“We all love stories. We’re born for them. Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning. And nothing does a greater affirmation than when we connect through stories. It can cross barriers of time, past, present and future, and allow us to experience the similarities between ourselves and through others, real and imagined”
– Andrew Stanton, writer of “Toy Story”, TED February 2012
Coming out of a thick dense, soul consuming fog is the only way I can explain it. The moment when you sit there and realise that you can’t believe how far you have come. And the numbing haze has lifted.
The sheer fact that you are able to do normal things without it being an absolute chore is honestly the most liberating feeling you could even imagine. I’m ecstatic that I am able to clean my room without me thinking about when I can take a break and sit down to carry on watching the Netflix series that I am completely ‘enthralled’ in, yet, sit on my phone aimlessly scrolling. Seeing something inspirational – like “…it will get better, keep going”. And you ask WHEN? Please tell me when? Its been years…..and its not better.
I saw the ‘angel signs’ like 11.11 for years and I wonder when I’m going to move forward and grow as this sign is meant to depict.
“A positive shift is taking place in your life. What you’ve been waiting for is closer than ever”
…..I know it’s me that needs to do it but I can’t do it….I know I want more and can do more but I physically cannot do it, it’s so unfathomable to me. It’s like there is a massive anchor in your feet just dragging you down and not letting you move.
It hit me sideways and knocked me down when it fully exposed its intent. But from the outset I didn’t realise the signs. I didn’t initially notice me slowing down or becoming more involved with staying indoors; outside seeming so alien to me. Not wanting to be around people and realising that I don’t know what to say to them.
My mind was fixed on being gloomy I felt like Eeyore magnified. I didn’t recall what being happy was, the feeling, the emotion….it was something I wasn’t able to comprehend. I remained, outwardly happy and laughing, trying to be involved in the few things I, either had to attend or sometimes forced myself to do. But inside my mind, I was just under a constant rain cloud always feeling damp and uncomfortable…the kind of feeling you get when you manage to get your wet hair on your neck in dry clothes.
Nothing, I felt that I was doing seemed to be enough, I don’t know who this enough was for. Probably, the preconceived notion that by the time you are 30 you should have everything done. Tick list completed, or to some their only bucket list.
Well I had one, just a job. A job which I stayed in, as it helped me remain in this cloud as I was so used to being stuck.
My personal list included:
- Numerous expensive bags
- Countless amounts of clothing
- Extensive jewellery collection
I knew this wasn’t enough…..it didn’t ‘show’ much.
I am sure other cultures drive the idea that being 30 is the be all and end all. Being Indian it was ingrained in your every thought without you even thinking about it. I grew up in a household in which, controversially, my father was always encouraging us to do what we wanted; go travelling and have any job we wanted. Without realising it, my parents and extended family raised really independent and now strong women. They didn’t have an easy ride, I can tell you that much. In fact we all didn’t.
I mention extended family as I didn’t live in the normal nuclear family of 2.4 children. In some ways my father wanted to bring everything from his Indian village to England exactly as it was. Literally pick it up, put it on wheels and drop it into the Queen’s original ‘ends’. This is, of course not possible in anyway shape or form. The countless conversations, I have had with my father about him bringing us up here and us naturally becoming westernised still continues . He didn’t let us watch Neighbours or EastEnders – to be fair we weren’t allowed to watch any Bollywood movies either. He didn’t think it was a ‘realistic’ life which I can’t refute really. We weren’t allowed to wear nail varnish and of course no way in hell were we allowed a ‘male friend’ let alone a boyfriend. And its on this topic of boys….(men) that the current conversations always lie. I am expected to get married to someone from 0000000.12%** of this whole population. Has to be Sikh Jatt – even though Guru Nanak said we shouldn’t believe in castes (on a side point we shouldn’t be superstitious but I spent many a year with greasy hair on a Saturday as I wasn’t washing it for my non-existent brother). You and I, will both be happy to know I no longer adhere to this or many other superstitions thrust upon me.
Anyway, I have had to say to my father, that you cannot bring us up in such a diverse, multi-cultural society and expect me to not want to break out of this box. What was the point of the education? Just so you can say ‘Oh my daughter is….?’ (which he still can’t remember) but really to give you a sense of pride because I have just a job? What about the way I behave, my morals, the way I treat people? My aspirations? Does this not mean anything? And of course the only thing he can tell you I have gained is a big mouth that won’t stop even if I am told to. However, as I explained above he wanted us to grow and be the women we wanted to be but he always was drawn back to this Indian nature.
I can’t blame him for falling into this trap, its the ‘Indian’ way. If you choose to do something outside of the ‘norm’, you always are the topic of gossip. It would be a case of “…You know so and so’s daughter…..you will never believe…….”
** a complete estimate but honestly I feel like I may not be far off.