Teach for India Diaries 11.5: Did you look for ‘yourself’ this summer yet?

Think about which is your favorite relationship? The one you have with your parents? The one you have with your siblings? The one you have with your friends? Or the one you have with your partner/spouse? Now hold that thought. 

This summer has been one of many interesting ‘discoveries’. The past one month has resulted in a varied number of experiences that i would generally not experience if i had not evaluated myself and decided to get out of my comfort zone to do more than i would have wanted to do otherwise. 

To begin with I evaluated my feelings about working Vs not working during the summer break. Having slogged literally through the past one year, there was a split second when i thought that i should just let go and take a whole month off to do absolutely NOTHING! But then again, i thought; when again in life will i ever get another summer break! 

I then finally decided to do it all, work, write, scribble, paint, travel, live in a new place all by myself, shift every three days to a new home, talk to complete strangers on the road about their life stories, drive across two cities, get published online, become the official cartoonist for two websites, eat street food every single day, walk along the ocean every time i felt like i wanted company, walk instead of taking the cab or driving, sit for hours in a cafe coffee day with a book and a hot chocolate, travel in locals, get onto a wrong one and feel silly, start a conversation with the woman who loves
selling flowers on the local, discuss with a cab driver about how he is my hero because he loves driving people around and he makes double the money that i currently make and that he has found his calling in life, sit in restaurants all by myself to have a beer and fries, eat fresh mango ice cream at naturals thrice a week, walk along old parts of a city with all its beauty and modernity, haggle with street hawkers and not buy anything, have long drawn phone conversations with Gautam; one of my students, about what all i am experiencing and telling them how much i miss them, play with labradors/dogs on the street because i missed mine so much, borrow traditional enough clothes from a new friend to attend a fancy reception and free load on food, make new friends, reconnect with those i thought i would never meet again, feel extremely lonely at times and wonder why i did any of these things instead not take the easier way out, shake that feeling off and realize how much more peaceful i am today than ever before, look at the long sentence i typed out above and know for a fact that i can neither list down nor describe all the experiences that i lived and felt this summer and know that the better part of it is still remaining!

I want to leave you 

to think about all the relationships you have. Some are conditional and some are nourishing. Some are abusive even if you don’t know it yet and some are loving. Some are all consuming and some are opportunistic. Now think about the amount of time, effort and energy you invest in them to make them work. Continue to do so. But remember to always invest in that one relationship which is unconditionally giving, ever surprising, extremely comforting, and the most beautiful; the one you have with ‘yourself’. Discover it if you haven’t yet. You wouldn’t know what you are missing out on until you have.


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