BS Life Advice: Turn your limitations into strengths.

Turning your limitations into your strengths becomes a lot more complicated when your limitations begin to stack and you still walk around like you’re invincible.

I have so much to share, but the written word, which has pushed me through every limitation life has thrown at me, is now my bane.

To compensate, I’m available for phone calls (or Skype, you international people) again. Even if we’ve never spoken before, consider booking a call. I don’t bite.

Beethoven produced some of his greatest symphonies even after going deaf.

My entitled response to that is, “It’s easy when you’re an artist. Feeling the vibrations of the music is a totally different composing experience that allowed Beethoven to have a unique sound.

“I’m not an artist. I’m trying to make a living through writing. I could easily change professions, but what profession allows me to work from anywhere in the world on my own part-time hours without a steep learning curve and eye strain?”

I’ll probably end up powering through with writing, despite the fact that I am limited by time and strain. It fits with everything I want out of life. No alternative option will come up until I admit absolute defeat. I never seem to be able to plan that in advance.

“No survivors? Then where do the stories come from, I wonder?”

(New to the site? Each post opens with a movie quote and then features a song which encapsulates the feelings I tried to convey in the post. Press play and if you like what you read and hear, consider subscribing to the RSS feed.)

“Should we jump the fence?”

“Nah, I think we’re fine here…”

It was the 4th of July. (America Day, to all you international folks.)

Like everyone else in the northern Bay Area, we were going down to the Berkeley Marina to watch fireworks.

(Shh, don’t tell. I actually only went to see the fireworks because they were taking place at the beach. I’ll make any excuse to hang out at the beach at night.)

We got back from a day of adventuring around Berkeley with just enough time to grab some dinner at the dining hall and head down to the bus stop.

The next bus that was coming would take us straight to the Berkeley Marina in time to see the fireworks.

I pulled out my money and impatiently waited for the bus to arrive. When it finally did, it read “DROP-OFF ONLY.”

“What?! No. That’s our bus!” I yelled. It was packed with people trying to get to the same destination as us. That left no room for any of us at our stop.

My sister asked the driver when the next bus was coming. She was quite a bit calmer than I was. She knew about the 4th of July rush.

“There’s one right behind this one, heading to the same place,” the bus driver told us with confidence.

We waited five minutes.

Ten minutes…

No bus was coming.

We were losing our cushion of time to get to the Marina before the fireworks started.

“Let’s just get an Uber and ask if anyone here wants to split.”

Neither of us had Uber installed on our phones, so we wasted even more time praying to the T-Mobile gods to make the download go faster.

Just as we called the Uber to pick us up, my sister spotted her friend at the bus stop. “Hey! Are you guys going to the Marina, too? Do you want to split an Uber?”

They said sure, and I got introduced to some people who I’ll probably never see again. (Spending adventures with people who I’ll never see again is one of my favorite parts of adventuring. I know — I’m a little crazy.)

We waited for the Uber to reach us. We were confident again. The Uber could get us to the Marina with plenty of time to spare.

As we were watching the dot of the car get closer to us, my sister got a call.

“Um, where are you guys?” It was the Uber driver.

“We’re on [random street name], at the bus stop across from the American Apparel.”

The driver proceeded to tell us she wasn’t from around here. Great…

We watched the Uber map as the driver went in the totally opposite direction, and the bus we were originally waiting for came and went.

After eight agonizing minutes, she canceled the request. Thanks, random Uber driver!

We requested another and hopped in fast. We could still make it… probably.

As we got closer, the traffic got intense. The road you would normally take to reach the Marina was shut off, and we tried to take many lefts and rights to find some way in.

Everyone we came in contact with had the same goal. It was too much. As we started to hear the fireworks, we just asked to be dropped off. We’d probably do better on foot.

We followed the crowd and stood with a bunch of people on some random highway that was closed off for the fireworks. This wasn’t anywhere near the Marina. I couldn’t even see the ocean.

But, we could see the fireworks.

We settled into a spot with as clear of a view as possible. It was extremely cloudy that night, so most of the fireworks went up into the clouds. All we could see was the light spread across the sky.

Here was the process: Dark, cloudy, silence while it was drizzling. BOOM! Sudden flash of color! Rinse and repeat for 40 minutes.

No one knew how long this atrocious show would last.

“Should we jump the fence? If we ran across the field like the other people, maybe we could get a better view without the clouds.” My sister still had the adventure adrenaline running through her veins.

“Nah, I think we’re fine here.”

The fireworks show was nowhere near Disneyland material, that’s for sure. The climax skipped over blue fireworks entirely. All we could see was red and gold. It was unprofessional, boring, and it lasted way too long.

The destination never lives up to the hype the journey tells you it will be.

But that’s the real secret here… The adventure lies in the journey, not the destination.

Now, you may think I’m making some grand metaphor for life. I’m not.

Seriously, the next time you go on an adventure, remember to enjoy the journey while it lasts.

From my way-too-literal heart to your favorite song full of metaphors,

Radhika Morabia

P.S. Movie quote in the title is from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). A summer blockbuster done right.

“I mean, I got this theory about blowjobs. If you wanna hear it.”

(New to the site? Each post opens with a movie quote and then features a song which encapsulates the feelings I tried to convey in the post. Press play and if you like what you read and hear, consider subscribing to the RSS feed.)

hi there. it’s radhika morabia, coming at you live from the land without capital letters.

i’d like to take you on a little time travel trip to 2011. in the fancy world of blogs and the internet, this phenomenon called minimalism was at its peak.

there were a ton of educated white americans people throwing all of their stuff way, moving across the globe, and writing about it online.

they sold tales of romantic freedom and limitless adventure. “you can live my amazing life, too! just buy my $25 ebook.”

now, little radhika came into this very near the end and the downfall. she had just gotten injured, and people were finally talking about this life she had been dreaming of for the past 15 years! (15 years prior, radhika would’ve been in the womb. that was a funny. laugh.)

“stop consuming so much!” these people preached as they continued to push out the same post written 10 different ways.

i agreed, even as my RSS feed grew to nearly 200 feeds. (okay, most of that was because i had nothing to do but homework, but still.)

each time one of these anti-consumerists released a book, i swooned. “the secret to life, meaning, and happiness is in there!! but i don’t have $25.”

i even searched illegal torrenting sites for hours to find these books, but to no avail.

eventually, it died down…

people realized there was only so much bs you could say about simple living, and now only a few of these scam artists anti-materialists still make a living from these blogs of yore. most have expanded into other topics (like personal development) and built courses instead of writing ebooks.

i now hate the movement. more than that, i hate the name. it isn’t a novel idea. read anything from eastern religions. you can even read western stoicism. this has all been around for thousands of years, long before “information overload.” (which is another load of bs, btw.)

but hey, it wasn’t that bad. during that time, i found some of my favorite writers who i’ve now been reading for years. (looking at you raam, fabian, and colin.)

then, in 2012… something else cropped up.

a bunch of 20-something white guys people were selling the dream of working from your laptop on exotic beaches. “four hour work week,” they preached, while tim ferriss groaned internally.

a lot of people thought that they could shortcut their way to location independence by telling other people how to be digital nomads while in fact, they were just living in their parents’ basement. “if i only sold 5 units of my $199 video course, i could finally afford that plane ticket to thailand!”

you know what happens next. they attract a big audience and maybe even sell a few courses. but it all crashes down, and people start to see through the fake and only listen to people who really know what they’re talking about.

just like before, a few good people came out of this. (looking at you niall, taylor, and dan & ian.)

but, here’s what always rubbed me the wrong way: the way these people sustained their dream lifestyle was by selling the dream to people who weren’t yet living it.

which in turn tells people the only way to live a dream lifestyle is to sell it to other people — a market bubble that becomes very limited very fast.

this also happens in the internet marketing realm, the fitness realm, the dating realm, and many other realms i don’t know a thing about.

it’s this big, legitimate ponzi scheme.

bleeeeeeeeeech. (& this doesn’t even include the disgusting parts of the web that make me want to crawl into a corner and cry. i’ll share my thoughts on those things someday.)

here’s where it gets worse…

i feel like i was a part of that when i ran rmorabia.com as a self-development blog for over a year.

i wasn’t selling anything, i was just sharing my thoughts. yet, i felt like a fraud. i’m not anywhere close to the optimal human being, neither do i have a fancy human psychology degree — i was just talking about my experiences as if it was a universal truth. yeah, not my best decision…

i don’t regret what i did, but i am glad i shut that blog down.

today, i was trying to edit a post about an adventure i had over the july 4th weekend. i quickly glanced at my website and remembered that my sidebar copy for joining my newsletter is “Join the movement in support of doing whatever you want.” (note to self: CHANGE THAT.)

and it hit me. “oh my god, am i a fraud selling the dream again? am i going to sell ebooks about how to do whatever you want? am i going to overload people’s inboxes with the same post rewritten in 10 different ways? OH MY GOD, AM I GOING TO SELL A 3-PART VIDEO COURSE ABOUT HOW TO DO THE TRIPOD OF STABILITY WHICH ALLOWS ME TO LIVE MY LIFE?”

breathe, radhika.

it’s all good.

to clear my conscience and make myself publicly accountable, i’d like to state the sole purpose of this blog: i’m just trying to document my journey, mature my thought process, and meet new friends.

i try to live as generously as possible. i think everyone i’ve met from writing on rmorabia.com is a gift. i think the fact that you’re reading this right now is a gift.

it’s still crazy to me that so many people are reading this and sending me emails and keeping up with me even as i’ve done a horrible job of keeping up with all of you. thank you all.

so, if anyone ever asks for any help with anything, i’ll always do my best to provide that for free. if enough people ask for something, and none of them are following through with my generosity, i won’t hesitate to package that into something bigger and paid. i value my time and people value things they pay for. it’s a win-win.

you’ll also be seeing a “Hire Me” page on the blog soon. that’s just me stating the fact that i am a copywriter now. it’s just a page for me to redirect people who heard about me through word-of-mouth, or for any of you who do biz online and need that kind of stuff. consider hiring me, if you think i’m good at this writing stuff. (i promise i know how to capitalize letters.)

but you’ll never see me selling the dream to fund my dream of living a life where i’m excited to wake up every morning and tell you all about the adventures i’ve had and the little things i’ve discovered along the way.

you want to know what would be my ideal monetary goal for this blog? $100 a month. that’s right. a measly $100 a month. that would cover my domain & hosting, and would allow me to hire an editor who would automagically (not a typo) format and publish my writing to my newsletter and blog. that would make this blog entirely funded by the readers and would allow me to write all i want without worrying about the hassles of wordpress & mailchimp. that would be amazing. i would be living the dream.

(psst! if you want to help me reach my crazy dreams of hiring an editor, i actually don’t have any methods of sending me money right now. stay tuned. but in the meantime, you can buy me books i’m currently too blind to read.)

i’m writing for myself, so i don’t lose the memories and i have a more clear understanding of who i am. i’m publishing it online for my friends who for some reason enjoy opening my emails and keeping up with my life (you know who you are). anyone else who wants to ride along is welcome.

i try so hard to live my life with integrity and generosity. every single day.

i get really scared that i’m pseudo, or that i’m a charlatan, or that i’m fake.

& it’s hard. it’s really hard to keep being open as everyone tells you that being open leads to getting hurt.

but, i want to live in a world where people like me exist. (wow, that’s self-love if i’ve ever seen it.)

and writing this is just a signaling beacon to anyone like me.

if you’ve read this whole thing and we haven’t talked yet… bruh. email me now. let’s be best friends.

if the whole time you were reading this, you’ve thought, “oh my god, [friend name here] would totally love this,” please send this to them. we’re probably the same brand of crazy, and it would be a shame if we never met. here’s a convenient & easy-to-remember link for you: rmorabia.com/sellthedream

this post was an experiment! we’ll see how it goes.

from my SoCal heat to your… i don’t know where you live, so this line doesn’t work,

Radhika Morabia

P.S. Movie quote in the title is from Bachelorette (2012). I don’t even know what to say about the movie. Watch it for the cast.

“But as soon as you’re sleeping, does it really matter what mattress you happen to be sleeping on?”

(New to the site? Each post opens with a movie quote and then features a song which encapsulates the feelings I tried to convey in the post. Press play and if you like what you read and hear, consider subscribing to the RSS feed.)

I woke up at noon today.

I woke up with beads rolling around under my back, the wires of my various computing devices tangling with my arms, and my headphones resting on the edge of my pillow, still playing music.

I went straight from slouching in front of my computer to collapsing onto my bed at 5AM last night.

After sleeping through my phone’s two alarms and various notification sounds, I woke up after seven hours.

I felt great.

This was the best sleep I had in weeks.

I got up and started to do exactly what I had to do after screwing around with email and notifications for about 20 minutes. (Compare that to the usual hour or more of screwing around.)

I look better, too. No eyebags, cleaner face, tame hair.

Why?

Conventional sleep advice says you shouldn’t use a computer for an hour before you sleep, you should sleep for longer than seven hours, and you keep your room at a cool temperature.

Through all the hacks and marginal differences, here’s what they all miss…

Did you go to sleep exhausted?

Did your body & brain really need that REM time?

Did you live enough to really juice that sleep for all it’s worth?

Yesterday, I started the day browsing the internet in my bed, walking on the fine line between pure enjoyment and pure productivity.

I was about to implode from all this pent-up energy. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing for any longer, even if the heat was begging me to stay still and melt in its presence.

So, I invited a friend over a few hours. We hung out, played video games, and geeked out over musicals and films and stuff.

After that, I had more energy than ever. Just hanging out wasn’t enough for me, so I paced around my house for hours.

It was hitting midnight, and I got an invitation to a group video call. Two social engagements in one day?! I can handle this, maybe.

We all talked for nearly five hours, and then I collapsed into bed.

I was seriously tired.

I might’ve even been exhausted. (I can’t tell anymore, I seem to have limitless amounts of energy these days.)

Even though I try to sleep on time, sleep in a good environment, and not use a screen so much in bed, none of that makes any difference unless I really deserve sleep that day.

So, I’m making deliberate efforts to be active today. Not to just sit around in front of a screen and type. I’m going to go outside, meet people, and be active today.

Maybe I’ll have an even better sleep tonight than last night.

What can you do to make sure you go to sleep tired tonight?

Radhika Morabia

P.S. Quote is from Mr. Richards by Frank Turner. Sometimes music lyrics are more appropriate than movie quotes.

“No, it’s not nirvana, but it’s on the way…”

(New to the site? Each post opens with a movie quote and then features a song which encapsulates the feelings I tried to convey in the post. Press play and if you like what you read and hear, consider subscribing to the RSS feed.)

Holy smokes.

I’m 18.

Wow.

It’s been a long time coming.

Back when I was in school, I would often scribble “5 more years,” or “4 more years” into the margins of my notebooks.

Why?

Only so many more years left until I’m 18.

And here we are now.

I’ll be honest — I’m currently lounging on my bed with my PJs on, failing to combat the blistering heat and my inherent blindness. Not the coolest way to spend your birthday…

When I think about 10-year-old Radhika, I know there’s a lot of things that she’d be disappointed about.

She was independent and smart, and there have been so many instances where I was dependent and dumb. She would hate to be associated with me after the way I handled some things.

Now… I don’t live to please her. 10-year-old Radhika wasn’t perfect, either. She left me with a lot of problems that I had to solve all on my own. Sure, I found myself in a lot of messes along the way, but I’m still alive.

Isn’t that odd? I’m still alive.

Some might even say I’m thriving.

13-year-old Radhika would be in shock right now. We really made it to the age where I can legally do (almost) whatever I want?

13-year-old Radhika was trying to kill herself every other week and avoided sleep so she never had to feel the despair that came with waking up in the morning.

5 years seemed like forever to her. No way she could make it to 18 with everything that was going on in her life at the time.

Yet, here I am. I’m not just surviving, I’m making a deliberate effort to live. She would be proud of me right now. She would even admire who I’ve become.

The weirdest part is that she didn’t even know pain yet…

15-year-old Radhika wouldn’t be able to fathom that the pain we both experience is just a background priority now. Sure, it’s still there, but I’ve recovered! I figured it out.

15-year-old Radhika spent most of her time avoiding and denying the fact that she was in a lot of pain. She spent what little time she had left learning how to answer her own questions because nobody would take the time to even listen to those questions.

She would be relieved to see me now. I’ve solved most of the messes she gave me, and the messes that 10- and 13-year-old Radhika left her with. Maybe she could finally have some fun if she knew I fixed it all.

17-year-old Radhika’s biggest goal was to start at 18 on even ground. First, to get rid of all of my chains, and then to build a foundation that would help me jump higher than anyone had ever imagined.

I didn’t get as far as I wanted to, there. I was supposed to be living in Prague right now, with a driver’s license and a lot more money in the bank. I should’ve been on some amazing adventure as I write this, but instead, I’m sitting in my bedroom.

But, I came further than I knew was possible in a lot of areas that are difficult to quantify.

I’m more mature, resilient, self-aware, and all these other hollow words that basically mean I’ve grown as a human being.

I’ve done a lot that makes building that foundation easier than ever.

I’m still struggling to comprehend that I don’t control the whole world, but I feel more in control of myself than I ever have before.

Even though I feel in control of myself right now, I’m terrified that I can’t control who I become.

Just like 10-year-old me who would die if she knew this is who I became, I’m terrified that 30-year-old me is going to be raising 2 kids in the suburbs.

Eugh.

I learned that people change a long time ago.

Some people still look back at their old identities with embarrassment.

When I was 14, I was obsessed with underground boybands and Aeropostale.

I could look back on that time and cringe, or I could understand that after having school uniforms for the past two years, I gripped onto the first form of identity I could find.

In hindsight, it’s easy. But what about the future?

Could I really turn into someone who I vowed to never be… again?

I don’t know.

But for now, I’m content.

I have a big plan for my future. It’s to constantly aim to be true to myself and my values.

It’s quite ambitious, I know! But, I think I can do it.

Thanks for being here on my journey with me.

Here’s to still being on the journey next year,

Radhika Morabia

P.S. Movie quote in the title is from The Last Five Years (2015). I’m obsessed with the soundtrack.