The Equinox Girl

Day #15 of Blogtember.

Monday, September 23: A “life lately” post. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, how you’re doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!

Today’s prompt has come at the right time. Because…

23 September also happens to be the Autumnal Equinox. Well, it falls on either 22, 23 or 24 of September. I’m considering the mean! Which means the length of day and night is nearly equal. Perfect balance! When I studied about it for the first time in grade 4 (I think), I was thrilled! It was exciting to see my birthday printed in my textbook.

And I always do a “life lately” on my birthday. I don’t normally post  personal stuff, so this is going to be a change from the routine. (Reminder to self: Blogging was also about breaking self-made boundaries).

upto

+ Learning “certain” things. It’s opening up a lot of possibilities. Okay, I know that doesn’t reveal anything. Old habits die hard!

+ Studying (Duh!).

+ Building this blog and trying to make it reflect a small part of me. I think I’m halfway there. 🙂

+ Trying to reinforce balance in whatever I do. I’ve wasted a considerable time when the balance was tilted. It made me unhappy, dissatisfied, and I won’t let it happen again.

feeling

+ Restless, as if waiting for something to happen. And I’ve got a feeling, that whatever it is, it’s going to be great!

+ Nervous, about the future. What if it doesn’t turn out to be what I’ve imagined it to be? What if it does?

+ Charged up. Because whatever is coming my way, I’m determined to make it work for me.

+ Courageous. It’s a time of changes and new developments for me, and this time, I’m ready to welcome them, smiling.

try

+ In whatever I do, I try to focus on what is right for me, and not what others think is right for me.

+ I try to be in sync with myself. You can’t believe what a huge difference it makes.

I’m looking forward to the future. 🙂

How do you normally spend your birthdays? Do you evaluate your lives periodically?

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Being Comfortable In Silence

Blogtember Day #14

Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort. 

I’m not very talkative. (A lot of people who know me will probably say that’s an understatement). But you know what? That’s not such a bad thing.

People often consider silence to be a bit rude. If I’m sitting around an acquaintance, a lot of times I’m compelled to indulge in small talk, for the fear that the person may consider it to be impolite otherwise. But what is common courtesy in front of people we barely know shouldn’t be a necessity with people we do know, right? Sure, it’s important to communicate in any relationship. But that doesn’t mean we constantly have to talk.

I see people get uncomfortable around me sometimes. When I’m being “too silent”, they assume I’m upset/angry/unhappy. Then, they consider it to be their duty to fill the silence. Nice sentiments, and thank you for the concern, but really, I’m fine. 🙂

Silence is okay. In fact, I kind of like it.

It’s easy to keep talking to fill the void, but that’s not called communication. Often, it’s just noise. And who says it’s always necessary to talk to communicate?

If I’m really comfortable being around someone, then I like their words as well as their silences. And if two people are comfortable sitting around, not talking, just doing their own thing, then I think, that’s as intimate as it gets. Isn’t that the best relationship? Enjoying each other’s company even when you don’t say anything.

Comfortable silence. ❤

I don’t mean we should stop talking. Small talk often leads to deeper conversations, I’ve observed. We do need beginnings. And endless, mindless chats with friends are indeed treasured memories. But talking just for the sake of it doesn’t make sense to me. There isn’t any need to be afraid of silence. It is supposed to be golden, isn’t it? That phrase wasn’t just meant for teachers to use it in noisy classrooms! It actually holds value.

Silence is not as frightening as you think. 

Mommy Trap

Blogtember Day #13

Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.” The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. But my older sister was organising it and I had no excuse to miss it.

Shalini was 34, married and had a 5 year old son. The guests invited to the party were mostly her friends. They were all mothers with kids ranging from 4 to 7 years of  age. Needless to say, as a snarky seventeen-year-old, I wasn’t too thrilled at having noisy kids all over me, calling me auntie.

But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the Competition. Oh, it wasn’t called that, of course. It was called “Encouraging the kids to speak in public.” Which translated into “My kid recites poetry better than yours does!”

And thus, the torture began. For forty-five excruciating minutes, I was subjected to repeated recitations of “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, “Twinkle twinkle” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Some kids were multi-taskers and could sing and dance at the same time. Action song, the enthusiastic moms called it.

The kids were enthusiastic too. They had no qualms in being asked to recite something that their previous competitor had just recited. Or maybe they were convinced that they could do it better. Oh, the winning spirit!

That night, I made myself a promise. I would never, ever make an exhibition of my kid like that, whenever I had one. I would always remember the plight of poor guests. More importantly, I would never try to show that my child was better than the others. My child would never be a rat-race contender.

*

12 years later.

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. I was organising it for the PTA members of the kindergarten school that my four-year-old daughter, Aisha went to. All the mothers were coming along with their kids of course. The dreaded Competition had come back to haunt me!

The starters were served and all the moms and kids sat in the living room. The room had the buzz of last-minute preparations before the beginning of a play.

The room began to quieten slowly. The stage was set. With a deep breath I braced myself.

competition

And said, “Aisha! Come and recite the “Baa Baa Black Sheep” poetry that you learnt in school!”, and to the audience, proudly, “She does it so great with actions!”

Love Notes

Blogtember Day #10.

Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn’t necessarily need to be romantic.)

Ah, no. This prompt completely beats me. Sure, I have a lot of loved ones, but they already know it. I really don’t want to write a tear-jerking letter to my mom/grandma/daddy. Plus, Romance with a capital R, the grand Romance, isn’t really my thing. So no mush either. Instead, I’m going to interpret the prompt slightly differently and talk about a famous love letter.

I don’t read romances as a general rule. Especially new-age romance. I did, however, try. I recently read the extremely famous Love Story by Erich Segal. I’ve read The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks before. I don’t want to sound judgemental so let’s just say I prefer other genres.

However, if there’s one particular author whom I like as far as Romance goes, it’s Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is, of course, the ultimate romance (it is more than just romance of course; it’s a beautiful satire on eighteenth century hypocrisies and drama). Although, I don’t swoon over Mr. Darcy(nor any other men in her novels) as women apparently do, his  interactions with Elizabeth draw me to the book.

Pride and Prejudice is a highly entertaining novel, no doubt. Its fame, sometimes, overshadows her other books. Persuasion is one such book. It happens to be my favourite after Pride and Prejudice. Because, for once, the romance happens at a mature age (Anne is twenty-eight, an old maid by the standards of eighteenth century).

Coming back to today’s theme: Love letters. This is what Wentworth wrote to Anne.

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in

F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.

Appreciation towards romance doesn’t come easily to me, and to be honest, the letter feels melodramatic. Perhaps that’s because I was born three centuries later. I can definitely see why it is considered to be the perfect love letter by many. This is my favourite part:

Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.

“Unjust, weak, resentful”! How honest is that! And how realistic considering their situation. He doesn’t claim to be super-human.

I’m fond of writing letters and notes to people. Even if it’s something as silly as “Please don’t lock the room, I forgot my keys.” Ask my roommate. I prefer it to be hand-written than SMSed. (Of course sometimes I have to be practical.) Also, I write letters for birthdays instead of giving Greeting cards. I’m sure people like the personal touch.

Photo via Pinterest

The point, you ask? The point is, love letters go a long way to maintain love and romance, and any relationship for that matter. Please note, I say “maintain” not “begin”. I’m sure romance can’t begin on merely a perfectly crafted letter. But writing little notes to each can strengthen bonds, even if it feels like a silly thing to do sometimes.

Written word will always remain powerful. And in some cases, maybe even more powerful than spoken word.

Or maybe I’m being too girlish for once… 🙂

The Blog Story: Why Do I Write?

Day #8 of Blogtember.

Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.

In third standard, I became fascinated by diary writing. There was something charming about keeping a secret diary and locking it in a special drawer. I tried keeping a regular diary. But I couldn’t. I had a great friend with whom I could share everything. I didn’t need a diary to vent out my feelings. When this friend left and I became alone, I could write freely. For two years, my diary was filled with long pages of typical teenage emotions, problems and experiences. Then again, I made a friend and my diary now sees less of me. But this time I didn’t completely stop writing. By now I had begun writing other things apart from my diary. And this writing made me happy.

Studies and entrance exams kept me busy for two years. And then, I just couldn’t get back to writing. I used to stare at my notebook hoping the words would come. They didn’t. Blogging began as an attempt to get back to writing. The earlier posts required a lot of efforts but it has become easier now. Especially these days, with Blogtember. 🙂

writersnest

Discovering new blogs has been one of the best part of blogging. I’ve met some awesome bloggers; some of them are so unlike me that I would probably have never found people like them if it weren’t for blogging. So yes, blogging has helped me find people and ideas that are very different from me.

I love that somebody in some far off place takes the time to read what I’ve written, and that it resonates with them. It tells me that humans are pretty much the same all over the world, and what I write is bound to touch somebody. Blogging has given me a platform to be myself and find others like me.

I’ve written stories that I always wanted to write.

I’ve started enjoying writing poetry, something that I never attempted before.

I’ve written things that I strongly feel about.

And there seems to be an audience for everything!

I’ve never been fond of other forms of social media; I’ve never enjoyed sharing anything on social networking sites. Blogs have been the only form of social media where I’ve actually “connected” with people. They are like letters. And letters are always much more personal and touching.

It has been more than six months of blogging. And it has been a thoroughly enjoyable journey! 🙂

Five Words

Day #6 of Blogtember.

Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

Though it is extremely difficult to define life in a few moments, this one particular moment definitely marked the start of something new, big and important.

School was over. The entrance exams were done too. Results were declared and I was accepted to the university of my choice.

This is what my mother said when she came to leave me in the hostel.

dream

I’m not going to claim that these words changed everything, or that a light bulb suddenly flicked on over my head. I did not have a sudden vision of clarity over what exactly my dreams were, or how to go about fulfilling them. I made mistakes, of course. I had various cringe-worthy moments (still have them). There were various missed opportunities. But still…

Go and realise your dreams.

These five words were the beginning. I found out what I could and couldn’t do. I found new interests, new ideas, and yes, new dreams too. I found out how important it was to enjoy the journey instead of just waiting for the end result. Life at the university has given me a lot.

I love it here.

The words may not have had a literal impact when they were spoken. But they hold special symbolic meaning for me. They did not bring about a “distinct turn in my life”. But they were the opening to the new pathway(s).

Putting on the Sorting Hat

Day #5 of Blogtember.

Monday, September 9: Take this short personality test and respond to your results.

This definitely felt like Sorting. Imagine, spectacled, bird-like me, sitting on the chair while the Hat evaluated my merits, qualities, abilities, and of course, limitations. And I was sorted into…

harry_potter_and_the_sorting_hat.jpg (800×518)

INTJ house! *Round of applause from the house table*

The Humanmetrics Jung Typology test says that I am:

Introvert(67%)  iNtuitive(12%)  Thinking(1%)  Judging(33%)

    1. You have distinctive preference of Introversion over Extraversion (67%)
    2. You have slight preference of Intuition over Sensing (12%)
    3. You have marginal or no preference of Thinking over Feeling (1%)
    4. You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (33%)

So, I happen to be pretty balanced as far as Thinking and Feeling is concerned, and to quite an extent, Intuition and Sensing too. I knew it!

Quoting from the INTJ profile:

When it comes to their own areas of expertise — and INTJs can have several — they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don’t know.

Several areas of expertise… I rather like the sound of that! A great deal of self-knowledge too! Not to brag or anything, but I consider that to be really respectable. 🙂

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type.

Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia).

Cool! Akshita, the intellectual, incisive engineer!

Apparently, we INTJs are at a disadvantage as far as romantic relationships go. The website says that we are capable of caring deeply for a few select others (true that!), and are willing to invest a great deal of time and effort on a relationship. But because being Sensing over Feeling, instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the we expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

Well, maybe the balance of S and F that I seem to have will take care of that! Oh, I see that my Intuitive side is taking care of it.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to “work at” a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

You know, I’ve got to say, I’m pretty flattered by the description! Many of these qualities are admirable to me. And to be told that I actually possess these traits is pretty awesome. Maybe this is the reason:

sorting hat

And guess, who else was INTJ?

Stephan Hawking (feeling honoured)

Marie Curie (can you believe it!)

Jane Austen (Ooh!) and….Mr. Darcy! These guys have a way of figuring out the responses of a fictional character too! Just shows the brilliant character development of Jane Austen!

Have you taken this test? What’s your personality type?