Expectations

We live in a world where we expect perfection or high-achieving outcomes for every aspect of our life. Ah, the woes of being Generation Y.

We all know it. We’ve all read about it via our newsfeed.

I sit here in panic as I try and make use of my time.

Bucket 1: The physical body.

Gym, dance, yoga. It’s almost crucial for me to do something physically challenging everyday, or else my mind is uneasy. I gain clarity and calmness via movement. Need to fit 2 hours in for this.

Bucket 2: The creative body.

I want to dance, I want to learn languages, I want to create art, I want to create music. I want to pick up playing the drums again, I want to sustain my piano playing skills. Currently, I am juggling between learning French, Arabic and Mandarin and today has been an attempt for myself to try and launch into Arabic again.

Bucket 3: The intellectual body.

Reading. Which I do none of. The news, fiction, via my job. My brain is lazy at the moment. Its chaotic nature perhaps needs meditation…but if I’m meditating, when and how can I build up my brain?

Bucket 4: The spiritual body

Meditation. Not understanding this conflict I have about it. I know it’s good for me, but I keep thinking it’s a waste of time. How confusing in my head.

Bucket 5: The relationship body

It’s been all about myself for the first 4 buckets. Now here are the people that matter in my life. My family, my Jean-mi, my friends. I’m feeling contented and blessed here at the moment.

Bucket 6: The fun body

Perhaps goes with creative bucket. I want to go to gigs, I want to go to art galleries, I want to let go and dance in a club.

Bucket 7: The successful body

Funny how late my job bucket appears in my list of priorities (I wrote these as they appeared naturally, without giving them much thought in terms of order). I am unhappy in my job, but I feel like it is because I’m not exploring it properly. What am I doing? What am I really good at?

Bucket 8: The altruistic body

What led me to write this. I want to be some sort of hero to the world. Help refugees. Volunteer at soup kitchens. But – as I do so, how about my family and friends who I already don’t give enough attention?

And here we go. Braindump for the day.

Ciao.

I confess…

Whenever I come back to Dubai, I tend to binge on social media. My bedroom transports myself back into a solitary person who sits and wastes their time on the computer. To be honest, I search incredibly inane topics; mainly Miley Cyrus. Isn’t that hilarious? It’s my bi-annual catchup time on her life and understanding what she does. I kind of love her in a weird way. She wears whatever she wants, is outrageous in a gross way, but in a weird sense, I kind of respect it. I like her vegan ways, I like her yoga practice, I like her wacky fashion. She seems cool. I’d be her friend.

Anyway. I think it’s a little unhealthy how i spend so much time on the computer. I also contemplate deleting my Facebook but I don’t see the point in doing so….maybe there is but….what I’ll do is ask JM to change my password. That may be more successful. I thought perhaps I read more useful things using FB but it’s clearly untrue.

Gaining clarity via text

For the past few years, I have been trying to understand MYSELF via a number of different ways. I defined myself via dance; it was somewhat the only way I felt truly myself and the only time my mind was not scattered with little insecure voices. Truly, the feeling can only be described as getting lost, but there is a clear beam of path which makes you feel completely yourself. It’s so strange.

Then after the injury, I turned to yoga and meditation. It doesn’t suit me as well. My mind struggles and frustrates easily. I get restless sitting. Perhaps that says a lot about me. Walking eases my mind more. Cycling offers a feeling of flight.

I am so bodily aware, that sometimes, it is to my detriment. I feel like I flounder in a circular pool of despair, trying to swim out to developing my mind, but am restricted by the repetitive wave of body achievements I want.

I believe I am somewhat introspective. I believe I always have been. I find it hard though to pinpoint the things I am passionate about, because sometimes I feel insincere. I believe in helping people through difficulties. I believe in bettering the environment. I believe in the beauty of art, dance and theatre. I believe in health and contentment. I believe in human cultures. How can I incorporate all these things to do something I love – not tow away at a desk with Excel sheets?

Let’s carry out some research. Any ideas? Drop me a line…

Pretapretapretapretapretapretapretapretapreta

I’m sat here in the North Terminal, chomping on my Pret salad (consisting only of vegetables and grains, costing £4.50 takeaway price) and feeling a little ill. Gatwick is buzzing. People are, and are from, everywhere. But it makes me sick. We collectively sit mindlessly, unconsciously, unthinkingly getting on with our lives. Some are trying to validate their exciting existence with a getaway. Some are going home, and others are going on business trips. We always have an agenda. An external reason or purpose to do or to go.

Perhaps it could [and should?] be seen as a beautiful process. The extreme efficiency to pick, pay and eat lunch in a matter of minutes. We live in an era of convenience. Strife is to be avoided. Shortcuts always to be taken. Does this promote self-development? What do parents try and set up for our children? No bumps. Then those molehills inflate to fucking mountains when not met early on.

I suddenly have an urge escape into the Portuguese forest. I want to take Jean Mi, a doggie, a million books and take this time to be by myself. Yoga, nature, good food, my love, my life. Simplicity.

What if my corporate lifestyle robs me of my romantic understanding of “true life” and imposes upon me its draconian clockwork process? What if I forget? What if I am brainwashed?

What if I am currently brainwashed?

Sometimes, life feels too overwhelming. I am overwhelmed by the disagreements in my head. Juxtaposed. Like cheap pick’n’mixes; bric-a-bracs of chicken thoughts. Incomplete and abandoned. I want to live one way, yet I accept another. I BELIEVE ALL. I don’t believe in nothing.

My mind is jumping. My heart is flipping. My stomach wrenches and I feel sick.

Human Realisations

When I pass a dog, I try my very best to make eye contact; cajoling them as they let me inch a little bit closer.

When I pass a human, I try my very best to avoid eye contact; ensuring that I have not awkwardly acknowledged their existence.

The world could be an intimate playground if we greeted each other as animals do. I had a few realisations about the human race in my short one night stay at a hostel in Copenhagen. The boys went off for a cycle, and I decided to have an adventure of my own.

One: Boys are scum. Most of them.They only chat to you with an interest to get in your pants. I had to prove JM’s existence with a photo (not one, two) to a cocky Dutch man. ‘So, judging from the fact you have a boyfriend, you’re into tall blonde men?’ ‘Yes … my boyfriend.’

Two: The majority of conversations are male dominated. And misogynistic. Numerous times they passed stories describing women (celebrity or previously dated) for being hot and nothing else. Completely dulling women to objects to look at and to hump.

Three: Women are shy. Act shy? Lack interest? Lack hobbies? All the women I met today were meek and lacked passion. For anything. Comparatively, I came off as an alpha female. Cocky. Domineering. A dyke, with my new haircut? A bitch? My confidence had inklings of discomfort as I reflected upon the impressions I left.

Written 12 hours later:

“Law of attraction”

To recap, ’twas an awful yesterday spent with an acquaintance, and rounded off with a vile evening mingling with soulless zombies. However, I had a magical today! I was expecting to leave the hotel just after breakfast. I had had enough of mindless small chat. It was a good experiment, though. It was a good challenge, though. The night was a miserable sleep, too. I reckon it would’ve been fine today, to be fair. I think that I needed one day getting accustomed to it. Anyway, I lacked a little bit of sleep, and ate breakfast alone whilst trying to wake up. One last attempt at making friends, I decided.

I sat myself next to a tall lad and a blonde woman with a Kanken. I got into the convo by complimenting her bag (stealth) and ended up going with her to Christiania. We hung out the whole day, got to know each other a little bit, and just felt really relaxed being around her. I was happy to give Christiania another go. I was happy to chat to people, to play with dogs, to drink some juice, to soak in the feeeeeeeeeeeels. Having pushed my train later, I felt a bit anxious keeping Janet waiting. I always feel guilty about not letting people know if they want to know. I decided to leave Xtiania earlier once I decided that enough chilling was enough. I left my matey, and walked home alone.

During my walk, I felt anxious. It’s a feeling of uneasiness of being alone, of being without JM, specifically. I was thinking to myself, actually, that I wanted to feel this feeling of loneliness. I wanted to indulge in it; as I want to sometimes (not frequently) indulge in sleeplessness or hunger. It’s almost like a challenge to myself and my senses. As I edged closer towards my hostel, I felt more confident as I began to understand my emotions. I arrived and met someone, still umm’ed and ahh’ed about what to do. Bumped into Alex and Javier; two hilarious Londoners of the age of 30. After getting our free dinner (little bit o’ pasta and mushrooms), we decided to go for a smorrebord. We just clicked. I was in stitches all meal.

I didn’t want to leave, and checked for a spare bed. None free. The decision was done for me. Off to home I go.

Decisiveness. Not feeling obligated towards imaginary boundaries. Understanding which friends are important, and which are not. Gaging priorities. Chilling out. Living without time restrictions.

Graham’s theory of ‘clicking with someone’.

The dream of self sustainability.

True love.

Youth.

….and I never want to cook again.

Hilarious. After dreaming of how to cook healthy Victoria Sponge Cake recipes, the perfect Lemon Drizzle, succulent fish curries and then carrying it out… I’m done. I’m so so so done with cooking and baking. Unfortunately, it was due to the overload of cake-baking I had done in 2 days. In the space of 12 hours, I had Granola 2baked 3 cakes.

The first granola batch were such a success that I wanted to try a new one. I did. And they’re awesome.

The first brownie batch were such a success that I wanted to try another healthier dessert. Spirulina seed bars. Not such a success. I originally used a recipe that consisted purely of honey, oats, spirulina and seeds (did I put in nuts? I don’t even remember). This resulted in a sickly sweet taste that did not want to go down my tummy, and so I decided to fix it by adding buckwheat puffs and oats to ‘distribute’ the taste. Nein, they don’t stick anymore. Last resort; add dates (oops, too many. Of course I did) into the mix to change the taste. Lovely. Now they’re too sticky…and probably too sugary…let’s add a dash of pecans. Perfection – or not? Too full to even try them, and their green colour does not help the appeal-factor. 2 cakes 1 day

Victoria Sponge Cake 1. Thinly spread cream and jam to try and make it as ‘healthy as possible’. Tried out strawberry tart which lacked all sugar and taste (such a shame, it looked a beauty). Darnen healthy recipes. What do we expect? I love it, though. decide to keep it and freeze it. Frittata
Not good enough for the public, though. Not for the picnic. Decide to create a new spongecake in the morning, which takes around 30 minutes. Record time. I had made the previous two cakes at the same time; in an hour.

The aim of this cookin’ fad was to cook more savoury food. Hello to this beautiful sweet potato, onion, red pepp and spinach frittata (i.e. fancy omelette). Hello to a tart fennel salad, a wholesome broccoli and ginger soup, a filling Keralan fish curry.

And now, I put my cutlery, my packs of nuts, my blender and my broom AWAY.

Do you ever get that fleeting feeling…

…to do something impulsive?

Perhaps jumping on that boat going nowhere, fulfilling that floating foundation which we call life.

Building a home with your bare hands.

Cycling for days to indulge in the rhythmic movement of your legs carrying you forwards across plains, roads, cities, countries; the world.

Escaping your nest to live somewhere completely foreign…an isolated adventure.

I always make excuses. I’ve got a ‘great’ job offer, I don’t have my own financial standing at the moment, I have Jean-Mi, I am injured, I’m scared of being alone, I’ve already travelled, I can’t speak the language, my family won’t approve, I’ll miss my friends, how will I dance?, how will I recover?, how will I eat?, how can I settle? how how can’t can’t can’t I no no no…

Who knows what I even want at this moment? I secretly hope that I don’t get the visa so that I am forced to do something extreme and awesome. Like to go live in Beirut, or Shanghai, and finally fulfil my dream of multilingualism. Or, that could make me succumb back to the Dubai cocoon where I can make money and regress back into my childhood state of mind. All without JM. Oh no. And the wonderful house that I could share with Christine, Pree and JM. And the wonderful experience that is London. The opportunity to learn in this job which can basically set me up for the years ahead. Set me up? In what sense? Do I even want to learn those skills? Of being a Performance Improvement consultant? What even IS that?

3 days and more will unfold.

Goin’ on a cooking craze

In my house-bound state of unlimitless time, I have decided I need to learn how to cook. Properly.

I mean, I’m a bona fide food fiend. Healthy foods, especially.

However, it’s difficult to cook in Dubai. My maid is extremely territorial of the kitchen and chases us out whenever we start poking our noses in there. I’ve grown up alien from the kitchen. Now, as I recover and rehab in the Hurst’s household, I have full reign of the kitchen. I also warn you that I don’t take great pictures, and I probably won’t try and kid you that I do. They’re lol-worthy unfiltered pics from my Gold Apple iPhone (which has survived the jungles of Cambodia and the beaches of the Philippines). Nein, the photo-taking is not the point of these posts so just enjoy them sympathetically 🙂
Granola bars

First were these delicious granola bars. I mixed 2 different recipes but mostly drew from the one included. I have a habit of reading at least 20 recipes of the same thing, and then mixing it for the ‘best possible recipe’. I think this results in a waste of time, but it’s my habit to do this with EVERYTHING. I feel like I interpolate the worst and the best to arrive, truly, at the best possible answer. The best hostel to stay in. The best place to eat. The best music for tonight. The best movie to watch. Tabs and tabs, open to annoy you OCD people out there.

Anyway! This was nice and easy to make – I initially made it without any honey and nut butter but decided it was too tasteless when plain. They did not turn out as crunchy as I thought – are they supposed to be crunchy or chewy?

Bronwnies

Next up were these gorgeous brownies which were PERFECT. My god. They taste like real brownies – and they’re GOOD (well, as good as chocolate can be…) for you. I originally made the icing (pictured) without adding the sugar to make it ‘fluffier’. This was on account of me being lazy, and also thinking i could cut out sugar and have all the great taste. After spreading and sprinkling, I decided that it would be better to do it ‘properly’. I scooped everything out and re-did the icing – and I’m glad I did! I know this says a lot about my personality… I’m a dishevelled whirlwind.

CHICKPEASI was dying to make a hummus, but ended up making these crunchy delights. I used the Comptois Libanais cookbook for this. I totally ‘messed’ up. Again, my tornado tempo made me add 1 TBSP instead of 1TSP of the spices. I solved this by adding an extra tin of chickpeas. 30 minutes post grilling in the oven resulted in soggy chickpeas, which I thought was the desired outcome. Jean-mi didn’t seem too keen. I decided to take a chance and stick them back in the oven (after a Google search). Some details which I learned along the way:

  1. Drain chickpeas. Rinse then. DRY THEM.
  2. Read tsp vs. tbsp. Differentiate.
  3. Don’t be scared of burning these little babies. Keep them in there for 40 minutes. 50 if needed.

Amy and JM gobbled these up in 10 minutes flat.

Water This isn’t cooking at all, but I think it’s too good not to share! I’ve been drinking loads of sparkling water with lemons, but decided to add a little twist to some still water. Yesterday, I mixed lemons, raspberries and blueberries. Today, some mint and berries. I freeze the berries so they’re like little ice-cubes 🙂 Super refreshing drink to have whilst reading in the garden!

Instability

It’s 10 days post surgery, and the recovery timeline is phenomenal. I should be feeling like this a month post surgery. Instead, I was up and walking 2 days after surgery; although I limited it to mainly being on my back for a week until I saw Mr. Hardy. I felt like i didn’t need crutches, didn’t need to be on my back all the time, and had no pain whatsoever. I stopped taking all my medication by Day 3. I had full ROM by Day 3 as well. I could easily do all my exercises – heel slides, quad tenses, leg raises. The only thing that worried me is a lump which began to form as I tensed my quads – and it went away as I relaxed. Almost like a pulsating golf ball under the layer of skin. This then hardened to a constant lump being present underneath the incisions. Worried, I rang Mr. Hardy twice to ask about it; and he reassured me that it was all fine. What a professional and absolute joy of a doctor to have!

Post week 1, I’ve started going for walks (30 min to an hour!). I’m yet to see my physiotherapist, and I’d like to start on the bike ASAP. I find it a little difficult to get myself active and clear-headed. i feel like i’m more productive in Dubai. Although, I’ve been quite undisciplined ever since hanging out with Shani – which is a good thing in that I’m actually chilling and living a little, rather than living in my regimented notion of productivity.

A few days ago, I was informed that my work visa had been rejected a second time. I’m in the process of finding other opportunities. Thanks a lot, EY

ACL Day 1

The surgery went well, according to Hardy. It’s been a month of meeting consultants, reading medical papers and trying to decipher what the best solution would be for my poor knee.

Hardy says that I have a complex medial meniscal tear which is the greater issue than the ruptured ACL. I won’t return to dance or high impact dance for 2 years, he says. It seems to be differing opinions; no squatting past 120 degrees for 2 years….who knows.

The operation went smoothly – I was wheeled into the theatre and a sedative was injected through the veins in my wrist. Before I knew it, I was waking up again. Apparently, I had babbled a lot at the doctors, I even tried setting Mr. Hardy’s son up with someone. I really hope I didn’t say anything else too embarrassing.

After surgery, I was wheeled into my room and I couldn’t move my lower body at all. They had injected a spinal nerve block into me, which was actually pretty horrible and annoying. I wanted so badly to move my legs, and couldn’t even pee. My bladder bloated and filled up and I tried my very best to pee into the bedpan. Sonia, my nurse, was Portuguese with a load of chutzpah. She really helped my recovery and I wish I had her throughout the night.

JM left at around 9pm. Poor thing must’ve been exhausted; we arrived at the hospital at 5.30am and slept very late the night before. I had a morphine injection at around 7pm. It definitely helped with the pain, but it made me feel queasy when I stood up. This resulted in the bedpan spilling twice – which resulted in me having to stand and wait for the sheets to be changed. I woke up a couple of times at night; went to sleep at 10pm, woke up at 12 to pee and take more meds and to put on the free cryocuff which Marcial gave me, woke up at 3 to pee and get Codein, and finally at 7 again to pee – when Mr. Hardy walked in whilst I embarrassingly needed to get cleaned up for it spilling everywhere.

I woke up at 9 with a wonderful breakfast which I had overordered to serve to the boys. JM came in half an hour too late and I had demolished the brekkie. George came in later and it was really wonderful spending time with him and chatting to him – it really put my mind off the entire situation.

2.45 we left the hospital, and spent 2 hours in traffic. Felt quite ill but closed my eyes to try and forget about the situation. I’m not comfortable taking so many meds and my tummy is not very happy with it.

I’m back at Janet’s and Amy’s made me a huge chocolate cake, and Janet’s bought me loads of goodies to cheer me up. I am really treated like royalty here.

I’m walking already – and not wearing a knee brace. Seems like my recovery is going to be quite different from before! I can do all my exercises except for leg raises, because I don’t have full extension yet.

1. Movement of ankle

2. Quad tension

3. Hammy engagement

4. Leg Raises

5. Heel slides