Have the courage to change your mind
This past weekend, I found myself at a hip and happening party spot in the city. This is not something that happens often at all in my life. The music was loud and pounding so hard, I could hear it all the way in the basement parking, as I drove in well past 10 pm. I was immediately taken by how Bangalore’s general style statement has changed over the years. Party clothes are definitely more striking, bold and out there. As I waded through the flurry of shiny, shimmying young ones, in my torn jeans and full-sleeved tee (what?! – it was a rainy night and I’m easily cold), making my way to the open air restaurant area, I thought to myself, Wow Bangalore has changed sooo much. Until I stepped into the quadrangle, within mere metres of what is obviously an exceedingly popular weekend spot to dance the night away, and I had to halt that thought right in it’s tracks. Because loud and thumping music, with the crowds interjecting at appropriate spots, I heard the lyrics: HEY Mambo, Mambo Italiano! GO, GO, GO! Because it was nothing like had changed at all. And I was back in Urban Edge in 2001.
Nothing has changed — it’s a recurring thought I have as I go through life in Bangalore.
Sure, the clothes have gotten shinier, the kids are more out and about, the curfews have been extended, we have cabs so hopefully less drunken driving. But aside from that it was like being sucked into a bad time warp, sliding back to a dark and dingy night club 15 years, where two extremely fun boys convinced me to smoke a cigar that I pretended to enjoy.
I felt so confused, simultaneously cool (because I knew the entire playlist because it was from when I was in high-school) and uncool, and suddenly so aware of my age. Because I was curling my nose up at it and avoiding the crowded noisy spots, going in search of ice cream instead.
Some things have changed, though.
Thank god for that.
I’ve been thinking about ageing. Growing up. Evolving. Moving on. And I suddenly realised mid-conversation the other day, that most of the disdain and angst about time running out has faded. I told P the other day that this decade — the 30s — are proving to be far, far more enjoyable than the last.
It wasn’t always the case. I still often wish for some of the simplicity that was my early 20s (everything was really straight forward, and I had far less fucks to give than I did in my late 20s) where I just went after most things without a second thought, high on a misguided cocky confidence. It had its advantages and disadvantages. But, this, here now — to be in this wonderful twilight zone between knowing what I want and having a quiet confidence that I feel from within, and feeling far less apologetic about chasing each one of those goals without justifying them — is far, far more enjoyable.
In my 20s, I had a very rigid sense of self. I was far too certain of too many things. Today though, my sense of self is far more fluid. Far more forgiving and open to figuring it out along the way. Even as I have eaten all the words from my twenties, and come to a point of realising that virtually nothing that I held to be true and absolute, holds good anymore. And that has been one of the most freeing realisations of recent time.
Suddenly, there is so much more space to let go of all the barriers I have created in my mind. There is far less self-doubt. There is also a lot more faith in myself, and a sense of surety about letting older parts of myself go without feeling like I am disappointing myself somehow. This has been a defining aspect of the last four years of my life — allowing myself the permission to soften up, loosen the grip and grow out.
I have enjoyed trading in my cocksureness for this far more confusing and uncertain process of bumbling along and taking everything one step at a time. I am slowly getting better at being okay with not knowing it all, being open to learning all the time.
Most of all, I think the thing that has changed my attitude to life is understanding that I need to have the courage and space to change my mind as I go along. And this courage doesn’t have to be fierce, loud or in-your-face, or even proclaimed and shared. It has a soft, graceful and very gentle feel to it. All qualities I never thought I would embrace.
So yeah, things are changing. All the damn time for me these days. And May and June have really shown me what is possible when I open myself up to all the possibilities that are waiting to turn my inner world upside down.
If May was all about unsettling everything and throwing all the balls up in the air, June was about making space for things to settle again. Not actively settling them myself, but allowing them to settle in, in their own time and pace.
June has been all about the resettling. And it came with a massive amount of thoughts because resettling has it’s own energy. It’s not an instant state that gets flicked on at the push of a button. It has been equal parts slow in it’s unfolding as it is energetic in what it is throwing up.
I am psyched for what the next half of the year holds, and if the last two months are anything to go by, it’s going to be interesting to say the very least.
The more life persists, the more rumination it brings. I’m just glad I have the time and space to allow it to find its way out, because it makes for very useful reading when I look back. (I’m sure I can’t say the same for you, though!)
- A whole month too late, but I finally wrote that letter to myself, that I had promised I would
- Serendipitously, I found yoga, once again
- Self-care and emotional literacy; and how it isn’t a fancy, unnecessary and expensive proposition
- Acknowledging moments of guilt and grief is crucial
- Weekend blues, chance conversations and surprising moments of friendship
Looking back on the month I realised it was a mostly happy month, because without realising it, I have chronicled a lot of very small, everyday little happy occurrences.
- Little happy things that stuck with me on week 1
- Happy days of very little work and endless nothingness
- The happy occurrence of making it to a 6 am yoga class
- Happy breakfast conversations that work as timely reminders
- Happy with the Bangalore rain
- Happy meets contentment meets fullness
- Days spend doing nothing but reading make me oh sooo happy
- Home days that make me happy
- Brain-worms that trigger more happy thoughts
- Happy (temporary) reconciliations with Bangalore
- Proof of change also makes me happy
- Choosing a happy day
Gratitude, as usual
Because I will get nowhere without this.
- A serious kind of something new
- Come on, keep me where the light is
- Nobody really likes us, except us
- Did we fly to the moon too soon?
I wrote a lone book post (featuring 1 book I LOVED, and 3 I didn’t) because things have been slow on that front. My brain has been otherwise occupied. And I’ve decided that’s okay.