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! 😉

-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 Ambitions, Growth, Personal, Self-growth, Society, Uncategorized

Let the spirit rise above the ashes

Dear Diary,

It happens, yet again. And I’m reminded of all things that passed. Simple incidents. Meaningless incidents. And yet they have a capacity of causing your entire being to fall back into its original state of helplessness and negative loops. Why! Why is the mind so fickle!? Perhaps it’s not the mind but the soul which needs empowerment. Empowerment to overcome the senses.

It is only you and you only who can stop that loop which your mind falls into. Those meaningless conversations which keep going on in your head have no other result but a heartache and a pertinent headache -both of which hurt only you. The conversations which never happened and will actually never happen. They change nothing. Of no consequence. If it is so troubling for you, go ahead and reach out to the person and do that conversation ‘actually’, in real. And, if you do not have the courage or do not believe the reason is important enough, then stop. Stop right there.

You Are Capable. You can stop this decay of your being if you put your mind to.

I resolve not to let my spirit become a slave to my senses.

I resolve not to let my tongue/taste force me to fall sick further.

I resolve not to let my mind force me to believe that I can never be fit again.

I resolve not to let my injuries force me to believe that I can never dance again.

As long as I live, I will live it full.

Just start working, Stop thinking.

-Hope

Posted in Growth, Personal, Philosophy, Relationships, Self-growth, Society

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

On modern-day marriages and divorce

Dear Diary,

 

I recently read a post which was on Divorce. On when a woman should walk out of her marriage. On how she was suffering from domestic violence and harassment. Such posts and stories are not uncommon. Rather, rampant, I may add. Mostly, they give you the picture of a capable woman who’s being mistreated.

 

I’m no judge for a woman’s decision on continuing with her marriage or opting for divorce. But, I feel ‘divorce’ is a word thrown around quite casually in urban world. Reading such posts, reading about women walking out of their husband’s houses because they were being mistreated, a lot of women connect to it. Should they? That’s what I want to talk about here.

 

I retrospect on my own marriage. It’s been 6 yrs now. It’s now that I sit in a home that I truly call my own. For 5 yrs I was living in a house that I was ‘trying’ to make my home. It was a joint setup but my in-laws were pretty adjusting. They understood that I came from a different family and I’m not used to their ways and they tried to help me adjust to their ways. This means that not adjusting was not an option. They could give me time and understanding but not accepting their ways, wasn’t an option. If I write on, this post would start to look like another of those ‘mistreated women’ post. I’m here to give another perspective. The perspective of adjustment in marriage.

 

For those 5 yrs I was in a space where I wasn’t comfortable. There were incidents which made me feel like this is not the right thing to do OR that I’m being mistreated OR they are trying to use me OR my parents are not been given the respect they should be given etc etc. In all these times, I would sulk, cry, be unhappy. I would contemplate divorce. Think about running away and start a new life. Trust me, life away from these relatives, rituals which made no sense, these obligations of being the perfect bahu to a perfect family, it was really dreamy and quite enticing. It may sound unbelievable, but yes, Divorce was charming!

 

Being a modern, independent woman, you would never find yourself incapable of leading a life alone. Setting up a house? You have the money. You’re earning. In-laws will try to force you to come back? The law is with you and will protect you. Parents will try to force you to return? Well, they are not living in this hell-hole, are they! Neither are they doing anything about your miseries. Right?! So, you’ll deal with it. Your child? The law protects you and will most likely give you the custody of the child (almost 99%)

So, all in all, getting out of the clutches of marriage is not difficult. But, is it really what you want?

 

I have a friend who had been living separately from her husband. She has a 14-yr old son and she separated when her son was merely 7-month old. She was heavily dependent on her own parents. She had been non-working when she separated but found herself a job. She left her son with her mother to go and earn a living for both of them. She had to move to Bangalore for her job when her son was 2 yrs and that was toughest. She moved back as quick as she could. Then, she found somebody at work. He really liked her and wanted to marry her despite knowing that she has a son. They tried. But, his parents never agreed. They didn’t want a divorced/married woman to be married to their son. As expected. She never married again. As friends, we often told her to think about re-marrying but she always let it pass. She understood that finding a partner for herself also meant finding a father for her son and that was not easy.

 

Life alone is not fun. Tough, on the contrary, mostly. We may think we’ll find someone again. But, it’s not given for sure.

 

I don’t say that it should be a reason to stick to your marriage but think if your problems are really that big? Or, are these just adjustment issues which can be fixed. Making a home, a family is not easy. It needs a lot of compassion and sacrifice by each person. Never let go of your self-respect. Never take violence as acceptable. But, other than that, try to find the reason you got into the alliance. Try to find the reason why you want to stick to it. And, if you have that reason, fight hard for it. Because when this bad phase will pass, the achievement you feel at building your life, at building your life the way you wanted, it will be great. Nothing beautiful or precious in life comes for free. It needs hard work and toil. If you’re really an independent and strong woman who can survive alone, fight for your marriage and home first. Make it worth coming back home, after a long day at work.

Why? Because you’re worth it! You deserve to have that dream home, with your perfect family. But to get that, you need to work for it. Fight for it. Before you look towards the escape plan that is divorce, look for the resolution to your problems within your marriage. Why? Again, because you’re worth it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Love is all about you

I couldn’t express my thoughts and the idea so well. Mr. Sadhguru explains it beautifully.

What I said, let me re-quote –

“Love is mostly about the feelings/experiences/emotions you’re going through than the other person involved. It’s pretty pretty selfish in the garb of caring/sacrificing/loving the other person. Mostly whatever you do, you’re doing to satisfy your fears, or your whims and fancies, or your dreams. Never think that what you’re going through (hell/heaven) is because of the other person. If the person is not reciprocating the way you wanted them to, don’t reach to the conclusion that this is the end of the world or this is the only person you can ever live with. It is a long journey and there are lot of people in the world. (As of today, 1 billion in Delhi alone!). You’ll find someone else, perhaps even better. Plus, there are many more things in life than just love.”

What Sadhguru says, please read all of it.

http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/sadhguru/masters-words/love-is-all-about-you/

It may not be easy to practice it. To love yourself so much that you glow like a flower, like you do when you’re in love (with someone else). But if we could achieve that, I think it’ll be heaven on earth for me! The most I miss about those times I thought I was in love is how I ‘felt’ at those times. You feel like a special person. You feel like a beautiful person, nothing to hate, nothing in you that’s not to like. You feel like you’re perfect in whatever form, shape, thoughts, ideas you have/are. I think there’s so much negativity, hatred, blaming in the world that people freely share what they dislike about you/others/world but they don’t so often express what they like about it. If you spread positive thoughts and feelings, you get positive things back to you.

I remember reading this post sometime in 2012.

http://theviewspaper.net/get-inspired/

I was recently travelling in Metro. As usual, it was completely full. There was a lady standing with a small child in her arms. She didn’t ask for anyone to vacate the seat. The seat in front of me was vacating. The girl next to me was tired and wanted to take it as soon as possible. I just asked her if she would be ok giving it up for the other girl. She was tired but said ok. Before the lady could come and sit, another woman took the seat. I politely asked her if she could adjust and let the lady with the child sit. She agreed too. And finally, I got a seat for someone who was in need. I remember the day when I did something good with no returns. I think it’s not that tough to do so. I couldn’t do it alone. There are high chances someone would have refused or protested against it. But, it’s just a matter of being positive and looking for positive side of people. I asked and I was given. Everything is not bad in the world. We just need to be positive and work towards bringing that out.

With hope

-Hope

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Marriage – Disaster or Opportunity?

Working in a team with only 2 people married, and rest all bachelors, a common topic of discussion is marriage. And, all the bachelors are men. So, it’s a common thing that these people are teased about marriage and these people have general tendency of replying that it’s a nightmare to think of. 

I know it is common. But, sometimes they start to press the point so much that it gets irritating. They go on to say that they don’t want to get married at all, and will be doing it purely because of parental pressure. So, today while walking with a bunch of them, I started the debate with them on why they think it’s a nightmare?’. Now the reasons went on to various domains like losing independence, spending on the wife, not able to spend on things you want to, and all. I gave my explanations for the same. But most of the time I get silent because they say ‘We should ask Tarun than you. You’ll anyways be happy with marriage’.
I think what I should have said, what I would like to say is how my life changed/improved after marriage. I had lot of hiccups adjusting to it. I had moments when I wanted to end it all and run away from it all. There are so many dogmas that you have to fight. Whoever says that its nice for the girl, should try being in that situation himself. But, I would like to mention what I gained from my marriage, purely selfishly.
1. I can go freely to trips to various places with my husband. This was not allowed before by my parents.
2. I can spend on things I wish to do. Being earning and having taken care of my family for their financial needs, I do not feel guilty for spending on my own wishes/luxuries/silly-nothings. These small things make me feel a lot better about slogging the whole day in office.
3. My husband is my best-friend. I can laugh, cry, fight, enjoy as much as I want with him. After working in the industry for so many years, we lose touch with friends. We socialize with colleagues and it leaves a big void for any heart-to-heart discussions you may want to have. And, no, you can’t do those with your parents. Or siblings. I think as we grow beyond teenage, we feel this urge to be able to talk to someone our age, who’s not from our family, or office. Someone you can freely share your secrets and your worries. Someone who understands you and knows your whole story so is able to appreciate your decisions, or the choices you made in life. And, that can be best found in a spouse.
4. I am the only one who can understand his jokes. He is the only one who can sit through my extreme-lows, and can make me still smile. Not just sit, but make me smile! Every time. Every single time.
5. I love to see how cute my child is. I don’t think he would have been so cute if he was only mine. He got the cuteness completely from his dad. The smartness – is completely from me!
6. The things I have learnt from him. The values, the maturity, the stability that he has brought to my life by being a responsible partner. By not just being a silent walker by my side, but a sculptor who works on the sculpture, slowly and steadily. He has brought me up in life, in society, in realizing my potential and being happy with me.
And if you think I just got lucky, you still didn’t get it. I’m able to create this list because I keep the attitude where I am looking for the positives in a marriage, rather than looking at the negatives. The person next to you can be a team, or an opponent in your life’s journey. The decision on what he/she is for you, is yours. Marriage is not about luck, it is about what you can make of it. Opportunity or a Disastrous consequence.