Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Q&A

Crystal of The Foreign Indian Wife has nominated me to participate in a little women's bloggers Q&A that is making it's rounds on the net. It's a cute questionnaire that helps readers & fellow bloggers get to know each other better.

You might remember Crystal who was featured here on my weekly Intercultural Love Story posts, just after her fabulous wedding in India! Crystal currently lives in New Delhi and has been blogging throughout her relationship, from being in a long-distance relationship, to living in India as an unmarried woman, and then now as a newlywed Firangi Bahu, who is living and working in India's bustling capitol city. Her blog is a fascinating evolution of a young woman navigating through love and life.

Here's how my end of the deal works - I answer Crystal’s questions, and afterwards, I nominate 10 of my picks of female bloggers (sorry guys!) and ask them 10 of my own questions. You can't nominate someone who has been picked already.

Here’s what Crystal asked me…

1. What inspired you to blog?

Before I started to blog, I was a really private person. But one day, I just felt an eruption inside me (that I think was slowly boiling up to the surface) where I just needed to speak. I felt like I had something to say - even if it was about nothing - and maybe I should just put myself out there. I never imagined that anybody would read it. It was more of a personal chronicle, and it still very much is...

There was this college classmate of mine who started a blog who I absolutely adored. She had twin boys and documented the entire journey. When I was pregnant and waiting for my child, I used to look at her blog all the time to see her beautiful children and personal writing. I was amazed that she could just put all her pictures and thoughts out there, and I read it voraciously. I guess that's when the seed was planted. That moment of, "Hey, I could do that too!" I started when my daughter was 4 months old and absolutely bored out of my mind sitting at home on maternity leave. I used to write all my posts when she was napping on my tummy, typing with one hand!

2. What is the most rewarding experience about sharing your life with readers?

There are so many rewards. Now I have friends all over the globe! Some who I don't even know, but they know me! It makes me feel like I'm not alone, like I'm part of this larger community...which I have single-handedly created!

The best part is getting the emails that say "you've helped me". Those really make me feel good inside, like whatever I'm's worthwhile because it helps someone else. It's a reminder to me to be continually generous with my spirit.

Another benefit is the thoughtful comments that people leave - the really great ones. I have got so much helpful advice from many of my readers that it has broadened my perspective. I also love learning about others' experiences.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you could offer someone?

Just to follow your heart. Utterly and completely.

4. Are you happy?

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” - Tom Bodett

5. Ideally, what would your life be like 5 years from now?

I would like at least two more children, god willing. I pray every day for that. Healthy pregnancies and deliveries, and healthy babies. I would like to live near both my parents and inlaws, close enough to just pop over and not even have to drive and/or fly. I would like to write a book. I may want to study some more too - I love being in a University environment.

6. What was/is your most difficult challenge in life, and how did/do you overcome it?

Bar none, the most difficult thing in life is watching the people that you love suffer through health problems. It is absolutely heartbreaking, and the worst part is that it is out of your control. You can do nothing but be there and watch them suffer. It is so, so hard. It is excruciating.

My grandmother died after a 7 year long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She forgot who I was. She forgot to eat. She was in diapers. At the end, she couldn't even hold up her head. My grandfather's death was equally as traumatic. He had a stroke and the doctors said he wasn't going to get better, so they took him off life support and he died 10 days later. It was the longest 10 days of my life. Seeing his body was one of the most traumatic things that has happened to me.

My mother also had breast cancer when I was 15 and I thought she was going to die. She was always vomiting and she lost all her hair. We watched the 9/11 attacks during her chemo and she just sobbed and sobbed uncontrollably. I was in a constant state of fear - for her, for everything. My dad survived colon cancer last year, but now he has Ataxia. So here we go again...

All these things are completely out of my control. With grief, it never goes away. You never get over it. You just learn to live with it. You learn to use the grief and the pain as a life force that pushes you to do better - whether it is being a better parent, or exercising harder, or whatever. You keep the memories close of these people that mean so much to you, and you relive them in your mind when you miss them. I am also trying to be a combination of the people who loved me - to my daughter, to my husband. With my parents now, I am trying to spend more time with them to make more memories that I will cherish.

7. Would you say that your experiences have made you a better person?

Absolutely. As long as everyone is healthy, nothing else even matters. Everything else is petty bullshit. Sometimes when husband-ji complains about total Bollywood-style Indian family gossip, I'm like "STFU...those are not real problems!!!"

8. What brings you the most happiness?

Being with our family. Just being there, doing nothing specific. Togetherness. Being at the dinner table, all together. Telling stories, laughing together. Hanging out.

9. Who inspires you the most?

My daughter. She is so confident and fearless. She is such a happy child. I hope I turn out just like her!

10. The journey tends to change all of us, in good and bad ways. What about yourself would you like to improve?

Time management. Because we are a tight-knit clan, I feel like I'm constantly being pulled in different directions. I'm constantly trying to find my focus, and re-gain it. Making an effort not to forget about my self, and my own needs, my own goals, as opposed to being there for everyone that needs me. Balancing the time for myself and the time with my family. Finding that perfect, precarious balance, constantly. And there are just not enough hours in the day, or days in the week. Husband-ji would say the exact same thing...especially when my dad summons him to "fix the internet" at 10pm!

Who do I nominate?

Questions for my nominees...

1. What's your morning routine?
2. What are the best books you've read lately, and why?
3. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
4. What are you an expert at?
5. In what way are you similar to your family, and in what way are you different?
6. What's your craziest goal?
7. In what ways do you hope the world will be different as you age?
8. What's on your travel bucket list?
9. What's your biggest pet peeve about your spouse/partner?
10. Who would you cast to play you in a movie based on your life?



  1. Nice Alex! On a side note, I wish you'd respond in the comments section more from time to time like you used to :)

  2. Nice post. Reading your answer about question no.6 was very moving. (Pad)


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