A 5 year old little came running with curious eyes to her dad, “daddy! I want to make a new sand castle”. And the dad feels so glad, he dreams of his little princess becoming an architect with the kind of interest she showcases on building different types of castles. The same girl becomes 15 years and she jumps with excitement as she runs to her parents to say,” mom, dad! I have come up with a new idea for our garden balcony”. Dad and mom looks at each other, “Very good beta. Sure we can do it next month, maybe after your exams are over?” They are so happy about their girl’s creativity but also wanted to ensure that they are channelizing her properly.
25 years old Sneha comes with same curiosity in eyes, as she tells her parents about a new project she has got in South Africa. Her parents are so proud of the talent at the same time, worried about her safety and wanted to give a list of safety rules and tips. 35 years old Mrs Sneha is still the curious human and she runs with excitement to tell her husband and parents about her idea on a start-up. “We are very sure about your talent and capability Sneha. I think it is important to focus on becoming a mother at this point of time and have a baby. Do not complicate by your new ideas. It is already too late”. 45 years old Sneha never gives up. She becomes a multi-tasking mom, wife, daughter in law and also a great friend and human. Her little passion keeps popping up and the fire never ceases to push her. She runs with excitement, hope, dreams in her eyes , the care-free attitude of 5 year old girl is no more, rather strength and maturity reflects in 45 year old Sneha as she goes to her folks saying, ” With the new challenges in current covid situation, what do you think about my big idea to make a change in the world of youngsters? These are the campaigns in plan”. Her father listened to it as he was dressing up , getting ready for his chat time with his friends. Her mother shared a part of the curiosity as she hoped her daughter gets to do things she never was able to. Her husband said, “good idea” and stopped his involvement there. As long as she takes care of her primary responsibility which is being a good wife and mother, he is cool. “Kids are growing up. A mother’s attention is very important at this age , especially to shape their pre teenage better. Leave all these crazy ideas and dedicate your life to giving a good life to children” – was a “final” response by elders in the family.
Taking a deep breathe, Sneha carried a mixed emotions : anger, frustration, disappointment, also listening to their advice, maybe responsibility, motherhood, etc etc. Deep diving into her multiple episodes of such “Not now” scenarios, one thing that stays same is her energy and curiosity and passion. But what has changed is her father’s reactions. He was not the man who felt “wow” when she made a sand castle. He wanted her to focus on her family now. But Sneha also felt it was disturbing her a lot. She did her favorite therapy : “Introspection”. Why did she not explore the extended project in South Africa? Why did she give up her idea of startup? She takes the ownership of her life on her head. But at the same time, a handful of people who matters to her in her life – she wanted their “ACCEPTANCE”.
If she becomes an entrepreneur, she wanted her family to feel pride and accept the independent busy lifestyle she would carry. If she wanted to launch a new product and build a team, she wanted her people to believe she could do the hard work and struggle for it. She wanted them to “Accept” her. Infact she wanted to be a solo-traveller exploring different parts of the world. Her family also loves travelling. So, how will they understand and “accept” her like towards solo-travels? On introspecting further, she realized that all her life, she has worked hard was for people to accept her.
Take a pause dear readers. How many of us, fall into the well of “wanting to be accepted”. From sharing a WhatsApp status on daily food, sharing a travel story on insta, being an endorser for your beauty products, till the way we present ourselves in family functions and friendly parties – Every single act is about “being accepted” by others. Being accepted as smart, rich, pretty, perfect, stylish, role-model ish, The closer circle, our immediate family – accepting you with your flaws is mostly a MYTH. If you can be just you, your thoughts, your drinking habits, your dressing sense, your open minded opinions, your interests, religious believes, rebellious actions – can all this be accepted by anyone ? Parents, spouse, children ? Too tough ! But if you , certainly you are lucky.
Back to the point, life becomes too difficult as we edit ourselves , fine tune, alter, apply a mask and “THRIVE” , “WORK HARD” to be accepted by people who mean to us. And in some cases, it is also about larger group’s acceptance. This rather kills the invidiualism, also makes you lose your identity and in this process, you get lost. And one fine day, if you understand that acceptance is a myth, then you turn back missing your original self. Sneha retained her curiosity but she has edited herself so much seeking acceptance that she lost herself in the path and process. That is why she was unable to pick up and do what she wanted to do.
Try to give yourself a chance, pick up something you want to do, just for yourself. Let other’s opinion not matter to you. It is okay if your lover / parents don’t enjoy and accept you for the passion. Put yourself on priority and do something that you definitely want to do in this lifetime.
Acceptance is a myth ! But YOU ARE REAL ! Live your life !