Interview With Jasminder Bains


Welcome to another biweekly interview on Mandibelle16. I’m hoping where ever you are the weather is nice and spring is on its way or summer isn’t too hot. This week I interviewed the impressive and talented writer Jasminder Bains from the United States. You can check out her blog here: Confessions Of A Reborn Girl


interview-jasminder
Credit: Jasminder Bains

1. Hi Jasminder. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

Where to begin…I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.

I’m two years clean and keeping it that way. Psychology fascinates me; hence, I’m majoring in it. You’ll find there is a lot of psychology based posts on my blog. I love to sing and dance to KPOP when nobody’s around, or at least when I think nobody’s around. I had to run up three flights of stairs because I got caught once.

Also, I’m obsessed with green tea and I like to meditate because it clears my mind. I prefer video games and Doc Martens to dresses ( I only own one dress) and makeup. The only makeup I wear is eyeliner and it’s about as good as my sense of direction. I get lost even with a GPS to help me find my way. I’m an aggressive middle-class minimalist who pillages anything I can get my hands on; this is why I have a ring of rocks sitting on my dresser.

I have moments where I’m incredibly with the times and others I’m not. I set up a Twitter account recently. I have no idea what half the buttons mean. But I can give you Excel pointers and talk about ‘markdown formatting;’ I can’t tell you much about Facebook.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? What motivates and inspires you?

I started blogging last July, but I’ve been writing since I was in fifth grade. Poetry and blogging are how I vent as well as defeat stereotypes. I write because I want to heal other people and because I love doing it.

I find inspiration from my life because I’m an avid people-watcher and I overthink everything. I find new material is as simple as walking into the middle of a cafeteria and sitting down. I learned so much about human interaction by doing this. I make time for writing whenever I can.


“I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.” – Jasminder Bains


3. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Any Future Projects You Have In Mind?

I’m planning on participating in the 2017 Kindness Challenge! The link to sign up is here if you’re interested. I’m also hosting my own blogging challenge, it’s called the ‘Boundless Challenge.’ The premise of the challenge is to share a #boundlessmoment from the past week where you did something that you thought you weren’t actually capable of doing.

I started the challenge not too long ago so it’s relatively new. My goal is to inspire people through this prompt. Maybe they will believe they are capable of doing much more than they think they can do. Check out the sixth #boudlessmoment challenge on my blog HERE.


4. Can You Tell Us More About Your Blog and Why You Started Blogging?

When I founded @Confessions (Confessions Of A Reborn Girl) I had one goal and one goal alone: to teach others about human potential. Too many times I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise.


“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker


That being said, [my blog] would qualify as a lifestyle blog, though I focus more on mentality and mindset rather than fashion or food. My blog categories are different takes on that ‘boundless lifestyle’ if you will.

Life, as the catagory name states, revolves around my everyday thoughts and experiences. [As I noted above] you can also find my own blogging challenge, the Boundless Challenge, which is devoted to inspiring the WordPress community to achieve their full potential. At the end of each week, I share #boundlessmoments of my own and from across the internet. . . Who knows? Maybe next week you’ll be featured!

Writer’s Corner is [a segment on my blog] where I analyze social norms and American culture along with occasional philosophizing. DIY is exactly as the name states. I have this category because crafting opened up my thinking in a way nothing else could. I believe that it can do the same for you. [Lastly, my] meditation journal [catagory] stems from my adoration for — well — meditation. [Since I] over-think, meditation is the perfect counter to my habit and it helps me analyze my emotions and inner conflict. 


“Too many times, I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they just didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise” – Jasminder Bains


5. How Does Your Blog Tie-In With Your Stance on Mental Health?

I continue to challenge the stigmas and negative stereotypes surrounding the field of mental health. There’s so much more to psychology than depression or schizophrenia or bipolar disease; [these are] only a small branch of [what is called] abnormal psychology. In order to understand the abnormal, we must first understand the normal.

I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.


6. Do You Have Any Other Projects On The Go? What Is Your Writing Process Like? Do You Have Any Genres of Writing or Reading that You Prefer?

I’m planning on writing a fiction book called Project Rebirth. I’ve no details other than that because I hardly know what the book is about myself. 😛 For me, writing is painful.Writing is life. WHAT WAS I THINKING WRITING THAT?!! Editing is painful. Editing is life. Rinse and repeat.

Fantasy is my FAVORITE genre. None of this 21st-century teen smut fantasy romance. I mean classy fantasy like Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or The Ranger’s Apprentice booksI prefer these types of books so much more than teen romance novels. 


“I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.” Jasminder Bains


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Tips for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share Pertinent to this Interview?

Keep writing. It’s the only way you get better (and shameless). Also, I want to fight the negative stigmas and stereotypes around mental health because it’s vastly misunderstood and generalized which is dangerous for everyone.


8. What Are Your Three Favorite Blogs You Follow Of Any Kind?


interivew-live-boundless
Credit: Jasminder Bain

9. Can You Please Share With Us Some Pieces from Your Blog?

“Pain”

By Jasminder Bains

August 26, 2016

*****

What’s this? My insides feel like they’re tearing apart. 

Something’s wrong, I should take some medication.

Something’s wrong, it’s 3 A.M. and I’m awake again. Did I ever fall asleep? I feel like I’m dying. 

I’m frozen, I feel like screaming, is this really real?

Maybe this is the dream I have to wake up from, I don’t remember falling asleep so maybe I never woke up. 

Something’s wrong, it’s 4 A.M. and I’m still here. I should just close my eyes, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if it was appendicitis….would I?  

Something’s wrong, it’s only 7 A.M. and I’m already awake. No, mum, don’t leave for work just yet. There’s a patient lying here in bed who needs to be seen.

Mum is gone. My brother needs my phone for school. It’s low on battery because I stared blankly at music videos and funny vines for half the night unable to react thanks to the burning sensation in my stomach.

Dad wants to know what’s going on so I spill my guts on him. It’s time to try another medication, stay hydrated, and ride things out.

Mum says book an appointment if it doesn’t get better. I wonder if it will get better.

I’m a statue, unmoving and emotionless. I thought today was yesterday. Guess my brain didn’t register that I ever went to sleep.

Should I feel crooked that this pain is now who I am? I don’t want to do anything let alone go the hospital. It could be nothing. Just like me.

Dad wants me to make him lunch if I’m able. Fine. The pain is mostly gone and I can wait 10 minutes to pass out.

There are two types of naps: the kind that make you feel worse than before, but you know you had no choice, and the kind that make you feel energized. Mine was the latter. Maybe it’s because I slept two hours instead of 20 minutes. Oh well. At least the pain’s almost gone.

All I’ve had to eat today is half a bagel and a tin of Chobani yogurt. I should eat something else. A salad sounds divine only I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to eat the croutons and leaves yet. Only one way to find out. Verdict: I can chew a crouton. I can’t chew a spinach leaf. I’ll just have a burrito.

Something’s wrong, it’s been 18 hours since I laid awake in bed screaming in my head and I’m doing it again. Except this time in a chair with a plate of food in front of me. Forget it. I’m not eating if it’s gonna sting this bad. Time to take some more medication. 

I don’t want to be a physical embodiment of pain, I want my life back. I want to feel joy again, I want to listen to music that lifts me up again, I want to write a blog post ahead of time again, I want to have faith again, I want to feel healthy again, I want to have both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I want to be me again.

~Live Boundless.

*****


Here are Some Additional Posts By Jasminder: 


Thank You Jasminder for sharing so much about yourself and your blogging. You’re an incredibly inspiring and motivational thinker and writer. 

If you would like to be interviewed for my biweekly interview series, please contact me HERE on my Contact Page. Once more here is the link to Jasminder’s BlogConfessions Of A Reborn Girl.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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Part 3: Never Again – Jolene and Scott’s Past.


Please read Part 2 of Never Again here.

Part 3: Never Again – Jolene and Scott’s Past

” Do I look gorgeous Auntie? Do you think he’ll like me?” Jolene asked her Aunt Cathy who had become her guardian after her Mother passed away.

Cathy observed the stunning Jolene. “If only I still looked half as pretty as you look, I’d be married right now.” Jolene grinned.

“You’re beautiful Auntie. Any man would be lucky to have you. I had to get the looks from somewhere and it wasn’t from my Mom. You could be a Cougar.” Jolene joked. ” I’m sure you could find a man ten or fifteen years younger than you, with your timeless looks.” Cathy laughed.

” I had your Uncle Henry before Cancer claimed him. I haven’t had it in my heart to replace Henry. He was my one and only. I wish you could have known him Jolene. He was something in his day.” Cathy mused.

“Scott is my one, Auntie.” Jolene said with a soft sigh as she floated down the stairs in a soft pink skirt and black tank top. Cathy hoped Scott wasn’t  Jolene’s ‘one,’ — she had heard rumours of his sleaziness from some of the other ladies with girls Jolene’s age. But what could Cathy say. Jolene would be heart broken if she couldn’t date Scott after all this time crushing on him. 

A handsome young man in a suit, with brown eyes and dark hair, stood in front of an expensive car waiting for Jolene. Scott had a careless manner about him that made Cathy instantly dislike him.

—–

Jolene was thrilled to be out on a first date with Scott. She had loved him since she was twelve-years-old. Even when her skin was breaking out, when she wore geeky clothes, and had ugly glasses, Jolene adored Scott. It had taken time for Scott to notice Jolene. Jolene knew the affect she had on men these days. At seventeen-years-old, she finally had the boy of her dreams and they were holding hands as he drove them to the movies and then out for some wine.

” You look fabulous, Jolene.” Scott complimented her. Jolene felt herself blush. She never blushed.

“You’re pretty good yourself you know,” she told Scott, trying to be cool. He grinned and said:

“Of course I’m good. I’m hot! Every girl wants me, but you are the only one lucky enough to have me. I have wanted you forever, Jolene. Since I saw your sweet ass walk into Math class in grade ten. We make sense together. We’re the Homecoming King and Queen. I’m the MVP football quarterback and you’re the head cheerleader. Tonight is only the beginning of you and I. You’re so lucky to have me.”

Jolene didn’t think too much about what Scott said to her most of the time. She didn’t notice how the majority of what he said was self-centred and he wasn’t much interested in getting to know Jolene beyond what was skin deep. Jolene pretended to never notice how Scott had planned out their life, and didn’t include her wants or needs in his plans.

Jolene also was blind to Scott’s filandering. She never knew Scott made  plans with other girls. Scott began doing this after Jolene had graduated high school and her Auntie Cathy had allowed Jolene to start modeling full time. Eventually, Jolene wanted to go to fashion school. But Scott thought Jolene would be too busy looking after their children for her to go to school. Maybe she could do that when the kids were older, Scott said. For now he liked having a known model on his arm.

When Jolene turned twenty-one,  Scott and her were still a couple talking about becoming engaged. Jolene modelled all over France and she was away from Scott too often for her liking. Scott was working on finishing his degree in Business Management and he didn’t miss Jolene much when she was travelling on a modelling shoot. Scott worked part-time as a salesman in Marketing for his father’s company. He was kept busy attending classes, working for his Dad, and having trysts when Jolene was away working.

—–

Jolene was nervous to see Scott when she returned from a modelling gig in Paris after Scott had graduated. Jolene had exciting news to tell Scott, but she wasn’t sure he’d be as happy as she was about the good news.” I have a surprise for you,” Jolene told Scott on her cell phone.

” A surprise?” Scott said, “Will I like this surprise? Does it have anything to do with you and me naked, in bed all night.” Jolene giggled.

“It’s a wonderful surprise, I promise. We can celebrate in bed later. Meet me at the beginning of the pathway to the Chateau at 7:00 pm and I’ll tell you.”

Scott arrived later than 7:00 pm, but he walked with Jolene onto the pathway that lead to the Chateau at one end and to a beach at the other end. Scott held Jolene in his arms and kissed the top of her blond hair when they were at the middle of the walkway.

“So, what’s my surprise, chere?” Scott asked Jolene teasing her ear with his lips. Jolene could hear the waves lapping sloppily against the rocks on the side of the path. It was a distraction for Jolene as she tried to tell Scott she was pregnant.

“Well,” Jolene said, turning around in Scott’s arms. “I think this is going to make you happy. It’s the next step in our relationship. I know your Dad wants grandchildren soon.”

“G-G-Grandchildren?” Scott rasped. “What do you mean by that Jolene? Tell me right now.” Scott demanded.

“I’m pregnant, Scott” Jolene shrieked showing him the pregnancy test excitedly.Scott blinked at her.

“Aren’t you thrilled? We’re going to be parents.” Jolene said. Scott stopped her celebrating with a heavy hand on her shoulder, holding Jolene still so he could have a serious talk with her.

“It’s okay Jolene. I know you’re pretending and trying to act like you want this baby. But we’re too young to have kids. I want them someday but not now. It’s too soon and I’ve graduated with my Business Degree only recently. I’m starting my Masters Degree in Business right away. Because I have experience working in my Dad’s company, the University allowed me to start early.” Scott said ignoring Jolene’s eyes which were starting to tear up and looking up at him pleading.”Here, take my credit card. Get this baby taken care of. It’s only a few weeks old right?”

Jolene went absolutely still. “How could you not want a baby, even if it’s only a few weeks old. That’s our child, Scott?”

Scott gave a half-hearted attempt at a comforting smile.”It will be okay Jolene. I can come with you if you want to the clinic and we’ll get you sorted out. It won’t hurt too much. Many girls end up with unwanted babies and receive abortions, it’s safe for the Mothers.Don’t worry, we’ll have kids in the future. Just not when I’m in Grad school. Maybe when I’m higher up in my Dad’s company and when you’re not such a highly desired model in France.”

Jolene was aghast and her crying quickly turned into sobs. She grabbed Scott’s credit card and ran down the pathway to the Chateau, ignoring Scott’s pleas to come back. Scott tried to reach Jolene by phone or by visiting the Chateau many times. When she finally picked up the phone a month later ready to talk to Scott, he only asked about the baby. Jolene lied to Scott and said she had had the baby aborted, that her Aunt had paid for it. Jolene mailed Scott back his credit card.

Two-months later, Scott broke up with Jolene for good. She had been avoiding him because her stomach had begun to show she was pregnant. There relationship had been in shambles ever since she told Scott she was pregnant. 

“It’s for the best Jolene,” Scott said to her over the phone. “You’re away modelling most of the time and I hardly get a chance to see you. We had a good run, but you and I are not meant to be together for life.”

Jolene was angry and spiteful to Scott. She had seen him around with a lovely red-headed girl, who was delicate and acquiescing. “You only broke up with me so you could be with Katrina. She’s not half as pretty as me. You’re only going out with her because I’ve had issues with you lately and Katrina’s family has a mountain full of money. Your Dad likes Katrina because her father is best friends with him.” Scott laughed at Jolene’s spite.

“You’re just jealous Jolene. You’re not half the woman my Katrina is, not half as caring or beautiful,” Scott said meanly. Jolene hung up on Scott and she didn’t talk to him for years. 

Jolene told her Aunt Cathy about the baby. Cathy was sad about the situation between Jolene and Scott but she loved her niece as if Jolene were her own daughter. Jolene gave birth to Kasia eight-months after she last saw Scott on the pathway to the Chateau. Jolene loved her baby with all her heart. She loved Kasia more than she had ever loved anyone else. It made Jolene tear up when she thought about the fact that Scott had wanted her to have an abortion. Kasia was the best thing in Jolene’s young life.

Jolene never told Scott about Kasia but she never stopped loving Scott, despite the fact that Aunt Cathy and Jolene’s few girlfriends, pointed out what a loser Scott had always been. It didn’t lessen Jolene’s feelings for Scott. She loved him the only way she knew how to love a man.

Years went by. When Kasia was three, Jolene was battling Kasia’s sleeping issues. Kasia was having nightmares and refusing to sleep in her own bed. Jolene reassured Kasia her nightmares weren’t reality and sang Kasia to sleep, eventually in Kasia’s own bed. Jolene thought about Scott as her daughter retreated into dreamland. Seeing parts of Scott in her daughter’s appearance, and Kasia’s strong-willed personality, made Jolene feel as if she would always have a piece of Scott with her. At the same time she Jolene detested Scott, who had made contact with Jolene again and occasionally bothered her, wanting to meet up with Jolene.

When Jolene was twenty-eight and Kasia was seven, Jolene had had enough of Scott and his constant interference in her life. Part of Jolene still loved Scott, but a bigger part of her was offended by his mere existence. Scott wanted to have an affair with Jolene. Jolene refused because she still believed Scott was her’ one and only.’ Jolene thought Scott should divorce Katrina and marry her. Scott had thought she was hilarious for demanding such action from him. How could he abandon his daughter Sara, he asked Jolene. Just like you abandoned Kasia, Jolene thought.

Jolene in hindsight, believed Kasia should have been Scott’s true firstborn. Kasia should have been loved and cherished by a loving mother and a father as Sara was. Jolene avoided Scott as much as possible but he always reached out to her.

Feeling as if she was going to lose it, Jolene seized her chance to leave Nice, and the countryside in France where the Chateau was. Jolene left, barely telling her Aunt her plans. Jolene told Cathy the bare minimum (incase Scott contacted Cathy), that Jolene was going to live, work, and go to fashion school in Canada. She had modelling jobs lined up and a scholarship for a post-secondary school in Toronto. The institution had daycare and was near a elementary school.

Jolene packed up her daughter Kasia, taking only what they could fit in two large suitcases and two small carry-ons. Jolene isolated herself and Kasia from her worried Aunt Cathy with sorrow. Eventually, she did reach out to her with a picture of Kasia or the two of them, every now and then.

But she had escaped Scott and that was the best gift Jolene could give her young daughter: A life free from Scott’s selfish narcissism. She would never tell Scott that Kasia, the baby she was supposed to abort, had lived. Although, she knew someday she would have to tell Kasia the truth about her father.Jolene dreaded that day already. 

——-

Presently, Jolene paced the hallways of the Chateau trying to walk off her anger towards Aunt Cathy for telling Kasia who her father was before Jolene was ready. She felt betrayed. Jolene could feel that feeling of familiar dread making her stomach churn. Kasia must never meet Scott. Not until she was thirty at the very least. . . 

I’m having many ideas from the original prompt. So, please stay tuned for a Part 3 in the near future.

——-

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.