Disclaimer: I have copied the idea for this series from Haathi Time (who has now made her blog private) and I have taken permission from her to use the same title as hers. This series is about day-to-day things that my husband ends up doing which turn out profound for me and I would like to recall them here. The first one in the series which happened in 2018 & is since in my drafts:
This is about the time I was sent abroad on a business trip. I am not mentioning the place on purpose to keep identity of people involved ambiguous (some of my friends from those days read this space).
Okay, so, I mentioned business ‘trip’ because it was too sudden and proposed to me as a short stint. I realized upon going there that this could go long and, as it later turned out, I had to actively try to not let it be permanent. The reason I am mentioning all of this is to highlight the fact that I wasn’t super ready to move at that time and I had just been out of another situation where I felt depressed due to being lonely while working in a foreign city. This time, I had mentally prepared myself to enjoy the most and have a great time. That last situation had made me a stronger person and also someone who treats such opportunities with respect. Instead of being sad, I was all ready to have a good time and I was open to forging some genuine friendships. It later proved to be a very memorable experience where I met some amazing people and the only regret I have is of not being this open in my previous similar stint.
As I was saying, this time was going very well and I was always open to meet new people when on one of these days, I got invited to a casual hangout at a bar with some office colleagues. Now this was a setting where all the people were a bit older than me and there was no other female. Just to be clear – the no female or the age thing matters to me only when I am in a group of almost strangers or acquaintances. This was a case of acquaintances and since it’s colleagues, you don’t want to be in a weird situation later on.
It was no big deal either way, whether I went or not. It was only a casual hangout. But when you are on your own in a new place where you are yet to have your comfort zone friends, you treat every social interaction with new people with a dubious eye. I was planning to cancel as I didn’t want to have any sort of embarrassing or weird situation with older colleagues to come out of this. Before cancelling, I just thought of calling Rahul up to talk about this and this is what I said – “I am thinking of not going, as these people are older than me. What would they think if I go out drinking with them? What if I end up saying something that would make me an office joke or something?”
And this is what Rahul had to say – “How does it matter? If they think anything bad of you, that means their mind is skewed a certain way. What are you so worried for?”
And this has stayed with me. I know, I know, these are very simple things to say but things that I end up forgetting a lot too. In that moment, this talk made me very aware of the fact that we let people get away with being judgmental and impact our life decisions. I wanted to go because I wanted to have a good time but the fear of being judged wasn’t letting me. In hindsight, I think one thing I admire the most about Rahul is his security in being himself, he will not act a certain way just because he is in a certain setting. (it’s a different story that he will go completely mum when he doesn’t like the setting). But I admire his comfort with being himself while people can judge all they want. 🙂