Mute button allows you to mute all the nonsense happening around
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

You can’t Mute Family in Real Life!

Pallavi Agarwal
3 min readAug 23, 2021

Many young adults hopped up on free spirit, dream of getting away from their family, to go experiment and live on their own terms! Of course, not everyone. But for the select few, the freedom from constant worrying, nagging or just random advice means the world in some handful moments.

When I entered college, I felt that freedom flowing through me. The thrill of independent decision making, the non judgmental friendships, no curfew night-outs, brought out a confident side of me I never imagined possible.

I enjoyed tons of moments of freedom. But it felt incomplete when conflict struck with besties or at work; when I had to make life altering decisions, or when I had to celebrate my accomplishments or mourn over my losses.

It was family that I missed in those moments. Why? That’s what I wanted to get away from.

When the pandemic hit, I resorted to being with family. That’s when family reentered my life. But this time around it was different. They probably treated me differently because I was an adult, or I an adult had grown up to have a different perspective towards them. I saw a different fun yet annoying side of them. Still frustrating though. Being closely attached to them during the pandemic brought joys in many moments, and reminded me of all the reasons why I couldn’t wait to be away from them.

When in such situations at work, I could just mute my meetings and take a breath to then refocus and realign. However, that wasn’t true with family.

Through life in pandemic I literally and figuratively realized I could mute everyone including my office colleagues, but not my family.

Creating a special workspace didn’t matter a lot either. It was helpful, just not helpful enough. While I was on a conference call and having serious work conversations, my mom would laugh hysterically at a boring soap opera episode in background. My brother would string at his guitar obsessively feeling the spirit of Metallica itself reenter his guitar.

While generally I would get annoyed, today was different. After knowing what was happening all around the world I felt a sense of belonging. A sense of warmth that I was with family.

They cared in their own, loud, opinionated…

Pallavi Agarwal

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