Are you an introverted/sensitive male?

First of all, me too🙋🏽‍♂️

Second of all, I would love to talk to you.

I haven’t posted on here in a while, however I have busy in my new job and also working on a new side-project.

And this is where you come in. Are you a:

  • Introvert and/or sensitive guy?
  • In your 20s or 30s?
  • Interested in self-improvement?

If you tick those 3 boxes, I would *love* to talk to you. It will only take 10-15mins on a call, and your feedback would be really useful. I want to build a business to serve you, and as such I’m looking to get feedback that will help me test my idea and come up with the best possible solution.

In return, I’ll offer a sneak-peek into what I am building and you’ll also have the opportunity to be an early-user…

👉🏽 If you’re interested, please reply to this post or drop me an email at jasraj.s.hothi@gmail.com with “customer conversation” in the title.

I look forward to connecting with you! 🙂

Happy Friday & have a great weekend,

Jas

www.jasraj.me

 

Why I don’t feel like an adult

run race.jpg
credit: Tama66

When I was at primary school, the boys who were a couple of years ahead of me seemed way bigger, taller and older. I thought, that’s what I’ll be like in a couple of years. I wasn’t.

I got to secondary school and thought, by the time I’ll done here I’ll feel like a proper, responsible, mature adult ready to go off to university. I didn’t.

Throughout these childhood and teen years, I thought, by the time I’m in my 20s, BOY will I be well on my way to being a fully-functioning adult. Settled in a job that I really like (just like dad), earning good money (just like dad), living in my own place with a lovely wife and thinking about having kids – maybe even having had one already. That’s hasn’t happened.

I haven’t done any of those things, and I’m 28, just about to come out of a career break (hopefully), and I’m sat in bed writing this. I worry that, in living at home, – though I know it’s not so uncommon these days (thank you, ridiculous property/rental prices and low salaries) – I’m getting too comfortable and not going through the adulting and independence that I otherwise would. I mean, it didn’t happen to me at university (that was a difficult time, another story there).

To this day, I can get very wrapped up in my thoughts and/or absorbed in what I am doing. Sometimes, I even forget to eat. If I spend too much time on my own, I can get low. My family also know this, and my already-anxious mother is constantly thinking about this in the back of her mind. My dad and my brother, too, though they don’t show it as obviously. I can cook basic meals, I’m lazy when it comes to household stuff. I suppose weekly vacuuming can be therapeutic, depending on my mood – though certainly not a task I look forward too (whacking music or a podcast on can help). Shamefully, it is only recently that I have been conscious of the money I am spending, rather than spending what I want and when I want.

Part of all of this is a comparison thing. My parents got married in their early-mid 20s, soon had a mortgage, and I think my dad was 27 (mum 24?) when I was born. My mum is a trojan and seems to be able to juggle a million things all at once. I’m not like that.

Most of the people of my kinda age seem to be living in a flat with other housemates or other-halves. Most, though not all – and it’s still more common for Asian (at least, Indian) families to live together for longer. I think the parent-child to adult-adult transition can be a lot trickier, especially when you have lived at home almost your whole life – and have a dominant mother!

A lot of this comes down to societal and cultural expectations, and the pressure we put on ourselves based on what we see in the world around us. Whether it’s ‘in real life’ or online. And, of course, the online world means we see all sorts of amazing, shiny lives aka apparently fully-grown adults who seem to have it all. The ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ effect is, in the digital age, more profound than ever.

I try not to dwell too much on this feeling of inadequacy and, instead, am trying to focus on myself and acknowledge even the smallest of steps. Slow growth in my own time. I think it’s been easy for me to be complacent whilst living at home and, if I want to be the man I want to be, there’s more development to come. I suppose that’ll always be the case, though.

“Run your own race” a friend once told me. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Run my own race.

PS. After a busy end-of-working-week, and a course all-day Saturday and Sunday, I missed Friday’s post last week. I still try to post on Tuesday and Friday each week, with a poem on Sunday.

✏ Written: Tuesday, 6th March 2018 @ 9.17am

the abg | articles | awkward newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
Do you feel like an adult? Are there parts of you which need to grow more to ‘become’ (more of) an adult? I’d love to hear how you feel 💙

Making time for family

I love my family. It feels like I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately – e.g. this post. My mother, father, brother and I have lived together for most of my life, with the exception of a couple of years when I was at university (-ies; I dropped out, twice).

We all know and understand each other pretty well by now. On the whole. Our personalities, traits and habits. Though we can drive each other mad on occasion (e.g. mum can be quick chatty at times – aka all the time – and inevitably at times when I wanna chill, bless her), I am fortunate (spoiled) in that our house has plenty of spaces to retreat to. Home is my safe space, and these 3 people are the ones I trust more than anyone in the world.

Though we live together, it’s all too easy to get complacent and not really spend quality time with each other (like we did the other night, when we did a cinema trip + meal). As I am getting older, whilst putting myself first and trying to get my own sh*t together, I am gradually beginning to appreciate my family more. After all, I won’t be living with them forever, and I just want to make the most of this time that we have together in our household.

My mother and her side of the family are very family-orientated folks. Whilst I’ve always been pleasant and friendly when we get-together, there are times of late when I feel I haven’t made enough of an effort. Especially whilst I’ve been working on myself and my mental health the last couple of years, it hasn’t always been easy juggling/prioritisation relationships. I mean I struggle with managing friendships/relationships at the best of times (most of the time!).

I have an uncle, my mum’s brother, who is only a couple of years older than I am, and he is very much a busy-body and extrovert-type (like mum); he is very family-orientated, and is always trying to organise activities, general get-togethers and trips away. I’ll be honest, he’s a good guy with his heart in the right place, but we are also very different people. He’s quite blunt and judgemental, as well as money-driven and materially-focused. This is just not me. (If it wasn’t for mum forcing me onto the property-ladders whilst I was earning, and the luxury of living at home, I would not have been able to afford/survive the last 3 years of no income). With the small age-gap between us, and considering that I’m the eldest of the cousins on my mum’s side (the next-oldest is 5 years younger), I reckon we may have had a closer relationship if we were more similar in personality.

That said, now and again, it’s nice to spend time with my uncle and cousins, especially as we are all getting older (seriously, time flies so fast) and are able to have more mature conversations, and connect more “on a level”.

It’s a balancing act between managing my energy and spending time with my family. I’ll be honest, the last couple of years haven’t been easy when it comes to family – especially whilst I’ve been managing my mental health and general life struggles, e.g. dealing with the perceived judgement from family (and the rest) about my work situation; whilst I’ve taken time off and experimented, it’s been tough being asked “what are you doing at the moment?” – and even going into situations/interactions having the fear that this question, or similar ones, will come up!

I feel so judged and unworthy, as if I have no identity. Also, I feel that there’s an undertone of inter-family competition, and I not only feel paranoid about my self-perceiving low-achievements compared to others in the family, but also that I’m letting my parents down, as well as worrying both them and my grandparents immensely. I think I know where my mum gets her anxious ways from, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that her 3 sisters are all panic-pots to varying extents, too. People mean well but, bless them, are anxious to the point that it can be stifling – especially for someone who is very sensitive / soaks up the energy around him.

About an hour ago, my bro and uncle returned from a long weekend away for a stag-do. We’re having a ‘de-brief’ tonight at GBK which should be fun. As I write this, my uncle just sent this message to our little family (uncle/cousins) Whatsapp group – “Basically ___ (my bro) and I have decided – booking a MAD club Saturday in Cannes for ____’s (my cousin’s) 18th. Freshers for his upcoming freshers”.

LOL. Whilst I may have been excited by such fun around 1- years ago, I’m not really sure that’s my scene. Though we’re all going to be away as a family in September anyway (in nearby Nice), so I guess it’s the sort of opportunity we should jump at and won’t get when we’re all older, married and settled with families and such.

They say you only live once, right? (I’m sure someone said YOLO before Drake did…). And, staying close to my family is one of my priorities for the year ahead.

[Edit: shortly after writing this post, I recorded myself reciting one of my poems for the first time 🙈 Here’s the Soundcloud link]

✏ Written: Sunday, 4th March 2018 @ 12.30pm

the abg | articles | awkward newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
Are you satisfied with the relationship you have with your family – both immediate and extended? Is ‘family’ a priority for you? As always, I’d love to get your thoughts 💙