Mandeep Hayre is the face behind ‘Manni’s madness.’ A blogging platform which she transcribes her thoughts and feelings in the hope her words help another individual. Having overcome a lot through her life, she is an inspiration to us all. Proving that it is okay to be divorced yes, you can be happy, and yes, there is life away from societal expectations of being a daughter in law, a mum and a wife.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m Mani, 36 from a small town up north called Scunthorpe. I currently live in Birmingham, working as a Business Development Manager for the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce. I also have a blog www.manismadness.com where I highlight stories about my life, my dating adventures, and just general life musings, hopefully, told with a bit of humour as I think I’m the funniest person I know!
What inspires you?
I would say, people; good positive vibes overall inspire me. They motivate me to want to do better. I never give myself enough credit for how smart I am, so sometimes being challenged intellectually inspires me to learn more.
What are the books that have greatly influenced your life?
My friends, my sister and I have a vast collection between us, we just swap and change and recommend books to each other. Obviously Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings is a happy time haha! As a child, I read a lot of horrors as I loved the suspense. “The Shining” by Stephen King, is one of my all-time favourites. In the last few years one of my favourite books which i have read, was a thriller called “Western Fringes” by Amer Anwar. It stood out to me because very rarely have I come across an Asian protagonist in that genre. Growing up where I did read a lot, I ‘didn’t necessarily think about characters in a story as needing to be diverse; it never really bothered me so seeing this in ‘Western Fringes’ was very refreshing. However, as an adult, I wish I could read more!
What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?
In recent times and for myself, I would say one of the most significant purchases for me was a bunch of little things I bought from Home Bargains and B&M. They were things like candle holders, a vase, some fake plants and a mirror; my house went from a house to a home with these small purchases, and it’s the first time the house I bought myself felt more like mine.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?
I guess the ’biggest’ failure’ was my marriage, it wasn’t a happy time so becoming a divorcee may seem like a failure for some but the impact and change it had on my family – a positive one at that – has made me the person I am now. I may be single and living by myself in a city away from my parents, however it is the first time in my life that I am doing things I want to do for me. They raised me right so they know I’m never going to let them down. While there is so much I want to achieve, the fact that I’m happy living a life without the societal pressures of the norm of marriage and children for my age is an accomplishment within itself. Marriage, kids, and expectations have the power to make people feel uncomfortable, and society may perceive that I haven’t achieved much, but for me, I’m feeling incredibly content and successful. Also, I wish I’d trademarked ‘Divorce Parties’ as I had one and then they became a thing lol!
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?
I guess I don’t necessarily live by a set of mantras or quotes but the one I like to use as an example is the turtle tattoo on my ankle, a metaphor for my life, that it doesn’t matter what age you are or what stage you are at in life, slow and steady wins the race.
The other quote I love is ‘the only constant is change,’ more people need to hear this as whatever is bothering us now or upsetting us will pass, and it will be a distant memory. The same with successes so always be humble and kind.
In the last 2 years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
I actually think in the last two years my behaviours and habits have got worse! When I lived with my parents my life was reasonably structured- I would be able to go to the gym in the evenings around my social life and keep the same routine. Now, here, living on my own, my life is so hectic. I don’t always get the chance to look after myself physically or mentally. BUT what I have learned is my belief in my faith, I think as I get older, it is getting stronger.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the real world?
The advice I would give is take that drive into the real world and don’t always assume to be the smartest; stay humble, be attentive, life never stays the same you will constantly be learning. In terms of the real world of work, NETWORK, make sure you take in as much as you can, even from menial tasks it will set you up in a way to make you appreciate how a business functions at all levels.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
The last two years have been a real test for me. I’ve felt emotions that have been dormant for years. Loneliness has been a big one, since I first moved but still lingers. In those instances, I force myself out of my comfort zone. What I find myself saying out loud to get my attention back or to motivate me when I feel overwhelmed is yelling ‘STOP NOW’ at myself. I tell myself I’m getting sick of hearing this BS, man up because no one else will do it for me but me. It works a lot of the time, and it is what keeps me going, to put a smile on my face and get through the day.
Tell us something that would surprise us about you?
I’m a very shy, anxious person!! I know people don’t believe me as I’ve been called chatty, gobby and very sociable, and I am those things. But often when I’m with my family, I would rather just be present than be the one chatting away. The social anxiety can almost be crippling, and this is where I tell myself to ‘just do it’ it’s temporary, and in my line of work, I know people will find that surprising as I network a lot! My job is to sell, and sales people don’t get anxious right?! That would just be weird :/
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
The biggest challenge for me has been dealing with the fact I do have mental health issues. One of the main difficulties which I struggled with was accepting that it is okay to seek help. Professional help is NOT shameful, especially when what used to work before no longer does. At whatever point you are in your life, there is no shame in admitting that you need help, asking for help is never a bad thing.
What is your message to the AWMB community?
Women need to stop competing with each other, celebrate your sisters, I do this more as I grow older, and I’m telling you it’s much more satisfying for the soul. I’m also the worst for constantly comparing my life to others and judging how successful I am based on what I have achieved by a certain age, i.e., a family. But what I’m successful in is being my loud, anxious, crazy, outspoken self. Never be afraid to just be you, even if it is not the norm.