Things The World Should Have Told Me

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Heartburn

Every time I open my Facebook page, I run into articles telling me that as a millennial, I can have it all. I can quit my job, start living all the dreams I cast aside because I couldn’t afford and lay the groundwork to “completing myself”.

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Being “Visible” – a celebration of all the badass woman like Qandeel Baloch

Qandeel Baloch died nearly a week ago, and in that week I was forced to ask myself a lot of uncomfortable questions. You see when a woman like Qandeel dies; the way you react to her murder is the probably the most telling thing about you.

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Qandeel Baloch, courtesy of StarsUnfolded.com

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The One Where I Tell Myself, You’re Good

When I think about my childhood and all the times I imagined a time skip happening to me growing up and becoming a “pretty, mature, and well-settled” version of myself.

I have to restrain the urge to wish that a Tardis existed, and that I would probably deck mini-Sharu in the face for having daydreams.

Because that’s something current-Sharu would totally do.

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Sometimes I think Chanel Oberlin is my spirit animal.

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Daydreams and Growing Pains

As you grow up, you begin to realize how many dreams you’ve abandoned because you didn’t try enough.

 

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Image Credit: “Up” by Pixar

 

While some of these dreams were cast aside purely because of logistics and unreasonable standards. Some dreams were left because you never forced yourself to go that extra mile to achieve it.

This has happened to me many a times purely because I assumed too much and was too afraid to rock the boat. Dreams, to

Dreams to me, were just fantasies I let myself dabble in when I couldn’t concentrate on homework, assignments or chores. These dreams were just big what-ifs on what my life could be like if I hadn’t made the choices (I more often than I’d like to admit, regret making) that resulted in the path I’m currently in.

But that brings me back to what I wanted to talk about – ‘time’ or the crazy way we suddenly grow older and then, we just hit the pause button and go, “How the hell did we end up here?”.

At the moment, none of us really have the answer to that question.

I’m the kind of person that believes that everything happens for a reason, and we don’t get more than we can bear in terms of difficulty and happiness. In retrospect, I may find out why I made all those decisions as I grow older but right now, I can’t help but feel slightly resentful of the things I gave up.

A part of me feels like each time I change course, a new reality is probably being set up for me and I’m going to keep changing my journey to suit the situation I’m in.Another part of me, however, feels like my deep-rooted insecurity is right and that I’m making a mistake.

Dreams, aren’t supposed to burst so fast – especially when you’re relatively young. Dreams are supposed to be like trees – rooted and strong till you let the gardener go mad with the chainsaw and cut it down.

All I want to say is that everyone should nurture their dreams, no matter how much time ticks away and makes it look further than away. Alan Rickman became an actor at 32, Brandon Stanton started Humans of New York after he got sacked, and Mindy Kaling graduated from being a writer to a lead actress and showrunner of her own show.

Dreams – if you love them and water them enough will bloom into pine trees. Even if you have to put your dreams into boxes and take them out late at night – do it.

Life is but a song and eventually, if you keep working on it enough – it will eventually turn into a reality.

Chasing Ghosts

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This year hasn’t been the easiest year for me so far – I’ve had a really weird and complicated year and I’ve cried a lot in the past two and a half months.

The worst thing about this year is that because now I’m officially an ‘adult’. I’m supposed to take responsibility and learn to suck up things I’m actually not even supposed to put up with in the first place.

Being an adult is the most frightening thing because you can’t use your youth anymore for crappy decisions, you need to start taking responsibility and I’m so scared that I’m failing at it. Like I’m crashing and burning even before my novel has began.

I am supposed to have all my plans in order and a future laid out for me in the form of a five-year plan that’s supposed to make me feel like I’m doing something right with my life. I’m supposed to shut up and work with people who think it’s okay to tell me what I should eat, and constant comments about my looks, lunch, and my opinions.

While I do all of that, I’m expected to live this life that’s got gym workouts, time to meet up with friends, balance hobbies (lol, what hobbies) and be mentally up to wanting to have a future.

My friendships have suffered a lot recently, and I even wrote an advice email to Captain Awkward who I got told by a mod named Jennifer to “go and see a therapist, if you’re already not seeing one.”

Gee thanks, Jennifer. I really needed to hear that Oprah-worthy reply after pouring out my heart to you.

All of this happened to me while I was trying to understand why I was friends with someone who doesn’t like me but talks to me anyway, and someone who I considered a good friend but ended up getting mad that I wanted to be in touch with her (I got quite the lashing on Facebook chat).

Then, there’s her, you know that friend I’ve probably blogged about multiple times on this blog when she’s been emotionally screwing me over, and acting like nothing ever happened every time she runs back when she needs her “best friend”. I’m just so tired of being treated like I’m making all the wrong decisions and choices, I don’t even know what kind of friendship we both have because we are always fighting or just not in touch. I’m only important if shit happens in her life and I’m always the spare, which is the most frustrating thing in the world because she’s always emotionally unavailable for me. I’m just so tired of being treated like I’m making all the wrong decisions and choices, I don’t even know what kind of friendship we both have because we are always fighting or just not in touch. I’m only important if shit happens in her life and I’m always the spare, which is the most frustrating thing in the world because she’s always emotionally unavailable for me.

I’m just so tired of being treated like I’m making all the wrong decisions and choices, I don’t even know what kind of friendship we both have because we are always fighting or just not in touch. I’m only important if shit happens in her life and I’m always the spare, which is the most frustrating thing in the world because she’s always emotionally unavailable for me.

The worst thing about all of this is that I’m so scared of growing up.

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I wish I had made more mistakes when I was in college and actually done things. I’m just in an internship which I don’t really know what I’m going to do with myself after this is over, I keep applying for jobs and looking at people my age and thinking, “Wow, they’re really good at this whole growing up thing.”

I feel like I’m stuck and I’m not going forward, I’m so scared of getting a job that I may choose to make money and forego my dream of being a filmmaker. I’m just so scared that whatever I said I would do just vanish and then, I would be forced to settle into a life I really don’t know if I’m ready for.

I don’t want to feel like I’m chasing ghosts instead of actual dreams; because that’s all I ever feel that I’m doing nowadays. I feel like I’m no closer to getting to the place I want to be in my five-year plan than I was a year ago in university.

And that’s a really awful feeling.

Deepika Padukone vs. TOI, Emma Watson, Sam Pepper a.k.a #STOPSHIT2K14

So, this week hasn’t been the best week for women all around the world.

India may have gotten praise worldwide for the successful launch of Mars mission (Mangalayaan); but we fell back at least two centuries when a leading-news daily called ‘The Times of India’ slutshamed an Indian actress for making a fuss about them posting about her cleavage.

Now, I have so many things I wish I could say about how I feel about TOI, and the comments that I read online through Twitter and Facebook.

First things first, I feel disgusted that people think that the only reason Deepika Padukone is retweeting people supporting her as ‘attention-seeking’. I’m sorry, but that’s you and everyone who’s agreeing with you being a complete douchebag shit.

The fact that a woman has to complain and tweet responses at a supposedly ‘respected’ news daily only to be told ‘it’s a compliment ;)’, and then be shamed publicly in a newspaper and an article online because she didn’t appreciate you writing diddly squat about her cleavage and the fact that she likes wearing low-necks and clothes that make her look amazing.

Honestly, I feel so close to throwing my laptop out of the window, and banging my head against the wall in frustration because no one is understanding that the only person who decides what’s right for her body and her choices is Deepika Padukone.

But The Times of India, obviously doesn’t think so because they told her, “Hey Deepika, you’re so cute when you’re making a fuss about us doing this when you built your career on the fact that you showed your legs, breasts and ass to make a living, and oh, let’s remind the public that you did all the provocative and titillating photoshoots when the camera wasn’t rolling. LOL, your opinion really doesn’t count cuz you asked for it.”

Now, I can devote an entire post to this issue and rant about how angry I feel that as a young Indian woman who may end up working back in India; my opinions, my choices on people commenting on my body and the fact that I have to argue with people who have no connection to me have a say in whatever I do, because that’s what society’s teaching me. I’m even more upset that there are people on my Facebook feed who are taking the side of TOI and saying that the actress is taking it too far because it’s not a such a big deal.

The thing is that it is a big deal – it’s a huge deal because by telling Deepika Padukone to shut up and suck it up; you’re telling the sexist bullshit narrative that that nonsense news organization is feeding you, “That women should shut up, lest they be made a laughing stock because it’s not worth it.” You’re giving the gross people who prowl 4chan and Reddit leaking nude celebrity photos of women for the public, a big fat thumbs up because you’re telling a woman who isn’t comfortable with the way she’s being treated publicly to pipe down.

So, I’m going to end up giving Deepika Padukone a huge virtual hug and telling her, “Keep doing this, you’re making a difference to people like me who support you and stand by you. Oh, I also uninstalled the Times of India app from my phone because I don’t want to give them any support.”

Here’s something that will put what they did into perspective by my good friends AIB,


Now, onto the more positive news that I was so happy that happened because I’ve always admired and respected Emma Watson.

Earlier this year actress Emma Watson (of the Harry Potter fame) was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Women by the United Nations. She spoke earlier this week at a conference about her being a feminist, the need for public figures to make a difference with their power, and the start of the campaign, “HeForShe” which supports and encourages equality between the sexes.

I’m commending her for publicly saying that she’s a feminist because people need to stop treating feminism and the feminists who campaign and fight for women’s issues with such malice, indifference and condescension. I’m also commending her for breaking whatever stereotype that people pinned to her by saying that, “Oh, that Harry Potter girl who dresses well probably doesn’t know anything about society and its issues.”

As a feminist and a very vocal supporter about issues I feel strongly about, I’m so proud that she’s taking a stand and saying all the things I wish more female celebrities would do for women. As a feminist, I feel that when I hear Emma Watson talk about how we need to erase double standards and the sexist narrative that’s ingrained into us that there is hope for Deepika Padukone and all the women who are treated like they don’t deserve a voice.

Dear Emma, You’re Awesome

However, 4chan (that cesspool of narrow-minded gross neckbeards with fetishes for furry porn, bad humour and #NotAllMen answers) sent a message to her in the media that if she doesn’t stop being a feminist then they’d leak her nudes and terrorize her.

And this happened, euw.

Thank you 4chan, for once more proving why Emma Watson’s speech proves the point that we need men to step up and help women out with their issues and encourage equality among the sexes. After all, I don’t see George Clooney’s nudes being leaked for asking the UN to help out in the crisis in South Sudan. Things like this, my dear subscribers is why I cry that these people will continue the human race and breed more prejudice into innocent children and continue this cycle of indifference.


The face of gross

Finally, I will talk about Sam Pepper who I feel like punching in the face and throwing in the dustbin with these list of Internet celebrities who I wonder why they even own a computer, and a social media account, let alone a fan following (Curtis Lepore, Shane Dawson, Nash Grier).

Sam Pepper, a former Big Brother contestant and Youtube star earlier disgusted the world by posting a prank where he stopped and asked women for directions, while subtly groping them inappropriately through a sweatshirt.

I would link you the video, but I don’t think I want to encourage people to go and watch it and give him dollars by viewing it on his Youtube page.

Now, I’m really glad there are so many articles being published and circulated about this guy, because well, for obvious reasons. I’m also glad that Youtubers are speaking out about this issue and dragging him in the mud (Thank you Megan Tonjes, Jack Howard, Tyler Oakley and the others who are protesting this behaviour).

If you all want to know about this issue, here are a couple of links that will give you a timeline and understanding on why we need to call out people on them being gross and irresponsible.. Especially when they’re threatening the people they victimized and playing dumb that their phone had been hacked (lol).

#StopSamPepper

So, I’ve done my first post commenting on what bullshit I think had to be called out this week; and I’ve publicly voiced my opinions about issues that should be circulated and spoken about. I really hope that people speak out about these matters publicly, and try and make a difference. This week has been a shitty week for women with all these things happening in the world, but there has been few glimmers of hope that are breaking through and shining.

Here’s to hoping that there is more volume in the voices that raise fair points, and continue to keep making differences.