Throughout my school life, I was that fish being judged for its ability to climb a tree. Born in a family full of doctors, when I chose to study Humanities, my relatives bombarded me with questions like: "So you won't become a doctor?" and "Girls after taking Humanities becomes a homemaker, right?" I was good at studies, but my inclination was toward humanities.
Being my parents' daughter didn't give me an innate talent to be a doctor. I knew I had to make them realise that- talent and hard work keep you going — not the subject you choose to study. I scored 95 per cent in my 12th board examinations and went on to do my graduation from Delhi University, Miranda House.
Then in the midst of my exploring and giving different things a shot, I was introduced to advertising, and I think It was meant for me. I had no relevant degree and no relevant experience. After several tries, my senior took a chance on me and allowed me to enter the advertising world, which I eventually fell in love with.
Losses That Scared Me
But as someone suffering from anxiety ever since my dad passed away in 2017, bringing myself to work hasn't always been as easy as it might seem. When I saw my grandfather, grandmother, father, and then my pet dog Romeo who meant the world to me, die, the thought of death started to scare me. My anxiety just aggravated, and my thoughts became my enemy. An enemy that trapped me in an endless loop.
But despite all the challenges that I faced, I kept going, and now I am the Group Head at a well-known ad agency in Mumbai. Work kept me busy, and being busy helped me stay distracted from these thoughts. Sometimes I wish my dad could see what I have achieved, see my work, or call out my name one last time.
But I know he's there, watching me, looking after me, and sending all his blessings my way. Is thinking that way enough, though? Not always. But it's definitely enough to get me through the day. And that's how I take it, one day at a time.
Learnings From Childhood
When I lost some of the closest people in my life, I realised that death is as much a part of life as living is. During my childhood, I saw alcohol break my family and learned that addiction could take over the love one has for their family.
When I was sexually abused as a child, I realised that home isn't always your safe space. When I posted about it on social media, I was shocked at how some people commented that I should have done something back then. It was too early for a 7-year-old girl to react to such a situation. My life hasn't been easy, but I have learned to make the difficult easy. That's what I'll continue to do, no matter what comes my way.
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