The burden of expectations!

When you were young did someone say, “what a fantastic singer!”? No?

Oh well, lucky you. And I don’t mean to diss praise, nope, not for a moment.

But when you get to hear that at every party, function or gathering, it tends to become a chain around your neck, dragging you down and asphyxiating you.

And then you can’t sing to save your life. Because the burden of expectations has made you fear failure. That OMG moment when you think if you didn’t hit the perfect pitch all was lost.

Sometimes adults do children a disservice when they believe they can play proxy with their children’s achievements, recognition, awards, talent.

Parents, grow up. Let children bloom to be their own person. You don’t have to be Tiger Mom, all you need is to have the commitment, belief, and some amount of skill to manipulate your child to grow up to be a whole person, not full of holes.

Singer, dancer, painter, mathematician, Nobel Laureate, poet, writer, scientist, fashion designer, hacker, or Ethan Hunt, doesn’t matter. He/she has her own unique fingerprint. Let them be.

Let not the burden of expectations become a millstone. Just applaud all the milestones, small or big, because life’s journey is tough and failure is part of that journey. Let our children not grow up to be afraid of making mistakes or fail. Who needs perfection? Perfection is boring!

 

 

 

 

What moves you?

Movies.

When I see the nuances of a relationship in a movie play itself out – daughter and mother, father and daughter, husband and wife, brother and sister, girl friend and boy friend, friends….I have always wondered why some scenes move me? Death, intense love, intense desire, separation, sacrifice, romance – am like an ice cream in an oven – sniffing and snivelling away and my throat is all constricted with unshed tears and I am transported to moments in my life when I have been desperate for luck, love, understanding, relief.

Music.

Every time I fell in love the lyrics of songs would somehow take on an extra special meaning. I have made mix tapes for boy friends, girl friends and self with specially selected songs and little notes tucked into the Sony or TDK 60 or 90 mins tape cover, hoping the man would never forget me every time he listened to the songs peeking out behind the spool. Of course the folly of living in hope in a failed or distant relationship cast its long dark shadow unrelenting and winning.

Children. Ads. Great deeds. Family. Human spirit – Sherpas looking out for the mountaineers rescued from an avalanche with worry and wondering if he/ she is alive. A heart transported from a hospital to the airport where the police, the authorities are all on standby to ensure that a little baby somewhere gets a chance at life. And so many other such stories of courage, selflessness and extraordinariness.

Why do these slice of life moments move me? Because I live a little through these experiences. Vicarious pleasure. Transposed emotions. And the throbbing of my heart becomes louder every time I see what life is, what life could be.

When I saw this movie today, I felt that the woman, a daughter was playing me in many ways – looking after her cantankerous old father – and that was her raison d’être. Parents can be selfish without realising it. Parents can be worried about being alone in their infirmity and how illness could affect their lives. When their children, especially a daughter looks after them selflessly, however acerbic, caustic or frisson-ridden the relationship may be, you do feel for the woman right? Her loneliness can burrow a hole in your soul. You wonder if there will be a great big romance. If there will be friends with whom she can share a brownie and talk about her sexless unsexy life or unshaven armpits or the need for sex the without sounding maudlin or pitiable or desperate. If there would ever be a great man-woman friendship which could turn out to be a comforting duvet enveloping her with its warmth. You wonder if she could ever take a vacation and meet someone who would be the great big adventure and soul fulfilling episode of her life.

Yes. I realise I am unbelievably alive and human when:  my 18 month old niece shouts out my name and apes evey action of mine. When my nephew and niece come straight home from the car park when they come visiting their grandmother it fills me up. When that guy in the car next to mine in a narrow lane waits patiently and actually allows me to make that difficult turn, it fills me up. When someone holds the lift for me, or someone at the cash counter doesn’t worry about the 50p change that I don’t have and tenders change, yup, it moves me.

Yes, little instances fill me up, move me to tears. In a world where basic humaneness and goodness and compassion are becoming rare commodities, think about what moves you. All the little things add up. It makes for a life beautifully lived. It restores faith.

Move it, move it, move it. Feel it.