You may have noticed a small lul in consistent content…
…or not. No biggie. You may have just assumed I was immersed in PhD life..
[True, by the way]
But actually the truth is for almost a year, I’ve been having a bit of a blog identity crisis.
This time last year, I took the leap and changed the blog name from
The Asian Destination to Namaste From Ananya.
No longer did The Asian Destination cover the multitude of thought trains my mind was responsible for.
Yet, there’s a niggle that has since remained.
Those closest to me knew that something was up.
We’d be celebrating a special birthday, anniversary or just an anticipated celebration. Beautifully presented food would arrive yet no one would tuck in – their eyes looking expectantly at me, waiting.
And don’t get me wrong, I’d always take the photo….of them, the surroundings and the meal, trying to encapsulate what I love most: the ‘feeling’ of a particular moment through an image. That’s why I love photography; perfecting the composition and layout of a photo that has the potential to evoke emotion and become more powerful than ever imagined.
But for some reason, I never posted many of these photos.
To explain properly, let’s go off on a little detour.
International development has always been one of my areas of focus.
Though I never studied it ‘officially’ it’s always been where I have had invested interest.
In changing the name of my blog, I wanted to share more aspects of myself. One of which was this side of international development that has become so important to me.
Along with sharing more varied posts however, came some additional guilt and my moral compass going haywire.
Could I really write and share a blog post about an above-average priced place to eat in London one day…and blog about the work of a non-profit the next?
Something didn’t feel quite right.
The close ones, reminded me that this was a personal blog; there were no ‘rules’ or if there were, I was the one that controlled them.
‘We are varied as individuals. We have multiple interests. To have this thought process just shows you’re human, why should you feel bad about that? You volunteer, you give your time and money to others, you’re not a bad person’ – one said.
‘If it makes you feel better just go back to basics. Be honest. The more honest and vulnerable you are in any relationship, the deeper the relationship becomes. This is no different. You have a relationship with your readers, they’ll be able to relate to you on a deeper level.’
So…let’s be honest.
I love taking photos.
People. Places. Food.
You name it, I’ve probably clicked it…definitely before & after the rise of all social media.
With certain events across the world, it’s become even more apparent how lucky we are.
We have a safe home to rest our heads at night.
We take for granted our access to education and a certain level of gender equality
that so many are fighting everyday for.
I’ve mentioned this before here: but with this kind of privilege, comes a definite responsibility.
A responsibility that I feel a lot of my generation are feeling.
We grow up wanting to make a difference, needing to do something meaningful and to add value to the world.
But somewhere along the along that journey, we get sidetracked by other people’s success, shortcuts and entrapped in other people’s expectations. We let it fuel our own insecurities and end up doubting our own unique abilities.
I’ve known from the start, that I wasn’t a ‘typical blogger’.
My posts have always been a little more reflective and personal.
My motto: there’s no point in me trying to be something that clearly does not sit right with me…oh & there’s always room for an added quote!
And on THAT note…
Gabby Bernstein once said:
‘Who said you can’t be spiritual and still wear hot shoes?’
‘I believe that if you’re always heading toward your authentic truth. When we accept that truth we’re called to express it through what we wear and how we present ourselves.’
‘If being authentically you means not removing any body hair, embrace it.
If being authentically you means wearing red lipstick everyday, embrace it.’
We are all human and I when I say that, I mean to say we are pretty complex individuals.
Gender inequality, women & child health is of huge importance for me –
Global maternal health will always be an issue I continue to be passionate about. To know that so many maternal deaths could be so easily prevented through better education or improved gender equality or even just having a mobile phone – that is a sobering reality that just seems so unfair.
Why should the fate of millions be largely dictated by their geographical location?
I love photos of food – because they’re aesthetically pleasing to me and they inspire me to experiment with my own food.
I follow yoga & fitness accounts because sometimes when the last thing I want to do is move…it gives me that kick in the right direction, it helps me forget any limiting belief that I’m still that young girl in school that used to hate gymnastics & cross-country!
If this identity crisis has taught me anything, it’s about not confining yourself to one box, one label.
Not apologising for being someone you’re not & staying true to your authentic self.
Whether that means, taking selfies to document your fitness progress, or using every discount code under the sun, or whether it means making finally saying no to what no longer serves you.
Our authentic selves?
Let’s own it.
Let’s push boundaries and not define others by solely what we think we know about them and in doing so, not define ourselves using the same restrictions.
Until the next time,
Namaste, from Ananya xo