By Megha Bajaj
It’s a long road from trying to impress to simply expressing
At seven… it seemed so important to impress my elder sister Nidhi. After school, I would run behind Nidhi, as fast as my little feet would carry me and do everything that she would. I would walk like her, I would talk like her. If she hated ladyfingers, I too would wrinkle my nose to it.
However, after a few days as she went from primary to secondary section our school timings changed and we would barely see each other. I felt so forlorn. After all, I had always depended on Nidhi. I didn’t even know what my own favourite colour was – I had always cloned her blindly. At that time, I didn’t know where I had gone wrong, but today I do. Impressing Nidhi, in time, had left me depressed.
At 19… it seemed so important to impress my boss. I was writing for a popular magazine and shared a great rapport with my editor. I wanted him to give me a raise so I decided I should impress him. I tried to change my writing style completely. Usually for me writing was an experience where I would just stare at the blank paper and words would flow spontaneously. However, I began to ‘force’ the words to come. I tried to copy the style of popular writers. And failed so miserably! I began to dislike my work, my articles became shoddy and my editor, instead of becoming happy with me, began to grumble and ask me what had happened. At that time, I didn’t know where I had gone wrong, but today I do. Impressing him, in time, had left me depressed.
At 24… it seemed so important to impress my in-laws. I wanted to do everything ‘right’. They were really open-minded and yet, if there was ever a difference in our thoughts, I would immediately change myself and adapt to their beliefs. If they wanted to go to the temple, and I didn’t, I would still accompany them. They wanted me to wear a mangalsutra and I didn’t, but I still did to maintain my good, obedient daughter-in-law image. In time, however, I began to feel resentful towards them. I felt that they were trying to change me, when actually I was the one who was changing myself! I now know that in trying to impress them, I was only depressing myself.
At 26… it seemed so important to impress my spiritual mentor. However, the closer I got to my guru, the more I realised that he would love me even if I didn’t impress him. He would accept me, even if I revealed my darkest thoughts to him. In fact, without consciously trying to do so, I began to become my ‘self’ with him. I began to tell him everything as it was, rather than packaging it as it should be. I began to fall in love with myself. I began to become happier.
For the first time in my life, I find myself comfortable around people – irrespective of their age, gender, profession or status, simply because I am comfortable with myself. In fact, the reason I am able to write so honestly about various aspects of my life is because I no longer have the need to impress you, dear reader; all I want to do is express. No wonder, I am smiling.
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