You are worth it

“Not one drop of your self-worth depends on the acceptance of others.”

-Anonymous

No, this isn’t an advertisement for Loreal. Most of the times we forget or are forced by the society to destroy our self esteem to keep in line with the society’s expectations. I, like a good child always listened and believed everything that the society dumped on me. If they told me I’m fat, I worked on losing weight, if they told me my hair was frizzy and didn’t look good, I straightened it to fit the normal beauty standards, if they told me I shouldn’t wear certain clothes to talk to certain people, I restrained myself from doing it. I did everything they told, yet, the society never seems to be happy with the way I live.

I never thought it would be so hard to be an unmarried 30 year old girl in India. As I aged, I saw many old electronics and gadgets being replaced with newer, better versions. But somehow, the mentality of people has remained the same, if not, digressed over the years! Though people don’t tell me directly, I can sense the fear in my parents and relatives minds for not being married by the so called golden age of 30. Sometimes they feel that my pictures aren’t good enough, my qualification becomes an issue at times, my location is a problem many a times. There is always some or the other reason. I’m never affected by any such “so called” rejections because I have got nothing to lose here. I am very happy with the way I have lived my life, my personality, my achievements, my qualification and of course my appearance. If that doesn’t suit someone for any reason, that’s totally valid. But that doesn’t make me any less of a person.

When two people love each other and chose to spend the rest of their lives together, they get married. However, I have come to realize that people treat single people differently, especially after they have crossed the general age of 30. I don’t want to succumb under the society’s pressure and get married just for the sake of it. But why do I feel like a criminal for not doing what the society expects me to do at this age? I am not in love with anyone, nor do I have a genuine connection with someone at the present moment. Sometimes these things happen all of a sudden, the other times it can take up to an eternity. I don’t want to live my life, feeling like an outcast, counting my days till I get married just to feel like a normal human again. I really don’t know if I’ll be able to do this though. Like always, I’ll try my best to not allow such things to affect me, however, they do hurt me at times more than I can imagine. I am a human after all, any threat to my existence is physically and mentally exhausting!

To all the people who might feel the way I do at the moment, just remember,

  • YOU ARE ENOUGH
  • YOU DESERVE THE BEST
  • YOU ARE WORTH IT

Under the weather

“The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.”

William James

Last few days have been very difficult, mentally. I’ve been experiencing bouts of anxiety, sadness and despair. I’m trying to fight it with regular exercise and consistent meditation. These habits are a life savior as I’ve mentioned many times before yet I’m struggling to stay sane and happy these days.

The reason behind my anxiety can’t be pointed to one single event. I’m anxious about a lot of things mostly related to my future and the society’s expectations from it. My father is a super hyper and anxious stress taker and that doesn’t help. My mother is trying her level best to fight the naysayers and not let it trouble me but I know for a fact that it affects her badly. My existence has suddenly become a source of burden for my family as far as my age and marriage prospects are concerned. I really don’t know who decided to set an age benchmark to gauge the successes and failures in life. Whoever did it, their thoughts are redundant in the current day and age but very few people understand this. I don’t know what I should do to stop being a cause of concern to my family. Marriage is indeed a big event for everyone except the one who is required to do it without being mentally prepared for it. In the midst of this, I lost out on a good job opportunity and that just made the situation worse.

Trying to meditate, workout and journal my way out of this. I wish to document this as much as possible so that I feel an immense sense of gratitude when this difficult phase ends. Our human mind is quiet resilient, it tends to hide the traumatic experiences of life in a vault at the most remote corner of our brain to quicken the recovery process. But I would like to come back to these journals so that I know that I have to ability to deal with such situations in future too!

I wish for all of you to have an unlimited supply of happiness and inner peace!

Am I doing it right?

#84/100

“He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.”

-John Milton

When I was a kid, I believed everything that people said. I never questioned anyone’s authority. I did everything as was told, I truly believed that I was doing the right thing. I wished to be obedient, I wished to follow the rules. This ranged from the basic ones such as ‘don’t go out in the dark’, ‘wash your hands before you eat food’ to the disturbing ones like “you need to lose weight” or “you should be settled before 30”. I don’t have any problems following the rules but I decided to break from this self imposed restriction when it started affecting my sanity.

I went through a whirlwind of emotions after I hit 29. I spent my entire 29th year, dreading the 30’s. According to the society, there are few unspoken, unwritten goals to be achieved before anyone turns 30. You should have a good education, stable job, get married and having a kid is a plus, in the same order. I don’t know who set these rules but they have been deep ingrained in my mind as long as I can remember. This made me feel like an absolute failure for not having achieved some of the ‘so called’ goals before I hit 30. I had an invisible deadline to get my life back on track or be termed as the ‘odd one’.

I dreaded my 30th birthday ever since I turned 29. Can you imagine all the precious time I lost dreading the inevitable? I eventually turned 30 (duh!) without getting the most important thing checked off the ‘society made checklists’ for turning 30, getting married! But I didn’t feel like a failure at all. Instead I felt great, in fact my 30th birthday was the most amazing birthday of my entire life. There are naysayers who try to make me and my family feel scared of the repercussions of not abiding by the ‘redundant rules of life’, but I don’t care. After having wasted an entire year, believing that I was an absolute failure, I don’t have a second to spare on such useless thoughts. Yes, they are useless thoughts!!! They only take unnecessary space in my mind and don’t help in achieving any of the goals or vision I’ve set for my life. Rather they make my life pitiful which I absolutely despise!

Throughout my 29th year, I felt like my time was running out. This compelled me to take few life changing decisions. I turned vegetarian (a wish I had kept for the unforeseeable future), got my house renovated (my childhood dream) and managed to break through a lot of mental barriers I set on myself. As I turned 30, I realized, there’s no right or wrong way to live your life. You set your own rules, you do what’s best for you! Thanks but no thanks society made obsolete rules, you have no space in my life, not anymore!

Ma, mom, mother

#53/100

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”

Mitch Albom

My mom is the reason behind my existence, literally, figuratively and practically. I can’t even begin to describe the innumerable sacrifices she made in her life to raise her kids. She basically lived her life for us till we were capable enough to live it on our own. She is the most selfless person I know and I won’t ever be able to repay her back for everything she had to give up to raise us.

When I was little, I used to cry every single time I saw tears in my mom’s eyes. My parents had a rocky relationship and they fought almost everyday throughout my childhood years. My father is the one to be blamed here. As a kid it was my earnest desire to work hard for a life where my mom would be happy. I couldn’t see her cry. I wanted to build a life for her which never gave her a reason to cry out of helplessness.

I’m blessed and extremely grateful today as we got over that rocky phase in our life. After everything that my mom went through, one would expect her to be bitter about her past and hold a lot of grudges and regrets. But that’s not the case here. She is the most vibrant and positive person I know. Her growth in life has been tremendous and I’m extremely proud of her. I am bitter about my childhood without have to experience 1% of the hardships my mom had to face. Her strength, positivity and happiness shines bright on us and gives me hope to live a stress free life.

But she cried yesterday, because of me. No, it’s not because of something I did. She is worried about about my marriage (or the lack of it). It’s her ardent desire to see me happy and settled in life, be married to a good guy. However, this one wish is taking too long to fulfill. I felt really bad but I’m in a dilemma here. I can’t force myself to get married just for the sake of it. I am a product of a bad marriage and I can’t lead the same life again. She doesn’t expect me to do that either. She feels helpless in this situation. I feel the same too. This is truly something that I can’t fix on my own.

The rock star that my mom is, she gets back to being her bright self again in a second. Usually I don’t bother about the stress related to my marriage much. But yesterday when I saw my mom in tears, it just hit me too hard. After a long phase of desperation, loneliness, self pity, lack of confidence, insecurity, low self esteem, I am finally happy in my own skin. But the society isn’t! I don’t know why there is an age limit attached to marriage and the society is hell bent on making parents feel guilty and scared about their children’s life if they don’t get married within that time frame. I am hopeful of a bright future and a happy life, with or without marriage. I really wish the society ceases to glorify marriage and stops considering a person’s life futile without it.