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.

Comforts

It’s been just about a week since we got the call from our parents about our cousin’s passing. The last week has been heavy, hard, and deeply sad. Our parents had the opportunity to drive down to Rochester, MN, and spend time with the rest of the family. We had uncles and aunts fly in from India. The support and togetherness must have helped – as much as it could.

K and I had a tough time coping on our own. We weren’t surrounded by family. We couldn’t even be together. But I know K got some amazing support on her end (thanks for that), and besides my fiancé, who I’m convinced is the best comfort-er, having a little puppy to snuggle with and keep my heart warm didn’t hurt.

Fiancé and I have had Kingston for just about 10 days now. He is a handful (I can’t say I wasn’t warned), but he’s getting better. Once he stops chewing my amazing coffee table, and ripping apart my beautiful bamboo footstool, I’m sure I’ll think he’s a perfect angel. For now, though, he’s just like a baby. Can’t control his bladder, getting into mischief, making himself at home, and really owning the role as his human parent’s boss. He’s finally sleeping through the night (rejoice!), but gets so lonely during the work day. We have an amazing dog walker that comes and plays with him during the day – he can’t go outside for another month until he gets his shots – and is working on training him a bit.

The best thing about Kingston, though, is he is so incredibly loving. Already. He loves to snuggle, it makes his day when we pick him up and hold him, and he’s really trying to be a good boy – for the most part. And the emotional support he gives – not even kidding – is wonderful and kind of mind-boggling. Here are some pictures of our first pit stop together 🙂

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The Gautam and Pai sisters are all coming to town this weekend, so Kingston will finally get to meet some of his aunts (still eagerly waiting to meet his M Aunt and A Aunt), and his baby cousins. We’re hoping he’s on his best (and cutest) behavior.

Look forward to sharing everything we do this weekend when we’re all together. Looking forward to some quality family time.

Hugs & love, A

Gautam Girl Reunion

Hi!

Once again, I’m swamped with exams, work, interviews, volunteering, and every other thing under the sun. And despite my pretty blah Spring Break (that I already vented to you guys about), there was one (literally, just one…well aside from the obvious seeing my parents, eating my mom’s food, and rolling around with my doggy) silver lining.

A few weeks before break I decided that I wanted to do something special for all of the Gautam Girls (so, on the Gautam side of the family there are no boys. There’s me and A, and then our cousins S, M, and…we’ll call her N since A is already taken and we never call her by her name anyways). We are rarely all together these days so every time we are, I think it deserves to be celebrated.

With the wedding quickly approaching, I realized that this would be one of the last times all of us are truly “Gautam Girls.” So I started thinking what I could do for all of us that would be cute and worthy of a photoshoot (because what girl doesn’t love a photoshoot). So, here’s what I did…

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Excuse the excessive faces. N gave us all a lesson on “the werk face.” It’s kind of sad when you’re the lame older cousin who doesn’t know things.

But honestly, there’s no time like Gautam Girl time. And I’m so excited to rep the Gautam’s no matter where I am with these bomb beanies.

Happy Tuesday, guys.

Love,

K

Getting To Know The Gautams

You have no idea how long we’ve been waiting to use this title…

Welcome to our first ever Honesty Hour on Jointly! To get our relationship (you + us = love) off to the right start, we decided to dig deep into our souls and bare our truest selves. Each of the below questions was answered with the utmost honesty, so you can truly get to know us and so we can set our precedence of down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness TRUTH.

A

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1. What do your days look like?

My days right now look like utter madness (“and you’re starting a brand new blog WHY?!”). I work like I’m a workaholic (but I’m not because work-life balance is THE most important thing in my world) who’s planning a wedding, hanging with my boo, trying to call my friends, gchatting my sister and cousin, journaling, trying to squeeze some exercise in there (or at least keep my core tight as I sit and type all day), and finally eating Indian food while watching Jeopardy (I’m literally 55), and other mindless TV until I start to drift.

2. What can you not live without?

I cannot live, die, breathe, thrive or survive without my family and friends. This is obvious. But I’d lose my mind without my fiancé, I’d lose my job without my dad, I’d lose my grip on adulthood without my mom, and I’d lose my excitement for life without my sisters (K + Cousins).

I also can’t live without moments of peace. In the last year or so I’ve realized that a big part of me is a total homebody. And man, do I embrace that part. Especially in a manic city like New York (<3), it’s essential to find peace.

3. First thing you do when you get home?

I keep my trusty mason jar filled with dried sage leaves right near my front door, and every night when I get home I grab one, strike a match, and let the smoke surround me. Sage is said to have healing and cleansing properties (ever heard of Smudging?), and I totally buy it!

4. One word that only people who know you well would use to describe you?

Gullible. I will trust someone to the moon and back. Even if they’re not worthy of it. I wear my heart on my sleeve and get hurt often. But I’m working on it!

5. If you were on death row, what would be the last thing you ate?

SOMETHING GLUTENOUS. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in November of 2012, and MAN do I miss my old favorites. But if I had to choose one thing, it’d be New York’s Artichoke Pizza. If you’ve never had it, look it up, and then book a ticket to New York.

6. What is your dream?

My dream is to do something I love, come home to someone I love, travel to places I love (or think I’ll love), and be near the people I love.

7. When asked to “think happy thoughts” where does your mind take you?

To my wedding day! I get chills just thinking about it. The picture is coming together so nicely (finally! Wedding planning is NO JOKE), and being able to finally visualize that day is wild.

But, when the wedding is stressing me out, my happy place is in my Mom & Dad’s living room. Fire place on, wine in hand, hanging with the entire Gautam clan with the pup in my lap.

8.  5 years ago. 5 years from now.

Five years ago, I was in my senior year of college. It was such a crazy time with super lows and super highs. My now Fiancé and I were broken up (low), I was living with three of my best friends (and future bridesmaids!), dancing on the Bhangra team, and trying to do my final college year justice.

I hope five years from now I’m a better version of myself – more understanding, more patient, more accepting. I’m lucky enough to know who I’ll have by my side five years from now, but I hope to be closer to our family and friends. And be on track to having a family of our own (MADNESS). I hope to still be pursuing my individual dreams, too. I find so much fulfillment in what I do. And maybe just maybe… I’ll be writing a novel. #truth.

9. What’s the best compliment someone can give you?

The best feeling in the world is to write something that people relate to. I once wrote a blog post on my old blog and a few of my friends sent me an email, thanking me for talking openly about something that they too had been feeling. It was AMAZING. It’s like when you finish a book and hold it to your heart because it just spoke to you. That is epic.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To take what life gives me and make the best of it. To not let things get me down – I’m built to be resilient and persevere. (Thanks, Papa).

11. What’s your current life mantra?

“Slow progress is still progress.” We are so hard on ourselves all the damn time. It’s okay to take things slow as long as you’re moving in the right direction. This whole “instant gratification” mindset has got to change sometime! Work hard, put in the time, try your best, and you’ll progress.

K

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1. What do your days look like?

Honestly, most of the time my days end up looking like a mass of struggles and chaos. During the week I rush between work (the Loop) and class (Rogers Park). On a good day I’ll fit in some time at the gym, or I’ll spend some time blogging or catching up on Netflix. On the weekends I paint the town red (and blue, and green, and even purple) with all my best friends.

2. What can you not live without?

First and foremost, I cannot live without my family and friends. They are my life and the reason I am who I am today. Also, I know it’s so 21st century to say this, but I cannot imagine life without my laptop. Everything is on it and it connects me to the world! And if you know me, you know I can’t do without some Chipotle.

3. First thing you do when you get home

Everyday, as soon as I get home, I change into sweatpants and throw my hair up. Ain’t NOBODY tryna stay cute while relaxing.

4. One word that only people who know you well would use to describe you

I think I have the tendency to come off as a bit of a hard-ass when you’re first getting to know me. Probably because I’m huge on teasing people and calling them out whenever I can…even when I’ve just met them. I think teasing is bonding. But I think people who truly know me know how compassionate I am. When it comes down to it, I do everything with heart. I pretty much never think with my head (this is a huge character flaw actually). I make my decisions based off of love and comfort rather than sense and success. So bold, badass? Maybe at a glance. But really just a sensitive fool.

5. If you were on death row, what would be the last thing you ate?

A nutella long john from Firecakes. Duh.

6. What is your dream?

My dream is life. I dream about life all the time. I want to, as cliché as it sounds, live it to its fullest. I want to travel. Eat. Laugh. Drink. Love. Work. Even cry. All of those are a part of my dream of life.

7. When asked to “think happy thoughts” where does your mind take you.

This is something that changes pretty frequently, depending on where I am in life. Right now I’m consumed by thoughts of my post-grad life. So when I can’t sleep at night, I try to picture myself in my dream job (and obviously in an awesome outfit and a well decorated office…okay fine, I’ll be realistic…cubicle).

8. 5 years ago. 5 years from now.

Five years ago I was 17-years-old. I had just started adjusting to the move my family had made from Solon, Ohio to Naperville, Illinois. I had spent the past year miserable, missing what I knew. But as a Junior in High School, I decided to roll with the punches, and it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me.

Five years from now I’ll be 27-years-old. Oh my god. Hopefully I’ll have that well-decorated cubicle (maybe even a small office by then?) at an ad agency in a city that fills me with life and aspirations. Honestly, I hope I’m at least engaged so I don’t need to call up my grandmother’s older sister in India and tell her to find me some guy (she’s already told me she has a few in mind…my dad was not happy). And most of all, I hope that my family and friends are still in my life the way they are now (see…foolishly sensitive).

9. What’s the best compliment someone can give you?

“I love your writing/blog”. Seriously that is my absolute favorite compliment.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Actually, this is a piece of advice A gave me a few years ago, and since I’ve spread it to a number of people. Let me give a little background on the issue that was at hand. I wanted to reach out to someone because I felt like I needed to get something off my chest, but I was hesitant. You know, you never want to annoy people or come off as clingy. She told me, do whatever makes you feel better. What a simple thought. Why don’t more people think like that? I don’t really care how Person X feels about it. If me saying something or doing something will give me peace of mind or make me feel better, I’ll do it.

11. What’s your current life mantra?

One step at a time. Guys…life is crazy! If you try to take it all on at once you collapse under the debris of it all. One little thing at a time, and we’ll all be just fine!

Hopefully you feel like you know us a liiittle bit better now. Keep an eye out for future Honesty Hours. We promise to always tell it how it is!

Jointly yours,

A & K

Hello & Welcome

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Jointly. A blog through which we will share our lives, our loves, and our musings, both separate and together, as sisters.

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Writing is a huge passion of ours (perhaps through the blood of our journalistic, freedom fighting, and small-town famous maternal grandfather). And while we’ve both stumbled upon our love for it different ways, we’ve reached a point where our wordsmithing dreams have collided.

We should correct ourselves here, though. The love is not just for writing. But also for food, music, relationships, adventures, work, and all the other things that make life life.

We’re hoping you’ll bear with us, and learn with us, as we navigate through some of life’s biggest experiences this year – carving out a career path, making a new home, planning and having a wedding. This shit’s no joke!

Please come back and hang with us, share with us, and teach us a thing or two on Jointly. Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Jointly yours,

A & K