Finding Myself

It has been a while since I sat down to write. This is because I have genuinely had little time to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea, let alone read, write or hula hoop! (Yes hula hooping is super important to me).

I have had to juggle a lot over the past 5 to 6 weeks – managing the work load, midwife shifts and on-calls of my Obstetrics and Gynaecology rotation; choreographing for the Kings of Gaana (KoG) dance competition; finding time to choreograph and practice for my first ever dance video shoot in collaboration with another dancer; choreographing and coordinating dance rehearsals for 2 dances for a wedding show (which got cancelled a day before due to unforeseen circumstances – regardless, a lot of time, effort and concentration went into putting those pieces together so I still count it as something).

Long story short, I pushed myself to the limits: mentally, physically and emotionally. Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself. Looking back it was all worth it because I have grown.

There is a really nice quote which says, ‘Push yourself to the edge of your limits. That’s how they expand.’ This defines me very nicely. I do not like settling for a simple life. I like pushing myself to my limits. Just when I think I have done the most I can do, there is more I want to achieve and have the energy to do. I am going to be truthful though, the past 6 weeks have drained me and I will probably need a week or two to unwind and re-energise but that is fine, normal and I do not feel guilty about it.

I wanted to use this time to get back on track with my reading, writing and hula hooping, so that’s exactly what I am doing. I am currently sat on my bed, in my mismatching pyjamas with a nice warm cup of tea writing what you are reading. Life is bliss.

Now that I have summarised my life over the past 5-6 weeks, it is time to bring my mind back on track as to what got me to write again today. Well since KoG came to an end, I have had a lot of time to think about what made me fall in love with dance. I have had a lot of time to think about why I love performing. Honestly, I have not always been so in love with performing. I used to be so lazy and Tamil politics at dance class made me fed up of performing. Things, however, started to change halfway through university and it was because of Bhangra.

‘Oh here she goes again…this girl has nothing better to talk about than Bhangra!?’ Trust me I know this is exactly what you are thinking now. My family and friends think the same as well – they do not have to say it, I can just gage.

For the outside world, Bhangra is something I have done for 3 years – all fun and games, what is so emotionally engaging about that?

Well, let me set things straight, Bhangra is something which I started 5 years ago. Long story short, I got onto the Bhangra team in my first year of university but fractured my foot which meant I could not dance on the team. This fracture however stopped me from dancing at all for a whole year. I became very anxious about restarting dance because of the fear that I may injure myself again. In my 3rd year of university I decided to audition for the Bhangra team again. The reasons I have never properly discussed with anyone. Well here goes…

I was in an emotionally dark place in 3rd year. I felt useless and I felt like I was not achieving much in life. Studying medicine at university was clearly not enough for me (you may call me greedy – but I would like to call myself constantly hungry for opportunities). I needed more. I wanted to be defined for more of my hard work and achievements. I wanted a build a name for myself. I was so conflicted emotionally, during which I made the sudden decision of auditioning for the Bhangra team again. I did not tell anyone at the time I auditioned, not my family nor my friends. I made this decision for myself and acted upon it. I literally walked into those auditions in my placement trousers and top (shows how clearly I had planned this out!). At the point I auditioned, I had not done Bhangra since I fractured my foot, which had been 2 years at the time. Somehow my rusty Bhangra moves got me onto the team and ever since I have not looked back.

It’s a very simple message that I am trying to convey here guys. I am emotionally attached to Bhangra. Every time I hear Punjabi music, my heart warms up. Whenever I am at a Tamil party, and the DJ plays that one-off Punjabi tune I feel like my true self comes out. Why? It is not because I am an undercover Punjabi (although many think I am). It is because Bhangra made me fall in love with dance again, and made me fall in love with myself once and for all. Bhangra helped me get out the emotionally dark place I was in and gave me the confidence to pursue whatever I dreamed off. I learned to stand on my own two feet and most importantly I discovered my ability to push my limits in all realms of life.

Thanks to Bhangra, I have learned to not settle. I want to build a name for myself which is defined by my hard work and drive to go further in life.

Daily Musings

Social media has helped me a lot with my professional dance career. I do not of course depend on it, but it has for sure given me a portal through which I can interact with fellow lovers of dance which I never had before. 

I use my social media now not just to post about my dance work, but to also to use it as a way to convey my thoughts about general life, in the form of inspirational, motivational, thought-provoking quotes. Everything I post has a reason but I never share it so here goes with some of my favourites. 

‘Are you really happy or just really comfortable?’

This is the deepest question one can ask themselves. Do not settle for a life that looks good on the outside. Do not settle for a life where a roof over your head, financial security and everything materialistic are set out for you. Work for it. When you work for it and can say to yourself, ‘This is something I have built’, that is when you will feel truly happy and accomplished. Until then keep hustling. 

‘Success does not come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently.’

Especially in the scene of performance arts I’ve come across many who pursue something for a short while and call that success. For me, success is a journey and there is no end point. You need to practice something consistently to really unleash your potential in it!

‘You can speak spiritual eloquence, pray in public, and maintain a holy appearance…but it is your behaviour that will reveal your true character.’

I call such people hypocrites. I say this very confidently because I used to be one myself. Until 2 years ago I realised I need to own up to what I really feel and act on it. It is no good saying that ‘I am this…I believe in this…’ when your actions say the complete opposite.

There are several people who just act in a way to seek public approval. With social media, the number of likes and followers seems to be used to quantify whether you are being approved by society or not.

How many of them will, including myself, actually practice what they preach?

‘Generally people like to bring up your past, when your present and future appears to be better than theirs.’

I dislike people who bring up another’s past. But now, the more they do it, the more I am like ‘Is that the only thing you have against them?’

Some people are so stuck in their bubble they refuse to accept another’s success in any way, shape or form. Therefore to bring another down they use their past.

Just think. If I did that to you? How would you feel? How ‘clean’ is your past? I can guarantee that those who act in such a way do not have the best of pasts. So if you believe you have changed, then give others the benefit of the doubt that they have changed as well. It’s that simple.

‘A private life is a happy life.’

Over the past few years I have become more and more aware of people who use social media to post about there private drama and unhappiness.

Question 1: Is posting on social media going to resolve that problem? Will it give happiness?

Question 2: Are you the only one in the world who is going through problems?

Question 3: What is the purpose of you posting your personal problems on social media? If you feel like that is giving your control over the situation, look at yourself and your attitude towards life.

Question 4: Do you actually think people care when each and everyone one of us is going through our own problems? I mean some may acknowledge by liking your post, but what does a ‘like’ mean? If a ‘like’ is the validation you need, then go ahead and keep posting. But I am secretly feeling sorry for you for reasons other than for the ones you wanted me to feel sorry for.

‘A lot of people want to make the institution of marriage a substitute for a real relationship.’

Marriage is not something which should not be a result of convenience.

Do not enter marriage because the current situation you are in warrants a marriage, so it is considered socially and culturally acceptable.

A marriage is a process which should occur at the right time, with the blessings of the right people, for the right reason which is nothing but true love!

Final thoughts:

Each of these thoughts are ones which I started to think more about based on the events which were taking place around me. I am not perfect, but I’m working on myself to think bigger and wiser so I can constantly reflect and grow myself. That is what life is about. Have a reason for every action and make sure you do not hurt anyone!

Dear Best Friend…

I am writing directly to you and no one else.

One piece solely dedicated to you is not enough to show how much I value you and your presence in my life.

I met you for the first time 3 and half years ago. Never did I think then, that today I would be writing to you and be grateful of your existence to the extent that I am.

I wanted to take this opportunity to Thank You. I do not know where to begin, but here goes…

1) I want to thank you for being the person and performer you are, and making me fan-girl over you since the day I first saw you on stage 11 years ago.

2) I want to thank you for being the vibrant sole you were when we first met in November 2013, and making that 20 year old girl, crush over you even more.

3) I want to thank you for creeping into my life and talking to me at times when I least needed the attention from another boy.

4) I want to thank the boys and girls of both my and your pasts respectively, for teaching us what we really need in a relationship – to be loved unconditionally and un-materialistically.

5) I want to thank you for being there for me and bringing out the confidence I never knew I had.

6) I want to thank you for unlocking my own academic and artistic potential.

7) I want to thank you for making me value my ability to write the way I do, and making me fall in love with writing endlessly.

8) I want to thank you for helping me hone skills which I never thought I would be able to do.

9) I want to thank you for tending to all sides and versions of me with care, and love which I never thought I was worthy of getting.

10) I want to thank you for being you.

Of course I have more to be thankful for especially with regards to everything you have intentionally and unintentionally done for me. Whatever our future holds does not phase me, because right now I am so thankful for you and the life you have made me discover. So thank you!

The Relationship Mindset

Is there a right way to approaching a relationship? Yes. It is actually not that complicated. Be honest and open about yourself and your emotions, and remember to voice it.

In this contemporary world we are living in, we have come to paint relationships as being complicated and difficult. So many heart breaks, heart aches, and break-ups. Why have relationships become so difficult? Well below is what I think.

Self-love

This is where many people go wrong. People look for external sources to validate themselves when what they actually need is the confidence to love themselves for who they are. They need to feel complete and one with themselves before they seek for a relationship to provide the answers to those unanswered questions about themselves.

Love yourself before you even try to love others.

Who is to pay?

Okay so the time has come to meet someone whom you have been talking to. That first date. You’ve had a lovely meal together, or done some fun outdoor activity and then it comes to the part of paying. Somehow men and women alike have been ‘trained’ to think in one way and one way only – the man should pay.

This clearly comes from ancient social norms and there is no harm in sticking to it at all. However, the problem arises when the guy asks the girl if she could pay or at least go halves. And boom.

All of a sudden that man is not worthy of being in a relationship with. He is seen as impolite and disrespectful. He is seen as useless and the girl goes around telling her friends how embarrassing the whole situation was.

We live in a society where women have fought so much for women’s rights, to prove that women are just as capable as men in any industry; and the way we show such women respect is by throwing a tantrum over the fact that the guy asked her to pay as well.

I am not saying that guys should never pay. All I am saying is that he should not be given a hard time if he does not on that first date. And vice versa for women. Let’s stop expecting too much from each other and just be open and honest about what we can and cannot do. This leads nicely onto my next topic of discussion.

Expectations

As humans trying to succeed in relationships, this is our biggest drawback. We expect too much and give too little.

What I mean to say is that we expect our other half to provide us with everything and we give very little back. The most successful of relationships are those where there is an equal balance of giving and receiving.

Let’s not expect a relationship to be defined by the material gifts. Instead expect that relationship to provide you with the love and support that you deserve.

Mind-reading

I do not want to gender stereotype but I cannot avoid pointing out that women have this issue a lot more than men.

We just sit their with overwhelming emotions and we expect our other half to mind-read everything we are thinking and consult to our emotions as if they are God. If they are unable to mind-read then they are considered a boyfriend/husband not good enough. Nope. Sadly this is not the case.

Unfortunately, neither men nor women can mind-read. This is why communication becomes that much more important. Talk to each other and be truthful about your emotions.

Team work

A relationship requires the commitment and work of both individuals. No one is born made for each other; you have to work towards it. No one relationship starts off being perfect; you work towards making it perfect.

Respect

In a relationship, the two individuals of that relationship are equal to each other. No one person is greater than the other.

The first element of this is trust. I would expect my other half to respect me and what I tell him – the truths about me, my family and my past are things which I will not share to anyone. If, at any point, they share that information with anyone else for whatever reason (boost their own ego, during a relationship or post-break up), I will automatically lose respect for them. All I can say is do not be that person.

Secondly, I am not a massive fan of swearing at all. I find it especially disturbing when I see people purposefully swearing at each other just to prove a point – which to this date I do not get. This is even more so the case in relationships. Swearing is a form of verbal abuse, in my opinion. You might start swearing at each other for fun at the start, but this then becomes more serious when your arguments become serious. Just avoid it altogether and revere each other they way you both deserve to be revered.

Looking back

Regardless of how hard you have worked to ensure that relationship works, it may not.

At this time, there is no point shifting blame, because I can guarantee that both people of the relationship were responsible for the end result. There is no point wasting your time thinking about what the other did or did not do. Instead look at yourself and own up to your strengths and weaknesses in that relationship.

How hard did you actually work to make the relationship work? What mistakes did you make?

These are important because you actually start looking at and also start working towards improving yourself.

To conclude…

Remember that every relationship is different. People create expectations based what they see around them. That is what drives everything. Do not be that person. Tap into yourself and find out what you really want, and not what others expect you to want.

I am not the type of girl to stay fixated on the how many dates we have been on, how much he as spent on me, how much I have spent on him – I mean a relationship is not a bank statement and nor it a loans company. You give and take because you want to and not because you have to.

All which we should need and want is honesty, equality and someone whom we can grow with.