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Community members on the times not getting what they wanted ended up being the best gift of all

by Ashima

As the year ends, we’re reminiscing the universe’s many blessings in disguise. 

By Amornrat Sidhu

The Dalai Lama once said, “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Initial feelings of sadness can sometimes turn into relief when we look back at the way things have unfolded. I spoke to five Thai-Indians who share their stories of how not getting what they wanted actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

30 Years Old, Architect 

At the end of 2017, I was put in a tough position. I had to leave my full-time job as an architect in Chennai to move to my husband’s ancestral home in suburban Uttarakhand. I’m from an extremely career-oriented family and was working in a well-established firm doing what I loved, so it was very stressful to be in a position where I had to leave stability for a journey filled with uncertainty!

Despite initial concerns about uprooting my life, I began using my energy to make a positive diff erence. My husband and I are currently working towards creating awareness and developing solutions for sustainable farming practices. Right now, we’re using our creativity to develop products out of agricultural waste and focusing on initiatives to reduce crop burning between farming cycles, a huge issue in northern India during winter time. I would’ve never dreamt of pursuing this, but it’s wonderful that I’m now using my time to save the environment and the lives of communities around me so “Thank you, Universe!”

30 Years Old, Designer

Earlier this year, my husband and I planned to volunteer in McLeod Ganj (suburb of Dharamshala), India, for two months and then spend another month travelling around the Himalayas. However, due to the pandemic, our plans were disrupted and we ended up staying in McLeod Ganj for five months! There was little to no internet and no TV. We were far away from home, not to mention, far from a large city that could give us access to an airport during lockdown.

What we thought would cause us panic actually turned out great. We were surrounded by nature and learned to appreciate wildlife, relished night skies full of stars, observed the winter snow melt to give way to spring, and made lifelong friends. I even reconnected with my creative side through painting. I’ve always been passionate about becoming more environmentally conscious, but this break from city life amplified my appreciation for a slower, more eco-friendly lifestyle, so “Thank you, Universe!”

22 Years Old, University Student 

When I visited the UK as a child, I was enchanted by London and vowed to come back for my tertiary education. Growing up, I remembered this wish for years, but when it came time to apply for courses, I couldn’t find a psychology course that suited my specific requirements. And so, I decided to grudgingly accept a course I liked better in Australia.

I’ve since realised that Australia’s Gold Coast was actually the perfect fit for me. I enjoyed everything from the culture to the lifestyle, the weather was always great for a tan and winters were so mild that they were nicknamed “hoodie weather”. I spent some of the best years of my life there and, if given the chance, I would do it all over again, so “Thank you, Universe!”

28 Years Old, Teacher

I was looking for international work prospects that would offer travel opportunities and a competitive salary. I got a few offers abroad, but the packages were either limited or there was poor communication from the schools. I finally decided to send my CV to a prominent international school in Delhi. However, when I did not hear back from them, I decided to take up an option that I was avoiding: working at home. As soon as I signed the contract with the school I’m currently working for, the school in Delhi told me they wanted me urgently. However, because I signed with my current school the day before, I had to turn the offer down. I felt gutted because I really wanted the opportunity to travel before I settled down.

Now that I look back, I’m so glad that things turned out the way they did. With COVID-19 and all of its uncertainty, I could’ve been stuck in a lockdown in Delhi for months—ALONE. I wouldn’t have been able to go to work, I wouldn’t have been able to travel, and I would’ve been far away from my family for a long time. So, I want to tell the universe, “Thank you!”

30 Years Old, Director of Soulful Serenity

After moving to Mumbai to study, I landed a job at a PR firm. Even though I was on the mandatory probationary period, I was assigned work with one of the firm’s largest clients. Due to different cultural norms and the newness of the job, I found the tasks daunting. On top of everything, I injured my wrist, which made it hard to perform many day-to-day jobs. My colleagues weren’t supportive either, so I dreaded going to work, to the point where it really affected my mental health. Within a month and a half, I decided to resign, after which I was threatened with a lawsuit for no reason. The whole thing left me drained.

Although I was disappointed that the job didn’t work out, it was the push I needed to begin Soulful Serenity. I had already started the Instagram page, but I only had the time and motivation to prioritise it after I left the firm. My experiences made me realise the importance of emotional well-being and I wanted to guide people to see the best versions of themselves. Since then, I have trained in and offer guided meditation, the Shoheili Healing Method, and reiki treatments. I have also developed my own affirmation programme, so now when I look back at how much I wanted to excel at that job, I’m so thankful the universe screamed, “No!”

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