It’s been a little over three years since I founded Voice of ABPD, and within those couple of years, a lot was discovered and of course, as with any person seeking growth and betterment, things change.
Now, as many people who have followed me on my public journey of life have may or may not have noticed, I’ve been keeping a much lower profile than usual. This is due to various personal reasons of course, but as I briefly mentioned – people change.
This is not to say I have let go of my passions and dreams of the arts – I am just compartmentalizing it for a later and better time. As an activist, artist, dancer, influencer, knowledge-seeker, I’ve just learned to take time and really smell the roses as they bloom and fade around me, and this means, taking time to take care of me.
For the longest time, I would say I was the individual who will go to extreme lengths to please and support friends, execute an idea to better heights, and really make my presence known. I’ve chased after so many people, events and things in hopes to feel loved, to be understood, to prove my worth and value – only to be burned time and time over again.
So, you want to know where I’ve been? I’ve been around, I’m “present,” but I keep to myself because I’ve heard too much of my business come from people, I didn’t tell it to.
I’ve finally let myself thrive as the multipotentialite that I am. I’ve learned to let go of this idea of the “one true calling” and instead continuous educate myself in all my interests and develop them even further.
One of the most common questions I get asked, is “what is it that I am actually doing with my life?” I somehow manage to do a variety of hobbies and maintain a career in different industries, all during my “prime years” as people would call it.
As a millennial trying to live her best life, it can be difficult at times especially when you see your peers seemingly living their best life in ten-fold, BUT here is an answer to the question of what it is that I am doing with my life and what I wish to do – I don’t.
To live your best life, you are going to have to unlearn everything that’s been told you by parents, teachers, mentors and society and make a make your own path.
Why am I writing this then? Well, as a former influencer of the South Asian community, I was put in front of the American Malayalee community since I could walk, and so to leave various organizations/regions of these congregations was both a relief, but also difficult.
You see, I’m one of those Proud Indian Americans who sincerely and genuinely cares for the people, causes and communities I serve, so to see petty politics and egos get in the way disgusts me. And even if I ignore it, to continuously try and be a voice, to try and make a difference as one sole person is exhausting.
I write this piece as I know many first and second-generation Indian Americans leave our cultural communities and live their lives outside of these groups just fine. I envy them. Perhaps it was because of my upbringing, but no matter how many times I try to walk away – I find myself always coming back as I am a person who believes in the power of community, and it was through this community where I procured most of my talents and interests.
Most of us feel so angsty in life because our soul is craving something our mind cannot yet answer… something that was beat out of us by societal norms and ideals.
This means that from the time we are born, we were given a script of “how to do life” – work hard, be a good student, do the best to get a good job, marry, have a kid or two, get the home with the picket fence and green grass, etc. Only, if we take a hard look at our parents or mentors who followed this script do we see that most of them seam less than content.
It is normal for our generation, and the ones that will follow to CRAVE more. To DESIRE more. To FIGHT for the dream and change what we desire, but we cannot let that shine in a path that was laid out for us by someone else.
Some of us aren’t meant for the traditional 9-5 grind (myself included), and some of us are, but by going outside of our career comfort zone, we are still trying to find a way to mold our lives into someone else’s dreams and thus, the mental anxiety, depression and other health issues start to pursue.
I’m talking from my personal experience as well as watching and listening to a lot of my friends and peers over the last decade. On paper, I am/was exactly what millennials were “supposed” to be. I attended the advance placement courses during my younger years, spoke three different languages, was actively involved in my community and excelled. I went to a top 50 university and earned that master’s degree (now PhD), while juggling a variety of jobs. I literally check every box that was “supposed” to be checked, but I lied in bed sick with anxiety.
I kept thinking there was something wrong with me. I knew there was nothing to complain about. I was in a position most of my peers would crave to be in – so why was I unhappy. I had done everything that my parents, teachers, coaches, and society had told me to do but was still dealing with depression over a years later. Deep inside I knew something needed to change, but I felt like I couldn’t actually take that step and quit everything I had been working towards.
So I quit my job. I left a great company and it forced me evaluate what I wanted in life versus what everyone was telling me I should want. For the first time I was exploring my dislikes and dreams. Following passions, and letting go of every rule, suggestion, or judgment that had been placed on me. It felt liberating.
Now, I’m not telling everyone to go out and quit their jobs. We got bills to pay and a life to continue living, but there are a FEW things you can start doing RIGHT NOW to UNLEARN everything people have told you about yourself and how your life should unfold.
Living your best life means living up to your potential. Living up to your potential means you actually do “the things you hope to do someday” NOW instead of putting them off for some magical time in the future
The power to live your best life is 100% inside of you. Not your teachers, family, friends, or society; but YOU! When we can quiet the voice inside of our minds, we can connect to who we truly are at our core. The voice in our minds have been programmed by society, and it’s not OUR truth. It’s the truth that’s been force fed to us from the time we came out the womb. When we can release judgment and fail forward, we can experience life through our own lenses that already knows we are exactly where we need to be, exploring this journey, learning and growing at the pace we are meant to.
We are limitless beings fueled by unconditional love and support for ourselves and others – and it’s time we re-discover that.
Overall, remember this, “every now and then, a person with no agenda, no ulterior motive, and no self-interest will take pleasure in helping you to succeed, grow and live your purpose. This person will operate in love, will seek no praise, and will want nothing in return. This person is a gift.” I believe myself to be such a person, and there are many others like myself, so as with any gift – cherish them, believe in them, and remember the reason why they entered your life in the first place.