14. Day one – An attempt at an insta-filtered life

To whom it may concern,

Never in my life have I kept up with a New Year’s resolution or even remembered it a month later. This resolution is different; it’s an attempt to live the life of people we all envy, those who appear to have it all. Except there’s a lot of effort involved. I don’t mean having it all in the material sense but those out there who have their life “sorted”, their shit together if you will.

For the next 6 weeks, I will attempt to live the insta-filtered life that is constantly shown to us with ludicrous descriptions e.g. Lazy morning. Breakfast in bed #parfait. Cue picture of emaciated legs in an all-white bed with a parfait on the bed. Woman, you got out of bed and made yourself a parfait, got back in bed, took a well-lit and filtered photo and engaged in social media. Don’t lie to me. When I have a lazy morning I’m in bed thinking about how long I can stay snuggled before I pee myself.

I will reveal the hard work it takes to live this “balanced lifestyle” of managing it all: work/social life/experiencing culture through new books, films/eating healthy-ish/working out/have some form of spirituality grounding me so I don’t become a serial killer and you can feel better about yourself. The hope of this project is really a way to disguise working out and eating healthy as a social experiment to keep me interested and accountable. I promise to give you the un-adulterated truth of the struggle and nothing more. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit so by the end of this experiment I may be the girl you envy on Instagram because she’s got a parfait but chances are I won’t be.

With all goals come planning – work somehow worked its way in 6 days out of this week but the trick is managing the rest. My gym Contours Greenlane has given me an amazing 2 months free membership and tomorrow they offer a class called ‘Total Sculpt’. It is described as a total weight training workout designed to tone and define the body while also improving muscle balance and strength – neither of which I have. It will improve my posture, increase my currently non-existent lean muscle and see that my body fat melt away.

For someone who considered carrying her cello from the car to the house a full arm workout only one word comes to mind. It’s a bad word. Today also marks the start of a book my dad gave me, which I promptly neglected ‘ the Same kind of different as me’ which is about the sweetest title I’ve heard.

The goals of this week are starting off reasonably doable:

To attend 2 ‘Total sculpt’ classes

Workout 2 more times

Discover the delightfulness of a homemade smoothie

Start and finish the book

Work 6 days a week

Not to die

A Kethaki by any other name…

This guy then asked me what my name was. “It’s Kethaki, nice to meet you” to which his legitimate response was to laugh and say “That’s too hard, I’ll just call you Kathy”.

I laughed it off, give the guy a break, its 4pm and we still have class, he’s probably tired, who knows maybe he’s a little slow and can only process 2 syllables at a time, you don’t know his story, let it slide.

To whom it may concern,

Today was admittedly a long day. Early start, 3-hour (compulsory) lab on how to send a bloody email, 1 hour of chatting to my friend Aidan without realising it was HIS BIRTHDAY!! (Happy Birthday Aidan J) followed by more class.

Furthermore, despite substantial evidence to prove the contrary I thought the snacks, juice and lunch I packed for an average human being of 5’2” would keep me sufficiently energised throughout the day. I stand corrected.

By the time 4 pm rolled around marking the start of my final class its safe to say I was in a vulnerable place. This particular class had only occurred once previously, last week and aside from the lovely girl I sat next to last Wednesday and an old schoolmate I happily discovered took the same paper, I knew no one.

So when a friendly looking chap bounced over, literally bounced, and asked me if I was enjoying the class and started dirting on the lecturer before giving me a chance to answer, I smiled and agreed.

This guy then asked me what my name was. “It’s Kethaki, nice to meet you” to which his legitimate response was to laugh and say “That’s too hard, I’ll just call you Kathy”.

I laughed it off, give the guy a break, its 4 pm and we still have class, he’s probably tired, who knows maybe he’s a little slow and can only process 2 syllables at a time, you don’t know his story, let it slide.

He proceeded “ So where are you from originally? Fiji? India?”

“No, I was born in Sri Lanka”

“Hahaha, you brown guys are all pretty much the same anyway right?” He said. Out loud. In Public.

Before my Criminology class.

Where we learned about racial profiling.

When I first moved to New Zealand I insisted on not shortening my name or using my middle name Sarah in class because I knew I’d never respond to it organically. Aside from my little brother calling me Akki, older sister, it’s always been Kethaki. Somewhere in the throes of adolescence, my closest friends nicknamed me Keth.

I suppose it’s a technicality to most, It’s not a far stretch from Keth to Kathy, I could probably get used to it if this unlikely friendship grows stronger in the future. But nicknames are a term of endearment and a sign of familiarity. Renaming someone you’ve just met to save you learning an extra syllable? It’s one step up from referring them by a serial number instead…

My parents picked names carefully and excitedly for their first child. It is my identity and I’ve stubbornly held onto it. I fear I will hold onto it despite the enunciation fears of a handful because, for the most part, Kiwis will give anything a good try once.

Xx

Kethaki Sarah Thalia Masilamani