Bloggers Uncensored: with The Wordy Habitat
Welcome to this weeks Bloggers Uncensored! If this is your first time reading a BU interview, this is my longest running blog series, and definitely my favourite. This series is a perfect opportunity to read your favourite bloggers' honest and uncensored opinions on real life topics, and to discover new bloggers to follow! This weeks blogger is The Wordy Habitat.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a 21-year-old Indian currently studying Computer Science and Engineering in college. My MBTI personality type is INFJ but I show extrovert tendencies with my close friends. I'm one of those people who either binge-watch or don't watch at all. Keeping things organised and listening to life-advice podcasts fuels me.
Why do you write?
It kind of works as therapy. I've been journalling since 6th grade when I first got a small Hannah Montana journal with a lock. For years, I've bought notebooks and journaled out my thoughts. Writing things, whether it's about life or random thoughts or stories, helps me relax and feel better.
Why did you start blogging?
When I first heard of blogs, I was really confused. Being curious, I impulsively made one on WordPress to find out more. When I realised that blogs are just our own spaces on the internet, where we talk about anything we want, I felt as if my world had expanded. I began blogging as a form of journalling, but to share everything with the internet world. I could talk about books, which my friends didn't care about. I could talk about my life since my blog was a secret at that time. And I could talk about very random things. It was wonderful.
What do you love about the blogging world/community?
The blogging community is endlessly kind and accepting. Unlike in other areas, bloggers support each other in climbing and growing. In real life careers and paths, you have to compete with others to climb. But in this community, I've seen bloggers support each other and grow together. This is absolutely wonderful and something unique.
What do you hate about the blogging world/community?
This is personal since I blog from India. We don't have many bloggers, especially lifestyle bloggers. This means that there isn't much chance to have meet-ups or take friendships offline. The connection that I've seen bloggers get in the US and UK isn't possible here, and I hate that. I have friends in other countries online but can never truly connect with them in person.
In your opinion, who are the most underrated bloggers?
Charley from The Miss Charley is someone I've been following since the time I started blogging. I'm always blown away by the amount of positivity she has and radiates through every single blog post. It's very rare that I visit a blog and think "this person is optimistic and positive." Charley is very underrated and deserves more people to soak up the charm she puts into her blog.
Fanna from Fannatality is also highly underrated. She puts out such good content on her blog, with cohesive colours and graphics. Her blog consistently follows one colour scheme, and it looks so good. The points she notes in book reviews and her way of reviewing is unique and makes them really fun to read. It's not often that book reviews are fun. That's why I love her blog.
What are some hard truths you have learnt about life?
One thing that I learnt over the past few years is that people's attitude towards you mirrors what you project. When I was underconfident, shy, and had body image issues, I was views exactly like that. I was the DUFF, basically. It did not do any good for my self-worth. Finally, after a couple of key incidents, I decided to stop caring. Over the span of a year, my attitude became "I'm enough, and I don't care about what you think." Once I was at a point where I loved myself and walked confidently, others saw me that way. My body was the same, and yet I wasn't the DUFF anymore. Simply because of the way I presented myself. It was hard to realise that unless the people around you really care about you, they aren't going to spend any energy on supporting you or thinking about your emotional issues.
What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom of speech and action. Freedom is when everyone is allowed to speak their thoughts and not be oppressed. Freedom is when we have control over actions about our bodies, lifestyle, and life choices.
What are your thoughts on mental health and how it's portrayed in today's society?
In my society, which is India, mental health is still something which isn't considered important. When people say they're depressed, others tell them to get over it. Therapy is still taboo. While more and more people are accepting and considering mental health, most are not on-board. My mom, for example, thinks that today's teenagers are overreacting for using the word "depression" all the time. She believes that teenagers are "not really depressed", and just throw around the word when things become hard. We've had many conversations over this, but I have not been able to change her mind. On the internet, it's very mixed and messy. Some have taken to making fun of mental health as a way to cope, while others are sensitive with words being used for anything. But overall, mental health's portrayal in my society is very less. The only safe space to speak about it is on the internet, where adults don't see.
What are your thoughts on feminism and how it's portrayed in today's society?
This might be controversial but in my opinion, the word feminism has lost it's meaning. Ever since organisations and companies began using the word for commercial purposes, putting their spin on them as a marketing tool, the word's meaning has been stretched and pulled to fit everything. Feminism was never about just being allowed to wear clothes that show skin or climbing ranks. Feminism is about everything where women have to fight at least twice as hard just because of our gender. But the perception has changed the more it's used for marketing, and the more men have used it against us. I will not lie, sometimes women use the word when they don't have to and when what they are talking about isn't a real gender-caused issue. These very few cases have been taken as evidence by men and corporations in order to use the word against women.
It has come to the point that the word has just about lost its power. I know some people who look skeptically at people who say they're feminists because they might be using is as a label to make an impression. And it's sad that we have lost trust in the word.
What are your thoughts on 'Love is Love' and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I'll be honest. I don't keep track of how this portrayed because I want it to remain pure in my mind. It is something so pure and has one meaning. I'm afraid of what the media power can do to it. In India, where we are still fighting for lgbtq+ rights, where trans people are highly oppressed, "Love is Love" is not a phrase easily used. No one uses it unless they're in assured safe places. I have a shirt that says "Love is Love, and my mum doesn't even know it's meaning. And I don't wear it out unless I have a jacket or coat with me, or I know I'll only be with like-minded people.
What advice would you give to someone who is fighting a mental illness?
Find a safe place. Whether it's people, the internet, a musician, art, books, or anything else. Even if it's a corner of your room. When you're fighting constantly, you need someplace where you don't have to fight. When you can rest and take a breath. Find that safe place, so you rest once in a while. Mental illnesses are hard battles and these few moments of rest can help fortify your resolve to fight your barriers.
If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
Plastic. I hate it. I hate how many are so dependent on it that we don't even look for alternatives. If it's gone, we will be forced to look for and use alternatives, and it would make such a difference.
What else do you feel strongly about?
Music is precious and helps greatly. Just, music. So pure. There's so much love for it. We may all like different kinds of music, but it's solace for many. People attribute music by specific artists in helping them fight through mental illnesses and that is so powerful.
Let's end this with some fun 'This or That' questions:
Love or money?
Love. I haven't experienced the romantic kind but friendship and companionship are worth everything. Having someone to love, especially if they love you back, is so powerful. At some point, the only reason I was motivated to even bother trying in life was because I love my mom and don't want her to be sad because of me. Only later did I realise how powerful that was.
Work hard or play hard?
I'm a "smart" person lol. Work smart and play smart. I take the lazier route, which involves the least amount of effort for the same result. Even for "playing", I'd rather do something which enriches me or feeds me rather than a mind-numbing thing. I can't even watch shows too much because I feel bored since it doesn't give me any useful information. Reading enriches the vocabulary and increases reading speed, at least.
Cups in the cupboard: right side up or upside down?
Upside down. I don't know why though.
Plan everything or wing it?
I usually go 90% planning and 10% flexibility. But if that's the only two choices, plan everything. I'm an organisation junkie and need everything in place. If I'm meeting someone I need to know exactly where we're meeting, how we're going, and what we plan to do throughout our meeting.
Happiness or money?
Happiness. I'm here for a good life, a rich life.
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