The masks we wear – 1

I don’t recall when I first read this article. But at some point in 2016, it became important to me. 

I started playing cricket in 1991. The 1992 world cup was a massive event for me – and Martin Crowe was my hero. Sachin too. 

I wanted to be like Martin Crowe. Not necessarily a cricketer, but a high performer. I wanted to be respected and admired. Being competitive wasn’t enough – I had to be at the top. That kind of thinking caused much stress and angst in my life all through.

Fast forward 24 years. Martin opened up about how he struggled to cope up with having to perform all the time. 

He spoke about how stressed he was and how he felt like wearing a pretenders mask. 

By then, I had recognised my own flaws, anxieties and had started working on myself. Everything Martin wrote about, I could relate to. It was a relief to see him open up. I spent the next 3 years working on myself. 

I can say I am much more accepting of myself today, more at peace than ever and more happy just ‘being’ instead of ‘becoming’. It’s still a journey though.

Once I opened up with close friends, many of them have gotten back to me with surprising revelations themselves – that life is no less hard for them too, again largely self-created.

Over the next few days, I’ll share more of my journey and how I coped/am coping with it. My intention is to make it useful for someone going through a similar journey. I don’t need a ‘take care’ message or sympathies. I believe I have done alright inspite of the battles I have created for myself.

For every Dravid or Sachin out there, there’s a Crowe or worse, Vinod Kambli. Oh, you never know until Sachin and Dravid open up too.

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