Life, Death & Relationships

Sitting at the airport in Abu Dhabi, on a layover to London, utilizing their amazing free wi-fi, just leaving a good friend’s wedding in Cochin, slightly sleep deprived, this is what I wanted to get on paper. Or the ether- whichever one.

Regarding the last post, about wanting to be more still, or learning how to slow down, our NextDrop executive coach, Ruth had some sage words. I told her what I wanted to do and how I was having such a hard time with it and I asked her thoughts. Her reply- probably one of the top 5 most profound things anyone has ever said to me.  She said, “Anu, this is a normal problem.  Everyone faces this challenge, manifesting in different ways.  But you’re scared of slowing down because really, you’re scared of death.  And until you can be at peace with death, you can’t really slow down.”

Yeah, let that one just digest for a bit.  But she’s right.  If I had infinite time, I wouldn’t care about how fast or slow I moved.  I knew I would be able to do it all.  Somewhere when I was growing up, it got ingrained that life is short, we need to make the most of it.  But what happens when your subconscious uses that knowledge, and bastardizes that wonderful concept?  What happens when you take that to the extreme?  I don’t know, but it was good to know what my deepest fear is- and at least I have identified it.

And this is why we hired her to coach the entire exec team. (Let me plug her just a bit, because really she’s awesome)

Life and death are two sides of the same coin and until we fully understand both, or at least make peace with both, we can’t enjoy this thing we call life.  At least that’s my hypothesis right now.

About life.  I realized I spent 2013 trying to be a lot of people or things that I was not.  And I got really angry and frustrated with it.  With myself. With the world. With the entire endeavor.  Because it’s futile.  Utterly futile. You have to be you.  Fortunately or unfortunately.  (And hey, you can actually decide if that’s a fortunate or unfortunate thing, turns out).  I gave talks/lead teams, trying to channel different types of people- mainly people that I wished I could be more like.  And..well…the talks went the way I wanted them to but I wasn’t happy.  And the team, well…lets just say I’m surprised there has not been a mutiny yet.  I think the point of life is to find your own voice, and just follow it.  That sounds really easy, but for some reason I spent a year trying to avoid doing that.  Maybe I was trying to be much cooler people.  Maybe I just wanted to be different.  I don’t really know.  But finally, I can say, hey- that’s awesome, and I really admire and respect that about him/her, but…that’s not me.  And it will never be me. And I’m ok with that.

That’s what’s up with life.

Relationships.  I haven’t written about it in a really long time because…to be honest…until recently, I didn’t see the point. That sounds strange, but I could not, for the life of me, figure out why you would want to be in a relationship.  And unfortunately, just because everyone dyes their hair green, doesn’t mean I’m going to be lining up at the beauty parlor to get a stripe of green in my hair (unless, of course, it brought out my eye color). But you get the point.  I realized I really really really can’t do something unless I’m 100% bought in.  And I wasn’t- until recently.  I think for the first time in my life, I know that I am giving my 100% to the world.  As a single woman, I am doing everything I possibly can.  It’s the first time I have ever felt that way.  It’s the first time I have felt that I am maximizing my potential- living up to what I could be.  But it’s not enough.  I thought it would be, but it’s not.  I have realized that having another person in your life is incredibly helpful accomplishing the things you want to (so yes, I being the incredibly narcissistic individual that I am, have completely missed the point of the ‘giving’ part of the ‘relationship’ and have bastardized the entire concept by figuring out what I can get out of it- yes that is what I just did).  But I finally appreciate what it would be like having another person on your side- and vice versa.  I think it’s one of the most beautiful things in this world, if you find the right mix (maybe it’s the friends wedding talking, but I really do think so).  I think if that person just makes you the better version of yourself, and stands by you through it all- well then.  That’s worth it. And of course, you’re committed to do the same for your partner.

Unfortunately, the only things I really have going for me here are the fact that…ok I am drawing a blank, but you know.  I think at one point I made a resume or something.  Oh yeah, I think that’s when I realized I would make an awesome Indian husband (named Anurag- got the name down and everything). But it’s ok, I figure these things will work themselves out.

Until then, I think the trick is to…not think about it to much (HA yeah like that’s going to happen).  But wise people have said that’s the way the world works

Who am I to argue with wisdom?

Boarding call to London- off to meet…the Prince! Yeah, that’s actually happening.  Crazy.

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6 thoughts on “Life, Death & Relationships

  1. Great writing Anu! And good to know your shift of views on life and relationship! The fact is that is the reality : it has to shift as we go along…. naturally.. gradually..
    We may run(not slowing down) for the fear of death as you said but I think its more to stay ahead of others. ‘If Parul could become a CEO at 45, I should beat the record and be there at 43’. ‘If Peter ran a half marathon, I can do a full’. unfortunately, we live more to compete that to get what matters to us something ( most times?)….
    But good luck with everything in London! See you soon again sometimes ! 🙂

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  2. Good stuff. Time is obviously the biggest limiting factor in life, but next on the list is probably people’s perceptions of that time constraint. For some, that means making a daily bucket list and pushing yourself to achieve it all every day. For others, that means absolutely no organization, and letting life create events and accomplishments on its own. My struggle has been finding a healthy balance between the two. I’m more malleable than I’d like, so for me, where I stand depends a lot on my environment. This could be the reason why I keep coming back to West Africa. But in an ideal world, we’d be able to internalize our own choice of what the balance is regardless of where we are. Until I figure out how to do so, I’ll still be searching, sometimes aimlessly, sometimes with a concerted effort. But I’m glad to hear others are doing some searching of their own as well.

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    • South France. I’m doing some digging here (while I’m helping out my grandpa). We get up around 7am, exercise, eat breakfast (cheese, toast, and coffee), go to the local market, buy stuff for lunch, make lunch, take a nap, get up, go for a walk to buy stuff for dinner, make dinner, my grandpa has a nightcap (I drink juice) and then we’re in bed by 8:30pm. It’s KIND of awesome and I’m wondering what I do all day usually…

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      • Sweet. The French might not know how to work as hard as us, but they know how to live much harder than us.

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