What Valentines’ day?

Most of my school life I grew up in the era where Hallmark hadn’t taken over our lives. I grew up in a family where spending money on a card was a waste of money. There was no dearth of love and affection, hugs or cheers. As children we were celebrated, as parents my folks were the perfect people and as a couple they left much to be learned from.

Then the teens hit and no one was in love with me. Not enough to buy me cards or flowers anyway. At least that is what I went through my teens believing. Years later I was told by a few brave men that I was very intimidating and boisterous as a young woman, which kept them at my arms length. Well intimidating– not really focused on men.. Ah one can decipher for themselves. When the heart should have fluttered and hormones  raged, I was busy trying to get into medical school.

Medical school was a hot mess in so many ways. Love blurred into lust and back. Men who were spoken for somehow felt more desirable which left me loveless. My every move was justified by the physiological pathways that were “normal”. At least that is how I intellectualized my poor life choices.

I didn’t want flowers, cards or mushy feelings while I was working so hard to make it in the real world. I adopted a country I knew no one in. I worked in a system that was designed for me to fail in and I had a point to prove to everyone. This was my decision and I have yet to peel the layers of what went into making that decision, but I had no time for love! So no love was found in the third country I lived in.

If you are at all curious, yes I was closer to my 30’s when I finally made the move to the United States. I had already been on a long arduous journey in life and I had so many places more to go to. I was hot headed, determined, definitely boisterous and very mission driven. I was also very content living by myself, never having experienced love. Never mind the Valentine’s kind.

Then there he was, willing to love me just as I was. No flowers and cakes and mush this one. He was my straight up rock. He brought out the best, kindest and goofiest side of me. He indulged me in every way possible. He has put up with my big and rather demanding family. He has stood tall when I fell my hardest. He held himself back when I need to march forward. He has held my hand through pain and let me go when I needed to fly.

After more than a decade of being together, through our own ups and downs, I am making up for lost time. I often wish I had met him sooner. But then I know things happen how and when they are meant to happen. Perhaps I was never meant for flowers, cake and mush. So tell me again what is all this fuss about Valentines’ day?

 

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Happy New Year!

Humor me! I wished someone last night and he said the year is already old, so no place for good wishes. Really are we already that jaded already that in the month of January, I cannot wish you a Happy New Year? I don’t think so.. So here is my wish to the universe I hope you have a fantastic 2019.

Raise your hands if you agree with me, 2018 flew by. I hear myself echoing this sentiment every year, but truly 2018 just flew by. The professional and personal turmoils helped start off the year with mayhem, failed fertility attempts added some anxiety to the mix which was all forgotten by the many people who visited us bringing love, shared meals and creating memories. Then work picked up, birthdays and anniversaries cropped up leaving me 10 days to make a quick trip to my motherland.

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Somewhere between the United States and India

That had to be the cherry on the cake of 2018. It had been three years since I had gone back home. My relationship with the city I grew up in and the people that I have left behind has been pretty strained to put it mildly. Not because something happened, but because nothing had. If you leave anything alone and not engage or put in the effort, things will go bad. My hope for the trip was to meet people, give lots of hugs, make amends, grieve for the departed, celebrate the joys I have missed out on and of course spend time talking to my mother to my heart’s content.

Those ten days were quite the refresher I needed. I didn’t get to meet everyone I would have liked to, do everything that was on my list, eat everything this girl’s heart desired but I got to get lots of hugs and love. My trip was a wonderful reminder of my roots, of the people that have held my foundations strong so I could fly high, and the wrinkles of life that are slowly spreading over everything and everyone I have left behind. I got to remind myself of the good and acquaint myself of the bad.

I have come back wiser and stronger with the energy and will to take on 2019. How are you doing so far? What is your plan for the new year? It is still new isn’t it?

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Goodbye 2018

And just like that we are a few days away from 2019. A brand new year! 2018 went by in the blink of an eye. Of course a lot happened. If it hadn’t how would this have been such a quick year? Is that a thing? We should make it a thing. A slow year, a quick year.

By my last count 9 sets of guests visited us over the summer. Even if they all stayed an average of a week with us- you do the Math. That is a bit more than 2 months of summer spent entertaining. Averages and Math doesn’t necessarily work for my family, so our guests spanned from mid-April to mid- September. We enjoy having guests coming over. We really do. Everyone however is blessed with that one family who drains your energy and makes you question everything about human behavior, relationships and entertaining. I think this one family completely drained us out and made us question some of our friendships.

That unrest led for us to take a very last minute and very short trip to Maine; a state I had never been to before. Some people at work go to Maine every chance they get, so I wanted to demystify the enigma that is Maine. It was a great decision. Wonderful part of the country in terms of terrain, geography, hiking trails, foods and ice-cream. The husband and I have never before woken up at 4 am to go see a sunrise, which we did in the great state of Maine. Enigma indeed. We got done with a 3 mile hike by 8 am and with breakfast by 10 am, leaving the rest of the day for us to do whatever we wanted to do.

That one experience helped me make a long desired change. I go to bed early and wake up early. It’s been a life long struggle and then one day, I made that switch. So yes one can change if they wanted to and you can always grow if you wanted to. Talking of growth, I withdrew from the PhD program and cut back from a lot of extra-curricular activities to give me some pause. I needed to work on myself, my relationships, health and priorities that had been taking a backseat for a long time.

Speaking of relationships, this year marks the 10th anniversary to my marriage to the most wonderful man I know. This relation has seen its share of ups and downs. In the past I have found myself focusing on the bad instead of the good. That I find is easy to do. Self-pity, sadness and grief are sticky. I’ve learned that we can focus on what we choose. I now choose to look at what we actually have in this marriage and not what we could have had. Letting go of the abstract is a process and I am beginning to believe a life long one at that.

Our love for travel continues and to satisfy that love we visited Portugal in the beginning of Fall. I cannot tell you enough how much I loved the country, the people, the food and the wine! Don’t miss the vinho verde or the port vine! Such a treat! It was also the place I had a mini mental break down. When one is having such a good time that one gets so relaxed that the adrenaline finally stops pumping, one is headed in the direction of a mini mental breakdown. What I mean by a mini mental breakdown is a no holding back full-on cry fest in a public train between Sintra and Lisbon.

It was probably my most public display of emotion. I agree it wasn’t polite to have the unsuspecting people of Portugal see my crying like I had lost a limb. Not to mention a completely clueless husband who had just planned and executed the perfect 10th anniversary get-away! I had just had the best time of my life with the man I consider more than my husband and I didn’t want to come back to my reality.

That was a big wake up call for me. Something essential/basic had changed and I was determined to get to the bottom of it. So the rest of the year, I have spent reacquainting myself with all the people who got left behind in the rut of life, doing things that I love and spending more time centering myself and investing in my own well-being. In that vein I took up plants as a new hobby. After killing scores of plants, I can finally be proud to say I have 11 thriving plants. I cannot wait until spring to get more.

At the age of forty, I can finally say I can have something thrive in my company. I was engulfed with the sorrow that nothing was willing to be born or grow with me. These thriving 11 plants, give me hope! The hopes of a baby- biological or otherwise live on!

That has been my 2018 in a nut-shell. How was your year? Have you made any plans for 2019? Are you ready to say good bye?

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Today is not that day..in 55

Another one bites the dust. Is this the new go to? Is that the only way out of our troubles?

Life is tough; has been for a while. Some days I wonder if that was my answer?

I look around to remind myself, get past just one more day. Today is just not that day…

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What do you really want!

What do you tell yourself everyday, every night, every minute. What do you dream of when you sleep at night and when you are wide awake. What is it that burns a fire inside of you? What makes you wake up every morning and sleep well at night. Have you every asked yourself, what do you really want for yourself?

On this crisp spring morning, what are you truly wanting!

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Today’s mantra

Clear your mind of Cant

 

Things to do this week:

One clinical day, one medical-education day, 5 one hour presentations, 3 meetings for graduate school, master’s thesis revisions for submission due, PhD proposal hard deadlines due. Apart from this regular work week, I have guests coming to stay with us from India. I am beyond excited and can barely concentrate on what needs to be done.

So today’s mantra: Clear your mind of can’t. I’ll let you all know if I survive this week!

How does your week look like?

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The answer to everything!

Big warm hug: The answer to almost any situation or perhaps warm tea; medicine to all pain

 

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