2019 Recap - Part 1

A little late to the party because a) I got back from my jam-packed holiday in India just ten days ago and have had loads of home admin to tend to and b) writing this post took me four early mornings and an entire evening after work. But hey, I'm here and SUPER stoked to be finally sharing my first blog post of the year with you all :)

January

01/01/19: Ushered in the New Year with a view of all the fireworks across the entire city of Prague.

One of the most magical moments of my life!

Location: Restaurant & Hotel Nebozizek

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To usher in the new year this time, Shane and I decided to spend a little over four hours in deep conversation about our lives, hopes, and dreams in a traditional restaurant that offered views across the whole of Prague. At the stroke of midnight, we moved out to the cozy bonfire set on their winter terrace to witness fireworks from all parts of the city. I'll be honest, there were a few happy tears in between as we were overwhelmed by the display - an entire city's new year celebration from our spot across the river. We couldn't be more grateful for the amazing year that was 2018 and have a feeling this new year will be a good one too 😊 Wishing you all a wonderful 2019! . . . . . . . . #newyearseve #newyear #bestcelebrations #firsttimeinprague #visitprague #newyearinprague #amazing #fireworks #goals #entirecity #citylights #grateful #happy #thankyou #moreplease #prague #czechrepublic #bestvacations #bestfireworks #lights #iger #travel #photooftheday

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02/01/19: Took the first step towards ending a friendship

It wasn't conscious at the time, but the relationship wasn't working out and I needed a break. This led to a prolonged 'break up' process that ended badly. All said and done, my life is so much better without that toxicity in it. I wish this person the happiness or whatever they're looking for in life but boy am I glad they're no longer a part of mine.

15/01/19: Got gifted the One Line A Day journal by my friend Louise

I've religiously filled it out every single day since then. Single lines that are always fun to look back on, even when they're reminders of a more difficult time or in some cases, make absolutely no sense at all (like, why did I hate that one colleague of mine on that one snowy day in April last year? Note to self: always be specific)!

Sometime in the second week of January: Got the nastiest flu of my life so far

My lowest point was when I was all alone at home craving some porridge when I realised that I had no clean dishes or cutlery to eat out of. So I decided to (finally) bend down and unload my dishwasher but had to stand up straight immediately because bending down made my whole face hurt. This made me feel even worse than before so I stood by the side of my dishwasher and cried for a few minutes, filled to the brim with self-pity. I do not recommend the flu or crying by the dishwasher or feeling that sorry for yourself ever. Stay ye away from the flu!

February

03/02/19 - 11/02/19: A visit from the in-laws

Shane's parents visited us for a week and everything went more smoothly than I'd expected. Well, apart from the fact that Shane's mother got pickpocketed and lost close to Β£3000 in cash in front of Buckingham fucking Palace. That's a story for another day.

14/02/19: Valentine's day 2019 and the beginning of One Week of Shane

After three months of planning, I finally pulled off a surprise ski trip at the Alps during Valentine's weekend as a pre-birthday celebration (his birthday falls exactly a week after Valentines so, to his horror, I make a thing out of the whole week). This involved not only planning and booking things way in advance but also shopping for and packing heavy skiing gear for the both of us and sneaking them into the house one by one without him noticing. This continues to be the biggest, sneakiest operation I've ever pulled off.

21/02/20: Shane's birthday.

As always, he wanted his actual birthday to be a low-key, just-us kinda day so we went out for some afternoon tea, and then cuddled up at home watching Top Secret and eating the ultimate Mallu comfort food - porotta and beef. It was one of the best days of 2019!

27/02/19: First dramatic hair change of 2019.

This was the year of the hair! I was more experimental and did not shy away from new colours and looks. I also learned to take really good care of my hair during this time to compensate for the extra bleach, colour and heat I exposed it to.

This look was achieved by alternating my balayage with shades of purple and wine red. It continues to be one of my favourite looks till date but oh, how I wish it didn't turn all my tiles and grout pink.

Click on the tiny arrow on the right to see more:

March

08/03/19 - International Women's Day at the Google Digital Garage and my first (and last) 13-hour shift at work.

Two of my colleagues, Joe and Anna, shared the long shift with me and this is us, before and after the whole day:

We came into work before sunrise and left long after the sunset. And we later celebrated our longest shift at the garage with drinks and snacks at Las Iguanas.

21/03/19: First rejection of 2019.

I interviewed for a job that I didn't really want on this day. I found out mere hours after the interview that I didn't make the cut. My brain knows that this was because they couldn't match my then-current salary at the Google Garage but rejection still hurts.

I had to attend a wedding party that same evening so I washed my hair, wore this dress and had a few cocktails to try and feel better. But rejection - my first one at a job - still hurt.

22/03/19: First time I spent hours catching up with two of my dearest friends in Edinburgh, Alex and Galatia, both of whom I've known and loved since 2017 through our shared passion for staying fit and dancing while at it.

At the time of this meeting, Galatia was endeavouring to balance a full-time job, evening college, and her other full-time job of being a mummy to an adorable five-year-old. Alex, meanwhile, was planning on embarking on a big adventure in Belize, and I was starting to slowly sink my feet into the worst depressive episode of my life. It didn't help that at the time, I didn't even know when I'd see these lovely humans again. I wish I could go back in time and let myself know that we'd end up meeting each other every Monday, starting sometime in November 2019.

April

07/04/19: Meditated with dog breath in my face

When you've been depressed before, you know the signs as soon as you're starting to go down that hole again so you're armed with the knowledge and power to kickstart all your healthy habits that'll prevent a terrible episode. The flip side of that is, the worse you get, the sooner your habits fly out the window.

One healthy habit that helped me massively in 2017 was meditation. So when I started realising that I might be getting depressed again in 2019, I jumped right back into meditating daily.

This was me, one week in, while dog-sitting Kasha aka the bestest senior pup in the world:

10/04/19: First time in 2019 when full-blown morning sunlight blazed through our windows and set my soul on fire.

13/04/19: Brought a motherfucking plant back to life HALLELUJAH!

Earlier that week, I'd very cautiously brought home a new house plant - a peace lily - that I was told was hard to kill. This was after several failed attempts at being an adequate plant parent.

This time around, even Shane was actively invested in my journey, so much so, that every time I tried to water her (yes, she doesn't have a name yet but she's a she/her), he'd subtly remind me to not murder overwater the shit out of that plant.

Turns out that I was right to overwater the shit out of this plant because DUH! it's a peace lily and those motherfuckers like to be swimming in water. They also tend to be a tad overdramatic, as I shall demonstrate with evidence in a second.

Exhibit A, on 12th April 2019 after days of taking Shane's advice and not properly watering my plant:

Exhibit B, after deciding to give myself one final shot and placing my plant in my kitchen sink and running a steady stream of water all over it:

I rest my case.

Easter weekend 2019

I spent this weekend with my cousin, his husband and their adorable doggo, Hugo Le Frenchie in London. This is the same cousin who back in the day, bought me three of my seven Harry Potter books so it was only fitting to experience the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour with him :)

May

07/05/19 - 11/05/19: 4th wedding anniversary in Dubrovnik, Croatia - one of the most magical holidays of my life.

Complete with a tour of all the places in Dubrovnik where Game of Thrones was shot and a quick trip to Croatia's Balkan neighbour Montenegro. Two birds, one stone etc.

26/05/19: End of project "celebration" when the Google Digital Garage was ready to pack its bags and head off to its next location in the UK.

An evening as bittersweet as these things tend to be. We all knew it was coming when we signed our one-year contracts but it was still hard to come to terms with. This is us, on a summer evening when the sun set some time past 9 pm.

30/05/19: My actual last day of work at the phenomenal Google Digital Garage in Edinburgh.

I may have shed a tear or two. Or five. Because this project has definitely been one of the most defining moments of my career so far. Each and every day was NEW! and EXCITING! in an all-caps-with-exclamation-points way and it led to further amazing opportunities in my life. It's where I made some friends and memories to hold and cherish for a lifetime!

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And that's a wrap! The Google Digital Garage project is coming to an end in Edinburgh and I worked my last shift yesterday. At the end of each day at the garage, every team member shares his or her highlight of the day. This project has been the highlight of my LIFE this past year and I couldn't be more grateful for the beautiful people in these photos, my team members and the customers we've helped face to face. I'm beyond proud to have been the Team Leader of this phenomenal garage and of the contribution we've made to various communities in Scotland. Onward! ✨ . . . . #endofanera #newadventure #change #life #flow #bittersweet #sunset #google #digitalgarage #myyet #growwithgoogle #IamRemarkable #lovemyjob #bestjobever #careergoals #friends #life #happiness #onward

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31/05/19 - 02/06/19: My first ever hen-party in the UK (or in life tbh - we don't usually do hen do's in India)

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Spent this weekend in Liverpool celebrating my beautiful friend Louise's hen party. Over the course of two days, we pimped up our proseccos, played games (including one where her mother was dressed in toilet paper as a pregnant bride), went on a silent disco tour of the city centre, and had lots and lots of good food to match our alcohol intakes. I can't imagine a better way to celebrate the amazing woman Louise is and want give a big shout out (and a thousand virtual hugs) to her bridesmaids @pippa5, @milliepad, and @polly_horrorbox for making it all seem so effortless. CANNOT wait for the Bayley-Boyd wedding in 8 weeks πŸŽ‰βœ¨πŸ’ƒπŸŽŠ . . . . . . #henparty #liverpool #hendo #bridesmaids #bride #bridetobe #girlgang #weekendgetaway #happiness #phenomenalwomen #silentdisco #prosecco #games #fun #cocktails #bacheloretteparty #bachelorette #love

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I would soooooo love to return to Liverpool with all the lovely ladies I met on this trip and relive that amazing weekend, complete with another silent disco tour of the city centre!

June

04/06/19: First time getting introduced to the #KashaKarrier

10/06/19: First time exploring a Scottish city on my own - Stirling.

I can't wait to show Shane around some day :)

12/06/19: Invested in an Oculus Quest...

...and basically walked around with the mark of the headset around our foreheads and eyes for weeks to come.

14/06/19 - 16/06/19: A much-awaited weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods in beautiful Blair Atholl

This was the exact holiday we'd booked with The Bromance for Christmas 2017. But when my dad fell sick and we had to rush to India, we cancelled the trip and lost about 50% of our money on this cabin.

So imagine how weird it was when two weeks before heading over this time around, The Bromance's dad fell ill too. Luckily, he recovered just fine and we still had a wonderful time.

20/06/19: New beginnings as a part of Facebook's Digital Skills Training Programme in Scotland

I attended the Train The Trainer session on this day with the rest of the team and started gearing up to deliver digital skills training on behalf of Facebook in multiple locations across Scotland.

One would think that this day started amazingly well for me but in reality, it was the opposite. When I arrived at the venue for my training, people actually asked me if I was okay, which I thought was weird. When I told Shane about it, he said he didn't want to mention it, but when I walked out the door that morning, he wondered if I would ever smile again. My depression by then was getting pretty bad and it pains me to think that all those smiles and milestones are in a way, marred by the weight I constantly carried around in my chest.

22/06/19: The next big hair change in the Year of the Hair - Blue Balayage

In honour of joining the Facebook DSTP team, my favourite colour, and how blue I felt deep down. Because when you can't fix it in a day or control it, you might as well laugh at it.

I still remember how heavy my chest felt throughout the day. I returned home from my hair appointment and sat panting, breathless, and tearful on my couch. I was in the depths of my depression around this time and I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

27/06/19: Possibly our first FANCY! meal of the year...

...to celebrate our dear friends Nico and Shasta's (Kasha's parents') 12th wedding anniversary at The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage. And because we went there during the peak of summer, we literally sat inside this floor to ceiling glass restaurant that offers panoramic views of the entire city, in our sunglasses until about 9 pm when the sun wasn't as harsh anymore.


And that was the first half of my 2019 for you all - if you stayed till the end that is ;)

The second half of the year is when I made strides in my mental health and took solid action to prioritise my peace of mind, self-confidence and healthy relationships over all else. Stay tuned!


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