The Guy and I, for all our love and years of being together, are as different as chalk and cheese, not perhaps in values and beliefs as much as our likes and dislikes. If I want to watch a play, he’s going to fall asleep 10 minutes into it. If I want to play scrabble, he’s going to want to watch TV. If he wants to watch cricket, I’m going to read a book. We celebrate our differences, most of the time we do, but sometimes I just want company to do a thing I want to do. Sometimes, I just want him to go on a walk with me, order veg fare when we go out to eat. Sometimes, it’s not fun to have someone do something for you just because you want them to, and not because their heart is in it as much as your’s. You know what I mean?
At work, it’s not too different. I sometimes feel like a one-man army, trying to juggle ten tasks at the same time, while some of my colleagues are struggling through their first. They’re looking for friendships and alliances at work, and I’m looking for work. And that’s how everyone was in my Delhi office, which I took to like fish to water. People came to office, did heap loads of work, shared a laugh, a lunch, a cab and went home, without any fuss. And now that’s what makes me different from others in my work space!
I want to be me, but I don’t want to be the only one like me in my environment. I live in a family, which is very nice, but I share very little with them in common. It’s our priorities, our attitudes, our problem-solving mechanism, our survival mechanism, everything that’s totally divergent. Not that anyone stops me from doing what I want to, or being who I am, but it’s not always easy to keep going against the grain, to hold your belief strong in your heart even if everyone around you has no faith in it, and then to keep that faith intact. I wish so much that we could just agree on things not for each other’s sake, but because in our heart of hearts we do. This constant negotiation for our spaces, albeit peaceful, drains my energy, and sometimes what’s left inside of you at the end of it is just this burden of restless energy. It’s not the energy that lets you be you. On the contrary, it takes away from it, altering you in small but irreversible ways.
And then, I wish that like so many other people, I could stop being myself. That would be so much easier.