Reasons I Smile

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the very first stages of summer!

So inspirations been a little low on my end lately. I’ve had one jam packed day after another since my last day of college. Yes, a large reason is because I’m giving my body all the hours of sleep it has been cheated of the last four years (this, much to my mother’s dismay, means waking up at noon pretty much everyday), but beyond that I’m busy planning my post-grad life, A’s bachelorette party, A’s four wedding functions (Indian wedding are f-ing awesome…until you have to plan one), exercising (also for the wedding because let’s be honest, who in their right mind enjoys that s**t…seriously), and trying to keep up with my friends who are literally scattered around the globe right now.

I can tell you one thing…it ain’t easy. None of it is easy. And with all the stress going around, I have to remind myself of all the reasons to smile and be happy.

I know that everyone feels low sometimes, so I thought I’d share a few of my happy thoughts, hoping that maybe you can use them as yours too!

1. It’s summer

Sure, it comes every year, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful! The warmth of the sun, the smell of chlorine, the sensation of freshly cut grass under your feet. Summer alone gives you over one hundred reasons to smile.

2. Family

Whenever I feel overwhelmed or down (and I mean whenever, even at 3AM) I pick up the phone and call someone in my family (depending on what the situation is). Having the most loving, giving, and beautiful family is always a reason to smile. How lucky am I, to have my mom, dad, and sister? The answer: so lucky.

3. TV

TV is good. Actually, it’s the best. All you really need when you’re feeling blah is a good show to watch. There are shows to make you feel like less of a failure, shows to make you feel less alone, and shows to make you feel nostalgic. My go-to show for an overall pick me up is The Mindy Project. Because she is amazingly hilarious, real, and people tell me I’m like her so I obviously love her. But sometimes all you really need is to get out of your shoes in order to realize that your shoes are exactly where you want to be.

4. Flowers

They’re beautiful. Need I say more? Hit up Trader Joe’s and put something fresh and colorful in every room. Then you can take artsy Instagram pictures and get a ton of likes and feel good about yourself (I’m totally being sarcastic…well kind of).

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5. Music

Turn off The Weeknd, Jeff Buckley, or whatever it is you’re listening to. While these are two of my favorite artists…are you trying to drown in self-pity? Put on some o’ dat Leighton Meester, Pharrell Williams stuff. Happy tunes = happy life.

6. Candles

It can be 90 degrees outside and I’ll still light candles. Because nothing is more beautiful than a dancing flame.

7. Kiddie foods

Popsicles, Dunkaroos, Moon Pies, Gushers. How can you not be happy in a world with all these delicacies?! The only thing that gets me through my beach/wedding workouts is knowing that soon I can eat all of these things. In one sitting.

8. My friends

I love ’em. I’m obsessed with them. More stuff you already know about me.

9. Anything colorful

I like being around anything that is bright and gives my life a little pop. I bought this turquoise blazer today with huge pink and red flowers all over it and I just wanted to sit with it all day. Being around pretty, lively things will make you feel pretty and lively…guaranteed. (This is also more proof for #4).

10. FaceTime

FaceTime is so fun. I could FaceTime anyone and the conversation would start with an ear-to-ear smile. Maybe it’s because it’s so awkward that you just have to have fun with it and smile. Or maybe it’s the thought that someone loves me and wants to talk to me so much that they’ll sit miles away from me, on their phone, staring at my face on their phone screen…I don’t know, but FaceTime is awesome.

11. Dogs (this is a bonus because the list was meant to end at 10, buuut…)

I’m obsessed with my dog. Every time I re-enter the room that she’s in I cover her with hugs and kisses and yes…baby talk. She’s happiest being at home, on the couch, with a comfortable blanket and a cuddle buddy. Which is perfect because that’s when I’m my happiest! We’re two peas in a pod. It sounds like I’m talking about my significant other but she’s way more significant than another “other” out there.

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12. Chipotle (another bonus…there are just so many reasons to smile!)

How could I have almost forgotten Chipotle? It’s been a long month without you…but I’m comin’ for you baby. Me and you, July 13th.

 

So guys, I’ve just given you twelve reasons to perk up and smile. Life ain’t so bad, sunshine!

 

Lots of love,

K

 

 

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Bollywood vs. Reality

So, as most of you know (or should know by this point), I am a little bit of a Bollywood* junkie. So much so that a few days ago one of my friends informed me that one of India’s largest film production company’s was searching for a fresh new face and my stomach doubled over with excitement. This is my break. Naturally, my dad shot the idea down so fast and went on that whole “have you seen the filth in those movies”. I’m assuming by “filth” he means that on-screen kisses are now common in Hindi films.

Regardless, in effort to make myself feel a tad bit better about my now dead dreams, I have decided to write this post.

The differences between Bollywood and real life.

Time

The concept of time is highly skewed in all Hindi films. You’re probably thinking, yeah K, obviously, it’s a story condensed into a measly three hours (joke because three hours is NOT measly. Honestly, try telling that to the six year old being forced to sit through Jodhaa Akbar). Yeah, I get that but that’s not what I mean. In Hindi movies characters fall in love at first sight. No not like a general intrigue or a damn, that girl is on fire…actual “Hello madam, I love you” love. And this “love” usually ends up lasting a lifetime. HA. Okay. School days last for the duration of one four minute song, and going from post-shower, wet hair, to hair extensions in and perfectly blowing in the “natural wind” takes a solid one and a half minutes. So it’s no wonder why the typical nine to five seems like a total drag and that my bicep hurts after twenty minutes with a blow dryer.

Song and dance

One of the most disappointing things about growing up on Bollywood is realizing that real people don’t sing and dance. Like excuse me, but I was brought up to believe that when I had my first crush we would spend days and days together running through fields in different outfits expressing our inability to sleep (oh because it is common in Bollywood for characters to become insomniacs when they’re in love) to one another. Instead? Instead I had to sit at the dining room table doing my Kumon (by doing I mean opening the answer booklet and copying down the answers…I mean really…why would you ever trust a kid with an answer booklet?) and wondering if my crush would still be on AIM when I was done. Most days he wasn’t.

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No two guys have done this for me. Ever.

Boys and Love

There is just too much to say, I may have to break this down even further.

1. Daydreams

In Hindi movies both guys and girls only have one category of idle thinking…love. In reality, while I am over here daydreaming about   love, the guy I’m thinking about is daydreaming about motorcycles, brewing beer, and awesome facial hair. AREYOUSERIOUS?

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Day dreamin’ like whattt

2. The romantic late night scene

You know that scene that Shakespeare invented? The classic girl on the balcony, guy in the garden scene? Yeah, Bollywood stole that shit and reinvented it at least 200 times. So naturally here I am expecting that…or at least a nice goodnight phone call (talk about low maintenance right?). Instead? On a good day maybe us ladies will receive a “Goin to bed, night”. Oh really? Because Ram snuck into Leela’s bedroom to share forbidden pillow talk and you say “goin to bed”? You don’t even care enough to add the last G? What the…

3. In reality boys are a lot shorter, probably because they can’t get away with wearing man high-heels.

4. Courting

In Bollywood the male lead will pretty much harass and stalk the girl until she’s like “okay, yay, I love you too!”. So imagine the surprise of Indian girls all over when their first crush confesses his love for her, she plays hard to get, and then the next day he’s dating some other sixth grader who’s already had braces. Yo, you’re supposed to court me for at least 2 months. And by court I mean get a group of guys and trail behind me singing songs until I give in.

5. Protectiveness

Raj from DDLJ got his ass handed to him by a bunch of random Punjabi men at a train station when he refused to leave town without the love of his life, Simran. And you are just going to let that random drunk guy hit on me? Not only are you going to let it happen, you’re just going to laugh and walk to the bar and get a drink? YES I can take care of myself but chivalry was never meant to die.

Trains

As you can tell from the above story in #5, trains are sort of a big deal in Bollywood. Raj and Simran. Aditya and Geet. Kabir and Naina. As a Chicagoan, I take the L like…multiple times a day. And I have been doing so for the past four years. And the only remotely romantic thing that has happened to me on the train is when R and I caught a glimpse of each other as the doors were closing. R ended up on a different car than I did, so at the next stop with both ran to one another and met on the car in between and hugged in victory. R is one of my best friends…and a girl. Other than that it’s very much just creepy people saying creepy things to you or to themselves which is even creepier.

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The favorite Bollywood couple, Raj and Simran

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2013’s modern day train scene

In a strange twist of fate, this post has not made me feel any better about my dead Bollywood dreams. In fact, it has somehow made me love Bollywood even more. I guess I am that brainwashed by Indian cinema. Sigh.

Lamely yours,

K

* Bollywood is India’s film industry. It happens to be the largest film industry in the world, bringing in about…well I don’t know because my Internet is being really slow. But it brings in a lot of money and Bollywood actors and actresses are essentially royalty. Each film is roughly between 2.5-4 hours long and almost every movie has a few songs sprinkled into the storyline. It is easily the best past time ever.

Sorry Not Sorry

Hello from the brinks of K-hell!

K-hell: a state of life in which one cannot eat whatever one pleases. This is what hell is like in my mind. And thanks to whizzie removal (wisdom teeth), I am in the depths of hell.

Anyways, the past few days I have done little aside from lay in bed and watch TV or sleep. So obviously I’ve had a lot of time to think and I hit a huge realization about myself.

I apologize far too often and too much.

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(I like to think that I look that cute while apologizing)

I’m not sure exactly why this is. Maybe it’s my hatred for confrontation. Maybe it’s my desire to not get fired from my internship. Or maybe it’s because I don’t want my professors to hate me. Whatever it is, I’ve come to see how utterly ridiculous is.

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I send an e-mail to a professor or my boss saying I won’t be in class or in the office because I’m sick, and then I sign it “Sorry for the inconvenience!” Uhm, what? If I’m saying sorry to anyone it should be myself because being sick sucks and it’s a huge inconvenience to me. This past week one of my professors sent out an e-mail saying that he had made a mistake on the syllabus and our paper that was due later in the week was actually on Chapter 4, not 3. Of course, with my luck, I get this e-mail as I’m writing the conclusion of the seven page paper. I e-mailed the professor letting him know that I had already finished the paper and asking him if he’d accept it or not. And then I signed it sorry! What the hell was I sorry for!? He’s the one who messed up! Seriously, I’m ridiculous.

I’m the first to apologize to the important people in my life just because I rather not have any negativity between us. But I’m pretty sure most of the time it’s not even my fault and I’m stretching to even find a reason to apologize. And yet I still do it. I apologize when I don’t respond to text messages within a couple hours. I say “Sorry, I was in class!” if I miss a phone call. But really, I’m not sorry. There’s nothing for me to be sorry for. I’m not sorry that I’m being responsible and sitting in class or at work and not answering my phone.

I know you all do this too, because you do it to me. And you know what? Don’t. Why do we need to constantly be apologizing for things like falling ill or being busy?! For speaking our minds or not agreeing with something? There are definitely times in life when you should apologize, but being yourself or being busy or sick are not on that list.

Why should we apologize for things that are completely out of our control? Why should we apologize for being ourselves? Answer: we shouldn’t.

I think, at least for me, a lot of this has to do with how sure I am of myself. Especially if I’m talking to people above me (professors, superiors at work) I will always apologize or allow them to pile more work on me and take it with a smile. But why? My dad always taught A and I to put our feet down and not let people take advantage of our kindness, and somewhere in the scary adult world, I lost hold of that lesson.

So I’m not sorry. And you shouldn’t be either.

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With love,

K