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  • Writer's pictureSarindee Patel

Becoming: Meera Dharamdasani

A few weeks ago I made a long list of everything that I loved doing as a child until age 16. I looked at it and realized I hardly do any of those things now. Here is the list:

  • drawing & doodling

  • dancing & singing

  • being with/nurturing/watching animals

  • making things with beads & fabrics

  • painting/watercolors

  • rearranging my room

  • play dress up as my grandma

  • play catch with my grandpa

  • origami & puzzles

  • movement i.e. pogo stick, wrestling with my mom, any & all sports

The thought of sharing this publicly made me feel…silly? Mildly fearful that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an adult anymore? And definitely curious about what things what constitute a similar list from my family & friends.

I had to take a long pause after this list and ask myself when I started creating distance between myself and these things I loved doing. For me, turning 16 changed a lot. Being the youngest in my family, having driving privileges felt like I could finally play catch up on all the adult things everyone else had already been doing. Both in the car and out, I was hitting the gas pedal hard.

Without digressing too much here, I learned from a pretty young age to care-take and be hyper-independent, simply because of who I was surrounded by. Between this and wanting to grow up quickly to be on the same playing field as everyone….I ended up in what I now know was a state of self-abandonment.

My “why” era started in my mid-20’s—tuning in, learning about my own defenses, my ego, my shadow, my wounded inner-child, figuring out why I was the way I was….and I arrived at the recognition that there were so many parts of me that felt inauthentic. And that it’s never ever too late to reparent yourself.

I’ll share what my favorite thing over the past few years has been. It is to walk anywhere until I find a sunny spot with no one around me & just sit/stand there. I allow myself to process that in that moment, I’m the only person on earth in that precise spot, adopting that particular vantage point, & having that exact experience. It’s always so cool to me. And right now as I’m writing this I’m realizing why I value those moments so much…it’s because they allow me to hit the brake pedal, & they just make me feel profoundly safe.

They allow me to escape and forget, & daydream and be hopeful.

They allow for the reminder that self-healing mechanisms are intrinsically engrained within me.

They allow for the reminder that life is less about where I’m going, & more about who I’m becoming.

It was some point during high school that I can remember my parents starting to say: “You’re growing up now, it’s time to get serious”. I think this instillation of the idea that adulthood = seriousness is why I stopped doing those things I used to love & never stopped to look back—I felt ashamed/guilty engaging in things that weren’t directly contributing to my education, career advancement, or professional growth. But when we’re a kid, they say that we are closest to “god”, right? Closest to our highest, purest, most divine selves.

So. To my inner child who I have ignored for many many years now….I’m ready to embrace you wholeheartedly and be your friend :) Finding you continues to take a lot of work and intentionality, but I know that getting to know you is going to help me remaster my life experiences and soar.

Thank you to Meraki for allowing me to share these thoughts of mine, and for encouraging me to continue to view the world through the lens of little Meera.

- Meera Dharamdasani

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