Staying away from home was tough, but I learnt a few good lessons!
I was born and brought up in a middle class family in Mumbai. Being the youngest of the lot I was always subject to pampering and protection. My parents were of some different school of thought when it came to parenting. They didn’t mind me taking solo trips abroad but had a problem with letting me come home late when I was out with a certain group of friends. It didn’t make sense then but today it makes all the sense. I was very vulnerable and I still believe I am. When I got my first job and moved to another city, I realised that people are very different and you have got to deal with it. My parents and sister had warned me about it but I brused it away because; over confidence! I was not prepared to stay away from the luxurious life that I was used to. Some people told me that we have all the liberty we want when we stay alone, but what we do of that liberty and how we behave, it becomes a talking point for others.
I was the ‘immature’ one in my group. I thought it was absolutely okay to be very open and behave the way I do at home. Clearly I wasn’t prepared to hear “That’s not how we speak to our seniors! They aren’t our friends” and so I learnt the difference between being ‘professional’ and ‘personal’. It was tough! We may be of a certain kind,and our personalities are fully shaped by the time we start working (I can say this because I hold a Masters degree in psychology) but still we have to create this invisible cloak around us when we are at work. I used to despise the fact that I have to speak differently or not crack certain kind of jokes around my colleagues. I felt as if I am a part of a herd just following something for the sake of professionalism! But as time passed I realised that I can still be myself if I know how and what to say around what kind of people. We must really understand people we work with.
Today I am in a much better place. There was a time when I used to cry myself to sleep because I was lonely and miserable without my loved ones. But had I not left my comfort zone and interacted with people from across the country, I would have never understood how important it is to be strong. We have to be kind and give everyone a chance to talk about their life stories. We never know how much learning we can take from them and make our own stories worthwhile!