Friday, October 11, 2019

What do you think at 4 AM in morning?

I wanted to write about this from a long time, today as I can't fall back asleep at 4 AM in the morning, I have the moment to let the words flow.

Life's been crazy past few months, you know how you have that insect inside you that ah! This isn't for me, what am I doing? The dull feeling of waking up to the same day everyday. 


I was watching a show with husband day before, the show is called 'abstract' it's on Netflix, each episode is different, it's about Art and Design - something that I wouldn't watch alone, but would love to watch it with excitement and questions when watching with husband. So, the designer says -'if Life is predictable, You are a zombie!' When i heard that, I felt - Yes, so true. She then explains, how we expect things to be the way they're supposed to be and never create anything new or different and how it just kills creativity and invention, the simplest thing she told was her dislike towards wash basins/sinks, we use it so often, people of different age, but it's designed to be used by a fully functional  adult, children can't use it until they reach the right number on the scale. I don't intend to write the whole blog on the episode, but something to ponder about.

 I have been thinking about doing something different in the 8 hrs of time we dedicate in life for the routine we call 'work.' May be move industries at work and sometimes there's a strong thought in mind that - Why work for others? why make others earn more bucks? Why not do something of your own, something you like, something flexible and something which isn't same and boring everyday. I always laughed when husband told 'we should just retire at 35/40 and live life, we can go back to India, buy land, grow our own food...' But as I think more about a job being something to do that you like, the idea of the way we see it just appears wrong. But, it's a form of security, the kind of security which you wouldn't get if you have your farm and there's drought and no food for you to eat, sounds scary, but it depends how raw do you want life to be? I feel I want to open a coffee shop and operate at my own pace, it won't be a place by office space, to serve grumpy people who rush to go work, help others make millions/billions, it will be like a corner shop with minimal goodies and news paper on the table and maybe a football game running on the tiny TV, this is the coffee shop scene we went to when we were on vacation in Mexico, the guy working there looked so chilled out and happy doing what he was doing.

It might be justice if I write a second part of this blog..but the situation is that I am bugged with what I am doing and my mind and brain looks like it's rusted, you know if you see the  picture of a head and multiple gears inside it, I imagine mine to be rusty and unable to move, coz the society in the world we live in gives us only little chances, less that 0.000001%. 

The need for change theory which everyone talks about is bullshit, it's only good in books and fake speeches from the so called 'leaders.' There's a lot of resistance and no acceptance and people think you are a fool, when you try to do things outside what you have been doing or they might just label you as incompetent or confused. 

I have been in the automotive industry for sometime, moved from automobile to agriculture industry a year and a half ago, when I switched I didn't  have the intention to do something different, it just happened to be that the area I have been working on lies in the sector of mobility, so I fit in.

Why would anyone want to change their job if they don't want to change roles? More money? Bad manager? I don't know. If you  want to change roles for reasons like above, shouldn't it be considered in bad faith or ...? and already be seen as negative or maybe someone wants to move to a more competitive Industry, but even that  would be taken as a negative point, thinking - isn't your current job challenging enough? instead they wanna hire a person with 10-15 years of experience or a lifetime of experience in the same role, how can people even do that? I don't think I can..though I will be, if I don't get out of my current role. I kept thinking why wouldn't anyone use the 'need for change' concept - either they are too afraid of the change or they love what they do. And what about people who hire- why wouldn't they give people a chance to do something new? They don't believe in challenging the status quo? Isn't it suppose to make things better, get someone in the organization and fix some issues which you might have never looked at, where are all my MBA graduate leaders and people in HR? It's all bullshit and limited to books and theories. 

What do you think at 4 AM in morning? Hope not what I think. :/

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

One of those days...

So, it was not just a bad coffee day but a whole bad day! One of those days where even if you walk, you risk falling. 

My day started off with me staying home because my throat wasn't doing good from yesterday and I needed a break, I stayed home planning number of things including that 'make ginger garlic paste' reminder still blinking on my phone. I will do it, I got myself to a point where I took the ginger and put it outside the fridge, so that it gets my attention that I have to do it. I created that reminder after throwing the garlic which mom pealed and left in the fridge when she was here and it was rotten. Do you know how much pain is pealing garlic cloves? Now, I don't know if I will make a ginger paste, but I will do anything before it rots too.

I usually get coffee from the market below my apartment building when I work from home, lately the coffee there's been bad, its not good if I get it after 10, so I went at 9:30 and got a cup for myself but it smelled like there was a fancy sanitizer or a soup and I quickly threw it out thinking about the long nails of  the lady who usually makes coffee, though I complemented her nails once. My imaginations are crazy at times, what if the lady used a sanitizer and touched the inside of the coffee thermos? or what if she didn't rinse the can properly? Anyways, I threw the coffee out and I went in the elevator again to get coffee from starbucks across the street after husband insisting, coz he knows what happens if I don't get coffee - I vine all day. So, I went in the lift and I realized a strong smell and I knew this smell, it was the same which was in the coffee, so it was probably the cleaning spray smell which was so strong that it even got into my coffee when I was coming upstairs in the elevator,  coz I usually take the cup from home and it doesn't have a lid. So, I cracked the smelly coffee case. I don't know if it was possible, but I think it is, coz it was the same smell in my coffee. I then went to starbucks taking my work phone too, thinking I will sit in starbucks for sometime and log on to skype from work phone, but when do I ever have charging in my phone? and the coffee sucked, every sip of it. I hate starbucks, specially the one by my house, coz they always don't have one or the other thing, this time they didn't have sugar and by the time the lady got me sugar my coffee went cold and everyone knows that I like my food and coffee at boiling point.

Not just these two coffee events, I went to the lobby of my apartment where they usually have coffee(not the greatest coffee), but their machine was down and they had a new lavazza coffee brewing machine but they were waiting for installation. So, all my encounters to get a good cup of coffee failed miserably.

By the time I finished having the bad cup of coffees, I had other cravings, it was almost lunch time and I was craving schezwan food, I usually get craving of having spicy food when I am sick. I will admit that one good thing that happened today was that I got a good mapo tofu for lunch. But, when I went to the restaurant to pick the food, I almost fell because the floor was wet and the waitress mopped the floor and didn't put a sign. 

Now comes the main event why I started this blog, today was the first day of volunteering after the kids returned school this year for the Syrian community Network I volunteer at, I was excited and looking forward to it, I was gonna meet the kids after 4 months. I got ready and took a train because it was more convenient to avoid parking on the street.

There are two train stations near my house, a red line station and the green line, the green line is close to my house and during office hours even the red line comes to the station, so I went to the green line station and waited for the train, my phone showed the train will arrive in 10 minutes, I waited for ten minutes and got into the train that came on the station, half way through I realized the stations on my google maps weren't the same as the ones the train was stopping at. I asked the guy beside me - 'Is this red line?' he told 'No, its green.' I got down at the next stop and tried to figure out where I was, I realized I went west instead of North. 

Me - in the library, before starting to blog
I once took a bus and went southbound just looking at the number on the bus, but I had to go north, after that incident I knew which way is north and which way is south, simple directions - they existed even back home and I took the bus everyday, for 6 years and how did I become dumb all together? not knowing what is south, what is north? I blame technology. It made things easy, but it also made human beings brains to stop thinking like - If you want to go North and if you sit in anything going towards North, you cant just sit in it, it can also go west, that's what happened to me today, not only did I sit in a wrong train but also just sat in it for 15 minutes thinking this is a train going North bound it will only go North, not thinking it can also go west. Sorry, if this is too much E/W//N/S, but there was a lesson to learn, to be focused and to pay attention. I felt so bad thinking I cant commute in train without husband? I  drive everyday, but to the same place and use GPS if I am going to a new place and it changes things so much when you are walking and trying to use bus/train. 

I gave up and didn't think of taking a train again to go to the volunteering spot because it was too late. I thought 'be easy on yourself..' and sat in the library of my apartment because the library was cooler than my apartment and I needed a change in set up for the day.

That's all venting for the day. I know too many unnecessary details were shared and the hatred for starbucks was out loud .. After all the events of my day, do you think it was just me trying to find faults in the day or its me doing things wrongly :/

Monday, May 27, 2019

Not all things that happen are ...

Sometimes you have to just hold yourself, you may wanna speak a 1000 words but you wanna hold yourself, for your own sanity and to maintain that standard and threshold.
This post may sound a little cryptic because I may not discuss the details behind what's happening.

Siblings always came first to me, no matter what..be it work, be it money, be it me letting go and patch up, most of the times I don't let my ego intervene and take actions, even if it does its only for sometime and I come back like a small pet waging it's tail and apologize, because it's not in my nature to hold grudges and not talk. Ok, I will try not to glorify myself and make this post all about myself. But there's been some lessons learnt and I just wanted to write them down, lest I forget I can always come back and read this.

Somethings going on in the family, my younger sister aka Potter sister is kind of fleeing from us. Because I write everything here and it's my own space, I will express what I feel. (To be honest, I typed some stuff and deleted it coz hello ? Who cares? And at the end of the day you have to go back to your family and siblings, so why whine here and spread negativity?).

So, not all people are similar and we as siblings don’t share the same interest either, I talk to everyone in the family and so does my younger brother, unless you are being a pain to him or make him realize his mistakes - he will talk to you everyday, almost bug  you everyday 😛. Me and husband are the same, maybe we talk to everyone and not hide out and something happened recently and we are accused of back biting. I hate to say 'we' because unfortunately I got husband involved in this mess. I respect his time and I only take him as a reference in a lot of things I do, but when he sees me struggle and unable to fight the odds, he will intervene and literally put day and night to keep my point or make the other person understand what they're doing wrong in the most decent and delicate way. 

Social media has completely changed the dimension of family feuds, the conversation and message that a person can say and hear isn't just over a phone via a transceiver but it's all over, the whole world has to see it..from whatsapp status, whatsapp display picture to instagram post and statuses. Sometimes I wonder how much can a person bend? 

Maybe I am responsible of using social media and bashing too? No, I am just expressing what I feel, infact venting. Honestly, it helps me let go of negative thoughts, if I can't share it completely with someone, I just pour it down here in a constrained manner, through a funnel, to try not to hurt anyone from my words. That's always been my goal - to try not to hurt anyone from what I speak or what I write. Sometimes this may play against you, because people may think 'ohh she's week,' 'oh she's wrong,' that's why she's silent, that's why she has no words. I don't think I can let go of this quality anyways and I think it's a good quality? 




Saturday, April 27, 2019

It's snowing again!!

A Bollywood song in the background plays 'Kahan hoon mai..' means where am I? I instantly related to it. Being stuck at home all day on a Saturday sucks, specially when you make plans and cancel it cos it's snowing, snowing when it's almost may. It's happening for the second time in the month, we got snow all day, like someone was angry and lowered the thermostat, someone indeed is angry at us -earth, hopefully we only live for so long and I won't be able to see other disasters our generation and the previous generations have done to the planet.

As the song kept going I kept thinking where am I? Away from a lot of people I have known for years and close to some who I have formed new relationships with and far from some very close blood relationships though being so near. I think priorities change..

After moving to Chicago a lot of days I just break down when I realize how many people I have around me, how many people I use to be sorrounded with when I was in Detroit. Sometimes I remember a friend and feel sad misunderstanding her, she was married to a guy friend of mine, she then moved to Detroit from New York and she use to complain to me all the time how she feels lonely and bored, coming from NY to Detroit, I now understand how difficult it must have been for her, now that I know how it feels, me just moving from Detroit. I feel guilty that I thought she was overreacting. 

Anyways, I am now headed to husband's friends house, though it's raining/snowing outside, I sometimes self invite myself to random places just because i want to get out and see people and want to have some people to talk. 

Days like this can literally take a toll on you and today was one such day, hoping tomorrow will be a nice bright day.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Alaska

Returning to work is the toughest thing after vacation. Especially when you return home at 2 AM midnight. But I had to go to work today because my computer wouldn’t let me login. There was a ‘change password’ notification I kept getting, which I ignored and by the time I returned from vacation my password expired and I couldn’t change my password because I wasn’t connected to the internal network. Real world problems eh?

That’s why I had to come to work, just to check my emails, to confirm nothing ground breaking happened while I was gone and no one was waiting on me. Good employee! But after coming to work I only saw few cancelled meeting notifications and compliance training notification emails :/

Anyways, today I am writing to share my Alaska travelling experience. I wasn’t very excited to see Northern lights, I am not a science/space person, so it didn’t excite me much, though I hyped about it on Instagram posting pictures etc..just because it’s a onetime thing, you don’t get to see it every day.

So, this trip didn’t fit in any of the vacation idea category which interests me – it didn’t have beaches, no sun, no greenery, no amazing food..though I did think that I would get amazing seafood when I first heard about the trip from my husband.

Route of Dalton Highway to Purdhoe Bay
We headed out from Chicago to Seattle, husband’s friend lives there and he was going to join us from Seattle to go to Fairbanks, a small town in Alaska. After 7-8 hrs of flying, we reached Fairbanks at night 2:30 AM or so..and woke up next morning to drive to Coldfoot, as the name suggests the place will give you cold foot if you aren’t prepared and the name was derived because the truckers who’d go north for mining would usually turn around when they get cold feet and stop here, hence the name coldfoot. There’s only one highway that goes north or North east and the rest is forest. After driving all day, we reached coldfoot at night.  People didn’t live here, only the truckers stop every 250 miles and there was a camp kind of a setup which had small rooms, initially when I heard we’d be staying in camp hotel I was very worried about the cleanliness of the place, but surprisingly this place was well maintained and it looked like it had lot of tourist coming, specially Asian students, so they had sign boards everywhere written in mandarin. The hotel had the tiniest rooms, enough for a person to crash at night and take a shower and get going the next day.

Our car after all the driving on the gravel highway. The worst part was it would ruin my clothes every time I get in/ get out.

The sun did not set until 9 PM, I expected that we can see the lights from the camp but because there was some light from the hotel..we walked to some distance where there was absolutely no light, we did not know where we were going we just walked, it looked like a frozen lake with 3-5 ft of snow on it. We talked to the middle of it and husband and his friend set the camera. We did not know what to expect, we knew the aurora would come between 10 – 2 AM at night. We set the camera at 10:45 or so and kept waiting, we kept seeing stars till the lights started appearing. So, like I mentioned we were on a lake in snow..so we had to create a small patch stable enough for us to stand and for the tripod to fix the camera, we just stomped the snow to make it a smooth surface for us to stand, so that we don’t go inside the snow as we take a step. The boys did that work, I was just standing to be honest.

We didn’t know what to expect, but we were able to see some weird patterns in sky, an orange spot started appearing and on the other side a dim streak of pattern appeared in the sky, just like how it would be if a rocket would go in the sky but wide enough, we were confused, if this was it. We set the camera and there it was , the camera was able to catch what our eyes weren’t able to..the sky had green color patches as if someone painted it green with a brush. The lights did get a little intense and we were able to see it with our naked eye after sometime. But, the patterns kept changing every few minutes, they were just moving.

We kept watching the changing patterns for few hours, we were outside for 3 hrs or so..our legs freezing, hands freezing. We used the hand warmers and toe warmers, it was so hard to even take off my shoes and use the toe warmer, my husband did it for me. Once I was warm enough in hands and toes, my feet started freezing, we decided it was time to go back to the hotel and call it a day.
The next day we came to know the place where we set our camera and stood to watch the aurora was a frozen pond, I got scared when I heard that.

If you notice my style of writing changing at this point, you should know I am continuing to write this blog after a few days. The next day we went to a hot spring, a natural hot spring, I love hot showers, so there was no way I wouldn’t like it. It was amazing, it was a small pond of hot water, the hot springs are big, atleast the pictures of hot springs I have seen for the hot springs in Italy and other places, but this one was small, but good enough to relax us after all the crazy driving for 2 days.
Arctic Circle
Savage Lake and us :)
The last day before we ended our trip, we planned to go see Denali mountain range, I was excited. I fell in love with the mountains and snow on them when I saw the mountains in Seattle, so I was expecting something similar. But, the snow here had started to melt. I looked up a river to go – Savage river, after going there I found that you need to climb a mountain and climb down to see the river, I wasn’t ready for it, not just mentally but physically – meaning not trained to go on a mountain nor wearing the proper gear to go on it, but husband and his friend had their climbing shoes on and the jackets etc..more than the gear, I think mentally they were ready, unlike me. I was wearing my city snow boots bought from Kohls, they were wearing some heavy boots, I was wearing Jeans, they had their gear from Patagonia/Rei. I wonder if it was pre-planned, maybe not. I didn’t run my mind after that, I was trying to convince myself to do it. I did it, walking uphill was a little tough, I am not a fan of elevation or cardio. But walking downhill was fun and scary, there was a lot of stones and we literally had to scramble through it, but I liked the challenge and I learned the tricks from my husband’s friend, who is passionate about going on mountains etc. The tricks helped make the whole experience better and took it to a different level, that’s why they say, ‘experience matters.’

At few points during the downhill, I felt like I would lose control and fall, but I just kept my calm and kept going, kept telling myself ‘you will be down the mountain soon, you don’t do this every day, so just do it!’

The river was beyond describable when we reached there after the hike. We spent some time there and it doesn’t end here, we had to walk 1 hour to get back to our car, just because the roads were closed because it was winter.

While driving back to the Airbnb, we saw a moose by the creek, one more wish of mine was fulfilled, to spot a wild animal.

All in all, it was a good trip, but was more of an active/ adventure trip and not a vacation/relaxation type of a trip. But, hey I am not complaining – I got to go to the hot springs and I saw the moose AND we saw the Northern lights and we went by the arctic circle!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Bad days don't need an invite

Bad days don't need an invite, they come without invitation.

Not every day, I think of making an effort to stop somewhere buy something for breakfast and go to the office, but today I did..because I was craving a croissant, craving a flaky brown croissant, though I knew I won’t get a best one near me, I went to a super market near me, they pride themselves for selling European stuff, when I went inside I saw only three croissants and they didn’t look fresh, so I asked the baker where are the croissants she told me, ‘Can you wait for 15 minutes?’

In my mind: No, I cannot wait for 15 minutes, I don’t have all the time in my life to wait for you to buy a tiny croissant which doesn’t even taste perfect. But I just showed her the clock and told her ‘its 9:38, what time do you think people eat breakfast? Why is it not ready?’ then she told me that they’re busy baking Paczki’s. I didn’t stop, because this was not happening for the first time, I went to meet the manager, manager was the old lady who told me - let me ask the baker. I just yelled few fiery lines as if I was buying dozens of croissants and walked out. My intention was not to be mad at them but to tell them that there’s a time to bake certain things and not be like ‘I am putting it in the oven now,’ where as right across the bakery section they had samples of sushi out, at 9:30 AM in the morning, believe it!


If the first thing in the morning goes wrong, I don’t get what I want, I get a hint that the day is not going to be very productive and there will be disappointments and things that I will not get. For example, I went to the restroom – the first stall read ‘out of service’ and when I went to the second one it didn’t have the safety guard seat covers. Sorry for the unnecessary details, but every tiny disappointment counts in making your day shitty. I went and sat at my desk, I received a ‘Meeting Cancelled’ notification. Usually, I am happy seeing such notifications, but not when I am expecting something from someone.

Being positive ^ 
It doesn’t end here, I wouldn’t be writing if it did..half way through the day I went to warm up my lunch and ten seconds later the microwave’s fuse tripped off, I can’t express how fucked up things around me felt. I just followed another person who was going to the nearest microwave, waited for her to finish heating her food and opened the microwave and there it was the most antique microwave I saw, which did not look like it’s been cleaned since the time I was BORN! I then went to a hidden microwave spot and warmed my lunch and by the time I came back to my desk it was cold like it never went in the microwave.

Sometimes I don’t know if I am too picky or if things are not just how they’re supposed to be.
It is a kind of a day when I can write pages of bad reviews and I did, a day when I won’t hesitate posting nasty sticky notes – I wanted to, but I stopped. On such days I have a straight face and you can see it on my face that something is wrong. I keep doubting if something wrong is going to happen next, maybe when I am driving or maybe I will get into a verbal argument with someone, so I just stay calm and not tend to talk much and vent it out on my blog here.

I hope nothing else happens till the day ends, I go to volunteer and teach sweet innocent refugee kids in few hours who can be bratty at times..so..you never know.

Now, I hear you saying be positive Nameera..


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Unwinding

Sometimes it feels awesome by just not sticking to the plan doing something just because you did it or you started doing it, something out of your regular routine. It unwinds you, gives you  a break, puts your mind to peace and let it put a period to other worldly things, which by not doing them nothing is going to  change , numbers in your bank account won't change, you won't become dumb, to come to reality veggies in your fridge won't stale, they will still be there tomorrow, the inches on your body won't increase in a day  if you skip the gym or eat whatever you want, you will still go to work tomorrow and complain about the job you do if you sleep a little late. Today was such day!

After struggling more than half an hour  to park my car at a local busy Indian Pakistani
neighborhood to pick a to go dinner (rarely happens in my case, very rare- say once or twice in a year)..I drove home thinking I will hog on the biryani I got and crash on my bed, after such a tiresome day, I can't put myself to go to Gym or cook. We limit ourselves so much on weekdays isn't it? In short bore ourselves to death and routine. 

Today I came back and did my prayers, waited for husband to come back from gym, so that we can eat dinner together. I put things in my plate and heated up my food. I can't eat my food a degree less hotter than I need. The next thing I usually do is put on office and watch it while I eat till husband is around and then switch to game of thrones or some Asian drama. Today, I didn't play office, I played a Bollywood movie 'highway,' i watched this one long back, few years ago at a friends place..in a bachelor pad watched it projecting on a wall from our dear enthusan Bollywood movie streaming website. I thought I will switch to GOT once husband leaves but I got so much into the movie that I kept watching it. It's about a   girl (Alia Bhatt) getting kidnapped and she finds more freedom with the when she's kidnapped than in her own house..sounds very dramatic but it was nice, the story took turns slowly, not like the girl falls in love with the kidnapper at first sight.

The movie takes you through different towns in India..and the girl in the movie see's the towns and alway wonders if places like that existed really. She travels through farms, forts, hills and mountains. It reminded me of my tiny wild adventures I had back home when I was in college, me and 3-4 friends of mine would just sit in the bus and travel till the last stop, which is outskirts of the city, just to see some farm land, some small roadside shops. The fun and experience is very different when you have a 20 rupees note in your pocket as Compared to the trips you make in an air conditioned car.

As the songs on the movie played, because the girl was kidnapped they just kept going on highway in a truck, as they passed each place I missed India every time a new scene came, I wondered why did I come from such a culturally rich country to something so plain and white. Ahem Ahem! Then I thought, maybe I wouldn't appreciate what I am seeing today so much if I was not where I am. It's all a mystery. But I kept telling myself throughout the movie that one day I will go back, I will go back to my land, I will go back to where I started off. 
I hope I will...one day...