Category Archives: Aspirations

If 2016 Wasn’t Meant to be, Maybe 2017 is! :)

Hey guys! Happy New Year!2017 Concept Clipped Cards and Lights

This post is something I’d intended to write and post by December 31st of 2016, but it just wasn’t meant to be. So, this post is going out a little later than I would’ve liked.

Can we all just pause for a minute and think about how quickly 2016 went by?

Yeah… it went by that fast.

When December 1st came around, I immediately pulled out my 2016 resolutions to see what I’d accomplished.

  1. Finish the book
  2. Learn guitar (play at least two songs)
  3. Strive for all A’s and B’s by the end of the school year
  4. Audition for at least 3 things
  5. Have more self confidence
  6. Remember to smile
  7. Be more responsible
  8. Never miss a blog post
  9. Take care of my body (eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest)
  10. Stay strong

meant-to-beI realized I’ve accomplished very little this year. Sure, I auditioned for over three things, I was more confident in myself, I smiled more than I did in 2015, and I assumed tons of responsibility as a student and as a daughter. But I didn’t finish the book I’m writing, I only learned half of each song on guitar, the one C on my report card doesn’t cope with number 3, I missed 99% of the blog posts I was supposed to write, I completely ignored number 9, and I let myself crack instead of keeping a strong mind and heart.

Upon discovering this, I was sooooo upset with myself. So upset, in fact, that I didn’t want to write new goals for 2017 because I was stuck in the mindset of “Well, what’s the point? I won’t do it anyway.”
Not achieving my goals for 2016 got me thinking… maybe completing the things I wanted to complete just wasn’t meant to be.

Life isn’t something you can always plan precisely. Sure, you can try, but life will sometimes take you down a different road based on what needs to happen and when it needs to happen. Sometimes it’s beyond our control. fullsizerender-4

After realizing this, I ceased the thoughts on what had gone wrong the past year and started to think about all the things that went right.

Finishing the book wasn’t meant to be, but reading a book almost every week was.

Learning to play 2 songs on guitar wasn’t meant to be, but writing 5 sets of incredible lyrics was.

Having all A’s and B’s wasn’t meant to be, but passing my first AP class was.

fullsizerender-5Being part of set crew for my school’s production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, singing my first solo in choir, performing in the talent show, making new friends, spending time with old friends, seeing snow for the first time, getting cast as a fairy in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; all of these happened and were meant to be! 🙂

Let’s not start 2017 trying to beat ourselves up for not achieving the goals we’d set for 2016. Let’s spend 2017 at peace with what wasn’t meant to be in 2016, and strive for what is meant to be this year. By taking pleasure in the present and doing the best we can do.

  1. Be more positivewhat-you-want-and-what-you-need
  2. Take care of myself (physically and mentally)
  3. Practice what I preach
  4. Have better time management
  5. Be a better friend
  6. Be self confident always
  7. Have better focus
  8. Communicate my feelings
  9. Finish my book
  10. Motivate myself to do my best

Until next time,

~ Rina Raj

 

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2016 Came to Town, Riding on a Pony ;)

hiding behind curtainMe: *peeks out from behind curtain* “Hey guys!” *awkward smile*

Audience Member: *glares* “You missed 3 weeks!” *whispers* “Plus a day!” *throws tomato*

 

HI GUYS!

Merry belated Christmas!!! 🙂 merry xmas.jpgI know, I know, it’s been three weeks. I missed three weeks! But I feel bad and I’m sorry. I know, excuses are lame but hear me out.

Or… read me out? *shakes head* I don’t know what I just did.

Anyway…

i can't remember anything.jpgIf you’re in high school, or even in middle school, you can understand the stress that comes with exams. And in my case, it was exams and an audition.

I was uber stressed out and had no room in my overflowing brain for a blog post, nor did I really have the motivation or time to write even half a post.I'm sorry.jpg

So I’m sorry, and I hope this blog post will compensate for the past three weeks. Before I get into this post however, let me remind you of a very important fact…

2016 is in 2 days.

Let that sink in.

2016 is in 2 days!

Let’s be real, are most of us even ready for this? Did we fulfill everything we planned since January, when we came up with our 2015 resolutions? (Seriously, where has the time gone?)

It’s unreal how quickly this year has gone by, leaving nothing in its path except for uncompleted resolutions. Personally, I feel as though I’ve accomplished nothing this year.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Nothing.

However, when I went back to review and looked at my 2015 resolutions, I realized I actually accomplished a lot. My list consisted of only 5 things.

  1. Audition at least 3 times.
  2. Write 5 good songs.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Be more caring and responsible.
  5. Be a better daughter.

audition for all the shows.jpgNumber 1 (auditioning) was something I was scared of doing, but I did it. I faced that fear.

Number 2 (writing songs) was something I didn’t see happening when I initially wrote this down. But guess what? I didn’t write 5 good songs. I wrote 13 amazing songs!

Number 3 (write a book) was something I could’ve accomplished, but didn’t. Instead, I fished for ideas day in and day out. I started one storyline, deleted it and switched to another. Finally over the summer, I came up with the best storyline yet and presently I’m working on chapter 6. So no, I didn’t finish a book, but at least I started it!

Number 4 (be more caring and responsible)… I’d like to say that I have been all that number 4 asked of me this entire year, but I’m trying to be an honest person. I’ve definitely made tons of effort to be caring towards my younger sister, but as a newfound middle schooler, she finds my attempts annoying and they most always end in a disagreement of some sort.

(Whatever… she’s annoying too) 😉

Responsibility is something I’ve tampered with. I’ve been responsible when asked to help my sister, I’ve taken on the task of making dinner numerous times, I’ve been trusted with using my electronic devices at school (per mom’s designated times and rules). I wouldn’t say it’s been this way the whole year though. Therefore I consider number 4 incomplete. But I’m working on it.

Number 5 (be a better daughter) is something difficult to explain. I’d rate myself a 50% on this one. While many people have told me otherwise, I personally feel as though I could strive to be a better daughter. So the journey continues with number 5.

I may have only checked off two items on my list with satisfaction, but those resolutions aren’t the only verdict of how my 2015 went.

survived first semester.jpgJust because I didn’t do everything on that list doesn’t mean I didn’t do other stuff.

I started a blog, for one, and it’s been a pretty amazing experience so far!

I started high school, and I’m surviving it! And…

I’ve become stronger!

As a teen, I’m learning to love myself and to define healthy boundaries. I’m learning to take better care of myself and to put myself first in regards to my personal needs, goals and dreams.

So now, I’m feeling inspired and striving to create achievable resolutions for 2016. My list consists of the following:new years resolutions.jpg

  1. Finish the book.
  2. Learn guitar (play at least two songs).
  3. Strive for all A’s and B’s by the end of the school year.
  4. Audition for at least 3 things.
  5. Have more self confidence.
  6. Remember to smile.
  7. Be more responsible.
  8. Never miss a blog post (what did I just do).
  9. Take care of my body (eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest).
  10. Stay strong.

Make sure you hold me to number 8… 😉

Now it’s your turn. What are your resolutions for the new year? Comment below and share some of the things you’d like to accomplish. I would love to hear all about it!

happy new year 2016.jpgHappy New Year everyone! 🙂

Until 2016,

~Rina Raj

 

 

Selena, Demi, Lilly + Q? Who inspires YOU?!

inspiration 2What inspires you? Actually, who inspires you? Think about that for a moment. Does something, or someone, come to mind?

From what I gather, we all have role models and people we look up to. Most teens look up to celebrities and imitate their clothing and hairstyles. Some, even their personalities!

But many are more drawn to their life choices. Whether it’s battling an addiction, helping the needy or inspiring others to be a better person, we all have someone we look up to as we strive to find our purpose in life.

Whether you are inspired by a celebrity, a family member or a close friend, inspiration is a big part of life and impacts the person you are.

When I was younger, I was inspired by celebrities like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato simply because they were famous. It took a while before I understood the true meaning of inspiration. I didn’t realize how a celebrity could possibly inspire me until I was asked to write an essay on inspiration last year.

I saved my essay and today I would like to share it with you.

Qurrat Ann Kadwani, May 2013
Qurrat Ann Kadwani, May 2013

I was a very shy and self-conscious person during the summer before I entered 7th grade. I wasn’t sure of myself and I felt that I would never change. One of my friends who had just graduated middle school, informed me that this school year I would have to make a big decision. A decision that would impact me very soon.

I was going to have to choose my career.

It was something I had thought about, but they were only dreams that I felt could never be fulfilled.

I think my mother saw one of them. She listened outside my door almost every day as I read aloud the script to The Little Mermaid, changing my voice to fit each of the characters.

Shortly after I started this daily ordeal, she decided to take me to see a play.they call me q It was the first play I had ever been to, and I was convinced that it was going to be a snooze fest because I didn’t know what to expect.

It was a one woman show. That’s right, one woman.  One woman acting 13 different roles.

Most of the one woman shows I had seen on YouTube consisted of a lady attempting to have a conversation with herself (and I sure didn’t want to sit through something like that).

We took our seats in the front row of the dimly lit auditorium and waited for the actress to take the stage.

As we waited, I decided to read up on the play. The name of the play was “They Call Me Q” and underneath the title was her name, Qurrat Ann Kadwani.

qurratMoments later a girl with long, brown and definitely Indian hair took the stage. Her hair framed her caramel colored face perfectly and her beautiful brown eyes brightened as she smiled, lighting up the room.

She soon began her play starting with a piece about her name. She told of how people called her Q-RAT, but didn’t share the correct pronunciation of her name (yet).

different charactersI watched in awe how Qurrat connected with the audience as she slipped through the various roles in her story. The bullies that created her horrid nickname, her brothers who helped her get through many hard times in life, and her mom who always pushed her to do her best.

At the end of the play, she finally revealed her name saying “You may call me Q-RAT, but I will always be Qurrat.” At this point, many people in the audience were crying and laughing, but I remained just as I had before. Simply in awe!

After the show, we met up with Qurrat for dinner and she shared with me how long it had taken her to compose this play and how ecstatic she was to finally perform it. It had taken her 5 years to compose it!

inspiraion 1My mom mentioned to her how I loved to act, and Qurrat smiled that gorgeous smile saying that was great. That’s when I realized it. My career choice. I wanted to be able to do the same thing Qurrat did.

I wanted to be able to put a smile on other people’s faces, to have them leave the room with something to hold on to, something that inspires them or a message that would change their life.

Qurrat made me realize that my dream could indeed become a reality. She gave me the inspiration I needed to choose a career path that I was interested in, and that inspiration has never faded.

In fact, if it weren’t for Qurrat, I would still be wondering, still be unsure of myself.

Qurrat’s show has sold out in many places (she performed at universities and film festivals in addition to Off-Broadway in NYC) and she’s been so busy on the road to fame that we haven’t seen her since the show.

But even so, I see her in myself every time I perform and get one step closer to my dream.

selena gomezAfter writing an essay about inspiration, I realized that celebrities aren’t there just because they’re famous. I believe they exist to inspire us.

I’m not completely obsessed with Selena Gomez just because she killed it in Monte Carlo (though that is part of the reason). I’m a Selenator because she is passionate about acting and she inspires me to continue learning.demi lovato

I don’t have an infatuation with Demi Lovato simply because I’ve watched Camp Rock a gazillion times. I’m a Lovatic because she was strong enough to get back on her feet after depression and keep making beautiful music, and she inspires me to continue writing songs even when I feel discouraged.

lilly singhI definitely don’t stalk Lilly Singh on a daily basis due to the fact that her YouTube channel currently has 6,925,757 subscribers, I’m part of #TeamSuper because Lilly’s goal is to make people smile and laugh and feel good about themselves. Despite experiencing severe depression, she was able to overcome this and inspire others to love themselves. In this case, she inspires me to be comfortable in my own skin.

Now it’s your turn. What inspires you? Who inspires you? And most importantly, what drives that inspiration?

Share in the comments below and let’s discuss.

Until next time!

~ Rina Raj