seemed like I could have rabies..ALL THE TIME.  Headache (check, when I forget to eat lunch that happens, like that day in question).  Twitching (check- when I get stressed out my eyeball twitches, but lately it’s been my upper lip).  Fatigue (Check- can I say that just happens on the regular- I don’t think I even know what being peppy is anymore at work).  Doing things that seem strange to other people (that was seriously a symptom- I didn’t even know what to say to that one- I do strange things every day?)

So in conclusion, I am back in India, and now if another stray dog decides to bite me I’m cool, because I’m vaccinated for at least another 6 months.  The only request I have is that the swollen bits go down, or take a bite out of the other leg to even it out.  I wonder if there are stray dog gods I need to pray to.  There probably are.  I need to get on this.

Oddly enough, it feels really good to be back. Potential rabies and all.

Death

My friend and I had watched Donny Darko 2 days ago, and it was really messing with my head.  I think the thing that strikes closest to home is the fact that death sounds like such a lonely thing.  I think the thing that makes me the most afraid is being alone.  It’s such a dark concept.  And at least for me, that’s the thing that I associate with death.

But then I just finished Thrive, by Arianna Huffington.  She makes a few good points about the fact that Western society makes death such a taboo topic, and something we try to keep hush hush.  Which already makes the people who want to really talk about death, or understand death, feel a bit alienated. If you think about it, it’s the only thing that everyone, regardless of race, geography, or religion, experiences. It’s the one truly universal experience.  And she was talking about Greek culture, and how they view death as a wonderful thing, surrounded by the ones that they love.

I was thinking about it as we were living it up, dancing to our hearts content until 3:30 in the morning, celebrating my friend’s 30th birthday in Dublin yesterday.  It just felt so…fun.  Pure, unadulterated joy.  And I hadn’t felt so alive in such a long time.  It felt so good.

Which made me come to an epiphany.  If life is so wonderful and so joyous, I don’t believe that death, or what comes after, can be that bad.  Moreover, I refuse to believe that we are alone.  I don’t think we are ever really alone.  Given what I’ve experienced in life, and the wonderful network of people that surround you with love and support, I can’t believe that the next part of our soul’s journey is any different.  I refuse to believe that.  It just makes no sense to me.

Which means that I believe I am coming to terms with death.  I don’t want to ignore it, because it’s something that I feel is terrifying if you don’t face it head on. It’s something I’m embracing as the universal shared experience, which really, helps me live my life more fully- knowing that there’s something greater out there I can experience after this amazing thing called life is finished.

Life Curation

If you look at all the best design houses, what they do is they pick the designers they like best and showcase his/her work.  I realized this as I was walking through Dublin. A brand, or a store, is known for its curation of designers of a certain bent.  Each store has its own brand, and needs to adhere to that brand accordingly.

Imagine if you were a design house, and you were in charge of the curation of your life.  From the shoes you wear that day to each and every choice you make- you are creating and curating your brand.

It’s a trip if you think about it that way.  Every single choice you make has an effect on your brand. Brand you.

What would you do differently if you knew it actually mattered in the grand scheme of things, if everything you did was noticed?

3 Years in India

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I moved to India.  Well, it feels like 2 seconds, and it feels like 20 years, all at the same time.  Time is funny like that.  I heard that time is actually a time scape, where it all exists at the same moment and every possibility is already laid down for us in a quilt like layer and all we have to do is pick which future we want, every possibility unfurled at every moment along our lives.  Or at least that was my lay-man interpretation of a physicists description of time.  Which makes sense to me, because I don’t experience time like a fluid river going past me.  There’s too many ways in which it feels both long and short, and 1 year running NextDrop in India feels like 10 years working my last job.

in some ways I feel like I have aged at least 10 years, and in some ways, I have learned so much about things I don’t know, I feel like I’m an adolescent again, or even younger.

Child- like wonder.  I heard that is the key to creativity, and the key to staying young, the key to staying happy.  The key to everything really.  If we can maintain that state of child-like wonder, to realize how much of the world there is still left to see, how much there is still left to understand, how vast that space is of what we don’t know, I think that is a life well lived.

I think the one thing the last 3 years has taught me is humility.  Humility because I am now beginning to fathom how much I don’t know.  And probably will never know.  But I can at least try, and spend my life trying.  Spend my life using the knowledge I have accumulated to better the state of humanity, but also living in child like wonder at the large expanse of the unknown.

Living with the knowledge that there will always be something new on the horizon.

It’s a comforting thought really.  The world of the unknown isn’t flat.  It’s infinite.

 

Fitness and the Such

It’s really easy to stay healthy when things are going well. But what happens when things (either work or personal life or both) are a hot mess?  That’s when everything else is a hot mess and you start to feel your downward spiral.  Luckily, before I spiraled too far down, my vacation hit, so that’s where I’m at right now.  For a later post- the necessity of vacation and recharge (she writes, as she is happily recharging on the French Riviera, visiting her favorite grandfather), but for now, I was thinking about fitness.  Or my lack thereof.

I want to be able to dance like a crazy woman until I’m 95 (or basically until I die), and I want the option to open a yoga studio with my roommate should I be in need of a good business and some cash (pretty lucrative business if you do it right, I’m telling you).  Yesterday, I went out with my grandfather and his lady friend and he was twirling the both of us around like it was 1945.  That needs to be me.  I want to make sure that’s me when I get to be 84.

I’m really good at having a good fitness routine when my life is calm.  Which is about 2 months out of the year.  Most of the time the shit is hitting the fan and I’m just trying to get to the next day without the entire business imploding.  (Not really, but most of the time it feels that way- I’m working on that too).

I’m currently reading the book Thrive, by Arianna Huffington. It’s not exactly a, I can’t put this book down sort of read, but I don’t think it was meant to be that way.  It’s about how we can redefine success and make sure we are not only successful in the professional realm, but we are also healthy and happy to boot.  Good vacation reading at least.

I think that if I can squeeze about 30 minutes of exercise in every day, and eat 2 meals at home, I will be a happy camper.  The goal is to achieve that runners high, because that high takes me through to the next day, and it helps me perform at my best.  And that is key in my line of work.

One of my main challenges is to distinguish exercise from my creative time.  Let me rephrase that.  I believe that the higher up you rise in an organization, the more white space you need to think and be creative.  For me, that happens when I’m moving (or for Arianna Huffington, while she hikes).  Again, this deserves it’s own post (in due time), but the bigger our organization grows, the more creative time I need to plan what’s next for our company.  That being said, I usually conflate exercise time and creative time (because the actions are usually the same).  Which means that I usually end up getting lots of good ideas, but not enough runners high.  Le sigh.  So to fix that, I’m going to differentiate the two from now on, and schedule them as such. Lucky for me, I now have moved within walking distance to both the gym and a yoga studio, so that should be doable.  (Yes, that was my criteria for moving into a new apartment- proximity to gyms and/or decent exercise facilities).

I think I’m going to have to have some creative time in the morning, and fitness time in the evening.  I think that’s how I’m going to break down the day when I get back.  At least that’s the way I’m going to try and do it.  Lets see how that works.  When I get back to Bangalore.

But in the meantime, I get to do a lot of beach swimming, reading, walking, and general doing nothing-ness. It’s pretty great.  I cannot complain.

Lots of love from Menton

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