Category Archives: Communication

10 Stories of 2017

Hey guys!

Yes, contrary to popular belief, I am still alive and well aware of the fact that I have not written a blog post in literally forever.

As always, it was not my intention to go MIA, and the only excuse I have is that my time management skills are not a thing that got better during 2017, but I will make sure that I work on that next year.

smh gif 2.0

…wait a minute…


*frantic whisper* next year is tomorrow!!!

Just kidding, I TOTALLY realized that.

This year, I made more of an effort to follow through on my resolutions, and I have a story regarding each one.

So, here are my 10 Stories of 2017.

1. Be More Positive

Maintaining a positive attitude is something I’ve always struggled with and I really wanted to be better at it throughout 2017 because during 2016, I’d noticed that when I had a positive outlook on something rather than a negative one, it would have a better outcome and even if it didn’t, I still felt good about it overall. And so, I dove headfirst into 2017 with a positive mindset and a determination like no other. And it payed off.

nothing changes until you change

At every audition this year, I walked into that room telling myself I was going to do great and I walked out promising myself I did great. And regardless of how good or bad I did, whether or not I got the role, and how prepared or unprepared I was for the audition, I felt pretty darn awesome about it. I performed in our spring play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and was even cast in two other shows this year (our One Act, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which received straight superiors at districts and will be moving on to state level competition, and our upcoming spring musical, The Addams Family) and I was able to enroll in the competitive acting class.the addams family

My positive attitude wasn’t just confined to the wonderful world of theatre, it branched on into my grades and exams back in April and May, and I’m proud to say that I passed my AP World History exam!

2017 taught me that walking into an exam or an audition or even just a regular day with a positive attitude and willingness to make it a good experience will always have a good result.

2. Take Care of Myself (Physically and Mentally)

Funny story… I totally ignored this resolution (at least, the physical care) at the beginning of the year. Then, over spring break, I wound up in the hospital for this really weird pain I was having. It wasn’t anything important, but thinking about what it could’ve been prompted me to try and take better care of myself (aka, actually taking my vitamins and such), and I did for a couple of weeks, but once the pain had gone, I started to lack on the simple everyday preventative care measures I should’ve been taking.

I didn’t think about how my everyday diet could be affecting me and I went back to my normal schedule which consisted of no breakfast, little to no lunch some days, snacking when I got home from school, and dinner.

fall in love with taking care of yourself

Then, of course, the pain returned in August just after school had started back up. I visited the hospital yet again to find out that it was, yet again, nothing important, but that not eating enough and not consistently taking my supplements may be affecting me.

I’m thankful to have had my mother force me to start thinking about my health (and also force me to start exercising regularly) when I was too blind to start doing something about it myself. It sucks to say that I didn’t take the bull by the horns and tackle this resolution without help, but I’m glad to say that for the past few months I’ve been on top of things and I’ve never felt better!

3. Practice what I Preach

This is something that’s a lot easier said than done and I’ve been working at it for a while now. I think that over time, I’ve learned to not give advice that I am unable to take myself. My biggest word of advice this year has been to always keep it real and to be authentic, which are two things I definitely consider myself to be. I’ve had no trouble practicing what I preach in that regard, however, I have in other areas.sometiems the advice you tell other people is the advice you need to follow

Something I’ve been saying all throughout 2017 is that I need to be present. What I mean by that is taking the time to look at today and not worry about what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow and just focusing on the moment. Yeah, NOPE, lol! Being in high school consists of a lot of stress and stress sometimes means dwelling on the midterm you took the other day or anticipating the test you have tomorrow and so on and so forth.

And of course, I always say that it’s good to take a break from technology and not be immersed in the land of the cellular for too many hours a day, but let’s be real, I’m pretty darn obsessed with my device and social networks.

Practicing what I preach is something that I have the full potential to do, I just need to follow through on it.

time is what we want most but what we use worst4. Have Better Time Management

Ha. Haha. HA.

As I mentioned earlier, time management was not a thing that got better in 2017. If anything, it got worse. I developed a very lazy mindset this year, and I’m not too certain why that is, but I found myself waiting until the last minute to do things rather than completing them early as I’d done last year. I was lazy when it came to school and extremely lazy when it came to keeping up with this blog. While that is also due to lack of inspiration and motivation, I didn’t even make an effort to try, and that is completely inexcusable.

Towards the end of the year (November into December), I started to get better at being on track with my homework, but managing my time to make sure I can get everything I need to get done and still keep up with the blog as well as take time for myself is something that needs tremendous work.

5. Be a Better Friendtrue friendship

Throughout 2017, I’ve gained as well as lost many friends. Some I lost because the friendship just wasn’t working, and some because I made the decision to not have them be a part of my life. I made these types of decisions so that I could be a better friend to the friends I consider close.

Over time, I’ve learned that it is extremely difficult and quite near impossible to be a good friend when you are holding on to those that aren’t adding to your life. This year, I’ve been a better friend to my good friends by choosing to only have the friends that accept me for me, add to my life, and are good friends in return. And whether or not those friends are in the same state, or even the same country, doesn’t matter. They’re still the best friends I could ask for.

The friends I have are such amazing people and I strive to be a better friend to them every day. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect bunch. ❤

6. Be Self Confident Always

love yo selfSelf confidence is something that has been such a roller coaster this year. I’ve learned that being confident doesn’t just mean liking the way you look, but also loving your flaws and personality (even the embarrassing parts) with all your heart. I also learned that if you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to love someone else. And surprisingly, learning that lesson really helped me to be fully happy with myself. Here’s my experience.

Earlier this year, there was this guy that I really liked. Let’s call him Jeremy. Jeremy and I were already pretty good friends, and it didn’t take long for our friendship to take a different turn. We talked for a few months and I was certain that my feelings for him were strong and that he felt the same way I did. Eventually, he asked me to go on a date with him. Now, I’m not allowed to date, and so I had to ask (or beg) my mom for permission to go on this date. While she was open to the idea, she also tried really hard to bring something to my attention. I wasn’t 100% happy with myself and who I was. I was really confident in how I looked at that particular time, but I was still struggling with loving certain things about myself.

I, of course, as teenagers typically do, chose to ignore what my mom was saying. I thought I was happy with myself. I thought I was ready to go on this date. My mom thought not. And so, I didn’t get permission to go on this date for maybe a month. By that time, Jeremy had realized that he didn’t want to go on a date with me and that maybe he didn’t have feelings for me after all. Which, of course, hurt. worry about loving yourself

Here’s the thing: Jeremy was one of the reasons I felt confident with myself. I mean, someone liked me! I had to be pretty, didn’t I? I had to have a good personality, didn’t I? But no. I had it all wrong. I was pretty. I am pretty. I do have a good personality. I’ve got plenty of flaws too, but heck, those are pretty great as well! And it shouldn’t have mattered what Jeremy or anyone else thought. And it’s not at all Jeremy’s fault that I was so hurt. I know he didn’t mean to hurt me as much as I ended up being hurt, and I’m glad he decided to walk away as soon as he realized how he really felt. I should’ve loved myself before trying to allow someone into my life. Now, today, I can honestly and completely say that I am 100% happy with myself the way I am, flaws and all.

7. Have Better Focus

i don't have a short attention span, I just...Focusing is something that definitely needs work. I have a horrible habit for zoning out… a lot. For example, it’s taken my maybe 4 hours to write this blog post (which, really, was an hour long task) and I’ve taken maybe 50 breaks.

I have such a short attention span, and that’s a HUGE issue, especially for someone with so much going on. And while it’s gotten better, it still has a long way to go before I can say that I have decent focus. And so, the journey with focus continues on into the new year.

8. Communicate My Feelings

Feelings are so complicated, but I’ve learned that they’re more complicated if no one knows what you’re feeling. Humans aren’t mind readers, and it isn’t anyone’s job to pay super close attention to you and decode your mood for the day.

I think that, for the most part, I’ve done a good job with communicating whether or not I’m in a good mood throughout 2017. I can always get better at it, and I definitely still have days where I’m petty and don’t give my family or close friends a warning. Granted, they may not always care, but speaking from experience, they’d rather receive a head’s up than an unnecessary outburst because they said something that triggered my already bad mood.

9. Finish my Book

Ah, yes. The book. While I (yet again) did not complete the book I’ve been trying to write forever, I did write a play. I had a lot of fun writing the play and I’m really glad that I took the time to do it. I plan to add on to it and edit sometime soon. Going back to my 2016 reflection, writing the book this year was just not meant to be. I have faith that when it is time for the book to be written, I will have the inspiration and motivation to do so. Maybe that time will be in 2018, who knows?

10. Motivate Myself to Do My Best

I have to say that I’ve landed at 50/50 on this one. There have been plenty of days that I’ve felt motivated and I’ve done my best, and there have been tons of days that I haven’t. I think the blog is a huge example of not being motivated to do my best. Just like focus, this is one I’m gonna have to take into 2018 with me.2018

Reflecting on 2017 as a whole, it was an amazing year. I think I fell into tune with myself this year and that has helped me accomplish so much. I do, however, have a bunch to accomplish in 2018. My resolutions and goals for the new year are as follows…

  1. Manage my time (get done what needs to get done and still have time for myself)
  2. Focus (a blog post shouldn’t take 4 hours and an essay shouldn’t take 3 days)
  3. Be present (really think about the moment I’m in and thrive in it)
  4. Maintain my self confidence (I built it up, now it needs to stay up there)
  5. Set goals and follow through (this goes with practicing what I preach)

What are your goals for the new year? Are they the same as your goals for 2017? Are they different? Let’s talk about them in the comments below!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Until next time,

~ Rina Raj


Be real. Be authentic. Be YOU!

Hey guys! Long time no see?  :))))look-at-all-this-good-food-i-cant-eat Yes, I’ve been MIA but it’s been for very good reasons.

I’ve actually accomplished a lot over the past few months, and I really needed to stay focused. Blogging just had to take the back burner for some time being. I took two virtual classes over summer (and passed with A’s – go me!!!), got braces (*cries*), chopped half my hair off, and poured out chapter after chapter of a book I’m currently working on.

Yes, I’ve accomplished a lot!

I’ve also started my sophomore year in high school and it’s been pretty good so far!

Going back to school has made me come to several realizations. For example, the realization that I’m no longer the youngest in school (good-bye freshman year) and of course, the realization that the cafeteria food just isn’t very good (yep, no change there).

I’ve also discovered that I have a lot of pet peeves. And when I say a lot, I mean a LOTsharpay-meme!

They range from topics of bullying and judging others to simple things such as pouring your cereal into the bowl before pouring the milk, and making sure to never pair orange with pink when coordinating outfits.

For today’s blog post, I’d like to talk about one particular pet peeve. It’s been something that’s been on my mind for quite some time.

It’s about being authentic, being genuine.

Being real.

Now, I know a few of you are probably going “Ahem, I am indeed flesh and blood ma’am”, however, that’s not the kind of real I’m talking about here.

Being real sometimes just isn’t that easy, unfortunately. And it’s all because of the society we have created. There are so many reasons why many of us choose to not be real.

In my perspective, being “real” consists of two main qualities. These are honesty and authenticity.

keep-calm-and-be-honest#1: Honesty

Being honest is such an important quality to being real. Honesty is the setting stone and foundation for “trust” and “trust” is the setting stone and foundation to friendship.

I personally feel as though I’m being fake whenever I tell even the tiniest of fibs, things such as “no mom, I don’t have any homework,”  or “yeah, I totally took my vitamins today”. Even though honesty is something I’m still working on in certain areas of my life (I really don’t like taking vitamins), I feel like I can’t stress its importance enough.

But think about it for a moment.

If you aren’t honest, how do you expect others to be honest with you?

If you aren’t honest, how can you be a good friend to someone, or even trustworthy, towards those you care for?

To be real, you have to be honest. Honest with yourself, and honest with who you are as a person.

And if you’re unable to be honest, it’s important to take some time to figure why that is the case. Take some time to journal about it, maybe talk to a close friend or a family member about it. Reflect on your feelings and figure out why it may be challenging for you. Sometimes it just has to do with giving yourself permission to BE yourself, and allowing others to see you for who you really are. Our society doesn’t make it easy, which leads to the second quality I’d like to talk about.

#2: Authenticitysay-what-you-feel-its-not-being-rude-its-being-real

Authenticity is another important factor in being real. And what I mean by being authentic is not being fake.

I’ve become very outspoken and blunt over the course of months. Personally, I prefer not to talk about anyone behind their backs nor engage in those types of conversations (gossiping about someone). What I’m saying is, when I don’t feel comfortable around someone or I don’t like them, I choose to let that person know directly why I may be unhappy versus gossiping about them behind their backs or telling others negative things about them. In my opinion, this is the best way to be authentic, and the way I choose to do so.

And choosing to be authentic and honest (yes, I can indeed tie my points together 🙂 ) with someone is a much better feeling than being fake.  I feel like a better person, and it makes me feel good to be myself.

I do know that it’s hard sometimes because people around you – and society – make you feel like you have to be someone you’re really not. And it’s so normal these days to be indirect.

be-real-be-yourself-be-unique-be-true-be-honest-be-humber-be-happyBut… telling the truth, being honest about how you feel, and being authentic 100% of the time is giving yourself permission to be your own truth. You have a right to be yourself, regardless of what anyone says or thinks of you. I feel like these are the basics that we all expect everyone to give to us (honesty and authenticity), yet we choose to not BE this ourselves. Makes sense?

Be real.

Be authentic.

Be you! 

Don’t pretend. It will honestly make your life so much easier (I’m speaking from experience) and you’ll be a much HAPPIER person in general. You’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll notice that you’re making a difference by simply being you.

Now it’s your turn to share. Do you consider yourself a real person? If yes, why? And if not, what exactly is holding you back? Are you afraid of being judged? Are you afraid of not being accepted for who you are?when-your-favorite-blogger-doesnt-post-on-time

Share your experience in the comments below and let’s discuss!

Until next time (hopefully soon 😉 )!

~ Rina Raj