“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” – E. Gilbert
When I re-started blogging and built my blog page in late February this year , one visitor lady wrote to me – ” I come to your blog so many times in a day ,only to read the header quote.”
I was just a few posts old then. But I thought of a day when I could finally reveal why I put that quote.Today is that day ,maybe, thanks to Daily post.
Why do people blog? – They have opinions to share , photographs to talk about , books to promote , certain things to advertise , wisdom to inspire , urge to be inspired. There are also a few people who are introvert and they feel peace when they write.
I am an extrovert person – outgoing but have a heart that feels too! I can talk to almost anyone about almost anything if that makes sense. I read a lot too. So I know what I talk when I talk.
My dad always felt that I should be in PR ( Public Relations) and join the Government. Many people even called me *PR* since it was a short form of my nickname ( If you have read the world famous fiction “The Namesake” By Ms Lahiri then you should know I come from that sub-culture in which everyone has a nick name.) and my social skills. Long story short- I never worked in PR. I am very passionate about talking and knowledge both.
Let me point out what I can talk :
1. I can talk to any Indian /Non-Indian aunty about laundry , recipe and kitchen organization. I am a very good laundry person , shoe polisher ,cook.
2. I can talk to any Indian uncle about regional ,national, international politics..NONSTOP.
3. I can talk about literature [without having any degree on that] with any literature-geek.
4. I can talk about technology [ It’s been more than a decade old friendship with technology, computers and software !Ask me anything. But please not on this blog. This is technology-free zone for me. ] with my class-mates , co-workers, friends.
5. I can talk about arts and crafts , DIY projects with art loving people.
6. I can talk about photography [ about moments , places ,lenses , shutter speeds and technology] with photography loving souls.
7. I can talk about business ,money , management with Harvard Business Review, Economist,Business Insider reading folks. Well, it comes in my most favorite subject list.
8. I can talk about fashion with fashion -freaks. I have done Masters in Retail Therapy!
9. I can talk to my [ or friends’] parents easily. I am pretty easy going and well listener.
10. I can talk about movies [ Bollywood and Hollywood] , TV shows , actors etc with the people who just live by those things. Someday when I will have enough time , I will sit down with my husband and write about all movies we have watched together. I am sure that list will be a never-ending one.
What I don’t [Can’t say Can’t] talk :
1. When a few lady friends who are like me , in late twenties or early thirties , keep criticizing their respective husbands, in-laws almost during all coffee breaks , visits. Their only goal in life – TALKING; while I guess a divorce , a new chapter opening , seeing a therapist , talking face to face with problem-makers at home , staying positive are better options. I stay silent during all these meetings because staying silent is the best possible way to ignore things you hate.
2. When my guy-friends feel insecure seeing a successful female co-worker and ask ” Why is she not married? ” or ” Does she have a baby?” . As if women are born to get married or get pregnant . I even have guy- friends who think women should stay at home and cook forever! Before I forget I should mention that I interact with highly educated people in real life.
3. When people talk about caste-ism , religions proclaiming – “Ours is the best.”. No religion is better than the other. Every religion focuses on human character building .
4. When educated people behave like cavemen. I know plenty of them.
5. When I interact with extremely shallow people. I am good with shallow people too. But when they are extreme , I feel like running away faster than I imagined ever. Call me “escapist”, I am okay!
6. Negative talks and negative people. I don’t think – Frequent *F* words glorify anyone’s life or vocabulary. It does not even show any inner strength or reflect any hidden ugliness or beauty! I am not good with slang , F words . When people use them pretty frequently – I try to focus on the subject while ignoring the words or leave that topic and the story teller. I don’t want to judge too!
This was the story until Dec’ 2012. [Since 10 is greater than 6 , I think I still can call myself talkative and outgoing.
I also talk things that’s from common interest when I talk. For example , I never talk about poetry with poetry-haters! ;)]
And then new year happened.I recovered from my year long health issue.
One day, I realized even though my phone contact list showed thousand names , there was a big difference between the quantity and quality.
One day , I called up one of my best friends and told her about my next career plan. And all she had to say – “You are enjoying life just because your in-laws are not like the ones I have.”and then she went on talking about her problems and life, without ever asking about my recovery , my health issue, job status and how I kept my dreams alive. Friendship is a two way process, right! I knew all her problems from all her calls. I came to know that day that she did not have any clue how I was, even though I was sharing enough about my health, at every call.
It became pretty common.
Guys kept on reminding me of a future in which I have to plan for babies ; I have to take a break or breaks to raise kids.
Girls kept on sharing how miserable their lives became, after having babies and in-laws.
Of course , both made me nauseous.
One fine day, I felt pretty “lonely” for the first time in my life. Yes , 10 pointer extrovert people feel lonely too! It was the day when two of my closest friends forgot certain success and achievement part of my past and talked pretty regular things – things regular men talk about regular women! Things that make them superior just because they are men .
My parents are feminists. I am not. I have seen worse and better parts of people from any gender. I have seen women trashing women ; I have seen men discussing weird stuffs about other men. I have known gossip loving men who think only women gossip and shop. I have seen hypocrites who talk big things on Facebook and twitter and treat people terribly in real life.
But , I never had any self-obsessed, chauvinistic male friend until then.
My academic records , performance at work always prove – I am a human being, a woman who is a human being too. I detest it when people judge me by my looks , high heels , glasses while ignoring better things I achieved through hard work at schools and work.
I had to filter out many friends. The self obsessed ones. The jealous ones. The shallow ones.The chauvinist ones. The “my life is worse than yours” ones. The “because I am pregnant, you should be too” ones. The judgmental ones. The mental ones.
Suddenly , there came a time when I had things to talk but had no “passionate about knowledge” kind of friends anymore . I mean I had people to talk to. But our interest and topics changed!
“Love yourself. Be your best friend , first.” – My husband told me , during our tea time conversation in February.
It was the start of a journey ( and a blog) with love . A journey of self discovery. A journey where I found that nature is deeper than human emotions. A journey where I plan to sharpen my skills and hobbies. A journey where my focus is only on finding inspiration, through interactions , reading , writing and photography. A journey where I plan to convert my extrovert-ness to blogging. A journey where I heal and accept myself the way I am. A journey which showed how world is connected and many of us are similar….pretty similar, even though we are born and brought up in different locations, culture.
I should actually thank my husband for this – this new friendship that I built with myself. And I should thank Elizabeth Gilbert for writing many inspiring lines about self-worth . I am still “Work in Progress” though – busy in blending , friend-ing and mending.