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I am my mother’s daughter

My dad has been out of town since Thursday. My mother and I haven’t been alone together for this long in quite a while, as in by ourselves. Growing up, my mom and I didn’t agree on a lot of things. Day after day, I would promise myself that I would never do the things my mom did, or act the way she did.

The longer I was away from her during college, I began to notice that we have the same tendencies and mannerisms. I like things done my way. Everything has to be neat and organized. Randomly, I would go into cleaning sprees, making sure there wasn’t a speck of dust in my apartment room. After moving home from college, these habits continued. I began to realize that my mom and I are really similar, really really similar. Is this why we were never close growing up? Was I fighting a mirror reflection of myself growing up?

My grandma (mom’s mom) was with us for a few months after I moved home, and a few months after we got back from India. Watching my mom interact with her’s was like watching my relationship with my mom. I began to notice how she treats her mom the same exact way I treat her. It dawned on me, I am my mother’s daughter. Am I going to turn out just like my mom? Would my future daughter turn out the same way?

Looking back at the generation of women before me, I realize how strong and compassionate they are. They are the epitome of what a wife, mother, daughter, and sister are. I see what it means to be a woman–the sturdy backbone, the compassionate heart, the loving shoulder, nurturing hands. I guess if I end up the same way as my mother and grandmothers, I won’t be in too bad of a place. I mean, they’re all incredible ladies that I’m so fortunate to have in my life. They’ve set the tone for what a true woman should be.

I have begun to appreciate my mom so much more these past few months, and I literally don’t know what I would have done or how I would have turned out if it wasn’t for her. I don’t tell her this enough, but I love that woman more than life itself.

So, what’s the point of this post? Nothing more than another realization I’ve had in life that I know is going to help me in the future. It’s funny when things begin to make sense. Life always gives you clarity when you’re most prepared.

I (think) I’ve said this before, but the relationships we have in our life play such an essential role in our development. Are you learning about yourself? Are you growing? Are you becoming closer to your goal because of that other individual? These are questions I ask myself, but really need to ask myself much more than I do. Because these are the people that I want to turn to in times of need. These are the people I want to share my successes and my failures with. These are the people that are going to help me seek the Ultimate.

What better relationship than the one with the person who knows you best, whether you want to admit it or not. Family will always be your family at the end of the day, whether you like it or not. So mom, if you’re reading this, I love you. And thanks for being the best mom a girl can ask for!

I am my mother’s daughter.

Three Generations

Three Generations

Mama's Smile

Mama’s Smile

 

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natural eating

So, if you remember reading my post about my new year thoughts, I talked about how I was going to make a list of everything that I wanted to accomplish in my life, do, travel to, etc. One of those lists consisted of lifestyle changes.

The biggest “lifestyle change” that I want to really dive into, is living as natural and an organic way of life possible. I kind of started this a while ago, but really, thinking back, I didn’t put as much effort as I probably should have. But, that’s what the new year is for! Remember, I am making incredible moments here (or, at least trying my very hardest to!).

Back to the point of living naturally and organically. I really want to eat better. I was talking to a friend, and I told him that instead of completely nixing out every single bad food I enjoy eating from my life, I can make a list of all the “unhealthy” foods, and limit myself to them. If I get a craving, I get a craving. I mean, if you know me, you know that I can’t live without Taco Bell. So, why torture myself with not eating TB? The longer I go without these foods I love so much, the quicker I’m gonna snap and go scarf down as much of the unwanted foods as I can. Remember, distance makes the heart grow fonder. And, not eating yummy unhealthy foods makes you want to eat astronomical quantities of it.

So, why cut them out all together? I made a list. My hope is that I’ll slowly wean myself off, and my cravings will be cut down all together. Is this a definite solution? I can’t tell you for sure. But, I’m gonna try. It’s about the effort.

I really love to eat. People think that just because I’m a vegetarian, I’m really picky with my food. But in reality, I am a HUGE foodie. I love eating and trying new things. I love cooking and baking (ask my roommates from college. I was definitely the mom amongst our friends). My problem is, is that a lot of times when I eat meals, I eat things that don’t fill me up, or they only fill me up for an hour or a little longer. Does this happen to any of you? Okay, so this happens mainly during breakfast time. I even started a habit of kind of having breakfast and lunch together, or just one or the other. Bad habit. I know.

I’ve begun experimenting with different food options, that are healthy, vegetarian, and more filling. And one of the new things I want to do with my blog is share my recipes with you guys! So, here’s my first one.

This is spin off of a bagel sandwich. I love bagels. But I get so full immediately after eating them from all the excess bread. So, when I found that they now make “bagel thins”, I got really pumped. Bought them, tried them, got hungry 30 minutes later. What the heck.

Here’s what I did to make the bagel thins fill me up longer, and get in my extra nutrients for the day.

-1 whole wheat bagel thin (here’s what they look like)
-Cream cheese (I prefer veggie cream cheese, but can’t find it in Memphis, so regular low fat Philadelphia cream cheese works just fine)
-1 slice of provolone cheese
-Vine tomato slices
-Handful of spinach

Toast the bagel with the cream cheese and provolone cheese until the cheese is a little melted. Then just top with the spinach and tomatoes, and you’re good to go!

Of course, you can add any toppings you love. But, make them healthy, filling, and delicious to you!

So there you have it! I hope you guys like this new addition to my blog. If you think it’s a dumb idea, please let me know! Happy day 5!

home

I’m home. It almost doesn’t feel as though I left Memphis 3 months ago, and it doesn’t feel as though I lived in another country for 3 months. 3 months is a long time. It’s a 4th of a year. It’s a long time.

Coming home never felt so good. Despite the setbacks of canceled flights and trying to find ways to get back to Memphis, I am so glad I’m back. At the end of the day, home is home. No matter where I go, or what city I travel to, the prospects of being able to shower in your own shower and sleep in your own bed are things I definitely call luxuries.

I’ve been home 2 full days now, and I’m still trying to adjust back to the cold weather (I came home to snow!) and get rid of this jet lag. We’ve basically unpacked the 8 bags we brought back. I’ve eaten taco bell and had brewed coffee (I’ve been living off of instant coffee for 3 months, and for a coffee lover, it does not taste good at all). I was even happy to come back to songs that really annoyed me when I left (ahem, hey, I just met you…). I didn’t forget how to drive either. This was all such a relief to me, because it made me feel like I never left. I was home.

However, I began to think back to India, and the millions, or possibly even billions, of people who don’t have a home. The ones that live on the streets or in shacks that may fall over any day. I wondered if they regard their block of sidewalk or the metal sheets that encompass them as home just as much as I consider my house my home. Is the feeling of “home” a universal feeling?

When I was little, I remember my aunt once telling what the difference between a house and a home is. A house, she said, is built by hands. A home, however, is built by hearts. I guess this concept resonates with me now more than ever. My home, consisting of me, my mom, and my dad. Our three hearts. So, I guess if we take that definition of home, you can create your home wherever and with whomever.

How great is it to be able to say that you have a home to always come to. How blessed are we? Incredibly. I wish that everyone in the world had the ability to say those words. But, the world isn’t fair. What can I do?

I’m reminded of the song “Home” by Philip Phillips.
“Just know you’re not alone. Cause I’m gonna make this place your home.”

Home isn’t confined to walls that surround you every night. Or by the people who you live with. Home is a state of mind. And I can try my hardest to make someone not feel alone, and help them feel like they have a home.

My journey in India has ended. But, I’m just beginning on my journey to figure out what this whole life thing is about. I’m coming back at the right time. I can’t wait to start this new year fresh and rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.

routine life

My granddad (dad’s dad) just celebrated his 83rd birthday during Diwali. I really admire him. For a good majority of his working career, he would ride his bicycle to and from work, and work at least 10 hour shifts 6 days a week. Talk about a “when I was your age” story. So, at 83 years old, I’m sure anyone can imagine, that someone is going to be pretty stuck in their ways and routines. The first few weeks I was here, I was really astonished at the fact that he would easily wake up at 4, 5 in the morning. Naturally, my grandma would yell at him and tell that’s entirely too early to be getting up and making a ruckus in the house. So, now of course, he wakes up at a little later…at 6:30 am (this is a struggle for me regardless).

His routine is pretty perfect and to the tee. He wakes up at 6:30. Makes a cup of tea for himself. Waits for the milkman (yes, a milkman still comes to the house to give you milk here). After the milkman has come, he sits on our swing and reads the paper (but only the headlines, because the other print is too small for him to read). Then, when everyone else wakes up around 7:30/8:00, it’s round 2 of tea. And by 9:00am, he’s showered, gotten ready for the day, morning prayers completed, and is sitting quietly on the swing. And that’s his routine. Every morning.

I began to think of my “morning route”, and realized it’s so willy nilly, and very dependent on what I have going on for the day. Whereas my gdad, no matter what’s going on, his routine is stable. If I have yoga, I wake up at maybe, 6:30, sometimes 6:55 (for my 7am class that is). If I don’t, hello 9:00am! Sometimes I eat breakfast, sometimes I don’t. Basically, it’s so irregular. And sometimes, I’m just too lazy where I don’t even do my morning prayers or make time for meditating. What’s wrong with me? Will it take me another 60 years to reach the same place my granddaddy is at? Why am I so situation-dependent?

I don’t have an answer to this question. But, I know it takes constant effort. I mean, seriously, how good are we at keeping our New Year’s Resolutions? (If you’ve figured out the secrets, share them here!) It’s really hard to live a stable life. But, I do know that some sort of routine is good for a healthy life. I mean, my gdad, he’s 83 with not a single health problem. He’s doin’ something right.

Do you have a daily routine that yo follow no matter what the situation is?

it’s finally that time of year

It’s safe to say that the holiday season is officially upon us across the world. Thanksgiving and family time is anticipated in the States. The arrival of St. Nicholas and the birth of Jesus Christ are in the air across the world. Here in India, Diwali, the biggest festival of our culture, starts tomorrow. And of course the celebration of the end of this year, and the ringing in of 2013 will be the perfect ending to what truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

I just want to take a minute to remind myself, more than anything, that past the lights, gifts, and feasts, there is something greater to these days, and that is family, love, happiness, and gratefulness.

As we enjoy the food and gifts this season, let’s remember to be grateful that we have even been given the opportunity. Love. Be happy. Be grateful.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”          –Brother David Steindl-Rast

not quite 17 things I’ve learned this past week

Today, I woke up early to go to a park and read the Geeta. Well, a transliteration of it at least. A very good one might I add. If you want to know the author, let me know. But, back to the point I’m trying to make. A lot has been on my mind the past week, and it’s really hard for me to express those thoughts. I get embarrassed, and afraid. Afraid that people will judge me for what goes through my mind. Maybe they won’t agree with it, maybe I’m too scared to not be accepted. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe maybe maybe. This is what my life has become. Endless amounts of maybes that encourage me to teeter on yes or no. Like my mom always says,”maybe is not a real answer”. And she’s absolutely right. Everyone knows the definite answer to every situation, idea, feeling, thought, question, everything…but we’re just to something to admit it. Acceptance. We all strive for it. But is it absolutely necessary? We came into this world alone, and we are going to leave alone. I know that this is a semi-depressing thought, but it’s the truth. The people and things that we surround ourselves with in our lives are there to make this journey we call life a little bit more pleasurable. We learn from them and these things, hoping that at the end of the day we have become a better person. So maybe if we thought of life in this sense just a little bit, we probably wouldn’t have so many “maybes” and we would probably be more confident with ourselves.

While reading the Geeta this morning, I came across a few things that I think if I understood better, I could learn to be a more confident individual. And maybe, just maybe, it will help me understand the purpose for what i’m living a little bit better:

  1. we have 5 senses. we let these senses take control of our actions. wrong. our mind needs to control our actions.
  2. everyday we are led by our desires. we want this and that, and all those things over there. but, are these desires going to help us grow towards our ultimate goal?
  3. we are all connected. all humans are part of mankind/humanity/whatever shall you. so, if one person is affected, than so everyone else is too. this leads to my 4th point
  4. why are we not more merciful towards the other human? are we not all part of one species? doesn’t it make sense to have a little bit more sympathy for other people?
  5. my final point: everything that makes us up as an individual is constantly changing. it changes with the people we are with, the situation we are in, the surroundings that consume us everything–our personality, ego, senses, emotions, will, intellect. EVERYTHING. how can we honestly say that we are this, or that we are that when we aren’t anything but situational.
point 5 is what i will elaborate on this week. so look out for that. until then. peace to you.