I won’t lie, that line till this day haunts my mind “what will people say about you” . Growing up with “desi” parents (Bengali, Indian Pakistani etc) what people were saying about us was more important to our parents than how we actually were feeling or doing. That’s just the way it was in our community, and no blame to my parents or their friends. They just didn’t know any better, that was just how they grew up. (FYI, I am not talking about all desi parents, just the community I grew up in)
Now I am a 35 year old full-time working mom and I can still feel like that phrase haunts me, and probably why I hesitated to start blogging again. I didn’t just want to blog, I wanted to have an open conversation about topics that are not always encouraged growing up. What if I put myself out there, and people can see that I have weaknesses? What will people say?
I remember watching Hassan Minaj stand up show, Homecoming King and one of his topics brought up just this same exact issue. He then said “F**k Laila Auntie (sorry If I actually offend a Laila Auntie, I actually know a really nice Laila Auntie). It also opens your eyes to the fact that so many of us went through the same thing.
As a desi girl, it’s is hard to be open and talk about feelings. I think avoiding an open dialog is normal in a lot of household. “Oh, are you sad today?” “Tell me how you are feeling?” It’s more – “why are you sad? you are so ungrateful, when we grew up we did not have anything”. And that’s true, if you think about how much we do have in our lives, we are blessed with things my parents could never dream about. But does that mean, we can’t have feelings and talk about them?
So do I care what people say about me and how I am viewed? Well, yes and no. Of course I care, I am only human (I am working on me every day). But also NO, I don’t care as much as I used to and again a lot have changed after giving birth to my child, I think I changed as a person and the way I viewed life. When you have a child (except for the first three months, feels like forever) time goes by so freaking fast. You close your eyes and its almost October and your child is 2 years old and every picture you post has the same tagline: when did he grow up so fast?
Why do we care so much what this Laila Auntie thinks? And why am I blaming Laila Auntie, what did she ever do to me? (Except telling you mom she saw you at McDonalds, eating a 10 kronor (Swedish currency) donuts & coffee, wearing a knee length skirt, yes it was forbidden back then)
Actually nothing. She did nothing, I am the one who is still, at this age haunting myself. I am an adult now, so why would I care about what people think about me? I mean I am not really doing anything crazy, right? I just want to live my life. I just want to have a good life with my son and husband and create some good memories (and maybe blog a little for fun).
I love and respect my parents and their believes. I don’t blame them or the Auntie who’ll probably only will probably spend 30 seconds gossiping about you and then shortly after that, you are yesterday’s news.
So what am I getting at? I do care what people say about me, and that might be my weakness, but I also need to stop thinking about what people think about me. It’s time to move on, cause I am sure Laila Auntie did (again, sorry if your name is Laila auntie). I am sure I am not that interesting to her anymore. Let’s be honest, the desi community has come a long long way since I was growing up. Thank the lord for that!
But with that, there will always be people who judge and disagree with your choices in life, which by the way is perfectly fine. That’s where I need to grow my confidence and as I mentioned before, for me happiness and confidence is something I am constantly working on. For some it might come easy, but for me personally, a mix of mindfulness, gratitude to my family and exercise is what keeps my mind clean. What’s yours?