Of choices

Dear Diary,

Life is back to normal again. After a long time of upheaval and uncertainties, it is where it was, and it seems, the sea is calm, yet again.

Normally, times of upheaval /difficulties usually signify the time of improvement, growth. So far, it usually ended with some significant change in my life – a milestone. This time, however, it hasn’t changed much. Maybe I hit the rock bottom and I am back to the surface, breathing, so that’s a big achievement! Not sure, though.

As I reflect on those times, I do try to gather what I learnt (coz there must be!). The first one and the only one so far, is it was all my choice. The times tested which way I go, and I made my choice. Whether it was about supporting my husband in his venture, or not-leaving my job for my ailing child (who is now fine), or not moving back to my in-laws house because of societal pressure, or about not-giving up when everything seemed to be going wrong at my job. I took a stand. I decided for myself. It didn’t seem so when it was all happening. But, now, I can see that that is how it all went.

As I always say – ‘ There is no right or wrong a choice. It is about what actions you follow it with, which decide whether the choice was wrong or right’.

So, when I did decide to move out of my in-laws house, it was a major decision. A decision which most would term as ‘wrong’, but by working extra-hard towards keeping the relations healthy, happy, I could heal them. I could make the decision right. Now, not only am I happy, they are able to find their happiness in this setup too. It wasn’t easy. Neither for me, nor for them. But, if the intentions are right, and if you value the relations, it does work out. Today, we’re considered a happy unit again (‘us’ and ‘them’ together).

When Anay fell sick, and had to be hospitalized, everyone questioned our decision of moving out. It made sense to keep the child home instead of sending him to the day care and opening him to so many infections. That was a time even my husband thought that it’s the right thing to do, to move back. But, I knew, I had made a choice. And, it was time to make the choice right. So, I decided that we won’t undo what we had done. I decided we will try to make it work by working it out with our offices. And, it seemingly did. It was tough. Both our careers were at stake. But, when you have a baby, you don’t have it to give away to your parents to take care. You take care of your child. And, if you cannot take care of him/her because of your career, then you need to figure out how to make it work. Not brush your hands off the child by handing over the responsibility. Yes, my child requires his grandparents and their love. He needs loads of them. I keep visiting. I let him have his way, a lot of times. But, I don’t want to use it as an excuse to get rid of my responsibility.

Because of this part-time story, my job went into a deep shit. Things went out of hand pretty suddenly. What came as a warning sounded more like a death bell. While moving to a different job was an obvious choice, it would have meant accepting defeat and letting go of all the hard work I had done in my past 4 years at the company. I was ready to move-on in terms of job. I wasn’t ready to leave on bad terms. I didn’t want to leave because I failed at the job I took. I wanted to prove I was worth it. I wanted to prove it was a phase that I went through.

‘And, it does not define me’.

It took a lot of courage, lot of self-introspection and letting go of personal limitations to get over it. It meant facing people head-on. Having arguments of personal level and yet keeping it totally professional. No tears, No emotions. They say, once relations go sour, it is almost impossible to mend them back. This time, I can say, I mended them. I would never be able to forget the scar, but I mended it enough so that I don’t have to run from my current situation. I can work. I can go to a happy place to work. And, if later, I want to switch because I would like to, professionally, then I would. But, for now, there’s no rush.

Well Well! So, that was my last adventure. And, as I see my calm sea again, I wonder and yawn. I wonder what the next adventure would be, and when it would be. Because Life is the only adventure which keeps my adrenaline high.

Hoping for a rocking life ahead! Coz I ain’t done yet! 😉

-Hope

of hatred

Hatred is a two – way sword. The more you inch from ‘dislike’ to ‘loathing’ to ‘hatred’ for a person, more pressure you exert on the sword to inch further into the person. And as you put pressure, more the sword digs deeper into your hand – from the edge pointing at you. The sword can never hurt the other person more than you because the pain is felt first in your hands! 

So, chose the people you hate, wisely!

Of lessons

Dear Diary,

Life is rolling and I find myself humbled and a tiny-bit wiser with each passing day. During this whole journey as an entrepreneur’s wife, I went through lot of new experiences. Personal, professional, as an individual, as a home-maker.

Lesson 1: Just because someone brought a bad experience to your life, doesn’t make the person bad.

I’ve always believed that all things that happen to us, good or bad, are meant to happen. They’re meant to happen to make us learn some important lesson. If you’ve read ‘Many Lives Many Masters’ by Brian Weiss, you would be able to relate the concept. The concept is that we keep coming back to this world to learn lessons. These lessons make our souls grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and bring us (our souls) closer to the Pure One, the source of all our souls (or the energy source, whatever you may call it).

If you completely believe this hypothesis, as an axiom, it means, the people bringing that experience to you are just mere messengers.
e.g. There are times you’re struck in a difficult situation, or some sort of life-death experience, and someone stranger/unexpected comes from somewhere and helps you get out of it. You feel like the person was God-sent to save you.

If you agree with this, as I do, you’ll have to agree with the vice versa too. Which means that this holds true for the opposite experiences too. That is, when something bad happens to us, that is also done by God to make us learn from the experience. We often associate the person bringing that bad experience as bad. We hold that person as our enemy whom whenever we meet/encounter/are reminded of, brings bad memories to us. We start to wish ill for the person. Sometimes, even going so far as planning revenge against the person.

Why?

If the good experiences are God-sent, why can’t we accept that bad experiences/phases are God sent too!? The learning was meant to happen. It played out in a certain way in your life and God needed some pawns (people) to execute it in your life’s play. Those are only pawns. Mere players.

It’s same as like in old times, it was a rule not to harm/hold prisoner the messenger bringing bad news/news of war to kings. Because, the messenger is merely doing his duty to his Master, of bringing the news. He’s not responsible for the news or what follows!

By accepting this, I let go of my bad thoughts that I held against so many people.

Lesson 2: You can play a role in your partner’s life, you cannot live their life

What is love? For as long as I remember, it has been a crucial question that I’ve tried to solve for myself. Is it the actions we do while we’re in love? Is it the emotions we feel while we’re in a relationship? How does it all connect in terms of the other person?

Ever since I got married, I had consciously tried to stop thinking about ‘love’. Whatever I feel for my husband is love for me. The care, the sacrifices we do in our regular lives, is what I think is love. I’ve also found out that love is not equal to lust. And they are two totally different emotions.

In the name of love, we often try to maneuver the life and decisions of our loved ones. Because of our insecurities, troubles, or selfish reasons, we try to make them do things that are not really their choices, but ours. We think we’re trying to save them from future trouble. But, in reality, no one knows the future. What you do today, how it’ll shape-up tomorrow, no one knows. Sometimes, even the most trusted and well-tested methods fail because, as they say ‘Everyone makes their tea, their own way’. So, each has a unique way of doing the same thing which thus, may end up in a different result.

So, instead of trying to overthink things. Instead of trying to put your decisions/thoughts on them, even if you think loved-one is going wrong, let them go ahead with it. You can always give them your opinion but you should be open and ready to accept if they don’t follow your judgement.

In worst case, they’ll be proven wrong and you’ll be proven right, and you both would have to bear the failure, but would it be that bad?! Is it the end of life and the world? No, right! So, give them this space. And, let them make their own mistakes because it is their life. And, this will be your sacrifice for your love. To stand by them even when they commit the mistakes you knew was a mistake all along. Because, love is not something that fades or happens once. It’s something to be executed. To be upheld as of prime importance. Even beyond and above the mistakes.

Lesson 3: Dreams do have a dead-line

To be continued.

Of tough times

Dear Diary,

These are tough times for our family. Me, T, MIL, FIL, SILs, my Mom, my brother. Pretty much everyone is struggling with some major problem or the other.

Without going into details of what’s the individual problems, I want to reflect on this phase. As I face concerns, both personally, as an individual, as well as a wife, a co-sister to my SILs, as a sister and a daughter, I reflect on my behavior. On my actions. On my reaction to situations.

And, I find myself doing wonderful. Amazingly wonderful.

No, I’m not fixing any of their problems. I don’t have the capability to fix. I can only handle it at my end.

T is confused which way should he go. The family pressure and the time it is taking to succeed at his business, is taking a toll on him. He feels the pressure to get back to job. He’s doubtful if his decision of quitting and getting into business was right or not. To see his sisters in need, and to not be able to help, is a very difficult position for a dutiful brother. He wants to help. It irks him a great deal when he sees his loved-ones in trouble. Then, he feels responsible for the troubles I’m going through too. He wants to fix it as soon as he can.

As a wife, I’ve the dual responsibility of being the supporter, as well as the check-point for him. I want to support him in this uphill task he’s taken upon himself. I also need to keep warning him of going astray. I feel the pressure of failure too. As much as I see my life wonderfully taken care of, if he gets back to his job…as much as I see it all a way of life I’m too aware and comfortable with, I can’t let him do that. I as much know that it is not what he wants. He quit job because he really wanted to do business. He wanted to work on his idea. He still is passionate about it. The major attraction job has for him is that it’ll mean extra income to pump into his business idea. That’s all. Should he get back to the corporate world just because he needs money for what he likes doing? Should he get back to it just because his family needs that money flow? Perhaps the answer is yes. Or, strongly, the answer is no.

I don’t know. I just know that whichever path he takes, he should do it with the complete knowledge that it is something he’ll have to do forever. He needs to be totally convinced with the reasons he has for joining job. Or, he needs to completely understand the stakes if he continues with his tread towards his goal in business.

I think the real pressure has come on him, to succeed, only now. The pressure which every person requires while heading towards a goal.

In all this, my perspective is, I need to support him from family side, and financially. My financial support only goes up to the family requirements. If he needs money for his business, he needs to arrange by himself. I give him a hearing ear when he needs it. I give him an earful, when he needs that, too 😛 I take care of all the family chores.

Is it stressful for me? Is it easy for me? It is stressful at times. When I don’t get to go anywhere in the evenings because I’ve to be home, I do feel the heat. I feel agitated when getting time for a simple walk, or a visit to the parlor, keeps getting pushed week-by-week because I’m busy/ because I cannot be excused. I feel stressed when I’ve a tiring day at work and Anay decides to give me an elongated hour of feeding him his food. Sometimes, the mental pressure gets to me where I’m unsure if I’m doing the right thing in supporting him in this insanity.

There’s a lot we’re putting aside for this dream. None of us know whether we’ll succeed or not. In a way, somehow, I’m not bothered by the results. If he succeeds in his business, I will achieve my dream of ‘being the woman behind the successful man’. If he fails in this, he’ll  realize that he does his job best and that’s what he’ll get back to, contentedly. And, we’ll both look at this phase as another wonderful adventure in our ‘Book of Life together’.

And, for this learning, for this positive approach in troubled waters, I’m so thankful to God. And give myself, a pat on my back. 🙂

Hope this stays.

 

-Hoping Hope

The War within – Emotions vs Actions

Dear Diary,

I often wonder why are we taught to control our emotions, to hide our emotions? For example, if you’re extremely angry, you should try and avoid taking it out right then. If you’re extremely happy, try not to show it too much. If you’re upset with someone, think rationally before just taking it all out.

Is it really that bad to vent out right then? I agree that whatever we feel or say is sometimes extreme when we’re angry but then isn’t everyone smart enough to understand and let it be at just that – a fit of anger, an outburst of emotions…?

I feel that suppressed emotions cause more damage than extreme, long pent-up outbursts. Whenever I have had an outburst, I’ve been wrong and guilty at the end of it, for speaking too much, or feeling so negative. But, it has liberated me. I immediately feel relieved. Of all worries, of all bad thoughts, of all negativities, of even unwanted desires. And the days lost writhing in pain/misery/negativities end up giving so many health problems! Why to do that?

Isn’t it the actions that should decide whether a person is right/wrong? I may have an urge to kill someone, hurt someone, scheme against someone. But those are only urges and should mean nothing as long as I don’t act on my urges. Then why do we start judging when a person says ‘I have an urge to cheat on my partner’, or that ‘I feel hatred towards my parents’, or ‘I feel like my child is a burden and life would have been so much free/fun without them’.

And if it is the action that decides the right/wrong, then why keep all those emotions hidden? Sometimes just taking those emotions out solves most of the problem. Isn’t it?

But, that is not how the world operates. That is not how people expect you to behave and they don’t behave that way either. So, if you start behaving that way, people will start judging you more by your words than your actions. Because, everyone is just looking for your low-points. Times when you did something wrong and use it against you when you’re at a high. I can’t imagine my in-laws understanding that it was just an outburst of emotions and not something I had/have on my mind all the time. I can’t expect my manager to just forget what I said in my angry moment, and not use it to decide/judge me at the time of my performance review.

Hence, that’s how the world will always operate. Sigh!

-Hope

Social or Fake?

Dear Diary,

As I lay in bed, trying to find a new activity every day, to pass my time, I think of people who didn’t call me. I don’t care much for the social, formality-sake calls, but I worry about the ones those I expected and didn’t come. A particular person, a close one, who was sure to call, called but not to me, but to family. I wonder why. Did I say something that hurt her? I think back to our last meeting, our last conversation. Ohh! I think I hurt her. But, I didn’t intend to. I was purely citing that example to share my pain, on her situation, on her pain. Of my fears. Ohh Dear! 😦 I feel sad to have hurt her. But, how could she take me wrong. I was just sharing. 😦

I remember all such past incidences, when I lost people. People who were important to me, but whom I hurt in my naivety. Just because I said something. But then, it never is just one instance. I am sure it was more. There must have been episodes before that, and it was just the last nail in the coffin. I don’t realize my mistake until it reaches this last, when the people just snap. Snap the relationship. Snap the contact. I am left with no choice but to let go. It hurts. It hurts even after many years. The fact that I remember all of them, even till today, proves that it always stays.

I wonder. I wonder how people let go of relations so easily. As I grow on in my adult life, I realize how difficult it is to create the same, easy relations that we used to have in childhood, in teenage life. Hence, I don’t want to let go of those relationships at all. There was lot of time and energy that went in building them. And just a misunderstanding, or a disagreement is not enough to waste it all. We don’t have the time any more to create those kind of solid bonds and understanding. The lifestyles, the complex living conditions that we live in, don’t leave any scope for it.

Or maybe, they do understand it and still think its not worth it.

I like people. I like talking to people. Exchanging thoughts, philosophies. Talking about my random ideas and their responses to it. I feel for their pain. I feel their happiness equally. That makes me a social person. But, I would rather call myself an open person. I don’t hide my thoughts, my problems, my views. I don’t poke into your problems, your lives either. I try not to. I specifically try not to pry into your personal lives. I just try and be there, if you need to talk to me. As a friend.

I wish I could just be the same old person I was. In a circle of a few friends. People, who knew me, understood me, and didn’t judge me. If  I hurt them, they would lash back at me than give up. The adult world is fake. Social means fake. Where you say things to please people. To be in their good books. Agree with them no matter what you feel.

When I reach such points, I so feel that Tarun is so perfect a person. He’s considered an asocial guy. Doesn’t talk much to people. Concentrates on his work, most of the time. He likes to participate, but gets involved in it just that much. No friends, and yet a whole gamut of friends.

I don’t think I could ever be that way. Maybe I never should be that. I’ll just be what I am. Unrepentant. And stop judging myself for it. Before I ask people to stop judging me, I should stop judging myself.

Dear God, be with me!

-Hope