VOF Week 2 : (The Road Less Traveled)

I have a lot of ideas. I wanted to challenge myself to write them down, and reach more people through them.

When I speak to people face to face, they tell me that my words are passionate and my stories are inspiring.

But, living in the North American continent these last few years, I feel surrounded by strangers. I feel no deep connection here. Ever since I left India and my birth family behind, the feminist and social justice work I do here seems to forever be lacking in some way.

I wanted to see if reaching out to the courageous women I see in the Pulse Wire community would ground me again in some way, bring me back to myself. Why do I feel like my true self is splintered into many pieces? And where does gluing myself back together again start? And when does it blend into helping communities and groups of women thrive and knit themselves strong ? And how can one exist without the other?

I have always taken the road less traveled in my life. Every time I came to a fork, as I journeyed through life, I chose. Sometimes I chose with wilful blindness, sometimes with reckless overconfidence, sometimes with sublime courage. But always it was the unfamiliar path, the one not marked on the map, the direction that no one in my family or community had taken before. And always I questioned, always I doubted my gut. Through my childhood years of unburdened happiness and paradoxical nightmare existence of sexual victimization; through my schooling at my mother's knee of the poetry and pathos in fractured, oppressive yet inspiring Indian society; through excelling in science and leaving home shores; through deep depression and chronic ill health; through abandoning the cold embrace of science for the warm hug of creating art and practicing social justice through helping women; through discovering and revelling in my queerness and full sexual self; through forgiving the man who loves me for the sins of his brothers - I have listened to many stories, yet feel too shy to tell my own.

And I always wonder, are there other stories like mine out there? And will someone want to hear what I have to say? Will it help others in some way, when it is their turn to choose at that fork?

That is why I am here.

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