Emotionally Yours, Emotionally Broken.

Disclaimer: Before you read on, this piece is one I wrote after I did some extensive research and began reflecting upon my own relationship. This is by no means a professional piece, it is simply something I put together to share what are some classic signs of emotional abuse – you may have your own version, but please be mindful that I am simply a writer expressing my own thoughts on the matter. Spare me the vitriol and move along if you don’t want to read it. Simple.

I’m going to speak from experience and talk about an issue that we don’t address as often as we would like to – and that is – Emotional abuse.
Many people think that it isn’t really a form of abuse in a relationship, but it is real, and believe me, it can affect a person’s confidence and self-esteem in a way you wouldn’t expect. Unlike physical abuse which is far more dramatic and in-your-face, this is far more subtle, and creeps up on you in a way you wouldn’t expect and would probably ignore or dismiss, without realizing that it will have far-reaching consequences in the long term.

As someone who went through a similar experience very recently, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve noticed occur, and some of the things that you didn’t think would come under the emotional abuse category, but actually does. I was quite surprised at some of the signs that fall under the umbrella, and after some extensive reading, I thought I’d share a few of those with you:

  1. You always feel like you need to take permission from your partner to do things that don’t involve them.
    This is actually one that surprised me a great deal – but apparently, it is something that is a regular occurrence in an emotionally abusive relationship. You have this constant need to ask your other half if you can go out with your friends, meet your colleagues or even if you want to buy that gorgeous new dress from Zara.
  2. They find a way to constantly treat you like a child, and not in a good way.
    This is one of the first red flags you need to be aware of – and it happens more often than not without you realizing it. You think that at first, they’re doing it because they care and want you to be a better version of yourself, but later it becomes far too often and far more ridiculing that you would like.
  3. They out and out call you derogatory names that make you feel worse about yourself.
    Words like ‘slut’, ‘whore’, ‘fat-f***’, – are they angry with you? They can be, but these kind of names are downright demeaning. No, no one has the right to call you ANY of those names, however pissed off they might be.
  4. They’re always right, you are always wrong.
    Basically, you don’t have a say and their word is final. Once, twice, thrice, acceptable but ALL THE BLOODY TIME? You’re basically dismissing the opinion of your partner and saying that their word doesn’t matter, they will ALWAYS be wrong.
  5. You’ll always be inferior to them.
    It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a law degree from Harvard, they’ll never see you as their equal. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked your butt off to achieve a position that you absolutely deserved, you’re still lower than them. And you’ll remain there.
  6. They make fun of you, ridicule you, and put you down in private and in front of others at any given moment.
    And this should make you realize they don’t give a rats a** about you and will make you a party joke at your expense, no matter how much it hurts you.
  7. They have trouble apologizing.
    Seriously – make a mistake, say sorry. They don’t apologize, they use this line, “I don’t apologize easily.” and expect to get away with it. They actually physically have trouble articulating the word ‘sorry’ – don’t hold your breath, you’re never getting an apology even if it isn’t your fault (but with them, it always is.)
  8. They blame you for a theory they’ve concocted in their head, based on rumors.
    Fact-checking anyone? Believe everyone else, except your partner. Blame them. Belittle them. Don’t ever dismiss the rumors but believe them and accuse and blame your partner, even if they tell you it’s false.
  9. They deflect.
    Trust me when I say this, if they’ve messed up somewhere, they won’t accept their fault. They’ll find some small, insignificant detail and make sure you take the onus for their actions. They can’t be held responsible! How can you ever think that?
  10. They will lower your self-esteem to a point that you feel like the worst version of yourself.
    At the end of the day, they won’t make you feel like a queen, but rather, like the the dirt below the dirt. They have blamed you, brought up all your shortcomings in every conversation, called you names, wounded your pride, ridiculed you, made you feel inferior, hurt your feelings time and time again, disrespected you in public, dismissed your opinions – you almost feel like you aren’t good enough, and perhaps at some point felt like you’re fundamentally unlovable – no one will have you or want you. Lowest point, met.

There are so many more signs and actions that are part of the category of emotional abuse. It’s not a one off thing, it occurs on a regular basis. When I say that it can really make you feel super under confident, I mean in every sense of the word. There are so many more ways that someone can be felt like they are emotionally abused and yes, they probably are all signs. It really does break you, and shake your self-esteem to the very core but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt is that we are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. No matter how bad things seem to be, no matter how much self-loathing we go through at the time,  we will always find a way to shine again, and become the best version of ourselves, and one day look back at the toxicity and think, “I am so much happier, so much more confident, and so much stronger without it..”

God bless you.



Your ‘Us’ Is Now Different From My ‘Us’ – And It’s All My Fault

I’ve been his friend more more years than I can count on my fingers and he’s always said that I’m the one person he can turn to for unbridled, unbiased and honest to good advice relating to the women he’s pursuing – be it relationship advice, or be it for when he’s looking for a casual hook up or fling. I’m his 2am call when he’s drunk, I’m his 7am call when he’s at the airport taking a flight, and I’m his middle of the day ‘I just wanted to say hi’ call.  At first, the idea that I was his ‘go-to’ person for relationships/women and all that ‘bro’ stuff made me feel pretty special and important – till that one day when we kissed – and not the friendly peck-between-two-friends mind you, it was a full-blown I-want-you kiss and suddenly everything changed.

As soon as this happened my brain went into overdrive and a couple of things were racing through my poor perplexed mind:

First: ‘I can’t believe that just happened, it’s HIM. This should NOT have happened.’
Second: ‘Holy mother of.. what WAS that? I haven’t felt a spark like that since…NO!’

Yup. So now, my head was a conflict of emotions – Why did that kiss seem so perfect? What will happen to our friendship after this? Is this meant to happen to lead us to something else? Is he my person?
So while my head was spinning with all of these questions, I put on a brave face and decided to confront him and be done with it.

Cut to the next day: We had plans. I said I’d meet him at our favorite restaurant, and  I proceeded to spend a little more time primping and priming – completely unintentionally of course. My hair was on point, eyebrows on fleek, dress doing it’s business – surely, when he saw me he’d notice that I had made an effort? Of course he would, we shared a rather special moment the evening before. How could he not?

I entered the restaurant, saw him sitting at our favorite booth. He wasn’t alone. Strapped to his arm was his latest squeeze – the one he just wanted a ‘casual’ fling with. And he brought her to our lunch. After we kissed. The evening before. What. The. Actual. F***? I smiled, waved and sat down opposite the two of them. And of COURSE he commented on my appearance, ‘I didn’t know you had plans after this… you look way dressed up. Anyone special?’ But before I could answer, he had turned back to his date.

We were introduced, and he informed me that after a lot of thinking and contemplating, he decided to ask her out last night. After we kissed. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? and he acted like nothing was the matter. That last night didn’t exist. OK. Two could play that game. We were friends, and at the end of the day, it was our friendship that trumped everything else. So I let it slide, and pretended that we didn’t ever share that kiss the previous evening.

So we got back to normal, and he never brought it up. We talked about his latest ‘girlfriend’ (we use that term loosely, he’s not into labels per se.) and about how she’s now wanting to do more coupl-y stuff together… And they’d only been dating for a month. He turned to me and said, ‘Why can’t she be more like you? You don’t nag me, you’re so chilled out and anything I tell you doesn’t upset you…’ HANG ON A MINUTE. We aren’t even DATING and he compared her to me. This makes no sense. And suddenly, all those emotions bubbled to the surface. Tears were threatening to fall, but I took in a deep breath and sucked it up.

‘You idiot,’ I said (I have a real way with words.), ‘You’re dating her’ (I’m so eloquent) ‘You can’t compare her to me..please tell me you haven’t said this to her..’
Well, of course he had. And she was livid. And she said that if that’s how he felt, he should date me instead of her, because CLEARLY he wants her to be MORE LIKE ME. On the outside, I’m face-palming hard, on the inside my heart is doing a dance that even Michael Flatley wouldn’t be able to keep up with. This was the moment of truth – we were going to have THE talk. I held my breath, and just as I was about to say something he spoke – ‘It’s you… I can tell you anything. You get me. When I said that I wanted her to be more like you, I meant in a laid-back way. Not always nagging me to do stuff. She misunderstood that I had feelings for you. Dude, it’s US… we’re so alike that people think we’re actually related. And that just makes anything else seem gross..’

Well, that shut me up nicely. So after convincing myself that it was a ‘mistake’ and that the kiss had never happened, things just transgressed into their natural state – him turning to me for womanly advice, and me – churning it out because I loved him that much, and yet there was still a piece of me that wanted things to be different – I was still curious to know if that kiss meant anything to him. Every time I tried to bring it up, he’d remind me that we were friends and that I shouldn’t think too much about this stuff. Sigh. Of course he’d say that.

Obviously, I’m not really thinking about what could have been if he had given into that kiss. Of course I’m not. (Cue eye roll here.). But I will say this – being friends doesn’t mean that my feelings don’t matter. It doesn’t mean that you can go back to being normal without thinking that I’m going to be fine as well. It doesn’t mean that I’m a yo-yo and that you can expect me to be okay because it’s US. There isn’t an us. It is you and me and we are extremely close, but we aren’t an ‘US’ in the way you built my hopes up to be. You need to know that even if I tell you I’m OK, I’m secretly hoping you’ll come to your senses and talk to me about it and realize that maybe this is our shot to be together.
Don’t think that you can toy with my feelings – no matter how unintentional, you still expect me to be okay, because you think that I can handle anything, because I’m your ‘bro’. I’m not your bro – I’m a girl, who was kissed by you and now, although I’m always going to act like a bro to you – my heart will never be the same again.

Until next time, keep smiling.

Being ‘Alone’ Isn’t A Crime.

At the beginning of August, I was feeling a bit like a headless chicken and adjusting to a ‘new’ life (so to speak i.e. being single) after nearly 3 years.

This left me with a question that was looming over my head for a while:

Am I afraid to be alone?

The question is pretty morbid, but it comes from several years of actually having a constant in my life – and suddenly after all this time, I’m back to being single again. However, this isn’t just about having an other half, it’s about people around me that really get me as opposed to having friends that stick around for just a season or two. It’s rather ridiculous, I’ll admit, but I have a tendency to think too much – as has been pointed out countless times by people.

I’ve encountered many people through the years that I form wonderful bonds with, but for some fundamentally warped reason, I manage to lose them after a while. Call it my stupidity, my sense of being over impulsive or just my verbal diarrhea that sometimes scares people. I do have a tendency to talk a little bit too much, and sometimes make incredulous statements with a dash or sarcasm that makes people wonder if I have a bad case of turrets. I kid you not. I also think I have a tendency to be hyper sensitive. It apparently isn’t very appealing – or so I hear.

Anyway, as I’ve said, I’ve realized that there are days I feel incredibly alone. And it scares the bejeezus out of me. In terms of being single, I’m not sure it’s the greatest thing in the world to solely think you NEED someone in your life to complete you… So many people embrace the single life with bells on and enjoy every aspect of it. So why am I afraid of being alone then? My ever eloquent mother hit the nail on the head (as usual) – “It’s because all the boys/men/morons you’ve dated  have F***** your head and s****** with your self-esteem that you have this constant need to date someone to validate your sense of worth. Snap out of it!” I told you, my mum is wise. And so colorful with her words. It’s endearing.
But when I think of what she says, and I mean REALLY think about it, I’ve begun to understand that this is exactly what I’m doing. I need someone to validate that I am lovable and wanted rather than actually focus on loving myself. I’ve ALLOWED my self-esteem to take a hit every single time because I think that every time someone leaves me, it’s my fault. And this is the heart of the sense of loneliness.

So, what is really wrong with being alone? Does it make someone any less badass? Does it make someone a pitiful creature? No. It most certainly does not. Unfortunately, society makes it to be a bigger deal than it should be, and quite honestly I’m kind of fed up with the old biddies shaking their heads and saying, “You need a man, or you’ll die a spinster.” Well, I never. Seriously? Being alone is almost being treated like a crime. That as long as you have someone life will be a bed of roses. Ah, bulls****. You and I both know (and nod you’re head if you agree) that being with someone doesn’t guarantee happiness. That it isn’t the be all and end all of life – which clearly is the idea being portrayed to the world. Cue major eye roll and exasperated sigh here.

I haven’t been very open to the whole idea of not dating anyone for a while now – but in this last month, I’ve actually begun to focus on myself, and what I can do to become a better version of me. This also has led to some very poor life choices (most of them involving partial inebriation. Devil.), which made me realize that I was heading down the path I swore I wouldn’t – total and utter self-destruction. So before I went down that road again, I took a step back to figure out what it is I really wanted. It was scary that the actual reflection brought me to these conclusions:

  1. Focus on ME. I am woman, I am fiercely independent and I don’t need a man to make me feel good (I just used a Pussycat Dolls song lyric..wonderful.).
  2. I can be ALONE. Being alone isn’t a crime, it isn’t pitiful, it is a time to re-discover the person I am, and make changes without having outside influences.

I KNOW RIGHT? Who would have thought that spending time reflecting would make me so incredibly philosophical and wise? Well, it did. So the bottom line is – it’s OK to be afraid to be alone, but being alone isn’t a bad thing. WOO. I’m on FIRE people. Look at me belting out these absolutely deep and meaningful statements! (Cue pat on the back. Thanks.)

I’ve also understood that there will ALWAYS be people who come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime. The world is a stage, and all it’s men and women merely players. (Shakespeare, you are so relevant.) People will come, and people will go but at the end of the day, the ones who stay are the ones that have your back. Everyone makes mistakes – and everyone deserves a chance (or sometimes a couple) to make a change and start over. But if people, who you think are your friends leave you because of an argument, a poor life choice or something that you unintentionally did, then, well, they really aren’t your friends. They’re just.. people who decided they were done with their use of you and needed to move on again. You see, they left you to move onto someone else. Do you see that the problem isn’t you, it’s them?! Sure, it takes two hands to clap but if they’re really your friends they’d stick around, work through the problem and have your back. NOT leave you ’cause the going got tough (Totally ripped off Billy Ocean there. Yikes.).

Eventually, there are a few friends who stay around because well, they’re all kinds of wonderful and awesome, but mostly because they’re fiercely loyal. They might have a bit of an off moment with you once in a while, but you end up working things out. Value those friends. Treasure them. You’re NOT ALONE because you HAVE THEM.

So, even though I’m still marginally afraid of being alone, I actually am quite blessed. I have some wonderful people in my life that have stood by me no matter what, have been loyal to me, and have my back. So even if I don’t have a man, I have people who love me for ME, and accept my quirks and idiosyncrasies and still have stuck around (God you must have superhuman strength to bear with the likes of me..) and guess what, that makes me INCREDIBLY lucky. So people – if you ever think you’re alone, don’t. You probably have a handful of wonderful souls that will never ever leave you, no matter what happens.

Stay happy. Be fierce.


Going Through Changes In Life Is Pretty Scary, but Still Awesome

My dear readers,
I’m pretty sure you’re sick of my ramblings and musings and I do apologize if they are a bit… weepy, but writing has always been a medium for me to express my thoughts. The creative outlet is extremely cathartic for me, and I know that there are a bunch of people (however small..) who do read my posts, and for that I am ever so grateful. It keeps me going and whenever I get some kind of feedback, I feel inspired to write some more, which means you, dear readers get to read some more. It’s win-win for all, truly.

So…I’m going through what is called a transitionary period, where there are abrupt ends to my ‘old’ life, struggles in my emotional well-being, a sense of defeat etc – basically I’ve been getting nothing but kicks in the cojones. Rock-bottom, my old friend, we meet again. You clearly aren’t sick of me yet given I’ve been here so many times before. However, I’m a little tired of meeting you ever so often, so I’m not staying around for too long. It’s frankly, a little annoying. I digress – forgive me. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been at my lowest point lately because of this whole transitionary phase and unless I let go of the old and do it quickly enough, I can’t meet the new and start afresh, which is a bit troublesome because this means – I have to lock away the better times and leave them in a teeny-tiny little box at the back of my brain and walk away.
Oooh. This is a little hard to process.

Yes yes, you all are rolling your eyes and wondering where I’m going with this, but I am making a point. Eventually. You’re going to have to just read on. Right right, I’m carrying on…

So, as I was saying, before I was interrupted by your eye roll, that I’m going to have to walk away from my lock box of memories. Now. THIS is the hard part. I’m not sure if I’m ready to leave those memories behind. My inner self (annoying-self-righteous-always-right little s*** that she is) tells me that it’s the only way I can be happy again. Memories last forever, so it’s not like they’re disappearing anytime soon, they’re just being put away to make way for a new chapter with new memories – that’s what my inner self tells me. She is right. As usual (see? annoying). And I’m just too afraid to actually agree with her. My chain of thought – If I hold on to the past, it may bring back normalcy and everything will be okay because if I let go then I’m forgetting everything and things may just be different.
OK. Yes, by now you might think I have a convoluted way of thinking that is utterly, and terrifyingly negative. And you’re probably right. Imscaredofchange. There, I said it.

Change is inevitable and it will happen at moments when you least expect it, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in a great big dramatic swoop (which in my case is seemingly the only way. Mew.) that it catches you completely off-guard. It happens, and there’s a reason for it. It’s because we’ve been too safe in our little bubbles that we’ve fallen into a rut. And the universe wants to shake things around, to give us a challenge and perhaps, make us happier?

Right, so during this transition from old to new, I’ve been miserable. And you already know that. I’ve been thinking about everything else around me, other than fixing myself and being happy. My mother actually yelled at me this morning and said, “F*** everything, and everyone and be happy dammit!” Delightfully poignant and eloquent lady she is, my mum. And like always, she’s probably right. If I’m not happy, how am I supposed to make others around me happy? Sigh. This transition is hard. I’m not sure if I can fully let go of everything, because I feel like I’m forgetting, and that I’m giving up, and that it’s gone for good. Sigh, that’s why memories are there – so that we don’t forget. Ah, this is way too deep for my brain to comprehend at the moment. Onward.

Sigh. I’m sorry I’m being weepy again. It’s been hard. And this last upheaval hit me like a ton of bricks. And I’ve been trying to hold onto it and not lose hope that things will return to normal again. And I keep sending those vibes out to the universe (hey universe, you listening?), so I’m not losing hope. But, I am letting go. And it’s because of something my friends said to me over drinks last night. With our bloodstreams properly infused with alcohol, we began talking about life and about how I have been quite upset over these last couple of weeks. My friend told me that there’s no point in crying, feeling miserable and being sad. Don’t lose hope, but don’t be sad about it – enjoy life and be happy. Wise, wise words my friend. Isn’t it amazing how alcohol can serve as a catalyst for inducing deep, philosophical conversation? Truly.

In my semi-inebriated state (And this morning too, once I was back to full sobriety) I began to realize that I needed to stop wondering about the what if’s and the how come’s and the whys of it all – I don’t have the answers. Speculating, and creating overly dramatic scenarios in my head is doing nothing positive for me. It’s not making me happy, in fact it’s making things worse, and I’m focusing on a situation that is beyond my control. So, even though I’m hurting, I’m going to let things be, and move ahead. Huzzah! I’ve decided to start accepting change!

So ladies and gents, I’m not saying I’m totally alright. I’m getting there. Suddenly I’ll remember something, and I will be overcome with emotion (and tears) – but I’m definitely in better place today than I was before – and I’m going to fix myself and be happy.

I’ll sign off with this famous quote:
“Everything will be OK in the end. And if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

Until next time.

Shilpa x

I Knew I Should Have Told You How I Really Felt – Because Now I Fear It’s Too Late.

The day you told me that you didn’t want me anymore, I knew I should have told you how I felt.
I should have told you how much I loved you. I should have told you how I felt safe when I was with you.
I should have told you that you were my world. I didn’t. And now I fear I will never get the chance to say it to your face again.

I should have sat you down and told you why I loved you. It’s easy to tell someone you love them, but it’s altogether something else to explain why. And I knew why.
I loved the way you smiled every time you picked me up from home. I loved the way you used to take my hand and hold it ever so gently.
I loved the way you always looked out for me, held the door for me, and always waited for me. I loved the way you always put your hand on the small of my back and looked at me.

I loved the way you showered me with kisses. I loved the way you looked into my eyes every time you had something to say. I loved how you listened to me when I had something to say and never interrupted until I was finished. I loved the way you raised my self-esteem when I was completely broken and celebrated all my achievements, and encouraged me to be the best I could be. You were perfect, with all your quirks and flaws and I would never change anything about you.
Even though we fought, I knew that we would always work things out.

Now, I know you’re gone. I know that there was a reason for you not wanting me anymore. I felt like my entire world came crashing down. I felt like my heart was being shattered into a million pieces. And each shattered piece was broken into a million more pieces. Time stood still. Every day, I hoped and prayed you would say that it was a mistake.

I don’t have anger or dislike towards you. I just feel incredibly sad. That I tried to do the best I could, but it wasn’t enough. That I wanted to be there for you every step of the way. I  wanted to be there through the good times and the bad, and support you when you needed it the most.
I wanted to be the one you woke up to every morning. The one who you knew, would never leave you and always look out for you. I wanted to walk into the sunset with you, I wanted to hold your hand and tell you that you have me, even when the world seemed against you. But now I fear it may never happen.

As I look back on our time together, I don’t have a single regret. I am glad I loved you with all my heart, I am glad I gave you my heart. You made me the best version of myself and for that, I am forever grateful.
I will always miss you, and even when I see you again sometime in the near future, I will never look at you in anger, but will always smile and thank you for being the person you were to me. You made me smile and made me feel like a person, but more than anything else, you completed me – mind, body and soul, and I thank you for everything you’ve done for me.



The Lemons Life Throws At You Are Truly A Blessing In Disguise.

I’ve always wondered why people think that lemons are associated with something negative or bitter. Lemons are used in pretty much everything – lemon tea, lemonade, to make limoncello, in food to enhance the flavor – you get my drift. Lemons are good. So when ‘they’ (The ever elusive they.) state “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I usually think of it as “If I’m getting a lemon, how do I use it to make something even more delicious than it already is?” Honestly, I like lemons. They’re great. Similarly, the  phrase – although a paradoxical one for the most part, is one I always associate with as being an out and out positive one. I don’t think that the proverbial lemon is an adversity – it’s just a little speed bump along the way that you needed to slow down for, before you carry on again, full speed ahead.(Wow, I’m full of analogies today.)

My summer, thus far, has been full of lemons. Just before summer started, I had this grand plan of doing something truly productive – spending time with friends, family, loved ones and doing the things I couldn’t throughout the year. But as usual, I planned too far ahead,  had the idea of my perfect summer, but of course, nothing went according to plan. Well, this is me you’re talking to – plans and my life don’t sit too well together in the same sentence – and that was proven once again (thanks universe!) this time around.

Sure, I could go on and tell you that I’ve taken the lemons life’s thrown at me and made something wonderful out of them, but then I’d be lying. Instead, I decided to be a masochistic tit and squirt the lemons into my eyes, or as Charlie Sheen said in Two And A Half Men “When you get lemons, you just bite into them and suck them inside out.” Ick. I have for the most part of the last 2 weeks, put myself through misery. I’ve thought of every kind of worst case scenario and multiplied it by 10. On some days I’ve driven myself bat-shit crazy, and actually thought that I could be needing a trip to the cuckoo bin.

Eventually, I ended up speaking to some of my hashtag squad – who surprisingly (and scarily) had the identical thing to say, “Let. It. Go. (DO NOT go all Frozen on my ass –  I will kill you.) Use this time to focus on YOU and what makes YOU happy.” Wise, wise words dear friends. But, easier said than done right? I still wake up every single day with another ridiculous and far-fetched concocted theory as to why things are the way they are and what could have been and the what ifs – you see how I’m sucking the lemons inside out here? Great. I cannot see anything positive coming off out of this, so I’m left with an overwhelming feeling that perhaps I’m bringing all of this on to myself, and I’m the only one who can use the sour tasting lemons to make something beautiful and saccharine.

I’ve said it previously once before, and I’ll say it again – we are so focused on our past and future that we’re giving absolutely giving zero attention to the present (like the myth or theory of being the middle child…), and destroying it completely. The lemons that life is throwing at us aren’t lemons of the future (I have a feeling we’re going to have oddly shaped ones by then…I digress.), but they’re of our PRESENT and the only thing we can do is embrace it, and accept it, and make something good of it. Truly, we may feel that it’s a shitty, shitty phase in life but as I’ve been told time and time again, and I’ll repeat it for you verbatim, ‘This too shall pass.’.

In order for the crappy bits to pass, it’s up to us to fix ourselves. Its up to us to allow ourselves to let the past go – it is done and dusted and there’s nothing you can do about it anymore. No, seriously – unless we could teleport ourselves back in time, our past is history – and there are a couple of things (and I’m pretty sure there are plenty more, but these two resonate with me at this moment.) we can do about it:

  1. Dwell on it and continue to wallow in self-pity and self-loathing and misery. OR
  2. Begin to use that past experience in a positive way and see it as a blessing in disguise (you may have to dig really deep to find that positive aspect, but, it’s there.).


I’m not going to say that I’m truly well on my way to healing myself and making something good out of those lemons that were thrown at me – but I will say, that I’m at the stage where I am pondering over how much longer I want to hold off using them. It is a morbid thought but I’m getting to a point where I’m pissed off at myself for being such a Debbie Downer and making people around me suffer because of my negativity. No one likes to be around someone like that – it’s annoying and aberrant at the same time.

So, although I still have a lot of healing to do, I’ve decided that perhaps, just perhaps I’ll see that whatever has happened will make more sense later on. Maybe not today, maybe not in a week, maybe not even in a month but maybe six months down the line, I’ll be able to look back and think of this as more of a minor speed bump along my road to happiness. That when life gave me lemons, I grabbed some salt and tequila and made the most of a bad situation and persevered as a stronger, and happier person.

To sum up, in the words of the late, great Whitney Houston – “I’m every woman, it’s all in me..”

Till next time,
Kisses xoxo.

Apparently, I need to post disclaimers after every piece –
“The thoughts expressed in this piece are solely my own – blah blah blah – and if you aren’t too keen on what I say then don’t be a keyboard warrior and spew vitriolic and hateful language my way. Ta.”

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Being 35 and Unmarried Isn’t As Unglamorous As You Think.

I turned 35 in the first half of 2016, and it came with a heavy heart and a bit of a conundrum.

First thought: ‘I’m not married.’

Second thought: ‘Do I want to get married?’

This quandary left me with the tried and tested (and sometimes not such a great) method of turning to my married, attached and single friends for advice, and hopefully a reassurance from them that I was doing alright with whatever path I had chosen for myself. Bad, bad idea. It left me in a state of utter confusion and despair, and far worse off than I was before I expressed my thoughts to them. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t their fault, I just had no clue as to where my head was in the marital aspect of life.

You’ve probably read this a fair few times already, and probably resonate with some of it. Being a child born in an Indian household in the ’80’s it was embedded subtly into my far too innocent child-brain that once I was done with my schooling – University education and all, I would be ‘ready’ for marriage. If I found someone of my own accord, there were ‘parameters’ as my wonderfully lovable father put it, in that there were boundaries that I had to stay within and they were set out for me in choosing the ‘right’ boy for myself. If that didn’t work out, then it was the arranged marriage route for me… and I have severe reservations against that ideology. Believe me.

It became evident, as I reached the ‘ripe’ age of 24 that neither of those options were working terribly in my favor. By 25, panic in my greater extended family set in. ‘She’s not married!’ ‘The good men are all snatched up by 24!’ ‘She will not have too many options if she delays marriage!’ ‘She will have so many complications when she tries to have children!’ – Dear lord, my world was coming crashing down with no male companion worthy of my hand in marriage in sight. What would I do?! (Sense. The. Tone.)

Sure, I had my moments of wanting to have a ‘perfect’ relationship, with the ‘perfect’ man, and then we’d have the ‘perfect’ marriage, with 2.4 kids, a pet and the whole ‘perfect’ family shebang. The stuff RomComs are made of, truly. However, my luck thus far has been far from perfect.

A string of terribly, god-awful, W.T.F relationships – I use the term ‘relationship’ loosely – and suddenly I was in my 30’s. Oops. In my family, this was a problem. My younger brother was married, my cousins were married, hell, everyone younger than me was married and moving on with their lives and here I was, seemingly stuck in the singles rut. However, as I grew older and wiser, I began to see that being married wasn’t the be all and end all of life.

Cut to turning 35. I’ll spare you the details of my volatile relationship with my current (ex?) other half (not better half, not significant other, just other half.), but I will stress that it has helped me realize that no relationship, especially in our 30’s is easy. It’s hard work. It’s compromise and it’s adjustment, and it’s finding a balance. And it’s also being on the same page for most things – it helps tremendously. But, as opposed to being in your twenties and using every spare moment to either post a SnapChat of something rather pointless, playing Pokemon Go (which I have yet to get my hands on!), Instagramming the shit out of seemingly hipster food, Kardashian copy selfies and what not, we’ve got a little more grip on what we want out of our relationships as opposed to just being in it for the sake of posting a million photos of each other on Facebook.

So being 35 and unmarried – it’s actually not half as bad as people might make it out to be. I’m not sitting home with my cats and talking to them, and drinking a bottle of wine to drown my sorrows every night as to why I’m still not married and don’t have kids. I’m not holed up in a room with dubious looking dolls and poking pins through them, or burning them (Dear exes, you are safe, for now.). Au contraire my dear readers, I’ve got a great job that allows me to work WITH kids, so I get to shower them with learning and love. It’s rather fulfilling. I have a group of friends that are both single and attached, and we spend our time over wine and good food. Less hipster, and more wholesome food. I’d rather eat a good meal than eat something that comes with an extortionate price tag.

I don’t have to focus on making small talk or tiptoe around conversation during nights out – we’ve done it in our 20’s, it was terrific, and now, in my 30’s I’d rather talk about things that don’t revolve around, ‘Did you see her Facebook feed?’ or ‘The Kardashian Instagram feed is my hashtag fashion goal.’ or something utterly pointless to that effect. I don’t have to worry about dressing up to the nines – although it IS fun sometimes, and I can just focus on being myself.

I enjoy the solitude, I enjoy the fact that I can read a book and feel like I’ve accomplished something. I enjoy the fact that on a whim, I can book a flight and go traveling on my own (hashtag solotraveler – check out my Instagram feed for more), and actually enjoy the experience. As much as it feels like I don’t have it all – that I don’t have someone to come home to at nights – that I don’t have someone with whom I can share my ups and downs, it is quite the opposite. I’m not averse to having a partner, but being married isn’t high on my list of priorities. If it happens, everyone is happy, if not, I’m happy. I love kids, but do I want some of my own? I’m not opposed to the idea but again, I’m okay with not having any. I’d adopt if I could.

I believe that I’d rather focus on the ‘now’ (Eckhart Tolle, my savior.) rather than dwell in the past, or preempt the sodding future. You and I both know – and nod your head if you agree – the future isn’t certain. We paint a picture of the future we want, work towards it but for the most part it doesn’t go according to plan. And the future, well she becomes the mother of disappointments. I’ve held on to so many things, and thought so far ahead that everything that’s happening currently, be it work, domestic life or relationships have suffered. I’ve let the present suffer because I let the last 35 years creep into my present. The past is history, and unless you are stupid enough to let history repeat itself, Let. It. Go.

So to sum up, my name is Shilpa and I’m 35. I’m currently unmarried and I may or may not have a partner. I have a younger married sibling. I have a great job, great friends, and a carefree, independent life. Am I happy? Completely. Am I missing out? No. Abso-effing-loutely not. I am woman, hear me roar.

Until next time,

Kisses. xoxo.

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P.S: For the sake of not upsetting some of my hyper-sensitive friends, I’ll post this disclaimer:
The thoughts and opinions expressed in this piece are solely my own, and have not been influenced by any outside factors. I’m not expecting you to agree with me, but be a lamb and don’t spew vitriolic words at the piece because you’re a keyboard warrior ok? Ta!
Also, no offense to any of my attached friends. You know I love you unconditionally!

Photo Credit: Danielle Ditzian.



2015 – What a Year?

Oh my goodness, I survived another year! Okay, that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering I say that at the end of every year. But seriously, this year has been such a revelation on so many levels, that I’m actually wondering how I managed it all. (No, really.)

So – I got a job – of course you knew that. It sort of made me super happy, but it came with a warning that I’d probably have to give up my social life. Great. Just what I needed. However, that was a HUGE blessing in disguise, really. Don’t look at me as if I’ve lost my marbles – at least hear me out – you’ll see what I mean.

First things first, I had to step back from the writing. I know, I know, you’re as devastated as I am. But honestly, I had to give myself a bit of breathing room and figure out how my writing was going to fit into the exhausting hours of my new job. Many chats with my bossman (Most of you know him as Bhalla) led to him extending his full support with the agreement that I could start up bright and fresh in the New Year. WHO would have thought he’d be that great (truth be told, he totally is.)?

With the promise of me starting off bright and fresh next year, I’ve been regrouping and refocusing on how I want to tackle the writing next year. I’ve decided and realized (more importantly) that I need to throw across ideas that I’ve actually thought about and have an outline for – at least then I’m not running around like a headless chicken. So that’s the most important thing I need to think about along with actually sitting down and writing with full gusto. This also means I’d have to haul ass and get myself to events/gigs next year, which means I’m really going to have to figure out this prioritizing and balancing my life business, soon.

I didn’t attend my favorite festival this year. Shocker, right? Considering that it impacted me in such a wonderful way in 2014, I was certain that I’d be there this year – but something was amiss. I guess most people started showing their true colors and the facade’s began to fall off, and for some reason egos were inflated like hot-air balloons. Oh, did I mention, freeloaders began to freeload like they’ve never freeloaded in their life? Unbelievable. And they’re not even there to do any kind of media work – just free drinks, and be the typical groupies that everyone calls a waste of space. Seriously, do something constructive would you rather than beg for freebies?

Then there’s the oneupmanship. Like give it a rest man. You’re good at what you do, I’m good at what I do, so let’s leave it at that. Why go the extra mile, and bitch out people or try and prove who is better? Do your own thing, be happy, and keep your business to yourself, seriously. It was one of the top reasons I didn’t want to attend, for just everyone saying how much better they are than the rest, shut up already.

Anyway, the rest of the year has been a whirlwind of sorts, really. I’ve met some crazy, and wonderful people. I’ve made some of my friendships stronger, and let go of people who were negative, and toxic. Yes, the usual.
The biggest change however, is my parents looking at me with even more pride than they did before. Simply because, I decided to make my life better, and make myself happier and work on being a better person. Who cares if my social life took a hit, I realized most people won’t even care about your existence and if you do any good, it’s only your nearest and dearest ones that do. So as long as you’re happy being around them, the rest don’t really matter.

I really hope the last 2 days go well for everyone. Honestly I’ve seen better days, but it’s nothing that cannot be dealt with. I’ve got my family, my loved ones, my dear friends, and people that still think about me… It doesn’t get any better than that.

Happy 2016 everyone, much love to you all, and I hope you and I cross paths somewhere :-).

For 2015, this is my last post.

Shilpa, out. xxx

A Hiatus, A Moment, A Time to Reflect

It has been a long while since I got around to writing on this blog, and it was thanks to one of my colleagues/new friends that I was inspired to write something (hopefully insightful) over here.

The last few months have been anything but easy – but it has been a journey and an eye-opener of sorts. New job, new beginnings and a new outlook in life – what is not to be happy about? Unfortunately, something seems to be lacking, and I can’t put my finger on it. Over the last week or so, I have been trying very hard to figure out why there’s a feeling of sadness looming over my head and finally it hit me – I just don’t fit in.

So, one might think that ‘fitting in’ is not something one needs to worry about on a large scale – if you do what you love, and love what you do, why bother about something as trivial as fitting in? Let me tell you, in a close-knit community such as mine, it is essential to find a balance of people and a sense of acceptance and appreciation. It has been less than 3 months since I’ve began working here, but lately (and I hope it is just a passing phase) it seems to me that I am struggling to find that very sense of acceptance. Being the person I am, it has been consuming my thoughts and hindering my work – something I hoped wouldn’t happen. However, it has, and I am trying to find that sense of peace so I can continue and be myself again, and work as hard as I know I am capable of.

This is what I wanted to touch upon – That there will be times where one will feel like the oddity, the outsider and even in some cases, like the black sheep. There are folk who won’t object to it – in fact they pride themselves on not being part of the crowd, and being different. I do too, to an extent, but somehow, it may have worked against me this time around.

It does feel as though there’s always a careful, more distant approach when people are around me. It does make me feel sad, and I do feel that I have to try that little extra harder, just so that people see that I am pretty much a “WYSIWYG” kinda gal.

Work keeps me busy and incredibly happy, but it’s not easy, wondering if you’ll ever fit in, and if people will ever warm up to you. I suppose I’ll have to deal with it and carry on just being me. I know that some of my well-wishers will tell me that if people can’t accept me for who I am, they aren’t friends, or people I need to hang around with. And I suppose, I will have to develop a tougher exterior and let others’ thoughts and opinions bounce off me. But still, it does hurt sometimes.. and it does make me sad. Hopefully, this too shall pass.

Stay smiling. xx

The Politics of Giving Zero F@#*%.

This post comes from a place of hurt and anger.. and yes, you can call it a ‘whine’ or a ‘complaint’ or me just being negative.

The truth is, I’m sick to my teeth of how surreptitiously (or not), you are alienated from people, for doing two things:

  1. Being nice, and genuinely nice apparently makes you either a kiss-ass, suck up or just probably wanting to get into somebody’s pants, or for having an ulterior motive. Apparently, the notion of being you, being a good person is one that is foreign to most people.
  2. Being opinionated and speaking your mind is a ‘bad’ thing. If you’re vocal about it, and don’t beat around the bush, you’re going to be slammed by people. They’ll call you ‘negative’. They’ll call you ‘whiney’. They’ll call you ‘keyboard warrior’. Just the titles we were going for.

There’s something far worse in all of this though – I’m sensitive, and I take things personally – shouldn’t be admitting this here, but this is something that most of my friends know. Luckily for me, not everyone has used my sensitivity as a weak point. Some have. And some have used it to such an extent that they can berate, rile, and make me feel like complete shit. And unfortunately a big drawback is that I react.. something that gets these people to make me feel worse than I already do.

It’s unfortunate that folks like to use people’s weaknesses to make themselves feel better. What’s worse, is that these wonderful people are the ones who enjoy passing snide comments in your direction, being absolutely bitchy towards you, and then laughing behind your back, because you reacted. Everyone has their flaws, folks – but guess what, not everyone is as sadistic as you.

I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what I do, people will still talk. People will still be condescending assholes. People will still try and fuck me over. Earlier, so that people wouldn’t ‘hate’ me after what I’ve said, I would try and be nice about their remarks and then apologize (even though I shouldn’t). I’m beginning to realize people see that as a vantage point. But the problem is, giving zero fucks will also make people hate you or not stop them from being cruel, and mean.

I can’t please everyone – so right now, giving absolutely NO fucks is on top priority.

To everyone who used my sensitivity as a way to make yourselves feel better, and pick on me because of that.. let me introduce you to my middle finger.

Have a super day.
Rant for today, over.