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  • Purva Grover

It's okay to not be okay


In our fast-paced lives, we’re constantly up to something. There is just no time to read a good book, go to a spa and relax, catch up on the required number of hours of sleep, sit down and eat a proper meal with the family, return the phone calls, and more. In addition to the pressure that the work and society put on us, we put quite a lot on ourselves too. We want to do it all — earn the best employee award, throw the best birthday party for our child, show up on every special occasion of friends, master a new language on the weekends, et al. Sounds familiar? But in the middle of all this, we fail to listen to our bodies and minds. We push ourselves. We battle our current state of mind. We suffer, knowingly and unknowingly. It’s in such times that we need to remind ourselves that sometimes, all that a tired soul or a stressed brain needs is to be embraced the way and the state it is in. It’s okay to put one’s feet up and say, ‘I am taking off for a bit.’ Beginning now, let’s give ourselves the permission to say and accept, ‘It’s okay’.

It’s okay to stay quiet.

You’re an introvert, who is often dealing with the pressure to socialise. Your friends ask you to be more active during gatherings. So, you push yourself to make small conversations, with strangers and the familiar. But, you don’t enjoy it. You prefer to listen and observe. You like to sit in your corner. Or maybe you are an extrovert but are too exhausted to engage in a chat. It’s just not your day. Neither do you want to ask the neighbour how his cat is nor do you want to be asked how your day was? You want a few minutes of calm — sometimes, it’s okay to stay quiet.

It’s okay to forget.

Do you beat yourself up about not remembering to wish your ex-classmate on her birthday? Or forgetting to pick up laundry on your way home? Or start to cook a dish, only to realise that you ran out of the main ingredient, the last time you prepared it? You are constantly multi-tasking — running errands, balancing work commitments and social obligations, chasing your dreams and earning your income — sometimes, it’s okay to forget.

It’s okay to say no.

Two weeks ago, a friend mentioned that she’ll be staying home on the weekends. ‘I just don’t feel up to it,” she messaged. She’s the life of any party — cracking jokes, dancing until wee hours of the morning, and making sure everyone is well-fed. Of course, her absence wasn’t welcomed. Many of us flooded her with requests, ‘Oh, just come for a few hours’. We weren’t willing to accept a no for an answer and she caved in — sometimes, it’s okay to say (acknowledge) no.

It’s okay to fail.

We often tell our children that it’s okay to fail — ‘You learn from your mistakes’. But, do we follow what we preach? No. A neighbour, who works in a real estate industry, is upset because he’s not met the monthly target. All he is being done for the last 30 days is talking about the situation. ‘I’m not able to accept it and move on.’ Last week, he confessed it was not about the commission, but his inability to push himself. Nobody in the company performed well and the bosses were okay with that. He wasn’t — sometimes, it’s okay to fail.

It’s okay to not be okay.

You are not feeling well, but that’s so unlikely you. You are capable of working even when suffering from a migraine. You are not in a mood to dress up and pose for pictures. On most days, you wake up at six am, today you want to stay snuggled in for the extra five minutes. You’re tired and know that a day with a hot shower, a comforting meal, and good music is all you need. But, you are wondering if you can still find a way around to meet your commitments and feel okay — sometimes, it’s okay to not be okay.


This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.


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© 2018 by PURVA GROVER