New Memories

Every time December comes around, we always say “Woah time went so fast” or “2017 is already almost over” and we think back to all the things that made that year memorable.  We start to analyze the good things and bad things and tell ourselves that next year will be even better. We set goals for ourselves and make new years resolutions. As January hits, we start out on new slates with a new chapter in our lives and strive to make this year even better than the last. As the first-week approaches, we try to engage in the “goals” that we set for ourselves- wake up early, go to the gym, diet, read a book and go to bed early. The same old “goals” we make every single year. Surviving the first week is easy, but as the second-week approaches, the “goals” become stressful and we start worrying about keeping in track and lose the one actual thing that should have been your new year’s goal- to be happy and content with life. Life is an unpredictable journey so make each day count. Do something each day that brings a smile on your face. Try something new. Challenge yourself. Cherish small moments. But the most important thing is to be yourself and be happy.


To ends and new beginnings

Whoever said that college decisions are easier than college applications was wrong. At least for me, this has been one of the most difficult decisions so far. Choosing one place to spend the next four years. And making that school your alma mater for life.

After making the momentous decision of deciding what school to attend I thought my time in the hot seat was over; needless to say I was wrong again. Finding a roommate proved to be another hard process. The transition from having a whole room to myself, to sharing one with someone I hardly know is definitely not easy. How am I expected to decide who to live with based on a short list of trivial favorites? How is someone’s favorite television show supposed to help me define if I want to spend a year with them?

(to be cont.)

Conversation avoiders

At every family gathering, I know I will be asked “Where do you like living better?” all the way to “Where would you want to live?”

Despite knowing that these questions will come up, I have the hardest time answering them. If you know me, you know I am an expert at listening to half the things and pretending to go along in a conversation. And that’s exactly what I have to do in these situations. Pretend I’m thinking and trying to answer, but honestly, I’m just trying to figure out a way to avoid answering them.

I don’t think by simply saying one country, I’m doing justice to any. Of course, no place is perfect in itself. I think it is the experience gained in living in different conditions, adapting to new customs and learning about their traditions and culture makes each and every country stand out. While in India, I enjoyed family life, in Saudi Arabia, I had exposure to a whole new set of culture and finally, in America, I was able to experience freedom and the excitement of trying new things.

And all these experiences made me who I am today, and I wouldn’t want to change that for anything.

Mosaics of life

Beautiful patterns made of hundreds of different natural colors on the doorstep welcome you into every household. Yeah, that’s what a ‘Rangoli’ is. It is a lovely mosaic made during the Indian Festival of Lights – Diwali which was celebrated last weekend.

My mind is exactly that as well. A thousand different ideas keep jostling with each other for my mind-space. And very often, many of those disappear before seeing the light of day.

I often find myself making to-do lists on sticky notes and index-cards. From school homework to events reminders, you can find notes throughout my study table and on random pages of my notebooks. Another colorful mosaic.

If we open our eyes, we see colorful mosaics all around us, in the randomness of nature – the flowers, the clouds, rain and snow, the flurry of cars rushing by, children playing in the park. Well, life’s a wonderful mosaic, isn’t it ?

Summer fav

Summer has always been my favorite time of the year and this summer I was able to visit India and reunite with my family and friends. During my trip, I visited  beautiful landmarks of India such as the Taj Mahal, India Gate and Qutub Minar.

Although I had fun doing that, my favorite thing was actually the food. The flavors and taste of authentic Indian food are mainly due to their not-so-secret ingredients- butter and cream. As unhealthy as it may sound, the taste cannot be replicated outside of India. And despite being aware of  the impact of the food, I still ate it every single day and enjoyed every bite of their spicy, tangy flavors.

I mean how many times am I going to eat another meal that will capture the essence of India is one bite. Actually, I’m not even sure if that’s true or it’s just my defense for eating.

Happy Eating!




Present or Future?

Recently I was talking to someone who only had a short time to live, and I asked her “What are some things that you would like to do?”

She looked at me and smiled and in a small little voice told me that she had done everything she wanted in her lifetime and achieved the goals she had planned to. She told me that despite her struggles, she was very happy with her life.

Her response puzzled me and made me realize that every day is a gift, and living it to its fullest is important.

It made me remember an anonymous quote my mom once showed me.

“First I was dying to finish high school and start college… And now, I am dying – and suddenly I realize that I forgot to live.”

While we are running for something better, an achievement and goal, we forget about right now. I often find myself saying “Oh, if I do this and achieve just this one thing once, my life will change.” Maybe my life will change at the cost of my present.

So instead of rushing through everything now to have a better future, make your present better and live off that satisfaction.

Good luck!


Happily ever after 

A “miracle” might seem like fairy tale material or just plain luck to many, but I do believe that miracles happen. They are not always life changing but make life better and brighter.
They might make us smile temporarily or provide perpetual happiness, but in the end they happen and make our days better.

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

I’m sure many of us face them frequently, but even if you don’t, keep on believing.
If you believe in them, miracles can be found all around us, in life itself and in nature. It may not be apparent at first, but when it has unfolded and you look back, its scintillating memory will capture you.

We can either think every day and everything is a miracle and enjoy every moment or dwell upon small things in life.

Miracles might seem to only appear in fairytales but our lives are like fairytales, we might not be Cinderella or Prince Charming, but we all have our own stories.

So just like them, our stories can also end in the clichéd term “happily ever after”
So even if today is difficult, keep believing, because miracles do happen.


Throughout our lifetime we encounter many types of people.

While most remain strangers, some help brighten ours day and become our close friends.

One thing I find fascinating about making friends is you never know when you will become close with someone. You might have known the person for a long time and suddenly you realize the similarities between you guys. Or you just met them and your friendship simply clicked.

True friends are those who will always have your back and believe in you, even when you are on the verge of giving up. They will always be cheering for you and find a way to remain by your side.

If someone is meant to be in your life, then even after millions of hurdles, he or she will find a way to remain next to you. Even if you end up miles apart or lose contact, there will still always be ways to treasure the friendship.

However, not everyone you befriend is meant to be there with you always. Sometimes the wrong people find their way into your lives and without realizing try to break you apart and use you for their advantages.

It might be hard to accept, but the best way is to be yourself and be happy by letting them go. Initially it might hurt, but at the end of the day, it will be okay. You will be okay.


Such a dreamer

Dreaming isn’t bad.

I often find myself lost in dreamland, or at least that’s my defense to people when I don’t pay attention. And that happens pretty often. It’s not intentional, but I frequently find myself in those awkward situations, and there is no escape, except to dreamland of course.

One minute I’m talking to someone about homework for the next class, and the next minute I’m lost in my own dreamworld, thinking about everything irrelevant to the topic.

And then I hear someone calling my name at a distance, and I come back to life and pretend I had been listening to the conversation all along and totally didn’t doze off.

Sweet dreams,

Ashna Paul