One from the archives – written in September 2013
It seems that plane journeys provide the perfect ambience for me to blog. It’s a good thing this isn’t a serious hobby or it could get expensive (I joke). So the context of this blurb is that I am on my way to Sharm El Sheikh for a family holiday. The last time the five of us travelled internationally together was about 7 years ago. I’m not sure whether to feel worry or apprehension! But either way, family is definitely such a special part of my existence and I am sure there will be at least a few lovely memories to take back from this week in the sunshine.
Alone time in the air allows for profound thoughts and reflection. In this context, alone really means that I am sitting in a plane that constitutes only of the class Americans would refer to as ‘Coach’ with my eyes glued to my tablet while my ears are plugged into pop music to drown out the background chatter of my fellow passengers. Yes, I am truly the definition of a social butterfly (not).
It’s been a volatile few weeks. The other half and I are in an interesting patch in our relationship which I try to think of as evolutionary. Yes, it has been challenging and seemingly impossible at times but I do feel that going through this will see us together and stronger on the other side. Relationships are complicated, but in this era of social media where all we see are pictures of beautiful couples looking totally loved up with a background of cupcakes and butterflies and marshmallows, it is easy to forget this. And then we have the articles that appear on the likes of Thought Catalog and Elite Daily which provide lists and blueprints of the qualities one should seek out in a significant other, love and crisis advice and other silly nonsense – Case in point: ‘I’m the girl that has been sleeping with your boyfriend and here’s why’. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of admiration and time for some good creative writing but I honestly think any 20-something year old who professes to be the expert on love and relationships is full of shit. Sigh. While I am so relieved to get that off my chest, I now fear the Internet hate and trolling that line will earn me if I do post this blog online and it makes it to fame… But with or without the fame, I am rooting for us to make it through and eventually get to a happy place. Fingers crossed.
Another profound thought stems from the topic of self confidence. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am currently reading ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Peck Scott. Although the book is written more as an academic thesis rather than an impossible to put down novel, there are some deep messages in there which I am hoping to benefit from… with particular reference to self loving and confidence. While I am often painfully aware of my introvertedness and apparent lack of self confidence, I often marvel at the amount of self confidence some people do have. A prime example is the couple sitting in front of me… Both are sat on aisle seats, and so their entire conversation has been had over the corridor and rather loudly given they are shouting over the noise of the engines. Perhaps I am coming from a point of jealousy, I’m not entirely sure – but I find them rather irritating and will make an attempt to explain why. Both are rather plain, and there is nothing exceptional about either of them – as a couple or as individuals. Secondly, the conversation went as so:
Girl: Did you buy a copy of the FT? *gush with pride*
Boy: I bought 5 newspapers (lists all the names) including the FT
Girl: She’s not really a friend, just a Facebook friend. So I message her once a year.
Boy: She’s a total weirdo anyway.
Girl: this friend of mine is so clued in with Italian designers. He runs an Internet business where he sells all the stuff online. He’s having an event at THE Burlington Arcade – I could get you an invite
Boy: Count me in, I like whiskey
Girl: Giggle, there will be free whiskey. Giggle.
Boy: I am going to order a bottle of champagne
This is where I will stop – a bottle of champagne in Coach on an airline that doesn’t even provide a free meal!! Are you fucking kidding me? I should emphasise that all of this conversation has taken place across the aisle. And the girl has the same pitch of voice as Barbie would if she spoke. Maybe this is a tad harsh and I am being hormonal and jealous. But I also work in a financial firm and read the FT and I understand life is made better by enjoying the finer things and we work hard to make the money to do just that. But humility and grace are qualities money cannot buy. Call me elitist but I do feel that is something this couple will never be able to appreciate. Anyway, the subject of my surprise is their level of self confidence. They like themselves, they believe in themselves and the champagne probably tastes amazing. So whether or not I think they are two sad individuals is largely irrelevant. I would never behave like this – a small part of that is because I don’t believe this is the right way to act in a social setting – the virtues of humility and dignity, etc. But part of it is for fear of social rejection and judgement. I would hate to be judged in a way that I have just done to this couple. And that fear or rejection and lack of confidence is something that I truly feel holds me back from achieving my true potential. Hopefully Mr. M Peck Scott can help!
To end on a slightly funnier and happier note, I spied the book ‘How to win friends and influence people’ in the aforementioned girl’s Mulberry handbag. I wish I had to courage to lean forward, tap her on the shoulder and say – not like that, darling!!
Anyway, onwards and upwards I guess. Or downwards given this was written 30,000 feet above the ground. Off to Sharm El Sheikh I go with my big fat Indian family 🙂