Hello! For all those who are celebrating, wishing you a fabulous Dusshera! I want to catch you up on how things have been with me. This year has been full of new beginnings – sometimes false starts, and at other times, happy progress. I changed the name of the blog and website from Once Upon A Tea Time to Collectivitea- another new beginning. When I started blogging 8 years ago, my husband and I were in the process of renovating our house. I was interested in everything interior design.  But over time, I became more interested in how much the home reflected the people that lived there. Because we all make statements with our choices. Some part of us is declaring I am this, or I am that. Homebody. Nomad. Geek. Bookworm. Wanderer. Cool. I don’t careI am a bohemian. I am a minimalist. And so on. The more I heard, the more curious I became about all the different choices we make, and the reasons we make them. Hence, Collectivitea, all of our stories (with a nod to our love for tea!).

Collectivitea

This should really be the end of the post but is anything ever that simple?! The blog has always been a reflection of my own personal growth and journey. As I learnt more, I wanted to do more, write more and share more with this fabulous community that has grown around the blog.  So today, I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve learnt this year as I went through this process of changing who I (and by extension, the blog) was.

1. The best and worst part of growing up (and older) is that you start to see less of the black and white, and more of all the shades of gray in between. It’s great because you judge less, and you become more willing to listen and be more inclusive. It has also made me less certain of what I know, and I find generalities really jarring.

2. Change is usually good (I can’t seem to write a single sentence without wincing at its generalized nature). The simplest way that I deal with change is to see when am I happier- before or after. Even if something is difficult while its happening, as long as you are going to be happier, a day, a month or a year from now, I think it’s important to embrace it.

3. To persist is key- if it’s important enough to you, persist in your efforts. Whether its building a business or striving for a goal at work, learning to play a musical instrument or language- put in the time, make the effort, work hard. Now, it may not work out or may not grow as fast as your expected, but if you really want something, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. Embrace and revel in your pace of growth!  In today’s world, a viral app, social media platform or online game may make you a multimillionaire in record time. Yay! But for most things, slow and steady progress is still the way to go. Show up, work hard and do your best.

4. Finally, do what makes you happy! I love writing here. OUATT started out with a focus on decor- I do plan on sharing home tours because we all love seeing different homes,  but I hope that we can discuss more that just that. There is so much that we can learn from each other and I hope that Collectivitea will be the place you visit to find something beautiful to add to your day- a story of a woman working in marginalized communities in Mumbai to bring them more sustainable livelihood options. A creative entrepreneur in Guatemala dedicated to showcasing  weaving traditions. A gorgeous home in London. Art. Textiles. Tea. Candid conversations. Plus our ever expanding marketplace of independent sellers! To be very honest, I felt like I’d lost my blogging voice in the transition from OUATT to Collectivitea. Even though I wanted the change and needed the growth, I still felt paralyzed by it. The only way I could move forward was to keep on writing- whether it was just to share a thought or something more. So if something makes you happy, find the time and space to do it. To paraphrase Liz Gilbert in Big Magic, you don’t have to give up your job or start with a radical change, just start doing little more everyday of what makes you happy.

In many Indian communities, today is the day for new ventures and new beginnings- from starting a new class or program to opening a new business or starting music or dance with a teacher- I want to wish everyone the very best! It’s another new beginning for Collectivitea because we are widening our support for social enterprises with features on organizations that work on diverse causes + instituting a give back program to help support education for girls. I am still working out the ‘how’ of it and if you have any suggestions or ideas, please write to me. Happy International Day Of The Girl Child! As always, I love hearing from you, so do chime in with your comments or you can write to me. – Priya

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