It is a good day to drink a cup of coffee and write.

Welcome back to Chocolate and Politics. I know it has been what seems like an everlasting hiatus as my blog posts slowly tapered off into oblivion. But, I owe you an explanation: about where I have been, what I have been doing, and why a passion project I found in this blog slowly but surely became a dormant endeavor added to the stack of failed undertakings and forgotten words.

Let’s dive into it. Firstly, I have been living on autoplay these last few months. Each day has become a vicious cycle of throwing myself into studying for exams while also feeling like I am not doing enough. It has been a struggle. Still, with each paper I write, I can feel freedom lurking in the distance. It has also been a push. Being an all-or-nothing person, I easily convince myself that in order to succeed at something, I must keep my focus directed at it. So, I severed relations with things I love like writing, journaling, cooking, and exploring, and I replaced them with the actions I knew would make me successful.

Truthfully, no matter how it may seem, success does not come easily to me. The good grades I receive are a product of hours of reading and sleepless nights going through the flashcards one more time. At times, it became easy to attach my entire identity to this persona, what some may call a try-hard, and what I call a perfectionist. Nonetheless, over these last few months, I have also come to a hardline conclusion: we make time for the things that matter. Ultimately, studying comes in bouts, and in the moments between, there is always time to fill. Recently, with a saturated brain and tired eyes, these moments have been spent scrolling on social media and sitting in restaurants, and thinking a little too much about people who probably are not thinking of me.

That is why, this morning, I opened my laptop, closed the tabs of every study resource, and started a fresh blank page to write. It is moments like this that feel exciting and filled with new possibilities, reflecting the way I feel about this upcoming summer and the year thereafter. Luckily, I have had every chance to feel special in the time I have been away. From senior celebrations, to prom, to, tomorrow, graduation, I am grateful to be celebrated for the small things I have accomplished over these past four years and to have the best people by my side to celebrate with.

Still, while I do celebrate the things I have done, I affirm to myself that I always had a purpose besides winning some sort of arbitrary competition or getting a resumé boost. This blog was never about what a college would think. In fact, it was never really about what anyone would think. It was about proving to myself that I could cultivate a skill to be open and vulnerable without ever quitting according to somebody else’s opinion of it. Overall, I feel I have accomplished that goal. Long-term readers of Chocolate and Politics have seen me grow. Whether they know it or not, they have seen me stumble and learn and love and hate… they have seen it all. With each life lesson I learned, I looked to find a way to present it in a universal way that could culminate in a single message. And so, in these past two months of processing literary symbols and prom dates, I have failed to process the real knowledge I have gained along the way.

As I wrap up my last few exams, I want each of my readers to know that this is not the end. In fact, it is only the beginning. Tucked away in the back of my journal, I have scribbled lists of unfinished ideas and thoughts. It has been a great four years, what I now call “season one”. I have changed though. I am not the same girl who started this blog during a global pandemic and got upset when someone brought it up. I am now proud of the way I can collect and present my ideas, and I cherish the people who build me up because of it.

I cannot tell you what to expect in season two because I am not entirely sure myself. What I can tell you is that with my free time, I promise to be back with more posts and dedication to cultivating this craft. As a matter of fact, I may have some extra projects in the works to look forward to. It is all part of the process, and in the meantime, I hope we can all keep working hard and living large.

Happy Living x

 “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan

Published by Ria Pai

Hi let me introduce myself. I was born and have lived my entire life in a beach area as a child of two amazing parents who immigrated to America from India. I love art, music and writing so I try to combine the three. I enjoy deep conversations on a number of topics from politics, to friendships, to fashion. I’m a natural perfectionist, but sometimes find this to be a bit overwhelming. I love mangos, dark chocolate and tea. I make art whenever I get the chance…painting, songwriting, dancing, and writing are all forms of art to me. Since I live in a warm area, I cannot stand any weather that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and always find a way to swim in anything from pools to the ocean. I have one dog, a Lhasa Apso who I am envious of because he does nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day. I experiment with my style. I am horrible at geography and sitting still, and it’s not uncommon to find me with paint all over my hands. I like to wear bold clothing and I always find a way to wear the same white sneakers with any outfit I can. Hi, my name is Ria, nice to meet you.

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