Posted in Adult Life, Ambitions, Challenges, Growth, Personal, Relationships, Society, Uncategorized

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

-Hope

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Posted in Adult Life, Ambitions, Challenges, Growth, Personal, Philosophy, Self-growth, Society, Uncategorized

Losing hope

Dear Diary,

I find myself too confused lately. Unable to follow my conviction. 2016 was a hard-year. I’m not yet ready to write about it. Maybe I just want to forget it. Well, I know, they are invaluable lessons of my life. Part of my growing up. But, for now, the memories are too painful to talk about. A lot of it is full of guilt and self-realisations. Because of that, I no longer am able to trust my intuitions, my conviction, my mind, or my heart. This hasn’t happened since, well, 2009.

My astrology readings tell me that 2009 was my golden period. It was the time my Sun was in my favour. And, the phase was supposed to stay for 7 yrs. Those 7 yrs have come to an end (obviously). Even the bad phases, like Shani are supposed to stay for 7 yrs, but they seem to be never-ending. I was reflecting on what I achieved in those 7 yrs. In the good 7 yrs. If they were my golden 7yrs then perhaps those were my most productive years too. Well – I got married, gave birth to a wonderful child, found success in my job. Perhaps, enough to stay contented for a lifetime!

But, for me, it seems too little. Oh! I can never be happy! What else could I get to make myself happy!? Truly contented?

But tell me, will any person ever tell you that getting married was the biggest achievement of there life? From all that I’ve gathered from my married life, happiness in a relationship is a constant endeavour. Just because you were married to a great guy doesn’t guarantee you will be happy with each other forever! A lot is how you handle it later and if your ambitions and paths remain connected all life long. And becoming a mother, it’s the best feeling and a blessing, but with a child born every second, in India alone, I fail to feel lucky about it.

When I reflect on the time and feel dismal about not achieving anything, I wonder what I wanted? Honestly speaking, I wanted to find my passion. I wanted to reach to the profession that I was meant for. Even today, I wonder what if I had pursued that MBA after all. Despite achieving success in my profession, I don’t find myself feeling like – ‘I’ve arrived!’. I don’t see that urge to learn more, to try more, to give it more. It’s just work.

I again want to branch out and try. After being working for 10 yrs, it’s not easy shifting. It’s not just that you would need to work harder to make your mark, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to make your mark, your place, as you were able to make here. The thought of leaving the safety net, of taking the plunge without the rope, the risk is too high. And, that makes taking the plunge even harder. Tarun is obviously against it. He tries to urge me to think again, to continue where I am. I feel as if he’s already stopping me from moving ahead in life. I’m sure he’s also concerned about the safety net, just as I am, but I want him to support me in taking risks, just as I did, for him.

But, this is no barter system. You can’t expect the person to do you favours because you did some by them. It’s a common life for both of you. And each decision has repercussions on all our lives. Not just mine.

I feel old. This country, this setup, they make you feel old and done with, in 10 yrs of your work ex. You’re already amongst the ones who have been there for long. And you feel this void, of there’s nothing more for me to achieve or look up to.

I don’t want that. I want to live my life like there’s no end. Even when it is the end. I want that energy, that passion, that hope…of a tomorrow. Forever!

 

Posted in Adult Life, Challenges, Growth, Personal, Self-growth, Social, Society

Of values and superstitions

Some random ramblings I wrote a few months ago. Posting now.

 

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All my life I have been the decent girl who never did anything that made her a ‘bad girl’. Even when I was in love, I was the decent, good girl in love. I never wore anything hot or provocative. Ever. I always believed that when I get married, I’ll dress up in all those dresses and flaunt it with my man by my side. My Mom never did a lot of makeup.. I discovered makeup at the age of 30. I’m still grappling with it. Will you believe if I told you that I tried my eye-liner a day ago, yesterday, that is 31 Jan’2016.

Before a girl is taught language, she’s taught boundaries, rights and wrongs. She’s not told about exploring her femininity but how to cover it. How to curb any thoughts of doing things on her own. What is unacceptable in the society.
I remember I found my femininity when I went to US. It was only then that I was really away and alone from my parents. I thought having lived in the hostel and PGs for good 6 yrs should be sufficient to teach me a thing or two. It should have made me independent. But, it seems they didn’t. In US, being all alone, single, I found my true self. Open, free. I explored the clothes I wore. I tried my first lipstick. I still didn’t explore other shades of lipstick. Even that exploration has only started now. I wanted to be hot. I am 31 and I don’t want to think myself as old or over with my youth. I wanted marriage to free me of those limitations. But, unfortunately, it has put more limitations.

I have now found that my soul knows no limits, no inhibitions. I learnt a thing about Mr. Guilt too.ย  Guilt mostly happens because you think you did something against your values. The values, which have been ingrained in your mind, all these years. I don’t know whether what they teach is right or wrong. I think values, when followed blindly are as much superstitions as those Hindu vrats that one does. Without understanding their meanings, without your mind accepting them, they are just baseless bullshit with no results. They tell you of all the bad things which may happen in future. But you don’t know whether that’s true or not. No one got out alive of it anyway!

I remember reading ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach. It has a para that says ‘If God asked you of his one work that he wanted you, His ardent followers to do, would you do it? The followers said’ Yes, Dear Jesus, tell us what you want and we’ll lay our lives for it. God said ‘Are you sure you would do anything and fulfill this work of mine?’ They all said ‘Yes Yes, we will go to any length to do it.’ God said ‘ Be Happy. I want you all to be happy’.

The quote has stuck with me. I think that’s precisely what God wants from us, all of us. To be happy. To chose happiness over anything else.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cheers, to life!

Dear Diary,

There are so many small things going on in life. Nothing of much importance but each one is making my life and each day beautiful.

Things are settling down slowly in our new house. We’re working on making it home. ๐Ÿ™‚ I and Tarun put up some paintings and hangings on the walls and that has really brought the house alive. All of them have been gifted to me by my Mom at some point or the other, after my marriage. They are things she bought from her travels. I love the prospect of showing off each of them, my collections, to my friends. I also have three paintings with me which she made herself. I think they are masterpieces, not just because she made them, but because I do think they are a class apart in the art category. If I were to be buried than burnt on my death, I would like to take those paintings to my grave with me. I love them so much. ๐Ÿ˜›

A dear friend of mine met me after a long time. I had been yearning to meet her for the longest of times and finally, we could, and she came home. I was so happy to be able to call her home. To be able to talk freely to her. I can’t explain but it’s a very valued feeling. The freedom to be able to call a friend home and talk freely.

Yesterday was the first time we had some proper guests coming home. My cousin sister self-invited herself to my place. ๐Ÿ˜› So, we had her coming with her 3-month old son and husband. It was a nice feeling to be able to think, prepare, and plan a meal, for guests. It was a lot of work. So much cleaning-up to do. So much preparation of food to be done. Making sure there are minimal leftovers and yet sufficient for all. It was my first time doing all of it, all alone, without any guidance. It was fun. I prepared 2 veggies, apple-raita, cut some fresh fruits and a yummy cold-coffee for them. It was perfect to the T. ๐Ÿ™‚

After a long time, I’m thinking back about my ambitions. About what I want in my career. About which way I want to tread my life. And, individually. I have never been stopped by Tarun but I never realized how much I had stopped thinking individually. I was making modifications to my plans to accommodate his. All couples do that, knowingly or unknowingly. But, in the process, I also realized that I didn’t need to. I was just using it as an excuse to avoid the hard work on the path. He can continue to tread his while I continue to tread mine. I’m excited, worried, waiting, yearning, inspired, all at same time.

Smiles
-Hope