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  • dharashah2907

2020, the year of 'Work from home'.

While the corona virus has halted the world, I have had a lot of time on my hand like everyone else to think & think & oh yes, wash my hands!

The small things that we never paid attention to and took for granted are the things we all miss now and cannot wait to resume doing those things again. Like I cannot wait to go back to a restaurant on a Friday evening with my friends (when I had decided that I would eat home and eat healthy) because I am just exhausted from the week. Or just go shopping at the mall because my wardrobe needs more of 'non-essential' items! Our lives have turned upside down.

The one huge shift that many of us have experienced is moving our professional life into our homes & 'working from home'; meaning doing the office work from home. I am one of the privileged ones who got to have a job in a pandemic & I couldn't have been more thankful. But this 'work from home' has not been easy for me.

Growing up in India & spending majority of my life in India, I inherited the mindset where work from home is not respected enough. What I mean is that any kind of work done from within the comfort of home is not respectable or considered 'work' enough. Like moms running around the house managing the entire family is taken for granted. There are many stereotypes especially in India that affirm that any kind of work from within your home is not valuable but rather, if you attend an office, you are of value. Staying at home is definitely looked down upon in India. Hence, the emphasis is given to work from an office outside of the home as that is more recognized kind of work. This has been my lived experience as a girl who grew up in India.

When the pandemic suddenly put me at home like the rest of the world & got me to do my professional work from home, it wasn't just an adjustment for me. It has been more of shifting of a mindset that I have unconsciously inherited from the culture and society that I grew up in. As much as I struggle to accept that in 'work' from home the only thing that changed was my 'physical location' & not the actual work that I do professionally, it is a constant battle with my head trying to unlearn the bias I have unconsciously inherited for professional work done from within the home!

With the realization that we are nowhere near to getting back to the same office routine, I constantly am training my mind to accept our new reality & breaking the stereotypical idea that only working from an office defines my independence as a girl from India.

Here's to more PJ's, no shower look, ZOOM & technology fatigue & to more savings because who needs pants & Sephora anymore!

Yours truly,

Dhara Shah

(from the quarantined edition diary)

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