“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself–and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to–letting a person be what he really is.”
Over the years there have been things I’ve been sorry about. Things that had nothing to do with be. Actually these are things, in retrospect, that have massaged the other person’s ego and deflated my sense of self quite effectively.
So here goes a list of things that I’m developing a thick skin about. A “Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This” attitude; which frankly is well deserved by both the parties involved.
TAKING TIME Sorry, Cannot be Sorry About This! I cannot be sorry for taking time. Time to heal, time to recuperate, time to process my emotions or just the time to move on from something that punctured my heart.
STANDING UP Standing up for myself, for something that I believe, for something that matters to me, for something that is my basic fundamental right, for someone who needs it. Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This.
NOT RECIPROCATING YOUR FEELINGS Sorry, I’m not supposed to mirror your feelings. Sorry, cannot be sorry about this either. I am going to be respectful of your feelings and emotions about me and/ or everything else, but I don’t need to reciprocate them. So there is no point feeling guilty for being respectfully uninvolved or available.
TAKING A BREAK Every time people, places and situations get overwhelming or just plain exhausting, I am going to take a break. Be it friendships, romantic relationships, family bonds, work relationships- my sanity is an eminent factor in determining the health of my relationships. And Sorry Cannot Be Sorry About This!
NOT BEING THERE Occasionally, not picking up calls, reverting to texts and emails is acceptable. Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This. Sometimes I just do not have the energy, mindset or the attitude for it. Either way, I am not letting anyone down.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife”, said Austen.
And I always wondered what happens to her family after?
Half a year ago, or you could just say two seasons ago, I knew I was to soon shift cities, change my last name, create a new place, make new relations, understand and define boundaries for myself…. re-invent myself. It is like taking the last quarter of a century’s work and treating it like base work and starting to understand oneself all over again in an absolutely new setting, surrounded by a new mindset, with new house rules and newer house mates and a fresh new perspective of self.
Let’s fast track a bit… and its been a three weeks! Three weeks of being a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law. Mostly, three weeks of being the ‘new one’ with all things new!
In all this newness, there isn’t a single day that has gone by where I haven’t thought of all the oldness. Every morning. when I touch the feet of my new grandparents, I miss the morning green tea over news paper and some crisp sunlight with the ones back home. When my new mother cooks something, it doesn’t even take my mind a second to rush back to the cooking of my mother’s hands. When my new father says something to me, I can’t help but smile at how I have spent a majority part of conversations with baba in discussions and debates. When I’m setting tasks to do on a specific day and settling in, I know I couldn’t have done it without drawing inferences from the lives of my brother and his wife (who I think of as my older sister). When they sit and share stories and incidents from their own lives, I can’t help but miss our all nighters where all the cousins sat with junk and gossip, embarrassing one another with childhood stories and the shit storm we brewed as a bunch of hooligans. As I meet the extended family here, I want to call my aunts and uncles- ones I have back home, and tell them that I’m more blessed than most because of them. I’ve had the luxury of being co-parented by so many. Love by all. Taught by all. Grown up amongst all. When I see him bump into a friend on the street, I can’t help but wonder when I’ll next spend time with mine; my friends that have been family in more ways than I can fathom. The times we sat on the swing discussing boys, friends, studies, sibling hatred, out collective dislike for specific vegetables and love for the most random things. Being each other’s fashion guides, trending lingo assistants, discussing dreams and how we’d blow the large bucks that the realisation of that dream would bring us. Our baseless fears and even worse coping mechanisms. Obsessing over coffee and cheese, ice creams and cakes. Reviewing new food joints, sharing music, talking of treks and all the places we’d visit and the causes we will volunteer for and the books we’ve read and the new workout plan that we’ve procrastinated over.
…WAIT… Before I sound like I’m already venting and am a damsel in distress, let me give you some insight…
At 5 am, with sleep deprived eyes, under the weight of bridal ensemble, in front of at least three dozen pairs of glassy eyes, I had taken leave from all of them- with a twinkle in my eyes and laughter pouring out of my lips. Excited about the new and yet to be experienced, sure of the support from both ends and the unconditional love all around. I agree, I haven’t felt the kind of warmth I experienced that morning ever before. With me as the point of everyone’s focus and all that intensity making me feel floaty.
Was I in denial? Should I have cried at the end of my single life? I think not. I wasn’t pressured into anything, there was a choice and chose this. I have only grown fonder of the person whom I’m to spend the rest of my life with. I treat the house as my own and not that of my in-laws. My birth family will be 800kms away, but someone once said ‘distance makes the hearts grow fonder’… so what’s there to be sad about? I’m not insensitive. I think of them more number of times than I’ll ever be able to admit. They are the reason behind who I am today.
I’m married. I miss my birth family. I wish to spend more Saturday evenings with my friends. I want those friendly banters with all my brothers and sisters. I’ll have only so much of it. I’m grateful. I love both my families. I have more brothers and sisters now. I’m living in and exploring an absolutely new city and its culture. I have more than I need.
According to Atharva Veda, marriage is detachment from my father’s clan because I’m to begin mine;It is my re-birth.