Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2018, The Year of Me, Myself & A Healthy Mindset

I saw her for the first time in 9 months. It was a Saturday and I was wearing a pink tutu swimsuit that I had stolen from my sister. Long legs, thick black hair, clear skin. I looked in the mirror, smiled and went outside to greet her. 

My life long friend and I live in different countries. We exchange the odd message, but we’ve never been one for communicating too frequently over social media (apart from the odd Gilmore Girls reference). I took in her Audrey Hepburn appearance, same glasses, brown curly hair, pouted lips. After we caught up on each other’s lives, she stopped, and didn’t speak for a long time.

There’s something different about you, India. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about you has changed.

After she said that, I looked at the items around me. I had a big lapis lazuli in one hand, Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs book in the other, and next to me; sunscreen, two notebooks, my Sticky Notes manuscript and my favourite fancy-ass pen. 

It’s now 9:21pm on a Wednesday. It’s been the greatest of lazy days, complete with ferrero rocher wrappers all through my bed, and a day of watching the brilliant coming-of-age Netflix show, The End of the F***ing World. I’ve been a little bit starved of my books, but I’ve been so tired that I haven’t tried to read.
Her comment got me thinking. What did she mean by I have changed? Was it the way I looked or my personality?
And I realised. It was everything. Not just my noir-sky hair, but my personality. (After having confirmed what she meant over a long phone call). The one person who knew me best in the world, said that they couldn’t believe how much I had changed. I was suddenly this confident, certain being. Someone who had found their passion, hunger for success, and yet was completely the same as the old me. 

If I stood in front of my 17 y/o self, and really interrogated her, I would be astounded at the person I am now. 
New York has really done it. Because I was writing a book and living alone, I was forced to spend (too much) time with myself. Alone, with my negative, blue thoughts. Before I moved to New York, and I was living in LA, I was miserable. I hadn’t found my purpose - my days were filled with sitting on my awful green ikea couch,  talking to empty people about what club we would go to that night, and if I would be able to afford to stay in the city in the next year. 
New York made me blatant. The city forced me to get to know myself. It stripped away all the reasons why I didn’t like myself, and made me grow a new mindset.
However, this was a gradual process. I was surrounded by so much beauty, and my friends (who are filled with so much peachy youth and colour) that I took a hard look at who I was.
What was wrong with me? Was there anything at all? Why was I so hurt? Who had caused this hurt? What could I change?

I remember all the nights I would be up at 3am calling my best friend Grant, sobbing on the phone. Grant, why am I so depressed? 
Then I realised.
I was listing all the things I didn’t have instead of the things I did. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t believe that I could be a successful creative. I didn’t have the patience or the understanding of who I was.

Getting to know myself this past year has been the most enriching experience. I learned to really spoil myself - with massages when my back was sore from writing for hours on end, midnight blueberry pancakes at Cozy Soup and Burger (on Broadway), and a large bagel budget. I bought a million and one amethyst crystals, spent so much time alone just writing in coffee shops, and got lost in the Strand Bookstore. I learnt about my friends, what made them who they are, and most importantly, I read. I found myself in hundreds of different worlds, learning about history. My head was brimming. 
Anxiety died down a lot after that. I still get the odd 2am attack, where you’re sweating and your heart feels like its jumping on a trampoline. Where everything around you feels unfamiliar, and you have to speak out loud to calm down. But it's never when I'm writing. And it's never really there, anymore. My mindset doesn't attack me in the middle of the night, trying to punish me.

How I helped myself was with little things. Of course, self-love. Spoiling myself. Getting to know myself. But I bought an everything notebook, and I would jot down lists, manifestations, ideas for future projects, and poems. Having a book for everything is really freeing. Your mind loosens up. 

The thing is, you have to fake positivity until you start to believe it. I would watch Ted Talks on self love, how to not give a fuck, how to say no. Once I changed little aspects of my life, I started to respect me more. I started saying no to catching up with people I didn’t want to see, and I cut out toxic, obsessive people. 

(And I learnt, it’s so ok to be selfish. To not make an appearance at your friend’s party. 
Sorry boo, it’s 10pm and I’m in comfy sweats and I’m watching Stranger Things. I live in Harlem. I’m not going to a scungy dorm room party in Brooklyn!

A life saver was taking the pressure off myself. I don't shame myself/feel bad because I haven’t achieved certain goals yet. I have a daily checklist. I learnt to trust that I was capable. My mantra is literally I am capable. I would recite this over and over, in the mirror, before a big book meeting, when I woke up. I started living more sporadically, and seeing more colour. My poem ‘Penny for your sight’ (you can read it here) was about taking the pressure off and finally being able to see the colours of the east village trees. 

I know this post is all a bit everywhere - but that’s my life. That’s my mind. 
All I’m saying is, if I can fall in love with myself, and lead a positive life, you can. You have to put in the hard work. But what’s the point feeling hopeless and miserable? What’s the point of not treating yourself? Who else is gonna do it?

You’re the boss of your life. Once you grasp this concept, you can do anything you put your mind too. Don’t let the negative, bastard voice in your head stop you. Don’t let anxiety take away from being a teenager. From loving. From being selfish, pursuing passions. You have to be your own best friend. I know I am.

Saturday, 18 November 2017


The truth is you're going to die. Hole in the ground, ashes in a jar. Whatever you wanna call it. 
We are put here, like confused sheep.

Maybe your purpose is to be a writer. Maybe you were born to be a mother. 
I believe my purpose was to notice. To fall in love with objects, laced with memories. 
And I notice everything. 

How wearing a purple amethyst necklace suddenly makes me feel like positive thoughts are seeping into my bloodstream. How my pink pepper spray key ring is so much more convenient to find my keys. + it’s bad-ass. New York is different to how anyone described. I needed different trips to get to know her. She doesn't feel like an it, but a screaming infant, a bossy mother, a friend who I've fallen for. 

And the truth is, my joy is in the most complacently basic things. When my skin is acne free, and moisturiser is applied. When I know there's milk and cookies waiting for me at home. & I'll sit on the floor, watching friends, Only eating the white bits of the Oreos. Joy rolls out of my head at the idea of a day with my books, and solace.  A hot chocolate, chicken soup, smoothie bowl, for whatever season/temperature it is.

I like sharks. Something about them fascinates me. Their intense brutality, loyalty to their babies, and how they demand their presence to be felt. Sharks don't overthink. Sharks don't wonder if their mother is proud of them. 

People go on about how you don't know much until you're older. How garish! 
If anything, adults only become meeker. More mundane. God I love those M words. 

Somebody completely changed my perspective on life the other day. They said to me, try focusing on short term, achievable goals. You are more than capable.  

Life, in all plain and simple terms is too short for fuck arounds. For yearning. Spending days wishing things could be different. In all my 19 years, I have never once regretted how something turned out. Maybe in the moment I wished it could be different, but ultimately, it happened to make me who I am. 

All I'm saying is that, life isn't always this bigger picture. I've seen off into the sunny distance, when sitting on my dad's boat, fast pace, thoughts spinning. On the subway, lulled. 
But in reality, life is just a fucking large collections of moments. Moments so wondrous, they take your breath and shove it through your toes (maybe breaking a few bones along the way).

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Rut

I haven't posted in a while because I've been so busy writing this book. Hope everyone's well!

I wanted to sit down and write a blog post, because although its sunny outside, its rather freezing.
Sitting down with my chamomile tea, I'm going to reflect. (That's all I ever do, inside my brain.)
This year, I moved from New Zealand, to Los Angeles, to New York.

I was in a rut in Los Angeles. I was sitting on my awful green ikea couch for weeks at a time, not knowing what to do with myself. Goals had not been met and I was shut in my house believing that I was a failure.  I was thinking very existential thoughts. Days were bleeding into one another. Leading into weeks, then months.  If there had been someone to say to me, get up, youth is fleeting, that would have been great. But there wasn't and I don't want to think I regretted any of those months pining for something that I easily could have achieved myself. Regret is a waste of time. Things happen and I wouldn't change anything.

Being in a rut is hard. NO matter how old you are, we all get into them. I don't know about you, but when I don't believe in myself, it's bad. I essentially shut down. Writing was the only thing that I believed I was good at, and even that was becoming spoilt, so I did the one thing I could think of and went to New York. I am very lucky because a lot of people don't have that luxury.

New York was a HUGE shock to my system. I was seeing colours that I hadn't seen in months. The air was cleaner (weirdly enough). People move so fast, that I was forced to. I got a job, found friends my own age. Got a little bit of a reality check - whilst its important to achieve goals and hustle, it is still important to be a kid, before its too late.

The strange thing is that I'm the one who puts a lot of pressure on myself. I hate being stagnant. When I'm stagnant, I get lazy. I just sleep and stay inside, in the dark. I don't do much to actually live. It's a very dangerous thing. And I become full of dread. That I'm not doing enough to accomplish my goals, that I'm wasting my time.

If you think about it, what is wasting time? Sitting in bed on a sunday morning, watching your favourite tv show, and then strolling to your favourite cafe to write a journal entry? Is that wasting time? Going to sleep at 4am because you spent the night roaming NYC with your beautiful teen friends? Is that a waste of time? No. There is a difference between sitting in the dark, wishing things were different versus going out and living. Taking time for yourself, whilst getting hungry for your passions and career. It is all about learning about how to balance your time. Doing anything you can to achieve your goals is one thing, but you still have to enjoy yourself in the process. Life is hard enough, you shouldn't always have to be struggling. You deserve to enjoy life.

And I realised. Time is mine. I get to choose what I do with it. And I became rich. I'm a huge control freak so I did battle a little bit about letting myself just live. But the uncertainty of how my life would pan out floated away. I realised, I didn't need to know that. I needed to stop planning so much, because otherwise it got to the point that I didn't want to get out of bed because my day was so full, with nothing in particular.

And I'm still learning, but I'm starting to be a lot more selfish with my time. I don't say yes to doing things I don't want to do. If I don't want to be friends with someone toxic, I don't. This is all easier said than done, but something jolted me in New York. Everyone here is so blatant. So vocal about what they want. It was like the city was speaking to me, and handing me a pair of glasses, and telling me to get up off my ass and live. To be hungry for the things I wanted.

Sometimes I have to look in the mirror and say, this is my life. How I'm living won't be forever.
I don't know how the future will pan out. But I want to set myself up so that it will be as smooth as I can make it. So that I don't think I could have done more. I stopped punishing myself for being young and uncertain, and slowed down.

It was daunting. And I did it. And I grasped my life by its hind legs and said, stop running. Slow down. Look at how intricately the decorations on buildings are carved. Look at the leaves. Look at the families walking by. Breathe. Stop running around like a headless chicken.

Sit in the park for a little while longer.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


So, I have one HUGE  spotify playlist of 700 songs or so, and I always find myself listening to the bottom 40 songs until I add more. Each song in this playlist represents a moment in my life, this and last month. Do you know when you hear a song you haven't heard in a long time and a memory comes flooding back to you? Well it's like that for me, x47.

So here are my songs of July.

  1. Wild Thoughts - DJ Khalid ft. Rihanna
  2. Young Dumb & Broke - Khalid
  3. May I Have This Dance (Remix) ft. Chance the Rapper
  4. Hey Ma - Cam'Ron
  5. Sober II (Melodrama) - Lorde
  6. Another Sad Love Song - Khalid
  7. Feels - Calvin Harris
  8. God - Kendrick Lamar
  9. Blood Sweat & Tears - BTS
  10. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
  11.  Late Night - Goldlink
  12. 5AM - Amber Run
  13. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead
  14. Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
  15. Close To You - Rihanna
  16. Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae
  17. Cranes in the Sky - Solange
  18. There She Goes - The La's
  19. 3AM - Charli XCX ft. MO
  20. Swang - Rae Sremmurd
  21. Praying - Kesha
  22. Slow Hands - Niall Horan
  23. Liability (Reprise) - Lorde
  24. Loving Someone - The 1975
  25. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend
  26. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
  27. Thunder - Imagine Dragons
  28. Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
  29. Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield
  30. I like Me Better - Lauv
  31. There She Go - Garren Sean
  32. The Morning - The Weeknd
  33. Re: Stacks - Bon Iver
  34. Burn - Usher
  35. Bloom - The Paper Kites
  36. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
  37. Swimming Pools (Drank) - Kendrick Lamar
  38. Home - Michael Buble
  39. Father And Son - Yusuf / Cat Stevens
  40. King City - Majid Jordan
  41. Redemption - Drake
  42. Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) - Lady Gaga
  43. 715, Creeks - Bon Iver
  44. Perfect Places - Lorde
  45. Unforgettable - French Montana
  46. Sparks - Coldplay
  47. Malibu - Miley Cyrus
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