It all started with my children asking me if professionally they had to choose to be only one thing in life or if they could be many.
I told them they could be anything they like, many many many things they like, all at once or one after the other, told them to dream and work to make all dreams come true.
Talking of dreams, they asked me what my dreams were currently and I spontaneously told them that I have big dreams, aspirations and plans that I can’t wait to start and finish but to sum it up to them I said – “I wish to do all that I can for them to have the best life they can”. Not uncommon for a mother, be it a working mom or a stay at home one to have these ambitions.
But the kids refused to count that in as “my” dream or as a dream with a singular focus on me. That was a good nudge for me to give this a deeper thought and reflect upon my journey.
I was 22 when I got my first job. I absolutely loved my work and found some good friends in my then colleagues. Around the same time my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and somehow even though it was in its very nascent stages things got complicated and reached a point where we had nearly lost her. God is kind (and I am utterly and eternally grateful) so thankfully mom recovered.
But it was at that point of time that my perspective, priorities and focus changed drastically from the new ambitious kid in her dream job to someone who wanted to align everything around finding time with her family.
The desire to work and grow professionally never took a break and so I managed to grab some work from home assignments even in the era when work from home was an unthinkable concept. I was driven by work that allowed me to have my time with my people. I started viewing success in qualitative measures and in the calm that all this chaotic balance brought with itself.
Working or not is a tough call either way given the trade-offs and work from home and free lancing is no different. It’s not a smooth graph. Like all others this came with its fair share of frustrations, doubts and disappointment. Also, balance is a very fluid state, its ever evolving in form, sometimes balance could mean lopsided choices like a complete break and on other days it could look like a fifteen-hour straight work day, or a bit of here and there. You just never know.
My journey so far has taught me, tested me, sometimes even confused me about who I am and what do I do and more importantly what do I want to continue doing and dream about but each time I get into these moments of reflection I find so much clarity.
My dreams for myself have only and only grown in number and kind. In fact, I am so much bolder in dreaming. This unplanned path has made me curious and confident about the many things I once thought I couldn’t take on. I feel it’s easier for me to chase these dreams and even tame them alongside. In my humble opinion I have managed to feed my cravings for family time and work sometimes consistently and then sometimes a bit erratically.
To be honest if you understand where I’m coming from, you’ll see that all my dreams somewhere may have a mention of my people but it is actually all about me, what I want and how I want it. Isn’t this what personal ambition, accomplishment and self-love would also look like, to follow your heart, do what you like and how you like it by applying yourself to make the best of it all. I believe it does.
I have carved my way forward & defined growth for myself, my way. It was my call in terms of playing the shots in this game of work life balance, growth and trade-offs and it has been entirely and quite deliberately my pick and placement (playing some tennis off late so that’s rubbing off on my choice of words).