Thursday, June 29, 2017

My superpower!

Through the various stages of growing, I have attributed different strengths to myself. Sometimes I thought I was intelligent and the other times I have described myself as determined. 'Compassionate' is a new addition that I am proud to have in my reserve. However, lately I feel the two things that have predominantly stayed with me in all my journeys are 'resilience' and 'grit'.

During bouts of self-bashing internal dialogues I have struggled with associating myself with these labels. I have been ashamed of setting high expectations for myself, the source of which has been internal as much as it was external. If I strip down my feelings to bare minimum, I see only resilience and grit remaining. I have put myself through very tough situations and taken high risks in spite of knowing it will only cause me discomfort in the going.

When the happy butterflies of getting my first paycheck and having my first alcoholic drink at parties faded away, I realized I have to radically shift the direction my life was going in. I didn't have the skills, contacts, knowledge of working in public sector. I just persisted. My 'sent items' in Gmail from 6 years ago will weave a story of a scared yet stubborn girl approaching every single person that she could lay her hands on and asking them for advice. There were rejections, embarrassments and pure stupidity in many of those interactions. But I was ready to swallow it all just so I get to make a career shift. I have read the shittiest 'self-help' books and hung out with the most boring and arrogant people just so I could learn a little more from them than what I already knew. Backing down was a scarier option than discomfort.

Once I got into doing what I really wanted to, I was scared as s**t. The most critical skills of working in public sector evaded me. My language, common sense and relationship building capabilities were sub-optimal. I wrote exams that I couldn't ace and dreamt of places I couldn't be at. Still I persisted. I took one day at a time. When I finally was at a place that would magically transform me into everything I ever wanted to be, I withdrew. I didn't make friends easily, my professional relationships were strained and there was nobody to take care of me when I fell sick. Still I persisted. I took the effort of staying back for that one extra chai, that one unplanned visit to the mall, that extra 500 bucks on food and drinks, and that one sleepless night conversation which is famed for building lifelong relationships. Slowly but steadily I met people, people who were beautiful and different. So different that I could learn a thousand things from them just blinking my eyes. So beautiful that their presence filled my life with endless love. I grew. One day at a time. I learnt to listen. I calmed down to talk. I flew to love.

Eventually I started flirting with the universe. Telling it ever so lightly in whispers about the deep desires I held in my heart- desires for myself and for others. And as is always the case with universe, it started responding but not slowly and timidly like me but exponentially. Whatever I sent to the universe came back in multiple folds into my life. If I made sure I practiced a few acts of compassion, universe blessed me with the company of numerous big-hearted people. If I showed an ounce of courage in doing a difficult task, universe provided me ladders of support in the form of mentors who allowed me to shine while standing aside as onlookers. It hinted me that it was time that I invested some of my energy in gaining wisdom. Wisdom that seems light to roll on our tongues but morphs into a band of great resistance when applied to action.

I screwed up big projects. Unmet important deadlines. Burnt bridges on important islands. Let down prominent relationships. But I didn't give up. I am everything that I wanted to be and a bit more today.  

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