Be Your Own Hero
As women, we wear many hats- daughter, wife, mother, homemaker, teacher, cook, leader, mentor, nurse, chauffeur… this list goes on, but we never think of ourselves as heroes. How others see you is sort of important BUT how you see yourself means everything.
Hello, I’m Priya, a mom, wife, daughter, software engineer, travel blogger, amateur artist.
I have been called hardheaded and impulsive, but I see myself as strong willed and creative.
Adventurous and artistic, I have always been passionate about art and have a love affair with far-away places. One of my fondest memories is a hiking trip in the Himalayas with my Girl Scout Troup. I was about 16 years old when we went on the trip to Kullu Manali, hiked on glaciers, rappelled across the raging River Beas and shared stories sitting around a campfire. I kept a journal during that trip with words and little sketches. For many years after, I used to document our family trips in a yearly album with photos, museum stubs, train tickets, and other memorabilia. That eventually turned into a travel blog.
Most families travel, whether it is to theme parks, camping trips, road trips, or a trip to grandma's house for the holidays. If we didn't move, we would grow roots like trees, traveling is in our nature. Our family is no different. I hold on to my travel experiences in the form of photos and words and now share them on my website (OutsideSuburbia.com). It serves as a creative outlet for me and helps me share travel inspiration and my story while normalizing American Indian Family Travel on social media. I’m happiest wandering in wildflower meadows, enjoying the crisp mountain air, or watching sunsets from a beach, anywhere away from suburbia and the sounds of city noises.
My Saree collection:
I won’t say I have a huge saree collection but I’m choosy about what I buy and what I wear and drape these days. During my school and college days, I favored half-sarees more than sarees. My first saree was a bright yellow (my favorite color) Mysore soft silk with a fuchsia border. Once I got married, I somehow gravitated towards contemporary sarees – statement making prints like SatyaPaul. It took me a few years to find my way to woven textiles, handspun, and handloom sarees. Now that I have, I love learning about them and supporting the artisans that make these beautiful pieces. Glorious examples of Indian craftsmanship. Each a work of art! This Patola saree, a recent purchase is one of my favorites -- I love the colors and the heart motif on it.
I have had many heroes inspire me through the years. My 10th grade English Ms. Vinetha, who instilled a passion for reading and writing, innocent laughter of little kids playing on the swing with no care in the world, women around the world who wake up every day to run their homes in all sorts of adversity, the grit of my friend who fought a rare cancer with so much grace, hardworking women like Jennifer Lopez who live life on their own terms and somehow seem to defy the laws of nature, American artist Georgia O'Keeffe who produced some amazing works of abstract art… I could go on and on.
But now that I’m 50, I have realized that I must be my own hero, celebrate my wins and stand up for myself.
My advice for the girls of today, the women of tomorrow:
Be aware of who you are (your strengths and weaknesses), be true to yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others (compete with yourself instead of others).
And always be kind (to yourself and the world).Celebrate yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Give yourself a round of applause. Look at yourself in the mirror and say girl; I don’t know how you do it all, but I am so very proud of you. You are my hero!
Photo Credit: Priya Vinod Recommended Saree: Emerald & Ruby Patola