After a great picnic on the beach, I was busy playing Frisbee with my cousin’s children. We played till the last rays of the sun lingered on the beach. As the lights came up, we packed up and drove home. We reached home, the four of us – my cousin, her two children and myself – all muddy, with tousled hair and soiled clothes. Undoubtedly, we had all the symptoms of having a great day!
That night, as we tucked in the children to sleep, my cousin and I sat down for a heart-to-heart talk. I was flying back home the next day and so it was one of those heart-felt deep discussions that we got into. I had come down for the weekend while her husband was away on business. As we sat talking she said stirring the sugar in her black coffee that she is so happy that she was not judgemental about her situations in life.
Well, no! This story is different because whatever decision my cousin took was for the pleasure of it all! We always take or change decisions because of something. My cousin does things because she wants to. There is no remorse or guilt or anything negative associated with her course of life. We live in a world where we are so afraid to do what we want. We do a job because of something, we leave a job because of something, we cook because of something. Have you ever heard anyone say unapologetically that I do something because I love doing it? Trust me I have! And I feel these are the freest souls that I have encountered.
I still remember when all the girls in school had to choose a musical instrument. This cousin of mine chose the drums! Drums were then the domain of boys and her venturing into it was of course raised a few eyebrows. But did she explain why she wanted to do that? No, she did not!
It needs courage to be unapologetically yourself. Many women would rather stay camouflaged in a group than stand out and be themselves. Why is it so? What is so wrong about being who you really are? Everywhere you go, every discussion you have, you have women saying – I work because…, I don’t work because…, I want to have a baby because…, I want to whatever because…!
Ladies! Stop explaining yourself! It is perfectly alright to do what you are doing because you love doing it. Maybe you like the corporate life, maybe you like to be a home-maker, maybe you don’t like either but would rather be in a rock band – it’s okay! It’s your life and you decide.
You may ask what you would gain by being unapologetically yourself? Well, let me tell you:
Peace of mind: When you don’t need to pretend, trust me you will have immense peace of mind.
Excel in what you do: When you unapologetically do what you love to do and not because some societal norms dictate you, you will excel beyond your imagination in that. Try it!
You Stay Happy: Happiness is all about being yourself. Any camouflage or pretension will give you only a discontent life. It takes courage to be yourself, but it is worth it!
Always on the right track: When you are unapologetically yourself, you do not try to imitate others. You do not feel the need to compete with others because you carve out your own life. This attitude keeps you from making wrong decisions in life. With this attitude whatever course you choose you are going to be happy!
That night at my cousin’s home as we sat watching the last episodes of our favourite sitcom ‘Friends,’ we did not realise when the young night turned into midnight so soon! We straggled to bed content and with the hope of catching a few winks of sleep before daybreak!
The house was a chaos the next morning. But my cousin seemed nonchalant. Over breakfast, as she poured me a mug of coffee she said – “You know, I am planning to go on a complete adventure trip packed with para-gliding, bungee jumping and scuba diving before I re-join the corporate world. Fancy joining in?”
While biting into the blushing marmalade packed crunchy toast I said between mouthfuls – “Of course!”
Do you think we explained ourselves to anyone about making this trip? You bet we didn’t!