16 Oct Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe
What do you say to your uncles & aunts besides ‘hi’ & ‘hello’ when you go to meet them? Are you able to connect with them on an emotional level? Why is it that I can’t hug and kiss my uncles & aunts?
Coming from a reserved family, I always faced difficulty in forming a close relationship with my uncles or aunts. There was always this mental barrier that I couldn’t pass through. I wasn’t learning anything from them because we weren’t having interactions that went beyond the surface-level. A typical conversation with any of my aunts would go like this:
“Hi beta, how are you?”
“Namaste aunty, I’m good. What about you?”
“Good, beta. How’s your mom?”
“She’s good, aunty.”
And then there would be an awkward silence because there’s nothing to talk about.
Growing up in such an environment where people can’t share their feelings, I have also become like that. Whenever I meet new people, I face great difficulty in making conversation. Even today, it is hard for me to open up. I always have to think hard “Ab kya bolu?”
When I was in junior college, I thought the people I was around were very immature and superficial. And somewhere down the line, because of them, I became like that too. Or I thought so.
I was always very conscious of myself or what I would speak. I couldn’t let go of small things. The only things we talked about were – clothes, makeup, boys, etc. I couldn’t confide in my friends about my deepest fears or my strongest desires. I feared being judged.
I couldn’t thrive among such people. I was wasting my time. I wasn’t learning anything. People around me didn’t care for learning. They lacked drive. They weren’t passionate about anything that mattered. With them, it was always meaningless small talk. Instead of exploring new things together, we were more focused on Instagram.
“Did you see her new post on Instagram?”
“OMG, he’s dating her!!!”
“Did you see what she was wearing?”
And that’s all there ever was.
Now there are 2 possible things to this which I couldn’t see – either they were bound by the surroundings that made them so or it was actually me who was immature. I couldn’t separate myself from my mind. I couldn’t see that it was my mind that was actually forming these judgments.
When I was in my final year of college, I got the opportunity to work on a project by the Enterprise India Fellowship program called #करो. There was this place where people would go and work for hours. It was called the Enterprise Space. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed those 3 weeks there. I could easily make friends, share my problems and feelings. That was one of the best times of my life.
In March 2020, lockdown was announced. Everyone’s life was put on hold. There was so much to do. From cooking to cleaning & even washing clothes. After a month, everything became a part of the routine. But I wasn’t doing anything productive. I wasn’t learning new things. I tried to push myself to learn new things. And the fact that I had to push myself to do it, says that my heart was not in it.
Finally, I decided to apply for the Enterprise Fellowship program. It was a chance for me to grow and get out of my comfort zone. But somewhere at the back of my mind, the idea of not being able to go to Space was bothering me. I wasn’t sure if I’ll be able to work from home – my comfort zone.
One month into the program, I was learning new things, doing things that I never thought I would alone. I felt like learning and trying new things every day. I didn’t want to sit idle for even one second. This got me thinking.
Why now? Why am I not feeling lazy now? How come I'm learning so many things without being told to?
There’s no exam for this. Why was this happening now?
I realized it is not the environment that matters. It is the people. It is the culture. It’s their hunger. Or is it me? Has my perspective changed? Or is it my mindset?
Space is not a physical space. Space is where the people are. People who are hungry, motivated, explorative, open-minded, non-judgmental, positive, loving, and helpful. It doesn’t matter where I work from. It’s the people around me that matters.
Everyone has heard the saying “A man is known by the company he keeps.” You are what your friends are. I have heard this so many times. When you are young you don’t understand how important a role the people around you play in your life.
When you are happy, the world appears happy to you and when you are sad, the world appears sad to you. Similarly, when you are non-judgmental, the world appears non-judgmental to you. And when you are open, people around you are more open to receiving you and you are more open to receiving them.
Why should it be awkward for me to hug my relatives or even make conversation with new people? Sometimes it is not the people who hinder your growth, it is your own mind. Your mind creates these mental barriers which are not even there. Throughout my life, I’ve seen myself evolve. As the people around me changed, so did I. They have molded me into who I am. For me, it is very important to surround myself with positive people.
But nothing is constant, right? What happens when these positive people are no more around me? Does that mean I won’t be able to grow anymore? This shouldn’t be a strong factor in my growth. It should come from me, my heart, not from the people around me. In the end, it’ll be me who’s responsible for my growth or for who I am. Not them.
Sure, the people around play an important role in your life. But they’re not responsible for your life or the choices you make.