Highlight of the Week
A Herculean Ode from a Humorously Hungry Hustler
Six months ago, I logged in to a zoom meeting not knowing what to expect.
Glancing across the screen, I was there trying to recall their discord introductions, attempting to associate an introduction to an actual live-screen human.
As some of them typed “excited to be here” in the zoom chat,
my brain instead hit the self-destruct button and wondered, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
Yup, screaming thoughts.
I mean, seriously. These were some brilliant, accomplished folks.
How did I even manage to get Shelton and Raj believe that I could “add value” to this cohort?
My downward spiral was broken by Raj’s words - “If you are here, it means you have something to say”.
Then began the classic & evergreen 1-1s.
Some 10-12 catch-up calls later, I realised I was not the only one feeling a particular kind of way.
The awkwardness died down.
Conversations turned into inside jokes.
Zoom acquaintances became game night addicts - aka Gamers Anonymous meetings.
If you’re wondering, the imposter syndrome never really did go away.
Except now, there were people helping each other get over it.
These accountability buddies, if I may call them that, hyped me up for my wins and made sure they told me to own it all.
I had heard how competitive these programs can get.
But here? Here, there were a bunch of smart people lending me a helping hand whenever I needed one.
A community that wanted to see me win, that’s rooting for me to win.
Over the last 6 months, I was that typical last bencher who had first bencher friends. The fact that I would finish reading the prompts at 9:28 AM for a 9:30 AM class is a whole other story.
When I couldn’t understand things, it was the Notion notes of my friends (you know who you are) that came to the rescue.
But for me, the take-home was the learning outside these classes.
It was in the conversations I have had with most of you.
The reassurance that choosing a different path could be difficult but not wrong.
That sometimes when you are stuck with a difficult problem, all you need is a difference in perspective.
All you need is to stop and care enough to listen.
Here, I found friends I will cherish for life.
I mean, I went on a month-long workation in Himachal with one of them.
So, in case you all want to compare the city meetups to doing that, I’ll just leave this tiny little extremely apt representation here:
Before I leave, I would like to say a little something for the brilliant women of Stoa -
We have spent many evenings giggling, joking and “ranting” about our lives.
As much as I enjoyed our breezy banter, I’ve been honoured to share in the unseen burdens we carry everyday & be able to help to lighten them - or at least so I have thought - through our conversations.
I am glad I found a place where I could come and ask “silly” questions and also talk about the things we usually don’t.
I will hold all of these conversations close to my heart.
Thank you for being your unapologetic selves.
You are all badasses.
Know that you will always have a place to come back to, to lighten the load.
So I guess, this is it. Thank you for letting me take a peek into your lives.
I’ll see you on the other side, in memes, twitter replies and discord threads.
I’ll leave you all with a line from Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
The next time you have to make a bizarre decision, ask yourself this. I do, everytime. It works like a charm.
Just to induce the tiniest bit more fomo though, here is us on Grad Night, with the best view.
Birthday Parttaaayy! 🥳 🎂
27th September - Raja Ramamoorthy, Sneha Prajapati
29th September - Pratyush Mittal , Abhishek Banerjee and Hrishi Wadki
30th September - Noah Martins
1st October - Rhea Rodrigues, Rahul Karwa
3rd October - Soubhik Hazra, Saif Ali
Community Buzz 🐝
This week on Discord:
In case you missed last week’s Speed Friending - you may be able to find some respite to your FOMO here
If you’re a Cohort 4 fellow, we have three independent, unofficial servers run by Stoa fellows, that you will find invites to here. One for Game Nights, the other for Meditators and the third for those on a Fitness journey.
From the desk of Mr. Sriram Nataraj
Fellows Rocket🚀Shipping🚢 Content
Writing as a Weapon (WaaW) ✍🏼⚔️
Ramasamy wrote about the potential for an E-Waste solution here
What have you wanted to create? Aayush took it a step further!
For Stoans by Stoans
Meme Wars 🥲
This week’s shiny new winner of Best Meme goes to …………
The fellow digest brought me back to this beautiful letter from Hritika. Thank you!
Hey, this is such a heartfelt letter Hritika. Thanks for sharing it 👍🏽.