What’s In A Legacy?

By Puja


I want to talk about leaving a capital “L” Legacy. First, let me take you on a journey, and maybe my crazy will make sense by the end. Not that “crazy” needs making sense, or that it is even “crazy” to begin with. Well now it is just rambling at this point. The point. Yes, let’s get to that.

I am that woman who does not want kids because I do not want to be a mother, ever. I do not see that as something that will ever change and I am not sad or guilty about this decision. But my circle of close girlfriends all have, or want kids in some shape (can you get a rectangular kid?). Fine ok. I can be fun Aunty/Mausi Puja. The one who always has killer sunglasses on no matter the time of day type of aunt. Then, because I am me, I started thinking about ‘well what if I go off the rails and my friends stop inviting me places?’ Because I REFUSE to stop using colorful language, or not talk as openly about the S-E-X, or enforce the belief that you need a mimosa EVERYday.  Basically, I can see how my habits are not something other people would want their kids to emulate (because I make spinsterhood look glamourous dammit).   So maybe because it was the whole ‘I do not want kids’ mentality that I didn’t really think about what it means to be an influence on them. But because I love my friends, and by extension their kids, I will make an effort to think about my capital “L” Legacy.

So what do I want the people around me to take away from my existence? Oh dear God, why did I choose to write about this? Ok, so let’s avoid the topic of our own mortality and think about capital “L” Legacy in terms of building a house while we are alive. Brick by brick until we have a structure for people to take comfort under/in when you are not around. Because we are off being glamorous, not because we shrugged our mortal coil. Ok right up my alley, I want to be an Influencer, a Tastemaker, a Trailblazer (but small contained fires, because #ForestFires). Great about what though? What great thing do I want to influence, blaze a trail to where? Well right back to square one is where. Shout out to circles (and mixed metaphors).

OK let’s attack this from another angle. What is something I wish I saw more of when I was growing up? Strong, successful minority women living independently and expressing some level of happiness. Oh God…that is one hell of an ask friends with kids. Can’t I just be ‘sweat suit’ Aunty Puja? No? Fine. Ok, I will try.  I think maybe it would be better if they see a woman struggling to find happiness and strive for success more than seeing the finished product. That way they know it isn’t just a reality you can will into being; it takes work, sacrifice, and more work to be who you want to be, to live your best life. Just be prepared for me saying ‘hey munchkin, sometimes crying into a plate of sushi is the only way to get over a setback’ once in a while. I will also do my best to show them what being an awesome sibling/friend looks like, tell them stories about your wild past with names changed for your protection, make them eat their vegetables, and love them. But when they go to bed, all bets are off.

As women’s history month comes to a close, I hope you are thinking about the women you may have learned about this month. How does their capital “L” Legacy affect you, or how does it play into your own Legacy? Does Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s turn as the Notorious R.B.G of late give you hope that your capital “L” Legacy will be just as affecting to those around you? I hope it does. The things you hope that evokes you doesn’t have to be grand esoteric concepts, but things you want to leave behind to make those around you better people. If you already thought about the bricks for your house, please share your wisdom.

Things keeping me sane this week: I am not sure if I kept sane last week. I have not been doing so well with keeping up with my workouts, and that has led to pounds gained and bad skin, and low energy. Blah. BUT there was one thing that motivated me: a new devotion to circuit/strength training. When my obliques got sore from the one hard workout I put in last week, that pain felt like accomplishment. Sometimes a good sweat session can reset you. Or seeing that bathing suit season is upon us. Capital “F” F-word.

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