April 8th, 2015: Hyderabad, India
The Day Dreamer
“Doctor, is that the magic potion that is going to put me to sleep, while you operate?”
Waking up five hours later, from a life changing surgery, all I could think of was the woman crying next to me in the observation ward.
I say life changing not because the surgery in itself was life altering, (it did change how my body felt and my leg became), but it was more to do with its after effects. Five years ago, on this very day, I had my ACL and Meniscus Reconstruction. The very reason I am here, some 40 blogposts later, continuing to write. Ironic right? Finding your biggest calling through your most painful experience?
The next day, I had been discharged, and the only thoughts constantly bothering me were whether I was ever going to get to the damn restroom, without any help! Spoiler Alert: I wasn’t ! I had to be helped every single time – for the next few days. As hard as it has been to admit not just to others, but to myself, I think that was the first time my mental health had started to deteriorate. I felt like nothing in my life would be the same again. My leg had been reconstructed, but it felt like I had lost a limb, and with that, my dreams had been shattered. And that’s where I was completely wrong. Because as my mind was starting to fall, my heart was starting to pick up even more on my day dreams.
April 8th, 2016: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Managed to make it to the restroom, and move to another country. No Big Deal!
This was the year of reinventing myself. It was time I accepted that unless I did something drastic to change how my leg was healing and how I was healing, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. 2016 saw everything – from me taking charge of my lifestyle, losing weight, working for a start up and opening a bed and breakfast. Through all of it, having my parents as the greatest support system. For someone who had felt like life would be dull because I could not walk properly or dance again, everything seemed to be shining brighter than ever!
April 8th, 2017: Hyderabad, India
Moving back to India was seamless. I had the opportunity to work more closely with the start up, which happened to be the place where I gained the closest of connections and the best of experiences. Improving my bed and breakfast and hosting more guests became my biggest drive. But, sharing all that I had learnt, became my therapy. Blogging about my journey was a way of confronting everything that I had done, and paved a way for others to understand me better. It brought me a sense of joy and comfort that you get after the perfect glass of Rosé paired with Truffle. Secretly, blogging also helped me stick to what I was writing, i.e. the recipes, the workouts, the consistency.
April 8th, 2018: Bluche, Switzerland
Who would have thought that constantly using “I want to run away to Alps like Heidi!” as my fantasy line, would one day turn into reality. Whenever I doubt myself, I think back to the conversation I had with my father before applying to hospitality school. He asked me one simple question “Do you want to do an MBA and become a consultant or do you want to follow your passion?” Without batting an eyelid, he agreed to send me to one of the most expensive places in the world. Just like the endless beauty that Switzerland cloaks you in, Les Roches was the chapter that was the bed of roses. It was like a tiny globe in itself with people from 90 different nationalities, helping us form friendships that would last a lifetime, and across the whole world. This became my convenient excuse to pack my bag and travel as much as I could. The highlight of this chapter was becoming Valedictorian and finally having a day where dad didn’t have to ask me “Who Topped?” Thanks to my parents unconditional belief in my dreams and ambitions, on the day of my graduation, dad was holding a Magnum Bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and mom, an envelope that said ‘Top Academic Student’.
April 8th, 2019: Manhattan, New York
The New Yorker
The Empire State wallpaper in my room in Hyderabad was not glaring at me anymore. I was recklessly drooling over the magnificent structure right in front of my eyes. The manifestation had worked! The vision boards had done their thing! While being an aspiring Brooklyn girl, I had become a Manhattan Woman (let me have my moment!) I cannot chalk up the words to describe what this city means to me, or the people I met there, or the experience in its entirety. It was a culmination of old journeys paving paths for new ones. I started to understand the meaning of becoming a whole new person. Some days were extremely challenging, but most days felt like living in a fairytale – an expensive and fast paced one , but still a fairytale.
If there were a hundred different ways to say ‘greatest dream come true!’ , imagine me saying it, writing it, preaching it! That’s what New York was. And that’s what it will always be. I go on with my days knowing that I walked through the the five boroughs, leaving a piece of me in every corner, while the city gave me all of itself!
April 8th, 2020: Hyderabad, India
As I sit amongst polaroids of New York, post workout, sipping on that Veuve Clicquot (Just Kidding!), my intention of writing this whole piece was to tell you: Don’t Quit Your Day Dream! What better time than now?