Too Busy

The world’s turning
Into a busier place
Everyday

Pause just for now
And think about it as I say

For today’s to-do
I ask you
To not be too busy
To love intentionally
To eat wholeheartedly
To help someone kindly
To breathe gratefully
To remember fully

That all those are necessities
To move forward steadily
To overcome instability
To rise above in victory

To live happily

Lessons Learned this Year

  • Dressing comfortably is always better than dressing cute. Invest in comfort.
  • Don’t spend your energy stressing about the end goal. Try to think about every step of the journey. It is extremely hard, but try to consciously take steps towards that.
  • Don’t drive when you are upset or in an emotional state of mind.
  • Don’t rub your eyes right after cutting garlic or using headache relief balm- it will burn your eyes and you will have lots of regrets.
  • Being away from home will get very difficult and sad and confusing at times. In those moments, appreciate the people and places that feel like home.
  • Getting food from outside is great, but home-cooked food is the heartiest kind of food you’ll have.
  • The people who are meant to stay in your life will do so effortlessly.
  • Write letters! Write letters to loved ones, friends, families, teachers, yourself! Write letter to future you, past you, the you that needs to be cheered up.
  • You can and will overcome any difficult circumstance. The storm always ends. It feels like your world is crashing down and it gets hard to just hold on, but you will absolutely come out stronger.
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the best means of self care.
  • Make art even when you think you’re not good at it! Draw, paint, cry, dance yourself silly.
Made some found poetry as a new year’s eve activity ^.^

1 day (or a few minutes or you’re already there) to New Year’s Day!
Thank you so much for reading ❤

2020 Favorites

With the whole world staying at home this year, I have turned to nature, different forms of entertainment and self care things to keep myself occupied. They have kept me calm and happy in times when I really needed it! They feel precious and important and something that I want to remember even after we get through the difficult times of the pandemic. Future we would be super happy to see the things that we valued and held close to our hearts in these times- kind of like putting together a time capsule!

What memories, moments and mementos would be in your time capsule?

The sky: It is beautiful in breathtaking ways! It is beautiful when the sun rise and when the sun sets. Sometimes the clouds are playing hide and seek and the sun does a fantastic job at hiding while still giving us a subtle and radiant light.

Walks: Walks or runs have been my happy transport-me-to-a-new-mindspace activity. In the morning or evening- it has helped clear my mind, vent to a friend on bad days and rejoice the fresh air (even through a mask). I also purchased an arm band to hold my phone to listen to music or podcasts during my walk.

Podcasts: Dear Hank and John has been my absolute favorite podcast. It is a question and answer podcast hosted by the Green brothers- John and Hank. John Green is the guy who wrote the Fault in Our Stars! It is a hilarious question and answer podcast and talks about a lot of silly, light hearted and encouraging topics. They also have a video series called Crash Course through which you can learn anything easily and have cute animations to aid the process.

Marco Polo: An app that allows fun video messaging has helped me keep in touch with friends when we have to talk asynchronous due to busy schedules. I also created a second account to make video notes to myself when I want to vent about something or capture something beautiful that I become super childlike-excited about 😀

Ducks: There are lots of ducks near where I live. It is absolutely hilarious to watch them quack to each other very matter-of-factly and really pretty to see a pack of them swim together.

Organizational tools: My written planner, journal (with daily gratitude prompts from More Light Than Heat), Notion and Google Sheets and Keep have been great to track my progress on tasks, plan my to-dos and jot down recipes that I love.

Music: I have danced to songs from Taylor Swift’s reputation album way too many times this year. Happy dancing, goofy dancing, to cheer myself up when I’m sad- all of it! Us the Duo’s I’m Me has been a confidence booster song for me to sing before a stressful situation. The Local Train and When Chai Met Toast are some super cool Indian bands that I have been listening to on repeat.

Comics: The Webtoon app has been my best buddy this year! I read a lot of “slice of life” comics like What’s Up Beanie, As Per Usual, Bork! and Tubby and Tummy. I think of the slice of life genre as heart warming, funny, encouraging, and relatable of how dysfunctional life can be at times.

Flowers: They are so incredible beautiful!!!! I am just grateful that I exist on the same planet as flowers.

Food: My list of favorite foods will be endless if I have the choice. Some that I really enjoyed this year are Chinese Bao, Mexican Tamales, avocado mush with milk and honey, Japanese Shrimp Tempura, Kombucha and other probiotic drinks, Chobani Flip or any flavored yogurt, and just the classic omelette!

Books: Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o is a children’s book that wonderfully captures the essence of feeling beautiful in your own skin. The illustrations are stunning and the book manages to convey a strong and empowering message in simple words.

2 days to New Year’s Day

Doodles

I wanted to share some drawings from my sketchbook today! Drawing has always served as an escape from reality and gives me something fun to focus on. I love working with colors and love drawing flowers and nature things if you can’t tell haha! The first doodle was one I drew referencing a picture on the internet. The grid flowers and herbs are from a tutorial from Shayda Campbell on YouTube and the third doodle is from cheyenne barton‘s channel. The last two are original drawings! I am a newbie but I definitely want to get better at all artsy things in baby steps.

3 days to New Year’s Day

Endless Possibilities

If I had all the time in the world
I would write a song using every word
From the page of letter M in the dictionary
To create a world of my own- magical and imaginary

I would connect the dots between the stars I see
Or ride a spaceship to wherever I want to be
I would spend time with florists
To unlock the secrets of the forests
I would dance with a ballerina
To find balance in in life’s every arena
I would put my hair up in a bun
To build a skyscraper that reaches the sun

If I had all the time in the world
I would fly as high as a bird
Gazing at the world from up high in the sky
To see where all the endless possibilities lie

4 days to New Year’s Day

I Have the Power

This year, I’ve tried to understand the phrase “being intentional”.

Digging deeper into the dysfunctional parts of my life has made me realize that I have the power to define how an experience affects me. When I am not intentional, I let the experience define how it affects me instead. Knowing and believing that I have the power was freeing. I can’t let external factors completely rule the inner workings of my mind!

I learned that being intentional is essentially identifying the things that are important to you and consciously taking steps towards building a life of growth. It sounded so simple, but it really isn’t. Facing defeat and low points have been and will continue to be difficult. It’s hard especially when a big goal feels unattainable or I don’t feel connected to the people that are most important to me. To carry on in these times is not easy, but becomes a healthy challenge.

As a determined and energetic human, I have tried being intentional by focussing on the now. I have been trying to take every moment as it comes. Enjoying the highs and enduring through the lows has become an important to-do because it has helped me experience things actively. I try to feel everything and let it out instead of being passive and going on autopilot during bad days. To start the next day on a happier note, it is necessary that I make conscious and intentional efforts to process the hurt. The same goes for days that have an upward rising slope of my steady happy state of mind. My mind now tends to easily identify the things that make me happy, so that I can devote more energy to them. Having a purpose of pursuing the little happy moments and to truly live has helped with steering away from jumping to conclusions or making assumptions to my own detriment.

What are some ways that you want to be intentional?

5 days to New Year’s Day

ABCs of Self-Care

All of us are in this together. If you are struggling with your mental health, talk to your loved ones or reach out to a therapist. You might feel like you are all alone at times, but there is a support system out there for you.

Be yourself, except when you can be You 2.0, then definitely be You 2.0. Your upgraded version comes with unique features like taking healthy risks, being brave, cutting ties with toxic people, working on self-growth, and loving yourself.

Clean up your to-do list! Do not overcommit. Lazy to-dos like ‘wake up’ and ‘drink coffee’ do not count. Put no more than six conquerable things on your list, and tackle them like a boss.

Define your goals. Make a vision board or create a list. Maintain a log or journal about the progress you make and the problems you face. Note the details of what works and what does not. Work on improving the process, and your goal will slowly but surely become a reality.

Embrace struggles and failures. Randy Pausch, the author of The Last Lecture cleverly remarked, “experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted, and experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” If doing something noble for your self-growth comes with the fear of failing, go ahead and absolutely do it.

Friends are like family. Keep them close, and treasure the moments you spend with them.

Get a library card! They are a gateway to aisles and aisles of endless magical worlds within each book.

Highs and lows are part of the journey. If you have a bad day, keep your head up, because you have made it this far.

It always seems impossible until it is done.” — Nelson Mandela. When you’re at the precipice of starting a new chapter of your life, take the leap and give it your best shot.

Join a club or organization that makes you feel like you are part of something bigger. Social integration is one of the leading factors for living a long and healthy life.

Keep on keeping on, especially when things get difficult. You will come out stronger.

Learn something new everyday — be it cooking your favorite meal or finally figuring out the KU bus system.

Make mistakes, because they are the best way to learn and become better.

Never compromise on food and healthy meals!

Open yourself up to having difficult conversations. Anxiety, burnout, and depression are issues that a lot of people face. Empower one another by talking about how it is okay to not feel okay.

Prioritize yourself! You come first in all aspects of your life.

Quit shaming your insecurities, and give your fears a voice. If you feel like you are not good enough, there is a fire in you to do better and be better. Fuel that fire.

Routines can be monotonous. Go outside for a walk in the middle of a long study session if it will help you work better.

Scroll a little less on social media. Turn off notifications. Getting stuff done will be easier when the bait of inefficiency isn’t a swipe away.

Treat the people in your life how you would like to be treated. Give them as much love, kindness and respect as you would like in your life. If they do not reciprocate, reevaluate the role they play in your life and its necessity.

Unravel all the unique possibilities of self-care. Journalling, therapy, support groups, meditation — find what is best for you!

Vent when you feel low. Talking it out helps. 

Water! Drink it, and when you are done, drink some more. Staying hydrated is extremely important.

X‘ out of all of the unnecessary tabs that you have open on your life’s browser.

Yawning after 11 p.m. is the drum roll to your grand performance of sleeping. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. You will be much more productive when your body and mind are well rested.

Zoom in on your blessings, and zoom out on complaining. A good year and a good life will follow.

Borrowed this from an article I wrote for my college newspaper in January 2019 🙂 A for apple is great but A for acceptance, affirmations and all of the self love you can create for yourself is the best.

6 days to New Year’s Day

Making a List & Checking it Twice

Christmas and the holiday season have a copious amount of happy feelings in their theme. There’s so much celebration, togetherness and glee. This year looks very different because of the pandemic and some of us might be very far from happy during these celebratory occasions.

I have learned to be at peace of my bad days (after crying a lot) because happiness is best when you don’t even have to try! 🙂

I like to keep some things in mind that I can do to make my bad days a little better. For me, it helps to have some go-to coping mechanisms to take baby steps. Small acts to truly accept and process what I feel, and eventually leave that sad state.

Go on a walk. Go outside! If there’s daylight, stand right where the sunshine can envelope you in some warmth. If it’s at night, do some silent stargazing. If it’s cloudy, know that the weather is right here with you in feeling blue.

Talk to a loved one. Venting to someone you trust goes a long way when you feel like you’re holding on to some heavy feelings. Happiness is best when shared but sadness feels lighter and more conquerable when shared. They might help you see some simple truths and give you the encouragement you need.

Listen to some calming music. Or listen to the sounds of nature that are all around you.

Write. Write about what you are feeling, or write about a fictional world that you want to escape into. Write about a distant happy memory that you want to recollect. Write about how your anger or sadness feels like something you can’t quite understand. Whichever of these feels the best, go for it!

Draw something. The classic picture of mountains with a sunset, color it in or just scribble random doodles on paper. Anything to calm yourself down.

Clean up your space. Clean your room, rearrange your closet! Cleaning will make room to have clearer thought and intentional actions.

Memes. Look up some wholesome ones!

Do a puzzle. Crosswords, sudokus, or a jigsaw puzzle!

Watch some cooking videos! Or make something you love. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, it’ll be a fun adventure.

This list was inspired by someone who’s always been there for me and Kati Morton’s 25 Amazing Coping Skills Everyone Needs

7 days to New Year’s Day

Secret to Poetry

The truthful secret is: any kind of expression is like poetry

A rhyming pattern in all our thoughts, quite wonderfully literary
A rhythm in an excited announcement of victory
A welcoming smile
Overthinking for a while
A cry for help
Pitying yourself
Raising a concern
Or giggling just for fun

Any kind of expression is like poetry

Expressing yourself truly
With strong vulnerability
Admitting your weaknesses- all show the ability
Of your heart to ebb and flow like the waves
A thought bubble that beautifies every moment it saves

Make art out of everything
As you dance or sing!
To let out the emotions as your thoughts roam
All the feelings that make your mind their home
Voice them and let it all go on the count of three
Because any kind of expression is like poetry

I stayed up late yesterday to finally finish a 500 piece puzzle. One day of not being able to post and catching up on sleep has helped my brain crank out a meta poem that rhymes, haha 😀

8 days to New Year’s Day

Why Do I Blog?

This blog has been a place of creative invention, self growth and sometimes simply a place to explore my brain. It has brought to light the things that are important to me. I started this journey because I wanted to express myself and get better at writing. The blogging community I found when I first started has been instrumental to where I am now. I feel so much more confident about myself as a writer. I am surely just as dramatic as I used to be as a sixteen year old, but I like to believe that I am more articulate with my ideas 🙂

I blog to put into words the beauty of the world through my poetry. I blog to capture my multiple trains of thought that are never-ending and always searching for meaning and inspiration. I blog as a getaway from how busy life gets sometimes. I blog to write about when I feel low, in an attempt to find some lessons to learn. In a way, I blog to create a time capsule of how I have grown and changed and blossomed as a person. Since I started my blog, I have helped edit a school magazine, was part of a creative writing seminar, and also served as a columnist for my college newspaper! I am proud of the progress I have made in the world of writing and hope to keep getting better.

Life has gotten faster and is rapidly changing as I grow up. However, this little corner that I have built for myself has stayed the same in some ways. To me, it still feels like a scrapbook of memories and feelings that I wanted to give a voice. It is still a place that I want to write about my experiences in hopes that someone who reads this can relate and feel less alone. It is a place of growth and love and encouragement, for me and for you! Thank you for reading! Even though I do not write regularly, this place is precious to me and so is the time you’ve taken to read this.

I wrote a post on Why I Started Blogging back in 2015. It has been five years, and I was just thinking about what keeps me coming back to my confused and crazily curious home. This post was inspired by a video by Rosianna Halse Rojas where she spoke about what has motivated her to continue on your youtube journey for fifteen years.

10 days to New Year’s Day