Birthday reflection piece

Jeez, another year older!

In the honour of my 24th lockdown birthday, I thought it will be quite nice to reflect on the lessons I’ve personally learned in the previous years.

I just thought I’d point out, I am in no position what-so-ever to give out life-advice and I certainly do not have it all figured out.

Besides, where’s the fun in that?

I wanted to embrace and express the feeling of turning twenty-four (a quarter-life crisis, some might say).

So here it goes… 24 lessons in 24 years:

1) People will come and go from your life – People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. This one has been a huge learning lesson for me. You start to realise that some people don’t have a space for you in their lives anymore, or vice versa, and that’s okay. I used to be such a people-pleaser and I thought the best way to avoid conflict and not hurt anyone is to just be nice. However people change, grow, relationships transform, you as a person develop, and sometimes things just fizzle out. Over time it starts to become a bit clearer.

2) Listen to your body and mind – Do you know that feeling when you have overexerted yourself?
Once it gets to a point that I am burning myself out, I need to take a break. If I don’t, it starts to show on my skin (Sudocrem you’re a life-saver), my sleeping pattern becomes shit and basically I become a bit of a mess. Unfortunately I can’t pause life, but everything else can wait until I have rejuvenated.

3) Some things you cannot control – Lets take this pandemic for example. Five years ago if you would have told me that we were going to be in this current situation, I probably would have LOL’d and said ‘yeah right, ok’. None of us saw this coming and we’ve all had to adapt to it in our own ways. This just proves that you have no idea what’s round the corner, life will just throw a lot of things at you and just have to kind of deal with it sometimes.

4) Heartbreak is painful (AF). I have no shame to admit that I’m a hopeless romantic (as cringe that may sound). When I fall hard for someone, I fall HARD. With the amount of times I’ve had my heart broken, I could easily write my own version of ‘Bridget Jones’. The sobs, the screams, the impulsive decisions – we’ve all been there. But sometimes when you can’t chase answers, closure has to come from within. I guess what Kelly Clarkson said was sort of relatable: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
Oh yeah! Also a massive shout out to my amigos for being my shoulder to cry on, love you all.

5) Expectations can lead to disappointment – I am still trying to learn this one as it can be in many different aspects. Life will not always turn out the way you want it to be, although it sucks, nothing and no-one will ever be perfect. There are just certain things in life which cannot be rushed or forced. Also it just causes so much stress/anxiety, so if something is not going my way I just have to take a (very) deep breath.

6) Social media can be toxic – I am pretty nosey and I love knowing at times what people are up to, however it can get a little chaotic when you start comparing your lives to others. Although it has a lot of advantages, you start to spiral if you’re constantly on social media. I try to avoid it as much as I can and use other tools for distractions, such as, going for a walk, reading a book or even organising my wardrobe.

7) You can’t be happy all the time – ‘Cheer up!’ I can’t tell you how much this really grates on me. I know sometimes it can come from a place of love, but honestly it’s physically impossible to feel only one emotion all the time. If you feel like a breakdown is pending, let it all out- crying is NOT a weakness. It can be exhausting to feel a certain way, feel whatever you want to feel. No matter what, life is always going to be full of ups and downs.

8) Embrace the single life – There is a difference of being alone and feeling lonely. I know we all crave for companionship, but I have appreciated focusing purely on myself. As RuPaul says, you have to love yourself before you can let someone else love you.

9) So what if you fail? – No-one likes rejection, but it’s a part of the journey. I have failed SO MANY things before in my life: Exams, Job applications, tests, relationships…But here I am owning it! I know that I will continue to keep failing at many things in the future, it can be a hard pill to swallow but the main thing is to not give up.
Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything” – Marilyn Monroe

10) Keep talking – Reach out for support. Whether this is ringing your mate for a chit-chat or seeking professional help. One of the best decisions I ever made was to start therapy, I did it for four months and it changed my outlook on life. As I have said before, it can be daunting to open up and show your vulnerability, but you are never alone.

11) We all have insecurities – You can be the most confident person in the world but still have insecurities. Never judge a book by its cover. I have several insecurities and I am still figuring out a way on how to challenge my thoughts and overcome them.

12) It’s always the little things – I am really not fussed about boujee things. Nandos for dinner, pub with friends, a good hair day, getting sweaty on the dancefloor, receiving post (that isn’t bills), sausage dogs, a beautiful sunset, making other people happy… I could literally go on, but these are some of the small things in life that never fail, to put the biggest smile on my face.

13) Be kind – I know this may sound cliché but it’s important. If someone is treating you poorly, it’s a reflection of themselves not you. Show yourself and others some compassion- gas people up, gas yourself up! It costs NOTHING.

14) Be your authentic self – I truly believe that different people bring out different versions of yourself. I know I’m abit weird, sometimes annoying and can be extra, but one thing I can assure you and that I am hella fun. Whilst growing up I used to hear a lot “the older you get the less you care what others think of you” and this is actually true. If people aren’t going to accept me the way I am then that’s their loss!

15) Its totally okay to make ‘mistakes’ – I’ve said the wrong thing to someone. I’ve drunk texted my ex before, I’ve trusted the wrong person and the list goes on. There’s no point beating yourself up about it, instead just accept it and move on. The more mistakes we make, the more human it makes us. It’s all about growth!

16) Write things down – I don’t know why but I find it really satisfying writing things down psychically, on a piece of paper. Whether that be post it note reminders on my desk, journaling or even a shopping list. I can really retain the information.

17) Show your creativity – Perhaps this is where the inspiration of creating my blog came from. It was a light bulb moment! I felt really restless and irritated during lockdown. When I started to write I could sense the enjoyment in venting, so what better way to channel all my negative energy into something creative.

18) Life is too short – I love being spontaneous, whether its big or small! Did I decide to waste money and buy flowers for myself? You’re DAMN RIGHT I did! Why? Well, why not. In the words of Dr.Seuss: “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.”

19) There is no age restriction – Honestly though, what’s the rush? I am 24 now (almost forgot my age) and still put a lot of pressure on myself. I am a single pringle, live at home with my parents, haven’t passed my driving test yet and I am not in my career job. But this is my journey, no-one else’s. I have to cut myself some slack because well, COVID is still a thing, there is no rush to get where I am. I often have to prompt myself that life is not a competition or a race.

20) Being grateful for so many things – Blood related or not, but my family (which also includes my friends) are everything for me. That’s one thing that will always keep me grounded. I wake up every day feeling really blessed for number of reasons: Wonderful people around me who will always have my back, a roof over my head, the NHS, earning income.

21) Always need a good detox – I am OBSESSED with herbal teas, I don’t drink normal tea or coffee (if I do have a traditional brew, I have more than 2 sugars in it. Please don’t judge) but it’s such a good feeling when you can feel your body is taking in the nutrients. I’ve now learnt the importance of getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water. After all health is wealth.

22) Follow your heart – Our ‘fight or flight’ feeling always kicks in from time to time. I’ve sat at my desk with my head in my hands, pondering over a tough situation. You can go through all the logical reasons, write down a pros and cons list, play devil’s advocate but every so often that all just goes out the window, because you can’t ignore what your gut is telling you.

23) Treat yo’self – Hun you were going to do it anyways! Sometimes you just have to admit that the temptation of spending money on a bottle of vino is needed. Do what makes you happy. End of.

24) Live more in the moment – Brb, I am going to go and cry of happiness now. Here we are. I am celebrating my 24th birthday at home with my lovely parents watching telly and eating (alot), although it’s not how I imagined the day to go, its been one of the best birthdays ever! I am feeling so blessed and grateful. Thank you to everyone for all your lovely wishes, your girl is making the most of it!

Out with the old, in with the new

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year, hopefully you have all shaken off that Christmas fatigue.

Two words; HOLY SHIT!

Already a week into 2021 and we can only hope that this is a better one.

“I don’t know where I’m going from here,
but I promise it won’t be boring.”
David Bowie

With the beginning of a New Year along comes New Year ‘resolutions’.

The annoying thing about resolutions, when proven to be unachievable, we tend to feel rubbish about ourselves. Hence why I haven’t decided to make any solid plans (especially during this current situation) but I have started to write down a few reminders and aspirations for myself.

These include:

  • Be proud for what I have achieved so far and what I will in the future
  • Try and be kinder to myself
  • Live in the present more
  • Do not cut ANY corners- live life to its fullest

I also asked a range of different people if they had anything similar in mind for 2021 and it was extremely wholesome to receive so many optimistic thoughts and goals.

They kindly allowed me to share them, I hope you enjoy reading these uplifting (some amusing) memos because I definitely did.

Cheers to a more positive year guys!

“Chill out more, mentally and physically”
“Eat healthier and try to stay off my phone more”
“Believe in myself”
“Make more memories”

To have a more gentle mind”
“Get some more sleep maybe, as I am constantly moaning how tired I am”
“2020 was HARD so my resolution is to literally get by without feeling sad/down”

Lockdown Vibe 2.0

It feels strange to be writing again after what feels like a very long time, however in all honesty I didn’t think I would be typing a follow up piece going into another lockdown. Nonetheless here we are, with a sequel.

I don’t know about you guys but I feel like I’m living through Groundhog Day, my motivation has gone out the window.

Winter lockdown will be tough for some people because it’s getting colder every day, the sun only shines for so long (if it even decides to make an appearance), leaving us feeling trapped and restless. Some of us will be wondering how to make the mundane a bit more special, especially with festivities such as Diwali and Christmas just round the corner.

On the bright side, my faith in humanity has been somewhat restored with Biden winning the election (wasn’t that a bit intense eh?) and Marcus Rashford being an all-time superhero. Besides that, I admire the people who are trying to be as optimistic as they can, particularly University students. I cannot imagine how frustrated and difficult it must be for them. If you are a uni student and somehow manage to stumble across this post, I would love to hear how you have been coping so far.

Prior to lockdown I achieved a few things which were fulfilling; I managed to pass my theory test, update my C.V, create a LinkedIn profile and even took a spontaneous day trip to London. I know all these things may seem really trivial but during this time any progression big or small is a win-win.

We have a Diwali celebration coming up in a few days, Saturday 14th November to be precise. This festival is called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and it is normally celebrated with music, lights, fireworks and all the drinks and food you can think of. As a family, we haven’t really done anything for it the past few years, it has always just been a very chilled, low-key affair with my parents. However this time round I decided to kick it up a notch by purchasing colourful little Diwali candles, firework sparklers and a few decorations. I thought why not set the vibe and make it as memorable as possible. Pictures will be pending by the way!

In the meantime, for those who feel like they are struggling in day to day life with boredom and anxiety or just need a bit of support, I would like to share some tips that I learnt from the last lockdown. Here’s a few suggestions in general that may help you to take your mind off things.

1.  Don’t put any pressure on yourself to be productive or feel a certain way – I still get my lonely days and I do feel guilty for this, but getting through each day itself is an achievement.  

2. Take a break from the news and social media – Switch it off and switch off from it. It is absolutely fine to have a breather from the world, it can get really overwhelming and the last thing you want to do is stress about something you are not able to control.

3. Eat some good food – This can literally mean cooking anything tasty from oven cooked crinkled chips and chicken dippers to a classic and wholesome pasta bake.

4. Communicate with your loved ones – Sometimes we all just need a break from people and especially the people we live with, its natural (mum and dad if you are reading this I am sorry) but take some time to check in with your friends and family, it can really lift up your spirit.

5. Try and be compassionate – Everyone is feeling the weight right now so a little kindness and gesture goes a long way.

As you can see these are a few personal tips from me, majority of them have been mentioned in my previous blog piece, but I do hope they help. If you would like to know anything else or more, my box is always open.

Facing the music: How I learned to embrace my differences.

From the minute we are born, we are judged and compared by our weight, race, colour, character, and so on.

As crazy as it sounds, one of my biggest insecurities used to be my dark skin. I want to give you a little insight of how I tried to overcome this. Instead of feeling afraid that I might be seen as an outsider, I learnt to embrace and be proud of who and what I am.

I remember growing up feeling afraid and on edge of how people might treat me because of my skin colour. I had quite a rough childhood in London, where I grew up. I was badly bullied and I never knew why, until one day I was made fun of and got called a Paki and I felt like my whole world just came tumbling down.

I cannot express how deeply that hurt. The feeling is indescribable because it felt like a personal attack. I never saw myself as someone ‘different’ or someone that may stand out in a crowd.

When I was younger I used to purchase all the skin lightening products and treatments that made me look fair. I was worried I would never be able to fit in and I felt embarrassed and used to downplay everything when anyone asked me about my culture, religion, or where I was originally from.  

In general, racism and prejudice have always been a difficult and uncomfortable topic to talk about and we live in a generation where it should not exist but sadly, it still does.

On a more personal level though, the truth is, the pigmentation of my skin colour does not define me at all and never will. I am different and I love it.

Time to spill the beans on my background…

For those who do not know me and to surprise some who do, my grand-parents were born in India, my parents in Africa, and I was born in the UK which makes me British Asian (Indian). I have had endless amount of conversations about this with my mates and it is hard for me to explain (I should do some research).

Apart from England, I have lived in India and America. I speak a total of three languages: English, Gujarati and Hindi. (I did also study German and French if that counts) I can understand the two Indian languages perfectly, but my pronunciation can be a bit broken – at least I am still learning!

On many occasions I have been told how original my name is and if it has any meaning. My name Renisa comes from Indian musical notes. A little music lesson here for you: In the major Romance and Slavic languages, the syllables Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and Si are used to name notes the same way that the letters C, D, E, F, G, A, and B are used to name notes in English. The Indian conversion of this is Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni and that is where my name comes from RE-NI-SA. Pretty cool ay?

Speaking of music, I was brought up listening to a lot of Bollywood music and films. Taking a trip down memory lane here; I would dress up in my ethnic wear for celebrations and different occasions. I managed to dig out a few pictures, as you can see I was in my element. (Diva much?)

In the first two pictures, the outfit I am wearing is called a Ghagra Choli- It is is a form of skirt which is long, embroidered and pleated. It is secured at the waist or hip. This was one of the earliest forms of a stitched skirt. I wore these outfits when we went to a Diwali party. Diwali is the five-day festival of lights also a festival of new beginnings, basically an Indian Christmas.

In the last picture I am wearing a Sari. I wore this to my prom, it is a long piece of cotton or silk wrapped around the body with one end draped over the head or over one shoulder. A sari ranges from 3.5 yards to 9 yards in length, and if I wanted to wear this again, most definitely will need a Youtube Tutorial.

Looking back at these pictures I did not realise how much I miss dressing up, and the Indian festivities, but I will forever be so grateful and happy I was able to learn about my culture and traditions.

When it comes to food, I am the biggest foodie of my family. (I will dedicate one of my blog pieces to food soon I am sure).  However when it comes to Indian food, my parents create the most indulgent, authentic meals and trust me if I gave you the recipes I guarantee, you would not be disappointed. Hit me up guys if you would like a step by step recipe!

One day it finally clicked. I have so many qualities and attributes that are not common with other people and instead of shying away from them, I have learned to embrace these differences and be proud of them!

I have the best of both worlds and when I realised this, my self- confidence started to shine through. Thankfully I became free when I stopped being afraid and I slowly learnt to love myself.

Whilst writing this blog piece I wanted to give more people an understanding, that every single one of us has at least one characteristic that makes us distinctive and unique and this is the most beautiful thing about us human beings.

I wonder what your special features are.


In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be, and in this moment, there is infinite possibility. – Victoria Moran

I think I am the most impatient person in this world. I forget that things actually take time, and everything is a work in progress.

I am definitely guilty for not focusing on the present! As mentioned in my previous blog I am forever wishing time away especially if it’s something I am not able to control.

Every hardship I encounter, big or small, I am constantly thinking of the repercussions I have created in my head, which, if I said out loud, you would probably look at me, laugh, and tell me ‘you need to chill’. This is because I am such an over thinker and worrier and I have already created five potential hazards in my head (the brain is such a dangerous place sometimes am I right?!) 

But as soon as I acknowledged this and had more self-awareness I thought: how can I invest the time in myself?

In April I decided to start therapy.

Before lockdown began in January my dad had to travel for some work (I have not seen him for over seven months now because of the pandemic, but he is safe and sound and should be home soon) I was stressing about my family, future and I also had not long spilt up with my ex, so you can imagine how much of an emotional wreck I was. I was not in a very good place and it took me a while to realise that I could really do with reaching out.

Therapy is one of the best things I decided to do. I started unravelling and learning a lot of things about myself such as how to cope better with things, communicate better and in general do better.  I personally feel that everyone can benefit with a little bit of therapy however it can be very daunting to those who are not able to express themselves or find it uncomfortable chatting to a complete stranger.

Alongside my therapy I started to look into mindfulness. If you are ever wondering where to begin, check out ‘The Sunshine Box’ which is designed to promote healthy well-being. Below is some information that is contained inside the box:

What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness involves knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.

It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’-caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.

How mindfulness helps mental wellbeing

Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.

When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted. 

Mindfulness also allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience and to see how we become entangled in thoughts that are not helpful.

This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns. Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply ‘mental events’ that do not have to control us. Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better. 

How to be more mindful
As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time for a formal mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, and then sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander.

Yoga can also help with developing awareness of your breathing.

Whilst going through therapy and practicing mindfulness I realised that time is a healer, being human means I am allowed to feel whatever I want but I don’t need to kick myself for it. Instead I can just process the thoughts, emotions and try to focus on the positive things that make me happy.

So go ahead, start and finish your days off with some mindfulness. Manifest that precious time in yourself. You may notice some gradual changes, big or small, whatever it is I would love to know how you get on!

Lockdown Vibe

As an extrovert lockdown has been a very challenging and difficult time for me. I thrive off being around people, and socialising is one of my all-time favourite hobbies.

I was thinking the other week; if this pandemic hadn’t happened, where would I be today? How would I be feeling? Even though it has been a rollercoaster of emotions, I have truly had time to reflect and work on being the best version of myself. It’s not just me – I know so many of my friends and strangers do the same thing and it is wonderful to see such wholesomeness.  

Ever since the lockdown began, the thought that really gave me comfort was everyone being in the same boat. Luckily, I can work from home so that helped my sanity, however I could really feel myself struggling most days until there came a point I realised my mental health was deteriorating. I felt flat almost every day, I felt really lonely, and I was feeling anxious about the future.

Instead of looking forward to things which could potentially change for the better I was constantly wishing time away, reminiscing and worrying if things were going to get worse. But I knew I had to keep on moving and get through the toxic thoughts, which is easier said than done.

Once I realised I had to adapt to this situation, my brain went from 100 miles per hour to regaining control again. I thought to myself there will be some things in life which will completely be out of my control so instead of panicking and worrying about it (completely natural human behaviour may I add), I can try and focus on the present and most importantly… relax, breathe in and out, because this feeling won’t last forever.    

So, moving on to a more positive note, there are a lot of things that have helped me pull through lockdown and made it more bearable. I’ve compiled a list for you to check out:

Comfies- As much as I love dressing up, doing my hair and putting on make-up, it has been extremely refreshing to wear relaxed clothing and letting my skin breathe. I have made more of a conscious effort to pamper and self-care with inexpensive skin products and I am sure guys you can agree with me on this, but how nice is it sometimes to not put any products in your hair or spend a whole 45 minute ritual styling your hair (my hair is extremely thick and sometimes takes longer).

Gardening- I have never been a fan of gardening, in fact I used to have a little inside cry every time my parents would ask me to help out with the garden. I know bit dramatic right? But I decided one day to take it up as a little project and before you know it, I began renovating it. I bought new garden furniture, plants, lighting and little finishing touches to make it a snazzy hang out place. You can never trust the British weather but as we had a few mini heatwaves this motivated me to make the garden look and feel enjoyable. It also felt like a mini work out which helped me keep fit and exercise regularly.

Staying connected- Whoever said it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference is bang on the money. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends in my life who I can class as family. We started organising quizzes and catch-ups over Zoom, I lost every quiz (and there were a lot of them) but it was super fun and cute to catch up regardless. Although it felt a little weird constantly having to see your loved ones through a screen, the feeling of loneliness wore off. It is always nice to check in with the people around you, as you never know how they might be feeling and if they have had an off day. Maybe mix things up and even send them a little card through the post?

Walking- Daily walking is an excellent form of daily mindfulness. Being stuck in the same four walls everyday can really take a toll on you, which is why I started walking every day after I finished work. There were some days I would walk for 30 minutes and then other days over an hour, but even a 10 minute walk can really boost your mood. You not only feel amazing physically but also mentally. Another nice idea would be to encourage your friends who have dogs to go on a walk with you, because not only do you have company, who doesn’t love some animal therapy? (Also, how adorable is this picture of the pup?!)

Cooking- I am no Ainsley Harriot as much as I aspire to be, but I am a big fan of cooking (when I have the whole kitchen to myself and no one in my way). I started cooking a lot more, new and old recipes. Nonetheless it was exciting to grab fresh ingredients, and experiment with different spices and it was even more satisfying when it tasted better than expected.

Going off social media- Sometimes we just all need to switch off from technology and social media. One of the best decisions I made was deleting a few of my social media platforms and, surprisingly, I have not missed it. I wanted a little break as it was extremely overwhelming to see and hear what was going in the world, especially when majority of it was negative, but I felt the improvement in myself when I hid my phone away. As they say: out of sight, out of mind.

There is one thing I have noticed during lockdown that has really stood out for me, and that is how much time and empathy people have for one another. Whilst I am out on my daily stroll I notice every stranger I cross paths with gives me some sort of acknowledgement, either a smile, a wave or even a quick two minute conversation asking how my day is. These are moments that actually count and will always stick with me.

Taking all this into consideration, I still get my down days but then I also get my good days. During this unprecedented time there is a lot of uncertainty, but the key for me is to just take each day as it comes and not put any pressure on myself; I don’t need to feel guilty if I am being productive or not. Sometimes it is okay to not feel okay because no matter how tough things or situations are, it’s the little things in life we can be thankful for. It’s an achievement in itself that we can get through each day thinking how grateful we are for what we have and, going forward, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s all about me!

Hey Guys! For those who know me the title is a bit of an inside joke, but it’s a good way to introduce myself to you. I’ll start off with the basics. I am Renisa Kanadia, 23 years old, born and bred from London. I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a 2:1 degree in Journalism Studies and currently live in a small town called Corby which is based in Northamptonshire.

Now that you know a little bit about me, I want to tell you what the purpose of my blog is.

I have always been a big fan of reading articles and blogs that are inspirational and motivational. I find myself fully immersed into topics such as self-improvement and life experiences of others. So I thought why not create my own blog where I can share personal understandings, ideas and thoughts. I hope you enjoy reading this blog; there may be some parts which you will find relatable or even find yourself feeling entertained with some of the weird, random bits and bobs that I have experienced.

Ever since our government imposed the lockdown on the evening of 23rd March, in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it has been a roller-coaster of emotions for the majority of us and safe to say it is a very strange time we are living in at the moment. Personally, I have found the whole situation pretty difficult to deal with but in some aspects I have also found positives. In my next post, I am looking forward to giving you an insight into the lockdown journey I have had so far.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Next time you check in grab a cuppa, make yourself comfy and fingers crossed you have fun reading Ren’s Rambles.