Change is the only constant and each one of us have experienced changes all our life.
When I was younger, I always thought I will never change. The circumstances might change, but I will never change. But my graph of changes have been phenomenal. And I am fortunate that those changes in me are mostly positive and progressive.
I agree that the changes are mostly circumstantial and unless life puts you in those circumstances, you do not get a chance to change. Though I always believe that the basics in you never change. And believe me, your basics are your best friends, if you stick to them, you will never fall into deep trouble. And even if you do, you will know a way to get out of it.
So, you might be thinking, why all of a sudden this topic? The reason to this is, off late I have been hearing this quite a lot. "YOU HAVE CHANGED!!". And fortunately, its been said in a positive stroke.
First (in no particular order) instance would be an engineering friend, who has spent 4 years of the college life with me. We were speaking after more than 9 years after college, we were classmates but not close friends. She told me, "I am discovering you through your blogs. I don't know where was this Dipti in college."
My blog writing was an unplanned change in my life. But when I started writing it, little did I know that I am going to unfold so many intimate chapters of my life. Right from my VERY strong views on marriage to the very personal feelings of motherhood. I have opened myself to the world, a lot through this wonderful blog.
But I was always a thinker and could express with words better. My close friends know that through my mails. Those 16 pages mails and those creative emails+letters I sent to my friends then were my first expression in words. And now the only thing changed is, I can show it to a larger audience. So the CHANGE is not in my expression, but in my reach. Thanks to social media for this.
Second instance would be one colleague complementing me on how ambitious I am. And how I know the exact path I want to take towards attaining my goals in my career path.
Frankly, I dedicate this change in me to my circumstances. When I was studying, I was very ambitious. But with time, I realized my career might be dependent not on me but on the circumstances I am in. My husband, his career path, my kids, my support system, my work environment, the people around me and a lot other factors. So I had for 7 years taken things as they come, without getting possessive about my career or being very ambitious about it. For all these years, my career took a back seat for me. I wanted to hit that equilibrium in work and family life, so always put my family first. But circumstances changed and the career which I had put on back seat was brought on 5th gear. (That will constitute another blog if I start describing how, so would limit here). The opportunities which opened up in front of me were overwhelming for me. I was wondering, why it took me so long to bring it on front seat? And now when I have brought it on front, the whole universe conspires to help me to fly. I have got a lot of appreciation, avenues and credit in just 4 months of my newly found status.
I still believe that I am the most fortunate one and not the most talented one to be in my shoes. Changes are inevitable, but I hope, it always changes for good.
Third is a very funny one. But a very obvious one too. And no prizes to guess, its for my looks. Some school/college friends have even gone ahead and declared I look better than what I used to look in college.
School days I agree, I was too intense about myself. I with my thick glasses behind that intense look could have never looked liberated. I wish we had been taught in school how to liberate yourself and be happy! Glad my kids are learning it in their school. Poems like "I AM SPECIAL" and "ITS A WONDERFUL WORLD" reassures me that they know to focus their happiness on themselves and not things/people around them.
But I don't agree that I looked any lesser than now in my college days. Agreed I didn't wear hip dresses and wore apt makeup those days. I wasn't conditioned to be presentable to that extent that time. But then also , I had my days of killer looks :D. Haha, but not days of smart phones and social media. Where I could click a selfie and post it on FB. And more so, nobody would have imagined a day will come when you would click for putting it on a WALL of a website :), those days were more private and secretive, now i realize.
And for the post marriage years. Of course, all these years, I was busy nurturing my in laws and kids. The first priority was not to take care of myself, but to nurture them. The world is very cruel on a working,hands on mother. Little do people know a life of a working-hands on mother. Its not easy to work 8 hrs(discounting the hours we spend in IT for those who do not know what is it to work in an IT industry) 5 days a week, then spend 4 hours quality time with the kids and remaining hours for household things and sleep. Then weekend taking care of groceries, socializing and also entertainment. There were times when after the 5 days of work, the remaining weekend was spent in hospital rooms taking care of in laws and kids at different times. Crap aside, but speaking of the time when your kids are less than 3 years, you are completely negligent about yourself and all your senses are focused on your kids.
I still remember a wedding after 2 months of my delivery when none of my close relatives refrained from commenting about how huge I have become. I wish I was as liberated as Aishwarya then to reply how I am just BEING A MOMMY! Love you Aishwarya for that!!
Uff, that's what I don't like about my writing. I get too pained by memories.
Pardon me for that. So back to track...
So now, when my both kids are 3 + years, I have a breather. Though I would confess, I could have done this a year back as well, but better late than never. So I started my workouts -power yoga, balance diet and more importantly to cut down on sugar and chocolates(my addiction). I took one full year to make myself tough and dedicate a fraction of time for my own self. Believe me its just 1 hour a day, but we mommies/wives cannot get it from our daily schedule. We are busy thinking about our husband's comfort and kids well being. We forget the most important person in our lives. I had a lot of repulsion from all sides. That one hour was hindering my daughters school bus timing, when she wanted me to drop her everyday. That one hour was the time I spoke to my husband while he traveled to work. That one hour seemed to be the most important time of the day. Irony is, it would be true for any hour of the day.
But thanks to my determination to get my sanity back and get fit both mentally and physically. Finally pushed myself to get that one hour for myself. And the results are amazing. I have not lost much weight, but I have toned up. I am mentally much more clearer and confident. I am not a fitness freak, but fitness brings alot of meaning in my life now. I love to sweat and its my lifestyle now.
And this I credit to two things, my drive to lead a healthier life and my friends. They have been motivating, scolding, inspiring and guiding me all through the process. DILLI BAHOT DOOR HAI, but at least I have boarded the flight :)
This was all about the positive changes in me which others noticed and have told me on my face. But its always the toughest to point out negative changes time and circumstances have brought in you. And nobody tells you this unless they become unbearable. Friends don't tell you because they accept you with your flaws and the world would never want to be on the wrong side of your good books. Not at least MY other side of good books, knowing the typical LEO I am. ;)
So the list might be longer than this, but I would equate it with the goods I have mentioned, so will list down only three.
The change what life has brought in me majorly is the art of detachment. I get amazed as to how I can let go of everything close to me. I no longer feel the need to hold on to something. I enjoy till it lasts and then gracefully bid it goodbye. However much it might sound divine, I miss the passion you have when you don't want to let go of something very badly. If I lose one opportunity in life, I am not disappointed as I take it as though it wasn't meant for me. I wont say i am not competitive anymore but I think I have started living more for today than for past and future!
Few years back, I would make it a matter of life and death if a close friend even ignores me! My attachment is still genuine but I don't hold on to people anymore.
Secondly, I have also started being selfish. I put my happiness before others. Few years back, it was so difficult for me to say a NO to anybody for anything! Because I thought, it was my duty to put others happiness before myself. Blame it to my upbringing where my mother has always tortured herself to keep others happy!
Thank God, I have not gone on her on this!
I am nice to people generally, but the moment they enter my personal space or try to play games with me, I don't hesitate to confront them. I am not here to please anyone and this is what makes me very selfish. I have missed out on so many things I love to do because I was busy pleasing others with their goals and happiness. Now, I put my things in the to-do list on priority. And believe me, it gives me immense happiness and i feel so much more liberated now.The burden of thinking about others happiness bogs u down all the time.
And think, do you do anything for others happiness or for yourself? You meet someone because you feel happy meeting him/her. You gift someone because the smile makes you happy. You take care of your kids n family because their well being it utmost important to you! When everything is about you, why the facade of sacrifice and selflessness?
Now to the final change I think I hate the most. I have become politically very correct these days. The impulsive, love blind, immature girl who told spade a spade has got lost somewhere. Love blind when it came up to stand for a friend. When its about someone from my loved ones, I never used my mind. I could never see the wrong with my people.
Impulsive because I never thought twice before speaking my mind however controversial it was. I had offended a lot of people in the past because Of my policy of speaking my mind.
Immature, yes! Haha. We all go through the curve of learning when you start using your mind and heart together and think logically.
I think this change is majorly credited to my corporate work life. I am sure you all trust me on the fact that managing people is the toughest job on earth. And it starts from managing your maid to managing your subordinates at work. So you cannot be politically wrong with them. If you have to work as a team, you have to think before you point out mistakes or react on smaller things. I still convey my views and call a spade a spade, but in a more subtle and professional way!
So this was my long journey of changes in me. I am quite sure 10 years down the line, there will be many more drastic and visible changes in me. I don't try to plan or imagine the person I would be then. Its futile to do that! But one thing that I am sure of is that there will be few people in my life who will accept me with all those changes. :)
You can accept and reject the changes in your life. I have embraced change always for the very reason that if the change is organic, it will always help me grow.
There is no certainty about how others look at you. That will change without even you changing. So, don't change for others, change for your own good!