Whatever you want to be

Everyday of my teenage life, I have dreaded this one phrase, “what do you want to be”. 

I never knew, I never realised and never thought that there are social and familial obligations to what I have to be – to what I should be, a good person. I had then decided, I would never ask anyone the same question, ever again. I had no clue I would be married or would have a family, let alone be sitting here and be writing about all this. I just was so frustrated and annoyed that the communal behaviour of Indian parents, relatives, strangers and whoever you met asked the same thing, what do you want to be.

Now, I just couldn’t blurt out my feelings or aspirations or dreams, mind you I had to tread very very carefully. I had to be very clear and concise and say I am going to be a Doctor. Ok, now that dealt with comes the next barrage of questions, Doctor of what??? Not just GP, but some specialisation and some post grad…

I am not a doctor. I wanted to be but I am not. What I am now, is a mother.

And, after all the turmoil I have been through and was put under for not being one- yep, I am clearly a failure and disappointment! This is something that’s going to go to my parent’s graves and mine, if allowed. I have resolved and thought about not putting the same kind of expectation of my kids as to what I have been through. The society hasn’t changed much, family connections haven’t progressed much and personal expectations also haven’t deviated much.

The only thing that has actively changed is, I have stopped asking. Just my guidance towards making them a better individuals, considerate and compassionate being a must, that I am going to trust them to make their own way. Children cannot decide, that’s why parents or teachers or guidance counselors are there. What has changed is, as how we ask them and what pressure we subject them to with all this. And, we shall guide them to be what they want to be. If they change their decision, well, so be it. At least they tried.

Thanks to the amount of today’s world in their face constantly (social media and such), they are already being practical in wanting to be what they want to be. And, there are going to be struggles and obstacles – we will get through them too.
Image

Advertisements

Doing the right thing

Have you wondered if it’s going to be one of those days, just that niggling feeling. It’s not like you are waiting for it to happen, but, its going to be that day, again. We all go through these myriad emotions, that slowly take over our practical behaviour and makes it an emotional one – on purpose. Nothing wrong in being emotional, we are humans after all.

I have these guidelines I am told to follow, as how I am supposed to be behaving, so on and so forth. Like a mum, yep, I know. Be responsible, sensible, mature… I am surprised as how well I do this, I guess after two kids, it’s a given. But my real behaviour is lost, somewhere inside of me. I do a lot of mum stuff, wife stuff, sibling stuff, you know, the general things we do – and then, I am not doing “my stuff”. I am worried that “I” might but in and spoil the good thing that is going on here.

Everyday we are so caught up in doing the right stuff, we stumble and fall and then we carry on as if as we all are following a strict guideline of – do this and do that. I know all of us have been here, some of us are still here, even now. I am a very good mum or I try my best to be one. I care, I nourish and I cherish, same as the others do. But my roots are different though, my culture taught me different – as to respect our elders and how we have to behave, as what we did and what we had to do, period.

Funny how that communal upbringing has a more conservative hold on me when I am trying everything to do things differently now. I left India when my daughter was a few months old, and since these  past 18yrs, I am trying very hard not to be the same conservative, close minded, opinionated mum. I have read books, articles anything and everything to do the right thing by my kids, their choices, their freedom and their independence – all in the right context. Its been a journey, a very interesting and turbulent one at times and I like to think I am an expert and hope I am not wrong.

And between all this now, guess who is making an entry into this structure, me. Not the mum, just me. I feel after all these years, I should be able to voice my thoughts and tell them as how things are different to what they are used to. I can’t blame them, they are confused as they are feeling they don’t fit in my way of thinking as I had a different upbringing to theirs, fair enough, but, I am not bad or weird either. The things I learnt, I respected do not have a bad impression or impact on how I behave in society. I am a well-respected, talented and fun-loving person who does everything to support my family. I am not just a mum.

I work in a corporate world with some young adults (fresh out of high school and uni students) and I think, will my kids be the same as them. I face a much more practical future with my kids who might turn out to be the different adults to the ones I wish them to be. After all the basic foundation of do good, be good, will they be that! I honestly don’t know. If I don’t voice my thoughts about these, will it not be my fault. I am confused and hence my worry.

Worries and doubts like these take root in a very normal day and grow into a festering emotional day. I so hope this will be just a battle for me to fight mentally and not into something I do with my kids. They are very loving and good kids, I have done a good job with them. I should just trust them to do the right thing when their time comes. I am not hoping to win any awards for Mother of the Year or anything, just that they remember that I fight a constant battle with my self to do the right thing – for them.

I am different yes and you are…

How long does it take for us to realise that we are all on a path, which one, now that’s the question we have to face one day or the other. Mine simply being an Indian mum of two kids who is constantly being judged, every day. Not that other mums don’t have the same thought, day in day out, my case is a bit different. I live in a country where I am a mum of the ethnic migrant group who is looked as a irritant- yes, you read it right. Apparently, we are usurping all the jobs, revenue, places, venues… you get the point. I never wanted to be bitter about the situation, but it does get to us after a while. Every day, day in and day out when you are looked at with those looks, you tend to feel small, even when you don’t have to.

I don’t live in a small or a conservative land, I live in one of the free, privileged country where the land is like a beautiful canvas painted with colors vibrant and grand. It’s Australia, and when things were tough, I always thought that its just a phase, things will be ok and people will accept the new cultures that we bring in. I still remember a conversation I had in a play ground 17  yrs ago, with a stranger, “how can you speak English like, you know- a westerner?” I never felt I should have been offended or otherwise, instead I patiently told her that we all do have English as our primary language in schools.

Years, months, days, it doesn’t matter, we work along with them, our kids go to the same schools and we live like how they do, but, just that we are different. I do get it that we eat different, talk some different languages and are still waiting to be accepted as one of their countrymen. Granted we don’t get jobs even if we are not residents or citizens, but, yet we are the aliens who are invading their space and home. We do exactly what they do, work hard, pay our taxes, obey the laws and rules and yet, we are different. But, underneath all this,our destination is the same. Home! I am home and my kids are home, we love our home, granted you don’t accept me or mine but, this is it!!!

The hardest part for me is trying to get my 18 yr old to accept that even though she considers herself an Aussie, people don’t see her as such. Her name is different and so is her color. We don’t see the same things, our opinions are different and she calls ‘me’ biased? Why because, apparently, I am not accepting the fact that today’s generation doesn’t see us as colored or otherwise. Hmm, how do I put this delicately, ehh no, they do!!! Everyone does, we do too. We are so conscious to see if we get the looks. Certain episodes have even hit the media, the amount of racial discrimination to not only us Indians, Asians, even the French!!! Weird isn’t it. Its not that I am running a campaign against what happened- but, just that how do I let my kids know that, it might take years and years for us to be accepted and not shunned. There are quite a lot of us who have taken on this battle regarding the circumstances more often than necessary. Its ok though, it has made us resilient and tolerant. We accept that we are on the short end of this particular stick, not everyone have these views and such but… yes this will be ongoing for a while at least, just for the fact that we are different. Well, aren’t we all!

Anticipation

When we start off doing things we know we are good at, there are moments when it seems to stop us, just a few moments as if to backtrack or check ourselves, just in case. Why, I am not really sure. Of course, I am confident, resilient too- to an extent, but that apprehension is lurking…

The whole thing is we are building up this thing within us, grain by grain, brick by brick- for some, it’s years in the making and for some, just a few months or days. All this in line for that one thing- anticipation. Even before we know the consequence of our deed the process our brain goes through is pure anticipation!

What are we thinking so much about anyway. Why this niggling fear of not being good or getting it right. Of course we can’t always get it right, we do know that. We fall and we try to get up again, don’t we. Then why does this emotion that feels as if it grabs us by the neck, that heaviness in the chest and a sick throwing up feeling? We still need that acceptance, that one acknowledgment. Well, we are never going to stop looking for that, we know we need or deserve it and that my friend is the cause of all this anticipation.

20140213-091350.jpg

Aside

Newbie

There are scores who have ventured onto this path. I am not denying it, but, am just tagging along, this is a first for me. Me, the newbie.

Hopes, dreams, aspirations, desires and what not. We all have them, we do, cant deny it. We are humans, arent we. I have always put aside that time, that one day, that I will do this, starting out, fresh and brave. And, guess now, that day is here. I am here, blogging for myself, Me!!!

Not that I have any doubts about my creative gene, its just that other things took priority, life, family and what not. And, my gene was falling silent after years of trying to peek out, things do get in the way of what we always thought we will do. No more.

I am going to try and get into this creative gene mode very often, for me. Reading what I have written so far, looks like this is slowly taking shape. I am a newbie, yay !!!

So here goes, thank you for reading this and thank you for taking your precious time to acknowledge or glimpse at what I have written so far.