21st year of my life has begun and it's time to reflect back on how 20 went. 
 An entire year's worth of memories, growth, and disasters to summarise. 

PS. Not going to lie, writing for other people (interning/ working as a freelancer) has made me so cautious about what I write and how I write it. When you're doing work for someone else, you have a style guide to follow, certain rules to adhere to and, you start doubting your abilities as a writer. So, being back on this platform, a space where I truly have all control and rein over what I say and how I say it, feels almost surreal. I can make mistakes, I can choose the topics, I can do whatever I want, I'm elated. 

Anyways, 21. It's been just over a week since my birthday, and it was a nice, pleasant day. Usually, I despise the 27th of April, just because there are so many expectations and assumptions attached to that day and often the attention you get on your birthday doesn't seem genuine and it makes me uncomfortable. This time around though, I barely had the time to think about any of that. I went to class, then work and then had dinner with. friend (which was the sweetest way to end the day). Also, I didn't have post-birthday depression, which for me, has been a very real thing for the past couple of years, but perhaps this is all to credit to my age lol. 

On that note, I wanted to originally write this post to recap and talk about what I've learned and how I evolved in my 20s, and now that my off-topicy rant is out of the way, I'll attempt to remember all the changes I've seen in myself the past year, what I've learned and what I'll take with me for years to come. 

Starting off, I have to just say that I have the worst memory ever. I mean I think it's always been bad, but as time goes on, it's definitely getting worse, so this post will be interesting. I'm going to try going through my camera roll to remind me of what I actually did. 

Ok so I want to start off with the fact that the majority of my 2020 was spent indoors, in lockdown, and so this image seems like a good start. 

I went to the BLM parade, which was right before the lockdown really settled. 

Personally, and I a aware of the privilege I hold in saying this, the lockdown, being isolated, and having to spend time with myself was really good for me. I leaned that I can be alone. It also allowed me to be so much more productive. It was probably my most successful year in terms of my career and finances. I kept myself busy, did some freelance work, started my art shop and Buy Me a Coffee page and overall just had more time to put energy into these creative outlets. 

Yes, the pandemic was difficult, it of course impacted my mental illness but along with that came resilience. I became stronger, I became more connected to myself. 

Got my first tattoo (around June I think), and a photo from BLM  

Photo taken by a lesson lmao

Also, despite the lockdown, I met a lot of people in 2020. I made some really close friends, but I also figured out how to put myself first and not be such a people pleaser. For so long it was almost impossible for me to accept that someone didn't like me. I used to stay in toxic friendships, not speak up someone said something I didn't agree with, and put up with those who made me feel like shit. But over the last year, honestly, love and respect for myself have overtaken my need to be liked by everyone. I'm grateful for the people I met and the lessons I learned, but I think I'm happier about the fact that I've cut out certain people or that things played out in such a way that certain people aren't in my life.

There were some pretty crazy things that happened last year and although at the time I was a bit taken aback, it didn't even take e too long to overcome those things. And now, I have really weird but interesting stories to tell lol. 

Spending a lot of time alone meant a lot of Friday nights and weekends alone with little to no chance of even stepping out of my tiny ass room. Thankfully, I started talking to and got closer to some of the people I lived with. It made me realize how thankful I was that I was at least living with other people around me, not like I did in 2018, completely alone because I would've actually gone insane. 

Loud phone calls my floormate made, that used to annoy me so goddamn much, now made me smile because it was some sort of solace that another human existed. 

I think that change- how I started looking at things differently and how I could identify my capacity to change and grow, is something that I really cherish, and I'll hold on to that for a very long time. 

Enchanted Club has seen this image before, but I couldn't talk about the things I learned at 20 and how I grew, without talking about my spirituality and my growing interest in things like energies, manifestation, and looking at the world from a different perspective. 

Sounds a bit demeaning when I say that all of this was triggered upon my viewing of 'Surviving Death' on Netflix, but that show sort of launched me into this. I had known about manifesting and karma before this and had loved my crystals but from that point onwards, I really started taking things seriously. There was a shift in the way I lived my life and how I dealt with situations. I realized that we truly are just a shell, with a soul, a consciousness, and once our time to experience this human form has ended (typically 80 years approx.) we simply return back to the elements, ready for our energy to transfer into some other being. Getting this through my head, helped me be more realistic about situations, take more risks, and move on from things quicker. I started looking at any situation (good or bad) as an experience I get to have or an emotion I get to experience, rather than complaining about it or feeling like it's ruining my life.

I also went through what was probably the most frustrating physical (?) problem I'd ever have to go through- getting a fucking stye on my literal eyelid. This literally grew to such a huge size and was right on my face. It made me so so insecure and made me reevaluate how much I care about my appearance. It made me cry, it made me want to not look in the mirror, it made me so depressed. Eventually, I had to get a mini surgery to get it removed and it was a pain in the ass but I think it made me realize that I should be grateful for what I have. When I was looking back at photos from before I had the stye, I was mad at myself for never appreciating the fact that I had all my features, that I was healthy. Looking at past photos of me made me realize that I need to stop putting myself down based on my looks all the goddamn time, that I need to stop comparing myself to others. 

This picture doesn't truly capture the extent to which that stye grew lol, I don't think any of you'd want to see that, but it was there for such a long time and it was painful and annoying. It's a lot better now as it had a few months post-surgery to heal, but what an adventure. I swear shit like this only happens to me. 

Another photo taken by another lesson

Again, the number of new people I met last year was insane. I was a lot more adventurous and a lot less fearful and it allowed me to engage with new situations and converse with new people. I met some of the nicest people through mutual friends and although I only talked to them once, on that day, it restored my faith in humanity and gave peace to the part of me that always believes everyone hates me. 

Another notable difference has been in the way I look at Perth. I think it's fair to say that I haven't had the best relationship with Perth. I just relate it to high school and when I'm back there, my mental health often deteriorates. However, this time around and as a result of the previous growth and character development I had endured, I saw Perth and all it had to offer, in a different light too. 

I realized the copious amount of love that was there for me. How much easier things were when my parents were around to help me with it, how less lonely I left, and how much I love my dog lol (this I was already aware of). 

I think the biggest surprise was when I realized that actually, I wouldn't mind living in Perth in the future. I used to be unable to even fathom the idea of living in Perth, but being back this time around, I think I felt secure. I felt like maybe it wouldn't be the end of the world if I lived in Perth again. It diminished so much of my anxiety and stress about graduating from uni because I didn't have this hypothetical dread over me anymore about what if I wasn't able to secure a job in Melbourne because now the idea of Perth doesn't hold such a negative place in my heart. 

20 also brought with it the most body confidence I've ever had. I think I was my heaviest and my lightest weight that year and although yes there were definitely times where I criticized my body and compared it to others, there was a lot more self-love. Even at my heaviest, I accepted myself. At my lightest, I felt so good. 

My self-confidence and my relationship with my body are still a work in progress, but how far I have come, is something I'm very proud of. 

On a lighter note (?), I also made the worst hair decision ever lol. I've had blue and pink and blonde hair but those were all better decisions than getting a bloody perm and having my hair cut to look like... that. 

When I style it, I guess it looks fine but god do I hate it so much. I never realized how lucky I was to have straight, healthy hair. It literally had so much potential and it was so low maintenance. 

Its grow a bit since I committed that crime, but it's still a long way to go before I feel like myself again with my pretty straight hair :( 

Also, ps. straight hair people definitely have the privilege. Now that I've been on both sides of the spectrum, I can conclude this. 

Lastly, I NEED to talk about my writing progress!!! 
In the last year, I've worked as a proper freelance writer, I've had an amazing marketing job, I've started my own shop and I've been published with FJ (and now I'm an intern there... crying). I'm actually making MOVES and I am so thrilled.

It's let me become so much more comfortable with the fact that I'm graduating in about 2 months. I just have so much more confidence and I feel like I have greater agency over my own life. 

Plus I have to mention my increasing education and knowledge about feminism and its importance. I have become so involved with and so much more educated about the injustice in my daily life that stems from being a woman and learning about those things, being able to spot them out, and speaking up about them has made me feel powerful. You can check out my piece on this topic here

(Adding this in later cause I completely forgot this segment of my life lol but I've also gotten better at setting boundaries!!!) 

Anyways, I think I've rambled on long enough. Pretty sure I've left out important and noteworthy chunks of what happened, but this is as far as my memory (and my photos) will take me. Also, if there were grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in this, I'm glad lol, I'm not going to proofread this, I need to practice my autonomy hereby being my own boss and making my own decisions (cause I get to do that here) and so the decision is that simply do not care if this post has any mistakes :)

Not even sure how many people will read this entire thing but if you did, thank you for recapping my 20th year with me. So many exciting things to come, so much growth to happen, so many people to meet and so many lessons to learn. Can't wait to grow into and become a powerful, independent woman. 

With love, 
Aastha// A2

Made Us

histories that shape me,
emotions that make me,
aren’t we just lingering collisions of our past? 

uncovering what i envelop, unveiling a part of you,
the warmth that once rested in me, 
through time

formed you. 

i wonder, i ponder
why i’m reminded of home at your sight 

only to realise that with time,
i recognise your soul, 
as mine.

that in our past lives,
before the diamonds, the shine
you and i existed, parallel
and shared fragments that now,
reside in your eyes 

although you don’t remember,
and they’ll call me strange forever, 

knowing you’ll never encounter, 

in this life, 

i’ll wait till next time,

for you to realise

the histories that shape us, 

the emotions that make us. 

New things & updates

My art shop: 
Updated custom poetry/ illustration shop: 
New video:

Quarantine Notes

I have left it unedited 

Melbourne is in lockdown for a second time now and it's literally the first day of the restrictions being in place. I'm already spiralling downwards. When it happened the first time around, I kept myself buy with uni work and I didn't realise how much relief I felt knowing that my floor-mates were basically going through the same thing, because if they could do it, so could I. But this time around, it the fucking holidays. How am I meant to keep myself busy and occupied when I can't even leave the enclosure that are the 4 walls of my tiny student accomodation room. I know that there are worse things happening to people and my privileged ass sounds so stupid right now, but I feel trapped. I'm scared that I'll fall into the lap of depression again and I'll be in pain.  can try and tel myself that I am in control of how I make myself feel but it's difficult to keep repeating that to myself when theres not much else to occupy my brain with. I have a lot of worries about the next uni semester too and it all just seems so much. I had a thought the other day that what if my entire lifespan is spent in this virus infected world where there are constant restrictions and limitations. The thing it, that that is a very real possibility. I'm afraid that I'll spend my life, not really have lived it, trapped. 

I'm exhausted and tired but not enough to fall asleep too, I lie awake for hours on end and keep waking up mid sleep too, there is just so much frustration and hopelessness. A part of me knows that maybe the intensity of my emotions right now can be blamed on getting my period soon, I know I get over neurotic around that time of the month, but GOD do I feel just gross. 

Right now, I'm literally just typing for the sake of having something to do, so maybe I'll write out a brief description of my dream last night. It was sort of like the Indian movie Highway, I was basically getting infatuated by someone who worked for my family at my aunty's home back in Jaipur. I had just arrived from somewhere and he had helped my unload my luggage from a bus, only for it to all somehow fall out of the several bags I was carrying (?), but anyways I was repacking everything that had fallen out when I realised I had forgotten to pick up one of my suitcases from the bus that was stored in one of those side  storage spots busses usually have, and so basically I asked that guy who helped me to unload if he can go get it for me, but just then the bus left. So he called up the bus driver for me and went all the way to where the bus had travelled to, to get my suitcase for me and even put up with the grumpy bus driver (basically this man was simping me lmao). That's about what I remember from it. I know at some point I saw my parents there too and the there was a car driving past where I was sat and repacking my bags when the car suddenly made a loud sound and one of its wheels bursted (?). Anyways, I tend to forget what I dream most of the times so maybe to keep myself occupied throughout the day, if I do dream, I'll write about it. 

I woke up after a 3 hour sleep this morning, my body keeps waking itself up at such odd times. I'm always tired and I fall asleep so late, it doesn't make sense to me why I'd just wake up naturally after such a short amount of sleep. I do wish that when that happens though, I stay awake instead of falling back asleep because then I over compensate and over sleep. I eventually got out of bed around 1pm then.... I feel disgusting when I get up that late. There is no in between, but I guess today I didn't feel so guilty for sleeping in till that late because it is holidays right now, there is nothing much I can do since it's lockdown and I got my period. The things with periods is that it lets me feel sorry for myself. It lets me actually take a break without feeling guilty or without driving myself into depression, so even though I'm in physical pain, I can at least use that as an excuse to give myself a rest. 
I started watching the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I needed something new to binge and I finished a whole season last night, but now that just means that I watched the good part of the show in one sitting. Just like any other show (except Brooklyn99) it just gets bad after season 1 and yeah it's already starting to disappoint 3 episodes into season 2.
I went out to pick up my takeaway a few hours ago and I'm surprised how many people are still out. It's like no one in this area wants to accept that there is a second lockdown, there are people everywhere and even the library was open?? By the time I got there though, it was going to close in about half an hour but I decided to just go in and look through a book or something just for a change in routine. I'm glad I went because honestly just being away from my room, even if it was only for 30 mins, kept me somewhat sane today. I just flipped through a book about Ancient Egypt. I wish the library was open on weekends, if it's still open next week, I'll definitely go in even if its just to read my own book but in a different space. 

Just came back from a quick trip to Coles. It didn't really feel like lockdown today, it was so gloomy and drizzling the entire day and usually when it's like this I don't think about leaving my house anyways so I didn't have this constant urge to be social or leave to do something. It wasn't until I stepped out in the dark to get some ice cream from Coles when it all sort of hit me again. It's only been like 3 days of lockdown and I really don't know how I'm going to make it through 6 more weeks of this. I'm grateful that I have the internet to keep me busy and my friends to always chat to but not having anyone irl is going to turn me insane. 
On another note, I made a curry today using one of those instant Japanese curry blocks and it tasted like this curry I love, which I used to pay $13 for, so it was a nice surprise that I could just make it myself. I usually hate cooking, I don't get people who enjoy it, it takes so much time and the whole thing is so subjective if you think about it. I don't have patience as it is so that probably adds to my dislike of it. 
I'm glad I've been writing everyday, even if its just sort of briefly recapping my day. Roald Dhal used to write everyday, regardless of if he had something to write about or not. Rupi Kaur also said somewhere that the key to being a good writer is just to do it everyday. They're both amazing writers and I mean if it worked for them, there must be something to it. I know for me, I produce my best work when I'm in the depths of my depression but recently I've been thinking about how long it's been since I created a fictional piece. I used to be so good at them in high school, when they gave us a picture and asked us to write a story around it. I remember everyone used to complain about about the task but honestly that used to be my favourite thing ever. I want to get back into doing it but I'm sort of scared that I don't have the skill anymore and that I'll just end up disappointing myself (or maybe I'm just being lazy). 


I am so sick and tired of seeing thin pretty girls I’m just so fucking over it. My eating disorder has been so triggered these past few days, it’s definitely the product of just sitting around in isolation without literally anything to do that has my head wrapped up in all sort of bullshit about myself. I know none of this shit really matters, my body weight, how I look and what size I wear are all such shallow things at the end of the day and when you look at it on the greater spectrum of things that should matter but it’s so difficult to be in love and live with yourself when the whole world seems to hate you for those exact reasons. I genuinely was getting better at accepting myself and I’m definitely in a better place than I was even last year but that’s why it’s so fucking frustrating to feel this about myself. Everywhere on Instagram are just thin girls, like how the fuck do I look at that and not think to myself that it’s my fault I don’t look like them and that if I looked like them then everyone and me would think I’m pretty because those girls are pretty. Like I’m not supposed to have a fat stomach and my such big thighs and if those other girls can be thin and elegant then why can’t I have that fuck I’m so tired.


It's been a difficult few days. I'm not doing too well with my mental health but at the same time what I'm feeling is so far beyond my current understanding of my emotions. I feel empty and helpless but at the same time I know there is no point dwelling on it. I didn't write the last 2 days, whats on my mind I cannot say. I guess I feel a bit better today, I'm just trying to distract myself from thinking about it all day. I am tired but its okay. 


Recently I've become more aware of my autonomy. I feel a lot more in control of my life and I feel like I'm developing a sense of self. I have always felt like a side character in my own story, as cheesy it is to put it like that, its been difficult for me to think of myself as my own person and make decisions for myself, I have always felt like I was 'someone's something', like my relations to others is what made me, rather than just having my own identity. Referring to Erik Erikson's stages of Psychosocial Development, I'm around the adolescents to young adulthood stage, which makes complete sense because in this period I'm having inner conflicts about Identity and Role Confusion, as well as Intimacy and Isolation. I can see how this chart fits in with my state of personal development and it's given me a peace of mind. 


The lockdown situation is not getting any better, and honestly I can't expect it to with how people are dismissing all regulations and rules. I'm glad that they're becoming stricter as the days go by and the number of cases increases, because its about time that we hold people accountable. I know its hard, its hard for me too, I want to have friends over, I want to have something to do everyday, I don't just want to be stuck in my room, but we don't have any other options right now. I'm so ready for this all to be over. These days I wake up and I have no agenda, I have no routine, I have nothing to do. Its frustrating. I get up, and spend the majority of my day just watching documentaries or movies, where is this all going to get me? 


I got tested for Covid yesterday, I've had some symptoms for a few days now so I thought I might have it. Getting it done was the most uncomfortable thing every. They stick it up your nose so high, worst feeling ever. I don't know, after I got home I just burst into tears. I felt so overwhelmed. There had been son much anxiety built up inside of me and I was tired and 


I feel so empty today. I woke up feeling a bit off anyways but I tried my best to lift up my mood with a workout, but throughout the day it just kept getting worse. I ended up going for a 2 hour walk, I don't know what I expected to get out of it because I'm back home now and my legs and back hurt so much lol. I just want to cry so I feel better, but I can't get myself to. I miss home too, but I know if I was back, within 2 days I'd just want to be back. It's frustrating not feeling home anywhere. I hope I get out of this funk soon because I really don't want it to spiral out of hand. I need to remind myself that the only thing I have control over is my state of mind and how I think about things. I know this will pass, it won't last forever.