L for Life (with an introvert) #AtoZChallenge


When I was young I had a picture of the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. It wasn’t tall, dark and handsome but someone with a sense of humor, outgoing, fun with a lot of friends and an active social life. I laugh when I think of it now. Because I am married to someone quite the opposite and I wouldn’t want to change it at any cost.

I heard on the radio recently a team trying to help a girl trying to make a decision. Why? Because she is in a relationship with a guy who is awesome, great, amazing but only to her. He isn’t a fan of social interactions. While he struggles to accept invitations, she is anxious as to how people will perceive him. If he will make an impression, what if he doesn’t talk , what if they don’t like him. etc. I was able to relate only too much with this lady. So she was seriously contemplating on if she wants to go ahead with this relationship. Not because of love, because she was concerned if he was going to feel hurt or if their relationship might suffer in the coming years. My heart went out for this girl because I completely understood what she was going through.

...but that doesn't mean they hate everyone.

The truth is I didn’t realize it until I was quite deep in the relationship. We bonded, spoke for hours, have pulled all-nighters just talking on the phone, he had a great sense of humor, extremely wise and knew the right things to say to a girl. As we grew closer I got to know the “dark side” as I call it. I realized he is a charmer with people he likes to spend time with, which at that time was just me (and also how much energy was sucked out of him to interact just with me).

I am an ambivert with more extrovert traits. And I love people. I like talking, spending time, introduce myself to strangers, know shopkeepers by their first name, keep finding ways to engage myself with more people. And here I have someone who has to be coaxed to interact with anyone other than the bare minimum. I used to be so anxious and doubtful as the woman on the radio. Worry about making impressions, what my friends or family would think of him. I did face awkward questions of how different he was from me. But what amazed me was he didn’t care about what anyone thought.

I also realized I didn’t really have (or understand) my introverted friends. So being my boyfriend as I observed more I was also as insensitive as many others. Questioning his solitude and silence. And so confused over how he can be happy being alone while I cribbed about it every chance I got. How staying home, quiet and low-key was better than going on a trip with friends. How someone can be rude and read at a restaurant instead of talking to the person right in front of him. Until I started reading more and discussing more about it.

We have grown to love and accept each other as who we are. I love being the center of attention and point of contact for everyone in both our lives while he is happy to be low-key and in the background with minimal interactions. I think we both have days where I am PO’ed because I hardly see him even though we live in the same house and he has a wife who is over-stimulated and active and talks more than he could handle and accepts invitations for social gatherings on his behalf (which he definitely isn’t happy about) but we are learning to live with each other 🙂

Do let me know your experiences and thoughts on this topic 🙂

It just means that getting to know them takes time.

On gender, being domestic et al! 

I am at the airport again, now on my way back. I have five hours to kill ..

So I am just back from an all-girls weekend with a group of friends from grad-school. This was the first time I am away after moving together with R. It felt a little weird (in a good way) to say home during conversations all through the weekend. Because this time ‘home’ meant ‘my own’ – with a kitchen and a man n all!!

img_20170110_201608.jpgThis post ties to a few things that happened before and during the past weekend.

Conversation 1-  Before the trip 

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On a Pedestal..

“Jan, I think you put me on a pedestal” said R during the early stages of our relationship. It was a moment where I was struggling to voice a disagreement between us. I was not angry but disappointed and couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he had said something wrong. Mulling over it for over a week, self doubting myself I finally decided to tell him I disagree with his opinion. But I struggled, choked and teared up.

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What if…..#InfertilityNotATaboo

“Sooo..any good news?”

“Are you guys planning a family?”

“Hasn’t it been a few years since you got married..have you checked with a doctor?”

“Maybe you should go to this temple and tie a cradle”

You probably guessed what the above questions are about.  Continue Reading

The Six Month Milestone!

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Six months since the big day. Good food in our bellies, henna stained hands, decorated with colorful flowers, animated conversations and bright smiles,  surrounded by the people we love. The day I had to wake up at 2 AM to get decked up for the ceremonies that started at 5 AM 😛 It definitely was a very memorable day !

In the long four hour ceremony, I still remember that moment when I felt “married”. It wasn’t when my dad gave me away to the new family or when R tied the sacred knots. It was when the priest asked us to look into the other person’s eyes, after walking around the fire seven times. As we looked into each other’s eyes, the priest reminded us about love and our promise to be there for each other. It was the moment when it hit me , all teared up I said my vows silently, promising R my everything. Our words had always been love, compassion, commitment, acceptance and independence. Continue Reading

Being Agnostic

ag·nos·tic
aɡˈnästik/
noun
  1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

There are (in general) three kinds of people – The ‘I know’ or the believers, the ‘I don’t care’ or non-believers and then the ‘I don’t know’ or agnostics.

One of the self-realizations I had at a very young age was that I was an “I don’t know” person when it came to the talk of ‘the higher power’. No rituals at home induced any feeling in me. I was neutral and sometimes even rebellious in these scenarios. I found my very private spot and a much more private relationship. A relationship I didn’t want to share with anyone. Rituals that involved none except myself.

A extreme level of trust. An understanding:

“I won’t ask anything from you so don’t expect anything from me. Just be there when I want to lean on you.”

I isolated myself from any religious rituals around me to gain this trust. To prove that if the higher power exists, it does not expect anything from me (nor do I). I do not have to please it nor do I have to question its existence. It will always be there for me when I need it. It had no shape or form (or it could be found in any shape or form I wanted it to appear in). That was my spot. A place where both of us are in an ideal relationship.

The last few days made me revisit my relationship and my spot. Like many other moments, as people were sharing their religious rituals on social media, on how they decorated an idol or what they did to please it, it made me wonder. I do nothing. I have no representation of my faith in my life. I am oblivious to any significant days where auspicious rituals are performed. I wanted to revisit and see if I want to change anything about it in my life. My relationship remains the same and has only grown stronger over the years but I realized I was ready for a visual representation. I wouldn’t mind an idol in my house that would represent the millions of other ways it is represented. And that is a big step (change) in my world.

Do you relate to this topic? What is your spot and your relationship? Do leave a comment if you stop by.

Do feel free to email me at jansdoodles@gmail.com if you would like to discuss or give your feedback privately. And please do follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jansdoodles.

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The ‘Married Name’ Conundrum!

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“You didn’t change your name ?” 

“No I didn’t because… “

I have answered it so many times now in the last few months.

No I am not offended by the question since it is a norm for centuries and so people are curious when someone decides not to change their name. And then comes the second question

“What would your name be if you had decided to change?”

“Ermm..” …the conversation continues for 30 more minutes as I explain the various aspects of a south-Indian name.
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Illayaraja, appa and some nostalgia :)

Credit:tamilminus1.com

The Maestro, the Genius, the King of South Indian film music.. Music that makes people want to listen to every waking moment. Music that gets people through their life, through ups and downs, through love, joy, happiness, heartbreaks, death, loneliness. You name it and he has a song associated with it. Songs that will make you experience the emotion and get through them. Continue Reading