Monday, December 28, 2015

2015, Get Lost Now.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 28, 2015 9 comments

2015 is coming to an end. I have never been a huge fan of counting down the final days of a year as I don't care about New Year's eve or celebrating it. My obligation towards the new year is limited to a mandatory blog post and that's that. But what is it about 2015 that makes me want to hold on to it dearly? What is it about 2015 that I'll remember for years? And what is it about 2015 that will always put a smile on my face? I could not list out everything, but here are a few:

1. 2015 has been largely confusing for a lot of reasons. I won't dwell over them, but I'll tell you this. No matter how bad things seem today, they'll slowly fade in time. The people you try to forget, the incidents that bring tears, and the issues that torment you--they'll all fade.

2. People constantly tell me that I am lucky to be doing a job that I love. Touchwood! Two years ago, I never imagined I'd be able to break free, stand up for my dream and take up an actual, real-time writing job. Now that I am, it feels like a million bucks. Probably, nothing feels better than doing something you are passionate about.

3. I have loved and I have lost. It might not be a great story, but it sure made me write some. It was fun while it lasted though its aftertaste was bitter.

4. Goodreads tells me that I've read 59 books this year. I've read and re-read some great books this year. I breathed into the words of Murakami, cried into the pages of Jamie Tworkowski, traveled along with Italo Calvino and Ruskin Bond, and more importantly, I have found lost courage through the beautiful world that Elizabeth Gilbert created.

I cannot thank these writers enough for their lovely creations.

5. My unhealthy obsession with letters dates back to the 90s. I have written some and received some this year.

As we talk, I've used to send a letter to my future self. I think this is an immensely important activity that we must all indulge in. Go ahead, and write yourself one! I am sure your future self will be pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from past.

6. I have been turning into a reclusive person with every passing year. I am not complaining, though. I think I began enjoying my company so much that I don't feel lonely anymore. I itch for solitude.

I have cut ties with unhealthy friendships and I am glad that they are no longer in my life.

In a sad way, some relationships with my friends and family are a little strained. I am not even putting in an effort to repair them. Maybe it's time I do.

7. Not all families are perfect. No family is as nice as it seems. Some families are broken beyond repair, and some are held together by a really thin string. I am glad that I have a family and that I go home to them. This year certainly made me realize that it's hard work to keep your family together. I've learned it the hard way.

8. A few years ago, I've never imagined that I'd be buying a vehicle by 24. I have and every time I look at it in my parking area, I brim with joy.

I am learning how to drive and I am loving it.

9. I have openly discussed my emotions and issues this year. I have used several mediums for it -- my blog, one on one conversations, talking, writing, and above everything, by standing up for it.

I've said this earlier and I'll say it again. There is nothing wrong in seeking help, there is nothing small in admitting you are not okay. You are human and on odd days, your heart aches. Sometimes, longer. Be assured that there are a lot of people like you who feel what you feel. All you need to do is reach out.

10. My unhealthy eating and sleeping habits have taken a toll over me. Over the last two months, I have tried controlling them. I am hoping 2016 would prove to be a healthier year.


There is something about having your closest friends in town, even if you barely meet them. Two of my friends have left to the USA this year, and it hit me that I'll miss them only when I saw them walking away on our last meetings. I've never been great at goodbyes. They are hard, and I am pretty sure I'll never be okay with them. I've endured some excruciatingly painful moments yet incredibly lovely moments this year. I've made friends at my workplace and at unusual of places, and I am okay with doing that now.

In many ways, 2015 has been a year of unexpected surprises, separations, rediscovering friendships, self-discovery (almost), and of course, more writing.

To everyone who has been nice to me, gotten me cupcakes and were there for me, thank you. And to everyone who haven't done that, well, you have a happy New Year too.

P.S. The long followed tradition of falling asleep at 10:30 PM on 31st December shall be followed this year too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fabulous, New, and Broken.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 23, 2015 0 comments

The thing about bad days is that, like memories, even they keep you on your toes. In a bad way, of course.

Last night, I was on my way home from work, and a bus driver rammed into my car, which spoiled my almost good day. No matter how many times you see the advertisements (along with lots of educational videos and news on TV) warning not to drink and drive, people still do that. I bought my car just three weeks ago and it hurt to see an enormous dent on it. Sure, I could get it repaired. Sure, I could claim insurance and move on as if nothing really happened. But obviously, I cannot forget the way people react to a thing like this. The driver who was at fault apologized profusely, and I was pretty annoyed at him. But, the bus belonged to banking and financial services company, and a few employees were supporting their driver. It made me realize how much people do not care. I mean, as long as nothing happens to them, as long as no damage is done to them, they just wanted to wrap this up, and get on their bus and go home to watch goddamn Pretty Little Liars or Breaking Bad. And one cannot expect empathy when apathy has crept into their minds already.

I don't understand this. People in our country, can either help or contribute towards solving an issue, or just mind their own work. Instead of being silent spectators and ruining the issue further. It made me ask myself if I have ever behaved this crazily in any stranger's issue. I haven't, and I definitely had no reasons to put up with a bunch of foolhardy strangers doing that to me.

You know that feeling, when you love something dearly and you see it being damaged right in front of your eyes, and you can do nothing about it? You feel so helpless, that you wish you never put so many emotions, effort and love into it. That's exactly how I felt. Ever since I was a child, I had a habit of holding on to the things and people I love. As tears streamed across my face while examining the collateral damage, it felt just the way when someone I loved tore me apart. It was like a heartbreak, a feeling I detested. What happens when something you adore, treat as the center of your world gets broken? You love it more, don't you? So did I. In my case, I couldn't sleep well the entire night and walked into the balcony umpteen times to ensure no more broken parts are running afloat.

This morning, when I dropped it at the showroom, the concerned guy assured me that he would make it look all new. Ironically, it is still all new.

P.S. Thanks to two awesome people (friends from work) who helped me out. You both deserve donuts.

And about the guys from the bus, I wish I could meet them again. I would love to punch them. Jerks!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

O John Cusack, Where Art Thou?

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, December 22, 2015 0 comments
Source: Sixteen Candles
I was having a conversation with one of my friends at work last week. When I announced that I was bored with my life, he asked me to join Tinder. Although my boredom was nowhere related to the lack of a certain someone in my life, I am quite sure that Tinder is something I would never use even if that was the reason. Call me old fashioned, but I do not believe in finding love on an app.

For instance, here's a boring story. I have a really good friend. Let's call her 'S' and S joined Tinder a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure about this fact, but I was told that it matches you with people according to your interests. My friend too found a match. Let's call him 'A'. And A  turned out to be a creep. Ironically, 'S' and 'A' went to the same school, and 'S' harboured hatred for him throughout the high school. As their schoolmate, I happen to know how utterly ridiculous 'A' was (and still is) and I was quite surprised that their profiles matched. If A is the sort of love S found on Tinder, she'd rather stay single. Sure, this could be an isolated tale, but I could tell you more such stories. I don't want this to turn into a rant. But my opinion is just that you cannot find love on an app.

People who know me well also know that I like to keep my roots closer to the kind of love that prevailed in the 80s. Sure, it hasn't ever happened to me, but a girl can hope, isn't it? Talking about the 80s, I must admit, I am largely influenced by the 80s movies. There is certainly something charming about them. Always a sucker for romantic movies, I have painted an unrealistic form of love in my mind. And why not? We all watch great movies. We all read great books. We all talk about the people who live great lives. But we all refuse to live one.

I don't know about you, but I know that the innocent yet slightly awkward love from Sixteen Candles exists in the real world and that there is no fun in love if the man you fall in love doesn't raise his fist in the air like John does in The Breakfast Club. I know you'll tell me that our lives aren't directed by John Hughes, but is it too much to ask for? Is it too much to ask for a John Cusack standing with a boom box under my balcony?

Maybe it is too much to ask for. Maybe in the world where love has become a matter of convenience, it is slightly selfish to hope we'd find love like that.

But, I would rather be disappointed than look for it on Tinder. Yeah, call me old-fashioned by but that's that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Morning.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 14, 2015 0 comments

This Universe functions strangely. Every time I think I can fly and say hello from up in the sky, it just has to remind me that I am clumsy. It is like the Universe is trying to break my sexy dream where I am a unicorn. The reality is that I trip and fall even on flat roads. Sometimes.

My day began at the RTA office, which was so crowded that I wanted to run away and hide behind a tree. Crowded places are so scary and they get me frustrated for no reason whatsoever, but thank goodness I got my Learner's License soon, as I reached the place even before it opened. On my way to work, I had to go to the bank to run an errand. I strutted into the bank all easy breezy, but the universe had to play a foul game, right? So, I stepped on my foot and almost fell while getting into the elevator. Sure, it was embarrassing, but nothing was more embarrassing than the lift man advising me on how to walk with my eyes wide open and that my high heels were a major reason for mishaps like this. Maybe that wouldn't have been so embarrassing if there weren't five others surrounding me, who tried hard to suppress their chuckle. Mentally, I made a note to watch out while getting into the elevator again, or to simply climb down the four floors to avoid the lift man. So, there! What a terribly awkward start of the week.

I have never spent a lot of time at a bank. Today, I did, and in my head, I always imagined it must be totally cool to work at a bank, always surrounded with currency and groovy security that escorts suspicious hanky-panky people out. Turns out I watched a lot of movies and romanticized everything! Right from my childhood, I have been fed on fantasies that depicted banks as a fairyland. Or maybe as a child, I felt so because banks get tons of holidays. Now that I realize they work on some Saturdays too, my bubble of imagination has collapsed. The fifteen minutes I spent over there seemed ridiculously long; everything was happening in a slow motion and I could vividly hear the water leaking from the AC. I thanked my stars for my awesome job and walked out from it, and this time, watched my steps before getting into the elevator.

P.S. I still think my bank is sweet.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Me and My Odd Plans.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 07, 2015 0 comments

I have always had a habit of deriving inspiration and life lessons from cartoons or things around me. As I grew up, that habit evolved from cartoons to TV series. Even if it is a show like Gossip Girl, I try to learn something from it. Sure experience is the greatest teacher of all times, but sometimes you cannot rely on experiences alone. You need more. Especially for a person like me who is easily distracted even at the slightest changes in life, I need things that remind me of my goals constantly. Yes, constantly, like at least five times a day.

Here's what happened this morning. I learned something from my new car today. Oh, by the way, if my happiness hasn't made it evident enough, I bought a new car and I must confess it is the love of my life. Anyway, I have always believed that changes in your life do not come announced. They come unannounced and they make their presence felt. What I did not realize while getting the car was that I would turn responsible. It does not matter even it is something as mundane as cleaning it, something as tiny as ensuring it is well maintained, which would ensure longevity. My mother has been persistently reminding me on how well I am taking care of it, but that I should not stop doing it. Just the way we stop caring about our goals mid-way. And just the way we take care of the things we own, we have the responsibility to take care of our dreams and our ideas. We cannot let them go astray or let the dust settle on them. Nope, not happening!

After this realization dawned on me, I fished out my notebook and wrote down a few mini goals (because I need to reach my mini-goals to reach the bigger ones) and assigned some timelines to them. The two out of the many goals with the closest timelines are:

1. To be able to drive, if not like a pro, like a rookie by February.
2. To be able to write the set of short stories I have been meaning to write by January mid-week.

This time, I am not fussing over finishing things. But on learning something.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sunday Ramblings.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, December 06, 2015 1 comments

I am having a horrible Sunday. There are so many things that are running through my head as I type this. I wonder if I am the only person who hates weekends. I wonder if I will ever be able to love the sunsets and Thursdays again. I wonder if I will ever be able to buy something and not feel guilty about over-spending. I wonder if I will ever be able to feel not so broken again. I wonder if I ever stop crying over songs that remind me of lost love, forgotten childhood, or memories that haunt me in the night. Things around me are changing. I am changing too. I really want someone to tell me that things, for better or worse, will transform into something amazing. I want to keep moving forward. I want the man I love to write me letters and read out his favourite poem to me. I want him to run his hands into my hair and tell me that things will be normal again. I want to be able to wake up in the midnight and write Haikus like before. I want to read every waking moment of my life. I want to pack my suit-case and visit places and leave something behind as I leave each place. I want to come home with souvenirs from every place. I want to cry when I want to, and not in the loo, trying to hide and mask my vulnerabilities. I want to be able to laugh when I find something really funny.

What I really want right now, on this rather sordid Sunday, is to eat ice-cream, read something amazing, count the stars and fall under the boundless sky full of hope. Tomorrow is going to be better.

I am going to make it better.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

It's Okay to Screw Up.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, December 01, 2015 2 comments

There are days in my life when I set ridiculously high expectations from myself. When that doesn't happen, I tend to whine, think too much, and sulk into the wee hours of the night. When I was in school, I had a filthy habit of punishing myself when I did not meet the expectations. Right from starving to depriving myself of human company, I reckon I've done it all. I know, I know, that was quite a mean thing to do, nevertheless, I succumbed to those measures. Here's a confession, though. One day, I was absolutely upset about securing a second position instead of the first in a science fair, and I punished myself by putting my right arm in the deep freezer. I fell sick, no surprises there. Now that I think about it, I think I was crazy to do so.

As I grew older, I stopped resorting to self-harm. I learned to take pride in doing whatever I was doing, and to not chide myself for the things I was not meant to do. We had an event at work today where I goofed up a lot of times. I was nervous. I stammered. And to my horror, at the end of the talk, I announced 'THAT'S IT' like a fool. I was slightly..actually, scratch that..largely disappointed with the way I handled things. In fact, I whined about it constantly, without taking a pause. I kept questioning myself on what went wrong, and why I spoke like an imbecile by forgetting things that were easy to remember.

But, what the hell? I don't think it mattered. And I don't think people remembered it at the end of the day. The event went well and people had bigger issues on hand than worry about my goof-up. No one came up to me and announced that I closed my eyes while talking, nor did they say I kept fidgeting. Sure, my friends made fun of me, but even that didn't matter because they make fun of me every day.

So, here's the moral of the day: Nothing good comes out of whining (the current me) or self-harm (the old me). No one keeps a count of your mistakes. We all set ridiculously high standards about the things we do. That is alright! Honestly, it is perfectly alright. What matters is how you take things in your stride when you don't meet those expectations. If you're an over-thinker, over-analyzer, over-sulker like me, just chill. Everything gets better in the end.

P.S. Have you ever noticed how you have bad hair and a pimple on your face only on important days?

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