#30daysofwriting #writeyourselfalive #writeeverydamnday #justwrite
“Sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone else’s anchor” – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
This statement is so powerful. You know why? Simply because it is true. I believe we all tend to do this. Mainly women. We try to be the anchor for the people we love and care about. Wonder how we even imagine we are capable of something so intense, but most of us do! Be it for family, friends, colleagues, strangers. Our reasons could be varied. Basically we do it because we get happiness when someone else is happy because of us. It could be anything really. Something very simple to more life altering choices. Let me give you two examples.
1. A friend calls you for a movie. You are not interested but you know your friend desperately wants to watch it with you. What do you do? If possible, you go. Friend is happy. You are happy. This is simple. As long as you don’t keep saying Yes when you are sure about a No. Then it becomes complicated. Suddenly that friend will turn around and ask you why you have been quiet for so long. And you wonder why indeed?
2. You’ve finished your schooling and are deciding on your future career choices. You want to do Psychology. Parents want you to pursue Medicine. You know you can do both. You are interested in Psychology but are unsure about the future prospects. You do Medicine. Parents happy. You are happy – for them. Is this simple? Not really. I shudder to think of all the doctors out there who are unhappy about their career decision. I know doctors who look at their profession only as something they have to live with. Do I want such doctors in my community? No.
What I am trying to say here is that we all tend to fall into some patterns. We live in a society that places high value on women placing other people’s needs before their own needs. We need to think about our parents first, then spouse, siblings, extended family, and the list goes on. We are expected to be sensitive, sacrificing, understanding, submissive, generous, accommodating, caring, considerate, adjusting, dependent and so on. You know the list too. As we all know too well, both men and women have a set of characteristics and the list above could be present in varying degrees among both genders. I know men who are very sensitive and caring as opposed to aggressive and unkind women. I also know selfish, self centered men as opposed to warm, caring women. Don’t we all?
My point here is that since women are brought up with these strong messages of being the person who needs to adjust and focus on others needs all the time, we have a community of women who are absolutely confused about what their own needs are and whether they should give it any importance at all or not. The fact is that every one is basically alone and we all need to be as independent as we are dependent on our community to survive in this world. Unfortunately not many women receive encouragement or support when they decide to follow their dreams or focus on their needs. Most women start convincing themselves that maybe this is not the way to live. That everyone else is right. That if it works for everyone else then it should work for them too. That they need to get real. So they do what is expected of them. Sometimes they find happiness in having done it. Even if it was for others. They are happy being the anchor. But what if they are actually drowning? What use is such an anchor then?
So who or what is an anchor. An anchor is a person or thing which provides stability or confidence in an otherwise uncertain situation. To provide stability to someone or something don’t you think we need to be stable first? To give confidence to another, we need to find our confidence first. Else this is a big farce. Who are we trying to fool? Unless I can stand on my own feet, how can I provide a support to another? What I am saying here is that yes, it is great to be an anchor to the people you care about. If you want to do it, first work on yourself. Be worthy of being an anchor first. Then offer your support. Otherwise what you will end up doing is drifting away with or without that other person. Is that what you want?
I believe fortunately there are many women who brave their fears, fight the odds and chase their dreams with determination and drive. They do it despite the obstacles they face and the pains they endure. They do it not knowing if they will succeed but they do it because they have to listen to their inner voice. They do it because that is their truth. I salute these brave women. Not just because they are doing the right thing. Also because each time someone stands up for themselves, they actually end up starting a positive chain reaction. They inspire others. They inspire me. They are my anchor. I am yet to reach the level where I can be an anchor. But I know I will get there. Let me learn swimming first. Let me do everything I can so that I don’t drown. Let me take it one step at a time. I have to. It is my truth.