May Braindump - A year of braindumps!

I just realised that this month's braindump marks one year of braindumps. How is this happening? Why is time flying? We're half-way into 2017 already? Oh, Hoorah! Because I can't wait for this stupid year to be over. I blame the year. I always do. 2015 was the year we got married and while many might expect that to have been a good one, it most definitely wasn't. At least the first half of it sucked balls. The second half was good though.

And 2016? The best year of my life. I know a lot of our favourite celebrities died and Trump got elected. On a general, global level, I agree that 2016 was horrible. But on a personal level, it was the best year of my life.

And then came stupid 2017 which started off on the right note but turned sour pretty soon after. I'm going to have to find out what the latter half of this year has in store for me. But I blame the year. I always do. I already know 2018 is going to be amazeballs.

But coming back to Braindumps and celebrating one year of downloading thoughts straight from my brain to your screens, I think we should have a throwback. A major throwback. So I'm going to document some of my favourite passages from the past braindumps and add commentary to them. Here goes.

May 2016:

Speaking of ice-cream, remember this post where I complained about how we ordered Groceries online and I was feeling restless because I wanted to go out and get my stuff myself? Turns out, that it's so convenient to order your groceries online that it's the only way we shop nowadays. They bring it to your kitchen and unpack everything for you. Oh. My. God. The bad news is that we're spending a wee bit more than usual on groceries every week because we suck at adulting and the minute we see something shiny and fun, we decide that we HAVE to get it. You'd think that when you "cohabitate" with another human being you'd not make stupid decisions because there's two of you and one would stop the other from being stupid. Clearly, you haven't met Shankita. We're the dumbest people we know...

...But we don't like to dwell on the negatives. We like to share good news. And the good news is that now we've actually started planning out our meals in advance. And that's a huge step for Shankita because we're not only the dumbest but also the laziest people we know. This whole online grocery shopping thing is so convenient and easy that we plan out our meals in advance, get the recipes and ingredients together and order all the ingredients so that they get delivered fresh. It's been working out pretty well for two weeks now and cooking, I feel, isn't that bad at all. I would totally appreciate a bigger kitchen but this is not as horrible as I always pictured it to be. Look at us, one year older, wiser and "MATURER". Oh, who am I kidding? This is probably just a phase.

It was totally just a phase.

June 2016:

A few months weeks days... a while ago, a bunch of people got drunk. The group comprised of a handful of The Husband's colleagues and yours truly. At some point, three of these drunk people got together and decided to go on a camping trip to the middle of nowhere for 4 days and 3 nights because why not. One of them was going on a sabbatical so that he could explore the whole of Scotland by mainly pitching tents and spending days and nights in the wilderness (because why not?) and this party where a lot of drinking happened was actually his send-off party.

The second person going on this camping trip is The Husband because at one point, Sir Campsalot said a few magic words to him including "stargazing". The minute he took in that piece of information, The Husband informed me that we were going camping. And because I was drunk and because I'm not a very smart person even when I'm sober, I might have said "Why not?" and that makes ME the third person going on this trip. WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?

That first camping trip was totally worth it.

July 2016:

...I miiiiiiiight have slacked this month because I woke up this morning and realised that it's the 31st and a Sunday, and I hadn't gone off at multiple tangents this whole month! Why, you ask? Because things have been a little...(insert German word for "so crazy that my upper left eyelid twitch swept my husband off the bed in the middle of the night while I sat staring at my laptop"). Oh, and the amount of time I have been spending in that closet of ours. Last week, I read somewhere that the term "luxury" really has nothing to do with actually indulging in "expensive" extravaganza but in doing just little things that lift your mood and make you feel excited about your surroundings. For example, lighting a candle. So guess who lit a fucking candle in her closet and choked on the scent of French lavender? You can't see it right now but I'm raising my hand, waiting for divine intervention. Halp me, God! Oh, wait. A certain somebody once left me a comment saying that "only God can help you now" or "even God can't help you now" (I can't remember which) so I guess that plea was in vain.

So here's the deal. This month has by far been the busiest in my "adult" life because I believe that no adult usually endures the struggles and stress-levels of a teenage girl in an Indian household. Because a teenage girl in an Indian household has to deal with a) poor self-esteem (her other teenage friends/classmates try to over-compensate for their lack of self-esteem by commenting on her short-comings) b) exam stress (didn't you KNOW that you were supposed to start preparing for your Boards from grade 5?) c) boy-trouble (a "protective" Indian boyfriend ought to tell you what to wear) and d) nosy relatives (who either want to know how much you plan to score in your Board exams two years from now or when you will settle down and marry a non-smoking, non-drinking, "God fearing" boy from a nice family). So, no. Whatever troubles you have now are NOTHING in comparison to that of a teenage Indian girl who attends 10 tuition classes 6 days a week on top of attending regular school and listening to her classmate reading her palm only to predict that she'll be poor in the future.

Yeah, that month was definitely crazy, and I might have been going a little bonkers while typing that out. But who else remembers the time that I spent secretly recording the podcast in my closet?

August 2016:

I sat there at the table and went through my stats the way I used to when I was jobless. I couldn't possibly go through everything so I filtered out some of my old readers, the ones I remembered. Like that nice kid I love from Delhi who was doing her training in Hyderabad and was supposed to move to Pune last month (hi Athira!) and like that female who hates my guts but visits my website everyday (I wonder what happened to her). Are they still visiting? Yep. Found them. That led to checking some of those people out on Facebook - as one does - to find out what's really up with them. "Oh, it's her birthday tomorrow, I must remember to wish her!" and "Huh, I almost forgot that she'd blocked me!" is what followed. And then, like everyone else, my stupid brain began to dwell more on the fact that some insignificant (insert "bad words") person blocked me than on the fact that tomorrow is the birthday of a kid that I care for. That led to more "I wonder who else blocked me." and "Oh, she didn't block me, she just unfriended me" and "Wait, he didn't block me? Wha- How?".

Yeah, that was a bad day. I still feel ashamed of how much time I wasted that day. But the good news is, it never happened again. I haven't stalked anyone (except for an interview) in ages and that's great! You learn and you grow.

September 2016:

This month has been a very special month for us here at 22 Nelson Street. We got to celebrate this blog baby's first birthday and we somehow managed to bring our second baby into this world. And while I'm excited about our expanding family, I'm even more thrilled to see that this month, many more of you have joined us here at 22 Nelson Street. As of 12 p.m today, the 29th of September 2016, the number of you guys hanging out with us and giggling about poop, has literally doubled in comparison to last month. So dear new readers, welcome to the family!

Speaking of family, my dad turned 59 this month and my parents have been having a blast back home. His birthday celebration still seems to be in progress. When I was growing up, I'd always hear my parents say things like, "I'll start going on morning walks once you pass out of school and don't need to be dropped off to tuitions early in the morning" or that " I'll do that one thing I've always wanted to do once I make sure you're well settled and happy" and I always thought to myself that these were mere excuses. That if you put your mind to it, you can do everything you want to do now. And while I still live by that principle, when I see my parents doing things they always wanted to do, now that I'm finally out of the way, I can't help but feel like I may have been a "kebab main haddi" (bone in the kebab) all my life. Good going, mum and dad!

The month we celebrated one year of the blog and released Desi Outsiders! All the warm, fuzzy feelings in my heart!!!

October 2016:

One day back when my mother was still in college, she decided to visit one of her friends very early in the morning, just for horror. This friend of hers lived in a traditional Kerala home complete with a well and a big backyard. If you're not already familiar with this, I should explain that back in the day, most homes in Kerala came with their own wells and most people bathed and cleaned themselves by these wells. So it was also a common practice for many to brush their teeth close to this well, while also squeezing in a tiny morning stroll in the backyard, getting in tune with nature etc.

So when my mother arrived at her friend's home, she walked in on her brushing her teeth by her well. The minute this friend saw my mom, she intended to spit out what was in her mouth in order to greet my mom. Instead, she flung her toothbrush away from her and swallowed what was in her mouth. I need you to go back and read that last sentence once again and picture what happened. Now tell me, how adorable is that?

There's one more story in that post. We Mallus are hilarious!

November 2016:

I love my braindumps. So I feel incredibly possessive of the phrase "my brain takes a dump on your screens" and would appreciate it if you respected that phrase as mine and mine alone, and maybe even attributed me before using it elsewhere saying that you acquired this phrase from Her Highness Likespoopjokes, the High Queen of 22 Nelson Street. Because I'm openly selfish and don't even share my shower gel with my husband y'know, and this ain't no "cucumber-village" (my fellow Mallus will get that last joke). Teehee :D

1. Still don't share shower gel.

2. Still love mallu jokes.

3. Her Highness Likespoopjokes, the High Queen of 22 Nelson Street - Please let that name stick.

December 2016:

Shane's been home with me, spending every waking moment with me for the past week. I know how insignificant one week sounds in the grand scheme of things but this is where I share as I learn and grow, and this is what I learned about us. We work wonderfully well together and my normal work days are a hundred times better with him sitting by my side, staring at his laptop. I did mention that we were going to turn this into a "work holiday" and so far, we've accomplished a lot, and we're proud of ourselves. My point is, I've been having quite a few goooooood days lately.

So on Monday, when a cloud cast a dark shadow on my mood, I simply couldn't understand what was happening. All I knew was that I was seated with my husband, working on something I loved, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I excused myself from the room and tried to take a nap. Some very disturbing thoughts gave me peace and I napped well for an hour and a half. After my nap, I was feeling way more refreshed and motivated, and I even initiated to cook lunch by myself. You guys know how much I hate cooking. On a normal day, you'd never find me alone in the kitchen. But on Monday afternoon, not only did I choose to cook, but I also didn't try to get away with something easy that I could whip up in a matter of minutes. I put on my headphones, played an audiobook and made quite an elaborate meal for us. We enjoyed it over some strong tea and feel-good television. Things were starting to look good, and I'd survived that day without falling into a familiar dark hole.

I clearly remember this day. PMS sucked really bad back then, it sucks really bad right now. But we shall overcome.

Januray 2017:

Anyway, today is the day when the boiler at 22 Nelson Street finally gets fixed. This day will go down in history as the day on which I finally stop pulling my hair out in chunks out of frustration. It's the day on which I finally stop trying to break heavy machinery with screwdrivers that I don't even know how to hold with my tiny hands. It's the day on which I officially denounce religion because until now, I've sometimes had to go down on my knees and pray for a consistent stream of hot water while I showered.

We all know how that ended. Eye-rolling so hard right now

February 2017:

Apparently, after reading my blog post where I shared my experience of showing up to work hard even on days when I didn't feel like it, she (Meenal) decided to go to the gym even when she was way too tired. She thought, "Ankita asked me to show up and I'm going to show up". So she got on her treadmill and started running. And she ran for 9 kilometers and felt good about herself. But the minute she stopped running, she puked all over her treadmill. Yep. She then borrowed cleaning equipment from the gym and thoroughly cleaned up her puke from the treadmill while still feeling weak and queasy. Yeah, that kid has issues.

On a related note, she's representing her country for an International Table Tennis Tournament next month and has an exam on June 6th. She's been preparing relentlessly for both so I wasn't very surprised when she called me yesterday to say that she puked after her TT training. That's old news now.

March 2017:

...does anyone remember the time when people used to put up statuses on Facebook that were meant specifically for someone in their circles to see? I used to do that too in my Dark Age. My Dark Age was the time when I thought that the people my statuses were intended for were the only people seeing my stupidity. And if you're wondering, yes, it does seem like I'm still in my Dark Age considering how I've managed to turn this stupid tendency into my primary source of income. But I'm gonna go ahead and be a hypocrite now and stand on a pedestal by declaring that I don't do that on Facebook anymore but on an Html page instead. That makes me so much better than the rest of y'all even though you probably don't do it anymore at all. My point is, people have to choose to see my stupidity and I don't impose it on them via their Facebook feeds. Kind of.

My point is, I'm an embarrassment.

April 2017:

Last month on my braindump, I remember saying that there was something extremely satisfying about the fact that I was writing my braindump, a tradition reserved for the last working day of every month, on a Friday - the last working day of the week. I'm happy to experience the same satisfaction today.

But that's pretty much all the happiness I'm feeling right now. My life since mid-March has been meh for the most part. There surely were spells of sunshine like my holiday in London and the many fart jokes with Shane on an almost daily basis but overall, I can only describe the month of April as meh. Most of it has to do with work related frustrations while some of it is just me. My general disposition. And God knows Shane has earned enough brownie points to get eggs and bacon breakfasts for the rest if his life just by putting up with my crap for one month. Overall, I'm happy to say that my general mood has been improving but I'm yet to put a finger on the problem and figure things out. Until then, I'll continue barking "NO!", and "WHAT?", and "WHY?", and "DAFUQ?" with such intensity that Shane and Meenal sometimes load them into guns and try to knock me out.

I just let out a long sigh. I'm still waiting for everything to get infinitely better. I'm sure they will.

This has to be the longest post I've ever written, but also one of the most satisfying ones. I'm not sure if any of you read everything, or even read till the end. But if you do see this, know that I'm incredibly grateful to you for being a part of this journey. For sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with me. It's been a great year of braindumps.