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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

I Was Associating My Identity To My Achievements – That Was My Biggest Mistake: Rega Jha

  • IWB Post
  •  April 24, 2019

“You know, as children we’re given a script to follow till we die. Have a conventionally hot body, a fairytale romance, earn a lot. We get so engrossed in the ‘act’ that we forget to find our own identity,” says Rega Jha, the former editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed India.

Our society has some set ideas of “success” and while constantly chasing the next big thing in life, more often than not, we end up putting happiness, peace of mind, and mental health on the back burner.

In a recent interaction with Human’s Of Bombay, Rega opened up about her struggle with mental health and how the constant chase of perfection has cost her peace of mind.

“Since I was a child, I was hell bent on being an achiever – topper, head girl, getting into a good college, bagging a fancy job, earning, travelling & looking ‘good’. So by 25, I thought I’d checked all the boxes. I was editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed India, I was dating a kind, smart man, I lived alone & I was financially independent,” she shared.

However, despite all that she had, Rega had a constant gnawing that told her that something was amiss, that there was still something that was missing out from her life. As she shares, “Privilege was on my side. But something didn’t feel right. I’d set my life up as it was supposed to be, but my mental health was quietly protesting. It had come to a point where I’d wake up at night & cry for hours. I couldn’t be alone – if I was by myself, I’d feel anxious. I lashed out at friends & I’d have negative feelings. I was envious of strangers on Instagram! Even getting out of bed was a challenge. ”

That’s when Rega realised that all of this “needed this to stop.” She further shares, “So, I began therapy. It took a year, but I realised that I was associating my identity to my achievements – that was my biggest mistake. I decided to change. I began saving & once I was ready, I quit my job. It was hard, but it was the best thing for me.”

Since she decided to take control of life and focus on things that really mattered, things started unfurling in her favour. “It’s been 10 months since & I feel like a new person. I’m building a life that I like – I’m doing work that nourishes & pays me. I’m learning solitude & vulnerability. These aren’t impressive achievements, but they’re my favorite yet! It may not lead to promotions & marriage by 28, but that’s okay. I don’t want an ‘ideal’ anything. I just want to be happy!”

She also talked about how since our very childhood days we are handed over a “script” of life that we need to follow irrespective of whether it does justice to our soul or not.

Rega says, “You know, as children we’re given a script to follow till we die. Have a conventionally hot body, a fairytale romance, earn a lot. We get so engrossed in the ‘act’ that we forget to find our own identity. I’m lucky to have realised that I didn’t want to act anymore. Because now I know, the world isn’t a stage & joy isn’t something you perform. It’s knowing who you are when nobody’s looking.”

Image Source: Human’s Of Bombay’s Instagram 

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