When I was in college, I used to go out alone whenever things would overwhelm me just to have a coffee or idly wander window shopping.
Here’s a small trait about me, I enjoy being on my own at times, especially when I am under stress. I cannot pin this down to an exact reason but I like the liberty that I can take with the place that I am going to, the food/beverage that I am going to have or the time that I am going to devote to a place/thing. Maybe it’s because when I go out with company I am constantly worried about their comfort. Then on some days, I like the liberty of not having to take an effort to make conversations. I discovered this during the first year of college so I made it a ritual to go out alone whenever I felt a little under the sun. My safety was a concern to my parents and they did not (fyi, they still do not) understand my need for a secluded outing, so I never told them about that aimless trip to Westside or to the Cafe Coffee Day at Moolchand Metro Station or going to a random book store in Saket or Khan Market.
I put myself under a lot of pressure in the last 4 years of my school life to act in a certain manner so that people would stop talking ill of my personality.
I have written about this earlier in disjointed bits that I do not remember my school fondly. I was 13 when I stumbled upon the popular opinion where my introversion was being branded as arrogance. There were judgments about how I dressed myself, how I would tie my hair, how I spoke, about my body weight. I was too young to simply accept it and let it go. My mother wasn’t a huge fan of my introversion either and she always urged me to talk more or act friendlier even though I felt awkward around people. So like other people, I also began to believe that there was something heinous about my introversion and came to see myself as a misfit. That’s how I dedicated 4 years of my life trying to modify my own personality so as to please other people.
I feel guilty when they spend money on me.
I was 23 when I wrote, “I am 23 and I am not earning”. I was 24 when I wrote, “I am 24 and I am not earning:. Now I am 25 and I am going to write that I am 25 and I am not earning. I do not like my parents having to spend on me. In fact I do not like anybody else spending money on me. I just want to be independent, earn my own money and take care of my expenses. Unfortunately my never ending education keeps on delaying that and sending me on a recurring guilt trip every time my parents spend money on me.
I do a few theist things for their peace of mind.
I am not an atheist. But I am not a conventional theist. I do not like going to temples, the commercialization of temples irks me. I do not like sitting in a pooja or a satsang. I do believe in certain superstitions like women should not go to temples on their period or not eating garlic/onions during navratri or not eating eggs on Tuesday. However I do not challenge my parents on any of the above because it is their discretion what they choose to believe in. I go to temples with them because I see it as time that I am spending with them. I think the more I argue with them on the differences in our beliefs the more I will end up hurting them.
I have weird/twisted/depressing dreams that has aggravated my anxiety over the years.
I am always confused how did the series of my unfortunate dreams begin. Was it my anxiety that translated into anxious dreams or were it my dreams that gave birth to my anxiety. I have strange dreams, five on seven days I am witnessing death or I am in a life threatening situation or I am in captivity or I am running to save my life. The details are unpleasant, so my parents have never been apprised of them.
I gave up on what I wanted to do because I believed that it would hurt them.
I wanted to be a journalist or a script writer or an author. But I gave up on that. I do not think my parents who are quite open minded to be open minded enough to see their daughter not take a conventional career. I did not want them to witness the uncertainty that my choice of career involved. I did not want to go through arguments over arguments with them to validate my choice. I just did not want to put them out of ease.
I do not believe in arranged marriages.
To me arranged marriages are playing poker blind, in fact worse because your life is at stake here. I cannot understand how can one simply walk into a life long relationship without even knowing their better half beyond a few months. In fact the time people invest in planning their weddings is much more than the time they invest in knowing their compatibility with their partner. It appears bizarre to me because the wedding is going to last you for 3 days while the actual marriage is expected to last till your death. But my parents have no clue about my great opinions on marriage. Because they will simply assume that this is a perspective that I have borrowed from my brother which is untrue because this is a perspective that I have built solely on the basis of being surrounded by couples bound by an arranged match throughout my life.
I have terrible cramps on the second day of my period. Sometimes the cramps begin as early as 5 am in the morning and sometimes they last through the night.
We do not have open conversations about periods in my house. I think the approach was to snub the conversation right from the beginning so I never found the comfort to speak about my periods in my house. So I have blinding abdomen pain on the second day of my period that usually lasts 6-7 hours even if I take a pain killer. Earlier there was a pattern at least that the pain would begin at around 1 in the afternoon but now the onset can be sudden and it can extend till the time I fall asleep that night. In addition to that my digestive system goes for a toss and practically everything other than a cup of hot coffee seems unappetizing to me. This has been going in for over ten years now and my parents have no clue about this.
When I was 12, a family friend made a pass at me.
I was headed to a birthday party with our family friend’s daughter. I was waiting for her at their house while she had headed out to buy a gift. Her father was lying down on a couch and watching television. I was sitting on the other couch when while talking to me he proposed that I kiss him on the cheek. I found that request odd, unreasonable, irrational and out of the place. I denied but he continued to plead with me and then he extended his arm to hold me. But I was quick, so I got up and walked out of the front door. I continued waiting outside because I knew he wouldn’t risk making a pass in front of other people. I never spoke about this with my parents. Maybe it was my discomfort in talking about the incident, maybe it was an attempt to not jeopardize my mother’s friendship or maybe I did not want her to be worried.
I am dating a friend of mine.
I am dating a friend of mine who I know for around three years now. We have both been deliberate in sharing with others about our relationship because we just wanted to see how it works out for the both of us. I have found in my boyfriend, a lot of what I wanted in my partner; most importantly he listens to all of my stories- opinions on a book/movie/television shows, mundane details of my day, what subject am I studying, etc. He is there when I need him. I feel guilt over keeping this from my parents. But I cannot say for certain if they will be understanding or not, if they will be prejudiced or keep an open mind, if they will worry about ‘log kya kahenge’ (that is, what will people say) or not. Whatever their reaction be, I do not have the heart to know that right now.
I don’t think my parents know how much I love them.
I believe I don’t vocalize it enough. I care about my parents. Every decision in my life has a filter of how will it impact them. I try to make small adjustments whenever I can so that they will not be inconvenienced. It has been like this from the beginning. But they don’t see it because I appear headstrong on the exterior. And that’s okay with me, so long as they are happy.
This was a small list of things that I have kept from my parents. Why don’t you drop a comment and tell me about one such secret that you haven’t shared with your parents.