How I Feel About LeBron James

With the Cavs opening game having been last night, and having heard that the fans were rather fair-weathered, I want to say one thing:

I understand LeBron James.

I too was born and raised in Cleveland. There is no other place I call home. Coming home, no matter where I’ve lived and for how long, means coming home to Cleveland. It means zipping down the long, winding roads of my neighborhood. It means sitting on my grandparents couch, being fed deep-fried Indian dishes I wouldn’t dream of touching elsewhere. It means running in circles in my backyard with my dog. It means my childhood, and it means my family.

But as much as I love it, I’ve realized that sometimes in order to grasp the opportunities I need in life, I have to be elsewhere. Yes, the city is wonderful. The people are welcoming and loving like people nowhere else. But how many of you can say you’ve put a city before your own life? Before your own success, your happiness (which often translates into the happiness of your loved ones). I bet not many of you, right?

Cleveland is the reason I am who I am. It will always be. But that doesn’t mean that I have to stay rooted there, never experiencing anything else. My absence in Cleveland does not translate to my lack of love for the city or the people there. It just means I needed an opportunity to grow.

So while there may still be some LeBron haters out there, I urge you to ask yourself why. Because he was, and again is, the heart and soul of our team? Because without him, your Cavs jersey wasn’t worth a dime? Because we were yet again deemed “the mistake by the lake”?

He’s the main character of his story, much like we are in our own. And personally, I think it’s unfair to tie a hero to just one story, especially when they have so much potential.

So, welcome back LeBron. You were right, there’s no place like home.

Love,

K

P.S. If I can forgive LeBron for leaving, anyone can. If you must know why, he was the first man I ever drunk cried over. That’s REAL.

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Honesty Hour | Things We Like About Ourselves

Today, as I was doing my daily advertising research at work, I came across Dove’s latest film, Legacy. I know that body image, especially women’s body image, is something that has taken over the media in the past few years. But what I’ve never seen before, is the impact one’s body image can have on other generations.

I guess I’m so far removed from my childhood, that I forgot the impact my mother has had on me. Lucky for me, I don’t remember ever hearing my mom complain about her appearances (props to you, mom!), though I can’t say I’ve never done so. I think in a world that’s so focused on comparing and improvement (improving homes, pimping rides, getting makeovers, teaching others what not to wear), we often forget to celebrate the things we like.

I know both A and I are much more likely to complain about things than to celebrate them. So I figured today, despite our complete discomfort in doing so, for the sake of our pledge to honesty, we could share with you guys some things we like about ourselves. Here’s to self-esteem week, starting October 9th!

A

Let me just start off by saying that K prefaced this post by telling me that I wouldn’t like it. And I don’t. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been really critical about my looks and my body. I had the pinnings of an eating disorder in high school, wanted to get a nose job for years, felt awkward about my height (I remember specifically being told by a cute boy that I was “too tall” and that “the perfect woman is 5’6”), and was conscious about having the “typical Indian thunder thighs.” I was bullied quite a bit when I was young, but in that weird, back-handed, it’s just a joke because we’re friends, sort of way. But it wasn’t a joke, and it hurt.

Growing up has been good for me, because I’ve slowly realized that while I care what people think, I care a hell of a lot more how I feel. Sure, it’s lovely to have a six-pack, and chiseled Michelle Obama arms, but it’s even more lovely to have healthy skin and hair, a happy demeanor, energy, and a bit of junk in the trunk – IMHO.

Which brings me to what I like about myself. Here goes.

My waist. I like it. It’s small and sits between two other parts of my body that aren’t as small, so it all works pretty nicely together. I am a curve enthusiast, so anything that ties, cinches, or sits at the waist, send em my way so I can put em on! Peplums? Yes please! Coats with belts? Get on me. Oh, those high waisted jeans from the 80’s are back in fashion? I’ll take 10 pairs.

My hair. I’m a hair person. And a bad hair morning can seriously ruin my day. But in general, my hair is on of my favorite parts of me. It’s shiny and healthy, whether it’s long, short, colored, straight, curly. Knock on wood. I can randomly cut my own bangs on a Tuesday mornings, and not only will it work (DISCLAIMER: Do not try this at home! I’ve had bangs before so I know a thing or two), people will tell me I look like Hannah Simone! Which literally makes my life (because have you seen her Instagram?! It and her are effing amazing).

New hair-do

New Do

K

While I introduced this post to A telling her she’d hate it, it’s only because I knew I already hated it. Not just because my insecurities and the things I don’t like about myself, but also because I am not one to brag. Our dad raised us in a way that anytime we would talk about appearances, whether it be our own or a celebrities, good or bad, he would tell us to not be “so vain.” So I repeatedly had to tell myself while writing this post that it’s not vain or self-absorbed to like yourself. It’s actually good and healthy.

That being said, I’m proud to share a few things I like about myself.

I think the first thing would be my eyes. While I often tell my mom that if she had had green eyes like both her brothers do, I probably would have too. But now I’ve come to embrace my brown ones, though they’ve often lead to some very awkward moments. Namely the time I was getting my hair washed before a cut (so I was in that weird laying down position) and my hairdresser just looked into my eyes the entire time. It was weird. But it was also fun and I (well now not-so) secretly loved it.

Snapz on snapz on snapz

Snapz on snapz on snapz

My legs. I got ’em from my daddy. I actually did and to me that’s hilarious. But for someone who’s just shy of 5’5 (I just discovered this, I always thought I was like 5’7. It was kind of heartbreaking), they’re pretty damn long. When I’m not suffering from thoracic output syndrome and other insane things, they also allow me to run and squat – which is just great. They’ve taken me around the world, they’ve allowed me to walk head-on into many experiences, all while looking pretty okay in short shorts. So, thanks dad!


While this post was insanely awkward and uncomfortable for us to compose (to the point where we repeatedly asked each other whether our sections were too braggy and over the top), we did it for the greater good, Dumbledore style. We want everyone to know that it’s not just okay, but amazing, to love yourself. We’re tired of being down on ourselves, comparing ourselves to others, and not feeling like a million bucks.

Hope we inspired you to think about what you love about being you! We know it might give you the creepy crawlies, but if you’re open to sharing, we’d love to hear. #LUVYOSELF.

Jointly yours,

A & K

Honesty Hour 3

Hey guys!

So I’m thinking it’s about time to go back to the basics here on Jointly. A and I have always envisioned this as a place where we can be ourselves, honestly.

Join us in round 3 of Getting to Know the Gautams. So cue Honesty Hour!

 

K

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A

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1. What is your least favorite chore?

K – Doing dishes. For sure. Hands down. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing me wash dishes (especially if it’s not my own dish), it’s more than clear that I hate it. I’ve been told that I hold the dishes as far away from my body as possible and look utterly disgusted the whole time.

A – It’s a tie between taking out the trash (disgusting), and cleaning the fridge (potentially even more disgusting). And taking out the trash after having just cleaned your fridge… nauseating. And K, imagine those rotten food dishes… HA!

2. What is your favorite quote?

K – I have so many favorite quotes, I can’t really choose one. But recently I rediscovered a Malcom X gem that I can’t seem to get out of my head: “When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘We,’ even illness becomes wellness.”

A – Again, so many, but one has been sticking with me a lot lately. “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

3. If you could learn anything, what would it be?

K – If I could learn anything I think I would want to learn more about design. Both interior design and web design. Both of which are so doable and I will probably dabble in after the big A & A wedding is done.

Also I’ve always wanted to take photography classes – so why not throw that in there too?

A – I’d want to learn how to write a screenplay. For some reason, before I ever dreamed of writing books, I’d write weird movie concepts. They were mostly Hindi movie musicals, but nonetheless. I’d also want to learn graphic design. Logos fascinate me.

4. What is the #1 song on your “Top 25 Most Played” list on iTunes?

K – This is going to be so humiliating, but I’ll check…Ishq Wala Love…followed by Laal Ishq. In my defense, this is because I listen to all my English music on Spotify or Soundcloud. But….okay yeah…I have no defense.

A – Oh no… Yes. Embarrassed. Mine is also “Ishq Wala Love,” but I have a feeling it’s because I stole all of K’s music and put it on my phone at some point, and IWL has just sort of stayed there. My second is “Kabira” which… is literally one of the best songs of all time.

5. What is something you’ve learned in the past month?

K – In the past few months I’ve come to learn that you can’t rely on anyone but yourself. At the end of the day people will look out for themselves, so I guess you have to do the same thing.

A – In the past month I’ve learned that the best way to be happy is to not give a shit about the things that make you unhappy. This sounds extreme, but disengaging, taking a step back and really evaluating why is really liberating. And a lot of the times, the unhappiness has nothing to do with you (it’s caused by other people, things, situations). So it’s best to do whatever you can to help make it better, and then slowly move on.

6. Would you rather read a book on an iPad/Kindle, or in print?

K – As much as I love the feel of reading an actual book, I have to admit that I’ve fallen in love with reading on my iPad. I mean…you can literally look up the meaning of a word with one tap! Sigh, technology is so amazing.

A – Hands down a million times over, a book. I love the smell of them (I know it’s weird but I don’t care!), I love folding pages over, I love making notes in the margins, I love making it mine.

7. Hike or bike?

K – Hike. I think I would love biking if I actually did it, but for the past few years I’ve been obsessed with hiking. Being able to exercise and be one with nature at the same time is a priceless experience.

A – Hike. I love being able to slowly absorb everything around me. Sit down in places that are exceptionally beautiful. Find nooks and crannies that are off the beaten (bike) path. But I have to admit, having the wind in my hair in central park on a rented bike also has its splendors.

8. What has been your biggest success up until now?

K – I think my biggest success hasn’t been one specific thing. I think it’s been a number of challenges, realizations, and successes combined to make me who I am today. Being me is my biggest success.

A – This is tough. The no brainer is my career. I have worked really really hard to get where I am, and no it may not be the most impressive place in the world, but I’m still pretty impressed with myself :).

9. What is your spirit animal?

K – I want to say a wolf, but maybe that’s just because they’re beautiful and so bad ass in Game of Thrones.

A – I had to take a quiz to answer this question. I got a wolf.  #twinsies. Followed closely by swan…….?

10. What family member do you think you are most like?

K – I think I’m a true mixture of literally everyone in my family, except for A because we’re obviously the most alike. I think when it comes to my parents though, I’m a perfect cusp. Most of my hobbies and interests come from my dad, while my passion and thought process is more like my mom’s.

A – I think I’m a mix between my paternal grandmother (Dadi), and maternal grandfather (Nanoo). I’m really emotional (surprise) and wear my heart on my sleeve, like Dadi. And I’m really introspective, like my quiet/reading/writing time, like Nanoo. But K and I are basically twins… so overarchingly I would say her.

Opportunity Cost

Something that I’ve been experiencing on the daily are harsh adult realities. I often tell people that I don’t feel like my charmed, happy childhood prepared me enough for the reality of the real world. But, hey, I guess that’s life – right?

One of the realities I’ve because all too well acquainted with is that of opportunity costs.

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No matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, you are giving something up. No matter how hard you try, you can’t have everything and do everything.

This idea actually comes up in my favorite Bollywood movie (whatever, haters goin’ hate) but I didn’t really realize what a poetically true concept it was until last night when I couldn’t sleep (typical). There’s a scene where the two main characters are spending time together after years- they’re exploring Udaipur and sight-seeing together. The male lead is a travel fanatic and a soon-to-be travel show host, while the female lead is a practicing doctor in India. After a day of traveling they’re sitting on the ledge of some ancient, gorgeous fort, watching the sunset. He tries to convince her to get up otherwise they’ll miss whatever is next on their to-see list (I think it’s a firework show). She responds by throwing the list in the air and stating that no matter what you do in life, you’re going to miss out on something, because no one can do everything.

If you choose to go home during Spring Break to see your family, you will miss out on an epic party or vacation. But, if you go on vacation, you’re missing spending what could be your last break ever with your family. If you choose to skip class to chill, you may miss out on an in-class activity worth five points (yes, I’m still salty about this) But if you go to class…that’s two and a half hours of your life wasted (the truth about some college courses). If you decide to stay in one night and catch up on sleep, you will miss out on making lasting memories with your friends, but if you go, you may be miserably tired and fall asleep anyways.

The truth about life is that we’re always giving up one thing to gain another.

Choose wisely.

Love,

K

Spring Break 2014

SB2014 – rage time!

But actually…

As a 22-year-old and a second semester senior in college, you’d think Spring Break means a trip to somewhere warm, a lot of half-naked (I actually feel like they’re usually three-fourths naked…) people, too much booze, and little-to-no (or negative) responsibility.

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Instead, my last break ever had been dulled by adulthood. I have been looking forward to Spring Break for at least a month now. Coming home is always my favorite. Lazing around with my doggy, chit chatting with my rents, and eating home-cooked food is the best. I didn’t even mind that I hadn’t planned a vacation with any of my friends because to me, nothing is better than some good ol’ time at home. I really need this down time after a super stressful month. I was so excited about it that I even made a Facebook status about it. You know shit is a big deal when I make a Facebook status about it.

I was expecting the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. Instead? Instead I got days of stress over upcoming exams, job searching, wedding planning (not that I don’t love to do it and help out A, but wedding planning is not relaxing, nor is it as glamours as JLo makes it look), and even trying to find the perfect workout schedule (if you know me you know how much this must truly…suck…for lack of a better word).

My conclusion? Adulthood is a place with no breaks. Downtime is rare. And even when you have it, it, all too often, is disrupted. Obligations and responsibilities can only be put on the back burner for a short period of time. And that…for a lack of a better word (again)…sucks.

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Take me back to my childhood! 😦

Love,

K

The (Unexaggerated) Struggles of an Indian Girl

Hey there!

Hope you guys are having an amazing start to the week! I’m feeling rather chipper despite my lack of sleep, my scattered mind (let’s not talk about how many assignments I almost didn’t have completed today), and my body aches from sleeping with too many pillows.

So I thought I’d do a little something fun for you guys today. If you follow my personal blog, you may remember me sharing a tid bit of my life in a post titled, The (Unexaggerated) Struggles of an Indian Girl  (I’ve linked to it here in case you missed out). But, let me tell ya. As an Indian girl, the struggles are too real and endless. So, I’ve decided to create a Part II, to allow you guys to better understand A and I and the struggle bus that we often ride as being Indian girls.

So, here we go.

1. The creepy Facebook messages

As an Indian girl, you have to expect and know how to deal with strangely worded and “flirtatious” Facebook messages from Indian men. My personal favorites have included, “Hi, I like your friendship” and another one where Rajanth told me I’m beautiful enough to be a Bollywood actress. Well, thanks Rajanth, how did you know that was my life long dream (but really though).

2. Raisins

Okay, I don’t like raisins. Like what are these weird, tiny, shriveled up things? And for some reason, Indian people love to put raisins in everything. I don’t want raisins in my halwa and kheer (Indian desserts that you should definitely try if you haven’t), it ruins it! And most of all…I don’t want raisins in my rice! What ever possessed someone to try to put raisins in rice…I don’t know. But raisins are only edible when they are coated in chocolate.

3. The many cultures and languages of India

One would think that being a part of a country means a sense of unity and community among states. Well, not in India. In fact, we all make fun of people from other states. Don’t even get me started of the Punjabi and Gujarati feud. And the languages. According to The Hindustan Times (yes, I researched for you), there are 780 different languages spoken in India. Seven hundred and eighty. Like…why? This takes away some of the fun of being from a foreign country because half the time when my friends and I are trying to talk about the girl getting down in the club, we can’t even communicate. I say something in Hindi, I get a response in Gujrati. Like…girl…what. Are. You. Saying.

4. The stare down

If you’re Indian, you know all too well that every single brown person you see will stare you down. This isn’t even a friendly, oh, we’re all brothers and sisters stare. This is a do I know you stare. And if the answer is no, then it becomes a who the eff are you and why don’t I know you? stare. Because Indians just assume that they know every other Indian and if they don’t then something is wrong with you (the person they don’t know). Or…hmm…maybe guys, you just don’t know them because there are over 2 million of us in this country. Stop staring at me.

5. All up in your love life

My god, where do I even begin? As an Indian, your love life is everyone’s business. Your friends, everyone at your school, everyone that anyone at your school knows, and, of course, your family. I think people know the updates on my love life before I even do. My absolute favorite instance of this is my Dadi (who I love very much but our conversations always make the best stories). Every time I see my dadi, she “whispers” to me, “Acha, koi boyfriend hai?” (translation: “So, is there any boyfriend?”) Whisper is in quotation marks because she does not whisper. So unless I want the entire party to know about my love life…no Dadi, koi boyfriend nahi hai (translation: no Dadi, there is no boyfriend). I then see a little flicker of panic in her eyes, but then she kindly reassures me that it’s okay to focus on my studies. She then proceeds to hold me hostage and ask me questions about my cousin’s love lives. Whoops, sorry S & M.

Speaking of Dadis, let me share another great story with you. Dadi’s oldest sister (who is the cutest old lady ever) didn’t even bother asking me “koi boyfriend hai”, when I was in India this past December. Instead, during our family photo shoot, she sneakily tried to get everyone to take solo photos of just me to send to the handsome Punjabi man from Amritsar who is now a doctor in London. Wait. Let me fix my hair and reapply my eyeliner because…YES! Please send the good-looking doctor in London my photographs. S Daddy was NOT pleased and did not let this happen. But hey, I’m open to all possibilities.

6. Indian clothes for women

Okay, last time I focused my frustrations on just saris (the 9 yards of fabric we, as Indian women, are supposed to be born knowing how to tie around ourselves). But really, the picture is much bigger than this. With A’s wedding right around the corner, I’m starting to panic about the tiny blouses I’ll be having to wear. Honestly WHO can look good in those aside from actresses who make a CAREER out of looking good. I simply cannot axe wine, Chipotle, or Firecakes out of my diet. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. But I’m expected to look like this….

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Annnnd…cue the stress eating.

To my Indian ladies, props for staying sane through all of this.

Lots of love,

K

College

College.

I couldn’t even think of a way to start off this post other than just saying, “college”. Because, honestly? No words can describe it. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of it until I was about half-way done. I was a homebody. I missed my home (which I still do but not in a mope-y “I think I’ll just stay in” way).  Bummer, right? Two years wasted. Two years of living ignorant to the pure bliss that is college. But then, college hit me like a brick wall. I went all out college. And it has been the most amazing, indescribable experience.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I’ve been going through the whole but wait…I don’t want this to end phase for quite some time now. But this past weekend when I drove down to U of I to visit some of my high school friends, it hit me full speed. Shut the front door. Hold the phone. *Insert other dumb but not profane lines here*. This can’t be so

I realized, never again will I be able to pick up on a Thursday afternoon and road trip down with friends, to visit friends. Rarely will I be able to put all my responsibilities on pause, all to go party (and I mean p-a-r-t-y) with my favorite people. I mean…when else will our lives revolve around partying? Because…be honest. In college it’s less about “this assignment is due on this day so I can do this and this tomorrow”, and more about the “well, there’s that party Friday, and then Saturday I have to stop by here, so really I need to get something done before then…or eh…I’ll just do it all Sunday” (Don’t try to do it all Sunday, guys. It just won’t work.) Seriously. I rescheduled my wisdom teeth removal so I could make it to a party….whoops.

But really. Everything in college is planned around partying. What you eat during the day (“well we shouldn’t eat pizza because we’ll probably drunk eat pizza tonight”, what you wear (“Well, we’ll have to stand in line for a while so maybe we shouldn’t do dresses”, when you shower (right before you go out so your hair looks perfect, obviously), when you call your parents (oops…sorry mom). And it’s so totally awesome.

Okay, but it actually is way deeper than this. What it actually comes down to is your lifestyle and your friends. In college, we’re all pretty much on the same page. First off, life is pretty much like Friends. You live with some of your friends and the ones you don’t live with have the tendency to just swing open your front door and plop down on your couch, Jimmy Johns in hand, at any given time. Day time is for classes. Early evening/night is for homework. Late night is for chilling, exchanging stories, and maybe going out. ButI have the feeling adulthood isn’t quite like that…

Are my friends and I still going to all crash at one apartment at 4AM on the weekends and wake up together to reflect and piece together the night?! Are we all going to bum around and waste time getting brunch until 4PM? Are we going to FaceTime when we don’t see each other for one week? Are we going to have the energy for late night talks when we get home from work at 10PM and have to be in the next day at 7AM? Are we going to have time to stay updated on each others lives via Group iMessage?

Something tells me no. So…with college ends our lifestyle?

Cue freak out #327

So, to make myself feel a little better, I’ve decided to compile a small list of all the things college has taught me. Lessons and skills that I’ll forever carry with me, keeping my college dream alive throughout adulthood.

1. Being resourceful

At this point in life, I can pretty much open a wine bottle with anything. Things I’ve done it with include a hammer and also a hanger. Speaking of wine bottles, I once discovered they are the perfect alternative to rolling pins! Also, I can open a beer bottle with a pair of scissors. Oh. And obviously like connecting and networking with others.

2. Going with the flow

I entered college as a pretty type-A person. S Daddy is big on punctuality and sticking to a plan. Let me tell you something. In college, that ain’t going to happen. I don’t think any of my friends have ever showed up to my place on time. This used to ruin my mood for the rest of the evening. But now I take my five minutes to be insanely annoyed, and move on with life. Plans will get changed, delayed, or cancelled. People will bail or people will bring five other people with them. Just…let it happen.

3. Being nice to everyone

College is a drama-zone. My philosophy? Even when I really don’t like someone or you’re feeling really salty…kill ’em with kindness. There is no point in giving dirty looks or talking smack because I promise, it will end up bitting you in the ass.

4. Tell it how it is

In college you form these family-like friendships. Not only do you become so close with all your friends, but you become close with yourself. You finally begin to understand how you work and you should embrace that. I will always be honest with myself (and my friends) about how I feel in any situation. 

5. How to find or make room for my friends and I on the stage

To the couple getting a little too cozy on the dance floor…get outta here! Some of us are actually trying to dance. I’ll push and I’ll shove, all in the name of a good time.

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(Front row at Major Lazer)

6. How to enjoy (almost) every moment of life

The number one thing college taught me was how to live in the moment. Guess what? You’re always going to have 100 things going on in your head. You’ll always be worried about studying or work or your love life or someone’s health. But you just can’t let that stop you from living life. I can’t lie and say that I’ve learned to put things totally aside or out of my head. But I have learned that not matter what is going on, you can still have fun in this very moment.

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(Making drinking games named after myself and forcing everyone to play with me)

Love,

K