The ‘Happy’ In Letting Go.
Somewhere in May 2015:
I boarded the flight. I laid my head back on the head rest. I had just had a splendid weekend in Mumbai pampering myself. My husband aced the job of watching the kids at home. I was happy. A bunch of people said I was selfish. I failed to comprehend how I had violated the bonds of my umbilical cord! While the air hostess made her routine announcements, I gazed out at the clouds and let my mind drift. Suddenly I was jostled back to the routine rituals of take off. Something was grossly amiss. I had heard it before. The announcements were clichéd. I knew the drill. Then what? Oh! Wait a minute. Did the voice say “Should oxygen be needed, a mask will drop down from the compartment located above your seats. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, be sure to secure your own mask first before assisting others.” Well here was someone advocating ‘put yourself before the other’ to some 200 odd passengers. And what?? No one was pelting her with stones! Conveniently, and obviously, selfish was trending on the aircraft. I took a cue from it. A new perspective was conceived.
Somewhere in September 2015:
It is my birthday week. I am another year older. The year has pranced by. I embrace the new year, sit back tallying the balance sheet of the past. It sinks in slowly. I have lost much and gained so much. I reckon the crossing over into an older year has tuned me into reflection mode. That or perhaps, the aircraft incident initiated the filtration processes in my life.
Somewhere between May 2015 and September 2015.
The past is not a blur and I can take vivid peeps into it. At some point, I underwent the metamorphosis from a girl to woman. The process exposed me to several species! Oftentimes I found myself in a web where relationships were fabricated on the foundation of convenience, candid discussions were unwelcome and honesty was handled with the same precariousness as radioactive isotopes! Everybody always had an opinion.
The metamorphosis continues. I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a friend. And suddenly I am donning many hats. I was working harder to succeed at those many more relationships. The ‘happy’ was seeming dwarfed.
As long as memory serves me, I have lived a cautious and vigilant life thoughtful about the sentiments of others. Obvious enough to not need a mention, people are social creatures and thrive on the attachments of other people. But we are also naïve and gullible. In tandem to this sentiment, I must confess, I have been unable to refrain from absorbing, like a sponge, the negativity that permeated. The burgeoning expectations, the never-easy to satisfy people, the unrelenting ambush of critics….it began to perturb me. Though I tried to remain acceptingly indifferent (sounds quite paradoxical I know), it affected me. The onus obviously is on the virtue of human beings being supremely social people. After having kids, the fulcrum around which everything moved was, and continues to be them. The matrix of associations became bigger and so did the influx of negative inflow. With me as the channel, negativity percolated down first to my family and then, gradually, to the warmth of my home. I have in the past let it pass under the guise of the ying and yang of life. By with quietly accepting, somewhere, I was also moving towards a macabre of self-renunciation.
I acknowledge that I cannot completely weed out all sources of negative influence in my life. However, I am learning to mitigate the impact. I recognize that this comes with its consequences. But then again, in the equation of what matters and what doesn’t I can safely conclude that as opposed to sinking into melancholy pleasing people at my cost, I can eliminate the luridness by detaching from such powers. I confess, it is easier said than done, but I have in the past few months come to conclude that if a social environment bequeaths the price of my happiness and my home, I am not inclined towards such associations. As a bona-fide member of my family, I am responsible for what happens within the perimeters of my home, of maintaining its happiness and sanctity for no one but I will walk down the path.
I don’t know. While I don’t fit the connotations associated with this word or see myself as a murderous brute who is willing to severe ties in search of self gratification, I make a choice to be happy. I can choose to purge.
Let’s say, it is my way of survival.