A girl on the road less travelled
“Am I wrong for thinking out of the box from where I stay? Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way? I ain’t trying to do what everybody else doing. Just cause everybody doing what they all do. If one thing I know – I’ll fall, but I’ll grow. I am walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home. So am I wrong?”
This song is stuck in my head. Yes, it is an inspirational dose we all need now and then. But, it is more than just a boost for me. Because I am a girl. Being a girl, not doing what everyone else does, and living in India. Could this be more wrong? I will let the future evaluate my decision.
Through this post, what I really want is to inspire other girls to get on their feet and face this world with courage. Let me give you the answers to questions, thoughts and difficulties flooding your mind. (The answers come from my experience on the road less traveled.)
Is this more of a problem or an excuse? You are never too young to do great things. If you keep waiting for the right time, you won’t realize when you get too old, which means too many responsibilities. And, how can you live and have no ‘story’ to tell?
(My personal experience: I started with this journey of entrepreneurship when I was 19 years old. I graduated from college this year and I am 22 years old now. Is this young? Hell yes it is! But I have nothing to lose doing what I do. I may be earning fewer thousands but it is definitely saving me the effort of running in a rat race.)
Each one of us starts her learning curve somewhere. Moreover, learning from your own mistakes is faster. Have a dream, give yourself a start, make mistakes and learn from them. You will grow every time you fall down. These will be ‘the experiences’ of your life.
(My personal experience: I have taught myself more things in the last 4 years than I have done in the first 19 years of my life. I didn’t have a sense of talking or writing. But I have made mistakes and gotten better than most people. I can even code now, far better than ‘girl standards’ or whatever they are called.)
This is more about support from your family. Did you put all your efforts into this? Because once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. It is just a test of patience and grit. If you decide to hang in there till the last minute, something good will happen for sure.
(My personal experience: In short, I struggled hard and it bore results.)
These are the people who will never understand what you do. They will be keenly interested in cooking up stories about you until you become famous or earn more than their expectation. They will never leave a chance of ‘putting some sense into you’. They might even end up reminding you about being a girl. But they can be your biggest motivation! You have to remember that people who haven’t tried anything in their life can never help you, no matter how much world they have seen. (Remember this – ‘Humne bohot duniya dekhi hai’! )
(My personal experience: I have a hard time explaining what I do. They might even look down upon me for this. But I turn a deaf ear at their advice and keep doing what I do.)
Will it even come otherwise? It definitely takes time because you have to prove yourself. But, you have to prove yourself more than the boys. You are not expected to do such things and world takes time to accept it. This has to be the least of your concerns as it is the learning which matters more.
(My personal experience: I can’t say I am even mildly famous. But those who know me respect me for what I am doing. It takes a lot of courage to be different.)
Today, I see so many girls doing what everyone else does. There are many women entrepreneurs, socialists, journalists etc getting known from India. But I want to see girls taking a leap of faith and following their hearts. You know it deep down inside what is best for you. I want every girl to be unique and write her own story. Even if this post can inspire one girl, I think my job is done.
You can pay it forward by inspiring another girl.
As for me, I think I have taken upon this task of helping the girls in our country. Signing off as the girl who has ‘the balls’ to do something different.
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Sonali co-founded Gyan Lab when she was 19. She aspires to learn everything she can lay her hands on. She has taught herself to code. She is a tomboy but loves to be a feminist.
The opinions and views expressed in the article are of the author herself.