"YOU'RE A SHOE!"
"YOU'RE A SHOE!"
"WHAT IF I WANT TO BE A HAT?"
Have you heard of Johari window? Well, it’s a well-known management concept that helps one understand themselves better and in turn helps them nurture their relationships. The theory explores 4 dimensions:
a) Known to self but unknown to others.
b) Known to others but unknown to self.
c) Known to self and known to others.
d) Unknown to self and unknown to others.
I remember the day my husband explained this theory to me, we joked around how he loves making a ‘task list’ and scratching it off tasks every time he is done with a task and the joy that lights up his face after doing so. Though at that point of time, I didn’t take it very seriously but in hindsight, it made total sense to me; like this concept was made just for me, like the universe finally conspired and made me come face to face with Johari window.
The first dimension really bothered me. I really felt like an onion, every layer that was peeled off me revealed a new and unexplored one. There was so much about me that was known to me and unknown to others. Many a times I have given advice or said enlightening phrases that have amazed people but I hid under the garb of “Oh I read this somewhere”. Why you ask? Because I have been very conscious about how people perceive me and what runs through their heads when I say something useful and intelligent.
I've never got a chance to be in the driver’s seat of my own life. Earlier the steering was in my parents’ hands and now it’s in my husband’s.
I wish I could take the steering wheel in my hand, for once, so I could manoeuvre through the lanes of my passion, dreams and stay clear of all the ‘No's' I wish I had told people. Utopian thought, indeed.
I read a letter the other day that I had written to my brother when he was about to join college and after reading it, I literally wanted to send out a search party to retrieve the old, full of fire and aspirations 'me'.
The after-effects of that letter engulfed me and I wore a watch after a long time. I didn’t remove it for a whole day. I remembered my routine when I was working, I used to be up early, took a shower and dressed up every day. I went through my list of pending tasks, ate a hearty breakfast with hot tea and finally wore my watch. The flashback was over, the camera transported me back to reality and here I was. When I wore the watch, I felt like my time mattered, that I had a routine to keep up with.
It felt like I was doing something useful and more than anything else, the people who saw me would think that I must be doing something worthwhile. From a driven and unstoppable individual, I went on to become a housewife and a bored one at that.
When I tried explaining my misery to my husband, he rubbished it by saying, "Any routine is monotonous. Do you think I like going to office daily?" Well, he was right but I wasn’t heard. I wanted to scream my lungs out that day but couldn’t. I read a nihilist post that said, "Maybe the grass is greener on the other side because it’s fake." This made me laugh, gave me hope that there’s a lot more to someone’s journey than what meets the eye.
All my life, I have proved that I need someone to clean my mess so they were automatically given the right to dictate how I should be. My mother-in-law told me that if I didn’t read books and newspapers, I am going to sit at home forever. It felt like someone had ripped my heart out.
I love reading books and like to stay updated on current affairs but I wasn’t doing any of it. I wasn’t clearing interviews and I wasn’t getting where I thought I would be by the time I turn 23. My mother-in-law thinks the best job for me is to become Montessori teacher. Well, hello! I didn’t study Digital Media and Online Journalism and worked in several media organizations to end up teaching kids (I agree, every job is rewarding and wonderful but I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to be what I wished to be).
I want be a HAT, simply because I want that for myself. But now, it seems impossible. I am married and everything that I do will have a 'consequence'. Each day goes in thinking, "Why am I here?" "What am I doing?” These questions go into some sort of a black hole, I never get any replies. I have stopped dancing, I have stopped reading, I have stopped the occasional 'writing diarrhea' that I had, I have essentially stopped being myself. Is is too late for me? Or is it too early to think that it’s too late for me? No one seems to have an answer that will soothe me.
“Trust your truest truth.” A poignant advice by Cheryl strayed in her book, Tiny Beautiful Things. My truest truth is, I want to be free. I want to go back in time and reset few major decisions that had been taken for me. I want to be single and not ready to mingle ever again.
I want to venture out with my camera and make films on important people talking about important and unheard of things. I want to dance again, have a chat with my parents without having to worry that someone is waiting for my text or not, I want to sit and watch sitcoms with my brother and have midnight Maggi with him. I want to celebrate with my family by baking chocolate cake for finally clearing my backlog that stopped me from getting a degree.
I want to live again, just like old times, with fire in my heart and daydreams in my eyes.