Category Archives: Inspiration

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!!! ūüôā¬†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) ūüėČ

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… ūüėČ

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! ūüôā

Until 2016,

~Rina Raj

 

 

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Let’s Be #TypicallyThankful for 24 Days!

Hi everyone, Happy November! ūüôāhello november

I hope that throughout¬†this¬†month, your days¬†will be filled with friends, family, pumpkin pie and… GRATITUDE!

When we think about gratitude OR being thankful in general, one particular holiday comes to mind. Thanksgiving, of course!

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is supposed to be filled with genuine gratitude for all of the things, people and passions in your life. When we think of Thanksgiving, all those things we love in life are supposed to come to mind.gratitude definition

But let the truth be told (from my perspective of course), it¬†seems that the first thing to come to mind is¬†a turkey? Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Cake and ice cream.¬†ūüėõ

And let’s not forget about the ever-so-popular Black Friday sales!

I’m definitely thankful for food. Food is delicious! And I’m also thankful for great sales and bargains! But let’s be real. ¬†Society is a bit¬†hung up on these, and that doesn’t help which brings me to¬†the following question.

black fridayIs that all we’re really thankful for?

What about other things like memories, nature and music? Or quality time with family and friends?

It seems like we’re focused more on material things, getting the “latest and greatest” in technology, versus actual experiences or the gift of life.

Interestingly right after¬†Thanksgiving, people are vying for the same phone that’s on sale. The day right after expressing our gratitude¬†for everything we already have, we are willing to shove each other at stores to get that deal.

In my opinion, they’re just that– things.

And in my experience, it’s not so much the latest gadget¬†that’s left an imprint in my heart. But more so the promises, the memories, the quality time spent with family or friends. Showing someone, through your actions, that you truly and genuinely care.

The things that are priceless!

I feel like many of us are guilty for taking certain things for granted in life. Not just things that we already own, but we take people for granted as well.thank you

For example, I think many teens¬†can relate to taking their parents for granted. ¬†Or the time that our¬†parent(s) may spend with us on a day to day basis (yes my mom annoys me and she’s always around me but at the same time, I wouldn’t want it any other way).

we have so much to be thankful for one day hardly seems adequateThis month, I’d like to celebrate gratitude but¬†not just on Thanksgiving Day.

I’d like to celebrate it every single day this month!

I’m challenging myself and you to be thankful for 24 days!¬†#TypicallyThankful¬†that is! ¬†ūüėČ

there is always something to be thankful forStarting today, I’m going to share a status on social media on what I’m grateful for.¬†And I’m extending an invite for you to join me as well! ¬†ūüôā

All you need to do is post a status (on any social media site) sharing something you are grateful for, using the hashtag #TypicallyThankful.

There is always something to be thankful for. We have so many opportunities, experiences, things¬†and people in our lives that one day just isn’t enough to take pleasure in remembering these.

If you can’t think of a reason of why you may be¬†thankful, think of those in our¬†world who are lacking or going through challenging times (hunger, poverty, wars, homelessness, orphans, clean water, a family loss, just to name a few).

I¬†look forward to sharing in this experience with you,¬†and to reading your¬†posts! ūüėČ

Until next time!

~ 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¬†‚ÄúThey Call Me Q‚ÄĚ 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 ‚ÄúYou may call me Q-RAT, but I will always be Qurrat.‚ÄĚ 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