I am participating in Diane DeBella’s #iamsubject project http://www.iamsubject.com/the-iamsubject-project/. Here is my #iamsubject story.
My parents chose to call me Rashmi. I am an Indian. Born and brought up in the Middle East.
I lived a normal life. I saw my father and mother struggle to bring up their daughters. As I grew up, I was in love with words. I felt a strong sense of power in words, which I could never identify in any other element of life. I had a zillion questions in my head and heart, as I grew. I grew up to believe that I could steer my life the way I wished to and nothing else had the power to do so.
Until about I turned 26, life was struggle. And I think today, it was a struggle that I created for myself.
I loved people. I loved having more than enough of them in my life too. But not many of them, I felt, connected with me. As a teenager, I was a rebel. I always thought no one understood me. I always had the need to fight it out with everyone. I knew I was not wrong. And I was seldom ready to let go. When people loved me immensely, I felt something against them. When they disliked or hated me, I wanted to get through to them.
My parents are very religious. And they rightly attempted to pass on the faith and feelings to their daughters. I think I followed their faith until I lived with them. But I felt uncomfortable. I felt like being pushed to God. I felt comfortable with God, but not with being pushed and punished to grow close to God. Probably that was one area in which I did not rebel much, though I am sure, my parents felt the disconnect.
I grew up and every day was a little struggle within myself. I made friends, more friends and some more than just friends. As I grew, so did my need to make and keep friends. I found happiness in my friends. I found bliss in the moments I spent with my loved ones. I gave them the power to lush and crush me. Unknowingly. I gave them the option to teach or breach me. Unknowingly.
There came a time in my life, where I looked into the mirror and I could not recognize myself. My life was so crowded with people and their love. It is supposed to be good, right? Yes, it was. But it had one major flaw. A flaw that I refused to recognize until I began to feel lonely. Even with so many people around, I could not be at peace. I could not create my own happiness, as I had handed over the plug to switch on and off my happiness to others.
I saw that I had lots of people around me. People who tried to make me laugh and feel happy, yet I was not. My friends did their best to make me smile and stop my tears. But I continued to cry like a leaking faucet. I was such a mess. All that I was capable of was to crumble and fall on the ground like a piece of cloth. And, oh yes, cry. I was like a bunch of clothes that needed laundry, but refused to go for it. I so disliked myself like that. But I could do nothing about it.
I kept crying. Kept looking for an answer. Until one fine day, I found it. No, I mean, I recognized it. I realized I will continue crying if I chose not to stop. I realized that I had to be happy, if I wished to. It struck me that I cannot be wailing and bowling, if I wanted to move forward. I cannot be living in my past, if I wanted to move ahead into my future. I cannot cling to bad memories, if I wished to stay away from it.
And then I took that one step to help myself. One step led to another. And soon, I’d come a long way.
I learnt that happiness is what we create. Happiness isn’t a destination, but the journey itself. Peace isn’t something we can find somewhere. It is something we create within ourselves and treasure.
I met a new person around this time. She slowly became a friend. She was very different from me then. She was a confident and happy soul. She was someone who believed in being happy and spreading it. Her smile is infectious, people told. She was accepting and forgiving. She accepted and forgave with grace. She did not question the happenings in her life and run after the answers. She simply did her best and left the rest to God.
I am unable to pin point how we became the best of friends and how we are one soul now. All I need today is her. Her happiness and peace. And my life will be beautiful. Her happiness ensures people in my world are happy too. Her peace ensures, I’d go to any extend to make my loved ones feel at peace. She’s the one person I’d missed befriending all along, although I saw her every single day. She, I met her in my mirror reflection.