Yeah, about that deadline…

Another year is drawing to a close, and I’m another year closer to cancelling my backup plans.

Plans made for the “by the time I’m at the ripe-old, very distant age of 35” kind of deadline.

I should’ve travelled at least half the world, become super successful in my career, gone to a Backstreet Boys concert, be married.

Ah the all-important cliché, if-I’m-not-married-by backup plan and the subsequent and much more fun, backup friend.

To blame our baseless desire to be married young on society, movies, parents or fear of being alone, would be weak. It was cool to have a backup and be a backup. That’s the absolute only reason.


(They worked, but they’re also fictional.)

It was like flirting a little but mostly for the future, with someone you didn’t want to give your A-game to right now.

For the life of me, I cannot remember my backup. The person I chose (after not much deliberation) to throw away what would be left of my life with. Clearly, it was a match made in lazy heaven.

Good thing I got me my M, or I’d have to rummage through my memory and send out some embarrassing emails. Or you know, not desperately marry the ol’ trusty friend who I may have had a heart-to-heart with on a sad day.

And trusty friend he must have been. How else did I feel so free to propose marriage to him – and for him to accept – under the conditions stipulated?

Maybe that’s why people publicly renew their wedding vows, to send a message to the backup friend that their pact is off.

Luckily, I wasn’t solely relying on Prince Charming to infuse meaning into my life. I even set a deadline for career goals. I was meant to be at the top of my game right about 2 years ago.

Backup plan? That I suck. I should just give up on writing and go back to being a Civil Engineer.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just not my calling. Right now, I want to keep writing. Maybe later, I’ll want design school bags. Or be a nurse. Who knows!

There will be no “giving up” in any case, just dreaming some more. If we give ourselves the freedom to change personal styles and whom we love, then changing dreams shouldn’t be called giving up, just growing up.

I haven’t travelled the world, either. My backup plan was to drop everything and leave.

Um, no. And um, yes.

We did drop everything (not so much drop as plan and ponder over for 4 months) and jump on this little adventure to move overseas for a little while. It’s the married-with-kid version of dropping and leaving.

Besides, I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve fallen in love with different cities. And I’ve realised that there’s no deadline for travelling. I’ll get there. But right now, I’m kinda in the middle of a pretty big adventure.

I barely recognise the girl who made this list on my sister’s PC several lifetimes ago. She was a few months shy of turning 20 and knew nothing about being an adult in the real world. She wasn’t sure about what she stood for and what she was capable of.

But she had heart, I’ll give her that. Something that hardened with time, with heartbreak, loss and failure. But those are the things that strengthen resolve and make tough, badass women.

I am strong, and it has served me well.

But now I want more heart.

More trust and faith and love. More fire and less give-me-that-job passion. More affection and less xoxo. More care and less duty.

I want to feel so much affection for a friend that I can ask them to be my backup in another lifetime.

I want to let myself express so much love for my husband, child and inner circle that they think I’m being borderline creepy.

I want to feel happiness without cynicism, and kindness without a cause.

So I’m putting only one thing on that deadline list today with no backup plan.

I want to have more heart.


Drawing a blank

Among all the voices in my head, I tend to be partial to my most reasonable one (she’s making me write this, what I really mean is judgmental and self-conscious asswipe). And this wise voice thinks that the three posts I’ve been writing over the last few days are just not cutting it. Maybe I should remind her that I don’t have very high standards.

Seven days since my last post. The last time I was this uninspired, my husband and I decided to pack our bags and leave town. Where do you go when you’re uninspired on the road? Back home?

I’m thinking I should suck it up and use my imagination.

Update: My imagination just flipped me off and went back to staring at the wall.



Maybe one of the reasons I can’t seem to focus is that I’ve been writing while my mum watches her Hindi TV shows in the background. And oh my good merciful god, that is some seriously insane TV. I mean, I’ve been a TV snob since Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones happened to me, but I also have some incredibly low standards when it comes to soaps and day time shows, and this stuff smashes those standards!

I can either blame the shows for my brain freeze or own up to the fact that I’ve got nothing here. So I’ll blame the shows.

May I please take a moment to talk about one of them?

I’ll take that as a yes.

(If completely bullshit posts are just not your thing, may I recommend this, this or this.)

So one show is about a divorced dad and love-spurned woman, who were neighbours until they were forced to marry because his child considered her to be the mother (good thing the kid didn’t think they were all mer-people and had to move back into the ocean). Anyway, they have a cutesy, sleeping-in-separate-beds kind of relationship that seems more realistic than the art-directed home they live in. At the start of the show (hey, I’ve been jobless okay), our male protagonist is still in love with his ex-wife who left him for his business partner. As the show crawls on, we see that the business partner, being the evil douche that he is, ditches her for a younger model. As you do. Anyway, the ex-wife comes back to the ex-husband, who is now in love with his new wife but still covers up for his ex’s mistakes. What ensues is a series of absurdities bordering on awesome set to the soundtrack from tone-deaf hell: suspicions, fights, love, slapstick-unfunny-ness, ultimatums, tears, smiles, awkward flirting – and soon, all’s well in the badly art-directed home.

Except that would mean the end of the show, and that must not be. So I caught up a few days ago to find out that the ex-wife is now dead.

Multiple exclamation marks.

Everyone is shocked. We know this is true because the camera swings furiously in epilepsy-inducing close-ups of every single member of the cast, as they give us their best aghast expression without creasing the 27 layers of makeup.

And you’ll never believe this – Shonda Rhimes should be taking notes right about now – the ex’s ghost takes over the new wife’s body, giving the actress who could only write ‘Sweet wife with maternal qualities’ in her folio, a sparkling new bullet point: ‘Calculative and possessed meanie’.

How am I supposed to fight that?

Up next: A manipulative woman manipulates people.

They had me at manipu-