When the winds of life are pushing you back, that’s when you push forward the hardest.
If you’ve been a regular on this blog, you’ll know how things have been very tough for me in February this year.
I had been through a long due decluttering process in January, and the whole thing was very purgative and therapeutic overall, but it drained me physically and mentally. I was happy to see myself in a mental space where I had been trying to find myself for a while. Things seemed to have settled and I was beginning to get back to my writing projects and had even taken on an exciting assignment that had come my way during this time.
As it happens, a few unexpected things that happened in February unsettled me and then overwhelm took over—this one brought my struggles to the fore in a way that exposed my own vulnerability, in all it’s rawness and it felt like it lasted for months even though it was only a few weeks.
The biggest learning for me was that we need to ask for help from people, we need to cry as often as we need to, we need to slow down and accept that we are fragile beings that need caring, and supporting and nurturing from others too!
The journey of healing was a long process and It has taken a long time for me to come to accept that none of us are immune from having a breakdown—no matter how strong we think we are.
In March, I decided to pull myself up and build up the broken bits, beginning with making a few small changes. The very first realisation at this point was that a change of scene was absolutely necessary—I HAD to physically get away from the space I was in. Only then could the rest of the things follow.
So, after four long years of tirelessly donning the roles of wife/mom/daughter/daughter-in-law and manager, running a busy household of five (including a super enthu workaholic husband, a moody teen and two octogenarian moms suffering from multiple health conditions and impaired mobility!!!) almost single-handedly, you’re expected to being the strong one, the one who can do it all, ALL OF THE TIME.
Its funny, I never once thought about it, until I crashed. That’s when I realised that my own connection with myself had snapped completely. Something HAD to be done fast!
The teen had finished his board exams and the moms had travelled to their respective hometowns and so, I had nothing tying me down at the moment. The change of scene came in the form of a week-long trip to Kerala—it gave me the fresh lease of life that I’d been waiting for months. No. Maybe years. I wish I could quantify and show you the good it did to me.
We spent 3 days at Kochi, where the focus was to attend the Kochi-Muziris Biennale—an event that I had been longing to attend for years now. This one comes every two years, and it brings artists from all over the world to offer this one-of-a-kind experience exhibiting the human need to let artists think freely and create artworks and installations that are at the intersection of people and incidents. It mainly focusses on the importance of the political, cultural, literary, scientific and philosophical climate necessary for ideas to thrive and flourish and all the artists—local and international—everyone did a brilliant job of it.
The whole experience of the Biennale defies description. My personal experience—it was awe-inspiring, provocative, beautiful, enriching, thought-provoking by turns, and every venue that was part of the exhibition was also unique in ways. Some were housed in art cafes, some in warehouses, some in old buildings no longer in use, some in art galleries—but every venue had something special about it! The art exhibits were equally enthralling as were the spaces they were showcased in. Maybe a future post on this will explain it better. 🙂
We ended our short stay at Kochi with a quick sightseeing tour of the heritage buildings, and soon after, headed for the shores of the stunningly beautiful Vembanad lake at Kumarakom, which was about an hour’s drive away. In the pristine surroundings of our resort at Kumarakom, my soul had found a perfect place to anchor itself for the next few days, where we swam, enjoyed leisurely nature walks, sat by the pool, read, slept and did absolutely nothing but relax. I particularly loved the hour-long sunset cruises on the houseboat every evening and it was funny to see how people were always busy taking selfies, even when Mother Nature was displaying her gorgeous colours across the evening sky!
Looking back on those days, I’m so deeply grateful for the unhurried pace of the trip, that gave me the chance to just be in the moment, and grab the opportunity to recharge myself and feel like I am whole again.
I often find myself wondering—What was it really, the thing that had knocked me out in February?—Was it just overwhelm or not being able to get away from the pressures of life, or was it stress and not getting the important connections right—the ones that really and truly mattered?
Maybe, it was all of them together, and maybe, I needed that shocking experience to have them all explode on me all at the same time, to take cognisance of where I was getting? Whatever it was, I think it made me pause for good.
The feeling of being pushed and cornered had left me feeling helpless. So, here I am now, pro-actively pushing myself forward into ways that I find meaningful and fulfilling. It was one of the reasons for me joining the #AtoZ challenge this year— a last-minute decision, which I hope I shall not regret.
And through everything else that I now do, self-care continues to be in focus and one really hopes and wishes that things will be better this month. We all thrive in hope, don’t we? I think I do.
Now, tell me, how was your week/month and how have things been for you lately? I’d love to hear from you. So, bring it on—the good, the not-so-good and anything important that has been a learning for you.
Here’s wishing you an amazing month ahead in April. May all that you’re hoping for come to fruition. May things fall in place. May life treat you kind.
With love and hugs to each one of you stopping by the blog today,
See you next week with another edition of #SoulfulSunday.
I’d recommend Jay Shetty and the calm app to anyone in need of reflection. I hope your travels filled your tank. They always refresh me. Traveling is my muse! Thanks for your lovely comment and for dropping by my blog!
Getting away physically was the best thing you did. On days when I feel overwhelmed (even though all I have is two teens and the dad, no old people to look after) I find getting out and away works wonders — even if it’s just spending a few hours at a cafe on my own. The stresses and pressures of daily life can be so daunting.
I am really happy you could do this and Kochi looks and sounds delightful.
Asking others for help takes some practice, doesn’t it? I’m still working on that.
I’m so glad you had this rejuvenating break, Esha. You deserved it, absolutely!
Thank you so much, Corinne. Learning never stops! Delegating is one thing. Asking for help quite another. It’s taken me a long time but I’m glad I’m doing this. It’s offering me newer ways of self-care, whilst doing so. 🙂