How many of us have kept our resolutions from 2015? 2014? and previous years. Resolutions don’t stick. It’s like a fad diet that someone religiously follows for 2 weeks and then goes back to their old self. If you’re a dreamer like me, coming up with resolutions can be self-entertaining. Alas, only if there was an elixir that gives the motivation to actually accomplish the resolution. For me, I’d rather create goals and be unsuccessful at it rather than having no goals at all. When it comes to making promises with another person, I learned that it’s better to say nothing than break a promise. I’m the kind of person who gets excited about everything and sign up for all because I want it all. Then, I realize that I’m only one person and can’t do it all. At least acknowledging a goal or wanna-do-task identifies my desire. Too many people are shamed when sharing the desires of their heart.
That is where anti-resolutions come in. I like to rise above the cliched resolutions. My anti-resolutions consist of reflections, visions & prophecies*, and things to look forward in 2016.
So, let me begin…
Reflections of 2015
Here I will reflect on what 2015 meant for me.
- Wife and stepmom in training. Luis proposed to me. Even before he officially proposed, we have been talking about marriage and our future together. We shared expenses, bills, and talked about savings and investments. We moved in together. I also grew close to Eddie. I get Eddie ready for school in the mornings, watch him so that Luis can go to karate class or hang out with the guys. Likewise, I go out and enjoy time with the ladies and my friends. I remember a young father once telling me, “You don’t realize how much free time you had till you have kids.” It is so true. We’re so busy.The one benefit about dating a single father is that you can see what kind of a father and man he is. Luis has custody of Eddie. I got to bond with Eddie as a stepmom. I wondered how Eddie is with me in the picture. My heart melted when he threw his arms around me and said, “I love you.” His mother is still in the picture and sees him every other week. Eddie is happy to see his mommy. Dating a single father with a child also reveals the maturity level of people around you. I’m tired of dealing with people with their idiotic, shallow comments. Unless you know what you’re talking about, please do us all a favor and shut up. I don’t want to hear gossip about my man’s ex-wife who is Eddie’s mother. She’s still his mother. The dumbest comment I’ve heard was, “How do you feel about being someone’s second wife?” Uh, really? I just laughed and said, “It’s not like Luis is the only man I’ve had.” This day and age, everyone has a past. I don’t want others to have the experience I had in the past with relationships and dating. But, it’s part of my life and I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. When it comes to marriage, it is about accepting and forgiving the past. The past is in the past. Even if someone had the ideal situation, there is no guarantee. I’ve known people who’ve taken purity pledges, lived the moral life, and looked great on the outside with approval from everyone, and followed the cookie cutter mold of marriage set by the elitist church pastors and their relationship books. But here’s the kicker: their marriages fell apart. It all has to do with the attitude and overall outlook on life. A relationship isn’t easy but a journey with another person, and we both are imperfect people. Life will test both of us. We focused on the foundation of a strong relationship: communication, love, mutual respect, commitment. My other advice is to ditch all the self-help relationship books (especially Christian ones) and anything or anybody that makes you feel that you’ll never be good enough. I used to think that marriage and kids wasn’t for me. The idea of settling down with one person for life was scary. I wondered if I could do it. I’ve been cynical towards love because I have seen many people fuck up their own lives. I became disgusted with the selfishness and shallowness. Why do people treat love and marriage as a status symbol or commodity? I didn’t see a way out of it. But, it wasn’t in the plan for my life. I was fighting it. Then, it was revealed to me that I’ll be with a man with a kid. Then, I met Luis and after dating him, it made sense to me. Certain life situations were also testing me. I then decided that I want to be with Luis and Eddie.
- Waking up from denial. 2013 and 2014 were rough years for me. I have been struggling with a neurological condition that also exacerbates depression. Because of that, I’m constantly tired, exhausted, nauseous, having muscle stiffness and pain. I also have constant migraines. That with depression makes my daily life difficult and a constant struggle. Depression is not sadness or temporary. Please don’t ask me what I’m depressed about. Depression + that neurological illness means that I’m constantly tired, exhausted, unable to concentrate, slowed down, and occasionally spaced out. My emotions are also numbed out at times. Everything takes too much energy and is exhausting. This makes me appear “lazy” “undisciplined” and that I don’t care, when in reality it is the opposite. It confuses people because I look normal, healthy, and even workout. I can’t do certain exercises anymore but I try to stay healthy, so that I don’t get worse. I think I was subconsciously aware of it and tried to overcompensate. In a toxic religious culture, I was pressurized to deny and put on the perky, happy, pentecostal face. I also wished that I didn’t open up. I faced ostracization, patronizing attitudes, judgment, and being treated like I’m stupid or a retard. Depression has nothing to do with intelligence. Get this, one self-righteous church bitch started questioning my sanity and my med-management when I was questioning a few spiritual topics and being a real person instead of the perky, plastic fake. And accepting and following anything and everything someone says makes perfect sense? Sadly, my condition revealed the immaturity of people around me. I have another insight when it comes to choosing friends. I will continue to see my doctor and will take my medicine. It’s what helps me function. It’s my choice. I don’t need to hear your crap. Those naturopathic self-righteous fanatics can be just as bad. I tried all those cures in the past and I ended up in the hospital. It’s my body and my choice. In a way, illness is to reveal that life is messy. It also points out that my hope isn’t in prosperity or perfect health. Not that there is anything wrong with it. If I’m cured, I’ll take it. But it may not happen until my death. What’s worse spiritual sickness or physical sickness? It reminds me that this life is temporal and makes me think of the eternal things. Sometimes my illness is about seeing the bigger picture such as having more compassion towards others. There are people who are much worse. I feel more motivated to advocate for them. It also humbles me in reminding me that I’m not a super-woman. Putting this to practice is tough. I get discouraged, frustrated when I can’t get through the day.
- Creative Juices and the Imagination. I had people ask me, “You have a Master’s degree and you’re working as a secretary…” It’s a great day job that’s done when I leave the office. I have time to recover and focus on my creative endeavors. Sometimes, I’m so exhausted that I can barely write. I tackled NaNoWriMo and got a lot of words in. I experimented a bit here and there. I came up with several ideas for projects. I hung out with some awesome creative people who inspired me. I enjoy seeing what others are doing. I went to a free workshop at GrubStreet and enjoyed it. This organization seems to be a great watering hole for writers. Whenever, I’m in a new city, I try to find “writer watering holes” which can be organizations, workshop, or opportunities to meet other creatives and share ideas.
- Baking. Allen gave me this gorgeous baking book. I love colorful cookbooks. This has plenty of delicious recipes. I love to eat as much as I love to bake. I experimented with different cakes and decorations. I thought about starting a bakery but not sure about the timing since it’s my wedding and other responsibilities. I made a page and will keep baking, but it will happen in the right time.
Here’s another favorite cookbook of mine. World Class Cakes show cakes from all over the world. I will be making Mexican Chipotle Chocolate cake today. I love European recipes because it’s a different style as it is less sugary than recipes I get here in the States. Everything here is just loaded with sugar. I like cakes that have slight sweetness without that overloaded sugar taste.
Visions and Prophecies
Vision and Prophecy have guided me. It’s operated in ways that I’m still grasping to understand. For example, in 2014 I felt that I was supposed to come to Boston. I got a vision about a flying seed that lands on fertile ground and grows its roots deep into the soil, flourishes, and flowers and provide fruits. It just means it is time for my lifestyle of being a global nomad to cease. It’s time for me to put away the tents and get a house. When I got here in 2014, I thought why not give dating a try. I’m running into all these good-looking, young professional men. There was a sense of adoption in me. I often thought about adopting a child. I then got a vision of myself going to a man with a child. And then I met Luis and we hit it off and started dating. Now, we’re engaged and our wedding is coming up in 2016.
This year, while I was meditating and seeking answers, I received the prophecy that I will have a 2-fold purpose. It will be 1, creating and 2, managing or facilitating. The first one is obvious. I love to create. Years ago, a prophet once told me that there’s something that I do with my hands that’s supposed to bring healing. Then, I took a class at PSU called Writing to Heal. At that time in PSU in 2009, I was also experiencing a taxing difficult situation that drained everything out of me. I felt myself getting angry, cynical, resentful. It also affected my writing. This year too, trying to manage illness also left me drained out of creativity. I’d be too tired to write. I wrote less. I focused on my healing and treatment. I got my illness mostly under control but need some fine tuning. I’m starting to feel more like myself again. Taking time to meditate and day dream has been the catalyst for rekindling my writing. Writing requires joy, discipline, and commitment not waiting on some flaky muse to carry me to writer-gasm. It takes effort. Ray Bradbury once said, “Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called ‘mad’ and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called ‘writers’ and they do pretty much the same thing.” I don’t like the idea of implying that writers are mentally unstable or crazy. The voices are inspiration and ideas. I spent time daydreaming while staring at the walls. Another thing I like to do is meditation. Those two things help quieten the thoughts about the daily grind such as what to cook for dinner, oh that bill hasn’t been paid, oh the laundry, or any thoughts about work, wedding planning, Eddie and Luis. I then think about ideas, creative problem solving, characters and the situations they run into, and so on. That amps me up for writing. I feel that I’m more focused and able to devote more time consistently towards my creative endeavors now that I have more energy and recovering. I feel like 80% of myself. (In 2013, I felt like I was only 20% of myself).
The second one is managing or facilitating. I’m not entirely sure what it means. I like managing by organizing people and situations and facilitating. I think it means that I will get deeply involved in something where I can contribute and make a difference while making deeper, meaningful connections and relationships. There are a few possible opportunities that I see. I hope it is revealed to me. I will no stress out or rush myself. Everything happens in its own time. Real life isn’t like show-biz where you are expected to be a sensational overnight success. It’s a lifetime journey. So, what’s the rush?
Things to be excited about in 2016
Our wedding. I got my dress. It’s a lot of work but I don’t want an extravagant, meaningless wedding that is something a basic broad would do. No offense but most traditional weddings seem so boring. A wedding is supposed to be the best day of our lives, yet why does the event have to be pretentious and boring? That’s not how I fly. The wedding will be fun, creative, and awesome with food, dancing, drinking, and having a great time with everyone including the kiddos. And, it’s our wedding and we can do whatever we want because we can! I look forward to spending time with awesome people and having a great time. I’m still trying to get used to the thought that my new name in 2016 will be Mrs. Indu Shanmugam Guzman. I plan to keep my maiden name as my middle name and Guzman (my husband’s surname) as my last name or surname. I will typically be Mrs. Indu Guzman. In some instances, I will use the name Indu Shanmugam such as publishing or a pen name.
Visit to Portland in Spring. I’m planning a visit. The good thing about living away is that I have an excuse to take a vacation.
Getting my workout on. I’m not as strong as I used to be (aha, looks like I’m getting older). I continue to workout even if it means adjusting my pace and intensity. I’ve been practicing yoga and weightlifting. I already lost some of the weight that I gained in 2013 and 2014. It’s not just so that I can look good in my wedding dress. I don’t want to fad diet. That’s the worst way to go about it. I want to enjoy an active lifestyle like sipping the finest tea.
My Writing Projects. Got a few ideas. Now it’s time to develop them. The first draft of my novel will be finished soon. Then, I’ll be reading about incorporating Campbell’s monomyth in my novel when I’m revising. I will also explore the personal essay. I spent a few hours today writing. Yay!
InterNations. I went to a few of their events when I was in Singapore. They have a chapter in Boston too. Of course, Boston has a large international community. I enjoy being with people from all the different corners of the world. One of my favorite experience in Singapore was staying at a hostel in Bangkok during Chinese New Year. I hung out with people from all the over the world: an older Japanese man wanting something different, a few Chinese, a Mexican, a few dutch, a group of college students from Northern England (one of the guys was hot and his accent made him more hotter), a group of Malayalees from Jakarta, a Korean. The best part was hearing all their stories and views about the world. I like to continue mingling with people with different walks of life. Otherwise, life would be boring. I’ve enjoyed their social gatherings.
Parties. I feel like King Julien when I say this but I love social gatherings, parties, and good times.
Meditation. I’ve been getting into meditation and it feels amazing. I feel restored, peaceful and ready to get through any challenges. It’s what gives me a dose of sanity to deal with the messed up world that we live in. Whenever I take even a few minutes to meditate, I wonder why I don’t do it more often.
On the last note.
I can’t believe that I got myself a pair of lululemons.
I remember making fun of the symbol that reminded me of a uterus with a cervix and vagina. I felt it was absurd to spend $100 on a pair of lulus. I tried it on once and was disappointed. The fit wasn’t make for women with curvy/athletic bodies but supermodels. When the waist fits, it’s tight on the butt and vice-versa. And too tight on the thighs. And forget their sports bras, which are not made for well-endowed women like myself. The pants I tried on wasn’t any more extraordinary than a pair of Under Armour workout pants that I bought for $20. Those $20 pants lasted me for years when I used to be a serious athlete. And it fits. I’d rather invest the rest than waste it on “premium” workout pants. Most of the bucks is marketing. A higher price makes consumers assume it’s a better quality and all the marketing convinces women that they need an expensive, cute workout wear. As for me, if I look pretty while working out, it means I’m doing nothing! I like to kick-ass in the gym. I don’t give a damn how I look or who’s around me. It’s my time to focus on myself and get away from the materialistic, commercialized world.
Ok, to those super-sensitive people telling me how wonderful those pants are and blah blah blah, get a grip. If you’re closet is full of lulus, I won’t judge you. It’s not like we’re in middle school and I’m laughing at you for wearing Abercrombie. I feel that different people have their own preferences. Each to their own.
I saw it was on sale and got it. So there! Being a good Indian girl, I’m not going to throw away money on full-price clothing. I wanted a pair of baggy workout pants. I want something more conservative and looser than those tight workout pants. Since the fit was high waisted and loose, it may fit me better. It was worth a try. It’s something I can wear in the gym, yoga, and at home. I’m glad that I made this choice. It looks nice and comfortable. I’m still not a lulu convert but glad that I got myself a New Year’s gift for myself.
Pillow fight. While I was writing, Luis got Eddie into a scheme of throwing pillows at me. It backfired because I saw it with peripheral vision and caught one pillow. Eddie ended up throwing the pillow at Luis instead of me. It was then a pillow fight. I wonder what our moms would say if they saw us.
Tomorrow, we’re going to get my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s cooking. She is part Italian and I get all the yummy pasta and Italian food. We’re having lasagna.