Drawing by Alryk Ben
I was always told that i need to learn something from someone i thought had something worth learning from, and so i put everyone i had to learn from on a pedestal, only to realise later that i had let me put myself down in the process.
Self acceptance is hard especially when society has the steering wheel on deciding who/what you have to be/look like ... Many of us have been conditioned to want to look or be a certain way that we mostly aren’t inherently which supposedly makes us ‘happier’ but most often than not, leads to us building up insecurities. So we don’t like ourselves, and we try to “alter” ourselves trying to be something/someone we aren’t. In the process loosing touch of who we truly are.
I never liked myself. So i tried to change everything about myself so that i would ‘fit in’ / ‘stand out’. Which had obvious outcomes. But later i realised i was never meant to do either. All i was meant to do was just, be. (Me)
And that someone would always be better at something. I can’t be an “all-rounder”. Lol. I just needed to be good at what i do best. And for that, i needed to know myself. There was nothing to grow ‘into’, but just to be. And learn what i need to, when i need to.
I needed to accept myself for who i am, and grow in the process.
So hi, I’m me. Who are you?
Honouring the Search and Walking Ahead!
Since being sent off to school, I have been taught that being clueless is bad, knowing an answer is always good and this seed thought is what I had been carrying for a major part of my life. This thought left me confused and frustrated about myself, feeling lost in terms of my life choices and my career options. Though I still gave myself many many years to explore and see the world of unknown, I did that with a lot of self-doubt and constant questioning from my folks.
Life has a way of providing us with exactly what we need at the exactly the right time. I like to believe that Bhoomi happened to me during this confusing phase of my life! At Bhoomi, I realized that one phase of life is to search, to wander, to explore and carve out one’s own path. This phase is always present in different magnitudes all through our life. As infants we search and explore how to use our own body, as school children we search and explore the friends around us and finally, as adults everything becomes a search and exploration. An exploration of self, our own tribe, a place we can call our own and belong and finally, to give back what we find to the future wanderers!!
Bhoomi College initiated me into this amazing, necessary search of the self and, this journey still continues. If we look at ourselves as a seed, I feel until we dive deep and search and explore our own self, we have not germinated to our true potential! And Bhoomi College was the ground where I germinated after years of self-exploration.
Once we germinate, we need good sunlight, water and soil around us to thrive and have a growth spurt – our search then grows outward to find a place to call our own and a tribe we feel a belonging to. If we do not honour this search, we would stunt our growth and happiness, and at times be stuck in a place where we sense or feel a sense of belonging. We need to build the courage of convictions to search for the sun, water and soil that would enrich our life journey!
For me, this meant questioning the dominant economic / development paradigm about which I always had doubts. It also meant re thinking the career path carved out for me as a chartered accountant. It enabled and freed me to embrace the life of being a farmer and the joys and challenges that come with it. This also led to me moving out of my comfort zone and braving the adventure of this new life!
The journey does not end there. Once, we have germinated and found the place that we can thrive in, with folks we are connected to, it is time for us to blossom and thrive! And this journey would then seem very nourishing even if there are some rainy or sunny or wintry days. As an adult, I have traveled from being frustrated and unsatisfied to being blissful with a very strong feeling of belonging to the place and people I ended up with post this search!