Train journeys in India are my favourite. There is barely any scope for boredom or monotony. There is no telling what you may catch from the window – it could be a smiling child at a sleepy dusty station, or a boisterous family of ten people or a runaway couple embarking on an adventure.
Landscape changes every few minutes, showing distant signs of abandoned villages or brimming towns, of fields run astray with weed and scrub or of clear lines of cotton. These images are flashing through your eyes, a never ending kaleidoscope that is almost meditative. Maybe you stumble upon a secret not meant for your knowledge but you can bask upon.
A train journey in India will change you and stay with you as a palette of colours that you can never completely identify or count. It is never completely yours and is shared with hundreds of others. But you can be assured that for those fleeting breaths, it was wholeheartedly for you to consume and dive in.
I admit I haven’t done a good job of sticking to my wish to blog at least once a week.
I admit I haven’t done a good job of reading other blogs as regularly as I would want to.
I admit I have fallen back into my hustle and bustle after my vacation in spite of promising myself that I will take it easy and find time to breathe.
I admit I am neglecting my health and workout routine.
I admit I need to sleep.
I admit I need to stop with the admissions and plunge head on into what has been happening.
The big one first – I moved (yes again!) to a new place with D 🙂 We have rented an apartment and the last few weeks have been just about setting it up, cleaning and washing, decorating, getting appliances and making it less echo-ey.
We are slowly getting used to calling it home. Opening the door after a long day feels GOOD! This is our space – our first big adventure post marriage (even though we are so lazy that we haven’t officially gone about registering our marriage. All in a good time! Till then, I will enjoy my “single” life”)
One thing I realized is that the initial phases of setting up simply consist of 3 Es – excitement, expenses and exhaustion, the order is entirely upto you! I am also realizing the gravity of what living with someone entails and how different it is from having roommates. I really need to get used to sharing my bathroom with a guy on a permanent basis. However, I am trying to convince him to use the common bathroom in the hallway so that I can queen over the one attached to the bedroom.
Overall, the house is almost done. A few corners and a few nooks need to be handled, but otherwise we are functioning smoothly. The WiFi is (finally!) up and I can access my blog, baby elephants GIF pages and Buzzfeed quizzes to check which dog breed I am 😀 I can’t help but feel pride and a sense of ownership within these walls. It is entirely our domain. Looking at D working by the table and tossing him bits of paper with messages makes me think, that yes… We will find time to breathe and fully delve into making a home in every sense!
The appraisal cycle at work is almost at the end and has given rise to rumors that range from optimistic to ludicrous to jump-off-the-building depressing. Raises, progressions and ratings… Whew. We play the cat and mouse game till the outcome trots along taking its own sweet time.
I am not exactly Ms. Ambitious. Never have I aimed to top exams or fast track the corporate ladder to be the next CXO. Yes, I have certain plans to follow and standards to achieve – but by no means have I been governed by them.
But the last year has been different. The yardstick of my personal success criteria is becoming taller and broader. I have not planted stick in the ground and climbing to meet it. I am balancing it on my head which means … it keeps becoming taller and I’ll never be able to meet it.
I am setting myself up for disappointment here, am I not?
Expectations from self had been easy to dismiss while expectations from others always come with the extra pressure to deliver. Tables are turning and now I am not sure of what is becoming of me. I am becoming fiercely guarded about my work … I am almost crossing the line of assertiveness and stepping into the unknown territory of aggression.
I have never really LEAD people before and now that is happening, I am a little stumped. I want to set a good example and I fear I am trying to do too much. On the other hand, I don’t really want to slack off. It is a cumbersome process of striking a balance – you know being the perfect mix of fun and friendly yet firm.
I am over-thinking it because it has never mattered to me before and now all of a sudden, I have really strategic visions about myself. And now I care about it.
I am sure this feeling is common. I just want it to feel common for me too. Ironically, there is a strong part of me that just wants to quit and travel!
Well…. The France trip happened and it happened in the best version of itself 🙂
Came back earlier this week and just getting back to my routine. I think today is when I feel I finally slept like normal and pooped like normal. That’s a sign of routine, right? And while I am still very much in a daze after diving deep in the French paradise, I am actually not unhappy that my vacation is over and the next one isn’t even visible in the far horizon. Perhaps, I am so content with the experiences of the last 17 days, I am really upbeat to embrace my day-to-day life. There is no wistfulness – the familiarity of the city, the work is something that feels good.
Not the heat though. I swear I am getting baked every time I step out.
Some more details about the trip… we had split it in three parts – 5 days of French Riviera, 5 days of the Alsace wine route and 6 days of Paris. The weather couldn’t have been better! It was cold and cloudy just on our first and last day. Otherwise clear sunshine and blue skies prettily dotted by random wisps of clouds. It screamed vacation weather! We had rented apartments at each place through AirBnB – Nice, Kaysersberg, Strasbourg and Paris. We got really lucky with our choices – warm hosts, beautiful cozy flats situated very conveniently and great company in each other 🙂
I hardly opened my WordPress app – I did see that the April A-Z Challenge is on in full swing! Some people have had some great developments and even books being released 🙂 Over the weekend, I hope to sit down and spend a good few hours to read on what I have missed.
It is GOOD to be back! Hope the travels make for some good and new writing inspiration. Sharing some pictures from the trip – will be writing about the details soon!