I would like to think I have always conformed to society’s expectations of me. More often than not I have taken the safe road. I have hardly taken risks, I haven’t believed in myself enough. A lot of times even though I may not admit it, my self image has been influenced by people I am surrounded by. I have tried to mould myself to what is expected out of me from those who I love. And then life shakes me up, it’s like my entire belief system has fallen apart in some sense.
And so at the age of 31, I am taking the decision to discover myself. I have quit my safe and cushy job which I was doing well at – and I have decided to go ahead and live my dreams. The starting point however is to find out what my dreams really are. Is it the long standing love of theatre or my childhood affair with words? Or is life going to bring me back full circle to what I am already doing – digital marketing – I don’t hate my job so maybe I am meant to do this. But whatever it is, I want to not sit on the sidelines of my life anymore. I don’t want to just watch it pass by – I want to live it and breathe it.
If I were to die tomorrow, I want to live today like it’s my last day in the world. I want to not sit and talk about the issues that bother me, I want to do something about them. Over the last few months I feel like my body has been giving me indications that I am burning myself out – physically I have felt weaker and mentally I have oscillated between extremes. I am glad I did though, because I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t make me happy anymore. 100% happy. Not fairly happy, not ‘I can deal with it happy’ – but just happy. Truly happy. I want to live my life like it means something to me, and I know it sounds ambitious but I want to make a difference to the world.
So here is my goodbye to the corporate rat race and my first step into a race of my own.
Sometimes you feel like there is a star falling off your grip. Like you had caught it and it was beautiful. But slowly and steadily it was starting to tingle. Just a tingle. You ignored, because it’s your star. After all how many people really catch a star. It’s a rarity. And you nurture the star, you feel like it’s talking to you. It’s your good luck charm. It’s that one lucky mascot that lets you fight the world with such confidence that you think you are invincible. It becomes a part of you, it is you. And then slowly you realise the tingle is increasing. It’s become like a bunch of tiny little pain points in your fist. But you hold on tighter, because you know that the star is your strength. It’s your start point for happiness. It’s the loci of your joy. That star is what you wake up every morning looking forward to. It’s brightness makes you feel like you are meant to do more and be more. It is the harbinger of your dreams, ambitions, beliefs and by now even your being. But slowly and surely the pain points are growing. You can start to see the star boring holes into your fist. The light is starting to escape. But you don’t want to let go. Why should you? It was a lot of effort to catch it. It’s your star. It’s what gives you the reason to go on living. And slowly your fist is numb. Your arms are turning blue. It’s the star. You know it is. You are still holding on to it. As tight as you can. But you haven’t realised that you are so hell bent on just not letting the star go, that you are not happy any more. You are in pain. You are hurting. So what should you do.. Because of somehow you can manage to hold that star right you will be the Queen of the world. But if you can’t then it will make your entire being hollow. Bit by bit – so would you hold on or let go?
What would you do.
There are times when you feel like it’s going to explode. What why where how… You can never explain even to yourself. It’s like there is a volcano in your own head. Something that is always bubbling, but staying down because you are holding your breath. You are at the pinnacle of an emotional upheaval and suddenly it all bursts..
I am a harbinger of extremes, even those who love me often call me a drama queen. But they forget that my extreme is the reason I am the way I am. My beliefs are black and white but my perceptions are grey. My judgements maybe black and white but my intuition is made of greys. More often than not I am articulate, but when it comes to speaking my heart out – all the articulate sensibilities fail me.
I am tired and exhausted of the efforts one puts in fitting in. I want to just not have to fit into a mould of what someone wants to believe I am. Most of our lives we go without really knowing what we want.. What we would do… How we behave.. What is it that we believe.. We are colored by opinions and by expectations. Because we believe that people are our silver linings… But silver linings are just a myth. Only you can be the anchor of your soul, your grief, your joy and your fear. So in the good bad and the ugly.. Anchor yourself to the shore of your belief and have faith when you say to yourself – this too shall pass.
Today I stood and talked to a few friends about why it is ok to stay quiet when another person is fighting. I spoke of how its unfair and all I heard was it is situational. And I remembered to Thank you for courage. I remembered to thank you because I never did for giving me the fearlessness I carry. I stood there and in my head thought how easy it is to discuss another’s pain.
I remembered how once as we travelled as kids in a bus, you stood and fought with some men who were harassing a woman travelling alone. I remember you had my little brother and me along. But what you cared about was the respect of another woman. I remember how you screamed at random men who harassed you or other women.
And I was always proud, proud of being your daughter. Proud of being with you and safe. I grew up without fear. I grew up to be one of those forward women who create an ‘issue’ about ‘small’ things. Those women that fight and scream and yell when they are harassed or harass another. I don’t often tell you mom, but I have had my moments of hell. When I have been asked for ‘my rate’ in a crowd or been called lewd names. And every time I turn around and glare thinking of what you would have done.
I wish there were more mothers like you Mom. I hear the fear in you now. I know you worry that I fight too much, or stretch it too far. I know you were not worried till I was closer to you mom. But I hear the fear in your voice now when I say I stood up for what’s right. Maybe when I have a daughter I will know your fears better. I just hope I can set the examples you set, so that my daughter will not stand quietly aside while others fought. I wish there were more mothers like you mom, then maybe more would have stood up for the right and not been bystanders of injustice.
I am scared mom, of being a woman sometimes, always thinking twice about what is right to wear, how must a girl behave, or whether I will be groped or not. But I still stand up and will always. Because my mom taught me too.
I wish there were more mothers like you. Then may be just may be two boys would have been alive.
I keep wondering if people really know what it means to be lonely in a crowd, but most of us are at most points. There is this nagging feeling when people get married, that you are alone.
I was always the girl that dreamt of commitment and marriage! The girl who believed in the institution of marriage. But I think I have moved on from there too. Sometimes there is a setback that ruffles the entire being of your existence.
I think my existence has been ruffled.