KNOW THYSELF

‘Know Thyself’ is a personal growth exercise. I think I’ve done it before, in one of my earliest blog posts. The purpose of doing it again to see how far I’ve come since then. I pulled the questions off Pinterest, and I haven’t looked at all of them yet (yet, meaning since I started writing this post.) Will look at each one before I answer it, so as to get an immediate and honest reply, without giving myself much time to alter and change my answers. So here goes:

  1. What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day would have to be a nice sunny day, where I could sit somewhere, with a book. I have a couple of places in Auckland City and I have done it during the summer months. I walk the streets of the city to my special place. Me, a book and a cup of coffee. Sounds absolutely perfect to me.

  1. What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was little, I remember I wanted to be a teacher. Mostly, because I wanted to be able to tell kids what they could and could not do. Now I realise I never would’ve been good at it. I’m not great with kids. I have taught a few classes on several occasions and the experience of it was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It made me feel a whole new level of respect for teachers. My cousin sister is a teacher and she is gifted when it comes to dealing with kids. I love watching her and it makes me feel more shitty about my ‘child skills’. LOL

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  1. Who are you most inspired by? Why?

This is simple and honest – my mum. She’s my lifeline. She is the strongest person I know. Everything I do, I do for her. No matter the challenges she faced in her life, she never let us feel like we lacked anything. She kept us happy and through it all I realised that family, no matter how messed up, is everything. She believed in me, when everyone else doubted me. I have made mistakes. Some big. But like many others, her opinion of me was never tainted by them. Because of her I have come to realise that my vulnerability is not a weakness and I should stick to people who understand that.

  1. Who would you love to meet? And what would you ask?

After 12 years of watching the show like it is a religion to me, I would very much love to go to SDCC and meet Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and maybe the entire cast of Supernatural. Jensen and Jared also known as J2, play brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester. They come as across as hilarious, humble, family guys who just appreciate the fandom. I did warn my readers in my very first blog post that there will be a lot of fangirling happening here. THIS IS IT. Just look at them. I love them.

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I would ask them this: If, and when, the show gets done (it is just completed its 12th season and has already been renewed for a 13th), what are they hoping to take away from it?

  1. What habit would you like to break? What habit would you like to start?

I would like to break my habit of constantly worrying. I worry about things that may not even happen and I exhaust myself. Sometimes the things I have no control over, keep me up at night, these days more than ever.

I would like to start living in the moment.

  1. Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person?

I admire their positive outlook of life. They have the ability to look at a problem, step back and find the positives in a situation and will make it so that the positives far outweigh the negatives. When I think about life, I realise how essential it is to be that way. Throw faith, hope and belief into it and that makes up the person I truly admire.

  1. How do you like to relax?

I would love to say, lying on the beach somewhere with a drink in my hand but seeing as that hasn’t happened yet, I would have to go with a book, some green tea and cold nights in my room. My lazyboy is an added bonus. Total bliss.

  1. When was the last time you did something you were afraid of?

I am doing it right now. Have you heard that saying “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”? Well, it was my dream to study abroad. I’m doing it right now and it is terrifying. More because now I need to figure a new dream. I’m happy I have an excellent support system. So much positive vibes.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I’m hoping this does not come across as arrogant, but I am proud that I did not give up on my dreams. No matter what people said. Everything in life has its risks, some bigger than others, but as much as it scared me it did not stop me.

  1. What are you most of afraid of?

Losing the people I love. Followed very closely by ‘Failure’.

  1. If life ended today, what would you regret not doing?

Without sounding too cheesy, I would regret not getting my shot at being in love with someone and actually having that person be in love with me. No bullshit. No lies. Total communication and honesty. That’s it.

  1. Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?

I do not have an immediate reply for this one. I do not have anyone I’d like to connect with.

If I’ve cut people out of my life, I have done it for good reason and I have never regretted my decisions to do so.

  1. What qualities do you admire in others?

Confidence (in themselves, in others or situations) and resilience.

  1. What practical skills do you wish you had?

I wish I had better computer skills. And math skills.

  1. Imagine you’re in your 90’s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?

I would want to be able to talk about the fact that I checked off everything on my bucket list. People talk about traveling the world. I want that too. But I have a list of specific places I want to go to. I’m hoping by 90 I would have visited them all.

I would also tell stories about journeys I’ve been on both real and literary.

  1. What is your favourite book/ movie/ song? Why?

This is literally the hardest question for me to answer. I read a lot. I will try to break it down.

Books

Classic: Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

Series: Harry Potter. Those books changed my life forever.

Over all I have too many books I love. No bookworm would ever be able to pick out a favourite book.

Movie:

All the Marvel movies because it’s all connected.

Romance: Letters to Juliet. I dunno what it is about this movie. I keep going back to it over and over.

There are many many more movies I love.

Song:

Keeps changing. I cannot pick one. LOL

  1. If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?

Realistically, this would not be possible but I dream about it a lot. I would erase the existence of Donald Trump. I’m not American, so he is not my President. But I get this sick feeling in my stomach when I hear him speak or even look at his face. He is everything, that I, as a woman, am against. He’s so focused on showing the world the might of the United States of America and is completely screwing his own people over.

I’m not the best when it comes to politics. In fact, I usually stay out of it. But he just makes me so mad because I have a friend in the US who was directly affected by the shitty policies his government are coming up with.

  1. What do you love to do for, or give others (not an object – something from you personally)?

Hmmmm one of my best friends paints and made me a painting of the TARDIS for my 23rd Birthday. Unfortunately, I’m not artistic. I try.

I do love to sing and when that makes people happy, I’m happy. I used to sing for my mum all the time just to cheer her up. I haven’t sung in front of people in a really long time now.

  1. What excites you?

Finding a book store I haven’t visited before. I get super excited about book stores. And libraries. But in the long run, the thought of the endless possibilities of my life excite me.

  1. What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?

I would tell five year old me to be strong because there are tough times ahead that will require her to grow up before her time. But don’t stop dreaming and keep praying.

I would tell sixteen year old me to enjoy the rollercoaster ride till it lasts. Because she’s not gonna marry him.

I would tell twenty-one year old me to not give up. Ever.

Right now I keep telling myself to have faith in myself the way certain people have faith in me.

That’s it.

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THE BEST ADVICE

In a friendship, we’ve all been that person… you know, that person your friends come to for advice when they need it.

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I’ve been that person numerous times. And I even have a few, select people (friends and family members) I go to for help when I need it. But there are times, when certain pieces of advice that we get, give us such clarity, they stick with us forever.

I’m hoping this post could be helpful to someone, anyone who needs it right now. I decided to ask a few friends ‘what was the best advice they ever got?’. These are the responses I got from some of my friends. I have also added some of the best advice I ever got. Here goes:

  1. “Don’t expect anything from anyone but from yourself”

Yes, we’re diving right in with the heavy stuff. Easy to understand it, right? When I asked this friend, who gave him this advice, he replied ‘I thought it myself’, and knowing him, he’s right. He is self-sufficient and I’m proud to call him my friend. I believe this advice holds true for me as well. I learnt this one myself too. As much as we love, and trust others, we have to first, trust ourselves. When we trust ourselves, we won’t expect anything from anyone else, because we can do it all on our own. That is the best feeling in the world. And when someone does do something nice for you, especially when you were not expecting them to, it’s like icing on a cake that you already baked. 😊

  1. “Don’t take yourself or things around you, too seriously”

Life has a way of getting to us. We think, re-think, overthink and exhaust ourselves. We worry about things that may not even happen anyway. And it’s not like overthinking it is going to lessen the impact of the issue, if and when it happens, but we do it. My friend, who provided me with this piece, says she tends to absorb the issue and break it down till there is nothing left. But now, after getting this advice, she has learnt to step back, and decided to see the humour in a problem. She’s a believer of the butterfly effect and thinks of it as an aversion to a bigger disaster. There is truth in this and I think it is something I must learn to do for my own peace of mind.

  1. “Do things without expecting a reward in return. Do not pass judgement at other people’s wrongdoing. Be a good egg. Everyone gets what they deserve, in the end.”

The friend who gave me advice no. 2, also gave me this one. She says her grandma was the embodiment of the above. And the simple truth is that, it takes absolutely nothing to be a good human. Do things out of the goodness of your heart. Don’t keep a score. Just be kind. That’s all. Don’t look for anything in return. Because, in all honesty, just being nice has its own rewards. The immediate one is that feeling of happiness and bliss you experience just after doing something nice.

  1. “Never let anyone make any major life decisions for you in your younger days.”

Okay so this is a tricky one. It’s true, yes. But most will not realise it when they’re younger and by the time they do it’ll be late for them. People will say a lot of things and provide you with “guidance” but eventually you are the one that has to decide and then live with whatever you decide. Make good choices for you. Be it your education or anything in your younger days, really, it will shape and help you so much later on. I’m probably not the right person to say all this but I know now how much it would have helped me. Those extra-curricular activities you’re too lazy to do? Do it anyway, you’ll probably make friends there that will last forever. You’ll probably develop skills of dealing with different skills that will help later in life. It’s hard sometime to put yourself out there, but do it still. I’m doing it now and I’m loving it.

  1. “If you feel like crying, cry. But make sure it’s the only time you cry for that particular reason.”

My mum said this to me once. I don’t know if she remembers that she said it but she did. And it has stayed with me. At the time she said it, I was younger and I just accepted it because I wanted and still do want to be as strong as she is. Now it is ingrained in me. I don’t cry for the same reason twice. I am human and sometimes the same shit upsets me, but I suck it up and move on with no tears.

  1. “Is it really worth saying? If not, then just don’t say it.”

This talks about saying bad, unnecessary shit. I read it in a book and it made so much sense, I had to put the book down and actually think about the number of times I could’ve ended an argument and saved the other person some pain and myself from the regret of saying hurtful stuff that I cannot take back. I know winning an argument and having the proper comeback is really satisfying but most times the satisfaction is momentary. So, before you say something to a person that could potentially hurt them, stop and ask yourself whether it is worth it. If you realise it is not, don’t say it. You may have just saved your friendship or relationship.

  1. “Just remember, you’re playing on the same team.”

This is it people. Relationship advice. We’ve reached this bit. I read this somewhere too, and for the life of me cannot remember where. But again, it just stuck. People in relationships so often forget this part. After a point, we’re just fighting each other. It’s worse if both individuals are competitive. There is no prize for winning this fight! We pit ourselves against each other when in reality, it’s supposed to be us against the rest of the world. The two individuals need to remember that they’re on the same damn side. They both want this to work so they both need to play equal parts in it. ‘It’ being their relationship. And if ‘teamwork’ is not your thing and you play better by yourself then you have no right to be in that relationship, buh-bye.

 

This turned into quite a long post. But it feels so good to get it all down. This is some good advice but if you have anything that has helped you, let me know and I’m happy to make another post about it. Maybe the advice you give me will help me out. Sharing is caring. Feel free to spread some good advice around.

 

 

WHAT IS LOVE??

Yes, I’m back and I’m asking one of the most difficult question ever posed. What is love? And I mean the romantic kind, so there is no confusion. I cannot believe that I’m at a stage in my life where I open up my Facebook and there will notifications of people announcing engagements, weddings and even pregnancies and I’m like…….??? When did I get to this age? Could I please go back to college where my biggest concern was dealing with the consequences that could arise from skipping class? Oh wait. I am in college again. 😅

I cannot judge others for getting married. It’s their life, their choice and if they are happy then it’s a good thing. Because isn’t that what we ultimately want out of life? Happiness? I have friends who are married and are so so happy. They treat each other so well. I’m sure they have tough times but they get through it stronger. I guess even though times are changing and people’s views are changing (slowly but surely), it still is a question I have been asked often about when I’m going to get married. People have been asking me this question quite often recently and my answer has not changed. “NO, Mom! I’m not planning on getting hitched any time soon.. trust me you’d be the first to know if I was..”

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I do not get why she worries about it, because my life should not be defined by the ‘who? When? How?’ of getting married. Maybe I’ll settle down someday. But someday is not today. And a big fat NO to arranged marriages. If I get married it’s gonna be on my terms and it most definitely will be for love. But then again I’ve never been good at love so…

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Thanks to all the numerous accounts of love we see on the telly – I may not have much experience with romance but it is always lovely to watch people fall in love on the silver screen – most of those accounts are unrealistic. Love is different, unique for everyone. I do not understand some people’s version of love, but I have tried to figure out what would define love for me and it is hard. I’ve been in love before. And I always ask myself this question “If I was able to fall out of love with him, was what I experienced really love? If it was love, would it really have ended? And if it wasn’t love then how the hell will I know when I feel it?” Does this part resonate with any of my readers? I hope it does. To be honest, whether that relationship was true love or not, I do not regret it. It shaped me in to the person I am today and I will always be grateful for it. It made me stronger.

I am stubborn and independent and the idea of relying on someone in any way knowing that they can let me down at any time is scary. I like knowing that I can do shit myself and that another person’s actions have no impact on my life whatsoever. I am focused to work and studying and other important stuff in life, besides love and relationships. I am opening myself up to accepting that there are good men out there and maybe I deserve better than the comfort zone I’ve settled for right now. But if there is one thing I do know for sure about relationships and love is that there has got to be respect for each other. Especially respect for the differences and the other’s life choices. And communication. If you feel it, say it. Sometimes waiting till when you’re ready, may not always be the right choice because when you think you’re ready you may not get the chance to say it. Regret is the worst feeling in the world. That ‘what if’ question we keep running on a loop in our heads. “What if I say something too deep, too early on?”,  “What if it doesn’t work out?”, “What if we’re going too fast or taking it too slow?”, “What if she won’t accept me, for me?”, “What if he finds out something about me that makes him run for the hills?”, “What if we don’t get a second chance?” I could go on.. you get the gist of it.

Also, another thing I have learnt from experience is to keep the romance away from social media. At least that’s what I would do. Let your relationship thrive in private. The world does not need to know everything. This is coming from a girl who is active on almost all social media platforms. Do not let it rule your love life.

Look at me, giving relationship advice when I’ve been single for 5 years.

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IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR…

It is always in this week of February that I am most irritable, frustrated and just get mad easily. And I honestly hate the reason why because I hate that I let it affect me. I wish I had another reason than the one I’m going to ‘talk’ about but I do not. On 26th February, 2006 my dad died. This coming Sunday will mark 11 years since his demise. Usually when I tell people this they say ‘sorry to hear that’ because they feel bad for me or because they think it’s the right thing to say. And I usually reply with ‘don’t be sorry. I’m not’ which is true.

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I’m not sorry. This is usually a bad week for me but not because I miss my dad and sit to think about the good old days. He was not a pleasant to person to be around (that’s putting it mildly – he was a monster and I hated him) and I honestly think this week is just cursed. Like nothing can go right for me. If I was back home I probably would’ve met people who get it (I miss you Maria!!) and hung out with friends (Shraddha, you total darling) who would just let me prattle on about useless things to get my mind off it. But I’m now thousands of miles away from home with no proper means of distracting myself other than my studies so I took that route and have ended up with a series of migraines. Everything I touch this week, falls apart. Conversations with people I care about take a bad turn. I think I’m just going to hide in my room and avoid social interaction lest I say or do something I cannot fix. Now I’m resorting to my precious blog. I missed doing this. It is therapeutic. And I need it. And I’m sure anyone who reads this will think that I’m probably conditioned to be in shitty mood this week, just because its this week. But no. The week ends up being shitty all by itself and then I’ll look at the date and realise why. Did I mention the curse already?

I wish I was a better person and could say that all is forgiven. But I am not that good a person and in his case I could probably hold a grudge FOREVER. Thanks dad! Every year, around this time, I think about how monumentally he screwed up and how things could have been so much different had he been a decent human being. I mean look where he ended up! I pray to god for him and try to make it as real as possible and also, hope for some mercy to help me survive this week. I would love to say more but then this would be one of the most depressing posts on my blog, if it isn’t already.

I bid you adieu for now. Stay safe all of you!

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO CALL THIS

I know I have been unable to keep up with the commitment I made of writing and putting up a post every Saturday, but I have been on Summer Holiday for more than a month now and nothing much has happened to me. At least not enough to inspire me to write. Or maybe some things did happen but I will write about that when I am ready to write about it. I’ve been on a couple of day trips and even left town for a couple of days and it is all very beautiful. I captured as much as I could on my other social media because writing about it would not do justice to the beauty I got the chance to witness.

I chose to write this blog about things going on in my head and all I have been doing with my time is reading, binge watching shows and mentally preparing myself for the new term. My planner already looks scary enough. I’m still dealing with homesickness and I try to drown it out by focusing on something else and hope it works. But sometimes things just hit you with such force it does not give you a chance for your mind to catch up to your emotions.

I rarely cry. When I do it’s probably for something really stupid, that concerns me in no way whatsoever. I’ll cry if my favourite character is killed off in a book/ TV Series/ movie or while watching an emotional video anywhere on social media. But hardly ever for anything that has to do with my life. And usually whenever I do cry, it’s usually something I feel building. The tears start flowing slowly until I cannot take it anymore and I turn into a big sobbing mess. Not that anyone can prove this since I’m usually alone when it happens. So, imagine my surprise when I just straight up burst into tears while reading just now. Out of the blue, I just started bawling my eyes out. Over what you may ask? A HUG. Yup, you read that right. A bloody hug. I was reading about two people hugging in the book and I just sat up in bed and cried for a good 10 minutes and it took me a bit to realise that it’s because I don’t think I’ve properly hugged a person since I left India. And that is a big deal to me. I’m a hugger. Back in India people who know me well, know that as a fact. I miss hugging people. I miss hugging mum. This whole situation made me realise how not okay I am being away from home. I miss the familiarity I had with people there. I am independent and I am very proud of that quality that I had to develop and usually I’m okay being on my own. More than okay. But there are days I just need to be in the company of someone that gets me, knows me, even if we don’t have to talk. We can just sit in silence. I miss that.

Again, I am going to stress on the fact that I do not regret coming here. But I am human and adjusting is hard no matter how strong you are. Now that I’m done with this mini rant, I’m gonna go back to that book and try to distract myself.

THIS IS WHAT BEING HOMESICK FEELS LIKE.

Exactly three months ago, I moved from Mumbai to Auckland. I do not regret my decision. I love it here. It’s beautiful. I have family here, I love going to class, I get to explore and see new things and most of all I love that I get to discover new things about myself. But you never really understand certain things, till you experience it. And I am homesick. I know it is natural to feel it especially since I have never been away from home for this long. I was hoping I’d skip it though, considering how much I wanted to leave India. And people always assume that I should not feel so bad because, I live with family but sometimes even that does not help. I just want to curl up into a ball and not leave my room till I feel better. I feel like that Dorothy from Wizard of Oz saying that famous line… yeah you know which one.

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I miss things about home I can’t believe I miss. I miss my crazy coffee mug that was a gift to me for my 22nd birthday from an equally crazy friend. I miss my no-alarm Saturday’s which was a rule my mother knew to follow. I miss waking up early on Sunday’s to make her coffee and breakfast (pancakes) to pamper her a bit. I miss being able to call/ text my few friends and getting responses in real time without time differences being an issue. I miss watching movies in theatres and having people to do it with. I miss spicy food and not having to worry about sunburn every time I stepped out of the house on a sunny day. I miss my home and my mum and our late night talks and giggling. I miss going to work. I miss the fast pace of life.

I know I come across as ungrateful but that is not it. I love where I am. I love who I am right now. I love knowing that I had the courage to leave everything that meant anything to me, my whole life, and move to another place all with the hope of a better tomorrow. But it is sad to think that I will never again be the girl I was, when said goodbye to my family and friends at the airport and walked onto that plane. I do not know where I’ll be by the end of this year but I hope it is where I’m meant to be and with the people I’m meant to be with. I’m gearing up to face, what will be THE most challenging year of my life. 2016 was a very crappy year for most and in some ways for me too, but it also was lifechanging for me. I am scared, excited and will try to be as accepting as possible about 2017!

I hope that all who read this have a wonderful, eventful, enlightening and most important of all, a happy, new year!

9 THINGS I’M ABSOLUTELY SHIT AT

Everyone on this planet has faults. No one is perfect. And people who come across as perfect are also boring in my opinion. I am not even close to perfect. My faults are so glaringly obvious it makes me cringe when I think about some of the stuff I did in a day that would have been done very differently by another well-functioning human being. But I rarely have my shit together so nothing goes well for me. So since today is as good a day as any, I have decided to make a list of all the things I am absolutely shit at. There are gonna be a few people who read this and are gonna nod their head in agreement.

 

  • Math – If I have a nightmare, it’s probably about math. I hate numbers and if I see an excel spreadsheet that has numbers on it, I breakout into a cold sweat. I cannot do numbers. I would rather stab myself with a fork. Repeatedly. If someone asks me a math related question and waits for a reply, my answer is usually, “Huh?”

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  • Cooking – I think I’ve mentioned this before in another post I made mocking myself, but it’s true so I’m going to say it again. I am a bad cook. I’m not the worst cook, but I am pretty damn close. If I ever live alone in the future, I’ll survive on my cooking but if I have to feed people, I’d cook, and just hope for the best. Usually I’m too nervous to eat the food I’ve cooked for others. In my opinion, I suck at cooking. There have been times I was lucky I made it out of the kitchen alive.

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  • Applying make-up – Like any other girl, I like looking pretty. I do. I love wearing lipsticks and that’s about it. Because I literally can’t do any other form of make-up. I should get points for trying though. Story time: Earlier this year, I had to attend an office party. We went to the hotel to check the set-up and then started to get ready just before the party was due to start. My boss tried to teach me how to apply black eye shadow to give it that smoky look. I listened and watched attentively and when it was my turn to do, I followed her instructions (or so I thought) to the letter and ended up looking like a Panda. Yup, you read that right. It took them another 15 mins to fix the mess I created on my face. Makes a good story. Moral (for myself): DO NOT DO MAKE-UP. IT WILL NOT END WELL.

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  • Comforting people – I straight up hate myself for this, but I just do not have the talent required to comfort people. I am a nice person, I think, and most people assume that’s all it takes to be a comforting person. But it is so much more than that. You need the right tone of voice, the right words and the ability to say a few white lies so that everybody leaves the situation feeling good. But no, if anyone comes to talk to me about something personal, a situation that is causing them pain, and are looking for someone with a comforting presence I am not that person. I will give them the worst possible advice, will probably laugh when it is not appropriate and then once the whole thing is over and done, I’ll feel miserable for making the person even more miserable. It is a horrible vicious cycle and I have resigned myself to live with it.

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  • Reacting to the drama in people’s lives – There have been a few people who made this observation and it is right. I keep away from drama like it’s the plague. Probably why my first and only boyfriend was 4 years ago. I am allergic to drama. I just can’t do it. But there are people who thrive on the drama in their own lives as well the lives of people around them. When such a person talks to me about their lives, I’ll probably be there giving them replies in the form of grunts and ‘hmmmmmmmm’s because I have no real words. Like why would I wanna know how that guy asked you out? It is in no way relevant to me. I do not care about your drama. If you’re wondering if I’m dead inside.. I am.

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  • Accepting compliments – Yup I suck at accepting compliments. I know I don’t look half bad, and am passable as a decent human being (if you’re meeting me for the first time), but if someone says anything nice to me, about me, I’ll most likely not believe them the first time. “Like are you sure you mean me, or were you referring to my pretty and smart older sister?” It happens a lot.

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  • Walking in Heels – It’s almost Christmas which means I’ll have to get out the high heels. Which also means that you’ll see me around, tottering in my heels trying really hard, to be graceful. Appreciate it because it does not happen that often.

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  • Watching TV Series – Let’s just say I am more invested in my TV shows than I am in real life. I probably won’t cry a lot in real life but if my favourite character on my favourite TV show dies, so help me God, I will be miserable for days, maybe weeks. I react more to my TV shows than any other real life drama and my friends hate it.

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  • Playing video games – I’ll press all the buttons on the console with absolutely no idea what any of them do. Does not really help me win any of them games but only serves to annoy my opponent. At least I’d win there.

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So there you have it. That’s all I could think of right now. I’m sure I’ll find other things I’m totally shit at but that will have to added in another post.

Till then, be kind to yourselves 🙂