In the last few months, I came across some exceptionally wonderful women in my life but they all had the same problem – they felt they are loosing their identity or have already lost it. It was a dire need to rediscover it for them and I on the other hand felt very sure of myself when I heard them but as we experienced different situations, challenges and some very vulnerable moments, I got to realize that I was sailing in the same boat. I was not really the person I believed myself to be, there was so much more to me which I never let out or experience because I was too scared of how people will react to it.
For instance, I never tried any adventure sport ever because I felt so sure that I will not be able to do it or I will fall and people will simply laugh at me. I always said “Adventure sports is just not my thing” which was a very convenient mask to cover up my fear of failure. This reminds me of my first swimming class, I was in grade 2 back then and was terrified of cold water. My Mom enrolled me and I had no choice but to go for it. I tried giving excuses to the coach there that I was feeling sick, but what she did instead of showing some sympathy towards me was to push me into the pool. Yes she did! And I felt cheated…I was like what?? How can you do that and ohhh! What do I do now? Some body save me pleaseeee! A couple of days after that I was kicking in water using that floating board and then eventually swimming and there came a point that I did not want to miss those classes as I realized I was good at it. Had my Mom not enrolled me and the coach had not pushed me…I would have never learnt how to swim. I needed that push to experience something I feared badly. Similarly, had I not gone for that offsite a few months back I would have never tried trekking, rappelling and camping that too like without a tent…sleeping under the sky on the top of a mountain in a sleeping bag…which for all this while was “So not me”.Sounds exciting right? Now I feel like what stopped me before. The answer is also ME!
I always feared failure before I even initiated an act, a lot of times in life and people do take advantage of that..we all know it. Looking back, I know that only when I was able to risk “judgment” by others is when I have truly experienced satisfaction and success. As mothers, we often forget or compromise on our happiness and passion, which becomes a habit with time. We fear, that if we spend time on ourselves, who will take care of the kids? What will people say…what kind of a mother is she? We just create these walls around us, walls that hide us from the world and only show the mother. Before we realize these walls become a part of us, our lives.
Do you remember the times when you were a teenager and you felt that mom has just one job to do – nag us all the time to study…or eat whereas we only wanted to be with our friends or by our own self and just chill out? Now when we are in their shoes, we can feel that their whole lives revolved around us…they wanted to ensure we get the best of everything and in doing that they forgot what’s best for them.
So, why loose ourselves in proving to the world that we are the best mothers or wives or daughter in laws? I tried being that perfect mom by waking up at 5 and cooking fresh meals for my son and husband and doing everything else at home all by myself along with my job – I wanted to be that superwoman we all read about in articles these days but end result – an exhausted zombie who had no life in her by evening and all I could do was yell at everyone around me. All the mom’s who are doing this everyday…hats off to them but also the mom’s who are not…its ok! It’s ok if you delegate work or have a help around…I do too. That does not make us any less a person or a bad mom.
It’s when we compare ourselves with others, we hurt ourselves the most. It’s wonderful to aspire to do things better or multi task but not at the cost of losing your confidence and identity. We need to nurture ourselves, like we nurture the plants we have at home, like we nurture our kids. Taking that first step towards your forgotten dream or trying something you have always feared, is the most difficult thing to do, but who said you experience magic at your convenience. When you risk it all to follow your heart, you experience your true authentic self, you unfold your pehchaan.
Gulzar has summed this up beautifully:
“Kuch alag karna hai to
Bheed se hatke chaliye
Bheed sahas to deti hai
Magar pehchaan cheen leti hai”