Mother’s Day

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This year is my first Mother’s Day as a mother. I often get asked, “How does it feel to be a mother?” The truth is, I don’t know. Everyone expects you to change overnight and in some ways you do. You go from being a sort of happy pregnant woman to sleep deprived and annoyed at the world. You have to take the little human with you where ever you go and you have to prepare yourself for tantrums and screaming. Then there is constant contradicting advice and every other stranger telling you what is best for your baby. But other than that, it is all pretty much the same.

Maybe I am still new at it and don’t care for such days or maybe I have been blessed with a wonderful partner who tries and makes every day special for me. Either way, I took the time today to actually sit and process all that has happened in the past year. It all happened so fast and there was so much to worry about. Was I eating right? Did I have everything for our new arrival? Was I prepared for the delivery? How was I to cope if things did not go to plan? Planning all of that left me no time to think about me as a parent, a mother. This was going to be a completely new identity and I never stopped to think even for a moment about how it was going to change my life.

Now I knew it was supposed to change my life because I wasn’t told any different. Every movie and story I came across told me I would give birth and then see my baby and instantly be filled with a motherly love that would be completely different to anything I have ever experienced. Society makes it seem that if we do not experience that then we are horrible mothers and do not deserve our children.

After he was born all I felt was exhaustion and after I recovered from that I then began to panic. I saw the tiny human and the first thought that crossed my mind was that it was hard work pushing out his fat head. I didn’t feel that wave of love and that motherly feeling people talk about. I felt scared.

Then I panicked some more because I felt like I wasn’t feeling the things I am supposed to feel towards the human I just gave birth to. I assumed that I had postnatal depression but then figured out that I did love the tiny human, just not how society expects me to.

I love him the way I love my dogs. I have had dogs since I was a little girl. Back then I considered them to be siblings. We played together and groomed each other. (yes, licking my face every morning till I woke up is considered grooming in the dog world) I also accused my mother of favoritism when she got the dogs special treats or new toys. And if anyone dared mess with the dogs, I would jump to their defense. I loved them to bits and I think about them every day and I miss them terribly.

After three months of trying to figure things out, I love my tiny human in my own special way. It may not be that motherly feeling that I am supposed to experience but I love him like I love my dogs and that is a whole other level of love, something I can’t be put in words.


Bringing You Home

My thoughts are scattered and my feelings, mixed. What was once a sure thing is now a blurry vision of what ‘might have been’.

Ever woke up one morning and realized that you were a different person wanting different things? No, hang on! Ever woke up one morning and realized that you were a different person whom you did not recognize? You did not know who this person was and what she wanted? Sure, it was YOU when you looked in the mirror; the same dark hair and magical eyes, but who was it staring back at your inner soul?

You can feel the fear, worry, confusion and you probably live in self-denial until you cannot take it anymore. Then you begin to retaliate, rebel and try to fight the force within you. Nothing really works because fighting yourself can never take you to a better place. At the end of the long dilemma, you give in and learn to accept that change is inevitable and self-acceptance is the key to bliss.

The process is obviously longer than two paragraphs and the emotional trauma you put yourself through is highly underrated. But life is such that if we ignore it, it turns us into wild weeds, however, with enough attention we can become deep-rooted vegetation which actually serve a purpose.

Dealing with such situations are never easy because they involve not only hurting ourselves but people who genuinely care about us as well. It involves random impulsive behavior backed by illogical reasoning and emotional confusion that are followed by regrets and self-trashing. Such phases in life also involve becoming numb and detached where nothing really matters and the ‘don’t-give-a-fuck’ attitude takes over your universe to such an extent that you even apply it to yourself because nothing makes sense anymore and sometimes staying that way is easier than doing something about it.

But it doesn’t have to remain this way. You have every right to behave like a total dickhead for a few days, then it needs to stop and you need to pull yourself together and learn to deal with what life has served you. Do you recall those Masterchef episodes where contestants were given a bunch of random ingredients and asked to whip up something Masterchef worthy? It is indeed the same story with life! You realize you are left in a mess and you have a bunch of random stuff you need to get done. Nothing may add up at first and things will feel so out of sync. You might not even be sure about doing what you are doing but hang in there and remind yourself that, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” and yes, things will get better and you will see the sun shine once more.

To get over the disastrous creature you have become, you need to start somewhere. It may not be easy and there will be days you want to remain in bed, close your eyes and hope it all disappears, but doing that is only going to make it worse. No matter how crappy you feel or how lost or changed or so-not-you you feel, your first step is to find the reason. It could be anything from a relationship to a situation that has made you feel this way. Identify it and accept its reality. Sometimes it may be unpredictable and confusing but tell yourself that ‘no matter what happens, it is all going to turn out alright – AND BELIEVE IT.’ In addition to this here are a few pointers that will help you find your way back.

1) Re-discover your goals

Make a list of things you wanted to achieve but could not because you were too busy obsessing over things beyond your control.

2) Find a hobby

Yes! Go distract yourself and find something to do. Find a skillet, paint brush, screw driver, rope, paintball gun, anything! It will make you realize how much time you wasted beating yourself up about BS.

3) Tranquility

You need moments of peace and quiet everyday. Play soothing music, listen to the wind, shut your eyes or keep them open. Live in the moment and experience all that is going on; it may not be much but really feel it. Quiet your mind and let your thoughts settle down.

4) The Imaginary Friend

Call it talking to yourself or talking to Doodles. You need to interact with yourself in order to understand how you feel about you. If you have never done this before try standing in front of a mirror and talk, “hey! how have you been?”. “I’ve been alright, enjoying the weather.” Does it sound odd? Try it anyway.

5) Challenge yourself

Never been to the movies by yourself? Try it! Always wanted to run a marathon but thought you did not have the stamina for it? Start practicing! Overcoming such challenges reminds us we are worth more than we think.

Remember, that in order to find yourself, you got to first get to know yourself and to know yourself you got to discover yourself and discovering yourself is all about putting yourself out there to see what you are made of. So don’t be afraid!

TLA Part I: New Country

I was lost in a new country I had just entered but I ended up finding my soul. The walls were covered in graffiti preaching peace and the streets were lit with oil lamps. The cobbled streets and wooden doors decorated with flowering creepers reminded you of little Italian towns.

With my backpack on my back, I strolled thru the dimly lit roads as I passed a few houses and wide open spaces. They may have been fields or grasslands for all I know but the setting sun made it hard to come to conclusions about the land and its people.

The road terminated at a square, the square was one of the most beautiful squares I have ever seen. A large monolithic structure stood at the very centre with water flowing on both sides into a pond filled with fish – a rare kind that was opaque but had this special capability to make the waters sparkle at night.

The square was home to a café called Oh! But that was not what people called it. The locals referred to it as café-on-the-square. It was small and dark with wooden interiors and oil lamps. The old man behind the register seemed not less than 100 years old and the young lady behind the counter seemed not more than 16, but there she was filling a mug of beer for a young man with tanned skin and piercing green eyes.

The square was filled with tables, chairs and couches which looked cozy under the fibre-optic lights that formed a canopy over the square. The music that played in the background reminded me of Spanish guitars. It was loud enough for the lonely soul to feel the melody in his or her veins but soft enough to not drown away his or her thoughts.

I walked up to the counter and was offered Dousche. It was something like a smoothie but tasted healthy and refreshing. I was then served Kawhoa – bread that was baked under the earth. A man next to me said I was now ready to order and so I began by asking for a beer. Without any further specification, I was offered tap beer which tasted so different but so delicious. It felt like some kind of drug had awoken a side of me I had never known existed.

A few beers later I decided to find a place to crash for the night. I jumped off my barstool and proceeded to pay the bill but the 100 year old man said I didn’t have to because I was a guest and the first time was on-the-house. I would have been concerned as to how he knew it was my first time, but the moment seemed too beautiful to ruin and so I said thank you and walked out the door.

My tired eyes looked around for a motel, an inn or even a campground but all that surrounded me seemed to be empty space. I sat by the pond staring into the radiating water. “Beautiful; isn’t it?’ said the green-eyed man with a husky deep voice that reminded me of teenage crushes. “You should come with me. The home I live in will treat you well.”

I was scared but excited and decided to follow him. We got into his car and drove for 15 minutes in silence; not a word from our mouths but probably thousands between our souls. The car came to a stop and his eyes met mine. They looked innocent but filled with history; it was hard to stop looking into his eyes and it was not because I was attracted to him. Maybe I was but it was mostly because there was something about this man that had the power to mesmerize you. He took me by my hand and led me towards the house.

Day Thirty: Finito

To all those you followed the S.O.L.O Diary and to those who will continue to follow this blog, I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to do so. I will not be posting anything today except my sincere gratitude.

I will however be discussing my experiences and will continue blogging within the next few days. If you wish to read previous entries from the S.O.L.O Diary you will find them under ‘Categories’ on the home page. Thank you once again and have a splendid week ahead.


Day Twenty-Nine: Mine Truly!

To every person out there who feels that it is necessary to keep up with the crowd, take a step backward. Stop, pause and breathe. You do not need to prove anything to anyone but yourself. Life is not what other people think about you but what you think about yourself. If you feel the need to prove something to others, make sure it is more important to you than it is to them.

Be grateful. It doesn’t matter if you won the lottery or found a dollar. When you are grateful you see life differently. Show people gratitude. Everyone wants a little appreciation, including you. When you give you will receive.

Respect! Not just people but animals, the environment, your belongings, other people’s space, your own space….. pretty much everything. But remember to draw the line when respect turns into slavery, becoming a doormat or a victim of bullying.

Smile….. like you mean it. Laugh often. Its cheap medicine and does wonders for your soul. It also makes you a happy person and pleasant to be around. Within the blink of an eye you will be long gone so make your time on this planet a memorable one. No one may know you a thousand years from now but the fact that you lived probably does matter, if not to the universe then at least to yourself.

Learn everyday. It doesn’t matter if its about quantum physics, making jam, skateboarding or listening to someone’s experiences in the war. Everything we do or experience has something to teach us. Find the light and go after it.

Lastly, remember that everything in life happens for a reason. So don’t fret, curse the world or regret. Try to find the good, find positivism, find satisfaction…. and above all, ENJOY THE RIDE!

Day Twenty-Eight: A Humble Epiphany

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Epiphany. It’s long history and mixed significance is a reminder of the changes and divisions the church has faced over the centuries.

Aramaic New Testament. (2013)

When I was little, it was a reminder that Christmas was over and the decoration has to be brought down. It was also the one day in the year we sang the hymn ‘We Three Kings’. Today when I think of the feast of the Epiphany, the stark contrast between being rich and poor stands out like the northern star in the night sky.

The story may be a hot topic for debate, it may also seem fairy-tale like or may lack authenticity in many ways but its crux is something to think about. Three kings traveled to greet a baby with gifts fit for a prince? The baby was born in a manger and said to be the son of a carpenter? But hang on, he is also supposed to be the Son of God.

If Jesus were to be born today I’m sure we would have Obama asking his secretary to send a formal greeting and perhaps the Queen of England would do the same. Come to think of it, I highly doubt the Pope would make an appearance. The birth of another royal baby or perhaps Brangelina  extending their family would gain more attention.

But no, no that is not the point I am trying to emphasize here. What I am trying to wrap my mind around here is the theme which focuses on humility. Three kings visiting a poor little baby who lived with livestock highlights the humble nature of these rulers.

It also goes on to make me think that one of the most important factors in life is humility. It doesn’t matter who the other person is, what they are like or where they are from. As humans we must keep an open heart and an open mind.

If the kings had to judge the baby based on the possessions he had at that point of time, the child would have probably been sidelined. Then when the truth would be revealed, the kings would probably go, “Crap! That kid was truly a king. Why were we so shallow to judge him the way we did?” But then of course it would be too late.

This New Year if we are looking to improve ourselves, I would consider being more humble. Live with an open mind and an open heart. What is the worst that could possibly happen? Imagine the surprises that would come your way though!

A very happy feast to all those who celebrate the Epiphany. May your celebrations not only expand your bellies but also your minds.

Day Twenty-Five: On Having A Productive 2015

What better time to make a new start than in the new year? At some point in time we have all made resolutions which have been broken within months, weeks and even days on some occasions. But what if 2015 had to be different? Instead of resolutions, I present to you three ideas that could help you have a productive year ahead.

1] The Vision Board

It doesn’t matter if you decide to have a board up on your wall or a website that allows you to have your own board (think Pintrest, DreamItAlive) or even a collage put together on Picasa. Creating a vision board and maintaining it throughout the year gives you some prespective of your dreams and accomplishments.

This week take the time to think of all the things you would like to achieve this year (or month) and have it on the board along with motivation quotes and captions to remind you that you can achieve it.

2] The Happiness Jar

One of the most important things about life is gratitude. And what better way to show your gratitude than by counting your blessings. Kick start 2015 with the happiness jar (or box or bag).


Every day write one thing that made you happy that day or that you are grateful for, then toss it into the jar. At the end of the year (or month or whenever life seems hopeless) open up your notes to remind yourself of all the blessings you have received.

3] The Education

You are never too old or too young or too dumb or too smart to learn something new. This year take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Not only will this increase your knowledge but also make you a relatively interesting person.

Fellow Quilter. (August 2013)

For the renaissance souls out there, this may become a bit boring. So instead of devoting your time to learn maybe ballroom dancing consider multiple interests like ballroom dancing and quilting. Not only is it more diverse but such combinations are likely to hold your interest for longer.

Whatever you do…. do it with passion. Have fun! 🙂