The Bustle without the pressure

Adelaide’s Central Market @ 8:45: The bustle without the pressure

This is life! Suddenly the pressure of meeting deadlines, of expectations, is gone. It’s like the log that’s pressing on my heart, nailing me down, has been lifted. It’s scary, but that’s how I feel. I think it’s also because I have space to breathe …. Some quiet, where I can think and be myself. It’s like this invisible shroud of anxiety, goal-meeting, and xenophobia that envelopes me just magically disappears. Perhaps it’s also this joy of being with Pauli again … She resembles me most, if I may say so, the forever Pollyanna, level-headed, with dreams that well are larger than life, but isn’t it said that dreams come a size too big that we could fit into it? Pauli, oh Pauli, never lose sight of your dream …. Look at your challenges, then face it squarely and follow your heart. You can never go wrong if you believe in yourself!

I watched Hope Springs yesterday on the plane, and cried my heart out. Always loved Meryl Streep. But it’s not her, but the message in the movie. It’s about two people drifting apart, after 34 years of marriage. It’s about a woman taking things into her own hands because she wants to grow old with the man she loves …. And she summed up enough courage to see a marriage counsellor. She listened to her feelings and did what she had to do to win her husband back. Then I watched English Vinglish and cried even more. This was about a woman who couldn’t speak English and her husband and kids felt embarrassed being with her in social situations. She decided to do something and lo and behold, she learnt more than just English! I think it was the respect she earned that mattered a whole lot to her.

Perhaps … I use the word perhaps all too often 🙂 perhaps, this applies to me too! I think the times when the kids were young were the times we really were planning and discussing as one family. Yes, my in-laws were great, but boy, I listened too much to their opinions that mine got stifled. And why did I stifle my own? Because I heard too many stories about feuding mothers-daughters-in-law that I decided peace in the family was crucial. And when there was a difference in opinion between SF and me, I gave in coz I don’t want my girls to see us arguing.

But everything happens for a reason, doesn’t it? If I didn’t live with my in-laws, I might not have been able to have my three girls grow up so family-oriented, I might not be able to doggedly pursue my love for the written word and SF might not be able to doggedly pursue his own business.

So here I am, at the crossroads of my life again. I faced in at 44, when everything turned topsy-turvy and I had to rebuild. From the ashes (well not exactly, it’s a metaphor for opinions and views and beliefs being shattered and new ones created!) … From the ashes I built my Eco-system, of which I am ready to take on the world. I learnt to adapt, hey, just remembered something I read on the plane, came from this documentary about species that survived in the Amazon many thousands of years ago …. Said by none other but Charles Darwin, “It’s not the strongest, nor the most intelligent of species, that will survive. It’s the one most adaptable to change.”

So yes, that’s my answer to my own question. And I also remember these words: Ten Tiny Words of Power: if it is to be, it is up to me! Hey, what’s keeping me? Haven’t I always explored the roads less travelled? Yes, it’s a metaphor, but it also literally means that to me. The Unique Classroom. My classroom is the world. The right for every child to dream and write. It started from me. Where do I want to go? Adelaide? Yes, why not? Penang? Goa? Yes, what’s stopping me? As it’s said, “if you have built castles in the air, that’s where it should be. Now put foundations under them!”

And what other foundations will I lay? Taking care of the less fortunate. It means a lot to me. Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Jesus Christ ….. Isn’t this the message of love and peace? I think I’ve already started this and I want to continue doing this with The Unique Classroom. Writing from The Heart.

And yes, giving a voice to women too! Or shall I say women of my age, whose children have grown up, and husbands too caught up in running the wheel of “work is Life” that they lost their voice? Ah! I will do my speaking tours with my book! Love! Live Dangerously! And Have Fun! The title! The message! This is getting so amazingly awesome!

So, yes, the message is clear. Let me spend the next 10 years doing this. Get my licensing off the ground this year, start my PhD next year, and establish a network of centers with a core message: Education begins with the heart!

So there! Didn’t I begin this by saying I need quiet to think? Yes, life is great! Live it! Love It! There’s so much to be happy for!

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