Watching K drive away for his regular Saturday cricket matches, I picked up the phone to call my mom like I usually do. Half an hour later enthused by reaching out to mom, I scanned the list of people in my address book and worked my way down. I called most people I wanted to on the east coast and finally got to the west coast around 7:00 AM their time. Woke my cousin from her sleep and apologized before I hung up.
I loved mornings like these. Quiet home. Loved ones on the phone. Mundane conversations and a hot cuppa chai. The phone rang again. It was my cousin from Seattle. As we discussed the week past when K and I enjoyed her hospitality she remarked “You have mellowed down from what I know of you in the past.” This was stirring a hornet’s nest. Casually I asked “Why do you think so?”
She went on to tell me how much of joy for life I had a decade back which seemed missing now. She said “You were cheerful and bubbly and that is missing now.” I listened to her and felt a little deflated. After the conversation was over, my mind went back to a similar conversation with Akay a couple of days back where she mentioned the same thing. Right down to the words “mellowed down”. Somehow “mellow” has very positive connotations in my mind. What Akay and my cousin said did not seem so positive. I searched for images of the person I was in my mind. I couldn’t ‘see’ what they were seeing. Giving up I went back to my cooking.
Then it came to me. Years back, I would try consciously to be the life of a group. I loved hogging attention. I loved to impress people. I relied on good old Linda Goodman as an ice breaker in any new circles. I would search for ways to find ‘connections’ with new people I met. When I was in the midst of people I knew well enough, I would discuss “taboo” stuff. Somehow, it all seemed to be a way to keep people interested in what I was saying.
Ten years later, I am now content. I am no longer looking for ways to keep people’s attention. I like to sit on the sidelines and listen. I no longer feel the urge to prove a point or impress anyone. Not sure if that is good or bad. It does seem like I have mellowed down. May be that translates to dull and boring. I am not sure any longer. This whole thing is like a wake up call.
So, yesterday at our ladies evening out. I made sure I was not silent. I listened to people alright but I also made sure I reached out. I wanted to make new friends. I felt like my old being. Trying to say witty things. Trying to be self deprecating. Trying to ‘woo’ the new gang. When a girl I met said “I read your blogs.” I tried to say something modest and sensible while inside my mind was going “Yayy! She reads my blogs!! :)”.
What am I getting at? I don’t know myself. I want to be bubbly. But I don’t want to make a conscious effort to be perceived that way. I want to have that ‘joy’ for life people seem to think I have. I am not sure how or where to find it.
I am confused.