‘My career failed. Everyone kept asking, ‘What are you doing these days?’ I’d just want to run away. I didn’t know what to tell them. I had no answers.’

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“A few years ago, I would call myself a career oriented, smart, working girl who had ambitions and goals in life. While my friends were still partying and holidaying post-college, figuring out what to do ahead, I was already working towards my goals.

I took up a job at a start-up and started off really well. I worked hard and soon was promoted to the Digital Marketing Team. THIS WAS THE DREAM JOB I WORKED HARD FOR. I was so happy. With new designation came a lot of new roles and responsibilities, but no extra money (which I deserved post promotion). I didn’t let it bother me. I continued to work hard and smart and kept telling myself, ‘Work hard, money shall follow. Just give it some time.’ I kept taking up new tasks, worked on my days off, cancelled holidays. I kept doing what a good employee should do, but it didn’t help.

Slowly, my zeal and enthusiasm started turning into frustration. The job I loved the most, the one I worked hard for … I just didn’t enjoy doing it anymore. I loved my work but I felt like they were using me to get the best out of one person at minimum cost. This made me really sad. I was giving my best. More than an employee should. I treated it as my own company but what did I get in return? Nothing. My 2.5 years just went down the drain.

My dad disliked that I worked for a minimal pay. He would always ask me to join his business so he could teach me all he knows. His profile was finance & absolutely different and opposite to mine. But being frustrated with work, I finally decided to join him.

In India, having a male child is of utmost importance. They carry the business, legacy, etc. My father was blessed with 2 daughters and always missed having a son. I thought if I join him, I’d learn to be more like him and he wouldn’t regret not having a male child.

However, it didn’t work out as expected.

In a few months, markets crashed. Our daily money-making scenario turned into a huge loss. Ups and downs are a part of business, but all we saw was the downside. Slowly, it became worse. It was too much for me.

We were losing money. We weren’t able to get hold of our own money to repay our losses. Cash inflow was stuck and we had a million calls to answer from people who we were supposed to pay off. We were in a fix. We lost a huge amount of money which my father worked hard and saved for us, for our future, me and my sister’s marriage etc.

I would hate waking up in the morning. I absolutely hated it! This went on for a few months… It was worse … much worse than my words can tell.

We would work from home so I would hardly see/meet people as I just preferred to pass out post work. Still, I couldn’t sleep well at nights thinking about what was going to happen tomorrow. The stress and dread was endless.

I would never go and meet anyone. I would just be in my own world. Normally, I was just the opposite of this. I would sit and think day and night about how to convey that I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t handle the pressure. It would make me cry day and night. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. I would see myself as a failed person in life. Everything was just dark & sad around me. I lost weight. Everyone thought I was sick.

I was stressed and depressed and I had no idea what to do. I would pray and ask god each day, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ I didn’t know what to tell people about my work, life, etc. Nothing was going right.

I couldn’t leave my dad hanging in there by himself so I decided to be his strength and go through everything without telling him I was suffering.

‘It’s just a matter of a few days. Everything will be alright,’ he said. And it was true. But it took a toll on me and he finally began to see it.

One day, he just looked at me and said, ‘You don’t have to do this if you don’t like it. I know things didn’t go as planned but this is part of our business. I shall take it from here. I know this is affecting you, I see it. You are free to do whatever you want to do. I shall support you.’

I felt happy and sad at the same time.

In few days, I stopped working with him. But it didn’t make me feel better.

I was not willing to step out. I was scared. I was scared to step back in the corporate world because I felt like I knew nothing. I had no clue about what was happening around. I was stuck in one place and would compare myself to others. I just kept thinking about how one decision just changed my life. My friends who weren’t doing anything at all, were all now at good positions making good money etc. Where am I? What am I doing?  What am I going to do next? I had no answers to these. My emotions were out of control. I’d cry for small things or nothing at all. I’d lose my temper in a second.

Most importantly, nothing could make me happy or smile. I failed.

I’d try hard to forget the sad experiences and look forward but no! I just couldn’t. I lost confidence. I started doubting myself and my abilities. I thought I could never do anything at all. I was anxious. I hated meeting new people.

Every time someone asked me, ‘What are you doing these days?’ I’d just want to run away. I didn’t know what to tell them. Slowly, I just became too comfortable avoiding people and doing absolutely nothing.

One day, I broke down in front of a friend. I told him what I was going through and I couldn’t think straight. I told him, ‘I feel I am good for nothing and I won’t be able to do anything. I ruined my career.’ This is what he told me:

‘You inspire me. You have always inspired me. I am sad to see a person like you feel so terrible. You are an inspiration for many of your friends and they look up to you. This is a small battle and you, my friend, cannot lose it.’

My sister has been my constant support and has always showed great confidence in me. She has loved me when I have failed to love myself. She has always stayed by my side. Handled my impulsive behavior. She would always tell me not to give up. You are overthinking. You did well and you still can do well. She said, when I literally had no control over my thoughts, ‘Overthinking is killing you. Stop thinking. Start Acting.’

While I am still worried about getting a job, starting from scratch at 28 and figuring out how to make money, I had to push myself to do few things that help me break free…

Speaking about it makes me feel better. I have finally accepted that this has happened and now I have to move on. I forced myself out of my house to meet new people. I stopped anticipating change. I brought change. I shooed away negative thoughts by doing things I loved to do. I’d dance, explore a new place or take pictures. I kept telling myself, ‘It’s all in your mind! Your situation is not as bad as you think it is.’ It’s never too late to start again.

I started traveling. I took small trips. I met new people and it was helping me. Travel worked for me like a therapy. I couldn’t go to all these expensive places because I didn’t make any money but I went small nearby places that I could afford and that worked too.

Courtesy of Ranak Trivedi

To overcome my insecurities and self-doubt, I started capturing more pictures of myself and started posting them online. I know I am beautiful but I don’t know why validation or it coming from other people was more important. Initially, I started sharing all dark and sad pictures and shared my stories and feelings with everyone. I loved how I had created a small family on Instagram who loved what I was doing.

Now, I share my travel and lifestyle pictures and they are proud of me. I am looking forward to starting my own blog and sharing all the beautiful things in life and inspiring people to love and embrace themselves and travel to beautiful places. I hope to make a platform where I can share my experiences and people can come read and feel free to talk to me about it.

I will not let anyone feel that they are not alone. This life is beautiful. If I can make myself happy, then anyone can.

These few years have been the worst years of my life. Personally and professionally. I’ve been lied to, cheated and sullied for fancied offenses. At the same time, business went down accompanied by stress, anxiety, and self-doubt.

I have been unstable. I needed to relax, reenergize, love myself, and be free from unwanted emotional attachments. Some things just strip away structure, essence and drive you out of your life. You just got to deal with it.

I blocked myself from my own people without realizing that I was loved. Loved by people who value me for who I am and the love I have for them. I want to thank all my friends for constantly loving, motivating, helping, and believing in me when I myself couldn’t.”

Courtesy of Ranak Trivedi

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ranak Trivedi. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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