How to face the fears you never even knew you had!

When I was younger my sister had this amazingly intriguing video board game called “Nightmare.” Every now and then I had the honour of being allowed to sit in on one of the game sessions between my siblings and older cousins.

It was a great deal of fun. They’d turn down the lights. Play the tape with this dark and dreary undertaker character leading the game on our fuzzy TV screen, and try spooking one another into thinking he was just about to pop out the screen and into the room.

Typically, I’d get too scared about half way through and run off crying but they usually allowed me to partake in the very first step of the game. Everyone had to write their worst fear on a card and place it in the middle of the board. My teenage siblings would almost always pick from the generic list of feared objects and jot down things like “spider,” “heights,” or maybe throw in a funny one like “your face.” And that would be the end of that.

But I recall this one time I was spectating, and one of my eldest cousins wrote down his fear and quietly put it down. Being the cheeky seven year old I was I pounced to sound out the words and my brother peaked over my shoulder and read it aloud to everyone. It read, “to never lose my way.”

For some reason that statement, my cousins deepest darkest fear, stuck with me into the years of my life in which I could actually fathom what those long difficult to sound out words meant.

At the time, he had recently faced some hardships in his life. I suppose he felt he had “found himself” after overcoming them, but still had the fear of “losing himself” again dangerously looming.

I only recently stumbled upon this dust collecting game in the corner of my parents office closet, opened the box, and low and behold that same scribbled statement was still jotted down on one of the players cards.

I began to wonder about my own fears. Was I afraid of being lost? Or maybe I already was and I just didn’t know it. I have come to realize that you don’t typically notice you’ve veered off your expected life trajectory until it’s much too late. But I think it’s safe to say that’s not the case for me. Sure there’s been some unpleasant bumps, and unexpected turns in the road — but all in all my journey is proving to be rather extraordinary.

I encourage you all to think about your own fears, think about whether you’re where you want to be in life. Because sometimes all it takes is some re-positioning to get to where you wanted to be when you were a young kid with all those tomorrow’s stretched out in front of you.

Yes, I know – I’m a old nostalgic soul who always speaks in an utterly dramatic way that has a way of rudely reminding you of your fragile mortality. But I just have this insatiable quest to help others seize whatever moments they may have and feel the utmost happiness in each and every day before it’s too late.

It’s okay to have fears, it’s okay to reflect, what matters is that you’re not too afraid to admit when you’re lost, and care to re-assess the direction you’re headed.

Thanks for bearing with me during my ups and downs of emotional enlightenment. At times, I feel as though I write out my own woes in the hopes of helping at least one individual sort through their own.

Hope you had a spectacular weekend and as always thanks for stopping by!

– Amrita Literature

Snap out of it!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. For once, and yes I can confidently say this has never happened before –I vanished from social media because I just didn’t have a whole lot to say.

It seemed as though things were piling up against me to the point in which I wasn’t able to see the silver lining – and type about it too.

My book plans didn’t exactly pan out as anticipated, motherhood become overwhelmingly challenging when my toddler suddenly became strong enough to overpower me (both mentally and physically), and my relationship was just in a not so great place for a short while.

All in all, life was just kicking my ass – and I had a tough time pulling myself out of the slump I allowed myself to sink into.

Luckily, the on-goings of my life have always been cyclical – and after a low there’s always a high and I felt a great sense of perspective bringing relief after a family vacation in which I had the chance to really bond with my husband, son, and immediate family.

In my entire twenty-eight years of life I had never traveled with my father – so it’s safe to say I was delighted to be able to spend some quality time with my entire family (including my dad) during a short trip to California last week.

Seeing my niece and son rejoice in the simple joys of staring at the many attractions of Disneyland, and watching my mother and father laugh and bask in the sun along the shore of the charming beach we stumbled upon whilst driving home from a family wedding truly helped me remember what life is all about.

Life isn’t about becoming defeated when receiving your first true blow of rejection, or feeling near hopeless whilst engaging in the same ol’ arguments with your spouse – it’s about learning to soak in the moments which follow or are in between the not so great ones. The times which are there to remind you that even though things may not turn out the way you wish them to –there’s always another avenue through which you may find happiness, and it might not be down the path you previously assumed you’d find it.

I still haven’t given up on my goals of 2016, I do very much so intend to publish my fiction novel, clean up the loose ends of my personal life which are a incessant nuisance, and try my very best to give motherhood my all each and every day. But I have also learned that it is not the end of the world if you do not succeed the first, second, or even third time around while trying to accomplish something. I’ve learned to bask in the sun even if it’s only peaking through the clouds in small glimmers.

I hope anyone whose currently in a rut finds a small moment which provides them with some enlightenment and subsequent happiness. Because after all, life’s more about the journey rather than the destination.

Have a wonderful rest of your week everyone and thanks for sticking by while I took a short break from the world of literature!

-Amrita Literature

Backyard Bullies

Oftentimes, it’s easy to think of bullying as being something which originates from an individual much different from the target. Unfortunately so, there is a common phenomenon currently occurring for bullies to be targeting individuals who are “one of their own.”

These instigators may not be aware that they’re demeaning someone who is absolutely no different than themselves, and just how detrimentally damaging their behaviour may be.

Call it a defence mechanism, ignorance, or a result of a poor upbringing. But whatever it is – it’s causing newly immigrated South Asian children to feel ostracized and inferior to their peers.

Time and time again, the concept of those dubbed as “dippers” or “freshies” is always used as a manner to classify the “acceptable Indians” from the ones who are deemed unworthy of inclusion.

To make matters even worse, these taunts and blatant in school emotional antagonism is nearly always instigated by South Asian second generation immigrant children, toward first generation South Asian children.

It’s no surprise that this tendency is all too frequent in our schools, since the mass media portrays all Indians in such a unfavourable manner. The smell of curry and thick accents are synonymous with dark brown skin and hair. This drives western born offspring to become vehemently defensive of their own identities – causing them to wish to differentiate themselves from this portrayal of Indians.

It’s essential for our youth to understand that a kid may dress or speak a little differently from them as a result of the environment they’ve grown up in, or because they truly did just immigrate to Canada from India. It is crucial to engraving the notion that it is never acceptable to make these vulnerable individuals feel inferior simply because of who appear to be.

Certain aspects which are a part newly immigrated or less acculturated children’s lives, and are only a small part of their social self becomes pitted against them. This crumpled the odds of them having a well structured social life. It also sets the tone of their life trajectory.

It’s time to stop this phenomenon and educate your children about how excruciatingly hurtful such things can be for someone who may already be well aware of the subtle differences in their persona. Perhaps your child isn’t the instigator – but it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure kindness is at the forefront of their offsprings behaviour each and every day in and out of a school setting –regardless of if they think they’re “too good” to be classified with the kids who are actually in fact just like them.

Believe it or not, when you dig beneath the surface, typically we all wish for the same things in life (more or less). Less assimilated individuals are just children (and maybe even some grown-ups) who want the same thing the “more westernized” groups of society desire – acceptance.

Remind your children (and yourselves) that there’s no need to shift the spotlight onto an easier target in order to protect ones own self from being attacked. Rather, enlighten them on the importance of challenging commonly accepted stereotypes and demeaning portrayal of East Indians rather than support them by partaking in the quest to alienate those who don’t fit in with “the majority.”

Being a minority doesn’t have to mean to be on constant guard, it just means we have to be one step ahead the masses and not allow anyone bash those whom we share our roots with.

The Underground World of the Lower Mainland 

 If you’ve lived in the lower mainland long enough, then you might be able to recall the days of being able to drive through any old residential street without being forced into a game of “chicken” with oncoming traffic. Two-way streets were actually in fact two-way streets, which allowed the flow of traffic to conveniently move in both directions. The roads were wide open, a safe place for your children to play, and most single family homes were just that – a place where typically 2-5 individuals lived happily (for the most part) under one roof. 

 

Then, being the business saavy individuals most Indian folk are, came the introduction of renting a portion of your home out to people looking for a place to live within a reasonable budget. 

 

This trend spread like rapid fire, and soon all those big wide-open streets became filled with tenant vehicles, parked up on the side of the road next to their respective mini-homes within a home.

 

As with any manner of generating revenue, municipal laws and regulations had to be created in order to attempt to control this widely spread new income booster. Because just like with anything else, when something becomes too common or widely popular, issues usually begin to arise. Problems like renters not paying up on time, destroying property, being disruptive, or simply being downright lousy people to share your home with, became increasingly prevalent. 

 

Therefore, it became necessary to register your basement suites within your municipality. Unfortunately, the individuals who actually followed through on this requirement fell few and far between in our cramped up sub-urban neighbourhoods. 

 

Yet at the very same time, everyone who chooses to invite absolute strangers into their homes, without conducting background or credit checks, or securing a deposit of some sort – expect the authorities to bail them out (so to speak) when relations with their tenants go awry. 

 

People are so eager to bring in an extra grand or so a month, that they forget they might just have someone shooting up some lethally hard drugs just on the other side of the wall where their precious children sleep.

 

Now I’m not saying everyone who lives in a basement suite is a drug addict or near homelessness, what I’m saying is complete your due diligence as a landlord. If you’re going to build your home already knowing you will be renting a portion of it out, then register your basement suites, have allotted parking space on your property for your tenants, and abide by the municipal laws (which are there for your own protection) in order to avoid having to turn to the cops for help when disputes occur. 

 

In other words: as a builder, or home renovator – do your homework before granting someone accessibility to your beloved homes. 

 

Become informed – be aware that by not following the rules, you’ve forfeit your right to evict your tenants. Most specifically, if you haven’t followed the proper protocol beforehand of drawing up a contract and having them sign it – troublesome tenants can earn “squatters rights” and before you know it you’re “battling for your own turf” with someone all too aware of this flaw in the system. 

 

Laws are typically made for a reason, for the public’s own safety. So do everyone a favour and follow the correct protocol when it comes to becoming a landlord – and know who and what you’ll be inviting into your homes and neighbourhoods along with that monthly cheque you so eagerly hope to receive! 

Happily Never After – The Truth About Indian Relationships

I’ve been in a relationship ever since chingy was the number one artist in the world of Hip Hop and R&B. My singificant other and I skipped school together, grew our own identities yet managed to remain close, and formed a rollarcoaster of a life including a hoot of a three year marriage and a rambunctious little one year old.

Every now and then I come across someone who tells me how so very LUCKY I am to have a husband. As if it’s a rare jackpot of a scenario to find and marry someone you can actually stand (for the most part). When I ask these subtly glum individuals if they’re seeing anyone or getting married soon – since they’re typically my peers or slightly younger – they simply respond that “there’s no good (guys or girls) left out there.”

I usually can’t comprehend exactly what this means. “Good” meaning they do their own dishes and mind their p’s and q’s? Or good as in meet their checklist of standards for their dream significant other? Then I’m usually forced to listen to their horror stories of past relationship failures and cringeworthy stories of the dating world (aka club scene) in Vancouver.

I just can’t help but wonder, where have all the good girls and guys gone to hideaway?

If there’s a seemingly equal amount of guys and girls on the prowl, who are all looking to settle down with smart, attractive, and successful individuals, then why can’t they seem to simply make their way to one another?

Here’s my theory..(and you all knew there had to be one). The reason people are getting married later and later and more and more engagements/relationships are being called off is because people have built up an unrealistic ideal of what it means to be in a relationship. We grow up watching television programs and movies which depict relationships amongst people of a complete different background and upbringing.

Not to mention the fact that in current day, social media makes it appear like those of us married with kids or simply in a relationship are just picture perfectly happy on and off the screen. Here’s the cold hard truth though, ain’t nobody pulling out chairs for us and showering us with bouquets unexpected flowers. Just sit there and smile as you sip your Mc Donald’s coke with Crown mixed into it on “date night.” That’s about as much wining and dining you’re going to get honey.

Our men (the Indo-Canadian ones) simply haven’t been raised in the manner to be these respectful chivalrous gentlemen which we have so pine-fully dreamt of our entire adolescent years. This ideal image we have created of what our perfect mate should be like is much too unattainable for the simple fact that – they don’t exist.

Now I like to keep things fairly unbiased and impartial so I don’t want to seem like I’m bashing all apnay (Indian) men here. I’ve heard plenty of guys complain about the fact there aren’t any “good” girls out there either. Well to you all I’ve got to say – where are ya’ll lookin? ‘Coz if it’s in the lineup to caprice (is that still a club?) then you best get your butt enrolled in a post-secondary institute of some sort and begin your hunt for a good wife there.

Book smarts tend to equal a well rounded individual – for the most part. So shape up your expectations and start looking in the right places. What you surround yourself with, and how you behave, is what you will attract.

Be the man you’d want your sister to be with, and be the woman you’d expect your daughter to be – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll come across that special someone, get married, and then bitch about the fact they’re nothing, nothing at all like Ryan Gosling or even Prince Adam from the little mermaid for that matter.

What does everyone think about this? Am I being overly pessimistic? Is it right to hold out for “the one?” Or is it time to accept that there’s only one way to get married – by lowering your standards and expectations and just settling for a secure and comfortable life.

Please do let me know in the comment section below or on my Facebook like page!

The Girl on Girl Act of Jealousy

I’ve never been the envious type. Not only that, but I’ve never really paid attention or realized when someone was being envious of me either. I just don’t find it necessary to pine for the life of another when you can just make some simple changes to improve the status of your own.

But with age, comes wisdom. And unfortunately, sometimes this wisdom comes in the form of realizing one too many downfalls of societal norms. Ever scroll through the comments section on a public post? You’re sure to see at least a hefty chunk of negative remarks left by people who seem to have a hint of jealousy lurking through the words they so bitterly tapped into their phone screens.

What’s even more unfortunate is that it’s usually women leaving these comments on OTHER women’s pages. Girls who are showcasing their fitness prowess, makeup application skills, or maybe even journal bloggers just like me. They all get teared to shreds just because somebody felt the need to leave some nonsensical comment under one of their photos or blurb of words. So what causes this girl on girl mis-action to occur? Is it that we’re all just miserable in our own ways? Do we lack the capability to feel pride or happiness for another? Or do we just get a plain ol’ kick out of knocking others down?

Now it doesn’t even have to be solely on social media. This crap happens every which way you look. Just the other day I was waiting outside of my yoga studio and the girl in front of me looked a rather petite and toned girl up and down as she was leaving and said, “What is she even working out for?”

Now even though she didn’t mean for anyone to hear, I am pretty sure the girl did hear and I don’t think it made her feel very nice that this complete stranger made her feel like having a nice body was somehow a bad thing. Like she wasn’t worthy of holding a place in this studio because she was one of the lucky “skinny ones.” Who was the girl in front of me to make that call anyway?

Whether you notice it or not, jealousy seeps into multiple scenarios and conversations. It can be the leading thought force of many women’s minds, and that’s just not a healthy way to be.

Whatever the situation may be – I think the true place to look when you find yourself being a “hater” one too many times is within yourself. If you constantly feel the need to critique, criticize, and tear down – you’re most likely projecting your own shortcomings onto someone whose quite frankly, just doing it better than you are. You might not realize it but you my friend, with your snide remarks toward another woman and petty eye rolls are a walking talking example of girl on girl jealousy.

Now I’m fairly lucky, I don’t receive a whole lot of hate – in person or on the interwebs. Sure I get the odd strange comment or piece of not so friendly advice from particular people in my own inner circle when I do something different – be it post a controversial blog or style my hair differently, but that’s just human nature. I also have found it to be quite a character building experience to be able to handle people’s off-hand comments and let it roll off my shoulders because I’ve learned the opinion of petty people just doesn’t matter.

To comment on those you feel threatened by or somehow reminded that you’re lacking in a certain manner, is just a defence mechanism of protecting one’s own self-esteem.

On the flip side, I can’t say that I hand out compliments too easily either. But at least I don’t go out of my way to point out others insecurities just to make it be known that I noticed them. Everyone is aware of what they could improve on and what they are doing damn well at. There’s no need to spew negativity out in the world because low and behold, it’ll come right back atcha when you least expect it.

So anyways, there’s my random tidbit of knowledge for this week. Hope everyone’s been keeping well and as always, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

The Danger of the Comfort Zone

Recently, I attended my ten year high school reunion. Now I don’t know about all of you, but as a kid I always envisioned my reunion to be like those scenes from the movies in which you roll up in an extravagantly flashy car, wearing a ravishing ball gown, and everyone’s jaw drops at how you’ve managed to maintain your petite physic despite being extremely busy with a fabulous career and a picture perfect family.

Was this what mine was like? Not quite. Really what I ended up walking into was a casual pub night in which only a third of my grad class showed up. Mainly, the people who were comfortable in their own skin in high school, proved to still be this way and gathered round to catch up with a group friends who they seemed to all pretty much be in touch with.

But I was literally the only person sitting there out of my previous “circle of friends.” A group of individuals whom due to some circumstance or the other I’ve since lost contact with.

On the nostalgic and quiet drive home I got to thinking – as I most frequently do, about what might’ve caused a large majority of the grad class to not bother to show up.

Did they just not care? Did they have some sort of prior engagement? Or perhaps they just didn’t feel comfortable attending such a momentous event.

Ten years ago, that would’ve been me. I would’ve shied away from any scenario in which I would be required to mingle and socialize without a security bubble or safety net of friends surrounding me. It was intimidating of course. But, where I’m at in life right now, I seriously didn’t give it a second thought as to whether I would attend or not. I was pretty excited to be able to see so many familiar faces once again, only that’s not exactly what I was met with. Instead I kind of just chatted with a few acquaintances and was happy to know they’re all well into their careers and own unique life journeys.

I just wish more people would push themselves to jump out of their own personal “comfort zones.” Anything that creates a little fear or anticipation within you is generally something you’re going to walk away from with the gaining of at least something advantageous.

For example, just last night I forced myself to attend my very first networking event for writers. The first half hour of the event was intended to be a time in which you introduce yourself to fellow like-minded individuals and hopefully make connections with a few people who might be on the same career path as you.

I say I forced myself because of course just like everyone else I get butterflies at the thought of having to speak to complete strangers in an unfamiliar place and scenario. However, I’ve grown to a point of self-realization where I just don’t allow my nerves to dictate my actions. Even more importantly, I don’t allow my fears of what OTHERS might think of me control what I do and don’t do at all.

I suppose it’s a change which came about when I had my son. Once an entire room of individuals has seen you in your most vulnerable state – giving birth, prior to giving birth, or just after having given birth. Being shy kind of goes right out the window.

Also, quite frankly, I just don’t want my son to think his mom is a pansy. I want him to follow in my footsteps of constantly pushing yourself to face your fears and overcome your social anxiety. I never would’ve thought I would be able to be the first one to approach someone I didn’t know and strike up a conversation. I mean I was the person who silently prayed I wouldn’t be called upon every single day in school. I would’ve much rather just disappeared into thin air than speak up in a room full of people.

But life’s just too short to constantly be afraid. When faced with the decision of whether or not to approach someone, go somewhere new, or do something different. I always question “why not?” Will I lose anything by doing so, most likely not. But to constantly avoid or skip out on things just because it’s easier to do so is to agree to a lifetime of complacency and selling yourself short.

I encourage you, just get OUT THERE. Nothing good will come if you stay within the razor edged disguised comfort of your own inner demons. Push your own boundaries and you’ll be amazed at just how much progress can be made with just a few successful interactions.

Don’t skip out on once in a lifetime occurrences just because it’s easier to sit at home. You may not realize it now, but a day will come when you realize you wished you had just stepped out your comfort zone a little more. Because after all, your greatest experiences are always the least expected, slightly scary, and challenging ones.

Keeping Up

It’s easy to become like a hamster in a wheel. A burned out hamster. One clinging on for dear life hoping not to get flung off that wheel and squashed by it. 

Sometimes trying to be all and do it all as a parent can leave you feeling like this. No matter how hard you try or how much you give – it’s just.. simply…not.. ENOUGH.

But you keep pushing through and you cling on to the rays of hope that you’re doing just fine. Despite the sighs and side glances of those surrounding you. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these 15 months and some odd days of motherhood it’s that you just have to let go of expectations. 

Forget about caring what people think of you. Heck forget about what YOU think about you. Just do your best and know that it’s enough. Know that YOU are enough. 

If your kids happy, healthy, and fed – you’re doing just fine. 

So don’t allow your mommy light to burn out. And when the wheel starts spinning just a little too fast to keep up, step off and take a breather. 

Because you’ll always be able to hop back on and hold on for dear life with a clearer and better mind set when need be. 

Sorry for the lack of posts. Life’s been kicking my butt lately. Been struggling to stay physically and mentally up to it all. I tend to set standards way too high for myself and am most definitely my toughest critic. 

But I’m slowly learning that sometimes to be more means to give less. 

Any way, hope this was relatable to at least some of you. I know a lot of moms feel this pressure to be wonder-mom just like I do. But sometimes you just have to put yourself first! 
 
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 💕

A Mother’s Love

To have a child is to get another chance at loving yourself
They’re the summary of all the things you never knew you could be
They’re the part of you that you never even knew you had
You suddenly have this all encompassing strength and resilence to keep pushing forward
Things get pushed into the corners of the right perspective
Everything that used to matter doesn’t anymore
It’s a new reality, a new life
A second chance at it all
A time to get it right and even if you don’t
They’ll still always be right by your side
Looking up at you & reaching out,
Into the depths of the most giving parts of your soul