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“Are you happy?”

I looked at her, this friend I’d known for over 2 decades, as she looked into my eyes, searching for the answer.

We were sitting there, as a light drizzle fell around us, touching us, not directly, but in those diagonal patterns that only rain can achieve.

We were talking about work and jobs and things we did to keep ourselves going. She asked how my new venture was going and I asked her how her freelance career was working out.

As we exchanged notes about the nitty gritty details, we realised there was more here than just a conversation about two friends catching up.

In these moments, we let fall a few things that we rarely do when we talk with people we haven’t known that long. We spoke about our reservations, the fact that things may not be moving along as fast as they should or as effortlessly as we’d expected.

Things that don’t get shared in tweets or Facebook messages or Instagram stories. Things that can only be spoken about with a friend you’ve sat next to, for 3 years in a stuffy college classroom.

And when she asked me that question, I paused. Because here is someone I could be myself with. I didn’t have to hide behind a facade of cheer or stay motivated. I could share anything.

For a brief moment, I thought about it. Was I happy?

Sure, the venture was challenging. Some days I felt like I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Other days I couldn’t stop myself from pouring all my energy into the work I loved.

But, at the core of it, was I happy?

And with a smile, I turned to her and said, ‘You know, I am happy. It’s something I never thought I’d be doing, not even a year ago. But it feels right. It feels like this is meant to be.’

Her face broke into a smile and she linked her arm in mine, saying, ‘I’m happy for you.’

And perhaps, that’s why we need friends. To tell us that our happiness doesn’t have to be a quiet one, but something that can be shared and cheered, with the ones we hold dear.

Happy Friendship day.

Slowly inching back to blogging, after a really long hiatus. There are a few changes coming to the blog and I am in equal parts nervous and excited about them. Later this month, this blog will turn 11 and I do feel that the time is right for the changes to take effect. Wish me luck as I set forth on this. 🙂

If you haven’t yet, sign up to my monthly newsletter here. I usually send out a single newsletter on the 1st of the month. August’s newsletter will be delivered between the 10th and the 15th this time.)

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Categories: Life Lessons

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Shantala · August 6, 2018 at 7:28 am

Yay! Welcome back, Shy! How is your hand doing now?

Btw (as you may know) I too took an unexpected blogging (and social media) break (for totally different reasons), 1 impromptu vacation, and several other shorter semi-planned trips. Totally unlike me. But so much fun!

I am so glad you got to catch up with an old friend. I’m sure it must have felt amazing to re-connect, and revisit old memories, while creating new ones. 🙂

    Shailaja · August 6, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Hand still hurts if I type for too long so I had to take extra time to write even this post.

    It was wonderful to reconnect although the circumstances were not the best. Also made me realise that life is short and we need to spend more time offline to meet up with friends and family.

    I’m really glad you took a break. Trust me. You would have needed it.

Rachna Parmar · August 6, 2018 at 10:32 am

I am so happy for the friend you met with. Indeed, just the other day I was speaking to a very close friend of mine over the phone. She was mentioning how even if it weeks before we talk, we just take off from where we left. And I feel that happens because of all the shared experiences and the length of our relationships. Yes, we can be so open with each other just like you mentioned in the post sharing our apprehensions and fears as easily as our joys and achievements.

Here’s wishing you all the best with the blog, writing and freelancing. Welcome back!

Nabanita Dhar · August 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

Glad to see you back to blogging. But take it slow. It feels good to see and read about people who are happy with what they do. As for me, I don’t know. I’m always conflicted abd also disappointed on most days at work. But am I happy overall? I think I am and blessed to for what I have and the love that keeps me going.

Vishal Bheeroo · August 6, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Happy friendship Day Shailaja. It’s a simple question among friends but needs introspection to touch the inner core of the soul to be the truth. One doesn’t lie to the self.

Modern Gypsy · August 6, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Glad you’re feeling better, Shy! And cheers to that feeling of feeling truly happy with what you’re doing, even with all the ups and downs that an entrepreneurial journey can bring.

Bellybytes · August 8, 2018 at 6:01 am

Glad to know you are feeling better . Was it acarpal tunnel that stopped you from working ? Am also glad you met an old friend . Stay happy and stay well

Rajlakshmi · August 8, 2018 at 9:02 am

A delightful read Shailaja, brought a smile on my face. A simple question and yet sometimes we have to look so deep within to truly know the answer.
So good to see you back… But don’t go all Type A on blogging now… Take good care. ❤

Shilpa Garg · August 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

How lovely it is to have such friends in our lives. Entrepreneurial journey has its ups and downs but it is one journey that is so satisfying and enriching.
Glad that your hand is better. Take care of yourself, Shailaja!

Aditi · August 10, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Yay! And I’m happy for you, too! I’ve always seen you as a blogging guru. Since the first time we connected n FB, I’ve seen you grow and how! And your confidence is so inspiring!
Happy Friendship Day! Love!

Parul Thakur · August 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm

How are you doing? Is the pain getting better? I am glad you are slowing inching back and I am excited to know about the new changes. 11 years and I have seen you become better and stronger. You are amazing and I love all that you bring to our blogging community. Be it your writing, your support to others and then your unflinching zeal.I am happy to know you and I wish you more happiness. hugs!

Chirag Mehta · August 13, 2018 at 12:35 am

Short yet sweet and touching post. For the most important aspect of life.

I take my blogging inspiration from you. Waiting for the unveiling of the changes in your blog on the 11th anniversary.

All the best for the many more milestones.

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