I lost it! Completely! And I feel terrible about it. I need to work harder at it and I need to keep trying. Remember how I said that there will be no more yelling and shouting? I failed. Miserably. And for a ridiculous reason at that. But I am not going to give up. This time around, I am not going to tell myself that this is who I am, this is how I have always been and I can’t change. I am not going to accept myself for who I have ‘labeled’ myself to be. For once, I am not going to try to justify my behaviour. I am not going to tell myself that it’s ok. I am going to keep trying because I know I can do it. I am sure I wasn’t always like this. I mean, I have always known myself to be short-tempered but I am sure there was a time in my life when I wasn’t. Maybe when I was 4 or 5 or even 10 or 12. The ‘when’ is not important. What is really important is the fact that there was indeed such a time. And if there was such a time, and if I had it in me, then I am sure it is still there. I am sure that that me still exists. Somewhere. Within me. That me has just been displaced by this me. For whatever reason. Under whatever circumstances. On whatever pretense. And if that me still exists, then there is no reason why she shouldn’t be in control instead.
And this is why I know I can do it. It’s the kids! I now know what it is about kids that fascinates me the most. I love the way they stay in control of their lives. I love their confidence. I love their persistence. I love the fact that they can’t take no for an answer. And I love the ease with which they say no to us. I love how they always know exactly what they want and how to get it. It’s true that for us adults, it can be very annoying at times but now I am beginning to think that a small part of the annoyance comes from the fact that we are incapable of doing that. We are, to a large extent, incapable of taking control of our lives. We are full of excuses. We have a hard time saying no. We have a hard time standing up for ourselves. We have a hard time going after our ambitions and dreams with all we have got. Going after? We even have a hard time dreaming big! If we dream big, we are being unrealistic. If we take time deciding what we want to do with our lives, we are indecisive. If we take interest in too many things, we lack focus. If we want to live our lives on our terms, we are selfish. Our lives are ruled by these labels or rather, the fear of them. There are rules and we are too scared to break them. But kids! Not them. They aren’t scared of making the same mistakes again.
“Ka! Don’t jump on the bed! Remember what happened in Bangalore? When you fell off the bed and broke your head?”. And a very prompt reply is thrown my way, “Yes! Of course I remember amma!”. But does that mean she is going to stop? Not a chance. Even though that trip to the hospital was the most agonizing experience of her life, she’s not even going to consider stopping! Ka’s aunt sent Ka an email today that said little A (Ka’s cousin) was going around telling folks at school that he is going to China. When people asked him when he was leaving, he said to them, “whenever I want!”. I love the fact that he can say that. I love the fact that the answer isn’t ,”Well…I don’t really know…I have school and my mommy has work and I don’t know when she will be able to take leave and I am not sure if it is okay for me to miss school and I don’t know how much the flight tickets will cost or whether tickets will be available…” . No! None of that! The answer is, “whenever I want!”. Ka’s other cousin, little T never ever takes no for an answer. She will do what it takes to get what she wants. It’s amazing how persistent a 2-year-old can be! Ka said to me yesterday that she wants to be an artist when she grows up. I told her that it was an awesome idea just like I tell her when she wants to become a doctor or an astronaut or a ballerina or a plumber or a driver or a ‘talker’ or a superstar or a photographer or a software engineer or a singer or the million other things she wants to become. Then she goes, ” But I want to be everything. That’s Ok. I can be anything I want, right amma? I can try everything and then decide!” These are the things that inspire me! The persistence of a 2-year-old and the whenever-I-want and the I-can-be-anything-I-want and the of-course-I-remember-amma (but I am not scared!!).
I want to be like that. I want to be able to believe that I can go wherever I want whenever I want to and I can be anything I want to be and that I am not scared of the past. I want to just believe for the heck of it. Irrespective of what the reality is. I want to believe that I am not bound by the labels that I am rendered or the responsibilities that are assigned to me. I want to believe that the various aspects of my life are the choices I have made, not my ‘responsibilities’ or my ‘duties’ or my ‘destiny’. And once I believe, I will be.