Alcohol Can…

Alcohol can:

Make a person smile after a hard day of work.

Make a person relax when they’re been stressed.

Make a person chatty when they’re usually quiet.

Make a person talk to new people and make new friends.

Make a person have an opinion when they usually like to listen.

Make a person feel brave.

Make a person find a stage to get up and dance on.

Make a person talk to the cute guy/girl that they’ve been too afraid to talk to.

Make a person dance like a pro.

Make a person sing like Celine Dion.

Make a person have the courage to dance up on tables.

Make a person say what’s on their mind when they’re usually reserved.

Make a person find a pole and dance.

Make a person ask that cute boy/girl to dance.

Make a person flirt more than they usually do.

Make a person reveal their feelings to the guy/girl they’ve been too afraid to talk to.

Make a person possibly kiss that boy/girl that they’ve always wanted to.

Make a person feel empowered and unstoppable.

But what if it became too much? 

Too much alcohol:

Can make a person become aggressive.

Can make a person throw up way too much.

Can make a person cry like they’ve never cried before.

Can make a person go blind with rage.

Can make a person be verbally abusive.

Can make a person physically abusive.

Can make a person violent.

Can make a person slur profanities.

Can cause a verbal fight.

Can make a person march up to their ex and hurl abuses in their direction.

Can make a person black out.

Can make a person scream insults at people.

Can make a person do things they might regret later.

Can make a person do embarrassing things they may not remember later.

Can make a person be harmful.

Can make a person act badly with that boy/girl they really want to get to know better.

Can make a person not remember the events of the evening, till they’re reminded of them.

Can become a problem.

I wrote this piece after being on both sides of the alcohol spectrum. And I’ve seen how it’s made people behave, and after being at the receiving end of abuses and insults, I wrote this. I’m not trying to tell you that alcohol shouldn’t be consumed, (far from it!) but I just want you to bear in mind, it can be harmful when you start behaving in a way that isn’t acceptable in public. If you’re being physically abused, report – walk away, or make sure you have people who have your back. Nothing makes it worse than when you’re alone and have to deal with it.

A simple message that I hope you’ll have the good sense to read.

I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend.





To The Friends That Left When I Needed You The Most

I never realized how trivial our friendship was to you, that you left when I needed your support and a shoulder to cry on.

I never realized how dispensable I was to you, that when you felt it was convenient, you let me go, without so much so as a goodbye.

I never realized that you were so hard-hearted that you didn’t even feel the pain when the friendship ended, and you carried forward while I was brimming with tears.

I trusted you with my deepest, darkest secrets, I told you about pretty much everything in my life, and I knew you wouldn’t ever judge me for it. I looked up to you, I respected you, I loved you with all my heart and to know I could be so easily disposed of, hurts me to my very core.

Maybe I was wrong in thinking we were truly good friends – maybe I was wrong in thinking that you cared for me the same way I did for you – and perhaps maybe, I was far too invested than I should have been.

None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, but you’ve chosen to walk away, instead of talking things out, and thought the worst of me. If you truly knew me, you would have taken the time to work things out, if our friendship meant that much to you.

I’ve always thought the best of you, and you’ll always be my number one. If anything goes wrong, I’ve still got your back, even from a distance. Even if you don’t have mine anymore.

To the friends I’ve lost when I needed you the most – we may not exchange a single word in the hallway, but I know for certain that you have taught me something invaluable – to love unconditionally, to allow for people to walk into my life, and show me kindness.

You brought out the best in me, and gave me the confidence to shine again. You showed me what it was to laugh again, and forgo all the pain. You gave me life lessons that I can’t ever forget, and every day you gave me something new to think about. You gave me advice that has stuck with me through the years, and you brought down my head from the clouds.

You knocked me back to planet earth when I was floating into fantasy land, you showed me tough love when I was wallowing in self-pity. You never held back when I made a mistake, you yelled at me when I wouldn’t listen to reason, and you told me off when I was being a fool.

You held my hand when I cried, when my heart was broken, when I couldn’t face the reality of certain events. You hugged me when I needed it, and never failed to show me love on our tougher days. You surprised me by coming to visit unexpectedly and you always had a smile that mirrored mine.

Now that you’ve left and gone your own way, there’s a sadness that can’t be shook. I feel like a part of me is missing – I feel lost, and I feel like something precious is gone from my life. .

To the friends I lost along the way – wherever you are, please know that I think of you often, that you are still a big part of my life, that I miss you every day, that you taught me so much about myself and life. I hope one day we meet again, and we work things out – and we picked up right where we left off. If not, I wish nothing but the best for you in your life, and I hope you are happy, wherever you are, and with whatever you are doing. May you always be blessed with good things in your life.

Love, Shilpa xo

Stop Walking, Start Talking

I think one of the biggest and most damaging characteristic of any given relationship is our ability to walk away without talking things out. A small problem, a big problem, a fight, an argument over something as silly as where to go for dinner – how many times have we all walked away from a sticky situation and allowed it to manifest itself into something bigger? Why are we, as humans so quick to walk away rather than confront, deal, and talk things out? I’m trying to figure this one out, and from my own experience, when I’ve confronted a problematic scenario, I’ve found that misunderstandings can be cleared, relationships can be salvaged, and friendships can be saved, even though at the time, it seems as though it looks a bit…despondent.

As humans we have this innate ability to bottle up our emotions, because we don’t want to show we are vulnerable. That vulnerability is linked to weakness. That we as humans are tough as nails and can handle everything on our own. I want to say that everyone wants to show that they don’t need to figure shit out with another person’s help, but the truth is, sometimes, talking with another human can help.  A lot of problems have been solved by speaking up, and have cleared several misunderstandings.

We squabble pretty much all the time, even if it is over the silliest of reasons. It’s human nature to fight with one another, and at times it causes more drama than necessary. There have been moments where we walk away from it all, with the assumption that we’ve been given the short end of the stick, and everyone else is wrong. It is this very assumption that has been hurtful in countless relationships, and caused more harm than good, and has gone to such an extent that it has permanently severed relationships.

There might be a time you’ve suddenly stopped hearing from one of your closest mates, and you can’t figure why. You’ve walked away from the situation and left it hanging and neither of you is reaching out. Fine. Take a week to cool off, take two weeks even – but don’t let it simmer to the point that both parties stop caring. Irrevocable damage over something that could have been talked through is not the price you want to pay, and if it sacrifices your friendship? Is it worth it?

Communication between two people is so important, and we, as humans living in this technology fueled day and age will send a text, a passive aggressive facebook status update, a tweet, post a quote, hoping it will get the person to reach out and start talking – and I’m guilty of it too, but honestly – it doesn’t work. We’ve lost the ability to sit down and have an open and honest discussion with a person we’ve had a fight with, and instead we prefer to ‘leave the drama behind’ and stop speaking altogether.

If talking face to face isn’t your thing, then go ahead and write a letter. I find that if you can’t articulate what you want to say properly, then put it down on paper. Let your thoughts flow, and put it down so that the person knows exactly what you’re feeling. It can help a lot, because when there’s an uninterrupted flow of thoughts, it’s easier to let it out and write and express yourself. But let the person know what has gone wrong, don’t just assume they know, because it could be something completely different to what you’ve actually had in mind – which leads to even more misunderstandings and a lot more hurt and pain.

If there’s something that’s bothering you and you haven’t told the person about it, and haven’t been communicating with them, it’s obvious that there’s going to be a lot of wires crossed. And then it leads to neither parties wanting to make the effort (or waiting for the other to say something), and the it suddenly becomes too late to resolve anything, and that’s one more relationship damaged because both of us waited for far too long. Why are humans so fundamentally idiotic at times, that they allow a good thing to go away?

One thing I have learnt over time, is that if people walk away and don’t come back to resolve any kind of pressing matter, they were probably never meant to be in our lives anyway. They didn’t care enough to want to make amends, and instead of communicating, they decided it was best to leave things be, and just let it go. Don’t allow that to happen to you, don’t let yourself lose what is precious to you, just because you waited too long to have that conversation. Be kind. Be good, talk to people – for you have no idea the struggles that they are going through.


Shilpa x

It’s time to shine in 2017!

Happy 2017 everyone!

I’m back with a new year of ramblings and musings, and this time I’m hoping they’re a bit more inspirational, fun, and humorous.

Every year brings about new changes and challenges, lots of ups and downs but it boils down to whether we’ve grown from the previous year’s experiences or we’re still stuck in the same routined life. I had a bit of a poke around and then sort of threw together a few possible new things you could try doing in 2017 that perhaps is a little outside of your comfort zone.

  • Leave the negativitiy of 2016 in 2016.
    So much easier said and done I know. Bad experiences? Learn and move on from them. It’s always nice to start afresh so don’t carry forward into the new year anything that was weighing you down previously.
  • Instead of whining about everything, appreciate the positives.
    If I had a dime every time someone told me, “I still feel so upset over….” I’d be a billionaire. I whine sometimes. I crib and grumble, but I do not use it in every day conversation. So try this: instead of wallowing in self-pity and finding every reason to complain, start a conversation with, “I’m really glad I got to…”, not only will you emanate positivity, you will make people want to be around you and share your joy.
  • Take a solo holiday.
    I cannot stress how much important this is. A solo holiday puts a lot of things into perspective, and gives you a fresh lease on life. It opens your eyes to endless possibilities and more so, it makes you go to new and exciting places. And you’ll want to do it again. And again.
  • Letting things be as they are in this moment and time.
    If something good is happening in your life don’t try and accelerate it. I know that the intial excitement of something finally falling into place is a moment of pure joy and we want it to just all come together overnight. There’s a reason we are in this space and time and things are taking their time to unfold. Don’t try and ruin it and push for answers. They WILL come to you when it’s their time.
  • Leave behind the people that constantly weigh you down with their drama and toxicity.
    It might be a really close friend that you love unconditionally, an acquaintance, or even a work colleague. You’ve been there for them, but at some point their constant drama, their constant negativity, their constant toxic thoughts ends up bringing you down. Don’t let them be part of the new year. Have them around, but keep them at a distance.
  • Do not chase love.
    It is so easy to believe that if you want someone so badly that nothing keep you two apart – to the point it consumes you and you start obsessing and thinking over every gesture, text, phone call. Don’t. Don’t chase it. If it is meant to happen, and if the two of you know what you want, and are on the same wavelength, then it will happen. Don’t force it, it will all fall into place at the moment it is supposed to.
  • It is never too late to study, complete that degree, or take up a new language.
    I love studying. I love languages. Call me a nerd. And anyone who wants to take up a course, or finish off a degree they started, or even add another degree to their repetoire, has my vote. You don’t have to “finish” your studies by 25 because you “need to get married”, or some other rubbish like that. Did you want to take up a degree in journalism? Did you want to learn French? Don’t listen to anyone – DO it. Take up that art course, take up that music lesson – the world is rich with possibilities, do what makes YOU happy.
  • Curb the self-hate and self-loathing.
    I’m guilty of self-loathing. And I keep telling myself that I look terrible, I am fat and I’m just worthless. Someone very dear to me told me that it upset them when I was so self-deprecating. And then I realized, I’m giving out a really pathetic vibe when I’m saying this. So if you feel down on yourself and hate something about yourself, remember you are beautiful the way you are. Change if you truly want to, but the ones who care about you the most will love you unconditionally no matter what. Remember that.
  • Do something spontaneous for the people you care about.
    Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Say “I love you” unexpectedly to your parents, say ‘thank-you’ to a friend for having your back. They won’t expect it and it’s just a little spontaneous gesture that will make their day just that much better. Or, if you can manage it – book a flight. Go visit a friend who you haven’t seen in a while. Cook a favorite meal for your partner. Tell them how much you appreciate what they do for you… Just do something at the spur-of-the-moment, it is fun, refreshing and brings tremendous amount of happiness to people around you.
  • Spare a hug.
    I’m a hugger. Hugs for me are almost cathartic, and they make me feel warm and fuzzy. I give them to people because I know that sometimes, someone just needs it. Try it. You never know who might feel just that much happier after one.
  • If you’ve made a mistake, accept it but don’t try and prove you’re always right.
    We all make some pretty big errors, and that’s really very okay. However, instead of going on the defensive and trying to deflect, accept it. Embrace it. If you’ve hurt someone, ask them for forgiveness, without diving into too much of a defensive explanation and then move on. You’ll have a happier heart.
  • Make a fun style change.
    Change your hair color. Cut your hair. Add extensions. Buy new make up. Splurge on an item of clothing that is a little different to what you usually wear but is bold and refreshing. It doesn’t have to be a major change, but try something new just to jazz things up a bit and I guarantee you will get a boost of confidence.
  • Let go of the idea that everyone is talking about you.
    There are people who do enjoy being mean-spirited or having a tendency to be two-faced. And that’s alright. That is how they bide their time, and you can’t stop it. However, please let go of the notion that every time friends get together without you, they’re discussing you, they’re discussing your shortcomings and they’re basically conspiring against you. You’ll not only drive yourself crazy, you might drive other people crazy too.
  • You can’t please everyone.
    I learnt this the hard way. I learnt that even if people are lovely to your face, they could have a nasty thing to say about you behind your back. Don’t ever think that you shouldn’t do something because xyz may not approve. Don’t hold back. Do what you love, and do it without hesitation. Not everyone will like it, but that is a risk you need to take – as long as you know you aren’t hurting people in the bargain and intentionally stepping on toes.
  • Let 2017 be the year you give more time to yourself.
    Spare some time to focus on your well-being. It could be taking time off social media. It could be self-reflection time. It could be picking up a book and finding a quiet corner and reading. We are all so caught up in our lives, with work and other committments that we neglect looking after ourselves and taking some time out just to be at peace and at one with ourselves. Take half an hour out of your busy day and focus on you, and you’ll notice that you feel a sense of calm when you spend that time alone.
  • If you are broken, take the time to heal.
    Bad relationships, a broken heart, a toxic friendship – lots of things could have hurt you in the previous year. Allow yourself to heal and mend in this year. Allow yourself to cry and feel hurt, but pick yourself up and fix those broken pieces. Forgive the ones that hurt you, even if they aren’t in your life, and most importantly – FORGIVE YOURSELF.
  • Be carefree, fierce and happy.
    Find your inner happiness. Be carefree. Stop over-analysing everything before you do it. Be confident, strong and embrace life with all it’s moments and accept that everything doesn’t change, and you aren’t expected to change it for anyone. Don’t change yourself to ‘fit’ with your partner, don’t rely on the best laid plans, and most importantly – do what you love and love what you do.

Hope 2017 is your year to shine.







‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly… Or Reflective.

I know that it is the season to be jolly and to be thankful. I for the most part am.

However, I am overcome with an impending sense of sadness that is inexplicable.

Without delving further into the year that was – and you and I both know we’ve had a rather topsy-turvy one – I am trying to figure what it is that is actually troubling me at this rather special and joyous time of the year.

I apologize truly, for this seemingly dreary start – but I hope you take a minute to read this and realize that I’m not unhappy, I’m just overwhelmed with an overhaul of emotions that honestly don’t make sense.

I love life, and I love living it to the fullest – and once again, for the most part, I have literally shoved out what everyone else thinks and done things on my terms. However, I’m still in the process of building some kind of confidence – and it hasn’t for the most part been very easy. Shards of negativity, questions of self-doubt and self-loathing, and sometimes ‘Did I piss someone off?’ still creep in, although not half as much as before but these are still thoughts looming over my head. And I know it’s completely stupid because it’s all in my head, but when you’ve done it as long as I have, it takes some time to get over. But the important bit is – I’m TRYING.

The holidays are a very happy time of year, people who live away from their families are back together, and there’s a lot of traveling and movement. I spent the first week of my holidays in Dubai and caught up with friends old and new, and it was refreshing. Beer, good food, good laughs, and really large sized dinners – it was some of the nicest days I’ve had in this extraordinary city.

However, on one of the days, I was suddenly filled with a sense of overwhelming sadness. And also a feeling of being completely alone. For some reason, I couldn’t shake it off – and then it hit me – I think it was owing to the fact that I was looking at people having family, friends, and loved ones by their side sharing this special moment and here I was, gallivanting in one of the most opulent cities – by myself.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, there was insecurity, the over-thinking, and the feeling of people not wanting me around. I expect that it was my brain over analyzing something that was said to me, but I was beginning to feel a bit crappy. I think partly, it had to do with learning that some of the people I considered ‘friends’ had been laughing behind my back, some not so close friends anymore had taken it upon themselves to say rubbish about me to anyone who would lend an ear. And then post passive-aggressive messages about it – and giving me the feeling that some of my other friends were keeping their distance.

So, I’ve taken it upon myself to stop worrying about what the ‘herd’ think. They were never really mine to start with, so why should it bother me what they think? I’m just sorry that they had so much time to invest in speaking about others.
I also clearly recognize that other ‘friends’ have proven themselves to be back stabbers as they’ve maligned my name – so why am I so concerned?

I’m not made of steel, I have feelings, and I am human. I make mistakes, I say things that people use as a joke at my expense, and yes, I’ve allowed to be malleable enough to listen to everyone else except myself. But that really does not mean that people constantly use it as a dinner party conversation.

So to combat all of this, the one thing I have done is allowed myself to feel all these emotions – but not let them take over my every thought. If something is upsetting me with respect to a friend/or someone that I care about, I’ve dealt with the problem head on, rather than allowing it to manifest to a point that it gets ugly. And for the people that have been laughing in my direction, I’ve sort of just let them carry on. I’m glad that I inject humor into their lives. It makes me feel happy.

So although I have probably had a few hits and misses with people, there are a few folk out there who’ve taken the time to actually get to know me, and accepted my flaws, my little nuances and stuck around. It’s refreshing. Of course, there are other friends that have been in my life forever, have disappeared and that’s fine too. I suppose it has to do with people changing, and attitudes changing – some of us are stuck in a rut of emotions, and some of us decided to make an actual effort to change our attitudes to make ourselves happier.

If there’s one thing I can impress upon you, is that we are all where we are in this place and time because it is the right thing for us. It is all part of something wonderful that will unfold in its own time, and we shouldn’t force or rush it. It’s very calming to know that every day, every minute of now is an opportunity we shouldn’t let go by, and grab as soon as we can. Who knows where it will take us?

So I hope, that given a dreary start to this post – which I apologize for again – you understand that I’m not unhappy, but I’m allowing myself to feel what I want to, and then letting it go. Holding on to anything, having grudges is negative and unhealthy and it’s not something I want end the year on, and start the new year with – considering for the last 3 years, I’ve been made to feel like absolute rubbish by people – and that is going to change in 2017, because no matter what happens, I’m going in with the attitude that life is too short, and the only way is UP. I’m fulfilling my dreams and becoming the best version of me, and I hope you will too.

So for the last time this year, be fierce.
Seasons Greetings and Happy 2017.
Much love and see you next year,
Shilpa xoxo

Loving me is tricky but you being there makes me a better person

I’m the kind of person that loves with her heart, and I give will 120%.
I know that sometimes I’m not the easiest person to deal with, but stick it out with me, and you’ll realize that all the ups and downs are nothing compared to how happy we will be.

There are days I might be a little more dramatic than you want to deal with.
There are days where I might lose my temper because of one tiny insignificant thing you said.
There are days I will just want my own space and not want anyone around.

But all this time, I am still thinking of you and how much I love you.

There are times where I might be unreasonable, I might even shout at you for something that logically makes no sense.
There will be days I will want your undivided attention even if I know you are busy.
When I ask you what you want for dinner, and you can’t make up your mind, it annoys me. And on some days I will make it known to you.
When I wear that dress and ask you how if I look fat and you say “no”, I might still get upset and say you’re not telling me the truth.

But even if I’m mad at you, I know that one look from you and I will forget everything and realize that you are my person.

I’m transparent, I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I’m upset, you will see it in my eyes and on my face. I will say what’s on my mind, and there are days I will sound illogical, but this is me.

You accepted me with all my shortcomings when you met me.

I can be myself around you, and I know you won’t leave. When I’m angry, you listen to me and tell me that you understand, and even if you don’t, just your presence and tone of voice makes me feel like you do.

I may be the girl that can be unreasonable at times, but I will always be by your side when you need me.
I will be the girl who knows that after a long day at work, you need some down time.
I’ll have your dinner ready when you walk through that door, and your favorite beverage.
I will be the girl that will ask you about your day and listen.
I will be the girl who will understand that silence speaks louder than words and all I can do is come and lie next to you.
I will be the girl who will hug you and shower you with kisses, because I can.
I will be the one who will support you through your dark days and your good ones, and be there the best way I can.
I will be the girl that will be silly, and try and make you laugh when you’re having a bad day.
I will always be loyal to you and defend you when others may not be kind.
I will love you unconditionally and do everything I can to make you happy. This is my promise.

I may be a handful at times, but I know that you being with me makes me happier than I’ve ever been, makes me a better person, and you make my world complete.



25 things I learnt in my thirty fifth year on this planet

2016 has been the year of extremes and for the most part it hasn’t been the ‘greatest’ year. However, it was a milestone year for me – I turned 35 and in that, I realized that I had a pretty great life, even if at times it felt like I was at the point of no return. Of course, 2016 has been the year of unprecedented number of deaths – Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Cristina Grimmie, to name a few – Google says that there have been 76 so far. There’s also been one of the greatest upsets in world history – Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States so yes, it’s been a crazy ride so far.

But in all of this madness I discovered that there is beauty, and happiness and something positive. I did some soul-searching and some quiet reflection and I came up with a list of things that I learnt as I’ve progressed through my 35th year:

  1. 35 does NOT mean you’re ‘over the hill’ or past the age of marriage

    Age is just a number. Wouldn’t you rather find the proverbial perfect fit for you rather than succumb to societal pressure and marry the one they think is right for you? Rather than being stuck in a loveless marriage – because divorce is still not something that’s looked upon kindly – wouldn’t you wait and be with that person that makes your world really complete? YES.

  2. Travel alone

    I’ve iterated this point a fair few times and I will reiterate it again – traveling alone is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world. Choosing a destination that you haven’t been to, exploring the culture and soaking in the sights, and finding time to be with yourself is a breath of fresh air. It is quite the journey of rediscovery, and at times you will end up surprising yourself, in a good way.

  3. Don’t ever succumb yourself by becoming a victim of emotional abuse.

    There are several definitions of emotional abuse but in a nutshell it simply means that in a relationship the partner begins to make you feel useless, worthless, and shatters your self-esteem and confidence, making you question yourself and your actions. I mistook these signs as him wanting me to be a better version of myself, but in hindsight, he used every tactic to make me feel completely inadequate. Don’t let anyone make you feel small and insignificant, they don’t care about you – they just need someone malleable to mold to their convenience.

  4. Spending just a little more time with the family

    I’ve always been a family girl, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that time with mom and dad is ever so precious. I don’t know where life is going to take me, so I utilize a part of my weekend to spend time with them – by having a lunch date with them every Saturday, taking mom shopping or just doing little things around the house with them. I know they mean well, so even if it feels that they’re constantly going on about stuff, I just laugh and smile with them, rather than argue. It makes home life that much more peaceful. And they appreciate it.

  5. I’ve stopped trying to be a people-pleaser

    My school days shaped a core of what my life has become today – as someone constantly made fun of, I tried everything to ‘fit in’. Through most of my 20’s and up until very recently I tried to do everything that would make people be happy with me, and make them like me rather than doing something I wanted to do. Sometimes it worked well, but most of the time I felt like I was living for other people, rather than myself. Now, I do things for ME, rather than everyone else. I feel that much happier and satisfied.

  6. I don’t over think every tiny detail

    This was one thing I realized that was keeping me from having good healthy relationships. Instead of spending time fretting and worrying over every tiny thing, I’ve started going with the flow – My friend is having a bad day today, I’ll ask her if she’s okay – rather than me thinking, ‘Why is she upset? What did I say? Did I offend her? Damn I know it’s my fault.’ Just, let go. There are plenty of bigger things to worry about so why burden yourself and those around you with pointless things that are probably really just a figment of your imagination? It’s going to harm you and your relationships with other people.

  7. Smile a bit more

    Okay sure, this seems a bit far fetched but I’ve found that a smile is more rewarding than we like to think. Having a bad day? Everything seems to be going wrong? Think of one good moment in your life. I’d be damned if that didn’t make you smile. Every time you feel low, try this. And you’ll see how infectious that smile really is.

  8. It’s always healthy in indulge in humorous banter and exchanges

    Sometimes you just end up laughing a hell of a lot more when you exchange in healthy, yet humorous banter. I have found that when you use the tiniest of self-deprecating humor, it’s a lot of fun and it keeps conversation light.

  9. I don’t give up at the chance of finding a real relationship

    You’d think that after the rubbish I’ve had to go through I’d say enough is enough and love is overrated, but funnily enough, I haven’t given up. At the time of my breakup and the subsequent bad news I got thereafter, I did think I wasn’t ‘worthy’ of finding love, but I’ve kept my possibilities open, and I haven’t gone actively looking for it, but allowed myself to let things unfold when they need to. I still believe that all these bad relationships have paved the way for the best one yet – the one that will make me truly happy.

  10. The best laid plans sometimes don’t work out, and that’s OKAY

    A very dear friend of mine told me that sometimes plans just don’t seem to go the way we anticipated they would and that’s perfectly alright and improvisation is the key. Following that mantra, I found that even though the plans I had laid out for myself didn’t quite follow through, there is something positive coming out of all of this, and I turned the situation around to make the most of it. And so far, it’s working pretty well.

  11. I chased my dreams

    I took that step. I applied for my Masters in Education so that I could further enhance my career and become a more well-rounded individual. It’s never too late to add another accolade to your repertoire, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

  12. I picked up a new language

    Following my trip to Italy earlier this year, I fell in love with the language and the culture. After I returned home, I enrolled for an Italian language course and have been learning and practicing ever since. It’s rewarding and it’s super fun! Benissimo!

  13. I started playing around with my style

    Believe me, nothing is a bigger picker-upper than having fun with hair, clothes and makeup. This year itself, I’ve hacked off over 9 inches of my hair, gotten myself a short bob, dyed my hair a deep purple, bought some fun new clothes, and played around with some new makeup. And it gives me a great little confidence boost.

  14. I reassessed my relationships with people

    I’ve been lucky enough to have a really great group of friends that have stuck around through all my strange phases – but of course I’ve had to reassess some of the ones that have been having a slightly dampening effect. I treasure my friendships dearly, but I’ve seen that there are people who have brought me down and I’ve decided to let them go, in that, if they aren’t going to have a positive impact in my life, I cannot have them around me on a daily basis.

  15. I’ve made friends that have brought out the best in me

    By now, most of you know that I met Austin in the summer when he came to work at my school for 3 months. His personality, his zest for life, and his constant positivity was infectious and it rubbed off on me. He made me love life again, and he made me believe that I am the queen of my castle and nobody and nothing can ever bring me down. We have an everlasting bond that I know will continue even if I’m old and grey with 20 cats and he’s gallivanting all over the world.

  16. I strengthened my friendships with people

    There have been people who have come into my life that I am forever grateful for. Some of these people have boosted my confidence (Diana that’s you!), they made me see that there is good all around and they made feel like I could do anything I set my heart to.

  17. I took the time to apologize to people I missed

    Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control we fight with people that we care about deeply. They walk out of our lives for a period of time and someone has to make that first move and that doesn’t make you small. So one day, while I was sitting with a friend in Amsterdam, I texted a very dear friend of mine and apologized to her, and said I wanted to make things alright again. It felt even more rewarding when she replied saying she missed me, and well, the rest they say, is history.

  18. For every one negative thought I had, I thought of three positive things

    “Does he like me?” “Is she mad at me?” “Everything is going wrong!” Every time something like this came into my head, I started thinking of three wonderfully positive things that have happened in my life and just like that, the bad thoughts are gone and I’m in my happy place again. Try it, it works.

  19. I started being more grateful for everything I have

    We take having a roof over our heads, food on our plates, money in our pockets and jobs that we may or may not love for granted. I took the time out to really appreciate how fortunate I am for all of this. So what if things aren’t always smooth sailing? I have all of this plus two great parents that would do anything for me, and have given me the best that they could, how can I not be happy with all of this?

  20. I started pursuing things I love again

    I love to write. I took a big hiatus from writing in the dance music industry because of my job and because I always felt I was never good enough. But, I know that my former editors and writing colleagues have expressed that I couldn’t be further from the truth so I’ve decided to jump back in. I’m doing this for me, and if people have a problem with it, it’s not for me to worry about.

  21. I took the time to focus on myself and being happy

    On the surface, I was laughing, but inside I was miserable. A lot had to do with some of my past relationships. I decided to not let that deter me and I started focusing on myself and realizing that happiness comes from within. That only I can make myself happy and I started focusing on doing just that. And I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders and there’s a skip in my step, and truly, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, as long as it makes ME happy.

  22. I started opening up to my parents again

    Over the last couple of years I found that I had closed off from my mom and dad and I stopped confiding in them. After my break up, I sat down with my mom and told her everything. She didn’t say a word, and just let me talk… and in the end the only thing she said was, “I am so glad you told me everything, I just wish you had told me sooner.” and that’s when I realized, she just wanted to be part of my life and be there for me when I was going through hell. And since then I’ve been talking to her about everything in my life. And it feels so great.

  23. I let go of everything weighing me down

    Eckhart Tolle emphasized that living in now is so important. We can’t live in our past and dwell on it to the point that it consumes us. Living in our past makes us miss the beautiful opportunities that are right in front of us in our present and they zoom by if we don’t open our eyes and see how amazing the present truly is. Following this mantra, I let go. I live in the now and believe me, I’ve grabbed more opportunities than I ever thought possible, and it is truly one of the happiest times in my life.

  24. I began believing in myself again

    I lost myself in a big way. I stopped thinking I was a good person. I stopped thinking I could do anything I set my mind to. I stopped thinking I was worthy of love, or worthy of anything for that matter. After taking a step back, and spending time with myself, I realized I had become this person because of certain people who had a toxic effect in my life. And even if they were gone, I let them still influence my thoughts. Once I let go, I saw semblances of the person I was before I lost myself and it has made me become a better person. And a happier version of myself.

  25. I am who I am today because I chose to make changes in my life, for ME

    It’s NEVER too late to make a change in life and once I began believing that, I see myself shine. I see myself become the person I want to be, and I see myself being confident, independent, strong and fierce. I see people around me who have begun to appreciate me because I don’t hold back, and I don’t put up a facade anymore. Once you truly believe that you want to make a positive change in your life, everything else falls into place and everything you ever wanted, comes to you in ways you least expect.

    I really hope that this not-so-little piece made you feel good and inspired you to do whatever great you wanted with your life. Life is so short, we never know what’s going to happen, and one thing that is key is to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Embrace everything amazing about your life because you are beautiful. Don’t ever sell yourself short, and remember, be FIERCE.

    Until next time,
    Shilpa xoxo

A journey of re-discovery made me the best version of myself

Recently I noticed that there’s been a definite upturn in my life.
My first reaction was, ‘This is too good to be true.’
My second reaction was, ‘I feel better than I ever have.’

So, instead of being maudlin and wondering about the why, I began to embrace the now and started living for the moment, living with the belief that these changes are all part of my shift in how I look at things. And it’s taught me more than I could have ever learnt in the last 3 years.

I went to Europe a couple of weeks ago on a holiday/work trip and before I embarked on this journey, I could already see a few positive changes occurring in my daily life. I tread with caution, but I slowly started accepting that these things are happening to me because it’s part of a bigger plan, and instead of pondering too much over it, I just let myself enjoy every aspect of it.

Europe impacted me this time around in a way I hadn’t expected. I think it had to do a lot with some of the conversations I had, and the people I was with – I began seeing versions of myself that I had lost over the last couple of years and it began to make so much more sense that all of this, is leading me to where I’m supposed to be, what I’m supposed to be doing – but it taught me so much more…

1. I lived in the moment

I stopped fretting over my past, and I stopped thinking too much about the future. When I started living in the now (Eckhart Tolle once again.), I saw things differently. I realized that I was happy. I was carefree, I was seizing moments like I had never before. All because I started worrying less about things that have already happened, and about things that haven’t happened yet. Simply put – living in the present will completely change how you look at life and your surroundings.

2. I started being ME and not anyone else’s version of me

This was so interesting to watch unfold honestly. I took a step back, and I started letting go  of everything that had been weighing me down for the last few months. I stopped treading on eggshells and started living the way I wanted to, and it began to impact me in a way I hadn’t imagined. I lived. I took things in my stride and I realized, I was beginning to be myself again. And it began impacting my relationships and all the people around me in such a positive way, that I saw myself in a new light.

3. I began to care less about what other people thought

Gosh, if you know me, you know that I have a tendency to do things and act based on people’s perception of me. So I started doing things and behaving in a way that I wanted to, and not because it was expected of me by people around me. I stopped worrying about what people would think of me if I acted in a certain way or anything that I did and I began to live for MYSELF.

4. I stopped trying to change situations

This one has been a bit tricky but, it’s been working. The more I was trying to change something that was probably beyond my control, the more it started having a negative impact on my life. Some things and some people will not change and it isn’t up to you or me to try and change them. You change only because YOU want to, and the quicker you accept it, it will begin to impact you in a positive way. I was happier knowing that the only person I have to change is MYSELF and that is numero uno. Everything and everyone else can take a backseat.

5. I stopped over thinking every little detail of things that were happening

I’m the worst over thinker in the world. And when I decided that over thinking every little detail was working against me, it changed me completely. Over thinking has been my number one nemesis, and before I started driving myself and others bat-shit crazy with my well-spun, ridiculous analogies, I took a step back and realized that it was doing more harm than good. The minute I began to over think less, I began to see life in a completely different light. Everything around me was so much more beautiful than I actually had perceived it to be. Stop overthinking, it is such a downer!

6. I began to seize the moment and believed that I could do whatever I set my heart to

One of the biggest things I realized was that opportunities are knocking at every corner and the best thing I could do was grab them. I could make a change in my life if only I kept my eyes open to the seemingly endless opportunities coming my way and doing something about it. I know I have a plan, and I have actually been channeling my energies towards seeing them through and making them come to life. This is so much more exciting than wondering about everything and everyone else.

7. I began a journey of re-discovery

This was probably the most important thing that occurred. When I stopped doing half of what I had been over the last few months, I began to re-discover myself. I stopped being a worry wart, I stopped being a downer, and I started LIVING. I started finding happiness from within. I started loving the person I could see myself becoming. I started being the person I was always meant to be – not for anyone else, but for myself. And it has been such a rush to discover that THIS is who I am, and THIS is what my life is all about and only I can do more of what makes me happy – without having people TELLING me what to do.

8. The best is yet to come

This is part of the journey. I know that henceforth, whatever happens the best is yet to come. This is just the beginning and I truly believe that the more positive I am in life, the happier I am going to be, and all these little moments are going to lead to the one big moment that will change things forever. And I don’t lose faith because I know what I want, and only I can make it happen. It’s about finding something that truly makes you happy and allowing all the positivity to shine through and accepting that YOU DESERVE THIS.

It’s been such a joy to discover that life is pretty amazing, and there have been a few people that have been part of it, and have just watched while I began to come out of my shell and be myself again. You know who you are, and without you, I wouldn’t be healing and being the person you know I always have been..

Stay positive. Believe in yourself. And seize the day. The world is your oyster and YOU are the king of your castle.

Be fierce.
Shilpa xoxo.


I Don’t Need to Validate Myself to Anyone, Except Me.

“Not everyone will like you, and not everyone will appreciate the person you are, and that’s okay.”

These are words I wish I could follow in my teenage years, so that I’d grow up with a thicker skin and not be this sensitive, and not care whether people liked me or not. Unfortunately, although I grew up in a wonderfully happy household, my school years were the worst. I was bullied every single day, and told off for being bigger built than the rest, i.e. I was fat so no one should be my friend. That had such a huge impact on my life to the point that I was always trying to validate myself and make people like me.

Well, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize, why should I care what other people think? The world is filled with people who are quick to point your flaws, and look at the worst version of you – without actually getting to know you. They will forget anything  good you’ve done in a matter of seconds, just because nobody remembers the good, and always remembers that one tiny ‘bad’ thing you did. Those people, they’re the negative ones you don’t need to please, at all.

So, why are we trying to validate ourselves to people who don’t really care?

It’s a question I keep asking myself. Why do I want Jemma from my high school who was popular Nancy’s sister to like me when she sees me at our school reunion? Why do I want Sally, my colleague from HR to think I am an awesome person in the hopes she’ll invite me out with her friends for post-work drinks? It was questions like these that kept buzzing in my brain because I was seeking approval “You’re okay, come sit with us” kind of thing, that eventually my sole focus became about everyone liking and approving of me, rather than having my own individual identity.

I harbored so much insecurity growing up that the minute someone thought I was worthy enough to be their ‘friend’, I’d felt like I had arrived. That someone out there really wanted to hang out with me of all people. How lame is that, really? How many of these people actually care if you’re a good person or not? Probably one or two, but the rest, ah, they can sense insecurity a mile away and find ways to feed off it. They can sense you’re a people-pleaser, they can sense you’re too eager and it’s good for them to take advantage of you – do you want them to be your friends? The only thing that it’s doing is more harm than good. And not to the people we’re trying to please, but to you, your mental well-being and your happiness.

I realized I was losing my own identity in order to ‘fit in’.

How could I maintain a healthy, happy life, and have good, solid friendships if the only thing I was doing was adjusting myself to suit others? I was never the true version of myself because I was constantly changing and adjusting and holding back, that I had begun to lose sight of who I really was. I had to actually take a step back and reflect on what I was doing and I realized, that I didn’t know myself anymore. And that’s when something in me snapped. I was being someone I was not and it was because I wanted every single person in this world to think I was awesome – and I was trying too hard. Happy realization indeed.

Showing my true self has in a way been a blessing – some friendships were solidified and grew stronger, while others moved away, which meant they only liked the version of me that suited them. And that’s OK.

In life, you will not be someone’s cup of tea, and you shouldn’t care. You be your genuine true self, and if a person cannot appreciate that, or cannot like that, they aren’t going to be your friend even if you try and force them. And who wants a friendship that is forced? You’ll realize that you can’t use your humor, you can’t make those kind of inappropriate jokes that they will appreciate, and basically you’ll be adjusting your personality to suit them – and will be walking on eggshells whilst talking to them -Ask yourself,  is it really worth the stress and the drama?

I don’t let others opinion of me dictate how I should behave.

This was one thing I was always doing. CONSTANTLY. Every time someone had an opinion of me that wasn’t ‘good’ I would immediately ponder and ruminate over it and over analyze it to the point it drove me bat-shit crazy. And then I’d allow that dictate my actions and behavior. What for? That person just needed a minute to say something bad about me, and knowing fully well it would affect me, said it. Sadistic little bastard I tell you. And this was a recurring pattern. Even with my ex partner. I realized I had lost most of my real self because of all the things he said to me that he ‘disapproved’ of. And I looked pitiful, to say the least. Alright, bygones. Moving on.

Of course, we do get conscious of what others think of us at times but allowing that to dictate who you are is where the trouble starts. It creeps into you, you start thinking about it and then you start over-thinking and then it affects so many of your relationships that you’ve already built. We all want change in our lives, but changing so that others opinions of you change, so that they like you more, how is that even, healthy?
Being the person you are, and validating yourself to only YOU is all that matters. No one else does. not Jemma or her sister Nancy, not Sally not anyone. They’re people who come and go in your life and they will eventually forget about you. Let the idea of everyone liking the idea of you go, be carefree. Be you, be fierce, be the person you always were and the ones that take to you, will always have your back, and be your real ‘squad’.
Have a fabulous week.


Shilpa XOXO

Image: Google


Just Because I Don’t Have An Ivy League Education Does Not Make Me Non-Marriage Material

I overheard two people talking at a pub – says the first line of this post.

Here’s a little snippet of what I wanted to share:

Person 1: “Mom wants me to get married.” Cue exasperated and exaggerated sigh right here.
Person 2: “This has been an on going thing in your family. What’s the issue?”
Person 1: “Doing the whole arranged thing. Mom’s gotten some decent bios for me to go through.” (Cringing already)
Person 2: “I think, you should just look through the bios where the girls are good looking, and are graduates from reputed overseas universities. That’ll do for your mom.”
(I’m currently rolling my eyes, and face-palming really hard. I bet you are too whilst reading this.)
Person 1: “Yea, I guess so. Mom has to approve. So might as well look through these and take my pick..”
I’m shaking my head in disgust by now. And because I could not go through this entire eavesdropping session without rudely interrupting them and using a string of expletives to tell them how fundamentally sexist, shallow and downright idiotic they sounded, I got up and left. Not without seething in anger and balling up my fists and wanting to punch those morons’ lights out.

So, after I departed the pub, I whipped out my phone and called the then other half (code name: shitface) and asked him, “Babe, why did you marry your ex-wife?” His answer confirmed everything: “She had a double masters from a very good school, and my mom seemed to like what she saw on paper, she seemed to come from a well-to-do family, and so I figured I couldn’t go wrong, but I guess that didn’t work out too well in the end, did it?” (And this is where I should have realized a colossal train wreck in the near future… but we’ll save that for another day.) I got off the phone a little more upset than I’d have imagined, and thought to myself:

  1. Having an education from a reputed/Ivy League university factors into whether you are fundamentally marriage material? and
  2. How shallow are we becoming? Progressive humanity, we are not.

Now, you’re probably thinking that education is important, and I will absolutely agree with you. Fundamentally, should it matter where you got it from, given that how you use it, how it helps in your job prospects is really the idea here? How does that one piece of paper determine the compatibility and the kind of person you are in a marriage? It boggles my mind that it’s such a big deal in choosing a partner.

So this is where I should tell you my own incident – bear with me, it’s a quick story that will reiterate my point.
Shitface (I’m very eloquent.) ended things with me with these delightfully pleasant words:
“Bro (He bro’ed me. He did.), you’re better off without me.” – I’m already ready for the next bit – “I don’t see you as someone I want to settle down with…” And then comes the icing on the cake – “You’re someone who is more of a buddy.” (Then why the f*** were we together for nearly 3 years?) And it gets better – “Someone I can watch movies with, have dinner with, go drinking with…not someone I see spending the rest of my life with.” And that was the last I heard from him. Till I found out that he was getting married to some doctor from somewhere in the sticks. See what I mean? Doctor – more appealing and apparently more’respectable’ to say he settled with someone in medicine rather than, someone who is ‘just’ in the education field (me).

So my wondering here is – why are we so hung up on the titles and degrees that our potential significant others should hold in order for them to be marriage material? Just because I don’t have a Masters from Harvard makes me not suited for marriage? Apparently so. And it isn’t just the millennials who think this way – old aunties and uncles do too. At a wedding, one of my a-foot-in-the-grave aunts says, “Dear, I have a boy for you.” (Major internal eye-roll) – “He’s a doctor living in L.A. He’s very rich. You should meet him, and maybe think about marrying him.” Whoa, slow down. What makes you think any of this is appealing to me? He could be an arrogant jerk, who I am pretty certain I will want to punch in the face so no aunty dearest, I’m going to say hello, have a polite conversation, but I shall not immediately think of marrying him. You see how this is alarmingly a common trend?

Look, face it – we are shallow in some way or the other. When I meet a man, he’s got to speak well. He’s got to be well put together and I will be taking in the clothes he wears, especially if it’s a suit. If he embodies all those traits, (along with several others, but we are doing superficial at the moment) but hasn’t been educated in the top 50 schools, it does not mean I will immediately dismiss him. You will come across men and women who take the education part a bit too seriously – and even if the guy looks like Chris Hemsworth’s doppelgänger, with the heart of Keanu Reeves, but isn’t Harvard educated, they will tell him to bugger off. And it is incredibly disconcerting. You are literally making your choices on a piece of paper that may not even hold any weight in the real world? I actually feel sorry for you. Truly.

I think the world now is so fiercely competitive that people want to show they are better in all aspects of their life. Even whilst choosing a partner – it isn’t just education alone, some want trophy wives or husbands – I’ll give you another example – ‘Your daughter is very pretty, but – my son thinks that she’s too tall (I’m laughing already), she’s not petite, and he wants someone a little more petite.’ Good luck with that. How are you choosing your partners on just their superficial qualities? Have you no heart, and no place for love? Do you want to not have a partner that you can grow old with in good times and bad, have laughs with and build a life together with? Clearly not. And it actually makes me feel sad.

So I’m going to sum up with this: My name is Shilpa, I am happily educated from a non-Ivy League University and I work in education. If that is what you’re judging me on, I wouldn’t hold your breath because I’m already better than you. I’m never going to base my choices on superficiality alone (there will be some, I’m not that stupid.), but I will want someone with whom I can get along with, with whom I can share a laugh with, love with, grow old together with, fight and still be happy with and someone that most importantly respects me, gets me and supports my choices. I am woman, I am pretty awesome, and if you don’t factor that in, you will miss out.

Shilpa, out.