I am among those ill-fated women on this earth who are nearing 30. I often get feelings of nearing doom. In fact, why nearing doom? Reached doom already. I see younger girls settling down and even attaining motherhood. I see younger blood entering my organization and the feeling of reaching doom only strengthens. I feel like I am nearing my end. Actually I am just 28. Just 28, any 45-year-old will say. Then why do I feel that I am running out of time? Why do I continuously get the feeling that it’s over?
My freedom, my identity, my say, and my goals — all seem to be nearing their bitter, unfulfilled end. Someday I will get married. I must not fly too high. I must keep my feet firmly on the ground. I must be aware of the responsibilities that have been earmarked for me since my birth, to be given to me when I reach ‘this age’. I must be ready to make sacrifices for the happiness of my family. I must be happy with whatever I get. Is this what all 28 years old women out there feel too? Maybe yes.
A 28-year-old professional today is an independent woman, with her own bank account, own house, own career and own dreams. Gone are the days, when the woman was supposed to dream her husband’s dream. Today, she has her own dreams, visions of future and goals. She seeks a life-partner who will walk with her on the journey of her dreams. She will feel fulfilled only if those visions come true.
We can’t see a girl striving on the life path alone. Unsettled, depressed, lonely, they call her. I call her passionate, brave and credible. We talk about freedom, equality and woman empowerment. Those are words said without knowing their meaning.
Where does equality go when a girl is not allowed to pursue her passions after marriage? What happens to freedom when a girl is expected to marry and settle down even before she understands herself and what she wants from life? Where is the freedom to allow girls to live and experience life on their own and make them stand up on their own? Why are women still not seen in creative, challenging roles like pilots, photographers and chefs? Because we don’t like to see them there. Because we are afraid to grant them this real freedom. The freedom that really matters. However open-minded parents are or the husband is, stereotype comes in. Women are still expected to be the ones making compromises. Parents still teach their girls to learn to compromise. Why? Why aren’t they taught to look up and dream high? Why aren’t they encouraged to love themselves and fight for their dreams?
I am an unmarried, single girl of 28. I have a lot of pressure from my family and society to marry and settle down. While my family (and their friends, too) are busy desperately searching for a groom, I am dreaming about shifting careers and starting my own freelancing work in various fields. My family would get a nice little jolt if they come to know about my plans. Wouldn’t they be dismayed to hear that their intelligent daughter, who topped in school, wants to leave her successful, Human Resources career for something unreliable and ridiculous like writing, photography and travel? Why should she be travelling like crazy and waste energy when she can easily marry a software engineer settled in US and enjoy life? Well, that doesn’t make me happy at all. Travelling around the world makes me happy. Going out with my girlfriends makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Trying out world cuisines and photographing food makes me happy. Sad. They don’t see that.
The thought of burying my dreams scares me. I do not want spend a life of regret. I do not want to get the feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction at the end of my life. I would want a husband and a family who will support me in my travel expeditions who will let me go back to studies, who will feel happy if my aspirations come true and who will accept me with all the imagination, craziness and weirdness that I have.
Like any other man, who wants to be different, who wants to make it big, women today dare to be different, too. Given the right support and environment, they can create wonders too. There are many a talented and confident women out there, who can make the world a better place to live in, with their vision and talents. It would be such a waste to suppress them.
Do comment in the section below.
The writer is a contributor at Youth Ki Awaaz, a dreamy girl who is trying to create her own, little space in this big world.