I really do believe that the mental image we have of ourselves and the constant assumption that leads us to take a stand behind blanket statements like “I’m not that kinda person” is the single largest reason why people fail to acclimatise when life brings the realities of the world to their doorsteps. I think as life reveals more of itself as time goes on, we all need to learn to bend rules that we made for younger more idealistic selves. And some rules must be broken and moved past.
I’m somehow reminded of an old proverb, “TENSION IS WHO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE. RELAXATION IS WHO YOU ARE.”
Probably the very definition of a mini heartbreak. The phone fell out of a moving vehicle and the display had to be replaced. Amidst a storm of a week, this was definitely something I didn’t need. 🤦🏻♀️
K always says that he sees me as this tough cookie kind of professional who as he delicately put it “straps on a pair of balls and goes to work and hopefully removes them when you return home”. I distinctly remember telling him that I don’t usually feel the need to resort to taking on any of the cliched male characteristics to get my work done. Nor to get ahead. At a working lunch today a very senior person from another company mentioned I’m very unconventional from all the other women he knows who have a similar job role as me. And I asked him how. To which without missing a beat he simply replied, “You still have a sense of humour”. Which spoke spades to me about how most women in corporates conduct themselves once they reach managerial positions.
“To be or not to be?” was never really a question with me. Working in Financial Consulting can simply be described in two words “profitably stressful”. And add a Sales profile to this job and it adds that extra element of insanity. The fact that you largely interact with men, are surrounded by men and report to men, must be the overwhelming reason why women think they need to suddenly turn very alpha in order to be efficient or effective. But let me say this, I run a team of men. I’m not going to shy away from admitting that I’m ruthless when I need to be. Yes ruthless. But I do all of it retaining my femininity. And I sincerely believe that a woman’s touch is a genius tool that unfortunately people are forgetting to hone.
A picture of the Strangers Project that sparked the lovely conversation with a friend visiting from NY.
I think every child growing up was told not to talk to strangers. I think it’s a valid rule made up by ever concerned parents considering the world we live in and the unspeakable horrors that unfortunately happen right in our neighbourhoods. But does that rule have to apply to us as we grow up too?
Let me put it this way. I love talking to strangers. I’ve been at the receiving end of the most wonderful, heartwarming, inspiring and memorable stories because of the constant need in me to interact with the world. One could also be tactless and simply call it my excuse just to talk more😉. When I see so many people around me becoming more and more intent on preserving themselves for their online friends or with an ever shrinking circle of people as they’ve aged, I seem to have reached a point where I’m finding it difficult to effectively manage the increasing number of people I value. Some of them I’m sure will not be there in my life when I turn 40. And there are a few I’m certain I won’t lose even if I live to be a 100.
As I type this I’m recollecting a few interesting run ins I’ve had with strangers this very week. One involves a restroom at the club where me along with 4 random girls become grief councillor’s to a girl who caught her boyfriend cheating. So much solidarity has rarely been seen in a girls bathroom I tell you. The right things were said. The perfect abuses hurled. And sisterly relief was provided.
And then there was this fashionably lovely girl at the mall who stood outside a changing room and helped me pick out my birthday outfit (she really should take it up as a profession), a millennial while waiting in line at a waffle store who turned out to be a Bollywood gossip expert who got me to even install an app that she proclaimed was where you can find the “juiciest scoop”. And this pretty girl on a date at the adjacent table on karaoke night with whom I locked eyes every time someone was butchering a classic and we needed someone to roll eyes with. She came over to my table and gave me a hug before she left.
But no story will replace my King in the North story. And that historic evening involved a table full of my friends and a bar full of strangers. EPIC!!
Might just turn out to be the perfect excuse to do some weird stuff as the Blue Blood Moon rises in the sky tonight. Considering, that people have been claiming to be going moon-mad for eons.
Clicked on a colleagues xl 2 from the roof of my office building. Quite impressed with this phone.
A friends poignant question about strangers and long term memories associated with run ins with strangers, has opened up a flood gate of memories that involve benches, coffee shops, euro-rails, lakes, hills, elevators, bathrooms in clubs and even trial rooms. Who initiated these conversations, I’m not sure. But I’m sure there was a polite silence before engaging in general small talk that led to the big talk with people I hadn’t met before. I’ve traded stories for hours with a few of them and at times bravely confided facts that I hadn’t told a soul before.
A few of those strangers with whom I’ve kept in touch remember to send me the most lovely winter wonderland pictures from around the world.
From the Carolina’s to Europe actually 🙂
Just think about it. They have a problem putting in the effort required to type the letter ‘o’. The scarier idea is they don’t think it’s necessary.
Reunions when done properly are amazing right? The entire “Glam-team” minus one made it for an afternoon filled with laughter and candid conversations. It’s strange how many girl gangs I’ve become a part of over the years. But the wonderful thing is that almost every one of these groups seem to have evolved so much in the past decade and largely, I still enjoy the company and value the friendships.
In other news, I’m spending the long weekend at mums place and was surprised to find a parcel with my Rakshabandhan gift left on top of my pillow with a note from Scooby. It’s nice that the baby brother remembers, even though he is far away on vacation.
In unrelated news, just like much of the informed world, I’ve spent the majority of last week having super polarising conversations about the Google unconscious bias scandal and the FB AI debacle. On one issue I begrudgingly have to agree that it does exist and there is no reason why anyone should be penalised for starting an honest debate. On the latter, I have only one thing to ask: “Mr. Zuckerberg, Have you heard of ULTRON?!!!!!! CUT IT OUT!!!!”