2016

While I think new year’s resolutions, the whole “new year, new me” thing is a complete load of bull crap, I always write myself one resolution that I aim to stick to. And these resolutions aren’t the “get fit” resolutions. I aim to try and change myself to make myself a better person. For myself.

In 2015, amidst HSC, my resolution was to rid myself of the anxiety surrounding who I was as a student. That failed majorly. Instead, in 2015, I cried over 90% marks, I asked to go to the bathroom in my english classes to ensure I didn’t freak out in class because I was so unsure of myself. I had days where it was physically impossible for me to get to school and be the person I usually am. I would use my period cramps was reason to stay home (truth be told though, my cramps are the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I’m usually unable to walk like a human or function with stability without the aid of numerous cups of tea, hot water bottles and pain relievers) so I wouldn’t have to face my teachers and see that “disappointment” and “judgement” I thought they were aiming at me. And this was only in 2 of my classes. I dreaded going to my english classes because I grew so anxious about a subject I loved with a passion. I went through times where I doubted my work so much, even if it was just a practice essay, that I would stay up until 3 am writing draft after draft, only to panic when my teacher said it wasn’t good enough.

Clearly, 2015 showed me that I need to man up as a student because if that was year 12, then uni isn’t going to be any easier.

But I guess some good things did come out of 2015. I think I used my feelings of anxiety to become a more open person to my family and closest friends. I became so much closer to my older sister, and by having times where I’d sit with my mum and dad, and tell them that I wasn’t feeling 100% about something, I became a lot more emotionally stronger. I learnt to reconcile with myself and hate myself less at the “failure” of not being able to get that 20/20 in an essay. It was a slow process, but it’s happening.

I also proved that I only need my own validation in my education. I did well in the HSC. I’m proud of the mark. I’m proud of my ATAR. It isn’t a perfect 99.95. But it is reflective of the dedication and perseverance I had in me to make sure everything I did was to the best of my ability, even with my chronic perfectionism. I proved to myself that I can face my personal battles and I do know what success is. I proved to myself that I really do not need to give a piece of shit about what anyone thinks because as long as I fulfil my goals and aspirations, I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing.

Looking back on the HSC, I think I have finally learnt to let my anxiety go about who I am in an academic environment. It could have happened at the beginning of the year. I would have had a happier HSC experience. But I made it.

I don’t think people realise that I doubt myself to such an extent, that my chronic perfectionism outweighs the fact that I am capable of reaching higher things; because I put up a face that only comes off to my closest friends and family. I don’t think the girls in my grade would have pinned me for someone who is so unsure of themselves. And I do feel pathetic about it. I was always taught, always shown, always guided by the motto that you are the only person who can control where your life goes. I didn’t take that to seriously enough in the HSC. Maybe if I had, I could have attained a higher ATAR. No I’m just joking. I am satisfied with that mark and I’m on my way to doing the course I’ve had my heart set on since I was 12. If I had heeded the advice of the motto, I would have had a happier 2015. Less doubt. Less anxiety.

So this brings me to 2016. Looking back on the personal side of things, I’ve realised that self criticism is both a skill and the biggest flaw you can possess. In 2016, as cheesy and fake as this sounds, I want to accept myself for who I am. And I’m referring to the way I perceive who I am. I know that I’m a strong, intelligent and assertive young woman who is fully capable of breaking down personal, physical, academic and emotional barriers to become the best person I can be. I want to start really believing in that. There’s a difference between knowing and believing. I want 2016 to be the year where I believe in the traits I know I possess.

So with less than 8 hours until Sydney rings in the New Year, I’m going to start dinner prep for the family party that’ll be getting underway soon.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe New Years. Party hard, stay classy and stay safe.

2015 was great, and I’m bloody keen for 2016.

signing off one last time in 2015,

xx Simran

 

🍪🍪🍪

I’m at home alone and I’m so bored because all my TV shows are on hiatus and I’ve caught up to suits and sense8 and all the new shows I’ve started. I’ve also started and finished 10 physical books like I planned in my bucket list. 

I’m out of options and I don’t like the heat or sun too much, so I once again decided to bake. Obviously. 

   
 
When I was setting the cookie batter on a baking tray, I had a memory lapse and forgot cookies expand when they’re being baked. These were meant to be bite size but now they’re palm size. Oops 

I decided to make a recipe up as I went. These cookies are gluten and butter free. There’s a table spoon of cold pressed coconut oil to ensure the cookies bake, but other then that, there is no butter. 

These cookies are made from 2 cups oatmeal and 2 cups almond meal, 3/4 cup of leatherwood honey, half a cup of milk that has had a quarter of a vanilla pod soaking in it for half an hour, one egg, plus half a teaspoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of nutmeg. 

They were prepped in the same way cookies are made, but the batter was chilled in the fridge for 1.5 hours to set. 

The cookies baked at 180•C for about 15 minutes, and then were left out to cool on a rack. 

The first image has shredded, unsweetened coconut added to the batter, plus some organic, 90% cacao chocolate, while the second image is just the plain almond and oat cookie. 

They’re hard on the outside but have soft and crumbly insides, maintain their shape and taste fantastic for something that was made up on the spot. 

I think I’ll add a whole new section for food on the blog, considering cooking and experimenting in the kitchen is becoming an integral part of my life right now. 

xx Simran 

🎇🎊

When you have the week off from work, you make healthy baklava. Obviously. 

  
I ran out of pistachios because they’d all been used during Diwali. Instead, I used hazelnuts, pecan nuts, almonds, desiccated coconut and walnuts. I roughly blended them until they were coarsely ground. 

The syrup was made from organic leatherwood honey, water, a hint of lemon and half a vanilla pod. I mixed everything in a medium saucepan and let simmer for 15 minutes and then chilled while the pastry baked. 

The pastry was filled with the nut mix and sealed shut with a coconut oil brushing. I cut them into rectangle/square shapes and lay them on a lines baking tray. The pastry baked for about 20 minutes, and I flipped them around 10 minutes in. 

When the pastry was baked, I transferred the pieces into a baking dish and poured over the syrup and let sit for 4 hours to allow the syrup to soak through. 

Considering starting a baking/cooking section on this blog so I have a record of everything I create. 

I’ve spent the whole day cooking, and honestly, how do people hate cooking? It’s therapeutic and you eat what you create. What a bonus. 

xx Simran 

😊🍴

  

  
When you’re trying to take a decent photo of a dinner experiment but your yoghurt won’t stay on your patty. 

Come to think of it, the yoghurt on the middle party is strangely representative of my life… 

I was bored and decided to make white quinoa, sweet potato and onion patties on top of a spinach, walnut and stuffed olive salad, topped with cumin infused homemade yoghurt and a spicy, sweet and sour tomato relish/warm chutney-esque dip on the side. 

It was bloody delicious. 

I should publish a cookbook…

I hope everyone has a lovely, lovely Christmas and a joyous new year!! 

xx Simran 

I am not ok 

My YouTube feels are out of bloody control right now. I’m at work and basically trying to keep your chill when you have none is an essential life skill that I was not born with. 

Everyone knows my love for iisuperwomanii. I think she’s bloody hilarious and an inspiration because of her dedication and drive in her work. 

Everyone also knows my love for Sam Tsui because he has a jawline that could cut diamonds, the voice of an angel and is basically perfection. 

For the past two years I’ve missed out on seeing either of them due to school, exams and commitments that would arise every time any sort of YouTube convention came to Sydney. I was especially pissed when I missed superwoman’s world tour because I had my HSC half yearlies.

So instead I stuck to hoping that during superwoman’s 12 collabs of Christmas, I would see the two of them work together.

This year, that wish came true. And I. Cannot. Deal. 

Trying to suppress a squeal of excitement in a professional setting especially when your coworkers are stressed af because they need to finish all their work before Christmas is a bloody huge challenge for me. I also need to present the facade of being calm, collected and focused as I run a report for my manager. The struggle is real. 

I am not ok. I don’t think I will recover. The fan girl has encapsulated me. I am not ok. The fan girl life is not easy. These struggles are harder then any history extension essay I’ve ever written. Having to suppress the fan girl is no easy feat.

Christmas has been so wonderful this year, and the day hasn’t even arrived yet. 

xx Simran 

2015

2015.

Wow.

Another year has passed (nearly). 2015 flew by for me in a flurry of exams, stress, panic, and potentially the greatest moments in my 17 years. Definitely some of the most memorable, for better or for worse.

 

I’ve learnt a lot about myself in 2015. Whether it be from an academic perspective, a social perspective or a personal perspective. I like to think that I’ve matured and developed into who I truly see myself as. Flaws and scratches included.

 

So what have I learnt about myself?

 

I’m proud of myself on an academic front. Getting my HSC results and ATAR over the past two days have been a bit emotional. I’m exceptionally happy. I did well. I’ve been given a guaranteed entrance offer at the university I want to attend next year. It’s all going well I guess. I think I surprised myself with how much drive I actually had, to prove to myself and my anxious brain, to prove to those assholes who didn’t believe in me, that yes, I can succeed. I can do well. I can conquer the personal struggle I’ve been faced with and come out on top. I may not have gotten a 99.95, but I never aimed to pressure myself. I got a mark that I know reflects the hard work and perseverance I showed myself. And anyway, it’s just a mark. I got into my course by a mile, and I’m over the bloody moon.

 

I’m excited for a new educational, academic and social start in 2016. I really am. I’m where I want to be. And I finally feel like my life is taking direction.

 

I’ve learnt that I am an extremely self conscious person with a perfectionist streak. I’m almost never happy with the way things turn out, and will overanalyse in my mind. I take words to heart, and usually that’s a bad thing. 2015 was hard from an academic perspective. Many nights were spent in tears because of marks lost, comments taken too seriously and one on one feedback coming off as more of a lesson in my failure, rather then in improvement. 2015 was also hard because I spent time thinking that I could be the one someone I thought was special, wanted. This is hard to type out because I feel so pathetic right now. Losing something you thought was great, but really didn’t mean anything to the other person is always tough. It’s especially tough for me because I take actions and responses to heart. I don’t think I’m over it, no matter how much of a brave front I put up. Yes. It hurts. A lot. And I hate myself for taking his words and actions to heart. I really do. Because I shouldn’t berate myself when it isn’t my loss.

 

So what do I want to change in 2016?

 

Yes the whole new year new me thing is coming, and it’s usually bullshit. But as I sit here typing, when I’m meant to be asleep, I’ve decided to make a pact with myself to change things about myself. First and foremost, I need to see myself for who I think I am. Not what others think. I need to lose the blanket of self consciousness. And it won’t be easy. I know that. But I need to start looking at myself for who I truly am. I need to stop getting overworked and anxious about what people might think about me. I need to try and accept that what I do is the best I can. The achievements I have are representations of who I am, and that success is none other than mine. I know I’ve told this to so many people, but I can only truly succeed when I start accepting myself for who I am. Flaws, set backs and imperfections all included. I think I’ve started doing that, by making a conscious attempt to open up to my parents, sister, and closest friends. Instead of holding my worries in, I’ve tried to open up to a person, or a piece of paper. And it does wonders.

 

I want to come clean with people who things have turned salty with. Yes, I’m referring to the same person. It’s hard and I do take things to heart. I will cry and bitch and attempt to console myself through this veil of “I don’t give a crap about you because I’m don’t need you in my life”, but I’m not that person. And the relationship we fostered as friends will hinder me from cutting ties. We probably won’t ever be the same, but 2016 means that I’ll have to grow a pair, tell you everything and walk away feeling great about myself. 2016 is the year that I will come clean to you about everything I withheld since, well since forever. It’s almost pathetic how long these emotions have plagued me. But I’m not going to ruin myself over something that means nothing to you. And yes, it isn’t my loss at the end of the day. It’s yours. Yes it will hurt, it’ll hurt forever probably, but that’s life. And I need to suck it up because I do not fall from minor setbacks.

 

But I hope 2016 will see me develop into a stronger, more confident young woman who has lost her self consciousness. There are large personal reasons for this self consciousness, but I shouldn’t ever let this hinder who I am, and who I want to become.

 

And this is proving harder then I thought…

 

Throughout 2015, I’ve learnt that I don’t need anyone else’s validation but my own. Yes, this contradicts what I’ve written above, but recently, after talking it out with my closest friends, getting feelings off my chest, and tears out of me, I’ve come to realise that no one’s validation but my own matters. I’m the most important person to myself.

 

So in 2016, I want to persevere to make this a solid fact about myself. That I’m a badass, confident, assertive, intelligent young woman with bite and sass.

 

Throughout 2015, I’ve learnt that regardless of how much I take to heart about what people say about me, I’ll never change my morals and values. This is something I’m exceptionally proud of because peer pressure is rampant in society, especially around the people my age. I stick to my guns, and I’m not afraid of people saying shit about me. Calling me tame. A prude. Lame. Yes that hurts. But I don’t intend on messing myself up for temporary “fun”.

 

In 2015, I’ve learnt that I have the most encouraging support system around me. I have the greatest parents, sibling, friends and mentors who will be there through thick and thin. Through laughter and tears. Through failure and success. And I couldn’t be more thankful.

 

In 2015, I’ve learnt that I really enjoy getting my voice about political, social and economic issues out there. The debating fire still burns bright inside me, and I love having the opportunity to get my voice and opinion out there.  And this is going to continue through 2016. Whether its over blogging or in real life or even just in the things I read and engage with, I’m going to make sure I remain as well read in reality as possible.

 

This is still proving exceptionally challenging. I don’t know what else I’ve discovered about myself. There’s so much I feel like I need to change in order to become the best person I can..

 

On a more humourous note, in 2015, I learnt that my fangirling skills reign supreme in my life. This is especially relevant to the coliver fandom from How To Get Away With Murder as previous blog posts show; Jack Falahee and his adorable self in real life, Conrad Ricamora, the real life Disney Prince; Sam Tsui, the adorable smol jellybean who’s stolen my heart through his incredible voice; talented musicians, dancers and other actors; all my favourite ships that set sail either this year or in previous years. My nights have been spent in insane conversations where my friends and I carry facebook chats with gibberish because we “cannot deal” with everything going on in our favourite shows, with our favourite celebs. And I’ve learnt to make do with social media and intensive facebook conversations about cute, smart and adorably stupid celebrities because while Sydney is one of the best, if not the best city to live in, my favourite celebs rarely come down here. I don’t understand why. I mean, Sydney has the best people, the best beaches, the best coffee. What more could one want?

 

So in 2016, I hope that uni life and exams don’t interfere with my chance to at least meet my favourite youtubers at conventions because for 2 years, exams have ruined my plans of meeting superwoman. I am not ok with that. That has got to change honestly. When your education gets in the way of life, but you know the hustle is real.

 

Also, I hope I don’t stop having so much fun with my friends where we have viewing parties and chill sessions and proceed to freak tf out about our favourite characters. It’s so much fun when you know someone gets you in reference to your favourite romance or ship. You can go on for hours, talking about how perfect their relationship is. There are literally no drawbacks except for the fact that your entire life is ruined by 2 people in a relationship that isn’t ‘real’.

 

So getting back into reality.. what do I hope for in myself in 2016?

 

I hope to become a more open, self forgiving and self confident person. I hope to never stop persevering and fighting for my success. I hope to maintain my enthusiasm for having a voice in society. I hope to have the opportunity to try new things, join new societies, make as many new friends as possible, and go to new and exciting, foreign locations. I hope to become a stronger person and accept my flaws and imperfections. I hope to use the challenges I face in daily life as a reminder of how far I’ve come, so I know that yes, I do have what it takes to succeed. I hope to create even more spectacular memories in my 18th year. I hope that each passing day provides me with a reminder of how fortunate I am to be living the life I’ve been blessed with. I hope that in 2016, my actions, my thoughts, my impact in society will mean something, both to me and to the greater community. I hope that in 2016, I stay true to myself and truly transform into a badass, confident, assertive, intelligent young woman with a lot of sass and a little bit of bite. But most of all, in 2016, I hope that I use the challenges in my life as diving boards to find more opportunities and adventures that transform me into the person I want to be.

 

So here’s to another great year of learning, a year of challenge and a year of fun. 2015, you were such a rollercoaster, but I haven’t been thrown off yet.

2016, I am so ready for you.

xx Simran

Unpopular opinion

This is another controversial post. Don’t like? Don’t read.]

Also, to clarify before you read, this post in no way begins to support the atrocities that have been committed by ISIS, other terrorist affiliations and lone terrorists. This post seeks to highlight the disparity in the portrayal of terror by the media, to convey my view that terrorism has no race, culture or religion. 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, terrorism is defined as “the unofficial or unauthorised use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”.

International terrorism is defined as terrorism that is practiced in a foreign country, where the terrorists are not natives to the place of attack.

Domestic terrorism is defined as terrorism carried out by native citizens of the place of attack.

In the above written definitions however, there is no reference to race, culture or religion.

What tends to happen when global media report acts of terror as they unfold, is that a stylised focus on the terrorists, specifically their nationality or religion, augments the reality of the destruction and heartbreak that accrues from such an act.

This is where my concern arises.

There’s a new way of reporting, a new tone and a new style of reporting, that sets the atmosphere about how, we as the general public, react to these acts of terrorism.

In the most generic manner I could possibly write in, when the media covers incidents of school shootings in the USA, or more recently, the shooting in the planned parenthood centre in Colorado Springs and the Charleston Church shooting, the media went into significant detail about the attacker’s name, job, status in society, their contributions to former clubs etc etc etc. Weeping family members of the “gunman” (note, they are never referred to as terrorists) lamenting over how it happened take over our news channels.

However, when the media covers incidents involving people of colour, and I use the Paris attacks and the shooting of Police officer Curtis Cheng, here in Sydney as my sources, an in-depth analysis of former acts of violence, social media relations with other terrorist affiliations and the cruel religious or cultural motivation behind the attacker’s motive comes to light. Straight off the bat, they’re referred to as terrorists. There is no in depth analysis of their families and jobs and life.

There is a clear distinction drawn between how the media portrays attacks of terror conducted by caucasian people, and acts of terror conducted by people of colour.

http://www.juancole.com/2012/08/top-ten-differences-between-white-terrorists-and-others.html

The article above links the clear disparity between “white terrorists” and POC terrorists to frame it loosely.

 

To sum it up, our media shaves off our ability to rationalise these situations by painting two very different stories about how acts of terror depending on the terrorist’s nationality and religion, are presented to us.

In the above mentioned definitions of terrorism, there is no mention of race, culture or religion.

Therefore, there is no distinction between the “white gunman” who shot dead 30 children, and the “Islamic terrorist” who shot dead 10 civilians.

Both have blood on their hands.

Both killed with a motivation.

But one gets presented as the “mentally unstable, alcoholic white gunman” and one gets presented as the “radicalised, Islamic terrorist preaching radicalisation and terror to all”.

In reality, there is no distinction.

Terrorism has no race. Terrorism has no religion.

xx Simran

 

(◕‿◕✿)

The fangirl I work so hard to subtly repress has emerged and taken over my usually calm, cool and collected state of mind.

I speak directly from my heart when I say that I’m not over Jack (Falahee) singing A Whole New World as he decorates a christmas tree in his snap story.

I think it should be illegal for my favourite TV actor to sing a song from my all time Disney movie. I nearly died when I watched the snap, and then proceeded to die with my friends because we all cannot deal. Life isn’t fair.

Everyone still knows my crush on Aladdin reigns supreme. Jasmine may have him forever, but my heart belongs to Aladdin always. I may be 6 months away from adulthood, but I will without a doubt watch Aladdin in its entirety, choke up in the appropriate scenes, and wholeheartedly belt out all the lyrics to every song.

I now demand a full cover so I can gain closure to the fact that Jack has the nicest voice, and it sounds even nicer when he sings (the inner fangirl is coming out real strong here). Also, I usually cannot handle the American accent, regardless of how many American people I like. It’s mainly the midwestern and southern accents that give me nightmares, but holy shit his accent is so nice ugh (fangirling real hard now. This is bad)

Also, snapchat is so cruel, because you see a little snippet for 24 hours, and it leaves you wanting more. I want a full cover. Please.

And now, after viewing his snap story, and lamenting to my closest friends who also share my sadness in realising that unless we all go on impromptu trips to America, fly 24 hours (that sounds like hell to me) or study in America, we may all potentially never meet Jack. That is the struggle of living in Sydney. Such a beautiful place. But so far away from everything. I can’t handle flying from here to India and I’ve done that plenty of times. 7 hours to Singapore is nightmarish for me. I would never survive 24 hours of flying without a tranquilliser. No amount of excitement about pursuing my further education at Yale or Harvard (Oh how I would love to complete my masters in Economics at Yale, granted I get into my undergrad courses here); or the prospect of going to the legit Disneyland or even meeting my favourite celebs maybe, could perk me up for flying.

So I leave it up to my strong imagination, and maybe the hope that my favourite actors and celebrities will take pity on the Southern hemisphere and come down under. And what isn’t to love about Sydney? Great beaches, great people, and the best coffee. What more does life need?

The life of a young woman whose celebrity crush list is longer then her current summer bucket list has its downsides. Its hard having an appreciation for the finer things in life.

Tumblr, facebook, actually watching HTGAWM and obviously twitter will have to do it for me I guess.

And in the mean while, as today fades away, I’ll be up, quietly singing along to Aladdin as the rest of the house sleeps, because I need closure and happiness, supplied by one gorgeous Disney prince.

xx Simran