1. Trip to Niagara Falls

    Photo of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side The whirlpool aero car on the other side Photo of me looking at the aero car Niagara river Photo of a ring-billed gull Photo of Skylon tower
  2. A Stoic's guide to feelings

    I like to call myself a Stoic, yet I give in to my emotions very easily. It feels like my inner world is a crackling fireplace than a still pond.

    That led me to wonder... what IS the Stoic Way of living? Is it about suppressing my feelings and emotions and living like a robot? After having read Meditations several times, I realise it's all about navigating your emotions wisely, understanding their source, and not letting your emotions get the best of you.

    Most times, the source of all your suffering stems almost always from your own mind, so the only thing you can do is gently calm your mind, acknowledge your feelings/emotions, and just let them go. Gentle being the keyword here.

    So, yes, I feel deeply. I sometimes am ashamed of having such an open heart which always gives and gives because it has always led me to disappointment. However, all of that is only because of my own perspective—because I, or rather my ego, expects something proportional in return (hard not to, honestly). So it is my own fault. I need to manage my expectations. There is no shame in loving deeply and giving freely—unconditionally—even if it is not returned.

    Some contextual/relevant quotes from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius are going to be inserted throughout this post.

    To stop talking about what the good man is like, and just be one.

    Do good work for mankind, but don't seek out approval for it. When you've done good and someone doesn't appreciate it, don't take that as a reason to quit doing good. Keep doing good even if none of the people you interact with understand what you're doing. Remember why you do it.

    Here's how I try to acknowledge most emotions these days: I understand the context, make a mental note of it, and let it go. I also try and process it through music, if it's overwhelming.

    On rare occasions, I feel annoyed/angry too. I like to think that I have a strong core (inner peace, that is). I just remind myself that the source of my anger often lies within me—for example, MY inability to do certain things, often due to frustration because of things which are beyond my control. I just take a deep breath (sometimes a deep sigh), and feel grateful for the things I can control in my life, and let go. It is hard.

    External things are not the problem. It's your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.
    If the problem is something in your own character, who's stopping you from setting your mind straight?
    And if it's that you're not doing something you think you should be, why not just do it?

    —But there are insuperable obstacles.

    Then it's not a problem. The cause of your inaction lies outside of you.

    It's all in how you perceive it. You're in control. You can dispense with misperception at will, like rounding the point. Serenity, total calm, safe anchorage.

    This doesn't mean I'm numb to the world. Quite the opposite. I think feeling deeply allows me to connect with others on a profound level. I don't feel ashamed showing my 'sensitive' side, because I believe in complete honesty and transparency. I find it easy to live with myself and empathise with my friends' joys and sorrows, celebrate their victories, and offer comfort in their struggles by being open and welcoming.

    To enter others' minds and let them enter yours.

    By embracing my own emotions, I don't get swept away by them. I can be a rock for others, a lighthouse in the storm, because I've weathered my own internal tempests. I think it works wonderfully in personal AND professional relationships. As long as you have a good understanding of your thoughts (ie. you're self-aware), and can feel and process your emotions gently in the moment, I'd say you have a better chance of getting along well with others. Being kind to yourself is the first step, which is hard, because we are often our own worst critics.

    To be like the rock that the waves keep crashing over. It stands unmoved and the raging of the sea falls still around it.

    If it's in your control, why do you do it? If it's in someone else's, then who are you blaming? Atoms? The Gods? Stupid either way.

    Blame no one. Set people straight, if you can. If not, just repair the damage. And suppose you can't do that either. Then where does blaming people get you?

    No pointless actions.

    The Stoics of the ancient world would often say that one of the only things you can control in your life is your own mind. If one is mindful in most (if not all) aspects of their lives, then nobody can hurt you. No one can tell you what to feel, because you choose how you respond to whatever life throws your way. You end up being in control and nothing can stop you from making the most out of any situation.

    Let it happen, if it wants, to whatever it can happen to. And what's affected can complain about it if it wants. It doesn't hurt me unless I interpret its happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to.

    Stoicism reminds us that while we cannot always control what happens to us, we can control how we respond. While being a Stoic and also feeling emotions might seem like an apparent contradiction, I believe it allows one to navigate life fully with both heart and wisdom.

  3. Pleased

    Staying put and patient, presently writing this in a moment of deep realisation and sonder—feeling very present in the here/now and at peace with my rebel heart with what is yet to come. At the same time, spending time with the folks I love—for I'll leave soon and possibly be alone for some time in a new setting. Sat wondering what to do with all this free time I have. Feeling bored; bored might be good. Watching Mission Impossible movies.

    I'm in love with the phrase "can't wait" lately.

    I find myself pleased with where I am currently—accepting fate—freely letting myself be pulled in the direction I chose. I am pleased with the feedback I've gotten from my workplace colleagues, knowing I've had a net positive impact in the hearts of many I've met and how dearly I will be missed. I am pleased by the smiles and hearty laughs of my dear friends — by the 'deep' talks about space (skygazing), and silly conspiracy theories when they're drunk in their libations until 3 AM, where I'm accompanying them sober and am deeply laughing, amused by their stupor and the frivolity. I am pleased to be myself—to feel a bit more comfortable in my own skin, and be able to make my friends feel safe and loved.

    Quoting a recurring motif in a lot of Fred again.. songs: "We gon' make it through."

  4. 2023, a recap

    Warm sunlight is spilling through my window, defying the season's usual cloak of grey, bathing the room in a golden glow. It is not the greatest backdrop for reflection and sifting through the memories that make up 2023 — a year that seems to have flown by rather quickly. As I bask in this warmth, there are some feelings of nostalgia and anticipation stirring within me. There was joy, happiness, sorrow, and grief in roughly equal parts, and a lot of yearning, manifesting, and hope.

    If I had to choose a few personal keywords/themes that fit the year 2023, it would be hope, resilience, and love.

    Things that were good

    Career. It was a great year in terms of the journey in my career — perhaps the best one yet. It was fantastic as I feel I've grown and have learned a lot this year, thanks to some AMAZING folks I met. It was all very fun and I am super thankful to the universe to have sent them my way. I will forever love, cherish, and be grateful to each of them. If I had to do it all again, I would not change a single thing.

    At this point, I must mention the fact that I currently feel like I am collaging myself into being by (subconsciously) taking each person's bits and pieces of their personalities and incorporating it into my own; becoming more of the self that I have been finding.

    My personality definitely feels like a mosaic; each person so far left a distinct impression and has added a unique tile to the grander picture. I wish I could drop their names so bad... I am learning to be confident and possibly a bit bold through the calm confidence of an amazing person who is my sun and my anchor — someone who is very close to my heart; finding joy and happiness through her smile and laughter. From her and a few others, I'm learning the art of asking the right questions, embracing humor in the everyday, paying closer attention to detail, and staying humble, patient, boundlessly generous, kind, and open-minded.

    I will very much miss all of them as I part ways next year, and I genuinely hope to stay in touch with them all, if not just the one.

    30. I turned 30 this year. I have accepted the fact that I'm officially in my 30s now; I love it. I feel like I'm being more patient with myself, embracing more of my personality, and am being open to things every day. I don't really feel any different — except in the physical sense — I've noticed that my lower back starts to hurt if I sit for too long in a bad posture, so I am trying to be very aware of my posture lately. I will have to make some more time for keeping fit next year.

    Of late, I am letting myself feel more. I think writing and art definitely helps and am presently finding therapy in drafting this post. I have also been trying to live more in the moment this year, instead of constantly thinking about the past; my sister once said to me "you pretty much live in the past," (I wonder if it's an older sibling thing). I am extremely thankful for her, and want to borrow some of her spirit. She is like a cat; does what she wants and just enjoys existing.

    I also feel like I'm unlearning a lot of my so-called "defense mechanisms"; getting over the fear of being judged, and am gradually getting closer to reflecting the true me; practicing being kind, patient, and gentle and a good support structure not just internally but also towards the people around me.

    Making sure that I let people know that I love them. All the time! Also being more intentional in nurturing people and relationships. I feel like I am slowly opening up to people by sharing my experiences and ideas and it has been amazing so far. I don't really like talking much about myself (and so I naturally default to being a good listener to my friends), but opening up from time to time and feeling seen / heard is great.

    Relocating. Another major highlight of the year was that I received an invitation to become a permanent resident of Canada this year, and have chosen to move to Toronto in February 2024; I am filled with hope and determination.

    I am very keen on spending time in the wilderness, out of the doors. I haven't traveled much this year — have not spent much time camping/hiking outdoors, but I do go for long walks and jogs.

    Reading. During the start of the year, I made a resolution to read 12 books (one book per month) this year, and have met / surpassed that goal! I will continue with this practice for the next year as well. I am keen on reading more fantasy as I find the worldbuilding and the lore helps with creative thinking, but am also quite interested in some non-fiction (Biographies, for example). OH AND POETRY.

    Staying in shape. I have been consistently going on long walks and jogs for the past year or two. According to my Apple Watch, I've been doing it daily for the past 697 days, and the next year I may expand to doing some strength training and not just cardio. That remains to be seen.

    The sad

    Loss. I lost my grandmother early in the year. I have allowed myself to grieve and mourn her loss but am still filled with grief and sorrow from time to time. I still feel her absence and it is particularly painful to me since I spent a lot of time with her as a child. I believe she is in a better place now and I love her. She taught me to be gentle and kind, to live humbly without thinking too much of yourself/having too much of an ego, and to be resilient and caring.

    Gratitude / Thankful for

    New Friends. I made some great new friends at work this year. Many good vibes, laughs, and fun! Folks that are inclusive, empathetic, tactful, and respectful of my boundaries.

    Being able to relocate. Yes! The invitation was totally unexpected. To new beginnings. 🥂

    Character development. Grateful each year to have the sense/self-awareness to know and identify my weaknesses, be able to work on them and grow. The plot has to keep moving forward. ↗

    Growth as a creative. Although I haven't worked on many projects personally this year, I have learned a LOT from friends at work this year, and I am extremely grateful to each person for that. They have opened my eyes in many ways and I am glad to have gotten that experience from them. I look forward to passing on what I've learned to others.

    Things I look forward to

    Nurturing myself and my relationships. I want to identify and work through any undesirable traits and be the best possible version of myself and at the same time continue opening up to people. Lift people up. Give credit where it's due. Let folks know I love them. Life is short but love springs eternally.

    Relocating. !!!

    Getting a job. I strongly believe I will get a job after moving at some point, but the uncertainty has me a bit stressed out at the moment.

    Journaling more. I want to write more about creativity, being out in the nature, and personal stuff. It helps with being mindful, staying in the moment, and processing emotions in a healthy way.

    Keeping fit. Continue with cardio, get into strength training.

    Personal projects. I haven't created much this year owing to me feeling burned out at different points throughout the year, along with a general lack of time and motivation.

    I decree today, that in 2024, I plan to create more things for myself and my friends.

    2022 was a great year for productivity as I worked on a lot of personal projects. I plan to take some inspiration from my past work and hope to continue my creative practice starting next year.

    Learning. I like learning new things every year; at least one new thing. In 2021 and '22 it was 3D art. We'll see what I lean into next year. I am open and looking. Probably photography. I don't know.

    Photography. I remember this year I was quite keen about getting into photography and wanting to get a camera for myself as a birthday present but I didn't go through with it as I found that the gear can get quite expensive. I can get stuff secondhand as I'm starting out... Well, as long as it's on my mind, I am sure I will get to it at some point.

    Watching new movies. I have mostly only rewatched movies this year, and want to make time to watching New movies. New experiences; new ways to make you think and feel.

    Media recs (from what I consumed this year)

    Books. The Lord of the Rings (1968), by J. R. R. Tolkien. No question about it. Best book ever written.

    Also Dune (1965) and Dune Messiah (1969), by Frank Herbert.

    And The Mistborn Trilogy: Era One (2006—08), by Brandon Sanderson. I read all three books in a row without ever feeling tired/exhausted. Excellently written.

    Music. Most likely Desire, I Want To Turn Into You (2023), by Caroline Polachek, seeing how it's my most played album of the year.

    I also listened to a lot of Feels (2005), by Animal Collective, and Schlagenheim (2019), by black midi. I listened to a LOT of Animal Collective and black midi in the mid point of this year.

    Another noteworthy recommendation is The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We (2023), by Mitski.

    A lot of LCD Soundsystem songs have been in rotation earlier in the year. OH and Fred Again.., Agnes Obel, and James Blake. Honestly, I can go on and may have to make a separate entry for music at this point HAHA.

    Movies. I really liked Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023). The art style and visuals are amazing and the movie did not disappoint. I await its sequel!

    (I honestly think that is the only movie I saw that was released this year. Tragic.)

    I also watched The Dollars Trilogy because I always wanted to, and really liked For a Few Dollars More (1965) the most, out of the three. (Fun fact: Clint Eastwood and I share the same birthday.)

    I rewatched Chungking Express (1994) yesterday, and it is an all-time fave.

    Games. Bloodborne (2015), and Ghost of Tsushima (2020).

    Both games have SUCH splendid art direction. I love the Gothic/Victorian-era architecture and Lovecraftian aesthetic that Bloodborne has, and the Kurosawa inspired Japanese style from GoT. Definitely feel inspired and want to use them in one of my artworks/projects.

    Podcast/radio. The only podcast I listen to is Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend, except I haven't listened to it at all this year. I watched a few clips on YouTube though, and really liked the ones in which Jordan Schlansky is present.

    My all-time favorite episodes are Timothy Olyphant (Feb 2019), and Jesse Eisenberg (Jan 2020), for the very funny banter.

    TV. Haven't watched much TV this year so no recommendations sadly. :(

    Updated on Saturday, December 30, 2023.

  5. A late night rendezvous

    HAWTHORN, VIC. MAY 2017.

    In the dimly lit streets cloaked in the shadow of the evening, I treaded my path home to my dorm room from a late night study session in the college library. The crossing to the other side of the street stood as a silent juncture, and it was at this moment in space and time that the threads of fate wove an unexpected encounter.

    A figure emerged from my left, stumbling through the night's haze. A chance meeting, unforeseen and unusual — a woman, blonde, her steps erratic yet purposeful. She locked eyes and walked up to me, a complete stranger.

    “Are you headed to a restaurant? Where are you going? Can I come with you?" she asked, a series of questions tumbling from her lips. I didn’t respond as I wasn’t sure who she was talking to. Presently, she had invited me on a journey to navigate the culinary landscape of the city; her attempt to go on an adventure in the night. She wanted to know and had asked me where we could go.

    I weighed the odds of recommending her a destination. The neon signs of Indian eateries flickered in the backdrop, the only contenders in this late night culinary quest. With a hint of caution in my voice, I told her that the restaurants around held little merit. In that moment I realised that she was drunk, as her breath carried the telltale scent of alcohol, and the crossing became the stage for a brief intersection of two lives in the stillness of the night.

    I remained silent not knowing what to do. "I got kicked out of a hotel," she confessed, a revelation that left me further perplexed.

    “I’m sorry—I have to go,” I said, offering a simple apology and sought distance.

    However, our paths entwined once more as she pursued me — the urgency in her eyes a silent plea for help. Her gaze darted toward another passing stranger, a mere pedestrian that happened to be in the general area of this random encounter.

    "Do you think he can help me?" she questioned, a desperate hope present in her voice.

    Surprised by the randomness of her question I asked, "What? Who?" Her response was a simple gesture — a finger pointing towards the unsuspecting passerby behind me.

    A feeling of empathy began to seep into my heart. The woman had asked a simple question, revealing a vulnerability beneath the layers of her adventurous facade. I now wanted to help her. "Where do you want to go?" I asked.

    “I want to find a crawl space,” she slurred, for perhaps in her mind, she wanted a place where she could rest and feel safe, but couldn’t effectively convey that in her current state. I was confused, unsure of how to make sense of her predicament. Yet, I had a resolve as I simply couldn’t turn away from the desperation I could see in her eyes.

    "I don't know of any such places," I admitted, in the midst of conflicting emotions internally. I couldn’t take her to my room either and felt a responsibility not to abandon her to the whims of the city.

    “Where are you going?" she asked again.

    “Home,” I replied, and gestured vaguely towards the direction of my room.

    She now demanded that we go together to my room without delay — a request I repeatedly denied. She then pointed toward a nondescript house in the area, proposing the porch as a makeshift refuge.

    In a moment of compassion, I shook my head. “No. That is not okay. They may call the police on you," I cautioned, aware of the potential consequences.

    I was now weighed down by choices between empathy and practicality: both choices tethered to a situation I hadn't anticipated. The universe had cast me as an unlikely guardian.

    “Where are you from?” I asked, thinking I could drop her off at her doorstep and prioritising her well-being. A fog of forgetfulness shrouded her memory and she couldn't remember. Soon spontaneity took hold of her as she declared a desire to visit my college, which was right across the street.

    With a nonchalant gesture, I pointed my umbrella towards the college. Before I began to speak however, she cut me off as she had changed her mind. "I can't really go in there… I'm not allowed," she said. I presently stood still thinking of what I should do.

    She implored me to accompany her further by promise of payment. "Will you come with me? Please. I'll pay you. I'll pay you fifty dollars," she pleaded. I declined the offer, instead redirecting the conversation to knowing more about her present situation, in the hopes of assisting her.

    I gently asked her again, "Where are you from?"

    She was irritated by this question until at last she spoke and the truth unravelled — she was a Bundoora native (a suburb of Melbourne), and was a student from a different college. She was in Hawthorn because she had been attending a party in a hotel nearby with her friends until her abrupt eviction.

    Intrigued by her journey, I now wanted to understand what her plans going forward were. She replied by saying she didn't know. In another burst of spontaneity, she invited me to the hotel (from which she had been evicted) for a drink. I couldn't abandon her at this point, so I reluctantly nodded my head at her request.

    Her fumbling steps embraced my arm for support as we both walked side by side. The hotel nearby stood as a silent witness to our nocturnal wanderings. It was quite popular with college students for its cheap drinks and Tuesday night revelries. She kept referring to the hotel as "The Peacock Hotel." In reality, there was no Peacock Hotel in the area. We stalled outside the hotel as I asked her to wait.

    I immediately began texting a friend of mine, seeking their advice. Their suggestion was to find her friends and drop her off with them.

    In the meantime, she began fidgeting, and soon, her invitation for a drink was misplaced as she began searching for a $50 bill in her handbag — in the process, quite comedically pulling out a 50 cent coin instead. In a blend of confusion and hiccups, she pondered the disappearance of her $50 bill, asserting vehemently that she indeed possessed fifty dollars. I asked her why she was looking for money and she replied by saying she wanted to pay me for accompanying her.

    I began reassuring her that payment was unnecessary. Suddenly on a whim, she exclaimed that she spotted her friends awaiting her in front of the hotel. I was taken aback by the sheer coincidence, as this was exactly what my friend wanted me to do, and felt skeptical. I questioned the certainty of them being her friends, and she insisted that they were indeed her friends. I was very relieved by this, knowing that she was now safe.

    She was delighted. "Promise me you'll meet me again," she urged and smiled. She held out her little finger, and I did the same, both of us sealing our commitment with a pinky promise that turned into a whimsical exchange of a kissing of thumbs. In a moment of impulsive haste, she darted across the street without a second thought, prompting a heartfelt plea for her safety from me.

    I stood back and watched her for a while, a concern for her well-being perhaps evident in my gaze. Presently, she stepped into the hotel with her friends, and I, a lone silent figure under the street light, turned around and walked home without looking back.

  6. Build tables, not fences

    As I lay in bed, stirred by the gentle chirping of birds in the early morning hours, sleep slipping away like elusive dreams, I found comfort in the glow of my phone screen. On Instagram, I saw that my friend Simon (whom I greatly love and admire; Simon if you’re reading this, I love you) had shared a post in his Stories, adding an unexpected touch of profound reflection in the quiet hours.

    The post (in Dutch) reads:

    "Als je het beter hebt dan anderen, bouw je een langere tafel, geen hoger hek."
    — via @hesketencate

    which in English translates to: "If you have it better than others, build a longer table, not a higher fence."

    Putting that into perspective into my creative practice so far, I find among some of my creative peers, an intense desire and a rush and a push to become Someone Great resulting in them going through an unrelenting pursuit of aiming for accolades and recognition, or for organisation titles and awards1, to the point where work sometimes inadvertently gets siloed; which naturally happens when folks are independently focusing on different aspects of the project based on their interests, akin to being separated by fences.

    I agree with the statement above and fully believe that there must be room at the table for everyone, and while there may be self-motivated pursuits, it is crucial that everyone's efforts align with the collective goal and outcomes. Personally, I find solace in the embrace of genuine, wholehearted moments of collaboration, knowing they not only foster a positive atmosphere but also lead to more impact and success. I have relished in, and now cherish, such memories of working with some colleagues who have since become my friends very dearly.

    What follows are some words of gratitude and thankfulness for those special folks I've had the privilege of meeting thus far.

    I would like to express gratitude for friends and colleagues who have generously extended their support — people who have not only inspired me but also elevated me — my mentors, collaborators, and kindred spirits. They are like the reliable morning sun and the refreshing crisp breeze, providing a steadfast foundation and invigorating energy2.

    I am thankful to those who have shared ideas and camaraderie, and for teaching me the importance of cultivating an environment that not only ensures people feel safe but also nurtures cooperation. So far in my creative journey, I have come to realise that success isn't solely defined by the rat race's yardstick. What truly matters to me is the impact I have on my fellow creatives — the doors I open, the pathways I illuminate, the friendships I make — much in the same way that my peers have done for me.

    1. This is not a dig at anybody. I wish to emphatically emphasize that aspiring for greatness is entirely valid and getting recognised is great. I celebrate all my friends' and colleagues' wins ardently (and am a fan of them and the work they produce), and they do the same for me, recognising the mutual desire for validation in our work.

    In this context, I focus mainly on the potential impact on collaborative aspects of work when creatives lose sight of the big picture.

    2. (After writing this, I couldn't help but imagine Jordan Schlansky from Conan delivering these words — tres poetic, don't you think?!)

  7. a prayer

    let me stay gentle and tender-hearted despite my hardships and failings,
    let me always be unapologetically true to myself with no fear of prejudice and judgment,
    let me have the strength and courage to actively quell my insecurities and anxiety

  8. Moving to Canada (soon)

    Before I begin this post, I want to wholeheartedly thank my very dear friend Jen — it is through her kind words, wisdom, and encouragement that I have embarked on this blogging journey.

    I find myself staring at my computer screen thinking of what to write, for I have fallen out of practice of writing and journaling. It is night (10:34 PM) and all is quiet around me, and in this sombre setting, I just thought of the most obvious thing to write about.

    I will be moving soon!

    Far, far away from the land where I am located currently (India), I will be moving to the cool climes of Canada (specifically, Toronto). Presently, I have a weird rush of nostalgic feelings along with some sadness (as I will be moving away from the fam), and admittedly I am a bit intimidated by the prospect of moving without a job and it is daunting, yet I am hopeful and I positively look forward to how my future unfolds. Thinking about it evokes a strong tempest of a lot of mixed and complex emotions within me. It all feels very bittersweet right now.

    To begin with, I am really keen on the environmental changes — I look forward to winters the most. Indian winters are pleasant at best. I have experienced Australian (*Melburnian) winters which aren't very cold by the average European/North American standards (typically 6°C or 46°F in the mornings). The coldest weather I have ever experienced was in Kathmandu, Nepal (3°C or 37°F) in December 2022, and I was quite unprepared, foolishly thinking I could take it on. To make matters worse, the heater in my hotel room was broken and it couldn't be repaired as I checked in late evening, and I had to spend the night and sleep in (multiple) layered garments from head to toe. Fun times!

    At this point in my writing, I am smiling because I just thought of Inge, an old friend from The Netherlands, who once described to me the similarities in the weather patterns between Melbourne and Rotterdam — she quite jokingly said that it is "almost always rainy, wet, cold, and people looking like Fall/Winter catalog models walking around in layered clothing". Layers are for players.

    I still have distinct memories of the tip of my nose and hands feeling cold from the dry winters living in Melbourne and the mountainous air from Kathmandu, and can recollect that feeling to the point where I can, weirdly, still feel phantom sensations in my extremities — maybe the cells in my body were strongly affected by the cold, HAHA. Strange how the body remembers.

    Speaking of layered clothing, I also just thought of a recent conversation I had with Jen (the same friend I mentioned in the beginning of this post), about what I need to get, and she guided and prepped me on lots of things I need to look out for. SO I am definitely going to be adding a lot of winter clothing to my wardrobe. (I never even knew winter boots were a thing.)

    I also think getting back to having a social life may be another challenge, as I have pretty much spent the last three years indoors (remote work). I have definitely grown a lot (and continue to grow) in this period — so far, it has taught me a lot of patience, humility, and gentleness.

    It feels weird to say, but upon reflection coming out of the time spent locked in during the pandemic, above are some of the traits I have gained, and have begun adopting the following in practice — no rush, no hurry; resilience and fortitude; calmness and composure; being still and equanimous as a rock; and free flowing like a reed floating by the river, embracing the currents of life. Although there still are waves of anxiety and self-doubt that ebb and flow, I feel very fortunate and am filled with gratitude for my wonderful friends who love, support, and believe in me — I thank the universe for letting me meet them. I am now spent on all the emotional traits and analogies I can think of to the point where I feel I will digress if I continue any further. I will thus take it as a sign to end this post right here.

    I welcome all forthcoming challenges in the next chapter of my life, and hope to acclimatise in due time to it all.