On the Cusp: Anchal Dimri

Exciting, scary, wild, free: there is something magical about the momentum of the moments when we’re almost there. In the not-quite-ready, but almost, we defy the pressure to change while we live the just before, in transition. It is difficult and exhilarating, sometimes discouraging and also invigorating. 

Here, four local women tell us about a time in their lives when they were on the cusp of something. We hope their stories inspire you to fully inhabit the not-quite-yet of your approach, and then to forge ahead into the new and unknown, confident in your ability to welcome with daring, joy and tenderness all that awaits you. 

Be brave: receive the many beautiful things.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Anchal Dimri: I think transitions are a part of life that corresponds well with the uncertainty of life. We all go through various transitions in life, major or minor, good or bad. Whatever they are, they are never easy; changes always bring confusions and instability in our mindset, but the best way to make this process successful is planning, preparing and accepting. I believe acceptance makes it easier. After all, life is nothing but a mindset. Changes force us out of our comfort zone either mentally, physically or both. For me, they are a process, and every process takes time. 

I personally have had various transitions in life, good and bad — like the most obvious one — leaving my country to live the American dream. The best transition has been becoming a mom, and the worst one was losing my dad — the healing process took forever, and the only thing that eventually healed me was remembering him in good ways. When you lose a loved one, you also lose a bit of yourself. 

Transitions also bring lots of good things like excitement, experience and sometimes even a surprise. We are unknown of our own potentials until challenged by our capabilities. So, to keep life moving in the right direction, we have to keep welcoming transitions.

Music and running are my best friends. As I say, we always understand each other. Running or being active is not an important aspect of my life — it is my life. I don’t need much to be happy but just my headphones and a run. That is the time when I connect with myself. A time when I am not thinking about anything else or anyone else but me. (Although I obviously love my company.)

In 2014, after I got pregnant with my daughter, because of minor complications, I had to give up running until she was born. So, I enjoyed my pregnancy and gained a considerable amount of weight in a petite body frame. I felt so not me, uncomfortable — the feeling of being captured in a wrong body — but at the time, the joy and excitement of becoming a mom surpassed all.

The hardest part was going back to running or even to start walking. With months passing by, getting back was only becoming harder. One hundred pounds of weight gain, a C-section, back problems and a colic baby just added to it all. After months of thinking, there was the day I decided, “I have to.”

I guess more than physical, it was the mental determination and strength that helped me to get back. I kept my goals very small and realistic. Like I started by walking 10 minutes if that was what my body allowed at that time. I knew transitioning back was a process and would take time, patience, dedication and perseverance. And yes, after a year, my dedication paid off when I successfully completed my first City of Roses Marathon two years after the birth of my daughter. 

When I look back, the most difficult part in this process was me taking time out for myself. I had to sacrifice that one hour of not being with my daughter but running. It sometimes made me feel guilty, made me think if I was being selfish? But then I listened to my mind and thought it was OK. It was OK to take back half an hour for myself in a day. After all, my daughter deserves a strong and happy mom. Sometimes, as women — as moms — we forget about ourselves and our individuality and our personal goals. 

I feel any transition in life smaller or bigger is not easy, but what makes the process achievable is our mindset. A positive mindset — it is OK to lose, it’s fine. Don’t be too hard on yourself — it’s just life! We are not here forever — all we can do is give it our best. 

 

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Her love for the Osage Trail: I have always been a nature lover. Running through the trails gives me joy and peace. The rawness, freshness and peace are beyond anything else in the world. I feel like I belong there. Nature heals me emotionally. I enjoy being outside, so I love any activities that can keep me away from city kiosks like hiking, trekking, camping, etc. 

My personal favorite trail is the Osage Trail. Since I moved to Cape, I have always lived around that area, so it has always been accessible, and it’s beautiful.

After years of on and off from running, a couple of injuries, growing old — all these factors have made me realize all days are not the same, and so is the life. Life is full of ups and downs and uncertainties. We do not know what tomorrow will bring to us. Whenever I finish a run strong, I feel blessed and fortunate. But many times, I am not able to — we have to adjust and make changes to our plans as a reaction to something unexpected in life. But that’s what makes life unexpectedly interesting.

Many times when I don’t have time or when I have an injury or when I am tired, I take it easy. I give it time but always come back to it. 

 

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

How becoming a mother has changed her: Yes, tremendously. Being a mother is a blessing; I personally never felt I was mentally ready for it until it came to me. I guess I doubted my capabilities of being a mom. 

It has made me a more loving, stronger and patient person. I believe I would have never understood the true meaning of love if I didn’t have my daughter. I experienced the most sacrificing, endless and selfless love because of my daughter, Aadi. 

About re-discovering her passion for dance: I can’t be more thankful to the Dancing with Show Me Stars team, especially Dwana Leible. I can say this opportunity came to me at the most perfect time in my life. Because of this, I was able to relive the lost passion of my life, which was dancing. I not only met the most wonderful people because of this show, but this show proved to be a turning point in my life.  

I had always been a dancer back in my school days. I did some stage shows, etc., but never took it to the next level. While we were growing up, we didn’t have all these opportunities or exposure/platforms like we have nowadays — for example YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. 

So, after this show, I decided not to stop dancing. I guess I didn’t want to give away that feeling of joy and achievement. I started my YouTube channel and Instagram for my dance videos, as well as began offering online Bollywood dance classes. 

This feeling is very personal and very special to me — I am doing it for the fulfillment of my passion. We work every day to live, earn a livelihood, and do lots of things for our family, friends and kids, but this one was for me, just for me — I didn’t expect anything in return. What I learned is that life gives us all opportunities; we just have to recognize, grab and pursue them. Never, ever give away something you are passionate about. These hobbies and unconventional things make life interesting. I am never giving up my dancing this time — until my bones eventually give up! Ha ha 

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Her outlook on life right now: With time, age and everything else happening around me, I feel the transition within myself, especially after becoming a mom. I feel more inclined towards my family, country, culture than I ever did. The feeling of belonging is missing somewhere. And I am searching for an unmaterialistic purpose in life. I am directing more towards spirituality and self-realization and trying to find the things that matter most to me.

Now that I realize how difficult it is for me to be away from my daughter for even a day, I am questioning my decisions of whether living an American dream was worth staying away from my family? The time of happiness, festivals and the difficult times when they needed us. Not sure where this transition will lead me in the future, but I feel I will always have a regret in my heart of not being able to be with my family all these years. But this is life — you give away one thing to get another, and you never get it all.

 

Dress and earrings: Stash in Cape Girardeau

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