New Year, New Cheer, and New Disenchantment

The wind bites my cheeks, and numbs them like a thousand little anesthetic needles pinching my face. But I raise my face to it, because on this crisp winter morning the sun is shining so brightly. I pull down my hood and look into the light.

I read in some Readers Digest article that taking walks in the day time without sunglasses on improves mood, and reduces the chance of depression during the winter months.  I figure it has something to do with the eyes being the window of the soul, and opening them to the sunlight allowing sun right into your soul. May be that’s why I’ve been light on my feet and easy with a smile today though when I mentioned my chipper  mood to my co-workers this morning they noted “You’re always chipper!”

Can’t deny it. I’m a generally agreeable person.

So I’ve begun the New Year well.  Monopolizing my jet lag, I’ve begun this early riser routine. Waking up between 530 and 6 am working out, having breakfast. Getting to work between 8 and 830.  Getting out of work between 5 and 6. Getting to bed between 8 and 9.  I feel good about myself. I feel healthy and most of all happy. I have a good feeling about this year.  I hope the feeling lasts, and I hope there is actually something good waiting for me out there… in the future.

It’s that feeling which makes me raise my face to the sun… it’s that feeling that helps me ignore the biting wind and lets the sun shine into my soul.  As usual, when I have a good feeling about me I have a good feeling about everyone. I’m confident we’re all going to be alright. I’m not worried about my family, or my friends… I think we have a good handle on life.

Two days later….

It’s been a difficult day. (It’s only 1 pm)

I think I’m taking the words of a fortune-teller (*See The Fortune Teller) a bit too literally.  An opportunity, like a spark in the dark occurred to me as I sat in the Corporate Meeting this morning.

So I started thinking about it, then I started talking about it, and before you know it I got my hopes up, and practically had my bags packed and a foot out the door on my way to a Program Services position in New Delhi India. (Also see “Social commentary…”)

After getting all excited, and planning my day-to-day life in India, I decided to write to my parents to get a perspective, and within minutes my hopes were dashed, my dreams shattered and I was having a hissy fit argument with my mother, and thinking in that whiny teen-movie voice “urghhh you’re ruining my life!”

I really need to get my emotions, and my hopes and dreams under control. Especially because with all my exciting talk, I managed to disappoint not just myself, but a coworker who was so excited to support me in this new position. (Leave it to Pavi to plan an entire new life within the span of 20 minutes). As it turns out this job opportunity is not a realistic choice for me.

But I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I have this idea of where I want to be, and what I want to be doing; and this opportunity with whatever the attached difficulties seemed like an opening for me to get to that place.

Just as fast as the door opened… it slammed shut in my face, knocking me over, and scattering my armful of plans.

I also thought, wrongly so, that  i had the freedom to just up and leave. Most people get tied down when they’re married, when they have kids… I’m not saying I’m tied down… but I am. I have responsibilities to my family. Responsibilities that-as much as I might bitch about them are important to me. It’s important to my happiness and well-being that i fulfill these responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a pain in my butt.

Once Malli and the Nangis are settled I’ll be free.

I know A LOT of people who will tell me I’m being an idiot, that I can’t wait for others and I can’t let my future and my decisions be dependent on others. People who tell me I have to do what makes me happy, and my parents and family shouldn’t have a say. People who say I have a choice. (HA! Choice!) But it seems clear to me as I listen to these voices that they have a freedom and a sense of selfishness that I’m not accustomed to. (And as long as my mother lives I will never become accustomed to.)

I’m not saying they are bad people. Selfishness is as much a virtue as it is a vice.  I don’t know how often I have said to friends and family members that they must be selfish in some decisions they take, that they can’t wait for others, and their life can’t depend on the whims and fancies of everyone around them.

What a hypocrite I’m turning out to be…  Encouraging risks and championing independence and self-discovery while I lie dormant, swayed only by the words of the family that has given me all I have, and all I have is all I will ever be.

Will I ever fight for something I want?  Will I ever break the rules like the heroes in the books I read? Will I ever be something more than a goody-two-shoes brown girl who listens to her parents, marries who they approve, lives a structured and risk free life with 3 kids and a dog and a solid investment plan? How Cliche.

No one will ever write a book about me.

All that good cheer and “content with my life”ness has gone for the moment.

I’m about to write a sentence about how life likes to kick you in the nuts… but a familiar voice is saying to me… “It’s not the world that’s against us, it’s your family… and it’s not Life that’s kicking you in the nuts, it’s your family.”

To him I say- “Yes… but my world, my life is my Family.”


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