I met my college friends recently and we finally sat in a café for much needed caffeine infusion because what we thought as a retail therapy turned into a retail fatigue. The café looked like a snug retreat with four of us flipping the pages of the old college diaries and reminding ourselves that how we have transformed over the years. Physically a lot but mentally we are still the crazy bunch who get excited with shopping expo and art exhibitions, meandering our way like those socialite aunties in Feb afternoons.
Our conversation went on for hours and it finally rested on a question that strongly demanded me to write an entire page about it.
“What is the first gift you gave yourself from your first pay- check, from your first job?
Our coffee and cake arrived and so did the answers. Each bringing on their own flavor and reminiscing the memories attached to it. My eyes rested on my plain Jane gold ring. What is it about this ring that makes it extra special? Is it because that my mother insisted that I purchase something for myself and I ended up purchasing this? Is it because I loved the way it jelled with my ring finger giving it a prestigious demeanour? Nothing I could decipher. Nothing I could make out. I thought for a while and all of a sudden I blurted out with conviction. I don’t know from where the words made its way but all I could utter was “I am forever engaged to myself”. It took a moment or two for the words to crystallize. My friends looked stricken, wore an expression of curiosity. I raised my right hand and placed it on the table to show them my pretty token of love for myself. I was buzzing with pride. Truth was glaring in front of them or to put it in better words it was ‘glittering’.
The time has passed and things in my life have taken a big leap. Yet the ring is still stuck with me, on my finger. Like a reminder. I have had my own share of woes in relationship, career and to top it all, the internal conflicts that I spent sleepless nights on, but this ring has stuck with me and faced all with me. It not only made me feel independent and secure but also nudged me to become a strong individual from within. It stuck with me. Like a reminder. Not only about what I have achieved and can achieve. More importantly it is a reminder to love myself and unapologetically keep on doing it.
Strangely we all have succumbed to the belief that self-love is a job of the headstrong, obstinate, and the selfish. A woman should not give much care about her happiness and mental peace but should always be on the giving end. This conditioning is costing, our mental and emotional well-being, extortionately.
In searching and joining the pieces of everything in the ecosystem, we are increasingly finding it difficult to even acknowledge the serious issue. Finding the piece of our lost self. Our society demands that we take care of our basic needs. Can a women take care of others without even acknowledging her own need of keeping her emotions in check? Don’t we women, have a responsibility towards us in order to maintain the mental sanity? To love us unabashedly and be not at all sorry for it.
Like the first downpour that hits the earth and before it surrenders it to the earth, it gives out a strong muddy earthen scent. Though it bathes our nostrils with its lovely aroma, the relationship is unsettling. Once the downpour blends and gives everything of it to the earth, the aroma slowly fades away. Women, like downpour, give their unconditional love to the family they love. With time, their sacrifice don’t count for anything and slowly their own emotions fade away like that aroma of the downpour. Committing themselves to the boundaries that society draws around her. For all the things they do, what do they need in return? They shouldn’t. That’s what we have been told and are conditioned with that mindset. Not to seek anything in return. So be it. We don’t have to seek any validation or put ourselves in the microscope of the other. The ring was not only an accessory on my finger, adding an ornamental value but it had a deep-seated meaning attached to it. It spoke volumes.
On women’s day, I would like to share what it spoke:
Don’t seek validation. You are the true judge of your actions.
You deserve better. Don’t be with someone who tells you otherwise.
Enjoy what you do. If you don’t, then it is time to introspect and take action.
Don’t multitask. Be mindful in each task for mental peace.
Don’t be drawn into the world of social media and underestimate what you do for your child. We all are illustrious mothers to our children in our own respect.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Socializing is competitive but don’t be harsh on yourself.
Bring on the positivity by engaging with people who radiate positive attitude towards everything in life. Let go of toxic people.
Tap into your creative energy and give yourself a creative retreat
Discover your passion and make others discover theirs.
And more importantly, Love everyone around you but love yourself a little more. Unapologetically!