I am lucky to be working in an environment in which there are plenty of women in senior leadership position to look up to. I don’t look up to them to necessarily become them some day. That’s a non-goal. I look up to them because knowingly or unknowingly they inspire me - professionally and personally. I recently had a “post maternity-break catch up” conversation with one of these women I admire, KH, and her perspective felt…ummm…so refreshingly similar to my own. She talked about being a mom as a very humbling experience. That’s truly when you realize and appreciate the awesomeness of ‘things taking care of themselves’ because there is just so much that is not in your control. That wasn’t to say that you don’t do anything about anything and make this attitude your weakness. But that’s just to say that you really don’t control a lot of what happens around you – and how merely having that realization is a huge step for us. One moment you know exactly what you want in life and are sure about that one thing more than the air you breathe in. And the next moment your entire world could change. It kind of hurts when it happens to you for no real-doing of your own. But that’s exactly the point. Sometimes, it is ok to not fret about these out-of-control phenomena that have the power to impact your lives in the biggest way possible.
I keep on adding to the list of things one cannot control. You cannot control other people – their feelings, their actions, their reactions, their loyalty, their friendship – even though you may have given your heart, soul and life to them, and think that they will stand by you forever. What you can control, however, is your inner-self. And it is important to not lose yourself when dealing with such people. It is important to not lose faith in true-love, because it does exist somewhere around you, and it is just a matter of you running into it sooner or later. There are other experiences in life that could teach you the same. But motherhood took me to this realization faster than any other personal-experience. And when I see it happen again, I can spot it from far.
Being a mom has also made me aware of my heightened instinct to protect the people I love, the people that I care for – my family and my close friends. My oftentimes mild personality could turn into something totally intense & blunt if somebody hurts someone I love. That’s a big no-no in my world. I have seen myself turn into a fierce lioness to show that I care for my loved ones, more than myself. Only a handful of people fall into the category of “my loved ones” – but the ones that do know that I am there, and that I always will be there.
KH told me that when she looks at these 20 something year old women (not said in a negative way), she wants some of their “this is my plan, this is what I want, this is exactly how it will go” attitude. While she hasn’t given up on making plans, her life and its experiences have given her a perspective that allow her to look beyond the plans. And I admire that. While I have learnt the importance and realized the existence of all things out-of-control, I haven’t mastered the art of not fretting about all things out-of-control. I still fret. Hopefully I will learn to take a chill pill as I grow up.