What does success look like to you?

When I find my window to light(ness) at the nearing end of my dark(ness) alley. When the dark(ness) begins to become lighter. When I’m able to get out of my bed with a sense of purpose to live. With the sense of purpose to get things done. Get some juice out of my life. Feel alive from the inside. Be part of something. Create something.

When I find myself want to be alive to taste my life – all phases of it. This is what success looks like to me.

And you?

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My Struggles with Pressures

I’m going to set aside my ego and admit that I’ve become a people pleaser. Since about 3 years now. The worst thing about becoming a people pleaser is, one: I now am selective about letting my feelings/opinions known. It’s an uncontrolled want on me to not upset my listener/potential relation etc. Two: A mask is always on.

The day I tried keeping masks and al aside and took a stand for myself – it was a shock. One: the other end didn’t handle the confrontation well. Second: the other end didn’t want to see or hear me at my worst.

It was a clear indicator of where the relation stood.

Though cliched, it holds true: if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve to be around me at my best.

Today was my first, uncomfortable, step to break free of that pressure. Anxiety was under control, because I knew – it wasn’t the end of the world for me. Yet.

Lessons from a movie

The lesson is this: it never is anyone’s (or the person’s) fault for not treating you with respect. Nor that ‘good’ friend’s fault who is being sleazy with you and then yells at you with indignation saying, “it was a joke!” It’s not that person’s fault either for not giving you the time from his/her life. It’s not their fault for treating you, the way you are being right now.

It’s yours. It was mine.

Why?

Because, you (and I) let them. You let them talk to like that, because you thought it’s fine and allowed them to. You let them talk/treat you like that because you wanted to please them and not cause any conflicts. You didn’t respect your own time and then expecte others to respect yours? I did too.

The thing is this: What have you done to make it stop? Have you first treated yourself right? Have you spoken your mind, without of course hurting the receivers’ sentiments? Have you stood your ground, with your beliefs, without wondering if this will break the relationship?

Let’s do that first: Treat ourselves right. Then let’s see if things change.

The movie by the way was a Marathi movie called, “Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy“. Overdone, but with a great, great lesson: You don’t demand respect. You earn it.

Actions Instead of Words

Sometimes you don’t tell, just do.

An act of love.

A decision in action, silently taken.

Maybe an impulsive one. Maybe out of deep hurt. Maybe out of kindness. Maybe because you’re biting back words, so as to not scar another human. Maybe out of a silent protest. Maybe out of passion.

So, sometimes, you don’t tell, just take actions. At times they are louder than words. If not, at times they serve better than words.

Silent action.

Silence at times speaks the loudest.

A Picture of Victory

She was a vision to behold. Born out of a dream.

She stood, spine erect, her legs sightly apart. Her hands balled into fists, rested softly at the side of her waist. The breeze blew softly through her long, wavy, black tresses. It swayed to the right of her face; a tender lock caressing her cheeks now and then.

She stood tall with a strong armour hugging her body. The silver on her armour shone as the sun rays hit her. She glowed. She had scars all over. Battle scars. Emotional scars. A of imperfections. She didn’t hide them. She wore them with pride.

A small smile played on her lips.

Behind her sat her now small ‘big black dog’. Present yet but not daring to touch her. She had him under control.

Another victory tucked in her belt.

She knew it was going to be a long battle with the black dog. Yet, she celebrated this was a small victory, for now.

She was strong.

She was the strength.

She was the freedom.

She was a live wire with a wild heart.

She was alive.

The Devil’s Handshake

Easy way out at times, rather most of the times, is deceiving. It might seem shorter. It would also appear to provide a respite, because would seem to be very convenient. Very, very alluring to jump on it when that bus stops in front of you and imagine all the lighter days ahead.

Untill you take it.

Most of the times, it will leave you with a broken back and an irritated soul.

Yet, at times you would hesitate to let the easy way go. Even if it’s the right thing to do.

Let go.

Better to walk down the hard path with a satisfying journey than shake hands with the devil.

Is Everything Fine?

He had seen it. It was supposed to be an unmentionable incident. Yet, he reached out to her and asked her, “Is everything fine?”

She ignored his question, doubting his concerns. Avoided him at all cost. But his persistence to know couldn’t match her will to stay aloof and she broke her silence and said a feeble, “Yes, thank you for asking.” It only took her three days to look him in the eye with the answer on her lips. Even if a white lie, which he knew, he seemed to let her easy.

Maybe, he really did care. Maybe he just wanted to know the story. Her mind raced again, overthinking on full swing. This and the incident. Taking control over her and her mind. Her heart raced. That familiar unease. The familiar irrational fear gripped her.

She reached out for that tiny pill in her bag and popped it in her mouth. Waiting for the med to kick in. She closed her eyes as it slowly took over and eased the anxiety that had gripped her soul. Unaware that he was still watching her.

His voice steady he asked, “Promise me you’ll not take too many? Promise you’ll never abuse it?”

Startled, she opened her eyes.

Calm. She assured him and realised he really did care. Warmth seeped in her heart. The effect complete. Sealing the trust in the growing friendship.

Everything was certainly fine.

A Raging Battle with that Black Hole

Regardless of whether you care or you don’t about this situation of yours, do not let yourself get sucked in that pitiless black hole. 

You don’t have to take one day at a time. You don’t have to do anything that everyone asks you to do to climb out of that black hole. 

Do what you’ve got to do.

But, don’t ever give up. 

Don’t you dare.

Keep fighting. It’s going to be worth it.

Everything is going to be ok.

That Goofy Face

There’s always this boy. I had a minor crush on him. Then we became, sort of, friends. Every time he opened his mouth, I would always feel that I like him lesser. But then, no matter what he said, this tall boy, when he would smile his full goofy smile at me whenever he passed me by, I could feel my heart do a double somersault no matter how hard I suppressed it. His smile was big and always seemed​ to reach his eyes. 

I would avoid his eyes every time we passed each other by. Especially if it was more than once in a day. Because he smiles his big smile every single time! Even if he was annoying and taken, his smile was contagious. His smile would leave a smile on my lips which would pass on to the next person passing me by. 

He is unaware and it will stay that way. It will be my little secret corner in a small room in my head: He’s that goofy faced friend, who notices it all, and makes me smile unwittingly ever time he smiles. And my day gets better.