Tag Archives: the daily post

It is our cross to bear!

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Posted in response to The Daily Post Challenge: The Road Less Traveled (Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.)

Imagine a life where you have everything

  • a job that, although is monotonous and sometimes mind-numbingly boring, pays you well
  • a newly budding relationship which is just so perfect that it baffles you
  • you live super close to your family

You are drowning in all the love and affection being showered on you. This is your first job and you are a strong independent woman, enjoying life, visiting places, enjoying long road-trips, eating at some of the best places in town. What could anybody possibly do to screw this up?

Anybody? No. You choose to screw this up. You decide to quit your job because it is not catering to your intellectual being. You come to a country ten thousands of miles away from your home and your loved ones. Everything begins to change. You have tons of friends but you are lonely. You miss your family, your boyfriend. Long distance relationship comes with its own set of problems and you start battling it out as a couple. On the one hand you get stronger because you faced so many issues, but you did not escape unscathed. There are scars that are reminders of what the issues were, wounds that still need to recover. This is accompanied by nights of tears and helplessness where you start reflecting on how you chose to exile yourself and distance everything that made you happy. Some cope with distance better than others, some move on and stop needing you as much as they did previously. You are shocked at this change – you are desperately trying to cling on to how things were previously but everything is naturally slipping out of your hands.

For the outside world, you have a very stable job, you will soon have an engineering degree from a reputed university, you are in a very happy relationship and you have a bright future ahead of you. On the inside, you know that your job has nothing to do with your degree and you might as well have never done Masters to begin with, you need to go through another 2 to 7 years of long distance and the future looks bleak without your family by your side.

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Now, think of this world.

You never left. You stayed at the mediocre job, grumbled about Mondays. But you were genuinely happy otherwise. You wouldn’t miss the wedding of your best friend of 20 years, you would be there to personally congratulate your college roommate after hearing news of her pregnancy and you would not be missing the engagement of your friend of 10 years.

Your family. You would personally see your baby sister grow into a beautiful woman who starts fending off guys on her own. You would stand by her side, watching her face hurdles as you had and come out stronger than before. You would help her sneak into the house when she came in late after drinking with her friends. You would meet her friends and her crushes. You would spend hours on the balcony, talking about love, life and everything in between. You would be there for your mum and dad. You would be their pillar of support, not only financially, but also emotionally. You would visit places, take tours, visit the home store and plan the home decor for that ideal house that you would soon have, while your sister rolls her eyes in exasperation. Your relationship with everyone would only grow stronger.

And your relationship with your boyfriend. Given how happy and compatible the two of you were, you would have bloomed into something much stronger and happier just because of the fact that the two of you were together. You would have countless date nights where you would stare into the impossible depths of each others eyes and realize how truly lucky you both were to have each other. You would go on fun double dates with friends, maybe workout or go for a swim together. Both your families would get ample time to get to know each other and see how great we are as a couple. You would be able to go on that coveted Europe trip a lot sooner than you expected. Two years since March 2014, would have transformed you two into stalwart supporters of each other’s dreams, two people whose fights were typically about who does the dishes and our opinions on religious leaders.

i-dont-want-a-perfect-life-i-want-a-happy-life-quote-1You would slowly stop complaining about your job, because you would eventually realize that by being in a software industry, you can easily switch from one company to the other and keep at it, till you retire. You start taking joy out of other things in life. You volunteer at a pet’s shelter or an old age home. You start teaching during the weekends. You write a lot more. Do a little bit of freelance work of your own. You see how much of happiness can be gained out of small things. One day, as you head back home from your best friend’s engagement, you start thinking about how foolish you once were, to head to the United States like the millions before you, to turn your dreams into reality. What was the old you thinking? All your dreams were always by your side waiting to be discovered.

This is bliss.

 

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Learn to let it go

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Posted in response to the Daily Post’s Challenge : Shape Up or Ship Out

Dear control freak,

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I know how difficult it is for you. I know that you don’t understand what people mean when they say – “If you love something, set it free.” You constantly worry about the people you love, maybe a little too much. You are left angry and hurt when you see people making the same mistakes that you had warned them against. What you probably don’t understand is this – every time you try taking control of someone else’s life – a part of you is bruised badly. When a friend or a loved one comes to you with an issue that needs resolution, you normally go through these phases:

Phase 1

You: Suggest/question the sanity of the issue. Struggle between whether to tell your loved one your frank opinion on the subject. You ALWAYS tell them what you think.

Loved ones: Agree and promise to change or disagree and support their claim

What happens to you: You are constantly of the opinion that you know everything. This causes issues.

When your loved ones agree with you, you are happy and hopeful. You think that they saw reason to your arguments and decided to do what you said. Your ego receives the pat it deserves and you are left beaming (what you don’t know is that your loved one knows your weak points and said exactly what you wanted to hear to soothe your ego. They do nothing that they said they would and they will drag you into the next phase)

On the other hand, if your loved ones disagree, you are immediately angered. One thought runs through your mind – what kind of an idiot is he/she? Why can he/she not see what I am seeing? It is crystal clear. What is confusing them?

You ask these questions to the loved one and that only makes matters worse. No one likes a patronizing know-it-all.

Takeaway: By the end of the conversation, you love them less and they love you lesser.

Phase 2

You: They do nothing after Phase1. You are angry and you try verbally convincing them using logic and rationale.

Loved ones: They agree vehemently and do nothing or disagree passionately.

What happens to you: If they agree vehemently, you know very well that they will not be able to do whatever you suggested because there are a lot more complications to the story than you understand. This makes you angry because these people are asking for your opinion without telling you the whole story.

If they disagree passionately, you find yourself at the receiving end of a heated argument where the person is telling you that you are “stifling” them. This leaves you hurt and weepy because you had only their best intentions at heart but you were not able to express it right.

Takeaway: If people are hell bent on doing something, rationale and logical thinking is not going to help you make them see the right way.

Phase 3

You: Try taking control – pressurize them into doing what you think is good for them.

Loved ones: Rebel – no one likes to be told what to do.

What happens to you: You are left confused, hurt and very angry at how unfair everything is. You then step into  a downward spiral of self-pity and bursts of tears that were never meant to be.

Takeaway: A rift between you and the loved one.

The sooner you understand this the better it is. People do not like being told what to do. Irrespective of how close you are, people will ultimately do whatever they want to. It is all about free will. All you can do is “suggest” your side of things. This way you are letting them take all the shots. Worst case scenario, where a loved one takes a decision that backfires on them and they are in distress, you can do what you were always supposed to do – stand by their side and help them recover.

The more you let go, the more you are freeing yourself. Control your urge – stop thinking that people are stupid (even if they are!). Your boundary ends right after your express your opinion.

I want you to work on this because you desperately need this. I know that I can tell YOU what to do! You know why? Because we are one.

Love,

Me