Is newness the other side of grief?
Our may newsletter speaks to the topic of newness. Newness reminds me of new clothes, fresh delights, trepidation, and nervous happiness. Newness can also take the tonality of harshness sometimes. The feeling of being yanked out of what was comfortable, safe and unquestioned.
As I put together the voices of our fellows at Pause for Perspective’s fellowship program I think about the rude awakenings, yanking into new ways of living, looking for meaning in the face of a steadily spiraling dystopian world that I have been experiencing in the last two years of my life. Covid happened, it’s still happening in ways that we are yet to reckon with, I let go of several ties that connected me to the world I was familiar with for well over three decades, some intentionally and some just because life happens. Is grief the other side of newness? And inversely is newness the other side of grief? Do we hold these together as we live this life that is swelling with such pain and so much joy all at once?
Pain is a seamlessly woven fabric of my days, just as joy is. While debilitating pain can stop everything in its heels and make us gasp for breath I find that the way we quiver and sigh, reach for people and conversations are our pools of respite and joy even. I seek life in the face of all that is burning and solidarity means to find ways to clear the table and make it possible for someone else to sit beside and enjoy a hearty meal of companionship, learning and being.
As I read these snippets of what our new fellows/therapists at Pause reflect on about newness I am deeply grateful to hold and to be held by these people who have come to join hands with Pause, as we grapple to understand life and its complex layers.
This year has been a whole journey through newness for me. New city, new job, new flat, and new flatmates. Along with all this newness has come a lot of overwhelm and the need to slow down and process my feelings. The feeling of aloneness, the feeling of unfamiliarity is something I had to sit down with. I realized I was missing the feeling of intimacy and home in a city. I have been in this new space for a few months now and what has helped me be here is the feeling of warmth I get from people around me, people I work with, live with and come across in my everyday life. I am continuing to look for more spaces and people to feel that warmth and belongingness with.
As I slowly get used to this feeling of newness, I am learning that from time to time, there will be a new season to life with new characters, plotlines, new settings, and new priorities and I will find my space in it.
The time when I moved here for my fellowship at Pause, everything felt new. New city, new environment, new workplace, new house & new people. Everything was so new around me, It felt amazing! To be honest, I was a li’l scared also. How, if you ask? It’s because I was experiencing so much newness around me, I realised how it can be beautiful & tough at the same time. *It’s like the new season of the story of my life!* I have a space where I can grow & learn, interact with people from different backgrounds, people coming from different cities & living together with them. It’s all so new for me and it’s really what I wanted but why I feel scared is because of the thought “will I be able to learn to accommodate myself with everything new around?” Experiencing new culture, new language, food & art has always been so fascinating.
What’s more beautiful though is the acceptance & inclusivity I see in my new workspace. Whosoever said, that you become the best version of yourself by getting out of your comfort zone was so right. I realised newness is not always bad it’s just the unfamiliarity that comes with it is what I was scared of! Gradually, I am embracing everything around me but that doesn’t mean that I ain’t scared anymore, it’s just that I feel okay with the discomfort I am experiencing (sometimes). I feel prepared for the challenges this newness is going to bring & I am loving every bit of it, mostly, the curiosity it brings for me. The fact, that I am okay with all this is such a beautiful feeling.
Writing about how newness feels is itself so new for me. But as I reflect back on the past few months, I notice how at ease I’ve been in this space. The people I work with have such genuine interest in well-being, are open and not afraid of being vulnerable, have such creative contributions to the work we do; and all of this is so new for me because I expected ‘workplace’ as having serious atmosphere, rigid boundaries in interactions and monotony.
What’s also new is the representation I’m surrounded by. Be it queer, anticaste, antipatriarchal, neurodivergence, anticapitalist, feminist, I have found voices that help me raise mine against the discourses. Pause is filled with newness, in its own ways; picture books, themed discussions, supervisions, staff immersions, events, projects and so many more. This brings out many new interests, reflections and perspectives in me.
There is newness in the friendships I have at Pause. It’s a kind of compassion I’d never expected to find at a workplace. I feel blessed to be a part of this group. Apart from this, I’ve found so many new likings like travelling to work in the metro, walking to office, sharing lunch with my folks, birthday celebrations, coffee with cookies and mostly, my life.
Newness for me was:
Getting out of my comfort zone and allowing space for myself and my child to grow
Discovering joys of learning and practicing narrative therapy
Being part of a young passionate team that has got my back
Getting back to old ways of travelling in trains
Deepening of my work and being able to reflect
Connecting with children from under-resourced schools
Confronting my pandemic anxiety and travelling in public transport
Using picture books in therapeutic interventions
Having a life away from home
Being able to hope for myself and the world around!!
We all thrive in having holding spaces where vulnerability is a given, where you are embraced for how you show up and, you make space for everyone to exist. We know fears lurk in corners we may visit from time to time and knowing joy is present in the very moment that pain shows, opens possibilities to breathe and grow. We hope our voices offer you a chance to delve into ways in which newness has arrived in your life.
Do share with us how newness is visiting you in your days?