I’m feeling strangely emotional as I write this. Maybe because it’s so close to my heart. Maybe because I’ve fallen prey to wanting to be anyone but me so many times. Maybe because I feel so strongly that I have a message to convey. Anyway, I’m going to let it all flow.
I have, more times than I can count, not liked being me. For the education I had. For the environment I grew up in. For not making it big like some others by the time I hit 30. For not becoming the courageous and charismatic person I so desperately wanted to be. For doing some pretty nasty things in life. Sometimes I have wondered if I was just another cog in the wheel of humanity. Others seemed to be living such abundant, purposeful lives…did I even matter? Did I make any difference at all?
Have you been there? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t. The truth is that I have and it’s a dark place to be.
The song that is me
I’ve often thought about the wildly different lives we all have. We come from different countries, speak different languages, wear different clothes. No two childhoods are the same, even for kids who’ve grown up in the same household. I liken each of us to be a song. No two songs are the same. They come in different genres, beats, and tunes. I like the fact that we have as much variety of songs as we do. When I look at my playlists on Amazon music, I see that I listen to songs in both English and Hindi. I seem to like a plethora of genres ranging from Classical to Pop to Rap to Rock. I also notice that I prefer one song to another depending on my mood. I also prefer one genre to another and that changes too, depending upon the context. Irrespective of my preferences, I like the fact that there’s an abundance of songs available. Each has something that adds to the collective.
When I look at humanity as a collection of songs, the fact that each of us is different in every way possible is beautiful. Just like a song, my life adds to the music library of this planet. Whether my journey was dark or light or in hues of grey, the music is beautiful. The song that is me is unique, heartbreaking, and uplifting in its own way. What’s more, the song is unfinished and ever unraveling. The notes emanate from you…you are the song. How you wish to play out is in your hands.
A quote by Brené Brown goes, “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”
I find a lot of solace in that thought. My past is set in stone and there’s no changing it. A part of me has already been played. But the rest of the song remains…and I’m determined to play that more deliberately. Of late, I’ve been carrying that as a talisman. Before self-love comes self-acceptance. That’s one of the cornerstones of #theyearofme project. It means embracing all aspects of me – the good, the bad, and everything in-between. It’s to look at my past and make peace with it. It’s to look nakedly at my shortcomings, failures, embarrassments, and heartaches and first become okay with them. It’s to look at the package that’s me and acknowledge that there indeed is a lot of beauty to the song I am.
Own your song. The song that is you.