Chapter 8 (Part II) - Impermanence and Interdependence
For a long time, I kept convincing myself that I wasn't dependent on anyone emotionally or otherwise. Throughout my academic course, I used little to no English in my communication. The fact that I was passionate about writing was the reason my written English was better than my spoken English. It didn't really trouble me much till the time I joined an organization in 2012 where the primary language spoken by people around me was English. I struggled to blend in, I desperately wanted to be a part of the coolest group and be accepted by them but my response time was really high. You see, every time someone asked something in English, I would first translate it into Hindi in my head, process the answer, and then translate it back into English to respond. There was not one day when I didn't feel like I didn't belong in that group. My friends didn't really have a problem with my shortcomings and they accepted me with an open heart but it was me who always felt uncomfortable speaking around them. They would often talk about movies and songs that I had never watched or heard in my life and that would just add to my misery.
I decided to upgrade my RAM to process information faster so I started listening to English songs, watching movies with subtitles, and pausing it now and then to google the meaning of words that I didn't understand. It was a long and tiring process but I did it! My English is better now. +10 on egometer!
I was ridiculed several times for cutting my hair short, for wearing the kind of clothes that I wear, and for a lot of my life choices that I made. It took me a lot of time to outgrow my appetite for validation from others. But I did it! A straight +1000 on my egometer!
"I" did it all by myself!
"I" deserve to be respected because "I am" truly self-made!
"I am" as independent as one can get!
"I" learned everything by myself!
Pride and ego clouded my vision to an extent that I could not stand the thought of being called “dependant”. This new approach that I have adopted now made me realize that not one soul on this planet is independent and the acceptance of this fact has got me closer to every living being around me. Talking about the above story, the resources that helped me learn English were made by someone else which means that I was dependent on someone else's expertise to sharpen my own. -10 on my egometer!
How can I possibly call myself an independent being when I depended on someone (my mother) for all the nutrients that I received when I was in her womb? Boom! -1000 on my egometer!
I now accept the fact that I am dependent on so many things in my life, and that realization keeps me grounded and helps me stay humble. It gives me a strong sense of connection with everyone and everything I am surrounded with. I value everyone's opinions and choices without judgment, as I understand that interdependence is not just limited to people or things but also to their circumstances, causes and conditions, upbringing, environment, etc. Each one of us is trying to do the best of our ability on this journey we call life.
~ Anila Andezhath