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Life Uncategorized

The Dance of Hobbies Lost.

Let’s talk about lost hobbies and my neglected relationship with Classical dance today.

These days, with being shut in the house, with nowhere to go, not much to do and always being inches away from driving each other insane, social media is the obvious respite. So, as I scrolled through Instagram and saw everyone else bake, cook, make art, play instruments and develop new hobbies I went down the rabbit hole of my thoughts and realised that I was no longer the person with a million hobbies as I had been for most of my life. I had, somewhere along the years, lost my many hobbies. But how, did I get here?

I was a pretty hyperactive kid, on an almost clinical level. My parents knowingly, or unknowingly cracked how to deal with all my pent up energy: Activity classes. I was always in a billion activity classes. You name it, I’ve taken a class for it. Be it arts and crafts, piano lessons, abacus classes, dance lessons, karate, roller skating, I’ve done it all. I left all classes over the years for various reasons ranging from  I was simply getting busier with school and couldn’t keep up with all my classes, I just really sucked and it was a waste of time and money and the ultimate, me or some other kid was injured and it scared our moms into pulling us out of the class.

I don’t regret having lost touch with most of them. Obviously, the ones I was terrible at or didn’t engage with for too long I hardly miss, but I do have some form of sadness attached to the ones I was good at. It comes down to two but majorly one, really. When I was 9-10ish(I think) I had to choose between piano and dance because I no longer had time for both and I chose dance. After all, at the time it seemed obvious, I had invested more time in it, I was better at it, I was giving exams in it and it seemed the only choice but sometimes, just sometimes and in times of lockdown, I wonder what could have been, where I might be if I should have chosen the other way around, maybe I could have played the piano and been happier now. Ah well, can’t change the past, can we?

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So, let us now get into the second but actually major hobby which requires a bit of a storytime about me. I have been dancing since I was a baby, as my mom would tell you but have trained in some Indian classical form from the ripe age of 3. From when I was 5 to when i was 16, I trained in the classical dance form of  Odissi and have given enough exams to be a trained Odissi dancer, at least on paper.

Most of you are probably wondering what Odissi is at this point so let us take a brief intermission to tell you a little bit about it. Odissi is an Indian classical dance form belonging to the state of Odisha and is the oldest surviving dance form of India and perhaps, one of the oldest in the world. It originated in the temples of ancient India and is considered to be one of the most difficult Indian dance forms due to the grace and technique involved and the subtle balance between masculinity and femininity each dancer has to maintain in every piece. This is not just my opinion, but obviously, I am a bit biased towards believing it.

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Now, getting back to me and Odissi, I’ve learnt it for 10+ years, had 2 teachers, given many exams, participated in some competitions, even won some, given even more performances and have lived and breathed the classical dance life, at least before I moved across the country and was entering 11th grade and could no longer keep up with it. It has been 5 years since then. In those 5 years, Odissi has helped me in little ways like being my unique identifier, how choreographing a little piece that got me into the (western) dance society of my college ensured dance stayed in my life, with my general posture and whatnot, but honestly and a very difficult thing for me to admit is that I’ve mostly lost touch with the dance form.

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One of my very few good dancing photos from the pre-good smartphone camera era

There are some factors to why. I really had to study during the last 2 years of high school and simply didn’t have time to practice. All my music was on primitive memory devices like cassette tapes or at maximum, a CD because that’s what most places where we performed or participated allowed. Thus, I can no longer access it and have lost quite a lot in the move too. I was not on social media when I moved as I was a kid and have lost touch with my dance classmates. Most importantly, I did not choose to prioritise it. Then suddenly, a few months ago I had the jarring realisation that my dancing style had changed from doing western over the last 3 years and I could barely remember any Odissi.

I was sad about it, but also, life was busy. I forgot. I was ready to give it up as one of the things I grew out of but then, this lockdown happened. Now, I was forced to confront how much I had neglected something I loved so much growing up and how much I regretted it. I knew it was time to fix the situation and to once again, bring Odissi back in my life. I tried looking up the music online, it didn’t work very well because there are many different kinds of music and I didn’t find the exact one I learnt on, so there was no chance of triggering some musical memory of mine.

I decided on trying to re-learn what is the most basic and simplest dance piece in Odissi, the Mangalacharan. It is a traditional invocatory item, usually dedicated to one Hindu God and having a Trikhandi Pranam,i.e. three salutations: salutation to god, the teacher or guru and the audience. I saw many videos and saved them and will now be embarking on this journey of trying to re-teach myself something I had been so good at and hoping to trigger some old recesses of my memory where all these pieces went and have hopefully survived the attacks of adulthood. I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you have any lost hobbies you regret? Have you thought about picking them up again? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Bullet Journaling Life Uncategorized

One Year Bullet Journaling Update: Will I continue in 2019?

Let’s talk about me completing a year Bullet Journaling and everything to do with it today.

Hi!  One year ago, I made my first post about starting my Bullet Journal for 2018 and have tried to keep you posted on my experience trying out this new activity and exploring the world of Bullet Journaling. This post is the conclusion of my adventure with Bullet Journaling in 2018, the final update as well as talking about my future plans, if any, with Bullet Journaling.

If you have seen my post about My Bullet Journal Essentials, you know what pages I chose to have. The plan right now is to go over each of those pages, give you a before and after (If they change at all) as well as the new pages and talk about how useful I found those pages.

The Cover Page(s)

Obviously, this isn’t there as much for the “planning” aspect of the journal but mostly for the aesthetic value. I still love it and I made the last page to go with it and to cap off my year, contained in the pages in between. Its not as beautiful or meticulously made and I will get into why that is later.

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A Calendar

I enjoyed making a physical calendar for ready reference in the journal so I could plan my days and months out. However, this calendar ended up making me realise how almost independent of physical calendars I have become after having the ready access f my cell phone’s calendar. I barely used it and honestly, I feel a little sad because as a child I used to love marking dates on my physical calendar. Technology really has changed me and this was clear evidence, even if its the littlest thing.

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Year In Pixels

Year In Pixels was a great idea but the issue is that’s what it was. Maybe it’s just me and how careless I am or maybe its just being human but I found myself missing days. I’d fill them in later but that’s not quite exactly the idea is it. Still, I like having a reference of how my year went. It makes me realise that most days are just okay(In red) a good (in green) or an amazing (orange ) day are rare to come by so I should cherish them and cherish them well. Here’s my year in pixels when I started versus now at the end of the year.

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Goals for 2018

I made a list of Goals at the beginning f the year which I wanted to achieve through the year. At the 6 month mark, I went back and looked at the list and made a part on how things are going with all my goals. ( You can find it in my Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update) At the end of the year, I did it again. This time, however, its a simple checklist. And I was happy to report that I somewhat achieved all my goals for the year though not all which I chalk up to being a mere mortal.

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Trackers

I made trackers for some of my broader goals to help me track my progress towards achieving them. They were:

1.A Book Tracker: A place for me to list all the books I read over the year. I am the most depressed to report that I got though ZERO entire books through the year and so my book tracker is as empty as it was the day I started it. It is my worst regret and I intend on making a post about my lost superhuman reading powers and just how much it bothers me. Here is before(and after) of my book tracker.

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2. A Movie Tracker: A place for me to list all the movies I watched over the year. I watched a total of 36 movies over the year and that roughly comes down to 1 movie every 10 days which are numbers I’m more than happy with. I have definitely made progress at movie watching (Which might seem like a stupid goal but I like stories and losing reading I needed to find a new way to get the required amount of stories to keep me and my imagination happy)and watched some great movies this year. Here is the before and after of my movie tracker.

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3. A T.V Show Tracker: A place for me to list all the TV shows I watched this year. I am honestly happier with the shows I watched viz a viz the movies because some of them are all-time favourites of mine that I binge watch often. I watched 5 shows over the year which may seem like a small number but, considering that it was 0 shows in 2017, it definitely is progress. Here is the before and after of my tv show tracker.

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4.A Blog Tracker: a place for me to record my blog-statistics related progress over the year. As you may have noticed from both my Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update. and the goal update in this post I didn’t meet a lot of my blog related goals. I just struggled with keeping up with my new life as a college student in the first half the year and in the second half I tried and had found a stride but my health gave up on me. So my statistics hardly look great if seen as separate one year apart statistics but individually I am quite proud of how much my teeny tiny little blog has grown. (Even if it is just an inch or two) Here is the before and after of my blog tracker.

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Monthly Spreads

I had a certain format that Ive discussed before in my Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update. I write the name of the month, a quote that resonated with me that month and hello to the month with the origin of its name n the left page. On the right page, I write the month number on the top right corner and always have a firsts box for all the new things I did that month and a countdown of the number of months left in the year. Other boxes like Blog updates, mid-term and end-term updates and updates on other goals make regular appearances. I am happy with my monthly spreads and I enjoyed finding out the origins of the names of all months as well as having a summary of my month a lot, however, I found them a big hassle to make towards the end. I’ll talk more about this later.

Exam Schedules

I would write my exam schedules in as checklists with the name of the subject, date and time of the exam for both my midterms and my end terms so I’ve made a total of 4 schedules,2 for midterms and 2 for end terms.  Checking these was very fun and I did find writing my schedules down helpful because then the dates had a greater chance of sticking around in my head.

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Birthday Page

Since my birthday is in the first half of the year you might have seen this in my post about it. basically, I wrote a letter to myself talking about my progress as well as shortcomings from the last year, my goals and aspirations for the upcoming year and a lot of positive affirmations. This was probably my favourite part of the BuJo and practise I plan to continue.

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Final Thoughts: Will I continue Bullet Journaling?

The simple answer is well, no. I am not the artistic kind and by the end of this putting all this time and energy into something that is supposed to help me plan my life more effectively was frustrating and a big hassle. It is obvious through the pages too, the first few are dine with patience and I sat down and beautifully did them whereas the last one I just rushed through because the truth is, I dont happen to have a lot of time in my day.

As i mentioned before, my Last page is nowhere near as pretty as my first one and this is the very simple reason for it. It might just be me, my lack of artistic prowess or maybe it is normal to feel so defeated about a bullet journal. I felt the pressure to keep it pretty, mostly self-imposed and i struggled with it. I would forget to fill in the year of pixels in some days, I’d be drawing two monthly spreads together, I’d keep notes to remember to write in the movies and tv shows I watched.

What I would like to carry forward from this experience is the organisation it brought to my planning. So essentially I want to have its planner aspect and thus am not opposed o the idea of using a planner. For now, I have embraced the technology boom i was born into and use the Notes app to set reminders, make lists and make notes and basically, plan. It has been working well for me so far but it’s only the first month, who knows?

Would I recommend this to someone? Absolutely. It was fun when I wasn’t time-pressed or just under pressure or stressed. If they are artistic and like planners, this is the thing of their dreams. They will enjoy it so much. It may not be for me but that doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it.

Lastly, I end my last post about bullet journaling (for now, who knows what the future holds?) and offer my admiration and respect for people who bullet journal regularly and have been doing it for years. It’s a task and its hard work and while i have realised i cant keep doing it that in no way means I am imposing my opinion onto you. Enjoy the BuJo adventure, fellow journalers and au revoir!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you Bullet Journal? Have you done it before or do you plan to? Comment below with what you think about it I’d love to hear from you!