It all comes down to choices.
As I reflect now, a few months from entering a new decade - my 30's, I realize that I've made a lot of poor choices in the past. I've chosen to disregard certain friends' feelings when making reckless decisions. I've chosen to do stupid, unsafe things even when completely unnecessary. For those choices that hurt others, I am deeply and sincerely sorry. (Do you also find it harder to forgive yourself for your mistakes than to laud yourself for your successes?) I've also made some good choices. I've worked my ass off to go to school and law school and pass the bar exam (twice!) and cultivate some relationships and try hard to be a good daughter/sister/wife/mother/friend. Some of my choices, I feel guilty about. I'm a fairly new mom, who chose to work from home. I could have focused more on growing my law practice helping those in need of good afforable legal help, or worked more hours at the startups that me, my husband and one of our friends founded (RentalRoost, Houserie, and GrayRoost - check it out!). But instead, I chose to channel my energy on this tiny human being that I created from scratch (with my fun, amazing husband Vik who is also my bff). I chose to embrace being a mom more than being a startup co-founder or an attorney. I feel incredibly guilty. Like I'm a bad feminist. Like Sheryl Sandberg is tsk-tsk-ing me right now for not leaning in. But at the end of the day, doesn't feminism just boil down to the beautifully simple quote by Rebecca West "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." But maybe being a feminist means being able to make that choice rather than just have it handed to you. I think most people are feminists. If you think that your mom/sister/daughter/girlfriend/wife is her own person and should be able to have the same rights as you, then you're pretty much a feminist. And there's nothing wrong with that.
I want to shout out to my little brother Harish who is one of the bravest people I know. In addition to just exploring and doing cool things, he was brave enough to just quit his job and start an awesome company to redefine design education (DesignLab). Even if we may fight as all siblings do, he inspires me every day to seize the day and to do things that scare me.
I also want to shout out to my incredible parents and also my friends. They have helped mold me into who I am today. They inspire me to be better, stronger, smarter, braver, more forgiving, more patient, and just all-around better.
And of course, my daughter. If every choice I ever made (both the terrible ones and the good ones) led me to Vik and to her, then I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
I will leave you with this:
* Always have lavender essential oil on hand. (E-mail me if you want to know why)
* You always have a choice in every situation, even if the only apparent choice is the way in which you react to it.
* Be kind. Each person is fighting their own battle you don't know about.
* Adopt a pup. It will change your life for the better!
* If you're so inclined, let's be friends!
SF Bay Area, CA