The Perks Of Dating A Teacher

My mum was a teacher when we were growing up. She eventually gave it up for non-governmental, non-profit work but there are still embarrassing memories of being treated as a teacher’s daughter. However, being as young as I was back then, some of these memories have blurred into one and have started to fade. I am, now, however, dating a bookie-turned-writer-turned-teacher. This brings with it its set of perks!

You appreciate the mornings –

Our day starts at 5am, the unholy time his annoying alarm starts chirping. No matter what stage of sleep I am in, once that alarm goes off, my day begins. Even if my work starts at a more normal hour of day, I am forced given the opportunity to literally listen to pre-sunrise birds. The three hours I gain from this means I have time to binge watch the blacklist go to the gym and eat a healthy breakfast.

You appreciate the nights –

Having woken up at unearthly hours means that your body is slowly fading by the late twentyonehunderhours. This means that the three hours that you do get from the time you leave work are spent in the best way possible – cooking a meal, binge watching ‘Making a Murderer’ while he either grades papers or lesson plans spending quality time together and sleeping. Weeknight date nights? Umm, what’s that?

You appreciate the weekends –

A teacher’s idea of a lie in during the weekend means waking up at 7am in the morning! When you date someone who is a loud waker-uper, you are doomed given the gift of having a really long weekend. So instead of waking up shortly past noon, you have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you want. Unless, of course, he’s brought the lesson plans home again.

You appreciate your health –

Working with cold-carrying munchkins kids means you become quite kid too. This has helped me take to naturally occurring sources of Vitamin C like it is the newest weight loss fad. This also means that I have become quite good at tossing masks at his face and ducking for cover every-time I hear a sneeze making hot chicken noodle soup and being the excellent nurse that I am.

You never stop learning –

If you are lucky enough, you get to hear their teacher voices all the time. You not only get to brush up on nursery rhymes you thought you’d hear again. Sometimes when a point is being made, certain people (I’m not naming any names) stand up and make the point. On the plus side, you get to be up to date with the latest hits on the 2016 nursery rhyme chart!

Go find yourself a teacher. If nothing else, you will get ugly adorable fridge magnets and wall hangings to decorate your house!

Masala Chai and Misty Mountains

Chai Wala

I had a bizarre dream last night. It started of as a stress dream about work. I was sent out on an errand. While wandering the streets, I saw an old Caucasian man sipping a cup of chai (the elixir of life). I felt a sudden and unconquerable urge to buy myself a cuppa. I asked him where it was. He pointed me to a scene that made my chest constrict and my eyes tear up.

Unfortunately, I had to get to work so I had to peel my eyes off, wipe off my drool and slowly walk away. While attending to boring work details, I suddenly hit upon a thought that work didn’t really care about me, so why should I care about them? It was an idea put into my head thanks to a lovely cup of chai. And so I left work and went in search of the chai wallah.

I couldn’t find him.

Depressed Gif

Someone bumped into me and I found myself holding a key to a dilapidated old staircase. I decided I might as well climb it and see what was above. After a long “I’m going to die”climb, I reached the top. Opened the creaky door at the end of the claustrophobia inducing tunnel.

What I saw next blew my mind. Instead of blue sky, the earth was filled with green, misty mountains and rivers. So when I looked up, I could see mountains instead of stars and the sky was where the rivers were supposed to flow. I was on a tiny ledge on a cliff. It had a tiny wall around it to stop people from accidentally falling off, I guess.

You might want to turn this image upside down to see it in its original form
You might want to turn this image upside down to see it in its original form

And there on the corner of the ledge was the hot kettle of masala chai.

I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me.

Guest Blog – Five Years in a Life

Karina from Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad has been one my oldest blogging friends and after a few awkward tweets, we became close enough to meet in person. You can read all about that adventure here. And while you’re at it, catch up on her previous posts for me here. For now, this is the story of the past 5 years of her life – they reached my heart as I’m sure it will touch yours. Show her some love. 

I jumped at the idea of writing another guest post for Anju because I love her and her writing and she is one of my oldest blog friends. I jumped without knowing what to write.

Five years seems like a short enough time; especially to someone who still thinks the 90s were less than 10 years ago. Spoiler alert, they are not. The thing is, almost everything about my life changed in the past five years, hell, five years is longer than my oversharing on the internet even spans.

Anju’s question really brought that up, because while I already realised that a lot had happened in the past couple of years, it never registered that dramatically.

I went from being a student to being a full time employee.

I went from daughter to orphan, passing the roadblock of being a caretaker.

I went from assuming I was straight to knowing I’m a lesbian.

I made a whole lot of friends spanning all over the world.

I travelled to more cities than I can even recall at this point.

I stopped writing to then write a novel and stop writing again.

I grew up more while staying childish.

And I kept thinking about all the things that did change until I remember the things about me that are so inherently me that they stayed the same because they always were and I find comfort in it. Some things will never change. Like me being an unapologetic feminist. It has been the label I have worn proudly for as long as I can remember because I never fit any standard definition of feminine and I didn’t want to. Now more so than ever. This may be the single biggest thing being queer certified for me. I don’t have to conform to anyone’s expectations and norms aside from my own. And that’s okay. Being a woman doesn’t mean you have to wear dresses and shopping in the men’s section doesn’t make you any less of a woman. And being a lesbian doesn’t mean I have to run around in men’s clothes either. I can be whoever and whatever I want to be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, the last five years taught me to be myself. I’ve always been fairly in tune with my own being but it’s like I got permission to be me and just me. My lovely grandma still wants me to dress the way she thinks I should dress and while I find it extremely annoying and off putting I stay my ground because I have to. There is no way for me to not be me.

I’m afraid this post turned way more serious than Anju anticipated when she asked me to write something for her but it’s a faithful recount of my last five years. Some of those years were the worst of my life and they don’t include the day I woke up to the police hammering at our front door looking for my father who was hiding in the bedroom.

In five years I learned my own strength and breaking points. I met my true self.

Guest Blog – 5 years in 500 words!

I haven’t hosted Adam here before, but he is THE BOY that I keep talking about. Show him some love. 

Downloads

Time stretches back in the form of memories, highlights, edited collections of things we choose to retain. If you had just 500 words to talk about about the last 5 years what would you choose to include, what would you omit, what would you not even be able to recall? How do we select what memories are worthy?

I’d remember first and foremost meeting you, I’d recall with film like quality the first time our eyes met, our first conversation about the beer you were drinking. I’d remember shutting ourselves in as a storm raged outside, the tranquility we’d feel in shutting the world out. I’d remember following Stephen down remote coastal paths, as if on a voyage of discovery. I’d remember our first place together and how hard it was to get here to this point, sitting here now thinking of the last 5 years. I’d remember falling in love.

If I had to pick one unifying factor that encapsulated the last five years it would be travel and expanding horizons. When I went to Cyprus in 2010 I hadn’t been abroad for 10 years, since then I have been on a 3,000 mile European road trip that took in 9 countries, visited my sister when she worked in Germany, been to Spain twice, to Slovakia for my brothers stag do, spent a week in Bangkok and visited India twice before eventually relocating here in 2014. I always thought I had an adventurous spirit buried inside me that wanted to get out and see the world, and now here I am living in India, 5 years ago i’d have found that impossible to imagine.

My family has changed a lot over the last 5 years. The older generation, who were the rocks for so long have found themselves more reliant on the support of the young as time inevitably began to take its toll. In 2011 my Granddad died, I don’t use the words lightly but he was a great man, constantly supportive, always kind, always putting himself second to our needs. I draw inspiration from his memory as I try to make my way in what can sometimes be a vastly confusing world.

In July 2014 my younger brother got married. I think i’ll look back on the memories of that time as some of my fondest. Everyone important to me in one place, wonderful weather and true happiness, something that shouldn’t be underestimated in life, something that can be all too fleeting.

I’d look back to the 2010 version of me and tell him not to give up, that there are new experiences and unimaginable things ahead, that what perhaps seemed like a dreary existence wasn’t going to last forever. I’ve never been one for 5 year plans or planning the minutiae of my life, sometimes I have thought it has been to my detriment. But as I look back across the last 5 years i’m glad I just allowed things to happen, because allowing things to happen can take you to places you never imagined.

We Might Fall

The Sunrise This Morning in Bangalore
The Sunrise This Morning in Bangalore

Let’s go on an adventure. There are clouds to be jumped on, warm golden rays to be stolen, wings on whose back we can steal a ride.

We could drown in the crow’s feet that your laughter creates. You could twirl me around till we’re so giddy, it makes the world a breathtaking shade of magic. We could walk the journey of some obscure person and throw popped corn at each other while the black mirrors fill up with “must watch” moving pictures. We can tick off lists of movies, of books, of places to eat, sights to see, things that make us feel alive and full of purpose.

We could run around carelessly, tripping as we try to catch the sunshine in your hair and the sparkle in your eyes. We could don ourselves in explorer gear and go hunting for giggles – your giggles – that make me light headed and make me float off the ground.

We could go looking for the moon and have it tell us stories by the fireside. We could even accidentally run into the biggest adventure of them all –

We might fall.