So often, the trouble with me, is that I mistake taking charge for taking control. They’re two entirely different things, and my mind boggles at the number of times I have confused the two. Taking charge involves accepting certain inalienable truths in any situation, and yet finding a way to move through it, without trying to tame in untameable circumstances that might reign at any given moment. I am incredibly stubborn when it comes to trying to take control and make things work the way I see fit. The past year, my work has tested this side of my personality the most, reminding me time and again how little is in my control. Yes, I can take charge and learn to make things work, get better in areas that need work, but I cannot change certain fundamental truths about myself, my personality and what I hold dear. In trying to take control, I forget this too many times for my own good. That, coupled with the constant tussle between my head and my heart, in choosing what comes naturally to me (even at the risk of it seeming like the mediocre choice), in wholeheartedly, peacefully cutting myself some slack and letting go of this unnatural need to always have things in control has been the reason for a lot of mental gymnastics in recent time. It’s taken a lot of rejigging the very idea of success in my mind. I don’t mean just success at work. I mean success as a person, in my life. In the littlest, most inconsequential things I do.
So much of this learning has led me to re-discover myself in ways I didn’t think possible. It has created space for accepting new facets of my personality, reclaiming older identities, creating newer ones, seeing myself as whole just the way I am. Minus the expectations of family, spouse, client, social media, professional networks. Minus the ideas of what should be, that despite all my intelligence and awareness, I tend to imbibe and impose on myself. Minus the ridiculously, unnecessarily high standards or perfection or achievement I then set myself up.
It’s taken repeated reminders to scale down, (even when all the world is talking about scaling up) because it’s what works for me. It’s required me to never forget what is central to my sanity and my happiness. To remind myself to play small, to be creative, to be joyful, before all else. It has taken constant stripping down the layers to get to the core. Im not there yet, and this is possibly the stuff of a lifetime. But I’m game to do the work. And these mini upheavals are but lessons in taking charge, but letting go of taking control. They’re markers that point me back in the right direction, every time I have staggered off track.