A New Me – 24 Years In Perspective

It’s been a long time since I have posted here. If you observe the blog closely today you might end up guessing the reason for my being away. Well, no more hints, let me come to the point. After 24 long years, I switched back to my maiden name for reasons that are more than obvious. Have I changed from the 20-year-old maiden who went through the norm of getting married to get a socially approved stamp of moral license even before she was mature enough to assume a new identity? Of course, I have. In a lot many ways. After all one grows, evolves as perspectives change and every human has the right to find themselves on a deeper level as the journey of life continues.

A lot of people asked me along this journey of 24 years, some who were genuinely well-meaning dear ones and others who were simply nosey judgemental jerks, as to why I decided to stick around in an unfavorable situation that I could be out of much earlier to secure a better future for myself. I bet they did and yet chose not to understand how complex it was when there is a child involved in the dynamics. After a lot of tweaks and experiments in my lifestyle that involved me switching jobs rather sporadically just so that I was there for my growing child when required, to being a weekend mom when my work kept me away from home and shifting my son to the city I worked in which eventually did not work in his favor, I realized that my child was yet not ready to choose between both his parents. In fact, he never will be ready for it like any other human being no matter what their age. But now, after he’s flown out of the nest to find his own identity and with his growing understanding of how important it is for his parents to seek their own directions it seemed to be the best time to take the plunge.

Sometimes you stop being who you were when you first met each other. There are no guarantees for change in life. How we react to change is what defines us as individuals. People either choose to grow and rise above their situation or throw themselves in the doldrums of melancholy and self-pity blaming everything and everyone around them for their misery. I aspire to belong to the former lot. I am on the path of working on the flaws that I recognize within myself and fine-tune my key strengths. Daily meditation, a healthy diet along with the 10,000 steps that I take regularly with the intention of losing all my unwanted excess baggage and retaining only what was good for me has kept me positive to a large extent.

There are a lot of deterrents, I admit. This is the time when I saw a lot of masks falling off. It didn’t help that some of them were of close family and friends. However, I work towards putting negativity and toxic people behind me. In the past few months, I have figured out an effective mechanism of choosing who I really wish to have around me. These are people who bring out more than 70% of the best in me. I believe there are a rare few who can bring out 100% of my best too, but they’re not even a handful of them, so I’ve kept a scope of 30% concession! And let me tell you this handful of the 100% category are my strength and I am blessed to have them in my life. The ones who fail to bring out less than 70% good in me are the ones who are off my radar. No blames. No regrets. I am just being kind to myself.

Along these years, I’ve taken a lot of risks in my career. I changed and quit jobs frequently to suit the requirements of my growing child and yet have the dignity of earning an independent income doing what I was best at. While most employers would nod at my situation in understanding, very few are willing to take a chance with me again. Some of them being parents themselves. They fail to understand my commitment levels. They do not value the fact that I was juggling two jobs simultaneously all these years – one of a nine-to-five employee who gave her best to the company as long as she was with them, outperformed herself with every new role she took up and another of a full-time mother who was strongly committed to raising an emotionally healthy individual. All said and done, today I am a proud mother and an equally proud professional who could pull it off and gain such rich experience through it all.

And finally about the person I spent more than 30 years with, about six years of courtship and 24 years of marriage, with whom I had naively believed for a good part of my growing years of wanting to spend my old age with, in a rocking chair by the fireplace. Thankfully we realized much ahead of time that had it continued for that long one of us would have thrown the other in the flames of the fireplace! So well, we agree to disagree on a lot of things now and we might not grow old together. But yes, we’ve shared almost half our lives with each other, as good friends once upon a time, as lovers, as companions, as co-parents, as each other’s well-wishers, and we will grow old as our son’s parents. And that means quite a lot. We might move ahead in our lives to find what’s best for us but we’ve come a full circle as partners, as parents, and as a family. That according to me is an achievement in itself. I choose to keep only the memories filled with laughter, joy, love, and warmth while I strive on releasing the ones that induce any less. And, here’s to making more of them!

A word of request to my readers before I end this post. Please do not offer sympathies or feel sorry. Nobody has died. A few signatures and a name change do not kill bonds that are forged over decades. But yes, they do foster a new identity and nurture tremendous personal growth if taken in the right spirit. Till then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the next innings of my life. Wish me luck!

Raising a toast for all you wonderful women out there, today, on International Women’s Day! Be proud to be yourself, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Love and light to all of you. Happy Women’s Day!