What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Read that once more. One can not emphasise further on this fact by Ralph Waldo. What makes or breaks a person is what lies beneath our skin, the passion, the will & the courage to achieve our dreams. Before it all starts to sound like another blog full of motivational thoughts, this International Women's day, we would like to bring some real-life stories for you to go through. No, they are not the stories of rocket scientists, these are stories of people we live with, the neighborhood lady, that college-going girl or the lady you always see across the street. Just like you & me, challenging the norms & taking the road they desire.
Lotte, Netherlands''I sew my clothes on my grandmother's sewing machine.
Do you know that sewing was never on my radar? It always appeared to me as a complicated process that can only be done by people who have good technical insight. But somehow a little seed to learn it was always there. Finally, I chose to challenge myself & joined classes for sewing. I did a basic level sewing course with my mother, and after that, all is my learning through the Instagram sewing community; thanks to my never dying ‘curiosity’.
Well, it's not just about making clothes, it's much more to me. Sewing gives me freedom. When you sew, you don’t have to compromise. You want pockets? It’s there; you don’t want them, it's not there. Life becomes relatively simpler. During my grandmother’s days, it was one of the only little area’s of freedom women enjoyed in their lives, not being allowed to work outside the house after getting married.
Today, times have changed. Sewing made me feel more connected to my foremothers. Knowing that sewing was a way of self-sufficiency for them. My grandmother has passed away, but I’m sure she would be delighted to see the garments I made with her machine."
Lotte, your grandmother is surely proud.
''My entrance exam for NIFT and final semester exam of Engineering were in a row. Had been clashing, obviously, I would have gone for NIFT exam. I didn't opt for engineering, it was merely an option that was served to me. Not that I knew then what I wanted to do. Designing college was across the street, and seeing my dressing style and sketching ability, my friends often used to say that I should be there instead. I didn't think much then, but when I heard it over and over again, it started to stay with me. And during my final year, I decided to gave it a shot and decided to sit for NIFT entrance exam. There were reservations from my parents at the start, but that didn't stand long in front of a rebel like me.
As if engineering life was less packed, I decided to pursue fashion now. My schedule went jam-packed. I used to go to college, then fashion classes and then home projects at night.
'How do you used to take out time for yourself then?'
I didn't, and I didn't have any complaint about it too. I guess when you are occupied with a bigger purpose in life, there's not much to complain about because, at the end of the day, you know you are doing it for yourself.
Well, coming back to my entrance exam, I passed it in one go. On top of it, I scored my best in the finals of Engineering too.
Today I am living and doing something that I enjoy doing, and I can't thank my past self enough for taking that leap of faith and challenging the set pattern of life.''
Woah, Reetika that's some real challenge you took upon but who's to deny the satisfaction that comes from pursuing one's passion.
Nina, Singapore"My sewing journey started last year in lockdown.
My parents had come to visit from the UK and my in-laws from India & then lockdown was declared. To keep us all sane, I set us a task to start a new hobby. It was then I decided to pick sewing. Little did I know, it would grow on me so much that it would weave into my life as an obsession.
I am both a mother and an entrepreneur. If you look at my office right now, it has remnants of work, kids and sewing patterns all around. Sewing is my ‘me time’, a chance to recluse into a meditative space away from work.
'As an entrepreneur, have you thought to make it your additional venture?'
I have been an entrepreneur for 15 years and have learned that some things you need to keep to yourself. Sewing is definitely one thing I wouldn’t want to monetise. It’s an expression of my creativity. I wouldn’t want to work to a client's specifications, as I would much rather prefer to wear my imperfections :)
My advice to those looking to pick up sewing is to not worry about making mistakes and challenge yourself, the imperfections go unnoticed, and as you perfect the skill, you take pride in your learning. We live in a world of the internet, where there are tutorials to hold your hands and Instagram Community to sail you through."
Nina, its people like you who inspire & help the novice of this field.
Ashna, Mumbai"Yes, I was creating content at home and learning about finance, but my parents had reservations about it. They have their fair share of concerns about my security. My mother is concerned about my face being put out on the internet, and I understand it. She thinks video making is another hobby and nothing to do with a real career.
I have been making videos for 2 years now, but it was during lockdown when I happened to get intrigued with finance. I was so surprised to find out that even finance could be so interesting.
I actually saw my friends talking about the stock market on IG stories which led me to explore it. A lot of people don’t believe it but I haven't done any paid courses, everything I acquired is from articles and videos available on the internet; all my knowledge is a result of my curiosity and I am kind of proud of it. I have been doing it for more than 6 months, and people have started to call me an expert which I am obviously not, but my goal is to become one in future and make my mother feel proud."
Managing finance is one of the most crucial things to learn & having it explained so simply is the best. Your mother is going to be nothing short of pride Ashna.
Nayana, Bangalore"When I started my Zero Waste Journey 2 years ago, very very few people in India even knew of such a lifestyle.
It was 2018, my life changed when I used the Menstrual Cup for the first time. And when I talked to people, I was startled to know that they had no idea about it. Forgot about our older generation; people of my age were unaware.
BTW do you know that I had a YouTube channel where I talked about makeup routines? But very early on, I realised that it gets tiresome for me, and I don't really enjoy doing it. So after my menstrual cup experience, I thought to make people aware of it through my Channel. To my surprise, I got a positive response. That video sort of made me want to do it more and more. Gradually I also started feeling passionate about low waste living. I realised this is that one thing I can do all my life and not get tired of.
That was the day, and today I have walked a long way. It wasn't a cakewalk though, to challenge your lifestyle and walk into a completely different one."
This is something that we all need to challenge ourselves with, opting for a least waste lifestyle & the sooner it is, the better. you can always take tips from Nayana.
So you see, it's all about that spirit, which takes on a challenge & ladies, you all have shown us how it's done. This women's day we are sharing your stories, your smiles & celebrating each one of you on our Facebook & Instagram, head there already!
Have you taken on a challenge or know someone who chose to challenge the standard & seek their calling? Then let's keep the stories going in the comments below.