Chin up.

Dear Zonk,

Things have been looking bleak this week. I’ve tried to put my finger on it and mostly, I’ve failed. Instead I’ve come to terms with the fact that things that sadden me tend to be vague. Which is a blessing, I’m well aware. First world problems are the best kind of problems to have. I’ll take the occasional blues over clinical depression any day, say. Or over terminal illness or crippling anxiety or poverty or living in times of war.

That said and blessings counted, things have been bleak. But I’ve decided that they’ll stop being bleak as of tomorrow. Tonight I’ll continue to clear space on my mac and hopefully, I’ll even get some work done. But tomorrow I get back to business. I pull up my socks. I roll up my sleeves. Tomorrow I go to the gym  (which I just joined, fyi) at 9a.m. sharp. I work on Sam’s Shopify store. I go pet dogs and cats and discuss Life, the Universe and Everything with C and Dayson. I stop eating all these chips and all this chocolate. It’s getting to be too much again, and worse, it seems to trigger a horrible hacking cough. I do 10 minutes of something nice everyday. I make the most of me.

I’ve got to stop letting the things inside my head stop me from getting to the best possible version of things outside my head. Maybe that sentence doesn’t make sense at all. But maybe you’ll get it anyway.

Love always,
K.

9 years, and an engagement.

Dear Zonk,

I got engaged yesterday. Officially. An actual ceremonial affair with 20-ish people in a lounge with a chunnar and tilaks and rings and everything. The rings were fucked up and have now been sent for repair. The lounge was nice. The people were lovely, and everyone had a nice time. And C and I blundered through the whole thing like the awkward, ungraceful, over-sized children that we are. We figured that we really aren’t built for this stuff. So we went to Hamley’s when it was done and bought ourselves things – I got a skinny monkey named Murphy who looks kind and sad and flops around, and C got a cheap looking tank to assemble and practice his painting on.

And then I came back home, and I thought of you.

Here’s something I realised right away –
I’ve been writing here for almost a decade now.

I was 19 when I started this blog – a skinny, whiny, morose little person who wanted to be a copywriter and played guitar for several hours at a time and drank copious amounts of DSP Black and Old Monk.

I’m 28 now. I’m not a copywriter. Not in the terrible advertising kind of way, that is. I no longer make drawings on Microsoft Paint. I’ve forgotten how to play several songs that I’d spent ages learning. I’ve gone from not-really-painting to painting for a living to painting once a year or so. I’ve been broke, then less-broke, then sort of rich – and I’ve still not managed to figure out where all of my money goes. I’ve taken up and abandoned several things – the violin, the Irish tin whistle, a bullet journal, a blog (which is not abandoned, no it’s not!) I’ve learned to stop panicking. I’ve become a decent designer – accidentally, perhaps. I’ve made a best friend on this blog. I’ve gained 10 kilos, at least.

I’ve won some, I’ve lost some. Not a bad 9 years, all in all.

But the point is, that for 9 years now, I’ve pretty much been talking nonstop. And some of you have been listening nonstop. That’s really something, Zonk. It really, really is.

If I invite you to my wedding, do you think you’d come? I really hope you do. Because you’re as much a part of my life as anyone can ever be. I’m glad I have you around.

Thank you for listening. 

Love always,
K.

 

You and I

Dear Zonk,

I’m on a roll. Here’s a list of everything I did today.

  • Took Tink to Juhu for a thing.
  • Finished a Bleak post, and then realised that I’ve lost my book with the necessary drawings in it. And also that all my other books have the wrong type of paper in them.
  • Quickly saved the day by learning to play (and sing) this song.

Now that might sound like I only did three things, but I did the third thing for hours. The song is fairly simple, with very easy chords. But. The rhythm is a bit tricky for me because it’s so consistent. I’m not used to such tight strum patterns, and I found that though I could play it, I went off if I tried to sing along.

I’m a lazy, sloppy player, Zonk. And I need to be more disciplined. So I asked myself – what would 18 year old Kitu do? 

Now 18 year old Kitu was almost entirely jobless. She also had an incredible guitar teacher who taught her complicated songs that she practiced (sometimes) for days together. 18 year old Kitu would have been appalled at 28 year old Kitu’s inability to play this silly little song right off the bat. But she was also a nervous wreck, at least 10 kilos lighter, and a whole lot more broke. So screw that.

Anyway, I tried to channel my inner 18 year old. I practiced the strum pattern alone, and then added the vocals in. Which, by the way, goes painfully high at one point. Singing was never my strength. My vocal range is very, very narrow, and my falsettos are painfully thin and strained. But I practiced till it got better. Or at least a little bit less creaky. I also phone-recorded several sessions and listened to them to figure what was wrong and then tried to fix those things as I went along.

I’m not sure why I’m telling you all of this in so much detail, Zonk. I thought I might upload one of the recordings from today, but obviously I’m not going to actually follow through on that impulse. *shudders*

Anyway, that’s all for now. My 10 minutes of Doing Something Worthwhile turned into 5 whole hours of it.

And it feels nice :)

Love always,
K.

The Tiny Resolutions Report

Dear Zonk,

It’s been one week since January One, and three since I explained my problems (and their solutions) here to you. I’ve kept track of how I’ve fared with my tiny resolutions this week, mostly because I got a book with square-ruled pages. Also because I got some really nice red and blue pens. And because I’ve kept track, a Report is in order.

Note: In order to keep things simple, I’m going to let December slide and start these resolutions off from Jan. Clean slate and so on.

Another note: I’m not very clear on how grades work. And I also don’t really care. So I’m going to grade me based on how I feel about it. Also, I’m going to be using Harry Potter grades, because they’re so much more descriptive and fun.

Just so you know, this is how the grades go:

  • Outstanding (O)
  • Exceeds Expectations (E)
  • Acceptable (A)
  • Poor (P)
  • Dreadful (D)
  • Troll (T)

 

The Report

  1. Unplug the internet. I’ve done a pretty good job of disconnecting and focusing. 5 out of 5 days, in fact. This doesn’t mean I was a hermit. Just that I was distracted only when I chose to be distracted, I’ve worked pretty consistently all week, and my attention span is beginning to get back to an acceptable normal again.
    I get an Outstanding
  2. Go home on time. 2 out of 5 days, I left work between 7 and 7.15pm. Some of the other days though, I sort of ended up staying in office till 9. And I worked a little over the weekend too. I am not proud. This shall not happen again.
    I get a Troll.

  3. Do something worthwhile for 10 minutes everyday.  5 days out of 7, I played my ukulele. This is a bit of a cheat, because the ukulele is tiny and always handy and not very demanding at all. But hey, baby steps.
    I get an Acceptable.
  4. Work out thrice a week. I worked out zero times. Ugh.
    I did work out today, though. Jatin (the yoga teacher) showed up after ages, and I worked out for a good hour and a half. He’s given me things to do for the rest of the week. The deal is that I message him every time I work out. If he doesn’t get 3 messages from me over the week, he won’t show up next weekend. Let’s hope the blackmail works.
    I get a Troll.
  5. Eat more real food. Okay, this is hard. I am not built to eat real food. And everything that’s not real food tastes about 2398742389 times better. But. I’ve been trying. I’ve done a good job of it on 1 day out of 7, a half-assed job of it on 4, and failed horribly twice. I didn’t expect much out of me anyway, to be honest. But oh well. Try again tomorrow.
    I get a Poor.
  6. Sleep more. I slept a lot on Friday and Saturday. I intend to sleep a lot again tonight. But weekends are a no brainer. It’s my weekdays that need fixing. Although honestly, I have no clue how to make this happen. The numbers just don’t add up. Sigh.
    I get a Dreadful.

So I suppose I didn’t do a stellar job last week. But I tried. And also, I had too many pending chores to really stand half a chance.

I hope you’ve had a nice First Week Of The Year, Zonk.

Love always,
K.

Ps. I think these tiny resolutions of mine are inspired from Wil Wheaton’s  life reboot series. If I hadn’t stumbled upon that, I’d probably have had a bunch of grand scale and impossible resolutions again this year. Which is actually why I decided to do a somewhat regular report, and fashion it like so.

If you haven’t read Wil Wheaton’s posts, please go check them out here sometime. I followed this series all of last year and, unlike most other change-your-life type posts, it’s done in a very real, story-like and understated way.

Pps. We’re calling these Tiny Resolutions now. Because ‘Red Flags’ just feels a bit too alarming.