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Since I started my first ‘grown-up’ job eight months ago, I experienced one instance of complete panic. We were launching a new product; I was in charge of coordinating product messaging across a couple social channels. And… I messed up. I made assumptions that I shouldn’t have, and screwed up properly executing something that was my responsibility.

For a few frightening seconds after I realized what had happened, I felt light-headed. My ears were ringing. The walls felt like they were closing in on me. …

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Once, my dream was to make my parents proud.

I don’t think I ever knew what that meant because parents are complicated, even more so when they’re not your average South Indian immigrants raising a child in the United States. To be fair, Mom isn’t as complicated as Dad; Mom’s been proud and supportive of me since the day I was born, so at least I had one parent down.

To give you a sense of how important this was to me, there’s a Sanskrit phrase that I heard over and over again while growing up: Mata, pita, guru, deivam

Archana Madhavan

Writer by day, writer by night

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