Tag Archives: Instastories

Interesting Things

I read a sentence in a book that went, “She tried to be the kind of person that interesting things happened to.” And I thought that was such a pretty line. But what did it mean? And because I was enjoying the book, I immediately applied it to myself wondering if I’d ever done that. 

I don’t know if interesting things just ‘happen’ to people. You have to go looking for things that will grab you by the neck and demand that you expend breaths, thoughts and emotions on them. That doesn’t sound pleasant, does it? Interesting things rarely are. There’s a reason ‘May you live in interesting times’ is a curse and not a blessing. 

It is true that I grew up in Mumbai with multiethnic influences so perhaps I didn’t have to look very far for the next adventure. Just finding an identity and holding on to it continues to be the biggest challenge. But spiritual soliloquy aside, what are the things of interest that can happen?

Romance. Friendship. God. The next BIG idea. A flash mob proposal. A near-death experience. A chance to rescue someone. A celebrity spotting. A spiritual epiphany. A lottery. How does one become the kind of person these things happen to? It’s simple. You open your eyes and you breathe. In, out. 

In seeking these experiences (finding some, discovering other things and still seeking a few), I realised that I became that interesting thing that happened to somebody else. Inspiration to a student dropping by an open mic. Book recommendations that changed someone’s college major. Crazy makeup for a person seeing people beyond their masks for the first time. The first claps that started the round of applause for an uncertain performer. The uncomfortable thought that made someone who wanted to think of themselves as kind…think differently. A broken rule to demonstrate it could be done. 

So what interesting thing are you going to be today and whose life are you changing?

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INTERESTING THINGS I read a sentence in a book that went, "She tried to be the kind of person that interesting things happened to." And I thought that was such a pretty line. But what did it mean? And because I was enjoying the book, I immediately applied it to myself wondering if I'd ever done that. I don't know if interesting things just 'happen' to people. You have to go looking for things that will grab you by the neck and demand that you expend breaths, thoughts and emotions on them. That doesn't sound pleasant, does it? Interesting things rarely are. There's a reason 'May you live in interesting times' is a curse and not a blessing. It is true that I grew up in Mumbai with multiethnic influences so perhaps I didn't have to look very far for the next adventure. Just finding an identity and holding on to it continues to be the biggest challenge. But spiritual soliloquy aside, what are the things of interest that can happen? Romance. Friendship. God. The next BIG idea. A flash mob proposal. A near-death experience. A chance to rescue someone. A celebrity spotting. A spiritual epiphany. A lottery. How does one become the kind of person these things happen to? It's simple. You open your eyes and you breathe. In, out. In seeking these experiences (finding some, discovering other things and still seeking a few), I realised that I became that interesting thing that happened to somebody else. Inspiration to a student dropping by an open mic. Book recommendations that changed someone's college major. Crazy makeup for a person seeing people beyond their masks for the first time. The first claps that started the round of applause for an uncertain performer. The uncomfortable thought that made someone who wanted to think of themselves as kind…think differently. A broken rule to demonstrate it could be done. So what interesting thing are you going to be today and whose life are you changing? #theideasmithy 🎶: DEVIL IN DISGUISE – Elvis Presley

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Holding Hands

You’re uncomfortable in silences
In sighs
In whispers
In conversations
In wide open spaces and people
So you find your solace in moving

And you tell me,
Make it quick, this love thing
Or you-and-I just might stick
Hug me like it doesn’t matter 
that it’s not a kiss instead
And I do

Together, we learn
to use charm as our tools
Insight as currency
Armed with both,
we storm the marketplace
Sellers looking for love, peace and wisdom

We craft airbrushed relationships
And plastic sentiments
Indestructible and neon ranged
Our love and laughter chip and flake
On each other
And we bleed byte-sized poetry.

Bartering words
Duelling with sentiments
We are warrior poets
Traders of such dramas
With love however,
We will have no dealings

Packing trophy experiences
Boarding passes in hand, we wait
Hoping that the call that comes for me
Will be yours too
No strings attached
No expectations, no commitments
No messes, no fusses

But there’s nothing in our contracts
that says we can’t hold hands.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

A DIY Relationship

We don’t think enough about friendship. What this word means, what we need from it, what version of it we offer. Maybe that’s part of its charm, the way friendship is a DIY kind of relationship that you can tailor to your needs, your personality and the other’s.

I’ve called a wide variety of people, Friend. My friendship life (we have love lives so why not friendship lives?) has spanned a diverse range of personality types and interaction. I see other people as exciting adventures, ones that may involve treasure chests or spectacular views or life-altering events. So I’m usually open to going wherever the ride takes me. Like many, I like having common interests with other people but I find this doesn’t have to have anything to do with friendship. I also want to think I prize loyalty & honesty but the truth is, I’ve been equally enchanted by people who possess not an iota of these qualities.

If you were to ask my friends what kind of a friend I am, I doubt you’d get a consensus. I play confidant to one. I’m partner in crime with another. I’m a drinking buddy here, a writing partner there. I’m an ego massage, a safe space, a commiserator, a compatriot in a cause. I’m a fellow water sign, a steady date to awkward events, a fun companion for mundane errands, an available voice on the phone, a knowledgeable advisor. I want to believe everybody who calls me friend feels that I add value to their lives. In how this happens though, I can’t discern a pattern.

So what does friendship mean to me? I think the world is a very large and exciting and sometimes frightening place. Companionship makes it easier, more fun. I love having the freedom to design the companionship I want to participate in, for various areas & times in my life.

I’m also a big one for blind spots. We all have them and we miss our own. It takes another person, someone invested in you but not biased. A friend. Sometimes all you can offer is perspective. And maybe that is enough.

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A DIY RELATIONSHIP We don't think enough about friendship. What this word means, what we need from it, what version of it we offer. Maybe that's part of its charm, the way friendship is a DIY kind of relationship that you can tailor to your needs, your personality and the other's. I've called a wide variety of people, Friend. My friendship life (we have love lives so why not friendship lives?) has spanned a diverse range of personality types and interaction. I see other people as exciting adventures, ones that may involve treasure chests or spectacular views or life-altering events. So I'm usually open to going wherever the ride takes me. Like many, I like having common interests with other people but I find this doesn't have to have anything to do with friendship. I also want to think I prize loyalty & honesty but the truth is, I've been equally enchanted by people who possess not an iota of these qualities. If you were to ask my friends what kind of a friend I am, I doubt you'd get a consensus. I play confidant to one. I'm partner in crime with another. I'm a drinking buddy here, a writing partner there. I'm an ego massage, a safe space, a commiserator, a compatriot in a cause. I'm a fellow water sign, a steady date to awkward events, a fun companion for mundane errands, an available voice on the phone, a knowledgeable advisor. I want to believe everybody who calls me friend feels that I add value to their lives. In how this happens though, I can't discern a pattern. So what does friendship mean to me? I think the world is a very large and exciting and sometimes frightening place. Companionship makes it easier, more fun. I love having the freedom to design the companionship I want to participate in, for various areas & times in my life. I'm also a big one for blind spots. We all have them and we miss our own. It takes another person, someone invested in you but not biased. A friend. Sometimes all you can offer is perspective. And maybe that is enough. Hands: @shaunwilliamsi 🎶: STAND BY ME – Ben E.King #theideasmithy #friend #friendship #friends #friendships #friendshipgoals #bff #friendly #relationshipgoals #relationshipquotes #relationships

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Meeting My Feminism

I grew up feeling like my life would follow the same path as other people – work and you shall achieve, be and you shall receive. It baffled me when I was attacked or called entitled for this, when the boys I knew, weren’t.

I wrote about this often. I created a comic about a little girl in a green dress, throwing barbs and smiles at a world trying to put her in a gender box (The Idea-toons). Humour became an easy way to deflect the always present horror about the idea that people have tried to impose on me all my life – that I don’t deserve what I am/do/have.

I resisted the label of feminist for too long because I didn’t think I deserved to be categorised with people who ensured that I had a vote, an education, the right to a job, to not be an object of ownership. I didn’t feel that important. It would be years before I realised living that belief is far more important than a label.

I wrote this piece on a whim, sitting in a coffeeshop waiting for a friend. It had easy witticisms and sharp edges because it was only for fun, not craft like my other pieces (Paper Plane, Goddess, Flamingos). I would perform it on my first time at a stage that would go on to be my favourite. The creators of that space would notice me and friendships would be born, bringing me support for my work. I would also get marked as a target, by other people’s misogyny hidden under camaraderie. I didn’t know it then.

In 2017, Simar Singh would tell me about his idea to promote poets and poetry and ask if I’d open his first event for Women’s Day, with this piece. Sure, I’d say, without much thought. Later, they’d find technical glitches in the footage, teething problems for a first-time team and decide not to use it. I’d shrug. There were other battles I was fighting.

In August 2019, UnErase Poetry put up the first ever video they shot at their launch show – mine. It crossed 75k views in a week. 😄 I still don’t know – which battles I can win without even realising I’m in a fight and which ones I’m doomed to perish in. But I am a feminist.

Watch the video on YouTube or Facebook on the UnErase Poetry channels. Have you met my feminism? 

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MEETING MY FEMINISM I grew up feeling like my life would follow the same path as other people – work and you shall achieve, be and you shall receive. It baffled me when I was attacked or called entitled for this, when the boys I knew, weren't. I wrote about this often. I created a comic about a little girl in a green dress, throwing barbs and smiles at a world trying to put her in a gender box (The Idea-toons). Humour became an easy way to deflect the always present horror about the idea that people have tried to impose on me all my life – that I don't deserve what I am/do/have. I resisted the label of feminist for too long because I didn't think I deserved to be categorised with people who ensured that I had a vote, an education, the right to a job, to not be an object of ownership. I didn't feel that important. It would be years before I realised living that belief is far more important than a label. I wrote this piece on a whim, sitting in a coffeeshop waiting for a friend. It had easy witticisms and sharp edges because it was only for fun, not craft like my other pieces (Paper Plane, Goddess, Flamingos). I would perform it on my first time at a stage that would go on to be my favourite. The creators of that space would notice me and friendships would be born, bringing me support for my work. I would also get marked as a target, by other people's misogyny hidden under camaraderie. I didn't know it then. In 2017, @simarsinghtrolled would tell me about his idea to promote poets and poetry and ask if I'd open his first event for Women's Day, with this piece. Sure, I'd say, without much thought. Later, they'd find technical glitches in the footage, teething problems for a first-time team and decide not to use it. I'd shrug. There were other battles I was fighting. 10 days ago, @unerasepoetry put up the first ever video they shot at their launch show – mine. It crossed 75k views in a week. 😄 I still don't know – which battles I can win without even realising I'm in a fight and which ones I'm doomed to perish in. But I am a feminist. Watch the video on YouTube or Facebook on the UnErase Poetry channels. Have you met my feminism? #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

A Work Of Art

I’m forty this year. I’m told I don’t look that age (though I know other people who look similarly so). But I’ll take the compliment because I understand that’s what is meant, under the assumed ageism.

Because 40 is when I’m liking the way my world looks. It hasn’t been entirely chance (though I’ve had my fair share of them along with the challenges). It has also been hard work, compromises, disappointments, bruises, scars covered with tattoos, messes & crumbs. But when I look around my world – my body, my appearance, the spaces I inhabit, the relationships I nurture, the things I own, the ideas I carry, I see a well curated life. 

This is not to say that my life is a glitzy Instagram (or Facebook or wherever-you-see-this) feed. I know ‘curated’ sounds like filters and fakeness. But it can also mean a carefully thought out, meticulously chosen selection.

And for the first time, I’m acknowledging that I live my life that way – one that I work hard at choosing, every minute, to be right for me. Sometimes a choice is about being brave enough to pursue a path less trodden. But choices are also the patience to stay with what’s available without resentment. Some choices are joyful selections of novelty. Some are eyes wide open acceptance of consequences. Every one is a choice and I’ve done my best to make the right one, every time.

I’m midway through my most likely life. And this is still a work in progress because with every choice I make, I learn better how to live my life better. A more beautiful life, a more loving life (and loved life), a more fun and healthy and passionate and abundant life. Living is an art and the canvas I am is looking pretty good, the brush still in my hands, my pallette full of colour.

I want my life to be an ode to beauty and power and fun and learning and magic and love. These are the things that I value and want to represent. Think of these and think of me when you think 40. I love being a new kind of poster child because this poster is looking damn fine.

Forty is the new hottie. YEAH!

Is your life a work of art? It’s never too early or too late to pick up that brush.

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A WORK OF ART I'm forty this year. I'm told I don't look that age (though I know other people who look similarly so). But I'll take the compliment because I understand that's what is meant, under the assumed ageism. Because 40 is when I'm liking the way my world looks. It hasn't been entirely chance (though I've had my fair share of them along with the challenges). It has also been hard work, compromises, disappointments, bruises, scars covered with tattoos, messes & crumbs. But when I look around my world – my body, my appearance, the spaces I inhabit, the relationships I nurture, the things I own, the ideas I carry, I see a well curated life. This is not to say that my life is a glitzy Instagram (or Facebook or wherever-you-see-this) feed. I know 'curated' sounds like filters and fakeness. But it can also mean a carefully thought out, meticulously chosen selection. And for the first time, I'm acknowledging that I live my life that way – one that I work hard at choosing, every minute, to be right for me. Sometimes a choice is about being brave enough to pursue a path less trodden. But choices are also the patience to stay with what's available without resentment. Some choices are joyful selections of novelty. Some are eyes wide open acceptance of consequences. Every one is a choice and I've done my best to make the right one, every time. I'm midway through my most likely life. And this is still a work in progress because with every choice I make, I learn better how to live my life better. A more beautiful life, a more loving life (and loved life), a more fun and healthy and passionate and abundant life. Living is an art and the canvas I am is looking pretty good, the brush still in my hands, my pallette full of colour. I want my life to be an ode to beauty and power and fun and learning and magic and love. These are the things that I value and want to represent. Think of these and think of me when you think 40. I love being a new kind of poster child because this poster is looking damn fine. Forty is the new hottie. YEAH! Is your life a work of art? It's never too early or too late to pick up that brush. #theideasmithy 🎶: VOGUE – Madonna

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Paper Plane Pilot

I was a diarist through my teens. When I was 24, I discovered blogs which I learnt was short for ‘web logs’. And my diarying transitioned online. Because I wrote under the then anonymous identity of IdeaSmith, I could pour my unvarnished feelings into writing, things I didn’t feel at liberty to say in my daily life.

These were my 20s and I was accumulating new experiences faster than I could process (post-graduation, first job, recession survival, new love, matrimonial pressures). There was fear, worry, anguish and grief for what I’d left behind – things that I was not ‘supposed to’ feel or dwell on. Writing anonymously allowed me to examine each feeling and experience at leisure.

Before I knew it, I had readers and IdeaSmith was a personality, an entity built by me but also by what my readers wanted to read. Possibly because my dark emotions and experiences were not permissible in my offline life (Nobody wants brooding, angry, grieving or annoyed women even in 2019), these writings were more poignant than my cheerful work. Maybe they just suited the mystery persona of an unknown woman on the internet better.

I had a revelation in the early 2010s. I realised each time I wrote or spoke or even read a piece, I relived that memory. So in my dark, brooding words, I was keeping my pain alive. Writing, I concluded, was cathartic, not healing. And in 2014 after abuse, a broken engagement, a nondescript startup, I decided I needed healing. I needed levity & light. Words matter so much to those of us who wield them. It’s hard to bring them to destruction. But the image of a paper plane flew into my imagination.

And from that came a healing philosophy and a tattoo for reminder. This was my first performance as a stage artist, a wordsmith with flight, a new me.

Watch the video on and fly a paper plane with me.


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PAPER PLANE PILOT I was a diarist through my teens. When I was 24, I discovered blogs which I learnt was short for 'web logs'. And my diarying transitioned online. Because I wrote under the then anonymous identity of IdeaSmith, I could pour my unvarnished feelings into writing, things I didn't feel at liberty to say in my daily life. These were my 20s and I was accumulating new experiences faster than I could process (post-graduation, first job, recession survival, new love, matrimonial pressures). There was fear, worry, anguish and grief for what I'd left behind – things that I was not 'supposed to' feel or dwell on. Writing anonymously allowed me to examine each feeling and experience at leisure. Before I knew it, I had readers and IdeaSmith was a personality, an entity built by me but also by what my readers wanted to read. Possibly because my dark emotions and experiences were not permissible in my offline life (Nobody wants brooding, angry, grieving or annoyed women even in 2019), these writings were more poignant than my cheerful work. Maybe they just suited the mystery persona of an unknown woman on the internet better. I had a revelation in the early 2010s. I realised each time I wrote or spoke or even read a piece, I relived that memory. So in my dark, brooding words, I was keeping my pain alive. Writing, I concluded, was cathartic, not healing. And in 2014 after abuse, a broken engagement, a nondescript startup, I decided I needed healing. I needed levity & light. Words matter so much to those of us who wield them. It's hard to bring them to destruction. But the image of a paper plane flew into my imagination. And from that came a healing philosophy and a tattoo for reminder. This was my first performance as a stage artist, a wordsmith with flight, a new me. Watch the video on @kalart.ists YouTube channel. Link in bio. And fly a paper plane with me. #theideasmithy #paperplanes #paperplane #origami #inspiration #motivationalquotes #motivationmonday #motivation #healing #movingforward #lettinggo #lessonslearnedinlife #anonymous #pain #performanceart

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Just Playing Games

Games are just stories we feel we can script. Simulations of a life that we think we can win. Algorithms we run, a part of us hoping for a different outcome.

All the things we wish for in life – love, success, fame, money – every single one of these involves chance. There is some fun to not knowing for sure. Maybe we only feel safe acknowledging that within the boundaries of a cardboard square.

Even the kind of games we pick, says something about us. Empire builders spending Monopoly money. Two-player shooters validating each other’s rage and glorified loneliness. Doing what’s not easy, not viable, not legal, not permissible in the real world, feeling everything that one feels but without the repercussions, only the satiation (which can look a lot like fun). The time-crunched on a quest to build Sally’s Spa. Dieting and failing (or not but it never feels like a victory) and crushing candies in one. It feels like a prize, even if only in consolation. It feels like control, the way moving a clock’s hands around can give you the illusion of moving time. Call after 2 days, disconnect after 3 rings. An illusion of control.

Whodunnits for the ones anticipating wounds, trying to see them coming this time. Because only someone who has been betrayed knows to watch for a knife in the back. Except you can’t watch your back. Or tell what the next dice roll will be (beyond that it’s between 1 and 6). Still, it’s nice to play a game and feel like you’re getting to tell the story. And not be it.

Your turn. Roll the dice.

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JUST PLAYING GAMES Games are just stories we feel we can script. Simulations of a life that we think we can win. Algorithms we run, a part of us hoping for a different outcome. All the things we wish for in life – love, success, fame, money – every single one of these involves chance. There is some fun to not knowing for sure. Maybe we only feel safe acknowledging that within the boundaries of a cardboard square. Even the kind of games we pick, says something about us. Empire builders spending Monopoly money. Two-player shooters validating each other's rage and glorified loneliness. Doing what's not easy, not viable, not legal, not permissible in the real world, feeling everything that one feels but without the repercussions, only the satiation (which can look a lot like fun). The time-crunched on a quest to build Sally's Spa. Dieting and failing (or not but it never feels like a victory) and crushing candies in one. It feels like a prize, even if only in consolation. It feels like control, the way moving a clock's hands around can give you the illusion of moving time. Call after 2 days, disconnect after 3 rings. An illusion of control. Whodunnits for the ones anticipating wounds, trying to see them coming this time. Because only someone who has been betrayed knows to watch for a knife in the back. Except you can't watch your back. Or tell what the next dice roll will be (beyond that it's between 1 and 6). Still, it's nice to play a game and feel like you're getting to tell the story. And not be it. Your turn. Roll the dice. #theideasmithy 📸: @unstable_elemnt 🎶: WAKA WAKA – Shakira #games #game #gameplay #play #playinggames #playing #playa #player #boardgames #boardgame #boardgaming #boardgamer #boardgamegeek #gamer #gaming #gameplay #casualgamer #mobilegames #monopoly #catan #risk #shootergames #shootergame #datinggame

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

A Tour Guide to You

Please don’t ask me to read you
I’ve spent far too long looking deep into other people
Slipping through the gaps in their expressions
Running down the spaces between their words
Looking for signposts in their sighs
And piecing together slices of them
What they say, how they say it
Who they love, who they hate
What they fear, what they crave

Bit by bit, I put together a picture of them
As I think they are under their pretences
Often, I’m right
Sometimes to my dismay
Reality isn’t always nice or agreeable
But it is meant to be experienced
I’m getting tired of experiencing other people’s realities
There is such a thing as knowing too much
And I’m losing sight of myself
From being so many people’s mirrors
All I’m left is feeling like cold glass
Broken and dry-eyed

Talk to me
tell me who you are and what you want me to see
And wait as I learn to close my ears and eyes so
I won’t be a tour guide into you anymore 

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

This is from a blog I wrote over a decade ago (called Behind Cobwebs and if you remember it, please drop a comment – I’d love to reconnect with people I used to talk with in those days).

If you find yourself falling sick or feeling emotionally drained without triggers, maybe you’re absorbing too much of what’s going on with other people. We are in an age of over-sharing and not enough taking responsibility for one’s words. Many people online dump what they can’t/won’t examine themselves. It’s easy to get swept along in the toxicity. Thus the behaviour moves offline too and poisons us all.

I’m working on protective boundaries and also doing my bit to keep the digital streams clean – by only putting up the most positive or only things I can take responsibility for. This means nothing that ‘is just a joke’ or ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘who cares, it’s only online’. Sharing is not the same thing as dumping. Lashing out is not conversation. I’m focussing on being a gardener, not a dumper. The world could use more flowers.

This gardener will prune too.

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A TOUR GUIDE INTO YOU Please don't ask me to read you I've spent far too long looking deep into other people Slipping through the gaps in their expressions Running down the spaces between their words Looking for signposts in their sighs And piecing together slices of them What they say, how they say it Who they love, who they hate What they fear, what they crave Bit by bit, I put together a picture of them As I think they are under their pretences Often, I'm right Sometimes to my dismay Reality isn't always nice or agreeable But it is meant to be experienced I'm getting tired of experiencing other people's realities There is such a thing as knowing too much And I'm losing sight of myself From being so many people's mirrors All I'm left is feeling like cold glass Broken and dry-eyed Talk to me tell me who you are and what you want me to see And wait as I learn to close my ears and eyes so I won't be a tour guide into you anymore ============================================== This is from a blog I wrote over a decade ago. If you find yourself falling sick or feeling emotionally drained without triggers, maybe you're absorbing too much of what's going on with other people. We are in an age of over-sharing and not enough taking responsibility for one's words. Many people online dump what they can't/won't examine themselves. It's easy to get swept along in the toxicity. Thus the behaviour moves offline too and poisons us all. I'm working on protective boundaries and also doing my bit to keep the digital streams clean – by only putting up positive messages or things I can take responsibility for. This means nothing that 'is just a joke' or 'I didn't know' or 'who cares, it's only online'. Sharing is not the same thing as dumping. Lashing out is not conversation. I'm focussing on being a gardener, not a dumper. The world could use more flowers. This gardener will prune too. #theideasmithy #perception #intuition #listen #listening #emotion #emotional #boundaries #protectyourenergy #protectyourpeace #protectyourself #protectyoursoul #empath #empathproblems #empaths #empathsbelike 📸 + 💇🏽‍♀️: @prerna2510 🎶: BRING ME TO LIFE – Evanescence

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Capacity For Joy

I crossed a birthday last month. Being born near a decade switch, my every ten years seem to align in personally with the defining traits of the decade.

At 20, I was a newly minted adult in a newly minted millenium, a forerunner of the generation that would come to be known by this word. At 30, the millennium & adulthood had taught me tangible lessons about money, employment and stability. Now, at 40, what do I have to show as a human representative of the 2010s?

I found this photo taken last year in a green room minutes before I’d go up on stage to tell a story of love & flamingos. It had been 3 days since the second heat of the #MeToo movement began, bringing down men of repute, men of my acquaintance, men I’d liked, men I’d performed with, eaten with, laughed with, clapped for. It was amid stories of assault by women I knew, women I admired, women I wanted to protect, women I related to. Earlier that day, I had dragged myself out of bed having spent yet another sleepless night of trauma. I’d judged a poetry event. I’d performed at another venue and collapsed on stage. I’d changed at a friend’s house, tried to laugh and lighten up. And I’d made my way here.

I think the MeToo movement is the most significant thing in my mind about this decade, blowing the cover off things I’d never thought I’d see exposed in my lifetime, traumas I assumed I’d experienced alone. It is also a metaphor for my decade. I began it surprising myself by getting swept into what would turn out to be an abusive relationship. Before I knew it, I was in my 30s with a failed engagement, which sounds much worse than ‘Single at 30’. I’ve weathered much since then and things did eventually settle. They keep getting stirred up again. All I have is this breath.

I look up at my reflection, seeing a tangle of stories. Then I take a deep breath and remember,

The capacity for joy
will not be lost to me
When I look in the mirror
It will be all I see

When I open my eyes again, I’m in the green room alone as outside a crowd cheers for me. I walk out with a story about flamingos in a big city.

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CAPACITY FOR JOY I crossed a birthday this month. Being born near a decade switch, my every ten years seem to align in personally with the defining traits of the decade. At 20, I was a newly minted adult in a newly minted millenium, a forerunner of the generation that would come to be known by this word. At 30, the millennium & adulthood had taught me tangible lessons about money, employment and stability. Now, at 40, what do I have to show as a human representative of the 2010s? I found this photo taken last year in a green room minutes before I'd go up on stage to tell a story of love & flamingos. It had been 3 days since the second heat of the #MeToo movement began, bringing down men of repute, men of my acquaintance, men I'd liked, men I'd performed with, eaten with, laughed with, clapped for. It was amid stories of assault by women I knew, women I admired, women I wanted to protect, women I related to. Earlier that day, I had dragged myself out of bed having spent yet another sleepless night of trauma. I'd judged a poetry event. I'd performed at another venue and collapsed on stage. I'd changed at a friend's house, tried to laugh and lighten up. And I'd made my way here. I think the MeToo movement is the most significant thing in my mind about this decade, blowing the cover off things I'd never thought I'd see exposed in my lifetime, traumas I assumed I'd experienced alone. It is also a metaphor for my decade. I began it surprising myself by getting swept into what would turn out to be an abusive relationship. Before I knew it, I was in my 30s with a failed engagement, which sounds much worse than 'Single at 30'. I've weathered much since then and things did eventually settle. They keep getting stirred up again. All I have is this breath. I look up at my reflection, seeing a tangle of stories. Then I take a deep breath and remember, The capacity for joy will not be lost to me When I look in the mirror It will be all I see When I open my eyes again, I'm in the green room alone as outside a crowd cheers for me. I walk out with a story about flamingos in a big city. #theideasmithy 🎶: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW – Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

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