You Have the Strength to Set Yourself Apart From the WorldAug 18, 2015
“Oh,” they say, placing their hand gently on my shoulder. “I’m so sorry.”
That’s what happens when people find out about my separation. On the one hand, I value and appreciate their kindness. But on the other hand, I’m simply boggled. After all, my separation isn’t—in any way—their fault. It’s just an automatic response to sad news, just as I automatically respond back with, “It was tough in the beginning, but it’s good now.”
And that’s the truth. The trying times in life become so much easier when you consciously focus on the sweetness that every day can bring about with change instead of dwelling on the hardships. (I’d mention something about the glass being half-full, but this is so much more than that.)
Growing up as a typical Indian girl in a very traditional home, I yearned for That Big Dream Life. A loving husband that was my partner in all things, happy and healthy kids, a large home that was tastefully decorated, lots of vacations to tropical places…you know exactly what I mean. I also always pictured being a stay at home mom with lots of help. (Think nannies—plural.) It was the way I was raised in Taiwan. It seemed like the perfect life because it was the only life I knew.
Fast forward 30 years, and here I sit. I’m far away from the ideals I grew up with and living up to the reputation of being the black sheep of my family. (Someone’s got to be the outcast, right?)
In my defense, with a name like Dimple, I was destined for trouble. As a young girl, I chose to shut myself off from the world, spending hours alone in my room and twirling to Bollywood. (You can only imagine the Dimple jokes that run rampant in my family to this day.)
I chose to go away to University instead of staying local like my brother and sister. I chose to marry a man of my choice and didn’t abide by the rules of marrying a Sindhi guy. I chose to raise my kids the “unconventional way.” I chose to separate from my husband when we started growing apart, instead of growing together. And finally, I chose to build a brand new business, despite the risks that entrepreneurship delivers on a polished silver platter, all while working full time as an Occupational Therapist.
Now, let’s the honest here. You can hardly call any of the above behavior flat out rebellious, and yet I’ve always felt like I’ve lead my life completely out of line—especially when it comes to living up to my parents’ standards. (Do we ever outgrow trying to make them proud?) And for those of you who also grew up in traditional Indian households, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
The fact of the matter is that being true to yourself can set you apart from the rest of the world. Sometimes, it’s even harder to find your place than it is to create the life you’ve dreamt of. Sometimes, listening to your intuition feels like too much work. And sometimes, it seems easier to stick to the path that is “pleasant”.
But pleasant isn’t good enough for you.
Sure, there are going to be days when you can’t see the horizon past the firestorm. (Trust me—I’ve been there.) Just remember that those peaceful and healing horizons do exist. It’s not about navigating life perfectly. It’s about weathering the storms in the most graceful way you can, in that moment, and having faith that the sun will be out, shining her brightest soon enough.
Challenging traditions and ideals is certainly no easy feat, though when you dare to dream, you earn inner strength beyond your wildest imagination.
There’s usually that one paralyzingly scary step that prevents us from making the next move—the Game Changer Move, if you will. Sometimes it’s hard to even know what the next move is because it’s buried so deeply in all of life’s clutter. But when you’re ready to explore all the possibilities that are around the bend for you, let’s talk. In 20 minutes (that are completely free), we’ll sort out your path so you can start living with intention.