An Unimposing Introvert

Have you also discovered that being soft spoken has more drawbacks than benefits?

The absence of a loud confident voice, and irregular participation in conversations makes for being labelled (no matter how incorrectly) —a person with little strength of character.

I have always been a quiet person, one who has several things to share, but is too shy to do so. It takes a while for me to open up around people I don’t know well. Like most introverts, I am preoccupied with my own thoughts and seldom feel left out even if I am not asked for my opinion. I am observant and highly imaginative, content in my own world.

But a few months ago, some of my classmates were planning a picnic.

“So it’s set then, the whole class will go on the twenty fifth.” said an extroverted young woman. “Everyone has agreed to pitch in a fifty dollars.”

Alerted, I joined the conversation, “I haven’t agreed. My team has a presentation on the twenty-fifth.”

The lady looked at me as though she didn’t even know I existed. And we’ve been seeing each other every day for three years now.

Well at least I had seen her.

“What?” she said looking flabbergasted. “Oh. I just assumed you would agree, you know, you never really say much anyway.”

I was stumped for words. Was I such an unimportant person that my views didn’t matter? I believed I was as much a part of my class as my other classmates.

I shook my head. “The 25th does not wor635631062252597205103151809_introvert-mindk for me.” I said.

“Fine, we can change the date. I’ll check with the others, is the twenty sixth okay?” she asked checking her notepad.

“Yes. That would be great, thanks.” I said smiling.

“Cool.” she said smiling. “I’ll let you know.”

I sighed with relief, thinking to myself…”Well that wasn’t so hard.”

I have to prove that I am worth my salt before people take me seriously. I realized then, that being comfortable in one’s own skin is not enough. You have to be able to assert that comfort in your public behaviour, in order to garner interest towards yourself.

Don’t get me wrong—-I love solitude and enjoy having time to myself…but it is often viewed as being antisocial. How can I explain to people that I would rather enjoy the peace and quiet of my room than the din at the party upstairs? Socializing is rather difficult when you don’t know how.

 

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Have you ever paid the price for being extra polite?

Let’s take a scenario: (this actually happened to a friend of mine, before we met)

“So the four of us can go shopping for the party, and the three of you can decide on the party games. Only one thing left, we don’t have anyone to take out the trash and tidy up afterwords.” says a bossy person, who has no qualms about fairness or sounding impolite. This person looks at the introvert in the group who is usually obliging and says “Oh you can do that much can’t you? Considering we’re all doing everything else.”

News flash : The job assigned to the referred person sucks. They don’t get to be where all the action is and they get to work on something that few people will acknowledge. People get pushed around a lot if their personality’s are not intimidating enough.

Let us change that. We do not want to be ignored just because we are good listeners, or be sidestepped for being too polite. We don’t want to viewed as a pushover, because we feel it easier not to engage in verbal sparring. So how do we do this?

It sounds simple: Speak up when necessary. Speak clearly, gesture confidently, talk about what is important to you.

Your chest will tighten when all eyes fall on you, but when you speak your mind, you’ll feel it swell with pride. Once you’ve put your point across during a discussion, and are satisfied with your contribution, you are free to embrace your quieter, shyer side.

But this little participation will help shrug off the image of you not having an opinion. It is very important that introverts don’t move away from society and hide within their shells. They are the most astute observers in the world and their insights are valuable to everyone. So let’s give each other a fair chance, and let us not judge others quite so easily.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with my post 🙂

Have a great day!

 

PCOS and Me

Hi everyone reading this!

Chances are, if you have clicked on this, you already know what PCOS is. If you don’t thats okay too, I’ll tell you what it’s about.

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and it affects millions of girls and women worldwide. As the name suggests, it is the condition of several cysts developing in the ovaries. This creates fertility problems and is often the cause of irregular periods.

To regulate periods birth control pills may be prescribed by the doctor and if you are over weight, you may be asked to work towards a healthier Basal Metabolic Index(BMI)

“Oh great! It seems pretty simple to deal with PCOS!” you might think happily. But truly it’s not as easy as it seems.

Infertility is only one of PCOS’s effects. Hirsutism, acne, difficulty losing weight and hormone imbalance may also simultaneously occur.

Among the many side effects of PCOS, is a lower metabolism rate, which makes it harder to lose weight. You can improve your diet by reducing calories and work out a few days a week, but it will usually be a slower process in comparison with people without PCOS.

Excess hair growth on the face and body is an accompaniment with PCOS due to increase in the body’s testosterone levels. I used to feel very insecure about myself because of this, but as I grew older I realized that people who care about you, don’t mind if you’ve got a little excess keratin.

I’ve had PCOS almost my whole life, and the most uncomfortable bit for me was the acne it caused. There were pimple like eruptions on the face, back and arms. I got a lot of stares and unwarranted advice, but honestly there was little that I could do. Creams and lotions only affect the outside. The root cause, PCOS, has to be addressed first. After starting treatment the acne has got much better, although it hasn’t disappeared completely.

I was asked to stay away from fizzy drinks, fast food, sweets, ice cream and fried foods. Instead it was recommended that I eat two cucumbers before every meal so I’d eat less carbs. I was quite a devastated fourteen year old girl when I heard this. I realized I had no choice but to comply if I wanted to help my situation. If forgoing a piece of chocolate cake meant I’d see an improvement, I’d definitely do what it takes.

I started playing a lot of badminton, hoping the running around will help. My parents also bought me a bicycle—I’d never learned how to ride as a child—-and I spent the summer learning how to cycle—both figuratively and literally. 🙂

My condition improved slowly when I exercised regularly, but as soon as I stopped I would quickly gain weight. Increased hunger is one of PCOS’s effects as well. That coupled with a really slow metabolism rate, puts you pretty much at the mercy of your own self control.

I once gained 7 kg in a week, because I ate unrestricted at a wedding party and didn’t exercise as much.

PCOS means having to say no to a lot of things. You need to be choosy about what you eat and squeeze time out of your schedules for some rigorous exercise. But when you do all these things—believe me you’ll feel much better. A fruit salad may not be what a hot brownie with ice cream is, but its naturally delicious and low on calories—meaning you can have more than one helping without feeling guilty.

Image issues will always be there, stubborn hair on your face that regrows almost as soon as you pluck them off or the fat on your tummy that simply won’t go away. The best way to feel good is to accept when there’s nothing more you can do. Your true friends and family probably don’t notice at all.

Having PCOS isn’t the end of the world. It is in fact a reminder to live your life to the fullest—eat healthy, exercise, feel good about yourself and go fulfill your dreams.

There’s air in your lungs and a beating heart that pounds beneath your chest. There’s blood in your veins and a smile on your face.

PCOS has got absolutely nothing on you.

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Cheers to that!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

P.S. Have you suffered from PCOS or know anyone who has? Do share your story in the comments below or drop a message. It’s feels great to know you’re not alone.

~

My first poem on this blog

Break ups are never easy, but never compromise on your integrity by staying where you are disrespected. Here’s a poem with a similar story:

 

Take Two

Heartfelt and joyously misled,

We met again at the wedding.

You frowned, I scowled,

It was a moment we’d both been dreading.

 

How was I to know that,

You were the best man?

Out of all the friends she had,

That she’d be his woman?

 

You were hardly any different,

Except that you smirked a lot more.

It infuriated me to no end,

I forget how often you made me slam the door.

 

After months of angst and pain,

You had the audacity to show your face again.

How could have you expected

A reaction other than that of disdain?

 

Words were too less,

To let you know what I thought of you.

If it weren’t for the new dress,

Broken chairs and flying china would speak too.

 

To top it all you brought a new girlfriend.

Are you insane?

After all that you put me through, I was finally on the mend,

And you returned to ruin it all again.

 

If it weren’t for the bride and groom’s,

Insistence of your annoying presence,

I’d have kicked you out long ago.

Now, I had no choice but to feign tolerance.

 

You were lucky I was barefoot,

When you cornered me for a talk.

I stuffed my ears with cotton wool.

Stalking off as you tried to call me back.

 

It helped that you apologized profusely,

So the ear buds came off.

You looked so sincere,

My heart started to melt once more.

 

Till of course, she came.

I spun and left choosing to be oblivious,

You yelled after me exasperatedly,

‘I only got her to make you jealous.’

 

Stopping on my tracks,

I turned around slowly.

The girl was nodding and you frankly deserved a smack.

I didn’t know why my tears fell steadily.

 

You had me in your arms in no time,

It was as though you had never gone.

You proposed then and there and asked to be mine,

Smirking, I shook my head.

 

‘It’s not that easy.’ I said.

‘Also, you are too late.’

You looked as though your heart had bled.

‘Glad you said sorry, but I’m not falling for you again.’

 

‘You are too immature, to ask for my trust.

You toyed with my emotions far too much.’

Laughter and tears perfect on occasions deemed fit,

Life was beautiful as long as no one else dictated it.

~ J. Bhattacharya

 

Hi everyone,

I have never published my poems on this blog before, so I thought of doing it today. Take Two is one of my personal favourites 🙂

thanks for reading,

hope you have a great week.

Forget :)

The ability to retain information in our minds for long periods of time is both a boon and a curse. Sometimes a memory from the past can come back and ruin our present.

A bullying  incident in the third grade before you changed schools, a bitter fight with your close friend before the year end, the time you were too mean, how you felt when someone hurt you too much…

 

But whats done is done, whats gone is gone. You’ve been through the hurt, tears and suffering more than once already when the memory was created…there is no longer any need to prolong it.

A friend of mine, lets call her Anne, loved her boyfriend very much, but after a bitter breakup, she kept blaming herself, dwelling on the relationship she could not save. He refused to patch things up and quickly moved on with another girl. But my friend could not. She became depressed and cried every time she heard his name or something related to him.

It was only when she saw how happy he was on a social networking site, that she realized how she had been hurting for so long.

After finally accepting that there was nothing she could do to salvage the relationship, she decided to close out that chapter from her life and tried her best to forget. It was difficult, and she had to rely on her close friends and family for support. But eventually, she was able to put the memories behind her. She got rid of pictures, gifts and messages that linked her to him, and started afresh.

“He’s the reason I am strong today.” she said. “I’ll remember the lesson, but I’ll forget the hurt.”

Closing out memories from one’s mind is a difficult thing to do. Our subconscious is always aware of things we push to the back our mind. An inexplicable feeling of discomfort arises, sometimes that of guilt, shame, pain and the desire to start over whenever we see or hear something that reminds us of a painful memory. It is advisable to visit a psychiatrist if trauma from the past continuously haunts us.

It is, vital to be able to forget things that do not matter anymore. We all make mistakes, and sometimes the guilt lingers on. It is important to learn to let go of memories and incidents that are no longer relevant in our life. It keeps us from enjoying our present, tugging at our buoyant spirits on a clear sunny day and making us feel like a soggy newspaper in the rain.

No one in the world has a clean slate, everyone has something they regret, something that had made them experience pain in the past. The past should not be allowed to define us.

We are alive now. My life is happening now.

What happened before is not going on now, so our minds should not reside there.

If a bad habit has been got rid of and a reformed life has been started there is no reason to demotivate ourselves by thinking about the times when we still indulged in it. Don’t miss out on the life you are living now.

Nothing can change the past, but the present and future is in our hands.

So go out and enjoy yourself. Meet new people, change your friend circle if they do not support you, it is often better to have fewer people around you than too many who can hurt you. Do whatever makes you happy and never let your past bring you down.

You are you because of what happened to you. You can be all that you aspire to be. Your dreams, hard work and dedication still remains despite what you have in your conscious.

Here’s a tiny list of things you can do:

  • Think happy thoughts.
  • Be near positive people. Judgemental friends are not friends.
  • Meet a therapist to discuss your issues, if necessary.
  • Pursue your dreams. Believe in yourself.
  • Don’t second guess yourself. You are enough.
  • Exercise and eat healthy. Physical wellness is important too.
  • Go out more. Enjoy a nature walk or go swimming.
  • Pursue a hobby. Try to keep busy.
  • Clear your mind and recall happier memories.

After all life is made up of both happiness and sadness. It is inevitable that we live an unscathed life. But we have the option of dispelling the sadness, by trying to simply forget about it whenever possible.

It hurts, yes. It’s hard, yes. But is it worth the effort?

Anne is getting married to a wonderful man, who loves her as much as she loves him, next week. It’s been a couple of years since her breakup.

It sure is.

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Thanks for reading 🙂

Cheers!

Speak Up

Remember the first time you traveled alone or the first time you stood up for yourself, the first time you rode the bicycle without any help or the first time you cooked a meal on your own? Do you recall the feeling of exhilaration whenever you achieved something?

The Littler Dreams

Pretend that you have all the money and resources in the world, there is nothing holding you back and you have the support from everyone who matters. Now ask yourself this:

If you could fulfill your greatest dream, what would it be?

 

My friend wants to be an actress but is studying law. Another friend has his own band, but is unable to continue because he got a job overseas. My ultimate dreams do not coincide with my life at the moment. I am juggling a job and college. Right now, quitting either is not an option.

I wonder, in twenty years will we all regret not choosing to chase after our dreams?

This weekend, as I sat all alone on Valentine’s day, I realized how unreasonable I was being. It was not only my bigger ambitions that I kept postponing, but even small goals that I would have liked to achieve. For example:

I like listening to the violin, watching Irish step dance, following tennis on television, seeing my favourite Youtuber bake a perfect cheesecake and sometimes feel a pang of regret. I would never know what all this felt like first hand.

So I asked myself a couple of questions:

What is keeping you from doing what you want to do? What are you afraid of?

The answers came sooner than I thought it would. A tiny voice in my head said to me : What if I am not good at it? What if I am a terrible musician, a horrible dancer and a pathetic athlete?

It dawned on me right then, that the only thing holding me back was me.

I certainly wanted to gain a new skill, I was willing to work for it but I didn’t have the most important thing in the world : Self Belief.

No one ever succeeds on their first try. A puppy doesn’t stop trying to walk if it falls down a few times. Failure is unavoidable, but giving up is a choice. end-of-life-dreams-and-visions-479718794

Is the regret later on, really worth giving up on your dreams?

You will only be the age that you are now, once. Are you really going to let fear keep you from achieving all that you want?

“If you enjoy something, you will find a way to do it.” these are the words my grandfather always used to say.

There have been many things that I wanted to do when I was younger, but never had the opportunity. But now I am older, and do have the chance, so why not take it?

I enrolled in a dance class, and started writing a blog. I have applied for an internship for a profile that matches with what I want to do. I asked my friend if she would take me to tennis practice with her next week and she said yes! I’ve tried my hand at baking, and although the cake turned out like an over burnt pancake, it felt pretty good to have done something. I’m trying again tomorrow.

I may not be the best at what I do, and as they say practice makes perfect. So it makes sense to start sooner right?

It may not be wise to follow a big dream without a safety net, so be careful and wary of loopholes. Leaving a secure job at the office, to follow a career in playback singing when you have a family to earn for, may not be a good idea, as success is not guaranteed. But giving up on that dream altogether is not right. This is why fulfilling the smaller goals is important.

Believe me, fulfilling even one dream, no matter how small will give you enough confidence to take on the next one. And eventually, one day when the time is right, you will have the courage to do the one thing you want the most.

I am not saying it is easy, but it is better than feeling unhappy about not taking the chance years later.

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So have you thought of what you want to do? Not just the big dream, but even the little ones? Now is the best time to go ahead and do it.

Cheers!

My Singing Abilities

When I was younger, I enrolled in a professional singing class, thinking I had an untapped talent. I quickly realised, as did all the teachers, that I simply do not know how to sing.

On my very first day, a motherly looking lady who taught us, said to me, “Dear, why don’t you come for an extra class this week, so we can give you some special attention?”

“Oh yes!” I said as I beamed at all the other students, some of whom passed snide comments. I assumed they were jealous of me being singled out because of my talent.

Ah well, as they say, ignorance is bliss. For me, at least for a while, it surely was.

 

A couple of days later, feeling rather proud of myself, I found that I was the only student in the class room on a late Saturday afternoon.

“Now, sing with me…do re me fa sol la ti do…” my teacher said pleasantly.

“DO RE ME FA…” I started enthusiastically, completely unaware of how I sounded. Maybe I was going to be the next Christina, maybe I was going to be a best selling recording artist, maybe I’d win a Grammy…

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“STOP! Please child stop.” interrupted my teacher looking distraught. “Lets do this one again. Try to copy me, come on we can sing together now, do re me…”

“DO RE ME—” I sang, or thought I did.

“Not quite, but much better,” said my poor teacher looking harried. “Lets try again okay?”

“DO RE ME FA SOL—”

“No no!” she exclaimed jumping up with as much agility as though I had thrown cold water on her on a winter morning.

“No?” I asked confusedly.

“Lets try again. Now try to sing exactly as I say.”

She tried to coax out pleasant singing tunes from me but couldn’t. After a good two hours she looked ready to give up.

“One more try,” she said determinedly and I agreed, so as to not hurt her feelings.

I tried to sing with her, but I think bad singing is something that is ingrained in me. I come from a generation of terrible bathroom singers, and I honestly don’t think I have any genes that can help me with my vocal abilities.

“Maybe I should learn something else.” I said when she finally suggested we try another day.

“What? No! You mustn’t give up.” she said shaking her finger vigorously. “If you stop, you will never learn.”

But the next couple of weeks of similar fruitless practise, was enough to convince her that my singing career was a lost cause.

“I’m sorry.” she said looking defeated, but brightened up as she added. “I will recommend you to a better teacher, he is well known abroad and he will certainly help you!”

I shook my head at her words. “No thank you, I think I’ll just move on. Proper singing is just not for me.”

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The only reason I gave up was because my four year old niece voice-taped me singing in the shower last weekend and played it aloud during my sister’s anniversary dinner party. It was quite embarrassing to have a table full of people look at me in a peculiar manner, before bursting into, rather rude I might say, laughter.

“I heard you were taking lessons?” inquired my uncle trying to stifle a laugh.

“I am, but as you just heard, its been futile.” I said glumly.

“Oh don’t be fussed.” said my aunt encouragingly. “You sing much better than your father any day.”

That cheered me up quite a bit. Dad good naturedly agreed to sing for us. I joined him in the chorus, and then everyone sang the second stanza together, before the restaurant manager asked us to shut up as we were disturbing the guests.

In all honesty, singing is not one of my strong points, but who cares anyway? When I am with my close friends and family, I can sing as tunelessly as I want, they won’t mind. I will continue to be a bathroom singer, simply because I like singing in the shower.

But I won’t try to learn how to sing again. I am convinced it is a talent you are born with. Instead, I’m going to do something I am actually capable of, such as learning how to paint, write a blog or play a different sport.

We all have something that we are not good at, and unless you see some progress in it, it is sometimes best to shift focus onto something you can achieve. Don’t give it up completely, though, for you will miss it.

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Thanks for reading 🙂 You make me so happy.