I remember the guy who bullied me when I was 10 years old. He was senior, probably in ninth grade at the time and had recently moved to Dubai from India. We lived in the same apartment complex and so went on the same school bus. I don’t know why he decided that he hated me but he did and he made sure I knew just how much. He never did anything while we were actually in school or when we were on the school bus, but the few minutes he had between getting on to the bus and the time between getting off the bus and going up the elevator were horrible. It started with him throwing an entire bottle of water on me just before I got on the bus and then things escalated. One day just as we were nearing our home, he came up to me and said I’m going to kill you filthy lankan. And I didn’t know what to do except to run to hide in the underground car park instead of heading to the elevator. That monster followed me, he chased me around for awhile until I ran into the elevator but I wasn’t fast enough- he got in as well and spat at me and pulled my hair while I crouched in the corner biting my tongue and forcing myself not to cry. When the doors opened on his floor, he just got off very casually and walked off like nothing happened and I went to my house and told no one about it., I was scared because he told me he would kill my mum too. He did this a few times before he got caught by the Manager of our apartment who walked into the elevator and saw him kicking me and spitting at my face. He and his family were kicked out of the apartment complex shortly after and my parents went and complained to the school and he was expelled. I was so scared the whole time because I felt like I had given more reason for him to come kill me and my family.
I had many long conversations after that with my parents, with the school counsellor and the likes who told me all about bullies and how I need to stand up for myself and tell an adult if something like that ever happens again- because hurting another human, bullying is never okay. After awhile, I stopped having nightmares and I stopped crying all the time and I felt safe. I felt like now that I had been through a terrifying bullying experience I would be safe from it and I wouldn’t have to experience it ever again.
Reality had a much different plan, since then I have faced so many bullies in all shapes and forms.
You can’t predict when someone decides that you will be their victim. That you will be the punching bag for all the anger and hate that is obviously gushing through their veins. You can’t predict when people will go out of their way to tear you down to make themselves feel better.
It doesn’t get better with time.
I cried last night because some girl decided that she will take the opportunity to ruin a great moment for me by trying to tear me down – 18 years later bullies still make me feel the same way that boy did back in the elevator. The one thing I have learned through all these experiences is to not let the taunting and hurtful crippling words get the better of me and my spirit and not let that rule my life. It is hard though, so hard.
A few months (?) ago I wrote a post about how blood cancer has affected my life and how it has motivated me to take part in the world’s greatest shave. Since then my local paper published an article to help me raise funds (thanks Maribyrnong Leader!), I was able to raise $1000 thanks to my generous family and friends (donation still open, if you are interested), and on the 11th of March I rocked up to Federation Square, got on a stage and let the volunteers shave off my locks…
Not going to lie, there was a moment during the shave when I actually had tears in my eyes – I loved my long hair and a lot of my confidence came from wearing my long hair out and there I was letting someone just shave it all off. But now (four days after the fact), I love the new me and it feels liberating to just wear my face. So here I am #nofilter
More importantly, the events around Australia raised $10 million – that’s $10 million that will go towards those suffering from blood cancer and their families to aid treatment processes, that’s $10 million that will go to researchers who are in the process of finding a cure. It makes me hopeful, maybe not for my grandmother who’s cancer has worsened over the past month (she is being tested for TB at the moment) but there is hope for others and I think it’s important to be hopeful in this fight for a cure.
I hate making excuses and this year I really wanted to stop making excuses and stick to habits and get things done but I think I am failing.
If you have been reading about my life issues over the last few months, I was talking about how I feel sick all the time. I have been since diagnosed as having coeliac disease. This has been a little bit of a shock and an adjustment for me because I had a very unrestricted and gluten based diet. I am still learning all the aspects of living with coeliac and to be honest it has been a slow learning process.
I am also always exhausted. I read somewhere that this was a result of having a gluten intolerance and I am starting to read more about how to start working towards a better lifestyle but its proving to be a little hard. I will have 8 hours of sleep and wake up feeling tired and horrible. The past two days, I pretty much slept all day – I feel horrible and my dizzy from over sleeping but I seem to not be able to stay away from my bed for more than two hours. For instance, I was out to brunch today and despite having two coffee I fell asleep on the couch and once I got home I slept for 3 hours (I had 9 hours sleep the night before by the way). It is disgusting!
I know a lot of the time, motivation comes from within and I really need to kick myself into gear and start not being so lazy and create an effective environment for me to function in but I think I need some guidance at this point…
So, if anyone out there has good tips and advice on how to live a healthy and non-exhausted gluten free lifestyle – which I am sure is a possibility I am too lazy to find out for myself- please help!
So Andres walked into the bathroom while I was having a shower and I had a panic attack because I had left my used pad lying around (not that Andres could care less, God bless him). And it made me realise how embarrassed and ashamed I am of something that I really shouldn’t be. But also made me think about how growing up I had always associated having my period as something that I need to keep private and almost up its existence.
In school we skipped the whole section on reproduction and instead had a presentation on puberty which lacked any sort of real information about puberty and the presenters awkwardly danced around the subject of periods which just made all the boys laugh and all the girls cringe with embarrassment.
At home, I would make sure no one ever caught a whiff of my bloody state – no pads lying around, no stains and definitely no mention of it. I remember once I needed to buy a pack of pads but I didn’t want to tell my dad and I kept asking him to take me to the shops so that I could get chocolates and he kept refusing and I got told off for being silly but even then not a peep about the period – I just waited all day till my mum came home.
I don’t think it’s just me though. I mean look at the commercials for pads – why is the liquid blue?
Remember when that Indian artist took a photo of herself lying on her bed with period stains on the sheet and her pants and the internet went wild calling her disgusting? We are programmed to hide and be ashamed this very natural bodily function because what ?! Because it would perhaps upset the male population?
Judging by Andres reaction, I don’t think Real men are phased by periods and neither should we. I’m all about hygiene don’t get me wrong but how about we don’t get awkward about talking about our flows!
Just a thought
I am trying hard to stick to them, some are harder than others to be honest. I have had a few breakdowns recently and it has been hard to try and see the silver lining but I promise to keep fighting the good fight. But one thing that I have realised from my major vents to my friends is that we all go through shit periods where you feel like you are lost and it is important to start patting yourself in the back for the smallest of accomplishments regardless of how important they may seem in the grand scheme of things.
Which brings me back to a resolution that I made at the start of this year that I have sort of been able to actually start and keep up so far – my morning routine. Last year my morning routine consisted of waking up just in time for the train and frantically pulling my shit together before dashing out of the door and then binge on coffee and ham and cheese sandwiches to get me through my chaotic day. Now, its starting to take a different shape.
I have now started waking up at 7 am (I am slowing going to try and make this 6am so I can go for a morning yoga class – but small steps!). As soon as I wake up, I drink a glass of water and turn my phone off from airplane mode and read some news. Because I am now waking up earlier, I actually have time to make a breakfast smoothie (which is usually all the fruits I can find around the house, some linseeds and fiber supplements)and take time to decide on what I am going to wear (which for me was fairly a foreign concept to me and it also meant I used the other 3/4 of my wardrobe which I hadn’t even touched previously). I manage to do all this and get to work by 9am which means I don’t need to rush through the day and feel like I am constantly playing catch up. This small change for me has meant a lot, mostly because I have become a lot more productive and I have more control over how I spend my time (oh and I have started to really exploit the ical app which I highly recommend!)
Anyway, that is all for now. Before I finish off, i just wanted to share something I read in an article with all of you:
I know that it is disheartening to keep going when you’ve been stuck in the same situation for what feels like thousands of years, but you have to know that most of the time (not even sometimes) the only way way out is through.
I am super excited because I finally finally completed one of my online courses!!
I have been enrolling and un-enrolling in these online courses through edX and Coursera for the longest time but I have never been able to sit down and go through the lectures and assessments- because let’s be honest life happens and free online courses take a back seat.
But this year, I wanted to try and develop a little bit of discipline and I wanted to try and work on my skill development – and I proved to myself that with a little bit of internal pushing I can in fact do it!
So I have been devoting my Sundays and Mondays (because I don’t work on Mondays) to spending some me time. Last year, this meant sleeping in till 1pm and watching tv all day or walking into the city to window shop. But this year I made the effort to get my lazy ass up out of bed and into the library bright and early in the morning and focus on doing more productive work. AND IT WORKED!
I realise blogging about this may seem quite silly but I think personally it is important to celebrate even the smallest of wins in life 😀
Anyway, I have another course starting tomorrow and I am pumped to keep this momentum going 😀
My resolutions for the year – I know I am a little late to the party but I wanted to spend a little bit of time thinking about what I wanted to achieve this year and more importantly how I will spend my time. Last year was a good start but I feel like I was a little too ambitious and didn’t consider all the things that I had going on and i started becoming really overwhelmed, so lesson learned!
Also, I want to write out my resolutions not because they are new and profound goals but because I feel like having them written down will make me a lot more accountable and I will be a lot more inclined to follow through on them.
See the silver lining: I try my best to always see the good in people and be happy with any sort of citrus fruits life hands me but towards the end of last year I was getting really angry with everything and everyone. That kind of attitude made it harder for me to be happy about situations and I became a whiny, complain-y, let’s have a bleak attitude towards life kind of person – and really this just negatively affects me and no one else so what is the point! This year I want to refocus myself and think of what I have learned and gained from the situation regardless of how bad it may be. I am not going to let everything affect me and if it starts bothering me I am going to make the conscious effort to remove myself from the situation or relationship as kindly and respectfully as I can.
See a doctor: To be honest I have been pretty unhealthy the past few weeks and I have promised myself that February onwards I am going to be off of ‘holiday mode’ and get back to paying attention to my body. I need to stop avoiding doctors and go and figure out what is wrong with me (I am currently suffering from insomnia, back pains and digestion issues) and stop cheating and start treating my body like the temple that it is. More yoga and chia seeds and less booze and steak! OH AND MORE WATER!
Be kind: I want to spend more time volunteering and doing things that will help make someone else happier. We get so focused on making our own lives better and we keep telling ourselves that once we are ‘settled’ we will do more for the world and I just don’t want to keep putting it off anymore. There is so much more to life than just working and money and a white picket fence and the world needs more people who have open arms and hearts.
So there you go, my three resolutions for the year to heal my mind, body and soul. I hope all of you who have made your resolutions are able to keep track 🙂