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I am leading a double life

Most people know that coming home after university is not easy. Mainly because you get so used to being by yourself you forget what family life usually means; I am talking about eating dinner at respectable times and coming home at reasonable hours and telling every single family member what you are doing and where you are going. You have a genetic obligation to send text messages about your whereabouts and dinner plans. I have always been terrible at that. It’s hard to have your life together when your plans are a random collection of ideas.

Lately, things have been different. I am at the stage in my life where I’m expected to be the responsible daughter. In fact, it isn’t an expectation but more a natural instinct. I am past the days where cleaning the dishes triggered a voluntary facial stroke. There were times when taking the rubbish out was so outrageous a request, I would rather run a marathon. Responsibility hits people at different points in their life but for me, especially with the independence I’m used to, I got stuck into it quite early.

Off course, I wake up in the morning and empty the dishes, take the rubbish out, do my bed and clean the cupboard, make lunch, and do other bits and bobs… doing things for my family takes the guilt away from being helpless during university.  Don’t get me wrong though, like most to-be-adults, my life isn’t all that boring because I want to make the most out of my four months of summer. Mechanical engineering isn’t exactly known for it’s party-reputation. In fact, the glum, appreciative faces of most people suggest the exact opposite. So as you can imagine, the library recluse is now the social butterfly. (Or at least, I like to pretend I have friends.)

I guess I am living a sort of double role. It’s just struck me that when you get out there, when you start sorting your shit out, and move out of the four walls you are protected in, you start leading multiple roles. It’s not just about what you want to do any more. It’s about things you have to do and finding that balance is essential.  Maybe that’s why we suck at adulthood sometimes – we miss the days where role-playing was a choice and not our whole lives.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Life

 

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Part 1: What religion means to me

There are some debates and conflicts that will take decades to die down; religion is one of them. The large faiths, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity are constantly at unease with each other. In fact, on a deeper level, different denominations of these religions find it difficult to coexist even today. Another similar argument is one of atheism and theism.

I am not religious. I pride in being a follower of don’t-really-give-a-shitism. Others call me agnostic. Neither do I firmly believe in the existence of God nor do I firmly accept our scientific discoveries, as they too, are well-supported theories rather than fact. We know what we think we know. The point is, it doesn’t matter. Both science and religion are the a consequence of the human thirst for knowledge. In both situations we aim to find out why , how and when did we get here- more importantly, what it all means. Nothing in science is fact. The entire concept of God is based on belief not truth. I am nonchalant to both. You may argue that the proof of God’s existence will give me a greater sense of purpose and a willingness to improve and change my life. In return, I simply state that I will do good regardless of heaven and hell. If my morals, believes and ideas hold, judgement should not change my course.

Religion is taking this belief and turning it into a set of laws to live life. Religion relies on the idea that we understand God and that we need to get to God and ‘X, Y, Z’ is the way to get there. It gives a lot of people purpose and hope. Fine, all is well that does no harm. However, when people question each others faith it leads to a series of ‘I am right, you are wrong’ arguments. Humans are afraid of losing our core principles because if they prove wrong they will have lived their entire life as a lie. This is something we can not handle.

Despite every religion principally stating the same thing people find it hard to coexist. This proves that principally, religion is not flawed as all religions teach good behaviour, morality and faith. However, the founding of faith is where religions mainly disagree. Conflicts arise because people like to prove their foundation is stronger than the opposition. However, majority of the people are completely okay with coexisting. Hindus, Muslims and Christians live side-by-side in many parts of the world. But extremists people and views make this difficult. In part 2 of this post I would like to reflect upon extremism and how it affects our society today.

For now, I would like to conclude by saying that we should encourage ideas that are respectful towards every being by striving towards a lifestyle of freedom, independence and integrity. In theory, doing so will allow people to accept each other’s faith more and simply move on. Or if there are people out there like me, we will live our life peacefully and purposefully without religion.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Life

 

Tuesday’s Thoughts

Today’s topic: LIFE

Life has a funny way of showing us what it has in stock for us. Without any immediate revelations, or any pre-determined paths, we like to think that there is a purpose in our lives. We are here for a reason. From the moment we could understand till the day we learned too much, we constantly wanted to feel purposeful. How else were we to comprehend our situation?

Without much questioning we do exactly as we are told by our parents/teachers. We go to school, we try to find a job, save up money for our house and work ‘till there is no tomorrow. After that, we settle down and aim to bring up our own children in the same way. My parents never told me that I could do whatever I wanted to do. My parents never expected any different from me. I went to school before I could even question it’s existence. We live in a system that we can’t escape. We are part of a system we can’t break.

Despite this splendidly mediocre lifestyle, our lives and our experiences are so different. We do what we can. Whatever we can. Sometimes  we don’t have the luxury to change our lives even if it makes us miserable. Sometimes we are completely in control of everything around us. Some stories are tragic, some majestic, some incredibly mundane.

Some like to think that it is destiny. I don’t believe in destiny. I think it’s silly to live your life thinking it is exactly what was ‘set out’ for you. Naa, I like to think we can make our own paths. Our destiny is in our own hands… it’s up to us what we chose to do with it.

PS:

‘Tuesday’s thoughts’ is an experimental blog post. I’m going to do a series of posts on Tuesday’s that are based on completely random topics that just come to me on the spot. Let’s see how it goes!

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Expressions, Life

 

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Are you a comforter or a solutionbank?

I’ve come to realize that there are two types of people in this world. There are people that heavily rely on positive encouragement and constantly require comfort  and those that do not require reassurance but solutions. I’m the second type of person. If you are close to me and I care about you, I will turn around and ask you, very nicely but sternly, to get over it. Shit happens, move on. I’m not very good at handling misery. I can’t look at someone in pain and not want to help them. Isn’t everyone like that? Don’t people tend to want the best for each other?

Simply speaking, the difference can be explained with a scenario. Let’s say, you have a friend who is struggling under a lot of workload and doesn’t really know what to do or how to go about it and is having a breakdown in front of you. What would you do? I chose this analogy because it is very personal to me and I’m usually the person with workload problems.

There are two things you can say; you can say that it’s all going to be okay and that you believe in them and their capability to achieve many things and go very far in life. You know that they will be able to do it and they have to believe in themselves. You tell them they are amazing in every way and they have always been. You tell them it’s all going to be okay and they will find a way to work it out.

You could equally say… Yeah the workload is crazy and insane. Maybe you should try scheduling or speaking to your professor. What exactly is the problem? Have you tried to change your habits? Maybe you need to sleep early. If you’ve literally done everything you can, and you are still stuck, you can look about it differently. Instead of getting worked up, you can just calmly figure it out.

Or, the third option, you say that it sucks and it’s not your problem.

Chances are that you will fall in the first or second category. It is difficult to assess what category your friend falls into. Is your friend someone that requires reassurance or someone that would be offended if you told them how to live their lives. It’s such a difficult task! I know I’m second type. I like solutions and I hate people that self-pity. I hate myself when I self-pity, and I often do, so I would rather someone told me to get over myself, look at how small and irrelevant my problem was compared to the size of the universe and move on.

But how do you know when to say what? How do you know when to be nice to be caring and when to be ruthless to be nice? Perhaps it is always down to the situation. If your friend has just lost a cat and your immediate response was to get a new cat, yea, you are a d*ck. But if it has been 2 years and your friend is still crying about their dead cat, has stopped eating and lost faith in the world, it’s probably a good idea to waken their sense of perspective.

You never really know though. In the end, it’s down to the person you are and how important a person’s situation is to you. It also depends on whether or not you chose to take the leap of faith to change a situation. Someone is hurting and needs help, how long are you going to wipe their tears before you teach them how to wipe their own? This is something I struggle with myself. How long do I comfort and when do I step up? Or, more often than not, when do I just sit down and listen to someone’s problems without giving my free unnecessary wisdom?

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in Life

 

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Just a regular lamppost…

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I took this image today at South bank, though under a dull grey sheet of clouds, it still has something breathtakingly beautiful about it’s architecture. The way each lamppost is carved intricately to reflect the history of the river. The way it stands tall against the wind. The alignment of the railings against the crooked tiles. Waterloo bridge leading to the inner city and river slowly drifting in between… Got to give it to you London, some days, you really deserve the attention you get.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Life

 

A 53.3% cooking pass-rate

A 53.3% cooking pass-rate

The ambitious, over enthusiastic cook within me, inspired by ‘come dine with me’ had decided to cook up three meals. Don’t judge me. It is British television at it’s finest. I had been craving pie for a very long time.  The only problem was, and the reason it had been delayed, I didn’t actually know how to make a pie… But today, ‘Finding Neverland’ had given me an uplifting sense of self-belief and I was ready to fly. Metaphorically… Ish… something like that.

So, the menu!

Starter – Cheese Corn Balls
Main – Vegetable pot pie
Desert – Lemon Cream pie

To gather supplies my boyfriend and I drove to Tesco’s. On a Sunday? Brave, I hear you say. Yes, yes it was a very brave decision indeed.

THE DESERT

Our first task was the pie base. We followed Martha Stewart’s lemon pie recipe (link below) but our ‘pulsated’ mixture was a task a little too demanding for my 18th century blender. And our base was a little more crumble than expected…

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With some effort, (as fairy dust was out of date) we managed to set it into the fridge. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough and we had to give up on our desert. I was gutted. My first ever pie base was an utter and complete disaster.

Score: 2/10 (effort counts, alright?)

THE MAIN 

We were peeling, chopping, dicing, mixing so many vegetables that we lost count. We had three chopping boards. It was an overwhelming and time-bound task so I had to call my dad to help us peel butternut squash. It had looked far too easy on YouTube and Laura, from Laura in the Kitchen, had made it sound exceptionally delicious. In the end, this meal was easy as pie. You have no idea how long I have been wanting to use this phrase. Yes, there was a lot of chopping to do but I mean, if we couldn’t do that, we were really unfit to make meals.

Score: 8/10

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Safety glasses to cut carrots… always a good move

THE STARTER

I was so excited to make my own cheese corn balls that I had completely dismissed the possibility of it going wrong. The execution of this task was my worst nightmare. I had managed to make the runniest mixture possible, which off course, was never going to fry well. Despite following instructions to the dot, it refused to stick together. Oh and btw, DIY breadcrumbs do not work as well as the real thing, but are an excellent solution when Tesco’s run out. (I know! How dare they…)

Deep frying a mixture doomed to fail?

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I’m pretty sure that’s not what it is supposed to look like…

Score? ….2/10 (AGAIN!)

Plot twist. I was not going to leave it there. It had been a very long three hours but I did not have the heart to throw away my cheese-corn mixture. To save it from it’s fate, I had decided to experiment. Experimentation has long known to work sporadically in my favor but I am always quick to try something I don’t have to follow. Perhaps, I could use the left over pastry to make puffs instead?

I could have been a little more artistic here, I have to admit

I could have been a little more artistic here, I have to admit

Sorry about the bad photography. By this stage, I was knackered, depressed and awfully hungry. However, these puffs turned out better than expected.

Score: 6/10

Final: 16/30

Not too bad… right?

Here are the links if you would like to try these yourself! Please post pictures/comments if you do. It would be wonderful to know how they went for you and I assure you that there is absolutely no competitive part of me wanting your pie base to crumble to pieces…

http://www.marthastewart.com/341386/lemon-cream-pie

http://www.tarladalal.com/Cheese-Corn-Balls-30981r

http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/recipes/vegetable-pot-pie/

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Life

 

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University summers and little good deeds

University summers and little good deeds

A four month summer is excruciatingly long for university students. The privileged among us spend these four months travelling to exotic places, which lead to a lot of posts on my Facebook news-feed that have more elephants than people. Off course, I have to do a fair bit of travelling myself some day. I would like to travel sooner than later because travelling should be done when you are young and free and when money doesn’t drain you.

The rest of us university students have jobs; theme parks and supermarkets. A little bit of spare money won’t go amiss. I work casually as a waitress; a job that only ever runs when there are events .. so ironically, I do have to wait before I have jobs to wait for. Confusing analogy. The sporadic events have meant I have plenty of time to socialize before the next year commences.

But off course, it also means, I have plenty of time to do nothing.

I’m not comfortable with doing nothing. It gives me a sickly, horrible feeling. My entire body rejects the idea. I really do wish I could binge watch shows like my friends do… but I can’t. I still haven’t finished supernatural. I’ve been trying to finish house for a year now and I’m still on season 6. I just haven’t caught up, okay? Jeez, get off my back.

But somehow, I fill my time with some activity or another, each commitment lasting a couple of weeks before I move onto the next one. What can I say, I have relationship issues. This week I’ve been trying to volunteer as a tutor. I’ve a keen interest in education and would like to continue this passion into a career later in life, perhaps teaching secondary school?

Out of all the activities I’ve taken part in this summer, tutoring is the closest one can get to feeling good, especially because of the help and inspiration for the young children out there. Pushing them to pursue their dreams and providing them with the aid they need is rewarding within itself, right?

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Life

 

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