I’m just back from a weekend visiting my family. A time for deep connection with those who know me most intimately, back in the house I grew up in. A time for reminiscing and replaying familiar jokes. A time for easy company, and well-established roles. In some senses a total reconnection with where I came from.
And yet, where am I now, and who am I now?
On some levels I’m still very much the same person, but so much has also changed on the inside and on the outside, and it’s a source of curiosity to my family.
My brother was incredulous that I was learning Sanskrit, my mother quizzed me about the Ganesha pendant and beads I wear, my father just looked mistrustful about everything. “You’ve gone all new-agey” was his terse — and rather offensive! — comment.
So I sneaked off to my bedroom to do my practice. My mother walked in on me sitting afterwards with my hands in añjali mūdra. Weirdly she felt the need to do a stage-whispered apology at the intrusion and back out the room, though I found out afterwards she’d come looking for me with a cup of tea so she could sit and watch my practice, as though it was some kind of performance.
I’m feeling weirdly guilty at not meeting the family’s expectations of continuity and familiarity, nor yet allowing myself to be a spectacle or to talk casually about things that mean so much to me.
Back in my own life, my path is all about welcoming change and seeing new possibilities. But somehow this seems a criticism of how things once were and what was offered to me by my family.
I feel like a closet-yogini.