YOU CALL THIS ART??

Back when I was in the first grade or so, my ART teacher called me up to the front of the class. I hadn’t really done anything wrong but given my age and my nerdy nature, I was instantly scared. Still, I managed to walk up to her. The moment I approached her table, she held up a piece of paper and yelled-“YOU CALL THIS ART?” .I just stood there and stared at the paper for a moment or so, trynna make out what it was. It turned out to be the scenery that  I had drawn as classwork that day. I looked at her confused for the scenery seemed great to me, well at least to my 6-year-old self.  (However, if it was to be looked at from an adult’s eye it was nowhere near perfect. The houses and roads were irregular and the color spilled out of the lines, but then again, what more can you expect from a 6-year-old). A few moments later, she understood that I don’t see any problem with the drawing and she proceeded to explain it to me, rather loudly in front of the entire class. She ridiculed the drawing and told me that I can never draw, that I draw so bad I should never be allowed to do it again. Naturally, I was hurt by her comments. I went back home and cried and cried and cried. Upon inquiry, I told my mother what had happened and she was naturally infuriated. She confronted the teacher the very next day, who pretty much declined to have said all that and gave me a bar of chocolate ‘to make amends’. The incident wrapped up after that day, more or less and she never really troubled me again. However, I never really drew anything after that. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get myself to. I just accepted the fact that I was no good at it. So, for years to follow I just avoided drawing anything-be it my other art projects (art was compulsory in my school), my science diagrams, or even lines for my accountancy worksheets, I always had someone else do it for me.

Forward a few years to lockdown. I was bored out of my wits one afternoon. WHAT TO DO….i couldn’t think of anything, with the exams indefinitely delayed, my nerd self-had absolutely nothing to study, for the first time in forever. The boredom had got to my brains and I started rummaging through my old stuff, hoping to find some solution. That is when I stumbled upon my old crayons and sketchbook. Without a second thought, I started drawing one of my favorite anime characters. A while later, when I saw the result…..I WAS SHOCKED! While I didn’t draw anything extraordinary, the drawing turned out to be a moderate look-alike of the character….very amateur but one can look at it and identify the character instantly.

You won’t believe the amount of shock and happiness that surged through me! After years and years of living with the fact that I can’t draw for shit, I had finally drawn something!!! And it was better than I could even imagine myself capable of making!(I even avoided drawing straight lines till then!).

After that I have made a lot of drawings here and there, each making me more confident than the last. I am so happy that I took a chance that day and it ended into me overcoming a fear I didn’t even realize I had.

 Have you ever conquered something like this? Do you have a similar story? If yes,then please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it.

  I’ll be posting more experiences and thoughts soon….. till then take care and stay healthy!

BEST FRIEND?

“Who’s your best friend,” my mother asked my nephew who had come to visit us for the summer. The kid had just started his pre-school and had a vocabulary as you’d expect a 4-year-old to have. Turns out the word “best friend” was yet to be introduced to him so he was pretty confused and just gave my mother the blankest look he could manage. “Who do you spend the most time with?” my mother said in an attempt to hint on the probable features of a best friend. ‘Ryan!’ screamed my nephew as his eyes lit up with eagerness on this new finding. I was just smiling at his innocent reaction when it dawned on me. WE ARE TEACHING OUR KIDS THE WRONG MEANING OF THE WORD FRIENDS!!

As a child, all of us were asked a similar question by different adults and our limited vocabulary led us to name the person who we hang out with the most. While the definition has evolved and modified into something much more meaningful for some of us, others are still of the belief (knowingly or unknowingly) that your best friend is the person you spend the most time with.

Are you one of them? Let’s find out!

Answer these 5 questions in your head-    
Who is my best friend at the moment?
How much time do I spend with this person and how long have I known him/her? Is spending a great deal of time with them or knowing them for a long time the only reason you consider them your best friend?
Does this person care about me? (think of any 5 instances which prove that they do)
How much do they know about me? (your likes/dislikes, what’s going on in your life)
If in a difficult situation, will this person be the first I’d reach out to? If so, would they be there for me?

Now let’s take up the possible answers-
1)The name part isn’t something I can help with, honestly. It’s okay to have multiple names and it is also okay to have no name at all. In the latter case just pick a close friend or a regular friend or a sibling maybe. If there is no one it is still understandable, just drop a comment with some kind of contact and I’d love to be of service. Not to toot my own horn or anything (fucking toot toot) but I am sure I can be a good friend ;).

2)So, moving on to the second and a very crucial question….is it? Like I said a lot of us have messed our definition of a best friend very early in life and it shows. Give it a moment and think. If the person in question moves away and you stop seeing each other as much as you do now, will you still be this close?
As someone who just moved from school to college, I have a very recent and personal experience in this field. The people I lived each moment with for the past 7-8 years are not even doing a cameo in my life now. Hard as it is, one thing I learned from this was that it is very easy to be ‘best friends’ with people you see daily but the real bond is put to test when you are distanced and only the bonds that get through this test are the ones worth keeping.

3)If you call your BFF and you’re going hysterical over something, what would be their reaction? Will they be understanding and do whatever they can to help you through this time or will they cut you off by making an excuse or maybe not even respond timely, I don’t even know which is worse honestly but what I do know that both of them are hurtful. Understanding and supporting somebody does not always mean that you agree with their perspective or agree to their actions every time. There may be times when your friend decided to call you out on your shit (let’s face it, none of us are complete and utter angles), does that mean they are not good to you? DEFINITELY NOT. It is their duty and right to call you out on your bs and get you to do the right things so don’t think you have the wrong person if they have been upfront about your ‘not-so-likable’ qualities with you, you should rather be thankful.

4)Naturally how much they know about you is not exactly a measure of how much you like to be with them but it is the human tendency to start reading into the habits and moods of our loved ones. Barney didn’t need Ted to spell out his needs for him to understand. One look at Ted and he knew. Now, this is no hard and fast rule about friendships or any relationship for that matter but it sure shows your understanding and concern with each other.

5)The last and the most mattering on the list is this one. CAN YOU COUNT UPON THE PERSON IN QUESTION? If yes, then great! You are one lucky person and god bless you but if not, then I am sorry my friend I think you need to rethink your choices from the very start.

What conclusion have you arrived at? Do you think you might have messed your or maybe your kid’s view of the word friendship? I think you should take some time and think it over. For now, we have a greater level of clarity of our friendships, at least more than what we had at the beginning of this article. I’d soon post another article talking more about my personal experiences on the same. Till then take care and stay safe.

HOW ANXIETY WORKS

The insides of an anxious, unhappy mind are indeed tricky, not only for outsiders, who don’t understand what such a person feels or thinks but, even for the person himself/herself. Sometimes trivial things are so overwhelming that they end up troubling us for weeks or even months on end. And what sucks is that we don’t know how to intimate our thoughts to people because of two primary reasons-

 The first of which is frankly, no matter who you are, we don’t think you care about what’s up with us and we don’t want to burden you unnecessarily so we won’t reach out to you unless things are at their absolute worst or getting unbearably painful. There are even times when things are in fact at their absolute worst but we endure only so we can save that one chance we have at reaching out. To break it into layman terms, inside an anxious person’s mind reaching out for help is like a single-use coupon (the number of coupons is limited since no one likes an ever complaining person)and naturally, we do not want to waste our precious coupons on something we may be able to go through without using them. So, we tend to bear till the very end.

The second and major one is that we barely understand what’s up with us. Take me for example- I woke up today with absolutely no pressure to go anywhere or do anything (because lockdown), nobody said anything upsetting to me since yesterday, nothing happened but today I woke up with this unbearable pain in my heart like something was missing or something bad happened to me. So, ever since I woke up I am in a very bad mood and greatly irritable for no apparent reason! See, I don’t even know what’s wrong with me so how am I supposed to get help? And it might come as a surprise to a lot of you but it is pretty common for anxious people to experience that.

Weird, isn’t it? How, even though we humans are all pretty much designed the same way, yet we are so different? Have you ever felt this way or someone you love acts like this? Well then, do let me know in the comment section and I’ll be happy to provide more information or tips and tricks on the same. Also, I will soon be posting more on the topics to challenge the lack of awareness regarding this very common problem and well,for people who can relate.

 Do check out my Instagram page (@tales_i_tell_) and Have a great day!

SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX-The Second Dose

“Yes, it hurts but that’s how you know you are detoxifying”

Joe Goldberg, YOU S2

(or something along the lines of it, I don’t remember per se but you get it) and even though he said it while detoxifying from substantially more toxic habits, it still holds in a social media detox situation. The thought of getting rid of social media is sure to give rise to uneasiness, especially if you are an addict, which leads to indecisiveness. Last week, I did a little review of my social media detox and gave it a big thumbs up (if you have not read it yet, what are you even doing, go check it already!!). Today I’ll be carrying forward on the same note and fulfilling the promise I made- to dust certain myths and answer certain FAQs regarding the whole detox thing. So this post will be entirely dedicated to further strengthening your decision. I have taken your probable worries topic wise below:

1)BOREDOM– A lot of people think that quitting social media will create a void in their life (“ I sPeNd So MuCh TiMe On SoCiAl MeDiA… WhAt WiLl I dO wItHoUt It”). As a person who’s a month or so deep into social media detox my answer to this is- Not gonna lie, yes, it will create a void and you will feel uneasy initially but if you have your priorities right and are determined to set your life straight-you, my friend, will go through with it successfully.

2) FOMO– FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is pretty common in a situation like this but one thing that you should remember is that we humans created the virtual world and we have lived for centuries without it and happily so, so trust me anything happening in a virtual world is nothing you can’t survive without in the actual world. Also, most (probably all) of the things happening in the virtual world bring you no substantial good or happiness so passing out on them often does more good than harm(read it again).  Honestly, a week or so down the no social media lane, you won’t even care. So, bear with it. Even if it gets hard, just stay put and don’t worry about stuff.

3) CONNECTIONS– Yes, maintaining relations and bonds does seem very hard (if not impossible) without social media but trust me, it is not. On the contrary, it will rekindle the warmth in your relations that was lost due to the emotionless chatting and tagging all day long. Call your loved ones or Skype them. Not only would it be way more intimate than random texts but also allow you to say things that you will probably skip on in a texted conversation, which are mostly your true feelings.

4) COMPLETE ABSENCE– This is a very prevalent and a rather stupid myth, I must say, so let me clear it once and for all. No, a social media detox doesn’t necessarily mean a complete social media absence. You can also quit a fraction of apps and retain some others. It depends on you! Remember, even a small reduction will give you benefits. So, if not completely try to do at least a small detox.

5)DETOX IS FOREVER– Some people tend to think that going on a social media detox means that now you just can’t get back on it ever or that if you get back it would mean that you didn’t fulfill your detox decision. Well, NEWS FLASH people! There is a thing called time barred social media detox which means that you get rid of social media but only for a fixed period of time. This period can be as short as one day and as long as eternity! So, you can detoxify on your own time conditions without feeling guilty for giving up midway!  (yayyy!) 

I hope that I have cleared most of the questions you had in mind by now so I will just end by saying that the thought of getting rid of social media is sure going to make you feel a bit uneasy and trust me it is pretty normal. But remember, that in your heart of hearts you do want to break free from its clutches and that is probably why you read this post and that to to the end. So, go ahead and give it a shot. You can always come back so there is seriously no harm. Also, you might encounter some completely new personal benefits when you try it which will either encourage you to stay away for good (or you might end up coming back which is good too because it is only after a series of on and offs that you’ll realize what you really want) (or so it happened with me).Just know that at the end of the day only experiencing and knowing both sides personally will give you your right answer. So I wish you the best of luck and hope this works out for you like it did for me.

Also, if this article helped you in any way, please do like and share.

SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX- The 21st century dilemma

DELETE SOCIAL MEDIA – These words are enough to freak out any millennial, especially at a time like this where we are all under visual house arrests, being bored to insanity. Even I would have lost it at the thought of deleting social media a few months back but not now. Yes, I am on a full social media detox nowadays and today I am doing a little review of the entire thing so if you’re thinking about doing a detox stay tuned and if you’re not, well, that’s debatable (smiles in Dwight Schrute).

Earlier this year I was feeling super flustered and deactivated my social media. But addicted as I am I couldn’t really resist and was back in a week or so. This continued for a few months till I seriously got rid of social media for good in early March so you know I put a good amount of thought into this decision and didn’t do it in the heat of the moment. I have briefed a few major topics that convinced me to go ahead with my decision and how they have changed after quitting social media.     

1) TIME- Well this one’s a no brainer. I am saving a crazy amount of time now. Earlier I used to spend about 5-7 hours on various social media platforms. Now I have all that to do something constructive or just relax if I want to. Either way, I have much more time at hand than I used to. This means more movies, more games, more books, and more hobbies…. yayy !!

2) ANXIETY- Social media put us all in a never-ending rat race against each other. Who is prettier, who is richer, and who goes out a lot, who got more friends and what not? People on social media often engage in flexing and even faking their ‘haves’ online. This puts an undeniable pressure on their audience to produce an even better set of haves. This often leads to insecurities, sometimes even anxiety. And if you already have anxiety, trust me, leaving social media is THE best decision you can take for yourself.

3) MOVE ON– A complete social media detox, especially at the time of lock down, can help you get over certain toxic people that you have been meaning to let go for a long time now. Now that you can’t see them physically, you can cut them off virtually too and experience true freedom.

4) BEST EXCUSE- Oh, this one has to be the best. Not having social media is often the best excuse to wiggle out of certain situations. Be it your society’s publicity work or ignoring someone, “I don’t have social media” gets you out of all 21st century awkward situations.

5) STEERS CLEAR THE WRONG CROWD- Now this one is a bit tricky. Social media is indeed a good way to connect and make friends, especially for those who are a bit shy. But let’s face it-if someone wants to reach out to you they’ll find a way to-irrespective of your availability on such platforms. And if someone doesn’t take a chance to talk to you in real life then maybe it’s for the best. Talking to someone online only and not in real life is its own league of weird (learned it the hard way but we’ll get on it some other time). 

The list of the pros of quitting social media is in fact endless and I am pretty sure you have heard all about it from your parents day in and out ( Omg! Another pro! Your parents will be happy with your decision at least once! 😉 ) So I’ll just stick to the less apparent ones here. If by now you are convinced (even if a bit)of quitting social media then hang on and wait for my next post in which I’ll be dusting certain myths and worries you might have about the detox right now. 

As far as this review was concerned, I’d like to conclude by saying that getting rid of social media has been one of the best things I have done for my personal growth and betterment. 5/5. Would recommend. :p 

THE SILVER LINING

With the entry of the Corona Virus in India, the country is set in a panic mode. The lockdowns and sudden house arrests are too much to digest for the ever-active public, especially of the capital city.  While all this closing down of the state is making my friends dismal and bored, I am still filled with hope and am reminded of the famous saying- 

“Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.”                                                                                                     

Irving Berlin

Amidst the corona chaos, the silver lining is all the free time we have at hand. The lockdown and extended holidays have provided a much-needed break to the entire world-overworked students and exhausted employees are now at home with ‘relaxing’ being the only task in their TO-DO List. Even if the reason behind it is rather unfortunate, it is still a break from everyday life! And a sudden and long break like this should not be wasted because a judicious use of this timeout can indeed change your life! YES, even at a time like this you can be optimistic and improve yourself. Mentioned below are some things that can be done to stay winning even at a time like this-

1) LIVE YOUR DREAM! – We have all daydreamt about possessing certain skills or being a certain kind of person. From wanting to learn a dance form to start painting professionally, we all have a wish we have been longing to fulfill. Well this is indeed THE time to go ahead and fulfill your wish and be the person you have always wanted to be.

2) PROGRESS IN CAREER– This time off can also be used to earn certifications and further your career prospects. Yes, you read that right! You can learn even on lockdown. Online sites like Coursera, Udemy and Skillshare offer a plethora of short term courses and certifications that are of utmost value in the job market and the best part is that most of them are free!! So, channelize your productivity towards these courses and earn skills for life!

3) START! – “I want to do it but I am so busy!” – This is the most common excuse we give to ourselves for not starting work on our dream project. Now that the world is at home (and possibly online *wink wink*) go ahead and start that YouTube channel, open your first blog page, start writing the book or whatever you have been delaying! Who knows this might be the first step to your success.

4) DE-CLUTTER YOUR LIFE– Often in the race of life we end up messing up our lifestyle. This time off can be used to DE clutter and organize your life so you are ready for a better tomorrow. Set a sleep schedule, start exercising, and start doing yoga and meditation, start writing a journal- whatever makes your lifestyle, even if a little, better than how it was before this pandemic.

5) READ– What better use of excess time than to read a good book. If you want to rekindle your long-lost book reading habit or want to adopt it for the first time, trust me and start already. Not only will book reading improve your skills and better you as a whole, but it is also a much-appreciated hobby and life-changing at that. You can also start reading newspapers and newsletters (online if you may) to further your knowledge and vocabulary and return to your work with worthy opinions and insight at all current affairs.

6) GET CLOSER!– Yes, yes, I know we’re supposed to socially distance ourselves but only the physical bodies are to be distanced, not our hearts. It can be pretty challenging to maintain relations and bonds in our usual, hectic schedules so why not take this time and reach out to our friends and relatives and rebuild the worn bridges. Go ahead-call your friends, Skype your relatives, text someone and maintain a lively and warm atmosphere.

Remember, HARD TIMES DO NOT LAST FOREVER. This crisis will soon be over and forgotten, what will remain is the work you do on yourself in this time. So, people don’t get disheartened by the present circumstance and use these quarantine holidays to become a happier, healthier, smarter version of you and stay winning at life.

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