The month was full of learning. 2020 was hard, getting hit by a pandemic no one had seen the likes of. But 2021 was the slow, grueling grind back into a world that will never be the same. The soul-crushing realisation that all things break – stability, connections & worst of all, hope. I lost my whole self to this pandemic.

TRUTH. August brought me back to life, piecing together from debris, things I’ve never owned. Starting with losing a dear friend & the myriad shades that grief takes, in showing me I had to face them because all defenses had been lost but also – that I could. Love, too.

STRENGTH. I’ve always felt like an imposter when people have called me strong. This label gets hung on me by those who want to exploit me. But it doesn’t make the label untrue. My bicycling buddy marvelled at my confidence in riding through traffic. “Fake till I make it.” I admitted. She laughed & said, “It works.” She’s a Leo, she gets it. But she also paused & said, “You’re so secure in your own skin. You never try to pull other people down. You’re good. Strong & confident.” And suddenly, it felt true. It was validation, not exploitation. It’s ok to need that..

VULNERABILITY. I got hit, once, twice, more. By slight strangers firing envy. By new acquaintances aiming jealousy. By loved ones reeking callousness. I was also held. By once strangers. By sudden friends. I let them all do what they do, be who they are. It let me see why they do the things they do. It let me see it’s not about me. And finally, it showed me how to be me, despite as well as along with them being them.

VANITY. I went out, dressed up & dazzling. It felt like dusting off a crown that used to make me feel good, that I hadn’t looked at in a long time. So many people stared openly, blatantly that it annoyed me. Men, women, couples, families. I glared back. Then I remembered my conversation with my friend. I squared my shoulders, adjusted my mane & paraded for my public. Because that’s what a queen does.

COURAGE. There is owning who you are & I think that shines through, after your defenses have crumbled, your excuses have fallen away.

Thank you, Leo month. You were kind.

f you liked this post, you’ll want to follow theΒ Facebook PageΒ and theΒ Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m onΒ Twitter, Instagram & Clubhouse.

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