I stopped writing last year when my life was constantly under a scanner. My job at the government was always being scrutinized. People who I thought were friends were actually being over-critical of me. And somehow the “happygoluckygirl” tag they had attached to me was too much of a burden to carry when in actuality I was grappling with both personal and professional dilemma. I had no time for myself and I was finding it hard to even breathe freely in the life that I had so perfectly crafted for myself.
While at work, I wished to be with my husband who had never really seen a calm or happy me after our marriage. I would get back from work only by 9pm with nothing but worries on my mind. My husband would get surprised at my half-eaten lunchbox. While dumping away the unpleasant smelling food, he would often worry for me and ask: “Don’t you feel hungry at all?” Both of us would quickly try to make something for dinner but at the dinner-table, we would end up discussing work. It ruined both our appetites. Morning were worse when I felt most torn apart between my personal and professional life.
While at home, I was incessantly making and receiving work calls, doing household work and talking to my parents or in-laws on the phone. Even moments when I sat with Ravi in our balcony, my mind would wander and I felt this restlessness and helplessness that I had really never felt before. My body ached all the time, I couldn’t sleep and I would constantly twist and turn in bed hoping sleep would come. I would try hard to imagine happy things but bad thoughts came more naturally.
Yes, that was how I really felt and I don’t know how I let myself get into such deep shit. I am a really strong person and probably that’s why I could never imagine that I could possibly let life get out of my hands.
I finally quit my full-time job and many people assumed I had something bigger in store for me. Either a better job or probably a baby. But I had quit because I had spent more time than I had thought I would spend on that job. And more importantly, I was lost and I had to find myself again. Not only had I made my life miserable, I was also dragging my husband to lifelong misery. For several weeks even after I quit, I felt the same. I couldn’t concentrate and I was also upset and worried about the bright career I had given up.
But things improved.
After our marriage, I had never once sat with my husband to talk about the mundane things in life. To just chat about the good weather or how lovely the breakfast was or how loud our next door neighbors were. We had never taken a holiday or spoken about our life together. Even though we knew each other for several years before our marriage, we had somewhere lost touch due to the complexities of life. We were just two individuals living under the same roof, discussing our problems and life as two gentlemen on a coffee table would do.
I am able to share all these things today only because it is easier for me to analyze my past and talk about it. I do think I have made some serious amendments and also sacrifices to change my life. Today things are much better. I wouldn’t blame my job entirely for how I had felt though. My problems ran deeper, they were within me and the biggest mistake I had made was to put them aside. I had assumed that they would go away with time. But healing takes a long time and one has be willing to take those steps to begin the process of healing.
I work part-time now and I spend the rest of my time just gazing at the birds, reading, running errands or waiting for my husband to come home to share my little stories from the day. I have to admit that I sometimes get really bored and get back into the crazy work schedule every now and then. In those times, I try to refresh my memory and tell myself that I can’t have it all. That happiness is not something that we can wait for. The choices we make strongly determine our state of mind.
Life is still far from being perfect. But I am taking one step at a time.