I Whatsapp-ed with my parents back home. They were at my cousin’s wedding, so I got a peek/participated in the celebrations as the phone got passed to all my uncles, aunties and cousins. And, of course, I got to spend a few precious minutes chatting with the lovely bride, admiring her henna and then wistfully saying bye! As I write this blog, I feel a twinge of sadness and disappointment that I miss out on such family gatherings.
That leads me to what I wanted to discuss today – the unique traits you acquire as an avid reader, especially from childhood. (https://hackspirit.com/people-who-grew-up-reading-a-lot-usually-have-these-unique-traits/) There are quite a few traits like empathy, Storytelling, etc., but the one that caught my eye was – ‘Readers who have been reading from a young age tend to romanticise their life situations.’ This is a tricky question if you are an avid reader because how would you know the difference?
I thought about it, and it started to make sense why others around me don’t have the same reaction as I do when we are all going through the same life situation. For example, the current job that I took was a turnaround situation. So, when I approached it in my head, I was the heroine of an underdog-turned-winner story – and that is how I view the entire thing, even now. Everything is a challenge that must be overcome with hard work, strategic thinking and a little luck – and voila, things transform slowly. Processes that people said cannot be implemented start to sputter along, reporting that never existed starts appearing in nascent forms, and people who had struggled before start to open up a bit. Throughout this, I go through the ups and downs of understanding the problem, waiting for the creative solution to emerge, and implementing it after getting buy-in. It’s like I get to live the hero’s journey in mini episodes.. how exciting. My HR partner actually told me that I am making a difference! Which heroine does not want to hear that? People around me probably viewed me with pity or sympathy that I was stuck in this situation. Little do they know!
And then, I went back a little further to my childhood. As a middle-class family growing up in India, we used to travel a lot by train and bus. Motion sickness prevents me from reading while travelling, so I used to make up stories about the scenes as we passed them by. The staircase in our apartment was like a hot air balloon and, some days, a ship in turbulent waters. If you read as I do, I am sure you have emerged from reading a book to shock that the rest of the world is operating normally!
See, there are other situations where I do not have a rosy picture, and I wallow in misery. That’s the story in my head. The point of the blog is it is all made up anyway, so why not actively choose a story that you want to play out – and act it out to your heart’s content? But, the first step is the awareness that, reader or not, you are creating stories/realities all the time. I admit it is not easy, but knowing what you create is relatively easy.
What story(ies) are you aware of that you are creating in your life?